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This Morning I Was Asked About A Potential White Sox vs. Cubs World Series

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We're all hungover today, both emotionally and physically. I didn't even really drink last night or for the football game and have an insane case of the Monday scaries knowing that in the following weeks we'll be watching White Sox playoff baseball for the first time in a dozen years. It's really stressing me out and there's still a week or so left in the season. 

Bring it on though. Got this question emailed to me this morning and wanted to open the floor for a quick mailbag:

Thoughts on a white Sox vs Cubs World Series? 

Oh and also, Cuck the fubs

- Ryan  

This is the email I got that basically made me have a panic attack. I am not ready in any way to talk World Series, but for the sake of hypotheticals, just let me tell you that if the Sox and Cubs did meet for a late October World Series, it'd be the worst week of my life. Chicago would burn to the ground… the police blotter would be POPPING OFF for a week straight. Think St. Patrick's Day, but for an entire week. It'd be biblical, in both good and bad ways, but it's also exactly why Carl and I started Red Line Radio 4 years ago, because we knew that 2020 and beyond would at least present the possibility of it. Not saying it's a great possibility, but it's not impossible at the same time. 

As for the matchup itself, the Sox are a better team. They matchup against the Cubs as well as any good team in baseball, in my opinion. I could talk all day long about how Bummer/Crochet/Fry/Rodon would neutralize Schwarber/Rizzo in late games or how the Sox are better up and down the lineup, but won't. I'll save that for another time. Just know that I'm stressed out even thinking of the two teams meeting in the Fall Classic. Beyond stressed out about it, and that doesn't even get to me talking about the first 3 game series against whoever. This is going to be a brutal week plus for my psyche.

Who do we start game 4 of a playoff series?

- Zack 

I'm starting Gio Gonzales. He'll at very worst throw strikes - might get completely shit on, but I'd rather a pitcher get shit on than walk the world. That's my take, and I do think Cease will get better eventually. 

Speaking of Cease…

Is Cease ever going to find some control?

What do we have to do to get Engel replace Mazara full time?

Who’s got the better baseball IQ: Madrigal or Timmy?

- Alex

Yes, I do think it will eventually click for Cease. He's got a million dollar arm that hardly anyone else in baseball has. The command though? Yeah we all know his command stinks right now, but both the White Sox and Cease himself will go to the end of the earth to fix those issues. No stone will be left unturned or whatever that phrase is. I don't anticipate it being this year, but sometime in 2021 we'll be watching a start of his and say to ourselves, "yup, he's here for good".

As for the rest of your questions - I want Engel starting every game, both against RHP and LHP from here on out. Mazara is completely lost at the plate in spite of his dinger yesterday and though he's a totally adequate OF, Engel is an elite OF. With Engel in the lineup you can expect at least average offense at this point, but with him in RF he can allow Robert to shade Eloy that much more so we don't have any Eloy doing Eloy things in important situations come playoff time. That's absolutely how I'd roll.

Timmy is the only answer here. He's become as cerebral a hitter as there is in baseball. Watching him cheat on fastballs, work oppo, and find barrels has become a thing of beauty. One of the very best players in baseball. Love TA, he's the perfect face of this team.

WSD,

Are you expecting to see limited starts at DH for Encarnacion for the postseason? I among others believe the lineup is at its deepest and most productive with both McCann and Grandal in it. I personally do not see the need to have EE hopefully and get ahold of one while McCann provides a far greater opportunity to get runners on base.

Also, you’ve got to think they will swap Sanchez for Mendick back, right? Mendick brings a much more dangerous late-inning bat that could prove pivotal in these October matchups.

Thanks Dave go Sox!  

- Brendan

I truly hope that the Sox go with a Grandal/McCann combo at DH for the playoffs. I'd imagine McCann will absolutely be in the lineup game 1 to catch Gio with Grandal DHing. From that point forward, hopefully they rotate DH. It's not ideal in case one goes down with injury, but they shouldn't be worrying about people getting hurt in the playoffs. They should be worrying about putting the best lineup possible out there every single game. 

Agree on Mendick. I hate hate hate that they sent him to Schaumburg. It makes no sense to me - he's every bit as good as Yolmer defensively (don't give a shit about his gold glove) and has proved he has a better stick. Yolmer is a great dude and loved in the clubhouse - that shouldn't be enough to keep him on the roster for the playoffs. Not in my opinion, at least. Get Mendick back up asap.

What’s up Dave, 

Love RLR, dog walk, and you 4 goons in general. As the postseason approaches, when pitching is so critical, do you think Rodon can or will start a playoff game? 

If he’s healthy, I’m expecting Ricky/Coop to deploy him as a 5th-7th Inning leverage reliever, but I’d be more confident in him opening a playoff game over lopez/cease because of his experience. Thoughts? 

PS- I miss 2019 yoan 

Rodon will go to the pen and will go to the pen this week, but I do agree it'd be nice if he could start game 4. He's just not built up for 100 pitches right now though, but can go and hopefully be a veteran presence that gives you an Andrew Miller like presence in the bullpen. Think 2-3 innings (if necessary) with an arm that can get both righties and lefties out. He'll be huge in the postseason - mark that down.

Dave,

Let’s go. The (serious) fun begins. 

