Homers continue to decide postseasons; the offseason is here

The Braves did what the White Sox couldn’t do.

In defense of the Pale Hose, the other Sox couldn’t do it, either.

Atlanta knocked off the Astros in six games to win its first World Series since 1995, and with a pretty simple formula: The Braves outhomered Houston 11-2, and outslugged them .443-.299. Also, while both teams scrambled for starting pitching plans, Brian Snitker got a couple of huge starts from Ian Anderson and Max Fried, while Dusty Baker could only get Jose Urquidy to effectively cover the first five innings back in Game 2.

But mostly it was the homers, so success in modern baseball continues to be extremely reliant on the long ball, no matter how many people wish it to be otherwise.

Now that the World Series is over, perhaps the White Sox will finally tell us who’s returning to the organization, as Rick Hahn still hasn’t tied up the season’s loose ends. Beyond that, here’s the rough calendar for scheduled White Sox news over the next month.


Between now and Monday: The White Sox will have to decide whether to exercise options on Craig Kimbrel and César Hernández, while holding exclusive negotiation rights with their other free agents (Carlos Rodón, Leury García, Ryan Tepera, Billy Hamilton). They’ll also have to issue the qualfying offer to Rodón to this time, should they choose that route, and he’d have 10 days to accept or decline it.

Also between now and Monday: The best time to finish your offseason plans, because the decisions made by the team inevitably color the decisions made in the plans that come after.

THE OFFSEASON PLAN PROJECT: See all plans | Create your own

Between now and Nov. 5: Major League Baseball will announce the finalists for the Manager of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.

Nov. 7: We’ll find out if Dallas Keuchel will take home a Gold Glove, which would join his Fielding Bible Award.

PERTINENT: Gold Glove finalist nod catches Dallas Keuchel at weird time

Nov. 8: Free agency begins, although it probably won’t get off to a riveting start.

Nov. 11: The Silver Slugger Award winners will be announced. Tim Anderson is the lone White Sox candidate, competing with Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Bo Bichette at shortstop.

Nov. 15: We’ll see if any of the White Sox’s vaunted rookies received any support in the American League.

Nov. 16: We’ll see what kind of support Tony La Russa received for AL Manager of the Year.

Nov. 17: We’ll see where Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Carlos Rodón finished in AL Cy Young voting.

Nov. 18: We’ll see if any White Sox received surprise MVP nods. Perhaps another 10th-place vote for Tepera?

Nov. 19: The deadline for the White Sox to add players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

Dec. 1: The non-tender deadline for arbitration-eligible players. The White Sox will have to decide whether to offer contracts to Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, Evan Marshall, Adam Engel, Brian Goodwin, Jimmy Cordero and Jace Fry.

Also Dec. 1: The date the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire, which could also be the day the sport stands still if Major League Baseball decides to lock out the players association. The Athletic’s Evan Drellich wrote a good primer about a potential lockout that’s worth your time. It covers the range of outcomes, from “merely an extension while negotiations finish” to “What happens if it threatens Opening Day?”

Dec. 5: The winter meetings are supposed to begin in Orlando, but if a lockout occurs, the meetings may be limited to a convention for minor league teams. Baseball America has a good primer on what happens to Minor League Baseball in the event of a lockout at the highest level.

Dec. 9: There’s precedent for the Rule 5 draft occurring even in times of a work stoppage, so this could be the last scheduled stop for baseball news if an agreement can’t be reached beforehand.

(Photo by Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

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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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Trooper Galactus

Even with the CBA looming, the White Sox will have some pretty impactful decisions to make in the next week. Given the uncertainty, I kinda wonder how much they’re willing to commit to financially until a new deal is signed.

Be nice if Hahn would maybe have a press conference finally.


Yes I am dying for Hahn to tell us the money will be spent and that the sox deserve a seat at the big table, they’ve proven so truthful before with those words.

At most maybe we get some injury updates and a possible affirmation about where the organization views Kopech and or Crochet as bullpen or starting pitchers.

Everything else Hahn says should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

It will be interesting to see what route they take with Kimbrel. Im still firmly in the belief he can be traded and is more of an asset then a liability but I feel that was somewhat a minority opinion in the OPP’s


Kimbrel Option and Trade better happen before CBA expiration.

Trooper Galactus

That’s another reason I’m kinda skeptical about picking up his option. If there’s a lockout, it would really hamper their timeline to trade him and they could just wind up holding the bag, especially if the luxury tax threshold is lowered.

As Cirensica

I have been swamped at work in recent days. Couldn’t even watch last night’s game as I fell sleep (very tired). I am not sure I will be able to submit my off season plan. Will try my best this weekend.


[insert banana cat meme here]


Speaking of Homers…
Getting out-homered is a combination of not hitting enough and giving up too many, but beyond that, we were just outplayed.

