Dylan Cease’s All-Star snub allows report of White Sox dysfunction to savor the spotlight

Despite a 2.45 ERA that’s fourth-best in the American League and a strikeout total that’s second only to Shane McClanahan, Dylan Cease didn’t make the All-Star team. More unfortunate: Should rotation plans hold, Cease won’t even be a candidate for the All-Star Game as a replacement for the original roster because he’s pitching on Sunday.

Had Cease made the initial cut, it would’ve been the ideal outcome for everybody. Cease would get the honor and enjoy the fanfare of a first All-Star selection that he earned, but those valuing his importance to the White Sox wouldn’t have to worry about it affecting his workload.

Maybe those selecting the team aren’t impressed by Cease leading the league in walks or having an ERA that’s enhanced by a double-digit total of unearned runs, but Cease was just named the AL Pitcher of the Month for June despite those flaws, so you can’t blame anybody for being surprised if they were suddenly held against him.

Cease didn’t sound like a guy who wanted the week off, either

Cease has done enough interviews this week about the possibility of going to Los Angeles that he had his pertinent anecdotes picked out.

“That’d be incredible,” Cease said of potentially being chosen for the All-Star Game. “My twin brother and I watched every All-Star Game religiously when we were kids. I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. So yeah, it would definitely be special to be a part of that.”

… so there isn’t much of a silver lining for his omission. The best attempts at fashioning one reflect poorly on the organization.

For instance! The Sox probably would’ve tweeted a video of Cease’s announcement, and it would’ve drawn comparisons to the one the Sox posted about Tim Anderson …

… which drew comparisons to the video showing Anderson’s first All-Star announcement.

There are legit reasons for the shift in tone — first ASG versus second, pregame versus postgame following a win — but if social media had time and space limitations, an editor wouldn’t have seen a need to run this one.

A clubhouse more excited for Cease than Anderson could indicate a problem, but a clubhouse as excited for Cease as Anderson could also indicate a problem. Especially when such an announcement would come on the same day that Bob Nightengale’s column included a paragraph suggesting rifts in this particular clubhouse.

No one has been more disappointing than the Chicago White Sox, who must take a good hard look at what went wrong if they miss the playoffs. There have been a lot of whispers of unrest, cliques and the lack of player leadership inside the clubhouse tearing apart this talented team.

(A clubhouse less excited for Cease than Anderson would be mostly empty.)

Given that Nightengale is tight with Tony La Russa and has his own bathroom in the White Sox suites, I read this paragraph twice — first to process the letters into words and meaning, and then to figure out which White Sox personnel benefit from it, or at least are shielded from direct fire.

By identifying “cliques” and “lack of player leadership,” it reads like an effort to protect management, but that only works if you think that management doesn’t have a hand in such issues. Considering Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams’ first attempt at a rebuild ended in a fractured clubhouse overseen by a manager nobody was allowed to replace until the end of the season, the instinct to mete out blame in the sequel should be overridden with a hearty “Who cares?” or “Doesn’t matter!”

For one, the White Sox are talented enough — and the AL Central lousy enough — to make this a weird footnote by the season’s end, and here’s hoping they do. But entertaining the worst-case scenario where another season falls by the wayside, the White Sox front office already used up its allotment for fooling fans in 2016. If rifts or tension or infighting drags this team down, consider it a product of a Jerry Reinsdorf organization’s dysfunctional insularity, and assume that the next 100 rebuilds will end the same way as long as all the principal architects are in place.

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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.

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GrabSomeBench

Management gets Nightengale to put this nugget in the column: “There have been a lot of whispers of unrest, cliques and the lack of player leadership inside the clubhouse tearing apart this talented team.” In my opinion, it makes it look like TLR has lost the clubhouse if you ask me.
Of course there are “cliques”. That happens in all workplaces and people hang out with their friends and yes, sometimes it is based on their common backgrounds or races.
Unrest? I would hope so since the team is playing like crap and the players should be questioning the decisions of TLR since every fan with any knowledge of baseball believes that TLR has cost this team at least five wins already.
As for player leadership, I’ve always heard that Abreu is a great leader. Did he quit being a leader? The Sox announcers constantly tell us Anderson is a leader. It seems like a copout by TLR or management protecting TLR due to his failures.

calcetinesblancos

Remember when none other than the Sox own website ran an article about The Russa telling Leury he was batting leadoff, and Leury laughing in response because he thought he was joking? The players are aware of his stupid decisions, and I doubt they like it.

