Podcast: Apathy and Discontent Growing with White Sox

Record Date: 7/23/2023


  • Apathy is growing within the White Sox fan community.
  • Pedro Grifol’s public approval rating
  • The poor handling of Andrew Vaughn’s injury
  • Rick Hahn’s public approval rating
  • Updated White Sox trade targets
  • Series Preview: Chicago Cubs
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It’s anecdata, I know…but I used to watch most of 130+ Sox games per season, and this year I’m on pace for about 25% of that. So the only time my apathy reached this level in the past was from the White Flag trade into 1998.

On a different note, every time I turn on a Sox game Elvis Andrus is horrible. Every single time. DFA him already.

As Cirensica

I keep saying that I am watching less games, but I am drawn back to it, but mostly because I love baseball.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

If you wanted to check out this team in person this week for some reason it will set you back $140 to sit tenth row in the bleachers.

They’re not smart enough to execute a plan as ruthless as John Fisher is doing in Oakland but if they weren’t the start of it wouldn’t look much different than this.


They’re asking Andrew Vaughn to walk it off.


They should be asking him why he has the stamina of a 50 year old.


A fun look ahead at the 2025 sox should show them exactly what to target at the deadline:

C Zavala, Perez, Hackenberg
1B Vaughn, Sheets
2nd Gonzalez/Rodriguez/Sosa
SS Montgomery / Remilliard
3rd Burger
LF Benintendi
CF Robert
RF Colas
DH Jiminez

  1. Cease
  2. Kopech
  3. Mena
  4. Martin
  5. Burke/Thompson/Pellette/Cannon/Simas/McDougal ???

Bullpen Crochett/Santos/Bummer/Lambert/Foster/Banks

Obviously a lot will change between now and then but man… that isn’t a great organizational chart of what a roster could look like in March of 2025.

They desperately need to add a future catcher and lots of starting pitching between now and then.

Augusto Barojas

I think rather than worry about a miserable future, Sox fans would be better served enjoying the misery of the present moment.

You did omit Ramos, wherever he might fit in. Other than Robert/Montgomery, that might end up being an absolutely brutal on the field team. Not to mention the rotation. I just hope Hahn is at least active this year. If Reinsdorf truly hates the fan base, he might tell Hahn to keep everybody, knowing that the trade deadline is the only thing Sox fans have left to hope for or enjoy this year.


Yea could certainly figure ramos into the 3rd, 1b, LF, RF, DH mix by 2025 good call. I also kept Schultz off the list because I think he factors into 2026 if developed properly.

Augusto Barojas

The thing that makes the picture so bleak for the Sox is that they will be counting on prospects from a farm system ranked 26th, while the Guardians farm system is ranked like 3rd or 4th. The Guards are sure to get enormously more help from their minor leagues. It should not be close in that regard. I don’t think the Guardians are going to remain a mediocre .500 team indefinitely. They have smart people working for them, rather than complete morons. They aren’t anything special now, but I like the future of that team a lot, honestly.

I don’t see the Sox getting good before Cease leaves after 2025, that’s just not enough time. The team is in shambles, and their minor league players are highly unlikely to be effective immediately, certainly not in any numbers. And now Baltimore seems to have established themselves as probably the team with the brightest future. They took over first place in a very tough division, and still have 8 top 100 prospects, including the number one overall. They will be better than the Sox at like every position but CF, for years. My highest hope is the Sox trade Cease to Baltimore for 2 or 3 really nice prospects. I think the Sox future is 2026/27, at the earliest. They will be lucky to be decent before Robert’s contract expires. They might be mediocre again by 2025, but very unlikely to be good.