I assumed the Astros were a bit better, but we were thoroughly out-pitched and out-hit (and out-defensed and out-run). And yet, Atlanta, a team that did not look to be on our level, out-played the Astros just as thoroughly. Granted Houston lost their ace who utterly dominated the Sox all year – and yet I wonder if we were perhaps out-scouted in addition to out-played. Atlanta seemed to know how to handle the Astros and the Astros certainly seemed to have our number.
Any thoughts?


THIS. As I watched the series unfold, and the Braves starters (who throughout the season did not appear to be better than the Sox, perhaps not quite as good) deal with the mighty Astros lineup, it occurred to me that they had a clearly better plan of attack than the Sox did.

Other factors appeared to be that the Sox pitchers walked/got behind too many hitters compared to Atlanta, and Rodon wearing out and Lynn having a knee glitch.

The Sox managed rest issues for the starting lineup (perhaps too well), and the starting pitchers not as well. Given their additional scouting issues with shifting and player positioning, changes are needed for 2022. Who is responsible for this? Does the buck stop with TLR?

Given the Sox history, I have little faith that these will be fixed next year.


Maybe it’s nothing more than confirmation bias, but my ears perked up in Freeman’s postgame interview, when the third mention out of his list of “Thank Yous” was the team’s analytics department.

I’m pretty ravenous in my white sox consumption, and that’s not something I’ve heard/remembered a Sox player reference before in a postgame interview.

I know the Sox have gone from woefully behind the times to “better”, but their record against good teams, shifting stats, and the playoffs tells me we are still at a disadvantage.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jason
Trooper Galactus

Yeah, Houston lost their ace, but Atlanta had to make a run to and through the postseason without their best player, so I’d call it a wash.


I sort of hate that the Braves won, personally, because of what conclusions might be drawn from it by Jerry and co. You can win even with a 12th ranked payroll, see! It’s true, it happens once in a while that a relatively mediocre team gets hot at the right time. Yet I think the Braves and Royals are the only teams in the past decade that have won with a payroll as low as 12th. It isn’t the norm, and it is a terrible plan to basically rely on hoping for really well timed luck. The Sox won one more game than the 2 wild card teams, and probably would have finished 5th if they were in the AL East, to honestly assess where this team is at talent wise. They are clearly at a disadvantage because of weaknesses we all know too well.

With the Sox TV deal, good attendance, and the stock market up 40 percent from a year ago, Reinsdorf has an absolutely sick amount of money, and it really boils down to whether he is going to hoard it like Gollum, or show he has some balls for a change.


If his wife passing away didn’t make him realize that his days are numbered, nothing will. Maybe it will also dawn on him that you can’t take it with you when you go. The time to fill all the cracks on the roster is RIGHT NOW.


I have hopes that we might see something out of character from him this winter for any number of reasons.

You are right about Melvin. If only the Sox had done a manager search and hire the right way. I’d like to see the Pads do better next year, was very surprising to see them underperform to the extent they did.


I get what you’re saying, and also sort of see it as you can’t really draw any conclusions from the outcome. Congrats to the Braves, of course. A World Series win is a Word Series win. But they won with Acuna, Ozuna and Soroka out. They scrambled to acquire mediocire journeymen midseason in a desperate attempt to just get over .500 and win a super weak division. It’s not a recipe that would be all appealing to the Sox narrative. The Sox have some offseason work to do, but it’s to augment the core, and if they win in ’22 (or ’23), it’ll feel much more rewarding than what just transpired with the Braves, IMO.

If the White Sox had been 12th in payroll this season they would have had another $8-10 million to play with. That would have been the difference between signing Adam Eaton and signing Michael Brantley.


This Bob Melvin situation has me fuming. You’ll never get something you don’t ask for, and AJ Preller was even able to get Melvin without compensation. Makes our situation that much more embarrassing.


Well, we got TLR without compensation:)

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, and we should have been compensated.


Not sure if it’s been covered here, but Fegan reported that the full coaching staff is expected to return.


With that info coming from La Russa. Did Rick Hahn die or something?

Trooper Galactus

I think he died inside the moment LaRussa was hired.


You don’t suppose Hahn is looking to be employed elsewhere, and has advised Jerry; thus not a spokesman?


Well I expected RR to be retained, so there’s still hope.


Wow, Buster Posey is retiring. Didn’t see that coming after his comeback this past year.

Trooper Galactus

It’s very possible the entire year was a struggle for him physically, especially given the damage he’s taken over the years. Guy has generational wealth already, so I don’t fault him for trying to move on and enjoy life after baseball if his health is compromised.


Speaking of homers, how do we feel about Andrew McCutchen? His option was declined.

He’s struggled with injuries the last three seasons and is now a terrible corner outfield defender. That’s not worth the 109 OPS+ he’s put up in that time. I think he’s a below average player at this point who might be good as a bench bat, but not an every day player.


Well I’m definitely not suggesting he start every game, but his line was .293/.405/.622 against LHP last year, and if we aren’t bringing a legit RF onboard I say go and get him.

Hitting LHP at the expense of being able to hit righties at all is the LAST thing this team needs, along with further bad defense in the corner.