MSRP: $69.98
RUNNING TIME: 18 Hours, 32 Minutes + Extras

  • Clubhouse celebration
  • 2005
    World Series trophy and MVP presentation
  • Parade
    footage and player speeches
  • Rare
    interviews with Ozzie Guillen, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Scott Podsednik,
    A.J. Pierszynski, Mark Buehrle, Aaron Rowand, Don Cooper, and Kenny Williams
  • Special
    game footage, including the White Sox clinching the American League Central

The Pitch

players. One team. One goal. No Frank Thomas.

The Humans

Guillen, Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik, Freddy Garcia,
Jose Contreras, Bobby Jenks, Tadahito Iguchi, A.J. Pierszynski, The Detroit
Tigers, The Boston Red Sox, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim County, The
Houston Astros, Craig Biggio’s filthy helmet

The Nutshell

into 2005, it had been 87 years since the Chicago White Sox had last been
crowned World Champions. Thanks to the
Boston Red Sox’s victory in ’04, only the Chicago Cubs (who are destined to
never win the title again, despite their recent nutty spending) stand alone as
having the longest championship drought in baseball history. For most of 2005, the White Sox were the
perfect example of a TEAM. Though not blessed with the games’ greatest
sluggers or pitching aces, they managed to play the “small ball” game to near
perfection that year. Their lineup
featured only one player with 100 RBI (Paul Konerko), and they didn’t have a 20
game winner in their rotation nor dominate closer until very late in the year. Still, they managed to scratch and claw their
way to their first title since The Great War was raging in 1917.

The Lowdown

though this set is a little older than the one Nick reviewed the other day, it
is still great viewing if you’re a baseball fan – particularly a White Sox fan
whose euphoria at experiencing a World Series victory was quickly crapped upon
by the team missing the playoffs entirely in ’06!

But as the saying goes, that was all “back in
the day”, and thanks to this A&E collection you can now travel back in time
to when the White Sox were the best in the game and had players named A.J. and
Tadahito, instead of Shoeless, Hap and Buck.

were several things from the 2005 postseason that I had either completely
forgotten about (such as a drunk fan interfering with a would-be triple during
the American League Championship Series against the Angels, nearly costing his
team a run and creating excellent drama on the diamond), and crap I wish I could have forgotten about (such
as the announcers explaining how Chris Burke and Mike Lamb combined to destroy
the Atlanta Braves during the NLDS).

set begins with Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the
then-reigning World Champions Boson Red Sox, all 9 innings here for your
enjoyment. However, it’s a bittersweet
game for Boston
fans, though while their team was ousted from the playoffs it does feature the
final at-bat of Johnny Damon in a Red Sox uniform, complete with shaggy hair
and beard! Damon would bolt for the
hated rival New York Yankees the following year. In fact, looking at this game two years
later, I found myself thinking more about how the two teams went about
constructing their respective rosters in order to defend their titles, than
watching the action itself.

example, after silencing their own 86 year championship drought in 2004, the
Red Sox made significant roster changes to improve their teams’ chances at
repeating, notably at third base and shortstop.
While they made it into the playoffs in 2005, they were swept in three
games by the White Sox and missed the playoffs altogether in 2006!

it came time for the White Sox to construct their own championship defending
roster for 2006, they mainly stood pat, the only notable addition being a
slugging DH (Jim Thome). Chicago didn’t even make
it to the playoffs to defend their title last year, so the two contrasting
style, for me at least, were on display and it was something I had never really
thought about before watching this set.
It’s little things like that which help show how effective not just
these DVD sets are, but how great and diverse the game of baseball itself is.

this game is the ESPN broadcast version, so you get to hear Chris Berman ramble
on, and the more he talks the more it becomes apparent he doesn’t really have
any idea what he’s talking about when it comes to baseball. He’s great for football telecasts, LOUSY for

two features Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim County. Easily
the worst team name in baseball, considering they have no business using the
‘Los Angeles’ label, they nevertheless played the White Sox better than any
other team in this postseason. True,
they won only one game, but that’s one game better than Boston and Houston combined to achieve. This is the first game presented by FOX
Sports, so be prepared for every single screen graphic to be accompanied by the
loudest sound effects known to man, and thousands of annoying merchandising
plugs and TV spots.