As Cirensica

La Russa might have killed the “player leader” that used to be Abreu or whoever.

Just John

While Abreu’s leadership qualities are often mentioned, I seem to remember them stated as “quiet” or as a leader “by example.” Righting this ship may take leadership of a different kind.

a-t

This is basically the identical roster to the one that everyone talked about as having like the best clubhouses in baseball last year. It’s just winning vs lack thereof.

jhomeslice

This is also basically the identical roster to the one that did a face plant versus the Astros last October, happy clubhouse or not. “Winning” for this team only means relative to the hapless AL Central anyway.

a-t

I think that view puts a little too much emphasis on last year’s playoffs. Houston was/is a very good, very playoff-experienced opponent; they went to the WS again for a reason. The team that beat them there won 85 games to barely eke out a division title to get into the dance at all. Winning compared to the AL Central is what has to be focused on here, because they won’t even get the chance to win vs anyone else come October otherwise.

HallofFrank

Yes. And per your previous comment, I think fans (not Sox fans, baseball fans in general) overestimate how “good” you have to be to win the title. It’s not like the NBA or NFL. The best team usually doesn’t win. The team that wins is the team that gets hot. If you’re in the playoffs—I don’t care what division you came from or how you got there—you’re good enough to win it.

But don’t misunderstand me. It helps to be the best. I’d much rather be stacked, coming off 105 wins, than not. But the last decade is riddled with examples of the underdog or the overlooked team winning it all. Any team that gets there has a shot.

a-t

It’s great to be stacked! But also— this current team is certainly underperforming, but it’s not for lack of talent. If they get healthy and in sync at the end of the year, I think they’re quite capable of rampaging through the playoffs. There’s a reason ZiPS thinks they still have a better shot to win the WS than the Twins despite being 5 games back.

funkerdan

I think in the last 30 years the best team has only won 5 world series and only been to the series like 12 times. I did the task but it was a while ago. You’re better off being 2-3 best in your league based on the numbers. Either way, we’re none of these unless we somehow get hot on this road trip and come back strong after the break and actually WIN AT HOME. It’s like we’re in the movie Home Alone but we’re the criminals getting our A’s handed to us.

jhomeslice

A team like the Braves does not win very often. I don’t think the Braves had a massive weakness like an inability to hit right handed starters like the Sox have had for 3 years. Or a manager that is an incompetent, arrogant, mental midget.

Sox fans are left hoping for miracles, with the same roster as last year, as maybe the 6th or 7th best team in the league. They would be in 5th (or 6th) place in the AL East, just like last year. AND they have La Russa. Forgive me for not sharing your optimism.

Last edited 1 month ago by jhomeslice
a-t

That’s just not true at all. Here’s the recent WS victors with less than impressive regular season performances:

Atlanta 2021: 85 wins, 1st place in a weak division.
Washington 2019: 93 wins, wild card spot.
KC 2015: 95 wins, 1st place in weak division.
Giants 2014: 88 wins, wild card spot.
Giants 2012: 94 wins, 1st place in weak division.
St Louis 2011: 86 wins, wild card spot (with Jackass No. 1 helming the ship ofc)
Giants 2010: 92 wins, 1st place in weak division.
Phillies 2008: 92 wins, 1st place in weak division.

If we include 2007 (Red Sox, 96 wins, we’ll say they’re “strong”) for 15 past years, teams with less than 95 regular season wins have won it all nearly half the time (7/15), ignoring those 95-win Royals.

The Sox obviously have flaws. They also have quite a bit of talent that isn’t shining true right now. Getting into the damn playoffs gives you a real shot at a title no matter what.

jhomeslice

How many of those teams had the 4th worst run differential in their league, and worst manager ever? 2011 TLR is not the same as the 78 year old a-hole that is starting Leury every damn game. Every one of those teams had a much, much better manager. Certainly not one this awful, and psychologically impaired (Leury). That is a fact.

I can’t argue that they have NO chance. But I would argue that with La Russa and this roster, I think their chances are way longer than any of the above. Sox fans are left wishing and hoping a decidedly mediocre team produces miracles in October. For the Sox, it’s happened once since 1959. I’ll believe in something different than the past two winters when I see it, with a better roster than they have now.

Last edited 1 month ago by jhomeslice
upnorthsox

If you are saying the White Sox are going to run off a 51-27 record to finish the season as a 92 win weak division winner then I’m going to be highly skeptical. If they could actually finish up with 51 wins then yea they would be as hot as anyone going into the playoffs.

