Tigers 4, White Sox 1: Central goes to Cleveland

Give the White Sox credit: They didn’t harm Dylan Cease’s Cy Young chances.

Then stop giving the White Sox credit.

Cease dodged traffic over six scoreless innings to keep Justin Verlander honest, and the White Sox led 1-0 behind a Yoán Moncada homer by the time his afternoon was over.

Then the White Sox packed it in. Reynaldo López lost the lead in the seventh with the first two batters going single-double, and while Victor Reyes did him a favor of getting caught between second and third after his RBI double to clear the bases, Kendall Graveman received no such help. He gave up four singles over the course of five batters to make it a 3-1 game, then capped off his appearance with the gift of Wild Pitch Offense that made the final score what it is.

Perhaps Graveman sensed the poetry of the moment, for he’s the one who officially buried the White Sox’s AL Central chances. The Guardians would’ve won the division today regardless, because the magic number was 1 and they just beat the Rangers 10-4, but the White Sox made it official before they had the chance to do it themselves.

Instead of Cleveland crumbling the way Elvis Andrus hoped, it was the White Sox who went winless during their six-game homestand. They’re now below .500, which means we’re back to focusing on draft position. They’d be picking 16th round now, but if they lose out, they could pick as high as 12th.

What’s incredible is that the White Sox threw a quality start in all six games, so it all comes back to the offense. Yoán Moncada hit his 12th homer of the year for the game’s first run in the fourth inning, the start of a three-batter sequence that signaled more in store. AJ Pollock followed with a single (in his 500th plate appearance, adding $1 million to his player option), bringing Andrew Vaughn to the plate.

Vaughn tried to follow Moncada’s way out of the park, but his drive to left-center died in the glove of Riley Greene, who brought the ball back from over the fence with an incredible leaping grab that saved Tyler Alexander two runs. Gavin Sheets tried to regain momentum with a single, but Yasmani Grandal and Seby Zavala both popped out.

The White Sox had three hits in the fourth inning, and three hits in the other eight innings combined. All of them were singles, and one was Josh Harrison with two outs in the ninth.

Cease got the no-decision, so he has to settle for lowering his ERA to 2.06 after six shutout innings. It again wasn’t his best work, as he gave up eight baserunners (two doubles,. two singles, three walks, one HBP) over six innings.

The Tigers had chances to get to him late. They bunted runners to second and third in the fifth inning, but Cease escaped unscathed with a strikeout and a popout around a bases-loading walk. In the sixth, Cease loaded the bases with two singles and the aforementioned HBP, but Jonathan Schoop hit a weak grounder to third, and Moncada made a tremendous throw around Harold Castro to start a 5-2-3 double play. Castro knew the stakes and effectively swerved toward the mound to cut down Moncada’s angle, and while Moncada could’ve drilled him between the numbers to get an interference out, Seby Zavala gave him an effective target toward first base for an effective throw, and Zavala completed the turn.

Then it all went to hell. It was Fan Appreciation Day, after all, and the White Sox chose honesty.

Bullet points:

*Javier Báez went 0-for-5 with seven stranded, if that does anything for you.

*Vaughn is in a 3-for-29 slump and is hitting juist .249/.299/.411 since the All-Star break, so he could’ve really used that homer.

Record: 76-77 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Shingos Cheeseburgers

Credit where it’s due: at least the Sox had a seat at the table for the 2022 AL Central.

calcetinesblancos

The kids table maybe lol.

itaita

The losing streak is the most 2022 Sox thing ever. They were coming off playing great ball, beat up the Indians in the makeup game and then out of nowhere Phbbbbbbt. Although i guess you could say “out of nowhere” means “they went home”

OldMMJ87

It was clear the air was out of the balloon after their extra-innings loss to Cleveland. I think everyone just packed it in and quit after that.

dongutteridge

They’re just waiting for the easy part of the schedule to get here. Then, they’re gonna turn it up. Watch.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

I’m fairness, the Indians rested their starters and pitched a minor leaguer because they knew they were gonna tap that ass a week later.

