Where Are The White Sox Headed?
By Al Zipsie
Ever since the White Sox won the World Series (a sweep by the way) in 2005. They have been mired in mediocrity.
They have fixed that. Now, they are just terrible flirting with the worst record in the major leagues.
The good news by trading away most of their talent it does open up hope for the future. The white Sox fire sale has produced tweets on the White Sox website such as "the only person left to trade is the bat boy. "Just went to a Sox game, swear I was at a double A Birmingham Barons game."
Only time will tell if the trades will work out. Maybe some will become stars or others never even make the big leagues.
To make White Sox fans feel better, think of the arch rival Chicago Cubs as a role model. The Cubs were also terrible at one time and went with the youth movement. They went from worst to first in winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.
While I am one of the few Chisox fans in the Stateline. I have many friends and family who are Cubs fans. I was happy for all Cub fans when they won the World Series last fall in such a dramatic way. Only a year off from the movie Back to the Future ll prediction in 1989. It was only a 89-year drought. The movie had the Cubs winning it all in 2015, when they did it in 2016 it was 108 years later.
I didn't believe in a Cubs goat curses. But, after the Bartman incident, I again pondered. I am glad the Cubs put that to rest last year. And after a shaky start, this year are now back in first place.
During the Series with the White Sox, Cubs star Anthony Rizzo said the Sox need "to stick to their guns. Rizzo joined the Cubs midway through the 2012 season only a few months into the rebuild. Theo Epstein's plan worked, even though they suffered through a 101 loss season in 2012. They had five straight last place finishes.
The White Sox started last season out strong staying in first place until faltering. When the Cubs and Sox played in May last year they were both in first place. The Cubs only got better, the Sox fell apart.
In the off season, the Sox traded all star pitcher Chris Sale to the Red Sox and outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington. Just recently they have lost pitchers Jose Quintana (a rare crosstown trade with the Cubs), David Robertson, Dan Jennings, Anthony Swarzak and Tommy Kahnle.
They also traded away 2015 home run derby champion Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera.
So what have the White Sox got in return? Not many names you likely have heard of. The White Sox now have ten players on the MLB top 100 prospects list. Having a loaded farm system does not mean the Southsiders will win a World Series anytime soon.
Similar to Rizzo and Bryant being brought up mid season for the Cubs the White Sox now have Yoan Moncada. The infielder came over from Boston in the off season part of the Sale trade. He started in AA and has recently joined the Sox starting at second base next to another young talent shortstop Tim Anderson.
The Sox have the most top 100 MLB prospects with ten including the top ranked Moncada. Also in the top ten, they have highly coveted Eloy Jimenez an outfielder slugger from the Quintana Cubs trade. Pitchers Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease, outfielder Blake Rutherford (trades). International free agent outfielder Luis Robert. And draft picks Pitcher Carson Fulmer and catcher Zack Collins.
Yes, double AA Birmingham where Bulls basketball legend Michael Jordan played. Yes, MJ a good curve ball is hard to hit.
The question for the White Sox will be if all the young prospects can develop into a great team at the top level. And the Cubs with a lot of younger players. One can only dream of an all Windy City World Series in our not too distant future.
Other players the Sox have in the flurry of trades are from Yankees pitcher Ian Clarkin and outfielder Tito Polo. From the Cubs infielders Matt Rose and Bryant Flete. From. Tampa Bay Casey Gillespie brother of former White Sox third baseman Conor Gillespie. Outfielder Ryan Cordell from the Brewers. Via the Royals A.J Puckett and Andre Davis. From Red Sox Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz and Dane Dunning. They also have outfielder Charlie Tilson from a trade last season. They also have young outfielders Willy and Leury Garcia and Adam Engel.
When the dust cleared the White Sox still have two premier hitters in all star Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu. Who knows if Sox GM Rick Hahn is done dealing. Hopefully, this deals will! Work for the Chisox. Unlike the infamous 1997 White Flag trade. The Sox only 3 1/2 games out of first place dealt star players at the trade deadline.
The Sox have long had the Cuban connection going way back to the late Minnie "The Cuban Comet "Minoso. Now Abreu and the 19-year-old Roberts who signed for a 26 million dollar bonus and the team will pay close to the same amount to MLB for overage taxes.
And despite being a White Sox fan I acknowledge Wrigley Field is one of the most historic Parks and for some almost a religious experience. I was never of those protesting lights at Wrigley Field, jokingly threatening a swan dive from the lights if it happened. And I liked the Old Comiskey Park, that was until a brick almost fell on my head as the building was crumbling down in its last year in 1990.
And with Corporate sponsor names like the Sox Guaranteed Rate Field have no charm. I still stand by the better food at the Southside Park. Even though NUIC Football Fanatics writer Kyle and his wife Kari Kampmeier went with Cleveland on a recent baseball mini tour as the stadium with the best food.
I guess couples we're happy after the Cubs won the World Series. A baby boom happened in the Cub fan area nine months later. Some of the names chosen were names like Addison, Sheffield and Waveland, Clarke and Addison for the streets. Also, Wrigley, Vines and of course Anthony or Rizzo or Bryant named after players. One Twitter post on the subject said why don't just go ahead and name the kid Old Style or rooftop.