Torpedo Jones

I’m not sure that I’d set the line for “less than impressive” at 90+ wins, even if the division was weak. You still have to execute and do the little things consistently to get more than 90 wins.

When we look at the last 15 seasons (which would include extrapolating the Dodgers’ insane short season win total to a likely-unsustainable 116 win regular season), the median win total is 95. In that selection (again, with the assumption that the 2020 Dodgers seemed pretty likely to be a 90+ win team in a 162 game season), there were 2 teams to win the World Series with fewer than 90 wins. Note that I’m seeing the 2011 Cardinals had 90 wins, rather than the 86 you’ve mentioned. That works out to 13% of the past 15 WS winners.

If we want to stick with the last 15 full seasons (leaving out 2020), that helps your argument as the 2006 Cardinals only won 83 games. But that still gives us a mere 3 teams out of the last 15 full seasons who won less than 90 games (20% for you non-math folks).

As upnorthsox noted, you’d have to imagine the Sox getting really hot to land at 90+ wins given their performance this far into the season. Not impossible, but less probable with each loss.

Sure, anything can happen in the playoffs, but relying on the Lloyd Christmas mentality (so you’re saying there’s a chance!) when you’re supposedly squarely in the middle of your contention window seems a bit disappointing. The season is far from over, but we need a lot of things to go right for the Sox from here on out to join your underachieving WS winners club.

upnorthsox

I have the Braves at 88-73 last year. They were in 3rd place 4.5 games out and 44-45 overall at the AS break and so went 44-28 to finish.

Torpedo Jones

Run differential (as mentioned by jhomeslice) and the related Pythagorean W-L projection are worth discussing, as well. Baseball Reference shows the 2021 Braves having a projected Pythagorean win total of 94, suggesting they were unlucky to have landed at just 88 wins.

To this point in the season, the Sox are projected to have a 38-46 Pythagorean W-L record. That would equate to a 73-win pace for the year, all things staying equal (which they won’t). The run differential remains a glaring issue for the team at present.

upnorthsox

I like run differential as a stat but I find it hard to track as a PIT stat in season. Btw, this is the 90th post in this thread so I guess we can run them off quickly when motivated.

Torpedo Jones

Agreed on that. And I’m with you on the limitations of differential and Pythagorean W-L mid-season. Just thought it was worth calling out given that the 2021 Braves are top of mind due to recency, and they seem to be the most underachieving team by that measure among the last 15 WS winners. If I really knew what I was talking about, I’d be working in some front office somehwere….

jhomeslice

Let’s not forget to add league worst defense to all of the above. I don’t know how many WS winners had league worst defense, I am sure it has happened before but I am guessing not too many. All else equal this team has an unusual amount of obstacles to success, making it pretty unlikely even if their chances are not technically zero.

dwjm3

“rifts or tension or infighting drags this team down, consider it a product of a Jerry Reinsdorf organization’s dysfunctional insularity, and assume that the next 100 rebuilds will end the same way as long as all the principal architects are in place.”

Well said

I just don’t see a path out of this mess until Jerry is gone.

Even if Jerry pushed Kenny and Rick out there is no reason to believe he would be able to get a high quality GM candidate to work for him. They just aren’t going to risk their career on an owner that inserts himself into the equation like Jerry

metasox

There may be a lack of clubhouse leaders to call a clubhouse meeting (are we aware of any being called by players this season?) or to say to someone making repeated mistakes that they need to snap out of it. If this is seeded by management to send a message to the clubhouse, it may just be to get some people to step up and be more vocal. And there are potentially two sides to the equation: one is for guys to lead, another is for guys to be receptive to being led.

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox
dwjm3

I sort of wonder if Hahn and/or Kenny is briefing this to Nightengale. Usually the coach is the fall guy for a dysfunctional clubhouse. I wonder if they are trying to set up LaRussa for the fall.

The other angle that is interesting to me is Jerry usually makes the manager the fall guy in his organizations. He usually protects front office staff, but makes managers walk the plank. The problem he has now is he has a coach he doesn’t want to fire no matter walk. He sort of has himself boxed in now based on his normal methods of running an organization. The fallout will probably be ugly.

lifelongjd

I agree with you except for when the manager is an ‘outsider’. We probably would still be saddled with Robin if it were up to Jerry and Kenny.

asinwreck

I’m good with this underachieving, unlikable team having the minimum number of representatives at the ASG. (Hell, given how successful the Yankees are this year, I don’t begrudge them having Cole play, as people will actually tune in to see representatives of that team play.) I do find it interesting in a couple of respects.

