Following up: More context for the quote about Jerry Reinsdorf’s alleged quote

A little over the week ago, we talked about the White Sox’ less-than-convincing response to Jerry Reinsdorf’s alleged “second place is the best place” comment relayed by former Marlins team president David Samson.

The reaction from the club stood out to me more than the quote, because it showed no ability to read a room, and I didn’t feel all that great about the source. About Samson, I wrote:

Samson was part of a Marlins front office that was equal parts villainous and dysfunctional, and has spent his post-baseball career living his best life. He’s kinda credible because he walked among front office types, but he also seems to like the attention from being the heel.

Sure enough, if the White Sox ignored it or attacked the messenger instead responding with a bumper sticker they once saw (“second place is the first loser”), they wouldn’t have had to wait long for reinforcement. When Daniel Hudson became the first player to use MLB’s paternity list in the postseason, Samson showed up again to commandeer the conversation.

Twitter responded with a ratio, but that probably was the point. Any engagement might look like good engagement when you’re planning on launching a podcast called “Nothing Personal.” It just came out on Monday.

Fortunately, the story isn’t just “people give reaction guy was asking for.” Jeff Passan, whose reporting on Hudson’s recovery from two Tommy John surgeries was the best part of his book “The Arm,” wrote a fantastic article about Hudson’s 48 hours traveling between the postseason and the hospital.

The whole thing is worth reading, but Sara Hudson delivered the best quote of them all:

Throughout the night, the broadcast team never misses an opportunity to bring up Hudson’s absence. It becomes such a recurring theme that Craig Hanks, a friend of Hudson’s, sends him a text proposing a new drinking game: “Every time they say Daniel Hudson take a drink … I might die.” When Sanchez loses his no-hit bid, Hudson turns into an especially important talking point. This would have been his time to pitch, the broadcast notes, his save to secure.

“All this time I thought I’d married Rodney,” Sara says, “and it turns out I married Rivera.”

* * * * * * * * *

When it comes to formulating top prospect lists, I don’t yet have a firm idea of what to do with Matthew Thompson and Andrew Dalquist. The Sox hadn’t used big-money draft slots on prep pitchers in five years, perhaps because the last ones they invested in (Spencer Adams, Tyler Danish) never gained velocity from their high school days. Velocity has also been an issue with some of their college picks, which might further explain why they’ve avoided spending seven figures on players whose futures rely on such gains.

If the White Sox fare just as poorly with Thompson and Dalquist, it won’t be from making the same mistakes. The Sox limited them to a combined total of five innings in the Arizona Rookie League, as most of their pro career to date has been focused on building strength.

James Fegan laid out where the second- and third-round picks currently stand:

General manager Rick Hahn placed the primary emphasis of their time in Glendale on their exposure to a professional-level conditioning program for the first time. Both Thompson and Dalquist have touted the value of one-on-one time with strength coaches — a significant upgrade from even an elite high school athletic program like Dalquist’s Redondo Union.

Thompson said he’s absorbing the information from heat maps provided by the team en masse for the first time, and pondering how he’s essentially unhittable if he gets ahead in the count, but a bit more vulnerable than he used to be when he tries to blaze his way back from 3-1 with fastballs.

Dalquist practiced tunneling his four-seamer and his curveball in high school, but admitted a pitch sequencing meeting he and his new roommate both attended got him really thinking through that concept for the first time. Both have also noted that while the tight spin of their curveballs froze most high school hitters on sight, that’s not going to work anymore.

With only instructional league reporting and a few Arizona League looks, where they rank in the farm system relies mainly on their draft-day profiles. Glass half full, this is the time for projectable athleticism. The White Sox farm system thins out after the top tier of Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Nick Madrigal and Andrew Vaughn, there’s plenty of room for a faith-based ranking if you can summon it.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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I mean, both Thompson and Dalquist sit 92-95MPH on their heaters. That’s already good enough for major league work and anything extra is a bonus.

What Sox pitchers need is more command on all pitches rather than big heat.

karkovice squad

1 of the key lessons from this season is that there isn’t just 1 thing Sox pitchers need to improve. Another lesson is that differences in the baseball’s construction and what happens on contact change the relationships among those things and how to prioritize them.


Thompson saw a velo drop and sat 80-90 for parts of last year. FGraphs and MLBPipeline had Dalquist more 91-93.
Also- Can’t lock-in those velo #’s until you see how they handle an every 5th day workload.


