It's Time For The Sox To Stop Performing Half Measures


The story Mike Ehrmantraut tells “No Half Measures” is arguably the best scene in Breaking Bad. In it, an encounter was depicted between Mike and a man who constantly beat his wife. Mike wanted to murder this wife abusing piece of shit, knowing that would be the only way prevent this woman’s inevitable murder. Instead of actually killing the man, Mike shoved a gun down the man’s throat and threatened to kill him, hoping it would scare the man straight. Eventually the man killed his wife, as he knew would happen, and Mike vowed to never take a half measure again; he would always go all in from that point forward.


Now, how does this connect in any way to the White Sox? As big or small of a stretch as it might be, the moral of the story is a microcosm of the state of the organization, an organization that habitually performs half measures, at least from this fan’s perspective.


Since the Sox last playoff appearance in 2008, the White sox have been in a constant state of organizational limbo. Baseball purgatory, if you will, with no real organizational identity. Their farm system perennially placed dead last or close to it in organizational rankings, yet their major league roster has been an extreme mix of good and bad, young and old… It’s as if they’re just “there”.


From the outside looking in, they never decided on a plan and stuck to it. As recent as the 2015 season, the administration changed their stance from “winning now” after the acquisitions of Shark, Cabrera, Robertson, and Laroche and changed to a “3 year window of winning now” after 3 of those 4 acquisitions flopped. As it stands today, they are finally close to being legit contenders again. Hahn has done a masterful job this offseason upgrading both 3B and 2B without sacrificing anything of true organizational or financial value. They have their best lineup since the prime years of Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko, the 1-2-3 of  Sale, Quintana, and Rodon is the best in the AL Central, and the bullpen is deep as well.


And guess what? It’s all still not enough. As it stands, this is not a playoff team. It’s a team that at best is slightly above .500 and one that still finds itself in baseball purgatory. Even with the additions of Frazier and Lawrie, both of whom are vast improvements over the incumbent options, they still have a few black holes in the lineup and defensively. Trading organizational depth for these two players would be completely pointless unless they make one more big splash. Either go all in, or don’t go in at all. It’s time for the Sox to stop performing half measures.


Signing Yoenis Cespedes is performing a full measure. One of the aforementioned black holes resides in right field. The improvement from a below replacement level player to a legit 5+ WAR threat would instantly turn the Sox from pretenders into contenders. A lineup that features Eaton, Abreu, Frazier, and Yo has the potential to be flat out scary. A lineup that features Eaton, Abreu, Frazier and Garcia? Not so much.


There’s a ton of posturing going on right now, with all the talking heads in the media saying this and tweeting that about how the Sox will only sign him for this price or for that length, and whether not that’s the Sox feeding the media BS or actual truth doesn’t matter. Signing Cespedes simply has to be priority number 1 for this organization right now.


WITH ALL OF THIS SAID, the consensus is that the organization is also looking hard at FA outfielder Dexter Fowler as well. Fowler is a good player. Athletic, excellent OBP guy (draws walks on walks), and he would fill the infamous 2-hold void that has plagued the Sox for years now. There aren’t many teams in baseball who wouldn’t want a Dexter Fowler on their team, and if the White Sox feel like he’s the best free agent available to help aid in a playoff run RIGHT NOW, they should go all in for him before anyone else, even Yo. But if money and term lengths are the only things holding them back in signing the best player available, they’re spitting in the faces of their great player core and fans. Yes, Yo will cost more. Especially now that the market for Yo has shifted to an insanely cheap deal, considering the production he can produce. The price of winning is often expensive. Signing Yo is showing everyone who follows baseball you’re saying “fuck it” and going for it all.



All three of the decision makers in the organization – Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, and Rick Hahn – have to know this too. I refuse to believe otherwise. For that reason alone, I truly feel they’ll shove all their chips to the middle and get it done, and when it happens, Sox fans will have a great summer to look forward to.