First, as Jim and Josh mentioned on today’s podcast, NL pitching WAR leader Carlos Rodón was not selected to represent the Giants. When asked for comment, he focused on his former teammate:
https://twitter.com/extrabaggs/status/1546279916693360640

That’s an example of leadership. Rodón was let go by the White Sox last fall, not even drawing a QO after drawing Cy Young votes. How badly does this front office, manager, and coaching staff understand their clubhouse that they would let such a leader walk? In that respect, the shot at the players placed with Nightengale makes the organization look even worse.

Which is saying something. At best, two leaders in the organization have demonstrated ability to evaluate talent. Imagine how horrible this organization would be without Marco Paddy’s signings. Now, Mike Shirley’s drafts show some promise. Contrast that with 2021’s midseason trades and the performances the Sox got out of Kimbrel and Hernandez. That builds on a long, unimpressive track record this front office has with veteran talent. There’s no reason for Kenny Williams or Rick Hahn to be involved in the running of a baseball team in 2022. That goes for anyone with authority over roster decisions who isn’t Paddy or Shirley.

As for Tony La Russa, I’ll give him the last word. Last October, he said:

“You don’t want to come back [just] because you got a contract,” he said. “I would just leave if they don’t want you back.

“If they say yes, then you ask the players. You know? They should choose whom they want to manage.”

We’re to believe the Sox players can essentially fire La Russa?

“If the players don’t want you,” he said, “then you walk away.”

Assuming that wasn’t one of his many self-serving lies (along the line of learning from his first DUI), the Nightengale slam should be enough for La Russa to hold himself accountable and exit this dugout.

ParisSox

I could actually envision a conversation at the all star break between Jerry and Tony if it’s not working. If they play .500 these next series and Jerry talking honestly with Tony saying “do you think they need a spark? should we make a change” and TLR saying, I really think so and I’m tired, etc etc.

Don’t underestimate honesty between two old friends. The older we get the less we like playing games.

It would be pitched as a mutual decision, which would probably be true.

asinwreck

It would be nice to see a display of honesty from either of these men.

Papa Giorgio

While that statement may apply to many octogenarians, I think you underestimate the pride of TLR.

ParisSox

Touché

ParisSox

I don’t like the juxtaposition of the two announcements. It assumes “all things being equal” with lack of context. WIth that said, we are seeing less enthusiasm on the basepaths when guys get hits and they signal back to the dugout, they looked like they were having a helluva lot more fun last year and now the little hand gestures seem perfunctory.

Now with that being said, to a-t’s point, winning breeds enthusiasm and losing breeds frustration. You can still be a tight team but they shouldn’t be dancing on tables until they rip off a bunch of wins against Cleveland and Minnesota.

soxfan

The thing I’d want to know about the juxtaposition was who knew what when. Seems to me that the reserve announcement may have been breaking news to the clubhouse while the starter decision was based on publicly available/able to be tracked in real time online voting. It may simply be that the excitement had time to wear off before the tape started rolling this year.

NorthSideHitman

A rift in the clubhouse being “a product of a Jerry Reinsdorf organization’s dysfunctional insularity” is a weak hypothesis, especially with the lack of any real information. There are dozens of reasons the clubhouse may be having issues.

NorthSideHitman

Yes, I agree with your response but you wrote “If rifts or tension or infighting drags this team down, consider it a product of a Jerry Reinsdorf organization’s dysfunctional insularity.” I stand by my initial reaction. There can and there are multiple reasons why a clubhouse may experience rifts, tension, infighting, etc. Believe me, I’m not supporting JR, I just find that your statement is too much of a quick assumption that this too is tied to management. It may very well be that you are correct but there is a real possibility that the circumstances for whatever may be happening behind the clubhouse doors includes many variables not neccesarily tied to JR.

mrridgman

I think there’s reams of information indicating that the organization is dysfunctional, and has been at least since Hahn’s promotion to GM. If there is an org chart somewhere, they probably had to purchase an extra set of colored markers to note all the official and unofficial/grapevine chains of command and influence.

At times JR is the principal decision-maker. Other times Hahn is, but almost certainly not without consult with JR, Kenny and now TLR (I doubt Renteria was in that loop, so one colored line has been added since 2020). Kenny clearly has influence, and unfortunately TLR probably has the most influence, e.g., the large $ infusion into the bullpen, stepson Leury getting a 3-year deal and playing almost every day.