Wait Thompson had a 10MPH dip in velocity?


My bad. Should read 89-90.


Don’t scare me like that. I thought the kid blew his elbow and White Sox coaching staff were like “Hmmm…Matt going for a Changeup heavy approach. I like that”


Any velo drop from junior to senior year of high school is a pretty big red flag.


8 teams looking for a new manager. Vizquel and McEwing have scored zero interviews.


Sources inside the Mets (translation for those outside the NY metro area, Jeff Wilpon) linking McEwing to the Mets job.

karkovice squad

The reaction to Hudson taking paternity leave shows how far we have(n’t) come from Koufax observing a holy day.


Our priorities are very disordered.

Lurker Laura

Seriously. Whatever course of action Daniel and Sara Hudson decide is best for their partnership and family is literally nobody’s business except theirs.


You are so right, Laura. However, I commented to my wife at the time that if she were about to have a baby, and if I were a pitcher for a team in the playoffs, I’d be at the game. Her response was that she’d want me at the game, too. This presupposes the pregnancy was proceeding normally to this point. All this from 2 people who worked from home so we could be around for our kids. Different strokes.

Lurker Laura

Also a valid choice!

Trooper Galactus

Well, if you were a professional baseball player, you would decidedly not be working from home and likely have a much different point of view.


The #1 thing that will determine whether this rebuild will result in actual sustained contention, rather than just a couple bites at the apple, is if the White Sox can get back to developing high quality starters from their farm. I would say this is even more important than top-tier free agent spending (although, it’s going to be tough to break through without that either).

One just needs to look across town to see what happens when a team can’t get any homegrown pitching production.

karkovice squad

It’s easy to learn the wrong lessons from the Cubs’ pitching woes. Their problems are probably deeper than just not converting amateurs to major leaguers. They haven’t maxed out the talent on any of their veteran acquisitions since the championship either.

Successful teams have been getting results from affordable veteran or post-hype prospect retreads. And the Astros have done that while expanding the definition of “afforable” and “retread” with the Verlander and Greinke trades.

As Cirensica

We bit lemons….no apples

As Cirensica

At least Dalquist and Thompson have youth on their side as they are both teenagers. That can’t hurt hope.

Also Samson is an idiot.

lil jimmy

“Also Samson is an idiot.”
Shouldn’t have cut his hair!


We should draft more high school players so we have this luxury known as “time” and not have to fret about shoving 22 year olds through the system as fast as possible.


Ive been saying all season it would be crazy for Strasburg not to opt out if he had a decent season, and he has had a great season and a strong post season. Probably be able to get 6 or 7 years at 25-30 per at this point. Cole probably resets the entire market, pushing to the 250 range. If jerry wants some of these comments to go away he can open up his wallet. Premier pitching is available.

karkovice squad

Assuming past trends hold, which isn’t a given, MLBTR’s review of the expiring big-dollar pitching contracts made them look like much better value than the position player deals. Another reason why signing an elite pitcher is probably the route to go given all of the Sox other dis- and advantages.

But really, I just want them to significantly improve the team regardless of efficiency. That’d be a lot more palatable than their M.O. to date of spending inefficiently without improvement.


Good point, the 200 mil pitchers all paid off, some you could say were even a bargain like scherzer.

Sox would be wise to go elite, vs 2nd tier.

lil jimmy

Spencer Adams, Tyler Danish
Not birds of a feather. Adams was a value pick, with a starters frame and repertoire. He’s still around, so not toast yet. Danish was an over draft. Only the White Sox saw a starter in him, and took him early. He wasn’t and they were wrong.


Yup. The only recent pitcher that I can think of that gained velocity is Stiever. 

Perhaps we can poach someone from the Yankees organization. Every pitcher in their organization seems to be able to bring the heat. They are ahead of the curve in this area. 

karkovice squad

For whatever advances they’re (slowly) making on pitch design and usage, they’re definitely lagging farther behind on more fundamental training methods for velocity and control/command.

Trooper Galactus

Despite the near total lack of returns, I still get excited at the potential in high school picks, particularly when they’re paid over slot. Spent years following Adams through the system before he stalled in AAA, held hopes for Michalczewski until about a year or two ago, and still hold out some optimism for Luis Curbelo.