What we’ve learned about Pedro Grifol in the first 24 hours

If the White Sox are waiting until an off day to formally announce the hiring of Pedro Grifol, then we’ll have to rely on others to start filling in the gaps as to how the partnership formed.

Bob Nightengale said Grifol “blew away the White Sox” during his interview with Jerry Reinsdorf, Ken Williams and Rick Hahn, which you’d hope would be the case. Then again, previous White Sox managers have allegedly been hired while hung over, if there was an interview process at all, so the fact that we’re hearing the typical pleasantries is pleasantly atypical.

Along the same lines…

The response

When the White Sox hired Tony La Russa back in 2020, James Fegan said that player reactions were mixed because what those players heard was mixed.

Lance Lynn is a sample of one guy, but he told the Parkins & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score that the Grifol announcement generated a more standard reception.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things; a lot of people texting me and calling me today telling me I’ll enjoy him, and he brings a lot of energy and a lot of things that bring winning baseball to a team.”

On the Baseball Isn’t Boring podcast, recorded before the White Sox’s choice was revealed, ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez listed Grifol as one of three candidates he would interview for a job opening, along with Barry Larkin and Carlos Beltrán, and he went out of his way to sell Grifol’s credentials.

“I gave you three different guys. One with an infield background, Hall of Famer. One outfielder, who I believe is also a Hall of Famer, but a great communicator, and I gave you one guy that I know would kick ass right now as a manager, and I know because I’ve seen his work, and I’ve seen how he deals with people on and off the field. […] Not a common household name. Not a common household name. He would kick ass as a manager.”

George Brett, who briefly served alongside Grifol as Royals hitting coaches before Brett stepped down and Grifol was reassigned, raved about Grifol to 670 The Score:

“He’s a brilliant man and a good evaluator of talent,” Brett said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show on Tuesday. “Very, very organized. Bilingual, which I think is important in today’s game of baseball.

“He’s very likable. I think he’s going to do a good job. I was kind of saddened that the Royals didn’t sign him (as manager). He’ll do a tremendous job.”

Again, this is all standard fare, but standard fare is refreshing after the last episode.

How it happened

Brett also broke some news about the process, saying Grifol signed a three-year deal. That’s standard-issue for managers, but the White Sox treat contract details for non-players as (failed) state secrets, so I welcome Brett popping that particular bubble.

He also got into the weeds of how the interview process unfolded, that Rick Hahn and Chris Getz interviewed Grifol.
And that Grifol has ties to Getz from their days in Kansas City.
And that Brett got Getz into his country club when they were in KC.
And that Brett and Jerry Reinsdorf talked about Grifol before the final interview stage.
And that La Russa also called Brett about Grifol.

It’s a little hard to nail down the exact order because Brett also went on detours involving Eddie Einhorn, Dennis Gilbert and Charley Lau, which explains how he and Reinsdorf are tight. Likewise, it’s hard to discern whether La Russa was involved in the process, because it sounds more like La Russa nosing around White Sox business on his own, or through a secret Hall of Famer Hotline. Brett also complained about newspapers not having box scores, so he made himself at home. The stenographers might have their hands full, but that’s not his problem.

The coaching staff

The White Sox’s pitching apparatus of Ethan Katz and Curt Hasler is expected to return, which isn’t as newsworthy as the pending arrival of new bench coach (and former Blue Jays manager) Charlie Montoyo.

Montoyo is certainly a qualified choice (new Royals manager Matt Quatraro followed Montoyo’s path from Tampa Bay bench coach to first first MLB managing job), and while his Toronto tenure ended unceremoniously with a July firing because the Jays spun their wheels, it sounds like players turned on him only because Montoyo didn’t turn on players first.

Montoyo provides experience that Grifol lacks, but he doesn’t seem like somebody who will provide a harder edge. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because a hiring process should be more nuanced than merely hiring an opposite. When the White Sox hired Robin Ventura, they agreed on Mark Parent for that kind of good cop/bad cop arrangement, and neither turned out to be an asset. For all we know, Grifol might provide all the motivation the team needs, even if he lacks the authoritarian reputation that Liam Hendriks suggested the Sox needed.

Between Grifol and Montoyo, I’d hope they’d have enough contacts that finally inspire the Sox to shed Joe McEwing and Daryl Boston, neither of whom distinguished himself over the course of three White Sox managers. McEwing could’ve been relieved of his third-base coach duties when his worst send of the season almost sent Yasmani Grandal back to the OR, and the less said about Boston, the better.

As for Frank Menechino, he and Howie Clark seemed to be on the chopping block regardless of the managerial situation because the White Sox’s discipline deteriorated beyond recognition. While Grifol’s own experience as a hitting coach was as brief as it was unsuccessful, sometimes you learn about what it takes to do a job from first-hand experience of doing it poorly. I’d also hope second-hand experience applies as well, because he should have gotten plenty of it from watching Mike Matheny.