Why is that important to the clubhouse? TA has shown every sign of being an outspoken leader. Abreu is highly respected. Giolito was elected team rep and appears very intelligent. There are probably others. They have to be asking themselves why was the worst hitter in baseball batting 1st/3rd/etc.? Why was our best hitter at the time batting 9th? Why is advance scouting information (which is now pretty much public information – win probabilities based on decisions, shift decisions) often ignored in favor of the “feel” or “smell” of the game (somehow I can’t form a vision of TA, Abreu and Giolito nodding in unison to smell decisions)? Why didn’t we acquire actual useful pieces prior to the season? The Why discussion likely leads them to the conclusion that most of the problems aren’t fixable at the moment, because we really don’t know who’s ultimately responsible for making them.

A dysfunctional organization manifests its existence in many forms – this is one, the employees responsible for the work product underperform.

Marty34

Anderson takes games off and half-asses it in too many others.

mrridgman

He’s a little too showboat for my taste, but I’m old, and willing to bend to the younger generations’ thought process (at least on some issues:)). I think he has some following in the clubhouse.

If we were to judge the roster on who plays hard 100% of the time, there would be few left to judge. Times change.

NorthSideHitman

Are we also to believe that players are not giving 100% because of the percieved dysfunction in the front office?

Right Size Wrong Shape

A day off? Quick, hide the children! We don’t want them exposed to this!

Marty34

He should be IL’d if he requires this many days off.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Why?

joewho112

6-7 games of Leury > 4-5 games of Tim, duh

As Cirensica

Unbelievable. Leury keeps starting games. Can’t be explained.

Marty34

So that he doesn’t press himself into coming back too soon. Noted gamer that he is!

NorthSideHitman

I agree that the organization may be dysfunctional. But again, mere speculation as to if is affecting the clubhouse. Im open to the fact that there may be other possibilities as well.

vince

I got my mystery autographed ball from the Sox’ charity day – Johnny Cueto. Which I’m very ok with.

dat gummit

Sick! Congrats!

Right Size Wrong Shape

My 4 year old thinks Johnny Cueto is the coolest guy ever.

knoxfire30

Been telling anyone that would listen after seeing the TA7 starter announcement video something is dead wrong in that clubhouse. Ive seen MULTIPLE funerals more upbeat then those guys were when finding out Tim was the starter. Did everyone of them have their dog pass away …. good lord something is definitely not right, and I hate that that puts me on the side of believing a Knightengale story.

calcetinesblancos

“Given that Nightengale is tight with Tony La Russa and has his own bathroom in the White Sox suites…”

I have to know if this a joke.

Shingos Cheeseburgers

But if two of those future 100 rebuilds result in playoff series victories that would eclipse the last century in terms of postseason success

metasox

Folks may be overstating the importance of the video. Team is in third place and Anderson’s comments are more about the team and need to keep pressing. Seems appropriate. The entire setup to the video is different from the one last yr. May be an apples to oranges comparison. And we aren’t privy to whatever other congratulations he would have received.
Separately, wasn’t it Hendriks who talked about the need to get back to having fun? Could be they need something to lighten the mood, but that doesn’t mean things are dysfunctional.

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox
ParisSox

Joe Madden is available. Apparently he was good at that sort of thing.

dwjm3

He sort of is the LaRussa antidote in some ways. You go from the cranky baseball police to the fun loving hippy

Right Size Wrong Shape

He was kind of a phony-happy, secret-cranky red-ass guy, though. I think the circus act kind of wore thin pretty quickly.

ParisSox

In my ideal world I’m just asking this for half a season. Then start the search over. Yes it’s a dream, but it’s my dream, goddammit!

Richard

It feels like a dry staff meeting. Even the way it was announced wasn’t made for much more than polite applause.

Like clearing off an agenda item- the boss promoted someone to Sr. Soandso from regular Soandso. Remember expense reports are due Friday. Also the office refrigerator is getting kinda funky so make sure you throw out anything you left in there. And remember- donuts in the breakroom tomorrow morning.

To Err is Herrmann

It looks like no one is having fun, and they just want to go home.

metasox

It doesn’t look like an announcement. He must have already known he was the starter or they wouldn’t have even been gathered. Any kind of announcement would have already happened.

Last edited 1 month ago by metasox
metasox

Sure, that’s a reasonable view of the content choice

soxygen

I don’t know – it seems like the chicken or egg question becomes irrelevant at some point prior to July 11th.

It doesn’t matter whether we have shitty chemistry because we are losing or whether we are losing because we have shitty chemistry. In one scenario we could turn it around by changing the chemistry. In another we need to change the chemistry in order to turn it around. I guess the a more important question is whether you think something needs to change or nothing needs to change except the results.

