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As exciting and memorable as the 2021 Chicago White Sox season was, the 2022 campaign was one of the most disappointing and forgettable. After making the playoffs in the previous two seasons, the White Sox appeared ready to make a serious run at the World Series. Or, at least we thought were ready.

Whether it was injuries to key players, frequent power outages from the offense, or inconsistent performances from the well-paid bullpen, or being magnetized to the .500 mark, it just didn’t come together for this year’s version of the White Sox.

Throw in some drama from the ever-polarizing manager, Tony La Russa, and the 2022 season is definitely, in my opinion, one of the five most disappointing seasons in the last 40 years on the South Side.

Jun 10, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa (22) looks on from dugout before a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Here are the other four seasons that left a similar empty feeling in my stomach.

1984

The Sox were coming off their magical “Winnin' Ugly” 99-win season in 1983. '83 was the first year I really paid attention to baseball and the White Sox. So, I couldn’t wait for the 1984 season to arrive.

They had their entire starting pitching staff returning, including a pair of 20-game winners in LaMarr Hoyt and Richard Dotson. On offense, Harold Baines, Greg Luzinski, '83 ROTY Ron Kittle, and Carlton Fisk appeared to form a fearsome foursome in the middle of the lineup. Another Western Division title seemed a fait accompli.

After a slow start, the White Sox crawled their way out of the cellar and led a weak Western Division at the All-Star Break. But then the bottom fell out. The Sox lost 13 of their first 17 games after the break and never recovered.

1994 & 1995

I’m combining these two seasons because of the work stoppage. Once again, the Sox were coming off a division title in 1993. Their window of opportunity appeared to be at its peak with league MVP Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, and Jack McDowell leading the way.

Unknown date 1994; Chicago, IL, USA, FILE PHOTO; Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura in action at Comiskey Park during the 1994 season.
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The Sox were 21 games above .500 and leading the newly formed American League Central Division by a game on Aug. 10 when Bud Selig pulled the plug on the season. It was the first year since 1904 that a World Series would not be played.

Games finally resumed in late April of 1995, but the Sox played like they were still on strike. An 11-20 start put them 11 games behind upstart Cleveland and they never got closer than third place. Gene Lemont was fired after the rough start and the Terry Bevington era began. Enough said.

2006

Coming off the high of their first World Series championship since 1917, Ozzie Guillen appeared to have his squad ready for a strong title defense in 2006.

However, they were unable to match the energy of an unexpected surge by a young and talented Detroit Tiger squad. The South Siders were out of first place by mid-May and just seemed to run out of steam. They won 90 games that year but still finished six games back of the Tigers.

Sep 20, 2006; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher (46) Neil Cotts reacts after giving up a solo home run to Detroit Tigers catcher (7) Ivan Rodriguez during the ninth inning at US Cellular Field in Chicago, IL. The Detroit Tigers defeated the White Sox 6-2.

Sep 20, 2006; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher (46) Neil Cotts reacts after giving up a solo home run to Detroit Tigers catcher (7) Ivan Rodriguez during the ninth inning at US Cellular Field in Chicago, IL. The Detroit Tigers defeated the White Sox 6-2.

2012

The Chicago White Sox were in first place for about two-thirds of the season. They held the lead in the Central from July 24 through Sept. 26. Up three games up with 15 to play, Robin Ventura’s team just ran out of gas.

Once again, it was the Detroit Tigers who passed them with eight games to play and ended up in the World Series, just like in 2006.

Oct 3, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura (23) stands in the dugout in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

When you only make the playoffs in consecutive seasons once in over 100 years, you’re probably going to have more disappointing seasons than not. Here’s to the next 100 years being a little better.

Don’t stop believing.