As for us

Josh and I discussed the Pedro Grifol hiring on the latest episode of the Sox Machine Podcast. On an excitement scale of 1 to 10, Josh gave the hiring a 6. I gave it a 4, but mostly because I think I couldn’t have gone higher than 6 for any of the candidates remaining.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
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.

Articles: 3791
53 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
To Err is Herrmann

I think in the podcast Jim called the hiring “acceptable,” and I agree with that. He doesn’t seem likely to hurt the team. We know nothing about what his in-game strategies or bullpen mgt might look like, so there’s nothing to evaluate there. Liam Hendricks’ comment is curious. Why does a purportedly talented team need an authoritarian? Just a normal guy not interfering with the training staff and not making weird decisions is enough. I wish Liam would say what we are all thinking — the Sox need a new GM, or at least one who can build a coherent roster. If Grifol has first basemen in the outfield, and Grandal & Moncada hitting .200 minus Jose Abreu, then I don’t expect Pedro Grifol to perform miracles.

bullrun1861

“I wish Liam would say…”

I wish Liam would go away via trade, Nuisance ‘personality’ who thinks his opinions matter to fans and more importantly his teammates.

gibby32

I like him.

upnorthsox

Menechino should’ve been fired in May. Few if any hitting coaches would’ve survived that April. That he did was maybe TLR’s biggest mistake this year. He of course was repaid for his discretion by getting thrown under the bus by that same hitting coach in September.

BenwithVen

Both TLR and Menechino should have been gone by June at the latest. Ryan McGuffey on the White Sox Talk podcast said firing La Russa and brining in Ozzie midseason should have been the move for the rest of ’22, and I kinda wish we got to see that playout.

As Cirensica

He should have been fired 2 mins after he dissed the homers in favor of singles.

texag10

The results speak for themselves but he never said singles are better than home runs. He said he didn’t care if Vaughn was hitting home runs because he was making contact and with a player like Vaughn, the home runs would come if he kept making good contact.

As Cirensica

“Fuck the home run. Let’s hit .300”

You are technically correct, the best kind of correct. But he dismissed the importance of homers vs batting average. A fireable offense in this baseball environment.

As Cirensica

“He’s a brilliant man and a good evaluator of talent,”

So I take it that Leury Garcia is gonna have around 50 PAs. I like Grifol already.

I also can’t wait for new 1B and 3B coaches. I am sure McEwing is a nice guy, but we need fresh ideas on how to read players chances to score, and Boston, well, I have no idea why he is still employed.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I don’t think you need many ideas on how to read whether to send someone or not. They should be able to send out a starting pitcher on his off day to do that part of the job. The ability to teach infield defense and not annoy Lance Lynn would be nice, though.

dwjm3

I think it is more instinct on when to send a player home from third. At one time I thought McEwing was decent at it, but he seems to have lost it.

upnorthsox

This was my read too. He never adjusted to the shift either and instead swung wildly the opposite way.

steelydan52

Because Boston has been with the team since 1939.

abehickock

Well it could be he’s on the team because he was a teammate of Kenny Williams during their playing days.

GrinnellSteve

I had forgotten about Boston as a player. I was in Denver when he was there in 1984. I thought he was surefire star. He was a joy to watch in center. Excellent batting eye. Great speed. A little power.

I’m ready to see a new face at first.

calcetinesblancos

As long as The Russa had some input, everything is gonna turn out fine.

dongutteridge

I love him. He’s not named Ozzie or Tony.

dwjm3

I wish Grifol well. He is taking on a very difficult job with the mediocre front office we have. Texas and Kansas City purged their managers and made changes in the front office. He has to try to thread the needle in a way by succeeding with this lot in charge. I pray to God Jerry spends some money on an outfielder for him.

The good news for Grifol is baseball loves retread managers. If he demonstrates a level of competency, he will have a real shot of getting another job even if he gets fired here.

funkerdan

I got stuck on that Boston article for too long. Sheesh.

HallofFrank

For anyone out there that wants to learn more about Charlie Montoyo and also life in the Minor Leagues, John Feinstein’s Where Nobody Knows Your Name is really an excellent read. Montoyo—then the manager of the Durham Bulls but recognized as a candidate for an MLB job—is one of the main figures in the book. Another one of the main characters? Scott Podsednik.

GrabSomeBench

I’ll wait for the movie

itaita

I heard a story about Pedro once. His friends once had a bachelor party for for him. He ate the entire cake before they could tell him there was a stripper in it

steelydan52

AND?!! Did he spit her out? It was a her, wasn’t it?

upnorthsox

We don’t talk about Pedro, no no

upnorthsox

So now that we have a manager the next big date is Tuesday 11/8 Free Agency begins. Then 11/9 is the GM meetings, where there’s usually a few trades. QO’s are due on the 19th, then the non-tender deadline is 11/30 where there are also a few pre-trades. Bellinger is the big non-tender ?. Locally would be Engel, not seeing a pre-trade but you never know as there aren’t a lot of CF’s on the market this yr. Finally the winter meetings start 12/6. There should hopefully be a lot to discuss, hopefully.