To Err is Herrmann

In the future, they might want to schedule Fan Appreciation Day earlier in the season.

PauliePaulie

The Sept swoon occured late this year, but occur it did.
Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.

dwjm3

I can’t wait until the offseason when they tell us a couple of tier 2 free agents and good health is all this team needs.

PauliePaulie

In order to get next year’s payroll down to JR’s mandated $140mil, I’m guessing we lose Giolito, Abreu and Hendrix.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

I’m fine losing Hendricks. Mediocre teams don’t need expensive closers.

Love Abreu, but how can he fit? You have to break up the redundancy. And while his ability to show up everyday proved invaluable, particularly as his peers wilted, we also can’t ignore that his leadership didn’t seem to have any tangible effect.

upnorthsox

You can’t ignore the Abreu red flags of his power decline and defensive decline as the season went along. It’s not an absolute, but in hindsight these are such common indicators of a bigger decline once the league realizes his limitations. In a sense we got lucky in that this tends to happen when there’s still years left on a contract.

As Cirensica

This is sadly true. I think he has the skill to regain some power, but I noticed that Abreu’s swig is different. It is a bit shorter. Maybe compensating for bat speed loss. In my OPP I am letting Abreu go elsewhere.

steelydan52

Right on. I also think the world of Abreu but they have to move Vaughn to 1st and quit experimenting. Sox have too many DH’s on their team though if they let Abreu walk then maybe Sheets as DH but he’s too streaky.
Hendricks scares me every time he enters. As does Bummer. As do most of the Sox relievers!

burning-phoneix

Losing Abroo really hurts but I don’t mind losing Gio or Hendricks. Giolito was a a flash in the pan and Hendricks is the highest paid reliever in baseball but isn’t even the best reliever in the AL Central.

jorgefabregas

Giolito: a three-season flash in the pan after years on the top prospect lists?

BenwithVen

I don’t know how many people here have Athletic subscriptions, but James Fegan has been dropping some “behind the scenes” knowledge on the Sox FO/Clubhouse in the comments sections of his past few articles and they’ve been…uhhh… pretty revealing.

Needless to say, La Russa needs to be booted from this org. Nothing less is going to suffice. Wishful thinking I know.

GrinnellSteve

Tell us more! Tell us more!

steelydan52

Yeah! We don’t want to have to pay for the subscription if you can tell us for free!

BenwithVen

Well, Fegan said he consulted Rosenthal on the Open Letter so there’s that.

but basically, La Russa did whatever he wanted and didn’t listen to anyone, especially the coaches. Sounds like only Jerry wants him there.

steelydan52

And TLR knows that if he only has Jerry in his corner that’s all he needs. If he’s allowed to manage next season then Jerry doesn’t care about Tony’s health or the fans. I just can’t see TLR coming back. I would think we will know within a month if not sooner.

Joliet Orange Sox

James Fegan in the comments of The Athletic:
“There’s always a difference between what you’ve heard and what’s firm enough to report. But I consulted with Ken on that piece. We’ve both heard about the hitting coaches not seeing eye to eye with TLR on plate approach. The don’t run hard edict was TLR going out on his own and didn’t sit well with others. The 1-2 intentional walks aren’t agreed with by anyone in the org, especially not the pitching coach who thinks count leverage is about the most important things in baseball. Leury basically disappeared out of the lineup once TLR stepped away. The starting catcher has been grousing about playing time all year.”

Papa Giorgio

Like did he have a car?

