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Why All the White Sox Envy?


Can't we all just get along? (Pic: Chicago Tribune)

It's time again, friends, for me to act as your get-a-grip blogger. As the Cubs enter the transition or reboot or rebuild or whatever the heck it is they're doing this year, I've noticed a dramatic condition among Cubs fans on social media: Extreme White Sox Envy. Before the condition spreads to critical levels, I'm here to provide some important perspective to hopefully help some of you avoid infection and maintain your sanity.


1. The White Sox have been bad for a long time.


While you've been enjoying winning seasons from the Cubs every single year since 2015, including five trips to the postseason, three NL Central Division titles, two trips to the NLCS and a World Series championship, the White Sox had exactly two winning seasons from 2011 to 2020 and only one trip to the postseason. The White Sox haven't won their division since 2008. The success the White Sox are just now starting to see is due to years... I mean a DECADE... of tanking by Jerry Reinsdorf and company. It has taken this long for the South Siders to accomplish what Theo Epstein managed to do in just a few short years. If this makes you jealous, then by all means... hop on over to the black and white. Just remember, though...


2. The clock on the White Sox "window" is already ticking.


Ignore the farm system rankings that have the White Sox near the top--those include Luis Robert, Michael Kopech and Nick Madrigal, who have already started their clocks ticking with the Big Squad and save for Kopech, who was out having TJ surgery, were part of the 2020 Wild Card squad. In the next year the Sox farm will have ripened much like the Cubs' farm did in 2015-17 and all of those prospects will be, uh, big leaguers. Sound familiar? It should! The interesting thing here, though, is that while Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Michael Kopech and Nick Madrigal will be around for a while, integral parts of the White Sox current squad such as Jose Abreu, Lucas Giolito and Tim Anderson will all be free agents between now and 2024.



Do the "small market" Sox keep the wallet open as those three, along with Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Yasmani Grandal and Liam Hendriks all walk in that timeframe? Sure, having a publicly-funded stadium and getting those comp picks helps, but don't be surprised if one or more of their cheaply-controlled youngsters is on the trade block somewhere in that timeframe to start restocking the farm for a reboot. Maybe it won't mean another decade of sorrow for Sox fans, but I'm not sure it'll translate into six full years of winning baseball either. There's also the matter of White Sox Leadership...


3. The Sox manager sux.


White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn could have hired any number of energetic, young baseball coaching minds to steer the young, energetic White Sox team and instead he dug up the withered remains of his buddy Tony LaRussa. Don't get me wrong--LaRussa was once a great Hall of Famer baseball person, but rumors of preferential treatment towards certain players (read: white) along with his penchant for driving while stinking drunk didn't exactly make him the prime candidate for a perky, up-and-coming team filled with talent. Immediately his hire seemed like a bad idea. To wit:


Yes, Tony LaRussa had not reached out to his star shortstop a week after his hiring in Chicago. This is a problem. If the White Sox hired me, one of the first things on my list would be, "Call my All Star shortstop and introduce myself." White Sox fans are right to be worried about their manager's inability to connect with the team's players--it can absolutely sink a team with enough talent to win. I've seen it happen to my own favorite NBA team the Minnesota Timberwolves when Tom Thibodeau was the coach and badly misused star center Karl-Anthony Towns, overpromised team "control" to Jimmy Butler, and basically created a hot mess in 2017-18. A playoff team turned into chaos over the span of an offseason because it was the wrong coach for the wrong players, and the White Sox may have shot themselves in the foot with their tipsy skipper. Speaking of leadership...


4. You probably won't like Reinsdorf's politics any better.


Admit it or not, the Cubs' ownership is actually bipartisan. While the boys get all the attention, Laura Ricketts donates a lot of money to Democratic candidates and causes but rarely gets a mention. Jerry Reinsdorf also donates in a bipartisan fashion, likely to his own representatives so his interests will be taken care of. This is pretty common for someone with the financial wherewithal of Reinsdorf who lives in a more liberal area and wants to strategize with whomever he thinks might win an election. So if you're looking for ownership that never donates to one party or the other, the White Sox probably aren't worth your envy. But even if they were...


5. Let the South Siders have their day already!


YOU GUYS. Maybe it's because I don't live in Chicago, but I just don't understand the whole crosstown rivalry thing. A's and Giants fans just don't do this... they can live in harmony and almost be happy for each other when they win. This whole treating the Sox almost like they're the Cardinals thing is just weird to me--I don't get it. Let the Sox fans be happy! It won't last long... Reinsdorf won't spend forever, and the Cubs little retool thingy will have them back to winning again. All will be right in your world again and you can say you were gracious! It'll make you feel better! And when the White Sox trolls try to bait you, just remember...


Spoken like a true Cubs fan.


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