Pointerbabe

Today I’m definitely feeling better about Grifol

Joliet Orange Sox

I’m still not sure. I keep hearing that Grifol has terrible tusks and terrible claws, terrible teeth, and terrible jaws.

steelydan52

I think Ozzie is spreading those rumors.

Joliet Orange Sox

I personally heard the rumors about terrible tusks, terrible claws, terrible teeth, and terrible jaws from the Big Bad Mouse but Ozzie may be spreading them as well.

steelydan52

Yep, me too! It’s peaches and cream from here on out.

soxygen

So he “blew the Sox away” but they weren’t going to be able to announce it on their own before November 4th?

Even when they do the right thing by hiring from outside the org, they still end up making a mess of the roll-out.

itaita

They wanted to release the news in respect to the World Series but the rain out kinda goofed with timing. At least thats what it looked like to me.

soxygen

He interviewed before 10/17 because that is the date that it was reported by Morosi. There have been off days since, including this past Sunday when the Royals announced that they had picked Quartraro as manager.

GrinnellSteve

They may not have decided until this week. Going through with all the interviews may be what convinced them that early interviewee Grifol was the right man for the job.

My son knew Grinnell College from living here, and it was the second school he formally visited, but it took seeing a number of other colleges to show him just how good Grinnell was.

That’s why you go through the process.

HallofFrank

Just because he “blew them away” doesn’t mean they decided to hire him on the spot. It’s generally wise not to
Make impulsive decisions, even when you’re exceedingly impressed by something or someone. Waiting days or weeks to make the decision—even asking for other interviews—is entirely reasonable and normal. And trying to fit it on a WS off day, but then it leaking out after a rain day, is not bungling the rollout.

Whatever you think about who they hired, if you’re upset about this rollout you’re just looking for things to get upset about.

gibby32

tiresome.

soxygen

Sox fans to other Sox fans: stop expressing your views!

asinwreck

Daryl Van Schouwen reports that McEwing is gone.

As the White Sox introduce Pedro Grifol as their new manager Thursday, it’s not yet known how the first-year skipper’s coaching staff will shape up, although third base coach Joe McEwing won’t be part of it.

McEwing, who spent 16 years in the organization including 11 as a coach under managers Robin Ventura, Rick Renteria and Tony La Russa, was the team’s third base coach the last two seasons and for seven altogether. McEwing said he learned of the Sox’ decision to let him go this week.

Right Size Wrong Shape

McEwing was on his way home to call Rick, but a message with the bad news was already there waiting for him before he was even half-way there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
lastof12

He did “eat at Arby’s” on his way, though.

Wayne

Sounds like they are hiring Mike Tosar as hitting coach.

  • 2020-2022 Special Assignment Hitting Coach for Royals Organization, was 3rd hitting coach in Uniform for the team in 2022
  • International Scout and Special Assignment Hitting Coach with the Dodgers from 2012-19.
BenwithVen

Specifically credited with helping Soler and Salvy really tap into their power. Here’s hoping Eloy hits 50 HRs in 2023.

As Cirensica

Soon…rebranding: Chicago Royals

dwjm3

7 years in the Dodgers organization ain’t bad.

Wayne

Jerry Narron has 3B Coaching experience. He should be interviewed for one of the base coaching roles just to keep his handwriting for the lineup cards.

steelydan52

I know this Tosar dude has been mentioned as the next hitting coach but I’d like to submit the name of Frank Thomas for that position. Had power, could hit the ball anywhere and had a good eye. And who’s going to argue with him? And he uses Nugenix so your wives would like the hire too!

Chris

I am still skeptical of Pedro…..

And,after reading above, he does have ties to the Sox. So this clown show keeps with their incestuous ways and hire someone that is known to them!!!! So virtually none of the what Hahn claims they wanted in their “next” was another lie.

Apparently Grifol is being allowed to hire some of the coaching staff. That is something new for this team and a big positive.

  • I do not like the fact, they are keeping Katz around. Giolito regressed big time. And, with the exception of Cueto and Cease.. the rest of the starters shat the bed.
  • Montoyo seems, as least on paper, an interesting pick. This could pay off for the Sox.
  • I do not like it, that the remaining coaching staff might be cast offs from the unsuccessful Royals. Come On!!!!! KC is cleaning house for a reason.

So for now, this still looks like has half-ass attempt by the Reinsdorf & Co. At the end of the day, where it concerns the Sox, we just cannot have nice things.

I really hope I am wrong and I have to eat my words. But right now, I just don’t see it happening.

LeftistLefty-Righty

Dude its the MLB, if you want a candidate with literally no connections to anyone in the club youre gonna be hard pressed to find them

upnorthsox

Yep its a small world for sure.

dwjm3

Indeed….there are only 30 clubs…it is not a big industry

texag10

YAWWWNNNNN

BenwithVen

Hahn’s demeanor introducing Pedro is a complete 180 than when he introduced TLR. lol.

upnorthsox

Wait until he’s blaming Pedro for all his failures, then he’ll sound like his old self.