As Cirensica

Very interesting. Wow.
I’d copy and paste Fegan’s comments, but it appear that The Athletic has some sort of text protection. I cannot copy and paste, but the comments are harsh towards TLR

To Err is Herrmann

In comments section, Fegan generally states,not naming anyone, that TLR made “weird edicts” re: player health issues on his own, not necessarily consulting with training staff. He also said what we all know, that Hahn & KW not necessarily in the loop or in agreement with TLR. However, Fegan also said he does not see KW departing therefore not likely Hahn departs. Some commenters asked for more details, but none were forthcoming, leading another commenter to surmise that all of this info/speculation is on background. A few commenters said they hoped Fegan might write about the claim that the W Sox have the worst track record with FA’s over past 20 years. The Athletic was purchased by the New York Times. Will be interesting to see what happens to it. I pay $1 per month, wondering if the price will change.

steelydan52

If Williams and Hahn stay and they have no power over TLR then I suppose that means he will be back unless he calls it a day on his own.

vanillablue

I read Fegan’s comments. To summarize, everything you hated about this years team is TLR’s fault. Injured players not going on the DL, players being told not to hustle, IBB’s while ahead in the count, singles oriented hitting approach – it all stems from TLR. So no real surprises. The only thing he mentioned that I hadn’t seen previously reported was the “starting catcher” being annoyed about his playing time. Assuming it’s Grandal, I’m not sure what he had to complain about since he was either injured or ineffective all year.

I hope Fegan or someone else whose plugged in eventually writes an oral history of this season. Reading all the backstabbing would be the only enjoyment I get out of this year.

StockroomSnail

Seems a little convenient to place the blame entirely on one guy that isn’t Jerry.

Last edited 2 months ago by StockroomSnail
ParisSox

Complaining of too much playing time because he was hurt?

burning-phoneix

This is the organization that TLR was foisted on trying to pin all their failures on him to save their jobs. Singles Oriented hitting approach? 100% on Frank Menechino. That’s been his MO since the Marlins days. Players being told not to hustle? Why doesn’t the training staff do something about the absolute deadly torture chamber called “Running to first base”? How many hamstring injuries have we had from that reason alone? Robert tore his hip just running down a ground ball, wtf?

Last edited 2 months ago by burning-phoneix
steelydan52

I did a little reading about revenue sharing and if the article is correct, each team makes more than $110 million per season. If that’s true it sucks. I guess that means that 81 home games and all that comes with that………………..I’d like to know how much Jerry makes per season. Then again, maybe I don’t want to know.

BenwithVen

A pretty funny comment by Fegan was him saying that a statistical researcher reached out to him for an explanation on why White Sox FA signings underperform their projections more than any other team for the past ~20 years.

GrinnellSteve

It sure feels like our free agents underperform wildly.

steelydan52

That is so sad. It’s almost not believable though I have no doubt it’s true. Like the saying goes, “even a blind dog finds a bone once in awhile.” Not these dogs.

GrinnellSteve

We might have avoided this September swoon if we had rested our starters more.

ParisSox

Or we might have absorbed the September swoon if we had a big lead because we were managed properly from the start of the season.

steelydan52

A site called statista states that last season the Sox total revenue was $258 million.

abehickock

The Sox can hire Terry Francona, Kevin Cash or Dave Roberts as their next Manager for next season and the results will be the same. Maybe they should promote from within and elevate their current Assistant Director of Player Development, Ken Williams Jr. He’s doing such a great job that the Sox had to play 2 first basemen in the outfield all year because they didn’t have one capable outfielder in the minor leagues. Of course being Ken Williams’ son will have no bearing on his promotion.

steelydan52

I think we would have all liked to see what this team would have done without all the injuries. Losing Crochet really hurt them. Bummer missed a lot and all the other injuries. I just have to think they would have won this division. I’m probably wrong but I can dream.

soxexile

The sickening thing is that the Sox could have had Terry Francona, but they hired Robin Ventura instead.

steelydan52

There’s that blind loyalty again.

chipporter

To say that is to say that nothing TLR did, hurt this team. I’m not sure I could disagree more.

StockroomSnail

The White Sox are an inbred monarchy defanged of power and kept around for the sake of tradition.

billyok

I am beyond delighted that 5 months of delusions about this crap pile of a team turning it around has finally and fully ended. And I’m happy the season’s most fan-murdering losing streak cannot be conveniently hand-waved and blamed on a (yes, terrible) manager instead of the players who deserved more blame than they got all year long. Goodbye and good riddance to the 2022 White Sox. They were built to fail and despite the best efforts of the typical bargain bin pickup pan flashes that this team always bets its fortunes on — A for effort, Johnny and Elvis — fail they did.

