Winning the World Series in 2005 was one of the worst thing to happen to the White Sox in the past 10 years.
Let me explain!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m eternally grateful for the fact that in my 21st year of life on this planet, the team that I grew up cheering for won their first World Series title in 88 years. I got to experience it with my brother Landon, my roomate Alan, and my future wife Jaime, all 4 games at Legends bar in Champaign. My brother and I celebrating on Green Street are a featured picture in the college newspaper, the Daily Illini, right smack on the cover page the next day! I had honestly never cried tears of joy until that very night October 26, 2005.
But then, as it is often the case, expectations of what the team could be grew to proportions that have proven to be difficult to attain.
“Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.”
― L.M. Montgomery
I think that we can see over the 7 seasons after the title run, how newly heightened expectations, combined with typical Sox-ian disappointing seasons, have combined to send Sox interest in Chicago to pre-Ozzie Guillen levels:
2006 :Attendance – 2,957,414 (3rd of 14);Record:90-72 (Finished 3rd)
Positives: Sox end first half 57-31; Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome combine for 86 HR & 229 RBI. Negatives: Sox finish season 33-41; Starting staff all finish with 4.00+ ERA; Cliff Politte and Neal Cotts, Career years in 2005, fall off cliff with ERA’s over 8 and 5 respectively. Failed to become 1st Sox team in history with consecutive playoff appearances. Conclusions: Hard for Sox fans to accept a rare 90-win team that finishes third in it’s own division. But the post-championship glow, along with a competitive team all season explains the slight drop off.
2007: Attendance – 2,684,395 (5th of 14); Record: 72-90 (Finished 4th)
Positives: Jim Thome has 2nd straight impressive season (35HR,96RBI)…um… and yeah that was about it. Negatives: Jose Contreras 17 losses; team run differential -149; Darin Erstad; Rob Macowiak; the travesty that was the 2007 bullpen. Conclusions: Sleight decline in attendance, still probably had some of the glow of the 05 shining on them but the team sufferred mightily, plenty of injuries (including fan-favorite Joe Crede, whose back problems would eventually shorten his career) and a clown car full of terrible relief pitchers probably led to the continued drop.
2008: Attendance – 2,500,648 (5th of 14); Record: 89-73 (Finished 1st; Lost 3-1 Division Series) Positives: Carlos Quentin has MVP quality season (36HR,100RBI); Solid performances by Jermaine Dye & Thome (again!); Breakout season for Gavin Floyd (17 wins); Sox defeat 3 teams in 3 days to force and win 1-Game playoff to win division. Negatives: Nick Swisher failing to live up to hype of offseason trade; Javier Vasquez’s decline; rare down year for Paul Konerko; Mid-Season trade for Ken Griffey Jr. not much impact. Conclusions: Another drop in attendance coming off worst Sox season in almost a decade. Team in contention thru most of season keeps attendance up, but trend still going downward…
Coming up: Sox attendance for 2009 until present and possible solutions for increasing fan attendance at Sox Park!! Stay Tuned!!