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen
Marty34

TLR announced before yesterday’s game that Anderson will get a game off during the Indians series and Nightengale’s report follows.

Maybe there are teammates of Tim’s who while being all for him changing the game would also like him to play the game.

a-t

Everyone except Abreu is getting regular days off, and that’s just because Pito writes himself into the lineup card when they do try and give him a day off. Pito also plays the least physically demanding defensive position on the diamond.

There’s nearly a fully lineup of hitters known to be dealing with leg soreness of some kind or another limiting them, so I really don’t think they’re begrudging of Tim for being one of them. The low energy in the clubhouse is completely expected with a team that 1) expects itself to win the division 2) instead finds itself under .500 in mid July and 3) are almost all dealing with chronic if not major physical issues, to an unusual degree this year.

ParisSox

This is the most logical explanation therefore the most likely one.

chipporter

Would you consider starting Leury every game, a chronic physical issue?

Asking for a Nightenfriend.

calcetinesblancos

Ok guy, you hate TA. We get it.

Marty34

To the contrary.

Qubort

I doubt his teammates, who’ve all spent plenty of time on the IL themselves, are upset Tim gets a day off.

Marty34

How Anderson not go to the All-Star game and use that time for much needed rest.

Nellie Fox

Pathetic ?, lets rest players now so when time is here they can play golf in October.

lifelongjd

This sounds straight out of the Kenny Williams playbook. Him and Jerry are distancing themselves from the mess and protecting their selected manager in the process.

This season is on the players because they are the ones most responsible for results. But planting this in the media has no positive outcome, except to protect Tony and the FO. Players aren’t stupid, they can see how their managers poor leadership and decision making is impacting their season. Beating them up further on Twitter is the first step in a complete team meltdown.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I think Nike got the All-Star uniforms right this year:

https://www.mlb.com/news/2022-all-star-game-jerseys-nike

OldMMJ87

Oh really? I strongly disagree. I hate the generic All Star uniform too, I thought it was so much cooler when the players would wear their team’s uniform and you’d have that mishmash of uniforms.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Mlb isn’t going to go back to that when they can make money off of the All-Star jerseys. Since that’s the case, I think this option is pretty good. Far better than those ugly things they had last year:

https://news.sportslogos.net/2021/06/24/2021-mlb-all-star-game-uniforms-unveiled-will-be-worn-in-game-for-first-time/baseball/

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
OldMMJ87

I get they’re going to squeeze every penny that they can, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually wearing those jerseys (and I get this is just anecdotal evidence). I figure since most fans have more loyalty to a team rather than a player, wouldn’t it make sense to do something like adding gold trim or stars to a jersey and then selling those? I think the year the game was in Minnesota the players wore a hat that had a gold star on it next to the logo.

And I realize the cat is likely out of the bag on this and I’m an old man yelling at a cloud, but I hate it. I hate the way they look and I hate the flagrant money grab that they represent.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Bottom line – I think this year’s offering is a classy look. I too prefer players wearing their own team’s unis, but this year’s uniform isn’t distracting and looks good.

ParisSox

I so agree with this. I hate how we destroy beauty in the name of money.

Yolmer's gatorade

No one except the players and staff knows what goes on in the clubhouse. But, I’d say the problems are roster construction and coaching. Too many 1B/DH types and Menechino’s contact orientated hitting philosophy not working. The reason I don’t blame the players is because they don’t seem to have any big jerks on this team. If Madison Bumgarner or Josh Donaldson played for the Sox, yeah I would see some cliques developing. But they all seem more or less compatible personalities. Lance Lynn seems like the biggest personality, and I think overall he is fine.

a-t

it’s interesting to me that the Charlotte hitting coach seems better at fixing power hitters’ swing (see: Sheets) than Menechino. at the same time, Menechino’s approach seems to pay dividends with say TA

Right Size Wrong Shape

Teams should really have more than one hitting coach for 13 hitters.

upnorthsox

Howie Clark

Right Size Wrong Shape

It would be interesting to know how responsibilities are split up. Are they working with different players, or is one guy breaking down video while another works with players in the cage?

Yolmer's gatorade

Menechino’s “F the home run” comment from last year looks pretty silly. He’s had some success, but the overall performance speaks for itself.

jhomeslice

Why speculate about problems in the clubhouse. The problem is that their half-ass roster is not good enough to do anything more than compete in a half-ass division. They would be in or near last place if they were in the AL East, with zero chance of a playoff spot. Sox fans are left hoping for miracles with a team that is easily outclassed by half a dozen teams, a couple massively.