Last edited 2 months ago by billyok
Hulksmash

You know, all this talk about Fegan’s insider comments makes me think how, for so long, I’ve defended Hahn. I’ve always believed that, removed from JR’s and KW’s restraints, he could be a good GM. In my mind, I’ve always told myself, “But with JR refusing to move this club’s practices into the 21st century, what can Hahn really do?”

You know what you can do, Rick? You can grow a pair. You know how far it would go with the entire fanbase if someone–f***ing anyone–in this organization stepped up and had the courage to say “We made mistakes. We were wrong. But we’re going to learn from this, and we’re going to do better.”

But no. You and everyone around you never accept responsibility. At best, you, Rick, fill us with banalities and nonsense; at worst, you run and hide (as you have the past three months). You let an octogenarian drunk take a flaming dump over your entire rebuild, and not once have you had the guts to come out and say so much as “We have to do better as an organization.” You put no pressure on Jerry to change or even respect your efforts. You happily serve your master, you slather yourself in mediocrity and failure, and you go about your day.

That’s the work of a coward, Rick Hahn. And it’s got your fingerprints all over it.

And that’s my open letter to our GM, haha.

Last edited 2 months ago by Hulksmash
steelydan52

I agree but the thing is apparently the Williams/Hahn duo have absolutely no say with La Russa. None. Sounds to me like TLR is not only the manage but team president too!
I agree the Sox need to clean the front office out AND the manager but the more I read the more this shit show falls on Reinsdorf. That Williams and Hahn don’t speak out just tells me they like their payday more than their pride.

Hulksmash

You’re absolutely right. Though, splitting hairs, I think KW aligns closer to JR than Hahn. I think KW is a company man, through and through. Whether he doesn’t know better in running an organization or just doesn’t care, I don’t know. But JR uses him as a footrest.

And that’s a great line–payday over pride. Maybe that’s what I’m looking for; maybe that’s what we’re all looking for: someone in this organization to have some dignity and, better yet, to treat the fans with dignity. It’s the one thing that costs nothing but JR refuses to pay even that.

texag10

Yeah, okay. How many times have you publicly flashed your ass at the head of your company for doing something you didn’t agree with? I’m pretty sure Rick Hahn enjoys being a GM for a professional baseball team and doing what you propose would go a long way to making that no longer a possibility.

Hulksmash

There’s a world of difference between flashing your ass and acknowledging that things have gone wrong. Did I say Hahn should go on a national tell-all JR tour? No. That’s stupid, and you’re jumping to ridiculous conclusions with this post. But as a professional working in the public sphere, it’s not unheard of to use the media to, wisely, express the truth, dignify the fanbase (they’re kinda important in all this, too), and get public sentiment on your side so you can better do your job. It’s the difference between having some backbone and being strategic, and simply rolling over.

Last edited 2 months ago by Hulksmash
Hulksmash

Further, what are Hahn’s job prospects at this point, anyway? This guy has failed ~2 1/2 rebuilds, and each failure can be pretty well attributed to running into a JR-sized wall. He can’t give out long contracts, he can’t give you big money, so all he can do is sign relievers and shop the bargain bin. And if his hands weren’t tied enough, his boss goes and signs an 80+ year old with a drinking problem to drive the new car he just assembled by hand. If you’re talking about future survival, maybe it’s better to ask why Hahn isn’t speaking out more. Because, ultimately, he’s the GM of this team, and when they’re predicted to be World Series contenders but finish below .500, I wouldn’t say other orgs are clamoring for his services, whatever his excuses might be.

