Oh fellow Chicagoans, what can I say of our beloved Chicago White Sox right now? Has there ever been a team that has consistently been more mediocre? We as fans have the memories of that lovely championship that was won back in 2005, but at least for my lifetime (and I know it goes beyond that) the Sox have rarely been horrendous and have rarely been unstoppable. Instead, we get that unhappy medium of being absolutely and positively mediocre.
The hapless White Sox sometimes… well, usually have themselves to thank for this, but sometimes, like we saw this past Sunday afternoon against the Miami Marlins, it seems like all of baseball and chance itself is committed to dashing any hopes of a successful season.
Currently, the White Sox are 55-61, sit in fourth place and are 12 games back of the division-leading Cleveland Indians. They are also 8.5 games back for a wild card berth. In short, the Sox just need to get hot and they might be able to be in the conversation for the postseason come September. But isn’t it always like this? And I’m not using hyperbole by saying “always.” Think about it. How many seasons out of the last 20 years can you say the Sox were truly out of it? 2007 comes to mind. Maybe a couple other seasons, but the Sox were never bad enough to be considered a cellar-dweller, and were rarely good enough to be considered one of the elites. This year, the mediocrity just seems to be on full display, and with the team doing basically nothing at the trade deadline (besides getting a player who promptly injured himself after getting his first major league hit), there’s nothing leading me to think the Sox will be getting out of this rut anytime soon.
I admit, I was kind of optimistic a couple years back when the Pale Hose had just signed Jose Abreu, and pitchers like Chris Sale and Jose Quintana were really coming into their own. There were a few prospects in the Sox’s farm system that I was excited about, and at least one in Tim Anderson seems to be doing great so far. But overall, it seems that the glass half-full mentality that I’ve tried to keep is slowly draining. Maybe I’m getting more cynical as I age? Or perhaps it’s just that there are only so many times a person can be subjected to the same thing over and over again. Just taking a look at the White Sox’s top 30 prospect list right now is a depressing read. Already, the number two prospect for the team is recently drafted catcher Zack Collins, and several scouts aren’t even sure he’ll be coming up as a catcher. And the Sox are sorely in need of a great backstop right now, among many other things.
In short, it’s time the Sox blow this whole thing up. That goes from the front office to the players on the field. I’m not yet ready to say get rid of Chris Sale, the one and only bright spot in all this despite his childish shenanigans. However, no one else should really be considered untouchable. It’s time for a true rebuild instead of this “reshaping’ nonsense general Rick Hahn has talked about in the past. In fact, it’s time for Hahn and Kenny Williams to hand the reigns over as well. They’ve tried valiantly in the last couple seasons to make something happen, but for whatever reason, it just never pans out. It’s obviously time for the Sox to let manager Robin Ventura go, as it seems he’s lost a total grip on the club. But the management is content to let his contract run out instead of outright firing him it seems. So then, who are the ones to fill all these various positions? Beats me.
The one sure thing is that the Sox should rebuild with young talent and a bunch of it. If it means the Sox are absolutely horrendous while these young guys grow, that’s fine with me if it all pans out in the end. Trying to make a late move to the playoffs at the trade deadline rarely works for the Sox. Maybe that’s why they didn’t do so this year; they finally learned their lesson.
The Sox need to refill their depleted farm system as soon as possible. But as for the front office and manager positions, at this point anyone different might be good to shake things up. The time to stand pat is done. The Sox won’t win with this team. If drastic moves aren’t made, get ready to sit through a lot more mediocrity in the not-so distant future.