P.O. Sox Part I: Was 2018 more watchable? Which ownership is better? Who’s the Core 5?

I’m back from Washington and catching up on the mailbag, which is back in post form because I had to record the previous Sox Machine Podcast from a hotel FedEx Office.

The P.O. Sox line overflowed, so I’ll be posting this one in two parts, the second of which will be exclusive to those who support Sox Machine on Patreon.

Is it just me or is this more sad to watch than the 2018 team?

— Alec S.

I get what you’re saying, but nope. I wrote my weekly column for The Athletic that season, and it was hard not to start every other piece with, “Good news: We’re another week closer to the grave.” Tim Anderson led that team in WAR despite hitting .240/.281/.406. Dylan Covey was more effective than Lucas Giolito. Entertaining that notion is how the White Sox will justify a total teardown the next time around even though everything they did after 85-loss bad was more or less wasted. Don’t do it.

Was it actually normal for Dylan Cease to warm up in the pen as Tony said or is he lying (lol)?

— Benny

Both, kinda! I believe that Cease warmed up at that particular time because his start was bumped up one day, so his side day also shifted up on the calendar, and nobody had an interest in making him hang around the park later than he had to. I also believe that, if Tanner Banks couldn’t have overcome the two-walk start to his day, that Cease would’ve entered the game to complete the inning as an extension of his between-starts work.

But once Banks completed the inning and Cease sat down, I think the possibility of a Cease appearance evaporated. Warming up multiple times would have ceased resembling a side day.

Who would you rather have own your team at this point, Jerry Reinsdorf or Peter Angelos?

— Asinwreck

I assume this question is prompted by the news that Angelos’ sons are in a nasty dispute, with Lou Angelos suing his mother Georgia and brother John for violating the family trust that Peter set up, establishing that the sons would have equal control. Lou is accusing John of wanting to move the team to Nashville, where he currently lives. There’s some circumstantial evidence supporting the notion, with John using Baltimore baseball business to promote a country singer whose name seems autogenerated, but the Orioles issued a pretty firm denial on the matter.

Anyway, I had to think about it for a bit, but big picture, I feel better about Reinsdorf eventually looking to sell the team to a new ownership group rather than handing it down through the family, because the White Sox have already wasted decades of their history dealing with sibling rivalries, and while Angelos was on the right side of the labor war and stadium trends, it doesn’t appear like his family is going to carry on any positive legacies.

If you were a new GM coming into this team, who would be the 5 players on the current or minor league roster you would build around to keep this “window” open.

— Joe

I think four are readily apparent — Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech. As for the fifth, it’s troubling that Yoán Moncada and Eloy Jiménez have to play themselves back into this picture, because it’s not because of overwhelming competition. Right now, the only thing that keeps me from locking in Tim Anderson is the history of leg injuries, because it’s not like that’s bound to get better by turning 30 next year.

Summer is usually the time I tune in most to the Sox and this season is so depressing that I’m actively avoiding them. That’s not my question; I just needed to vent. Here’s my question: is Hahn mismanaging 40 man roster?

— Andrew S.

I think he’s under-managing it a little. If I had my druthers, to borrow an old favorite of Hahn’s parlance, Yolbert Sánchez would already be on the 40-man, and he would have gotten one crack at the 26-man roster. (So would Carlos Pérez, but at least that’s explained by a minor injury that’s kept him out of action the past week.) Both seem more like cases of mismanaging the injured list, as Yoán Moncada and Yasmani Grandal haven’t done much good on the field.

Speaking of which, I also think he’s a little hemmed in by the guys returning from the 60-day IL. Lance Lynn needed a roster spot, and Eloy Jiménez will as well once he’s able to complete a rehab stint. If and when Jiménez returns, that lines up with the approach of the halfway point, and that’s when a greater overhaul (read: the dumping of Josh Harrison) can’t really be ignored.

How much do you attribute teammates/organization to a players success? A few weeks back I asked about Matt Carpenter for the Sox, and while i’d like to think he’d have the same 8-24, 6 homers, 5 walks, 13 rbis for us, I got a crazy idea that’s not the case. I feel like this is a White Sox recurring nightmare with David Wells, Nick Swisher, Adam Dunn, etc. Is it just better management in terms of putting guys in position to succeed?

— Adam H

With Carpenter, I’d throw in ballpark. His spray chart is basically tailor-made for Yankee Stadium.

But more to the point, teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Rays, etc. have a greater benefit of the doubt when they make what appears to be a dead-end move, partially because of talent evaluation, and partially because they’re more accustomed to asking players to only handle the things they do well. When Carpenter comes out of the gate hitting .286/.412/.964, it’s because the Yankees only ask him to start half the time, and will likely continue to do so unless they’re pressed for maximum output. If Carpenter provided that for the Sox, they’d exhaust that supply of utility as fast as possible, because the roster lacks complements who pick up the slack in certain situations.

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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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Has Jerry said he intends to eventually sell the team, rather than passing it to family? I hadn’t heard this.


His fatherly advice is keep the Bulls when he croaks, sell the White Sox. To that I say, why wait


“Reinsdorf never has offered details about what’s ahead for the Sox franchise, now estimated by Forbes at $692 million.”

Well that didn’t age well, what it at 4x that now?

Shingos Cheeseburgers

I’m a little surprised by the lack of Giolito in the discussion of the core 5.