Friday, January 4, 2008

#33 - Mike Sirotka

The infamous "shouldergate" is number 33. Mike Sirotka's career was on the rise. He was one of the best pitchers in the White Sox rotation. The White Sox traded Mike and a couple of players to Toronto for David Wells and another player. The trade turned out to be busts for both teams.

Mike never pitched for the Blue Jays because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder aggravated during Game 2 of the 2000 ALDS. David Wells (who also wore #33 for the White Sox) had one of his worst years after he was traded to Chicago.

Mike hit 15 wins in 2000 and started to get his ERA down. He was becoming something big. It was never meant to be. He pitched on the White Sox from 1995 until 2000. He ultimately spent his entire career on the White Sox. A bright young pitcher who was realizing his potential was snuffed out from an injury.

Not many other notable players have worn 33 playing for the White Sox. David Wells wore it and had one of his worst years. Melido Perez wore it and got a no-hitter. Steve Trout wore it and pitched moderately well. Maybe Nick Swisher will claim #33, like he wore with the Athletics, and take possession of this number from Mike Sirotka.

***UPDATE 1-4-08***
Yes, Sirotka even beat "The Legend", Aaron Rowand. Aaron's defensive skills were superb and he was the soul of the White Sox in 2005. His plate appearances make me pine for Ron Karkovice though. Rowand had a great year hitting-wise... in Philadelphia, but that never transpired in Chicago.

Mike Sirotka was beloved in Chicago as the ace of the staff up until he was injured. There was a large outcry when he was traded, even if the Sox did get David Wells in return. The trade didn't work out for either side and the fans had no clue about the nature of the injury until well after the trade.

As hard as it is for me to accept this, Aaron Rowand is another variation of Jose Valentin, without the bat, but with more glue in his glove. Jose Valentin would make outstanding plays by going out of his natural range, but that type of play resulted in a huge amount of errors. Aaron played the same way defensively, but with a lot less errors. If Aaron's bat, in a White Sox uniform, would be even half as good as his defense, he would be a lock for #33.

These are the tough decisions that keep me up at night. Yes, I probably should get more of a life, but that would mean much less White Sox baseball and I can't do that.


Sox Machine said...

Sirotka over Rowand?

White Sox Cards said...

I've had to make a lot of tough calls and this was one of them. The numbers favor Sirotka over Rowand unfortunately. Rowand had a great season at the plate.. for the Phillies. I know it's hard to fathom now, but Sirotka was just as loved in his prime, before James Baldwin took over as ace and Sirotka hurt himself and was traded away.

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