Cool props for two guys who had monster years. But I can promise you that neither of them are content with winning personal achievements and still have one goal and one goal only in mind - and you all know what that goal is, so I'll just leave it unsaid.
Hand up, I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't have really cared if the Sox let Abreu walk last winter. I thought his best days were behind him and that he was gunning towards being a power hitting platoon guy that wouldn't get on base at too good a clip moving forward. I was WAY wrong. Sure it was only a 60 game season, but Abreu should be the MVP this year when the award is named. He was the heart and soul of one of the very best lineups in baseball and plays every single freaking day, hell or high water. The consummate professional. If he duplicates his 2020 season in 2021-22, then he'll have a statue somewhere at Sox Park.
I love that he's going to be here at least another 2 years. Love it.
As for Hahn? He's got his work cut out for him still with the managerial search going on right now. The Sox are linked to BIG names, most notably Tony La Russa, AJ Hinch and Alex Cora. Obviously all three come with baggage; I wrote about the pros and cons of a potential La Russa hire yesterday and you can read that here.
Though I did note that his age should be of a concern, I'll elaborate on why that is; say the White Sox are decimated by injuries or some shit next year and hover around .500, completely failing to meet expectations. Does La Russa say to himself, "holy shit I'm almost 80 and don't feel like dealing with this shit any more, I made the wrong choice to take this job, time to hang them up again"?
Maybe he does. I think that's a fair concern when vetting a potential La Russa hire. That's my personal main concern at least. As for his lack of analytical acumen... I don't REALLY care about that. Tony La Russa is a VERY smart man. He's bilingual and has been revered for his managerial prowess for 3+ decades. He's in the Hall of Fame because of his ability to push the correct buttons more often than not.
I could be wrong here, but I think he's so smart that he would absolutely be receptive to finding the right balance between the feel for managing people and absorbing and analytical approach when constructing a lineup, making pitching changes, and more. If he's not receptive to the latter, then he won't be named manager. It's as simple as that. I said that I wouldn't prefer him (I'd still prefer Hinch personally, whom we'll talk about in a moment) but that doesn't mean I would dislike La Russa at the same time.
One other concern is how well he'd mesh with the millennial-laden roster that the White Sox have. Again, I could be wrong here, but I don't see him taking too kindly to all of the chains, the pimped out dingers, or general attitude a lot of the White Sox roster has. That's not to say it's a bad attitude, it's to say that it might not be one that would mesh well with someone as old school as TLR.
As for Hinch? Concerned fans have valid points with respect to the baggage he comes with. He was part of an incredibly elaborate cheating scandal. Sure, he smashed the monitors, but his players more or less told him to fuck off and didn't respect him enough to cut the shit. Do we want a spineless pussy in the dugout who can't get his roster in check when he tries? Not sure. But I do think he'd be much more cut out to deal with the new-aged personalities on the team. That, and because he's a Stanford grad who's also bilingual and is very receptive to the new aged mathematical approaches to winning baseball games.
That's what I see Hahn weighing right now. I do think Hinch is still going to be the guy in the end because of everything I just noted, but should it be La Russa, I would be A-OK with it. Nevertheless, whoever the hire is in the end, the entire roster and coaching staff will have Executive of the Year Rick Hahn's fingerprints on it top to bottom. It'll all be on him moving forward, so with that said, he needs to wrap this hire up and go find us a RF and top of the rotation arm. It's officially his team as soon as those three boxes are checked off.
Going to try to get Hahn on RLR for next week.