Following up: Pedro Grifol isn’t getting it

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol
(Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)

Pedro Grifol didn’t have a real baseball reason for pinch-running Zach Remillard for Eloy Jiménez in the eighth inning of the White Sox’s loss to the Twins Saturday night. The White Sox trailed 3-2, sure, but Luis Robert Jr. represented the tying run 90 feet ahead of Remillard at second base, so more speed at first base wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything in and of itself except in a few very specific circumstances.

Then again, Grifol hasn’t always substituted in a way that corresponds with the odds. If you’re charitable, you could call him an optimist. He visualizes a Yasmani Grandal double that would score Remillard from first so clearly that he already has Grandal’s inevitable pinch-runner stretching in the dugout. If you’re uncharitable, you could say it’s easy to distract him with all the possible permutations and get him to lose the bigger picture.

But that’s besides the point for this particular discussion, because it turns out that Grifol lifted Jiménez because he’s still dealing with the groin issue that cost him a couple starts earlier in the week.

Daryl Van Schouwen relayed Grifol’s quote after the game:

“I’m glad you mentioned that because he’s not running down the line and I choose to put him there with that kind of effort down the line. I want his bat over his legs. I want to make sure I get that out there clearly for everybody. I choose his bat over his legs. That’s all he can give us. I’ll continue to monitor that and if I think it becomes a problem for us where he’s going to get hurt or compromise us in any way running the bases, then I”ll make a change. But for right now I’m choose his bat over his legs.”

And when asked if Grifol would give Jiménez a day off?

“I’m not giving him a day tomorrow. He’s playing tomorrow. We’ve got to win that ballgame tomorrow.”

I know that last line is getting a lot of the attention, but I’m going to set that aside for now to draw attention to another part I find more troubling:

I’ll continue to monitor that and if I think it becomes a problem for us where he’s going to get hurt or compromise us in any way running the bases, then I”ll make a change.

This, after a game in which Jiménez was lifted for a pinch runner in a situation where a slightly faster runner wasn’t necessary, setting off a chain of substitutions that resulted in Zach Remillard standing in the on-deck circle with two outs in the ninth, and the Sox having lost their DH if the game went any further. I can think of no greater compromise than a scenario where a pitcher has to hit for himself in the year 2023.

We just discussed this on Saturday. Jiménez’s half-availability shouldn’t be all that limiting in isolation, but when it exists in conjunction with Andrew Vaughn’s unavailability, and the White Sox’s decision to carry three catchers, it compromises the White Sox as much as any individual development.

“Myopia” came to mind last week when I wrote about the way the White Sox drained “attention to detail” of all its meaning, although I used it in a different context:

But specific to the White Sox, it’s worth disregarding “attention to detail” because it’s a symptom of their overall myopia. When you lack the ability or willingness to step back and make sweeping changes to the franchise, then trying to fine-tune the potentially correctable aspects of a flawed model is all that’s left. It’s spiritually aligned with overinvesting in relievers to jealously guard the few leads the White Sox generate, instead of imagining a world where the White Sox offense scores more runs.

Ironically, you can find myopia everywhere you look, whether you’re weighing the White Sox’s unwillingness to make transformational changes to the roster year after year, or whether you’re listening to Grifol explain late-inning moves in an isolated game.

Which brings us back to that line that flooded Van Schouwen’s mentions:

“We’ve got to win that ballgame tomorrow.”

And here’s where that nearsightedness kicks in again. At the same time Grifol is saying that he needs a half-capable Jiménez in the game no matter what, the White Sox are content to let Vaughn soak up a roster spot without playing for a week (“He might come in (Sunday) and be available to pinch hit, but I’m hoping for Tuesday”). It’s not just that Grifol can’t see the forest for the trees. He’s in the middle of a wild fire, and he’s comparing pine cones.

I don’t envy Grifol, and there’s very little he can say that he hasn’t said before, a fact of which he’s well aware:

‘‘We were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘It’s hard to win that way, especially on the road. We battled. Freaking broken record, we battled. We just came up short.’’

He also lacks the pizzazz to package the same frustrations in a more relatable way, but that isn’t an excuse to traffic in literally unbelievable statements. A quote like that one isn’t being rejected simply out of reflexive cynicism/fatalism/nihilism, but because the actions he isn’t noticing are saying something entirely different. His record is the only thing he can be judged by, and it’s as freaking broken as it sounds.

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Jim, you might as well change the name of this blog to “Freaking Broken Record” at this point, since the team has none of the characteristics of a machine.


The team was designed to be as effective as this machine.


What a coinkydink, the Sox play like baby barf.

Augusto Barojas

“We’ve got to win that ballgame tomorrow”. LOL. Yeah, if they don’t win today, they could REALLY be in trouble.


a win to say, we didn’t get swept? I’ll take the sweep to rest the right guys (IL them, that is) and bring up those having good couple weeks in the minors.