Last edited 2 months ago by Hulksmash
steelydan52

I have a few times. Course I wasn’t making the money these guys are. I know what you’re saying but if I were GM and had been for quite awhile and all of a sudden they hire someone below me but said he doesn’t answer to me and will be making decisions, I’d question my importance to the team and I would for sure confront ownership in a heart beat. Doesn’t make me right but no way I could live with myself if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be a prick about it but I would confront. I’m old!

steelydan52

Adding to that, I have no idea if Hahn has confronted JR or not. Maybe he has but that would still be a tough pill to swallow. If Hahn thinks he’s that good then he shouldn’t sweat whether he gets another job or not. He wouldn’t but maybe he doesn’t know that.

texag10

Everyone has had that conversation with their boss at some point. It happens and I’m fairly confident it has already happened in private between Hahn and Reinsdorf. But Hahn is never going to have the press conference that Hulksmash seems to want. Nothing good can come of it. Either he takes a high road and everyone ignores it as useless platitudes or he goes full truth bomb and finds himself out of a job and blacklisted because the owners are all buddies at the end of the day.

As Cirensica

Bravo!

calcetinesblancos

I had a bad feeling about this season when it seemed like everyone was handing the Sox the division before the games even started.

I’m not giving the Sox another cent until TLR is gone. He’s not the only issue, but he’s the biggest. And that’s annoying because it makes it nearly impossible to objectively evaluate everyone else.

steelydan52

The fear now is that he’s not promoted because then nothing changes. We can only hope that he calls it a career. I could handle him being a consultant but that’s all. He can’t have any type of power.

GrinnellSteve

I simultaneously fear he is promoted and casts his Voldemort-like pall over every aspect of the organization – from scouting to instruction to philosophy to player acquisition to concession choices to promotions.

We’ll wake up one day and find out our GM, David Eckstein, traded away Montgomery and several mid-level prospects for Corey Kluber.

calcetinesblancos

Ha I’m imagining him at the concession meetings:

“I just really think we need to consider a metamucil infused smoothie. If it’s not a hit, I’ll walk into the lake or something.”

steelydan52

You’re scaring me.

dwjm3

The owner is the biggest issue. All issues with the organization lead back to him including LaRussa.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

I can only say when I KNEW the Sox were in trouble: July 30th 2021:

“ Rick Hahn says he and Kenny Williams asked each other weeks ago, if we can get one player who we know is going to get traded, who would it be?

Answer: Craig Kimbrel”

Perhaps I’m uninformed, but I can’t imagine modern front offices approach acquisitions this way. Two guys sitting around grousing about players, like bros who share a fantasy baseball team.

My guess is that modern franchises get a list of possible deadline acquisitions from their analytical team with input from their scouts. They review that list and make determinations from it.

Perhaps all of that occurred in this instance, but based on how the past two years have transpired, do you really believe it?

abehickock

With the history of this franchise, do people really believe that the main reason for the failure this year was the manager? Two World Series appearances in 103 YEARS and one championship in 105 YEARS. ONE! Don’t expect anything more in the near future unless there is a complete overhaul of the organization, including the owner.

steelydan52

I have so many fears with this team. Reading your comment this thought entered my feeble mind. Jerry is what, 86 years old? Any changes means he’s stepping out of his old comfort zone. I’m not making fun of his age but it is what it is. Maybe he won’t make any changes due to just that.

steelydan52

Just read the article from NBC Sports Chicago on who would replace TLR if he’s done. Here are some names………..Bochy, Girardi, Guillen, Sandy Alomar Jr., Willie Harris and Konerko. I’d like to also throw in Ron Washington. I knew Konerko’s name would pop up. Girardi might be too hard ass for this dainty team. Guillen says he doesn’t think Bochy would take it as he’s managing a French team. A French team? I didn’t even know they played baseball.

Joliet Orange Sox

The Phillies were 22-29 when they fired Girardi this year (after going 110-112 under Girardi in 2020/2021). They’ve gone 61-40 since the firing. Those numbers don’t make me want Girardi and not because our team is too soft. We’ll have to agree to disagree on Girardi.