If there is dissension in the clubhouse it’s because everyone knows that TLR sucks, and because the team had high expectations placed upon it without any improvements in two winters. It’s not the players fault for who is on the roster, or that Leury starts way too much, or hits in idiotic spots in the batting order for no reason.

This organization is great at fooling fans who are naive enough to believe they are trying to win, or should win with this roster (and manager). They are not, they shouldn’t, and they won’t.

Last edited 1 month ago by jhomeslice
hitlesswonder

I agree.

It’s really not a mystery why the Sox have played poorly – the team they put on the field isn’t good. It’s surprisingly easy to imagine that they should be winning…but the team people imagined based on the last couple of years isn’t this team….players are either hurt or not producing anywhere the level that one might have hoped.

On any given night fully 4 to 7 players in the lineup can’t hit. Lynn and Giolito have ERAs around 5…one could go on.

It’s another indictment of team building by the GM. It’s like they simply can’t assess pro-level talent (even ones that they have in house like Rodon). I don’t dislike Hahn…and I sympathize with the fact that he obviously did not want to hire TLR…but the poor team on the field is on him and the organization and the budget. It’s not a product of the player’s moods.

Last edited 1 month ago by hitlesswonder
jhomeslice

They haven’t been able to hit right handed starters since 2019. They have done rather poorly against good teams, in the playoffs and regular season during that time as well. They have the worst manager alive. Why does anybody think the end of season results should or will change?

a-t

I don’t think it’s that the team “isn’t good”. When healthy & performing to norms, the starting lineup and pitching staff is by talent one of the best in baseball. The problem is that the team isn’t *deep*. The first couple options after that starting lineup or rotation are hurt are not pretty, and the next few are sub-replacement.

hitlesswonder

I agree that the team isn’t deep…Hahn punted on 2 on-field positions (RF and 2B) to start the season which means that if 2 more players are hurt/bad all of sudden your lineup is half full of automatic outs.

I disagree that “When healthy & performing to norms, the starting lineup and pitching staff is by talent one of the best in baseball.”

I don’t think that’s true. Eloy’s norm over the last 2 years is to not be on the field and when he is to provide almost nothing at the plate. Moncada hasn’t had been good offensively in 2 years. Gio hasn’t been a top tier starter since 2020. And Grandal and Lynn are both old enough that previous performance isn’t a great indicator what they have left. And to be clear, I like all those guys. I wish they were playing better. But we are far enough removed from their top performances that a more ruthless and perceptive front office would have made changes. 

jhomeslice

They are severely over rated. They built a good core – and then stopped. But Eloy and Moncada have fallen so far from their best and the promise that they showed, that even the core of this team is a shadow of what it appeared to be two years ago. If Moncada remains anywhere near this bad, that will almost single handedly kill their chances the next couple years because of what they will be paying him.

a-t

Eloy I’ll grant you, dude needs to stay healthy and is struggling badly to do so. The rest of them, this is pessimistic beyond realistic.

Moncada and Giolito, this is just not true at all. Moncada ‘21: 122 wRC+, 4.1 fWAR, which is a standard All-Star reserve level performance. Giolito ‘21: 4.2 fWAR, a top 20 SP in baseball mark.

Lynn’s old, it’s true. He also accumulated the 5th-most fWAR among all SPs between 2019 and 2021, behind only goddamn deGrom, Cole, Wheeler*, and Scherzer— Giolito is 8th(!). Same applies to Grandal: second most fWAR among all catchers 2019-2021 behind only Realmuto, and third place is distant.

One disappointing half a season is not remotely enough to “make moves” as in get rid of core players. They need depth, they need a competent manager, and they need a better training staff. This isn’t the talent-starved 2016 team.

*god I wish he’d married a nice Midwestern lady.

upnorthsox

That should be:
And Grandal, Lynn, Abreu, Harrison, Pollock, Cueto, and Kelly are old enough that previous performance isn’t a great indicator what they have left.

And to be clear, I also like all those guys. I also wish they were playing better.

And that we got positive production out of 2 of them is good but we needed more than that.

Last edited 1 month ago by upnorthsox
upnorthsox

Ah shit, I left Keuchel off that list of old enough that previous performance isn’t a great indicator what they have left. I’m blaming it on a repressed memory. That’s 8 guys in their mid 30’s, and another 5 in their early 30s. What was Hahn thinking?

texag10

Josh Harrison is at 0.7 fWAR for the season. Is it a hot hand? Is it real? We may never know but he’s not weighing the team down.