Last edited 2 months ago by Augusto Barojas

I don’t know, maybe it’s my bright-eyed optimism, but that doesn’t look so ugly to me. A few things to consider:

  • You’re looking at, what, a $60m payroll here? $70m? If they insist on keeping it there, well, yeah, things would be bad. But they should have money to invest into 2025.
  • There are a handful of prospects you didn’t include here who could be relevant in 2025, including Ramos, Schultz, Mieses, Tatum, Jacob Burke, Chapelli. I don’t look at any one of those guys and think, “he’s definitely a 2025 contributor.” But I think it’d surprise me if none of them were a notable contributor in 2025.
  • I’m pretty low on Jimenez and Vaughn right now, which is contributing to the ugly factor. But I think the hope is one of those guys can deliver as a 1B/DH middle-of-the-order type and the other you move on from.

We come back to the same problem, of course: I don’t feel good about Hahn getting this right. But there’s enough here on that small a payroll that building a winner in 2025 should be possible. I’m just not sure it’s possible for Hahn.


I think a good gm could work with that core, and then the possibility of a lot of payroll flexibility but we don’t have that.

Shultz has 16 innings under his belt I dont see any realistic scenario where he should be apart of a rotation in 2025. What are the odds he throws even 100-120 innings in 2024 to make it even a remote possibility? It took kopech his age 25 season to throw 120 innings…

Im starting to jump on the Burke bandwagon guy just seems destined to be an overachiever but mieses has a 645 ops in AA, chapelli a 720 ops in A ball, Tatum has shown flashes but is hitting in the 230s in AA ball as a 23 year old… these guys arent moving any needles.


Agree with all this and would add that Mieses and Chapelli are defensive liabilities which I hope as an org we are going away from.


Again, I’m not pointing to any one of these guys and saying he’ll be around in 2025. I’m saying I think one can be a productive major leaguer in 2025.

I debated whether to include Schultz for this reason. But here’s the optimistic timeline: after stretching him out over the next few months in A and A+, he plays in the fall league to compile more IP. He gets to 110+ IP next year, with a bulk of those in Birmingham. He starts 2025 in Charlotte and is ready to contribute in mid-2025. That’s a rosy outlook and probably at least the 80% outcome? But not impossible.

You say, Tatum “is hitting in the 230s in AA ball as a 23 year old” which is technically true but isn’t the whole picture. It’d be like if I said “the Sox have a prospect with over an .800 OPS and 120 wRC+ in a historically awful offensive environment while playing excellent CF defense.” That guy sounds more exciting. They are the same guy.

All I really wanted to say with including these guys is these future outlooks usually look considerably different than we expect. Some of the top prospects flame out and some guys we don’t expect turn out better than expected. I think the flame out possibilities are built into our minds already, but we rarely consider how a lesser prospect might make an outsized contribution. I just wanted to tip my cap to that.


Almost every organization have guys like Tatum, Chapelli, Mieses in droves… and a good chunk of teams have enough depth in their minor league systems that those type of guys arent in their top 30, heck once the new draft class is added and a deadline goes by these guys are gonna be up against it to stay in the sox top 30

Last edited 2 months ago by knoxfire30

Yeah, and almost every organization gets some production out of players like that.

You may be right about Mieses but I’d be stunned if Tatum and Burke dropped out of the top 30. In fact, I expect them both to make significant jumps despite the draft additions. It’d surprise me a little if either were outside the top 15, even. Chapelli should hold his spot in the top 30, too.


Im highish on burke cause he has multiple carrying tools the other guys I doubt make it but you never know

What are you hoping though for in 2025 from guys like that, they high end outcome would be like adam engel type production.

Im looking at work that needs to be done to have a competitive 2025 team, you have maybe 2 all stars on that roster as we sit here today in Robert and Cease.

You are then hoping for quality development from an organization that has shown an inability to do that at like 90% of the other roster spots… its actually pretty terrifying.


Fair enough, yes, development is a problem. At the very least, I feel better about development now than I did three years ago. We’re seeing positive developments in the minors. Guys don’t simply stall out in Birmingham like they used to. That’s yet to materialize into Major League success but it’s something to monitor.

I don’t really know what to expect. I don’t think Adam Engel is the absolute ceiling, but consistently healthy 2020-2021 Engel probably is a good picture of the kind of impact I have in mind. Sure, that’s not an all star – but it is much needed depth that’s plagued this team.

But, again, they shouldn’t expect to develop 90% of the roster spots. On the conservative-ish side, they’d have $100m/year to work with (that’d put them at $160m payroll) to supplement this roster.


Tatum is both walking and striking out a huge amount, with not great ISO but big BABIP. There’s reason to worry about the BABIP and BB% shrinking significantly as he rises through the levels, seeing pitchers with better command with better defenses behind them. If the K/BB ratio rises, the offensive profile is not too good. He’s also older, about to turn 24.

He’s not a nobody, but the BB/BABIP/K performance could be very level-of-competition dependent. It’s good that it’s still working at Bham thus far, but he needs to be doing this at AAA + the bigs for a while before he’s considered a real prospect.


Yes I’m coming around to the belief that they have to get a C prospect who would be an option for 2025 out of this trade deadline above all else, even if it means adding multiple assets, cash, and teams to get the deal done. A solid SP prospect would be nice but they can buy SP, there are no C coming onto the market to buy.

Augusto Barojas

Cartaya is hitting .189 at AA for the Dodgers. Strong possibility he might be made available. I tend to think he’s highly thought of enough to take a chance on as a buy low guy… he was a top 20 prospect coming into this year, sure to drop in rankings I would imagine. They like their other catcher better now supposedly.

The Orioles have a catcher ranked 95th. Obviously they are not going to need one, so I’m sure he would be available.

I have to wonder if those posting on this site have given more thought to trades that might make sense than Hahn has. I’m not even sure that’s exaggeration.

Last edited 2 months ago by Augusto Barojas

I worry that Cartaya would be another in a list of Hahn choosing the wrong one like Fulmer over Buehler or Moncada over Devers so let’s try getting Rushing instead even if we have to overpay. The O’s don’t have a decent C prospect anywhere near 2025, I do like Jordan Westburg though if you were willing to go IFer.
I think Adrian Del Castillo from the D-backs is a good possibility too and they already have Moreno so he should be available.
Is a Sam Huff enough from Texas? I would prefer a LHH but he is someone who could step in today.
Finally Cade Hunter from the Reds looks interesting.

Last edited 2 months ago by upnorthsox
Augusto Barojas

All of this… is probably more analysis than Hahn has done.

I’m not shooting for 2025, I think is very unrealistic to think they are going to be good as a team that quickly. Way, way too many holes and too few high quality minor league players coming soon. So Basallo from the O’s works for me, he is doing well enough to get excited about at single A. I just hope they have an interesting team before Robert’s time is up, and that Hahn makes trades with teams that have good farm systems like the Dodgers and O’s, rather than the Astros.


Yes 2025 is shooting high but you’ll be buying your pitching in 2025 so you should be trying for then, otherwise you are wasting money and time.
I like Basallo but he’s 18 so probably 4 years away minimum. He might be a nice comp for a combo of Lynn and Graveman though.
A good GM could turn this team around in 4 to 5 moves so there’s hope. Hahn is incapable of making 4 to 5 moves let alone the right ones so hope starts with his end. On that front, we got a little closer this road trip.


The watch along made the game yesterday entertaining. Basically to the point where watching this team alone is considered an unhealthy problem. Top to bottom, full of stupidity and being weird about how they operate business of baseball. its a daily struggle: Do I watch a team do things that make me question why baseball even matters? or Do I not watch, and then hear the EVP tell me not supporting the team is why they dont do anything? Both are annoying but thats the way the Sox do things, make you question your fan loyalty despite being loyal to trash.


Garfien rattling off statistics on the WST podcast this morning about why Graveman pitching to Kirillof instead of Solano was such a bad decision was the first time that I thought Pedro could be a one and done. Him and McGuffey really tore into him today.

Regardless, Everything about this organization needs to be flushed. Hahn being fired just so KW, Getz, Haber etc. can take over won’t change anything. It feels like we’ve entered a Dark Age where there is no light at the end of the tunnel.


I’ve pretty much tuned out on this season. My only hope now is that they lose 100 games. That might be enough to get rid of Hahn. I’m really afraid that Hahn won’t deal much at the deadline because he overvalues his guys, and then will just repeat last year’s line after the inactivity. He is really so bad, and his hiring of Grifol is the icing on the cake. He can’t properly evaluates draft picks, players and managers, can’t properly use the IL, doesn’t have a clue about roster construction… I’ll be excited if/when he’s fired. Until then, I just hope they keep losing. that’s the best thing for the long-term health of this organization.

Alfornia Jones

This is my same fear, that the architect still believes in his players and won’t accept anything less than full value. All expiring contracts need to go regardless of return, and additionally TA, Eloy or Vaughn. They need to wipe as much stink off this team as they can prior to bringing the next wave of players in. They have a free 60 games to tryout talent at the MLB level, the less leftover crap still on the roster the better.

Hahn has a lot of work to do in one week, not sure what they are waiting for anymore. They aren’t going to get the value they think, so get what you can and turn the page. Sosa and Rodriguez need to be the starting SS/2B next week to see if either can play. If even one of those guys can fill 2B or SS for a couple years, then they’ve accomplished something this year.


My feeling is that either things are going to startup in the next 24 hours or everyone will wait until the weekend to make deals. For all our sakes I hope thing start now.

Augusto Barojas

While I don’t trust Hahn, I do trust Jerry. I assume he will want to cut some salary and give Hahn a mandate to do so, even if it amounts to giving some players away, to save at least a few million. So while Hahn might overvalue his guys, perhaps he does not have much of a choice. I’d be very surprised if Jerry doesn’t care one way or another that Hahn sheds some payroll. I think Hahn will probably be ordered to do so.

Last edited 2 months ago by Augusto Barojas

This is a bad team. Mired in mediocrity would be an improvement. Yet, if you look at the individual players and what they should be doing or have a track record of doing you get an idea of the potential.

This is an organizational problem that stifles the life out of good players and destroys the potential of up and coming players. Robert and to a lesser extent Cease have excelled in spite of the surroundings. No player should want to play for this team in this current context. Sell the team is the only solution.

As Cirensica

This was a great podcast. I wished my commute was a little bit longer so I can keep listening. before I got into my office.


It has been so disheartening.
At the end of the 2019 season I was so enthused I bought a 20 game Guaranteed Rate Club Package, food, drink and parking included. It was expensive but my kids are launched and the mortgage is paid off so what the hell. I was looking forward to watch as the young talent developed and the sox entered a long-term contention window.
2020 Covid-no in person attendance. José was MVP-cool. Sox eliminated by Oakland in the Wild Card series.
2021 LaRussa was hired which killed the vibe. Eloy was hurt in spring training and I was at the game in which Robert injured himself running to first base. Rodon and Lynn saved the season. The Sox won 93 games but met a solid Houston team in the playoffs and were eliminated.
It was clear that the Sox were incomplete. I did not renew but decided to wait to see if the Sox would continue to go for it during the off season. ,. Then no qualifying offer for Rodon and The Sox took the remainder of the off-season off. They entered the 2022 season with Vaughn as the plan for the outfield, no second baseman, no one to replace Rodon and Lynn would miss the first nine weeks of the season. Cease was great. No playoffs. I stayed home.
An active off season presented possibilities and opportunities heading into 2023 but the Cleavanger signing was about it. Again, I did not renew.
Fegan is fired; the twins sweep; 19 games below 500. What the actual f*ck?
The present situation is the result of conscious decisions made over the course of 2 off seasons. seasons.. It didn’t have to be this way.