The White Sox Are Gambling On About 23 Bounce Backs This Year, But Fuck It... Let's Ride
We made it, fam. We made it through the offseason. This winter was a weird one; it took a LOT - namely the World Baseball Classic - to really get my baseball juices flowing again following what was the most maddening season I've ever gutted through as a fan.
Last year the White Sox completely fucking STUNK. There were a small handful of players that showed up and performed well last year. What was once considered one of the best young cores in the game failed mightily to live up to expectations.
I spoke with a few Sox players on Sunday and they all said it was a necessary slap in the face and reality check. On that note, after successfully completing spring training (relatively) injury free under the new Pedro Grifol regime, I'm ready to flush the giant, steaming shit that was the 2022 season down the toilet and go balls out for the new and hopefully improved 2023 White Sox.
On that note, let's check in with psychotic White Sox fans by answering some questions and amplifying some hot takez
First up, we got Bobby:
I'm an insecure loser who can't do much by himself for the sole fact I don't want to be the guy doing something by myself. The good thing about Sox Park though is you don't have to worry about that. Get a ticket in section 108, introduce yourself to Beefloaf, Chorizy and the other guy they do their podcasts/streams/liveshows/ etc. with and they'll welcome you with open arms and you'll make some good friends. Just come ready to drink your face off and potentially get molested by that Quagmire wannabe Wally (IYKYK)
Speaking of Section 108…
Still shocked they DFA'd Leury. Giving him that 3 year deal was the most mind boggling move a professional sports team ever made. The moment they made it they lit $16.5MM on fire.
Did Leury deserve the hate? To me it's both yes and no. My hatred for him as a player stemmed from his inability to do the little things correctly. He sucked on the bases and he sucked defensively. He constantly fucked up on the bases and in the OF by missing cuts, misreading flyballs, whatever. The mental mistakes drove my utter disdain for him as a player.
That said, he was put in a bad position. Ain't his fault the old manager played him 6x a week and hit him in the upper 2/3rds of the lineup. Some people feel bad for him for this reason, but I don't. Dude just made a ton of money and never has to work again as a 32 year old or w/e he is. Peace out.
I'll now shift my angst fully to Moncada. I want him to play hard and with a fire under his ass. If he does, he will succeed. If he doesn't, he won't. To me it's that simple. Cut the theatrics, cut the melancholy attitude and play balls to the wall. I want other teams HATE playing against him, not because he's physically a stud - which he can still be - but because he's a little pest on top of those tools. Give me the Moncada that steals bases and busts ass down the line. Not the one that looks like he doesn't give a fuck about being rung up looking for the 3rd time in 4 at bats.
Over the course of the last 3-4 months I've gotten into it with Mets and Angels fans on Twitter for calling their teams losers. When this goes down they all love to retort by calling me a hypocrite because I root for the White Sox. Uhhhh hey morons. I know I'm a loser. I know the White Sox don't really do anything right. I know my life sucks and that I root for mediocrity.
That's why I can sniff out other loser organizations as well or better than anybody. Now, the Mets may buy themselves a World Series via Uncle Stevie. They may finally shift from being a loser organization to a great one. Until that happens though, they're still the Mets. Something something, Frank was right something something…
Now with the Rangers we also have a loser organization on our hands. Sorry if that offends. There is just not one thing that makes me worry, think, or care about the Rangers. Sure they went balls out with Seager, Semien, deGrom, etc., but nobody would bat an eye if they didn't make the playoffs this year. They have like 15 games to make up and even with their offseason, I'm not sure they do, and that's because the Rangers just lose a lot. Easy as that.
Groundbreaking analysis right there, huh???
I was always of the opinion that Oscar Colas should have been surplus (quality) depth heading into this year and that the Sox should have bought an established stud RF. In that hypothetical world, the stud RF would theoretically be drilling baseballs come the trade deadline and Colas would be mashing in Charlotte and used as trade bait.
Now Colas is basically handed the keys to the RF job. Like everyone, I hope he clicks. In the instance he doesn't, no idea what they do. They have a very nice top 5-7 in their system, but beyond that I'm not sure there's a ton of depth to make a trade for anyone who will be anything more than a lottery ticket they hope to cash in on and we all know how those lottery tickets usually turn out for the Sox.
Colas needs to at worst play good RF defense and provide league average offense. If he does that, sweet. If he doesn't, RF is the same hole it's been since Jermaine fucking Dye. Just typing that out makes me want to puke.
I think this is actually a great point. The White Sox were PATHETIC from a fundamental standpoint last year. A lot of that was due to multiple players playing completely out of position. Benintendi isn't some freak stud, but he plays winning baseball. Elvis Andrus does the same, as did Danny Mendick. Even if they don't light up stat sheets, they do all the little things correctly. That's something that the Sox lost over the last year and a half.
Colas and AB replacing Sheets and Vaughn in the OF is a huge defensive improvement. Massive, in fact. Those two manning the corners will provide for wins in the 2023 season that weren't there in the 2022 season. Watching the 2022 version of this team made me realize how important playing winning baseball is, and I'm not necessarily talking about accumulating the highest fWAR. I'm talking about playing fundamental baseball a la the Cleveland Guardians. Talent shmalent. Go back to the Grinder Rules: Win or Die Trying. Do that and the talent will push them above the rest of the division.
Not immediately after the season I don't, because 1. he hasn't had that 3 month injury. His injuries are usually some bullshit soft tissue tweak and he's been good for 125+ games a year and 2. because he's due $24MM next year. If Moncada has a 2022 redux in 2023, he'll get one last chance in the first half of 2024 to prove he's the stud we saw in 2019. If he sucks again, they'll cut bait and not have to touch those 2 player options while eating whatever prorated dollar amount he's owed from his 2024 salary.
It's a HUGE year for Moncada though. Hopefully he picks up where he left off in the WBC. Fingers crossed.
If I could make any somewhat but not really realistic change to Sox Park it'd be to build a new stadium on Northerly Island that faces the skyline and has a short OF porch where dingers can reach the lake. Build a bar district around the stadium and figure out how to easily get 40,000 fans in/out of the stadium 81 times a year.
How sweet would it be to have a beautiful new stadium there?
That'll never happen though. So just keep giving me awesome food, I like Sox Park just fine. The stadium is the least of my worries.
On that exact note, my full focus is on the 40 man roster for the 2023 season. I'm cautiously optimistic in this team; we all know the ceiling this club has is still a great one. Whether or not they realize that ceiling is another thing. The org understands the fanbases angst. It's justified. Now it's time for them to shut us up. If they don't, it's on club and nobody else. It's put up or shut up time.
We got three really good interviews coming up with Joe Kelly, Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn. They're ready to go and ready to wipe the sour taste of 2022 out of their mouths. Subscribe to Barstool Chicago on YouTube to get those interviews as soon as they drop: