When Justin Morneau signed with the White Sox back in 2016, Conor McKnight took a photo that perfectly represented the intersection of desperation.
Morneau, an accomplished hitter trying to stave off a premature end to his career, brought a quiet anguish to the team he said he despised when he was on the rival Twins. He surfaced just as the White Sox slipped to 29-30 after a 23-10 start, and McKnight’s photo showed a man who knew it wasn’t going to end well for anybody.
This is a man who greeted Chris Sale Ed Glosser-style, urging him to not slash the jerseys a month from now. Nobody knew what the poor bastard meant.
The White Sox have cycled through a lot of famous players in their final years, but Morneau might’ve looked the least suited for it. However, whenever we see Grady Sizemore wearing the black and white pinstripes, that could be a close second.
Bruce Levine reported that Sizemore “will be a part of White Sox manager Pedro Grifol’s coaching staff,” coaching outfielders and baserunning. It’s a sneak peek of a staff that Levine says will be revealed in full later this week, and I doubt there will be a coach that’s harder to envision for the same AL Central-specific reasons.
Sizemore played in 103 games against the White Sox during his run with Cleveland from 2005 through 2011, and injuries cost him 30something more. He faced Mark Buehrle more than any other pitcher, and Matt Thornton more than any other reliever. The White Sox actually kept him check, but the danger was seldom over, what with guys like Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner lurking on deck or in the hole.
It’d be weird to see any of them with “Southside” emblazoned across their chests, but Sizemore’s up first. He was teammates with Josh Barfield during his Cleveland days, so maybe he won’t be the last of the former Indians.
Bob Nightengale says the White Sox “desperately tried to trade” Tim Anderson before declining his option, and that they want to hear other teams’ offers for Dylan Cease.
As far as White Sox slogans go, I don’t think “Change the Game” will age as poorly as “All In,” but it does capture the failed promise as well as it captured the swaggering optimism back then.
- With Kershaw’s injury and Lynn’s declined option, the Dodgers rotation becomes even thinner — FanGraphs
The Dodgers have been strangely quiet over the last couple of hot stove seasons thanks to the uncertainty of Trevor Bauer’s suspension and lining up their budget for Shohei Ohtani, but they should generate even more action now that Clayton Kershaw is out until at least midseason due to shoulder surgery.
- How the Cubs swooped in to hire Craig Counsell and shocked the baseball world — The Athletic
- Brewers owner Maark Attanasio discusses Craig Counsell’s departure — Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
It worked when the Cubs lured Joe Maddon away from the Tampa Bay Rays, and now they’re going to the same playbook by spending whatever it takes to land one of baseball’s most highly regarded managers. As for the Brewers, their stance is that Counsell is dead to them.
That seems like the kind of headline that’s always used to sell a former player who doesn’t have experience as a non-player after he’s suddenly named the manager.
Speaking of bloggers, we’ve apparently regained our powers by forcing Dusty Baker out of the game. Considering Baker managed 4,406 games, it’d be perfectly natural if he just lost the desire to handle the public-facing parts of the game at age 74, but that might be a concession to age that he’s not wired to make.