1. Question- what’s our ideal best matchup in wild card round? I’m hoping we can hit that jackpot balance of at least splitting the CLE series this week,  beating the Cubs ass as usual, and ending as the #1 seed in the AL to ultimately match up against TOR. We can handle CLE in a 7 game series, but a 3 game scares me with their pitching, anything goes. You hoping for us to matchup against TOR or CLE in WC round?

2. Comment- As much as I (and we all) love AJ, the FOX national broadcast on Saturday was trashola. Makes us appreciate Jason and Steve that much more. Baseball is a local sport, we know that, but the quality of some of these national broadcasts really hurt the growth of the game. With the exception of Buck/Smoltz, the watchability of baseball outside of your local broadcast hurts the game of baseball and the ability to grow the game. The game needs more exciting broadcasters. Even Darling on TBS playoff broadcasts are excruciating. Football is obviously different because it’s all national broadcasters, but they’ve developed a network of relatively strong broadcasters, no matter what game you watch. Really am hoping for Buck calling our playoff run, when it begins. 

Enter the classic “I’ll hang up and listen”. Keep up the great work.

- Matt 

Absolutely want Toronto. Their best pitcher is Hyun Jin Ryu, a lefty. You know what the White Sox lineup does to lefties? They SHIT on them. He's really good and has great command, but he scares me zero with the White Sox lineup. Winning game 1 is extremely pivotal, so I'd like to avoid the Shane Biebers of the world. 

To comment on your second point…. I agree. AJ was bad on Fox on Saturday. If any national broadcaster should know the Sox, it should be AJ. He even said on the broadcast he still rocks Sox gear and roots for the team, but he just sounded pretty ill-informed for the most part. I expect that out of any other national broadcast, but not one with AJ. Aside from that, the production of that national game was AWFUL. The on the field TA interview could/should have been incredible, but the microphone was fucked up and you couldn't hear or understand him. That, and the camera crew made any pop up look like it was hit a mile. Just terrible all around and something we'll have to deal with in the playoffs. Sucks.

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With how successful the season has gone, does this mean Renteria is going to be around for the long term? Or could he step back and play a different role in the organization because we know how much the player like him?

- Zach

Yes, he's here for the long term. Players love him and the White Sox are loyal. I'd be stunned if he doesn't win manager of the year. Stunned. Can't can or reassign a coach who is coming off a manager of the year award. I don't really care about managers, and he's made really good adjustments from his pathetic lineups early in the year. We'll see how he is come playoff time. That's when managers are really under the spotlight and all of their moves are magnified. 

What’s Up whitesoxdave. Just want to start by saying I’m a big fan and it’s mad refreshing to see a White Sox fan with a platform own the Yankees, Twins, and other teams that aren’t winning their division. It’s been a long time since we’ve had some shit to cheer about and this season already calls for celebration no matter how the rest goes.

Question: it seems pretty likely to me that Anderson and Abreu split themselves out of AL MVP giving it to Bieber or Trout or god forbid a Yankee. Anyways, what are your thoughts on the MVP race, and also do you agree that it’s pretty likely Robert has played himself out of ROY with the current slump? Kyle Lewis just keeps hitting and Robert seems to swing at anything. Anyways, hope you’re doin well and hopefully we’re back at the Cell next year watching the always riveting Jumbo Tron race between Juicy beef, Cheesy beef, and Spicy beef. Cheers to the playoffs

- Jack

It HAS to be Abreu. He's been the best, most well rounded and consistent player on the best team in the AL. He's got a better WAR, more HRs, better average, more RBI's and more wins than Trout and Voit, other than HRs. He mops the floor with Voit in just about every single category. If he doesn't beat out Voit for the award, we riot. That said, DJ Lemahieu has a great case for the award too, as he might win the batting title and has an OPS north of 1.000. Dude's a stud. If he won, I wouldn't be all that mad. But Voit? Fuck that. 

Still, Abreu is MVP. 

Who are your pitchers/bullpen on the playoff roster? With Rodon & Bummer coming back, who gets left off? I believe 26 are on the roster this year, got to think the Sox have 13-14 pitchers.

- Justin

This is my rotation: Gio-Keuchel-Dunning-Gonzales
This is my bullpen: Rodon, Bummer, Fry, Cease, Crochet, Marshall, Heuer, Foster, Colome, Detwiler 

That leaves Cishek, Cordero and Lopez off the roster. I will say this now - I think Crochet is going to be leaned on HEAVILY this post season. Dude's arm is fresh as a daisy and we've seen how filthy he is. Dude's a freak and could be the X factor in a deep post season run. Pair that with the rest of this pen and we're reallllly cooking with gas. I think the pen might be my sneaky favorite part of this team. It's been amazing from top to bottom. 

Thank god they didn't move for a pen arm knowing that they were going to deploy Crochet this fall. Crazy how this has worked out. Not positive we see Heuer, Foster or Crochet in a 162 game season, and they're all high leverage arms that are afraid of nobody. Love them all. Marshall has quietly turned into a fantastic pen arm as well, and Colome is as consistent (though scary) as can be. 

Let's clinch the division ASAP then go and win the fucking Commissioner's Trophy. This is season 1 of a 10 season show that will one day concluded in a World Series. Maybe multiple. This team is that deep and their financial outlook is chef's kiss fantastic. 

PS - love this thumbnail I used. Doesn't have anything to do with the thesis of this blog, but it's my blog so fuck you.