AND THEN THEY CAN’T EVEN WIN. nice bullpen, so glad that’s where the money was spent.

Trooper Galactus

Really gonna turn the season around with that W!


I like this, I wish I had something meaningful to add but nope.

Things like this always make me wonder though…

How much of this do the players recognize? If they do, how much does it affect them?

It’s also interesting that the Sox spun it, bullpen gives up lead, rather than, ineffective bats can’t score runs.

Last edited 2 months ago by FishSox

According to the quotes above, Grifol commented about being 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.


I was referring to the headline.


Am curious if Hahn is of like mind in all these roster deciisons or if he has just punted it to the field manager.


spot on with Grifol. I dont envy him at all, had hope he could help change things because its all the White Sox really did that wasn’t completely stupid this offseason, but ends up he just falls victim to the Sox culture, like so many do. Whatever the worst version of yourself is, it’ll end up being what you are remembered for. Oh well, just supporting Sox Machine.


Agreed. I don’t envy him. His options are extremely limited due to the poor roster construction and how it’s managed. I think he’s trying to proactively impact the game. Maybe the pinch runner is the difference in scoring the go ahead run, but making moves just to make them rarely pans out.


The Sox never needed three cathers, but at this point they may be anticipating a Grandal trade


It’s not just that Grifol can’t see the forest for the trees. He’s in the middle of a wild fire, and he’s comparing pine cones.

Jim has written a lot of great phrases over the years, but this is right up there as one of his best.


There are a few things we know about this team:

  1. Grifol is not a good manager. He’s as bad or worse than Tony. When he pinch ran last night, I yelled at the television.
  2. The roster is terrible and Hahn will probably make it worse soon.
  3. Having three catchers when 2 can’t hit, 2 can’t run, and 2 don’t have positional flexibility is so damn White Soxy.
  4. We have the most out of shape young men since the Russian army.
  5. Hahn will be unable to resurrect this team to mediocrity that is expected if not demanded.

So Tony was as bad of a manager as possible, the team had a slew of devastating injuries, and yet they played .500 ball for the year. Grifol takes over, vowing to change things for the better, has a healthy Robert for the year, has starting pitchers healthy almost the whole first half , and here they are 18 under. I think it’s pretty easy to say that Tony was a much better manager that Grifol. It’s almost impossible to believe that they have such incompetence at EVERY single position in the front office.

There’s really nothing more to be said. I’m just cringing at how badly the trade deadline will go. This team is the worst team imaginable from the owner down to every single player. There is absolutely no hope for the future.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t agree with pinning the difference between being .500 under TLR and 18 under now on Grifol. Last year they were 16th in team ERA and 19th in runs, not closer to 25th in both. Last year Tim wasn’t the worst SS in MLB, Lynn didn’t have an ERA of 6, and Cease’s ERA was half what it is now. Liam wasn’t shelved for most of the year, and Lopez was good. And they had Cueto. Grifol blows, but this is a terrible team. They have gotten worse every year since 2020 including from 2022 to 23. They would be in 4th place and way the bleep under .500 with any manager. 2021/22 Tony isn’t a much better manager than anybody who has ever lived, not even Grifol.

They may fire Grifol, it would not surprise me. And whoever manages them next year will inherit a mess of a team even worse than this one, and probably lose 100 games. That being said, Grifol seems like a complete tool and criticisms are justified. He sucks, totally. But he isn’t why they are 18 under .500. That’s on Hahn and Jerry, not whoever manages this dumpster of a roster.


Oh, I agree this is on Hahn and Jerry, but for as many bad moves as Tony made last year, Grifol makes as many if not more. He really has no clue what he’s doing. But it’s not his fault. He didn’t hire himself. He somehow convinced Hahn that he was the man for the job. About the 1,000,000th reason why Hahn is the worst GM in baseball.


In Jim M’s article “100 down, 62 to go”, I said I thought Grifol should get a longer rope in that he’s a rookie mgr and that the hope is that he learns from the many, many mistakes.

I want to rescind that opinion and offer this in it’s place: when Rick Hahn gets sent packing, the new GM should be insistent on being able to name his own field mgr and coaches. Adios, Pedro…we hardly knew ya.


“the new GM…”
We all know Chris Getz won’t fire Pedro.

As Cirensica

Mut win game said Grifol?

The same Grifol that played an infielder in RF that committed a key arror because some slow down bullshit for Colas?

The same Grifol that let his SP allow 9 freaking runs in a game?

The same Grifol that lost the DH in a game down by 1 run?

Just to name a few of his decisions that happened in the last 2 games. The list can go on and on and on

This is not a rookie manager. This is a bad nanager that is also a rookie manager. Any serious organization would not give him a 2nd year.

Last edited 2 months ago by As Cirensica
Trooper Galactus

Well, yeah, any serious organization….


At least a broken record might stop making noise.