No products in the cart.
I suppose it’s not a great sign that, for the second time this month, a member of White Sox management aired some grievances about a sector of the team’s fandom. Even if, for the second time this month, the quote lost some of its acidity when the full context was revealed
Daryl Van Schouwen dropped the inflammatory quote first:
It’s news even without a greater context because Renteria seldom says something that inflammatory. However, NBC Sports Chicago presented the most emotional of Rick Hahn’s fan gripes as “Twitter Trolls Have Nothing on Hahn,” which was effective marketing, but not a laser-accurate presentation of what actually happened.
James Fegan then relayed the full quote, since it was his questioning that generated the response, and it’s not as old-man-yells-at-cloud as it first appears.
As a sabermetrically-oriented fan and writer, I suppose I’m supposed to feel attacked. But as a sabermetrically-oriented fan and writer, I know the studies show that lineups make a marginal difference when it comes to producing runs. So when the White Sox release the lineup, I process it with a three-step plan:
Step One: Look at which players of questionable health are active.
Step Two: Look at which underqualified lefty is in the middle of the order in the name of a balanced lineup and chuckle softly.
Step Three: Scroll past tweet.
Step Two might seem like a knock on Renteria, but should the White Sox have a well-stocked lineup at any point during his tenure, his preference for righty-lefty balance will play up, especially when teams are required to use a pitcher for a minimum of three batters.
Renteria’s in the third year of deploying a roster that’s worse than it has to be on purpose, and for the last year and a half, the front office has avoided giving Renteria better players when they’re theoretically available. As long as Renteria’s laboring under these designed shortages, I can’t blame him if he prioritizes his idea of maintaining player interest and well being to seeking every slight advantage. This is why I didn’t care for Renteria’s punitive approach to benching players last year — if the front office isn’t angling for every win, what does anybody gain from demanding banged-up players to max out their efforts on inconsequential plays?
If you pair his rejection of lineup optimization with his predilection for silly bunts, then you get a stone-age manager who can’t be replaced quickly enough. But if you instead pair these comments with his cessation of hustle benchings, you get a guy who’s less interested in eyewash overall, which is generally harmonious. I’m more impressed that Renteria voiced a potentially unpopular opinion without “to be honest,” so I appreciate the conviction.
Whichever road you choose, the White Sox just extended Renteria this offseason regardless, so your thoughts and my thoughts don’t really matter. The organization’s embrace of ennui generally ends up beating us all.