Steve Stone is tired of your negativity. And he wants you to know it — so much so that it’s become a hobbyhorse during broadcasts of the White Sox’ 3-8 start the second half.
Not content to carry water for the Sox org exclusively over the air waves, he’s also taken to Twitter to reprimand Sox fans that are tired of all the losing.
A beautiful house takes 5 yrs to build. The builder tells you that. After 2.5 years you rant and rave that it’s not good. Is that shocking to you? It’s an instant gratification society. You’re not happy. We get it. The job is halfway done. Enjoy the process or don’t. Up to you— Steve Stone (@stevestone) July 17, 2019
The subtext to this (and many of the Stone Pony’s other recent tweets) is that A) he doesn’t know how long it takes to build a house, B) he thinks that because the Sox set a rebuilding course before the 2017 season, the organization shouldn’t be looked at with a critical eye until… 2022, I guess? The secondary implication is that anyone who doubts the team’s ability to successfully execute the remaining steps in the rebuild is a Bad Fan.
Now, I generally try to look on the bright side. And I like Stone. In fact, I’m on record that his broadcasts the last two years are the best of his Sox career. But give me a damn break, Steve.
This is an organization that has demonstrated time and time again over the last two decades that its primary concern is profitability, not winning. It’s why we’re watching Adam Engel instead of Luis Robert right now. It’s why Eloy Jimenez wasn’t called up last season, and why Michael Kopech only got in four major league appearances before his elbow popped. It’s why they didn’t sign Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. It’s why we’ve endured Ervin Santana, Adam LaRoche, Jeff Keppinger, and on and on, instead of more productive, higher-end free agents.
The front office has also consistently failed to creatively problem solve and has shown no interest in the forward-thinking strategies now relied on by industry leaders like the Astros and Rays. That’s why they came into the season with Dylan Covey as the only organizational starting pitching depth to speak of, and why they keep throwing him out there to get battered in spite of evidence that an opener could help him out. It’s why they’ve failed to draft and/or develop high-end talent at a rate comparable with successful rebuilds. It’s why they still bunt.
Yet according to Stone, having higher expectations makes you a fairweather fan. We, the baseball lovers who fund this outfit, are supposed to smile as they careen towards another 90-loss season… in spite of the fact that they haven’t made the playoffs in 11 years, or even finished over .500 in 7.
I’m not usually one to get worked up by a team broadcaster, but Stone’s comments are yet another symptom of an organization that is out of touch. I thought one silver lining of the rebuild was that we would be spared from the constant fan-shaming that defined the White Sox’ slog between mediocre seasons in the early 2010’s. But here comes Stone with a new twist on an old classic! It’s almost as if nothing about the franchise has changed despite the rebuild!
I do agree with him on one count: it sucks that so many fans, including myself, feel frustrated by the Sox. But the fault isn’t ours, it’s with the team! Show me a good faith effort to win some frickin’ baseball games and I’ll be more positive. Start by adding Robert, and ending the Covey/Ross Detwiler 5th starter carousel — that’ll make me smile. Sign Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon this offseason, and I’ll shoot rainbows out my ass.
Until then, I’ll be as negative as I please, Steve.