2005 White Sox were a balanced bunch

You're going to hear a lot of talk in the next couple of weeks about the 2004 Red Sox or the 2009 Yankees being the "Team of the Decade." But in looking back through the notes our department compiled, and comparing some of the numbers from the championship teams of the 2000s, the 2005 White Sox are a very legitimate candidate.

Consider the following pieces of information, gleaned from our resources, with some help from the Elias Sports Bureau:

  • The White Sox tied with the 2002 Angels for second-best record by a World Series champ this decade (99-63).

  • The White Sox ended a longer drought without a World Series title than the Red Sox did (having last won the World Series in 1917, a year prior to Boston).

  • The White Sox went wire-to-wire in first place and won the World Series. They're one of only five teams to do that in major league history (1990 Reds, 1984 Tigers, 1955 Dodgers, 1927 Yankees), not to mention the only one to do so during the decade.

  • They went 11-1 in the postseason, good to be tied for the second-best win percentage in a single postseason since 1969.

  • They went unbeaten on the road in the postseason, and were the first team to clinch all three of their postseason series on their opponents' home field.

  • Their 52 road wins in the regular season were the most of any World Series champion in the decade.

  • Their 3.61 ERA was the best of any World Series champion in the decade.

  • They won 99 games. Bill James designed a method (Pythagorean projection) to assess how many wins a team should get in a season, based on their runs scored and runs allowed. The White Sox exceeded their Pythagorean projection of 91 wins by eight wins…the most any World Series winner exceeded their Pythagorean projection in the decade.

  • They hit 200 home runs, not ucommon for a champion during this decade, but they also stole 137 bases, the second-most of any World Series champion in the 2000s.

  • So you can hook onto the 2004 Red Sox for sentimentality, or the 2009 Yankees for statistical dominance, but if you're looking for a team with an appropriate combination of both, the 2005 White Sox are a good way to go.