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2005 champs: Where are they now?

1/30/2015

CHICAGO -- While 2015 is lined up to be the first for the Chicago White Sox without a player from the 2005 World Series club, some of those champions continue to play.

The latest to find a home was reliever Neal Cotts, as the Milwaukee Brewers announced Friday they have agreed to a one-year deal with the left-hander. The 34-year-old Cotts, who has gone through four hip surgeries, still lives full time in Chicago.

The only other White Sox pitcher who was on the World Series roster and is still doing his thing in the major leagues is the Toronto Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle. Of the position players, Juan Uribe is with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while A.J. Pierzynski signed a one-year deal this winter to play for the Atlanta Braves.

But there are other members of the 2005 club who are still trying to get things done on the field. Brandon McCarthy, who pitched in 12 games and made 10 starts for that club, recently signed a four-year, $48 million deal with the Dodgers.

And outfielder Brian Anderson, who had 35 plate appearances with the White Sox that season, is back in the organization after signing a minor-league contract without an invite to major league camp. Anderson had tried a position change to pitcher in recent years, but after being out of the game since after the 2012 season, he is making a return to the outfield.

Neither McCarthy nor Anderson were on the World Series roster, but both were with the club and in the dugout for the entire playoff run.

There is also one more player who is still getting it done on the field. Tadahito Iguchi continues to play in Japan, but instead of playing second base he has evolved into a 40-year-old first baseman. He was in Chicago last weekend for SoxFest, taking one last getaway before his team reports this weekend for Japan’s version of spring training.

Iguchi says that talk of his transition into a power-hitting corner infielder has been exaggerated.

“Those are just rumors,” Iguchi said through an interpreter. “I’m 40. I’m a little washed up and being moved over to first base. I’m starting to kind of move like Paulie now.”

Paulie, of course, is former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who was the last 2005 player to suit up for the club before retiring at the conclusion of last season.

For some, that title now seems so long ago. But for the players that experienced it, the time has flown by in a hurry.

“It’s extremely fast,” said Iguchi, who is now playing for the Chibba Lotte Marines. “It is unbelievable it has been 10 years. It was a lot of fun to catch up with the guys.”

One of the first players to depart that 2005 club was center fielder Aaron Rowand, who was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies that offseason when the White Sox acquired Jim Thome.

“It makes me feel old, but it’s awesome to be back here and see all of these guys,” the 37-year-old Rowand said last week on the opening night of SoxFest.