we get to the World Series, presented in its entirety. And by ‘entirety’, I mean all 4 games. In case you missed it, the 2005 WS featured a
sweep of the Houston Astros, and after what they did to the Braves during the
NLDS that year, I wish I could say their demise wasn’t enjoyable.

that’s being petty and I’m not that kind of person… I’m sorry, hold on a second
while I put away my vintage 1996 Jim Leyritz voodoo doll for now…

of the most interesting things about the ’05 World Series wasn’t so much the
Astros losing, it was how they
lost. They flat out didn’t hit in clutch
situations, and couldn’t make pitches when they needed to. The ‘Stros lost all four games with no
greater a margin than 2 runs:

1: 5-3

2: 7-6

3: 7-5

4: 1-0

makes for great baseball, and the 2005 series was very good baseball, but it
makes for even better discussion fodder.
Did they loose because the White Sox pitched to their weaknesses? Were the Astros overaggressive, or not
aggressive enough? Did their pitching
fail them, or were the Sox so locked in so much, that they could have hit

their pitching fail them?”

is something that is sure to haunt Houston
fans for a long time, especially those of ace closer Brad Lidge. On display in this collection is the
beginning of his struggles with his strikezone location and his mental grasp on
the game. As a baseball fan, it is
absolutely eerie to hear the announcers talking about the homerun he
surrendered to Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals during Game 5 of the
NLCS, then watching – almost in slow motion, especially knowing what happens
next – as Scott Podsednik launches a game winning homerun during Game 2 of the
World Series. Lidge would then go on to surrender
the game winning hit to Jermaine Dye in Game 4, sealing the fate of the Astros.

It is a postseason Lidge has yet to recover
from, at least purely statistically speaking.
While he did save 32 games the following year, his ERA was an
astronomical (pun intended) 5.28, with 6 blown saves. All jokes aside, as a Braves fan (or more
importantly, a baseball fan) who watched Mark Wohlers never fully recover from
that hanging slider he threw to backup catcher Jim Leyritz during the 1996
World Series, I hope Lidge keeps improving and can reestablish himself as the
premiere closer he once was.

such is the nature of baseball and the beauty of these discs. They allow you to revisit every moment of the
games as they were originally broadcast, commercial free of course, and you
will find yourself being immersed in the spectacle of the events
unfolding. As a fan of the game, you
don’t need FOX or ESPN forcing false storylines down your throat. As a fan you know what’s going on the field, and what’s running through the
minds of the managers and the hitters and the pitchers. You know because you were once there watching
these games live, and you felt it along with them and the people screaming from
the stands!

with these sets, you no longer feel the same tension you may have once felt,
but it doesn’t diminish the excellence of the games themselves.

anything, it enhances them.

The Package

second Nick’s praise for the construction of this packaging. Every case is adorned with bits of trivia and
info, while the inside jackets have full linescores and inning-by-inning
breakdowns. Absolutely awesome, and a
brilliant research tool if you one day want to just pop in that favorite inning
of yours without having to sift through the entire game looking for it. Each half of the innings are their own
chapter stops, making it extremely easy to navigate through them. The image is very clear and the games are
presented in 4:3 letterbox.

commentary for the games would be close to being the greatest thing of all
time, but I don’t really hold that against them. In a way, the announcers themselves sort of
serve as a running commentary, albeit resigned to that particular timeframe,
but maybe for future collections they could utilize recollections from the
players better.

main gripe concerns the bonus DVD. The
interviews contained are short and rather boring, not offering much insight at
all. The footage of the parade is dull,
but my biggest complaint is actually during the player speeches. If my memory serves me well, it was during
these proceedings that the feud between manager Ozzie Guillen and injured
superstar Frank Thomas finally spilled over into the public domain. I remember Guillen being furious at Thomas
for taking the mic and speaking on behalf of the team, even though he had been
injured for half the season and wasn’t a factor during the postseason. I was looking forward to seeing what Thomas
had to say, but the scene ends shortly after you can see The Big Hurt fumbling
with a microphone beside Jermaine Dye during his speech. We don’t get to see what he said! That ain’t right!

8.5 out of 10