The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series. Every White Sox fan knows it could've easily been the White Sox.
Ultimately, the 2006 White Sox died from neglect. Not from the bullpen, not from the starting pitching, not from the unexpected bad luck of sharing a division with a couple of teams on Missions from God.
They died because, in his haste to cement a second championship team, Kenny Williams forgot to have any backup plans. When Brian Anderson struggled at the plate, there was no major league caliber option to back him up. When Scott Podsednik struggled at the plate and in the field, there was no option to replace him except Pablo Ozuna.
They died because of gratitude. When the bullpen struggled, blood flowed, and Riske and McDougal were brought in to (mostly) stem the bleeding -- but not until Cliff Politte got 30 innings to blow multiple ballgames before earning his release. One has to think that Podsednik not being replaced had more to do with his homer off Brad Lidge last October than any realistic assessment of his contributions. His defensive drop-off made him possibly the worst regular position player in the league.
They died because of stubbornness. Boone Logan got far more opportunities to show he wasn't ready that any rationality justified. Anderson, despite his manifest problems hitting lefty pitching, was platooned, deepening his slump. The use of Cotts and Logan as LOOGys despite poor performance in that specific role was stubbornly repeated.
Now comes the offseason, the great time to blog because, well, you can't be proven wrong for six months.
Good luck to the Tigers. But we all can't help but think it shoulda been our time again. In baseball, unless you're the Yankees, the opportunity not seized doesn't usually come again for a long time.