AJ Pollock was a reasonable solution to the RF problem until he decided to stop hitting the ball.

I don’t know what world you live in but a 122 wRC+ is pretty good. There were only 6 third basemen in all of baseball that were better offensively than Moncada last year.

Lynn and Giolito were both top 20 pitchers last year by either bWAR or fWAR.

I think there were better options to be had in free agency than splurging on Kelly and Leury but we’ve already seen the Graveman signing pay dividends when Liam went down. On paper, this team was a shoe-in to make the playoffs before the season started. Saying a smarter GM would have made drastic changes is revisionist at best.

soxygen

AJ Pollock was not a good solution to the right field problem because he can’t play right field…evidence of which would be that neither the Sox or Dodgers have played him in RF.

One reason is that to be okay at playing right field you need to have a decent arm. AJ Pollock does not have a decent arm, and isn’t even particularly good at the easier corner spot in LF. Basically, he is a LF/DH.

Last edited 1 month ago by soxygen
Alfornia Jones

They don’t hit homeruns or score runs. On pace for 130 HR, and less than 700 runs. They should all hate each other with those numbers.

For meaningless stats, they have the 4th highest team BA.

Team chemistry, hustle, etc. don’t matter on bad teams that can’t score runs. They don’t need leaders, they need players who can hit 20-30 HR’s. Not one player currently on pace for 20 HR or 100 RBI or 100 Runs.

GrinnellSteve

They should all hate each other with those numbers.

Recced for the truest thing I’ve read today.

dongutteridge

Bottom line: No team is gonna accomplish anything with the lack of solid fundamental baseball that is prevalent throughout this team.

Augusto Barojas

And here is Lance Lynn, giving up 5 in the first, now with an ERA of almost 7. The next Dallas Keuchel of this team, at 18M per year through next season. Too much wasted payroll for this team to have any chance of succeeding.

Marty34

Choosing Lynn over Rodon is so Rick Hahn

tommytwonines

Just tuning in and looked at the box score – the Guardians had 3(!) infield singles in the first inning? WTF

Augusto Barojas

The Sox have league worst defense, nothing should surprise anybody who has followed them for the past year. I’m sure there will be people saying Lynn isn’t that bad, because of the infield hits. Whatever. This team could have an insurmountable amount of sunk costs next year between Lynn, Moncada, Grandal, and Kelly. They might be lucky if even one of those 4 proves to be worth anywhere near what they are getting paid.

funkerdan

What happens in Cleveland is a mystery. They just have magic on their side. I’ve been saying it for some time. it is astonishing how they find ways to beat us even when they’re not that great of a team. They bring their A game and then some against us.

upnorthsox

Almost back to even, I think Quantril will end up coughing up the lead. This sucks for a game thread. Too much scrolling.

Nellie Fox

The same game plan is not working, insanity

OldMMJ87

This is not news, but at the end of the day all of the problems and dysfunction of this organization stem from Jerry Reinsdorf. As long as he is calling the shots, there will be more dysfunction

atx1912

Maybe I could live with a report “grabbing” or “snagging” the spotlight, but “savor”?
Maybe you’re an ESL student.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Maybe someone will diagram it for you.

ChiSoxND12

Yeah, Jim has awful diction. I really wish he was a better writer

Foulkelore

Luckily, none of us care about what you can live with. You’ll somehow have to carry on with that choice of verb from an excellent writer who has written thousands of articles.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Hold on now, let’s give his idea a chance:

“Dylan Cease’s All-Star Snub Allows Report of White Sox Dysfunction to Grabbing the Spotlight”

Nope, that’s pretty horrible. Let’s try this one:

“Dylan Cease’s All-Star Snub Allows Report of White Sox Dysfunction to Snagging the Spotlight”

I think my third grader’s grammar teacher would like to have a word.

Last edited 1 month ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
atx1912

Fallacy of composition due to bad assumption. My sentence doesn’t need to conform grammatically to the author’s sentence. I was talking about the meaning of the word, not the form. But I bet I’ve already lost you.

chipporter

If he was lobbying for a verb, would that then be an adverb?

atx1912

Y’all so funny. I used the “grabbing” and “snagging” forms to match my sentence, not the original. Anyway, no hard feelings. I hope all of Chicago “enjoys” a wonderful day tomorrow. Furthermore, I hope the city does not “see” anything negative like a rise in crime or unsavory behavior.