Over the weekend, the White Sox held their annual “Soxfest” fan convention at the Hilton, which sort of serves as a bridge between the offseason and the start of spring training for both the organization and fans.
A few quick takeaways from the event:
- Apparently Avi Garcia got booed during the opening ceremonies. Avi has taken a beating from both the fans and media for his play in 2015, but booing a player at a fan convention who by all accounts works his ass off to get better is embarrassing. If you’re a Sox fan and booed him this weekend, GFY. All I have to say about that
- Rick Hahn was pelted with questions regarding an upgrade over the aforementioned Avi Garcia. Throughout the course of hot stove season, the Sox were trying to acquire each of Alex Gordon, Justin Upton, and Yoenis Cespedes, though each had varying levels of realistic signability for the Sox. The common thought was that the Sox refused to offer over 3 guaranteed years to any of them. Hahn squashed that notion however: “Let me make something really clear: There is absolutely no hardline, dogma, limit on contract terms with free agents. The reason we didn’t sign any of the hitters that thus far have signed elsewhere at the end of the day is not about contract term limitations. We had numerous conversations, with various parameters, various structures, right up until the day or the day before these players wound up choosing their ultimate destinations.” They obviously didn’t land either of the big 3 outfielders for whatever reason, but hearing Hahn say that the media was flat out wrong is somewhat reassuring to Sox fans.
- Here’s a quick interview Hahn did where he answers questions regarding free agents, the Sox draft position, and other tidbits
video courtesy of futuresox.com
- If people didn’t know, Carl Everett fucking hates dinosaurs. Not sure if he was drunk or something but I needed to know who his favorite dinosaur was and apparently he’s his own favorite dinosaur. Mmmmkay then\
- Tim Anderson passes the eyeball test, Carson Fulmer does not. Simply put Anderson just looks like a freak athlete. Like there isn’t a sport he wouldn’t excel at. Same goes for Trey Michalczewski. Carson Fulmer, on the other hand, is about 5’10’’, 190 lbs, and looks like a Sunday school teacher. Outside of his lumberjack fore arms you’d never guess he’s about to be the White Sox next ace (more on this later this week).
- The biggest take away from the weekend is that Hahn made it readily apparent that the Sox are still performing due diligence in acquiring one more bat to upgrade the outfield. What form that will come in is yet to be seen, but Hahn knows just as well as anyone that this team is one piece away from being legitimate contenders.
- Piggybacking off this theme, rumor has it the Sox are now interested in acquiring Andre Ethier. This is why I am completely against this acquisition:
- He’s entering his age 34 season
- He’d be a platoon player. His slash line against RHP in ’15 was .294/.366/.486 compared to a .200/.229/.244 line against LHP. Garcia hits LHP well, but the Sox can’t have Garcia in the lineup against LHP for both Laroche and Ethier at the same time. Giving Laroche (or hypothetically Eithier) more at bats against LHP is not conducive to winning baseball games. Not one bit.
- He’s owed $38MM for the next two years and has a vesting option should he exceed X amount of at bats, so he’s expensive. Unless LA ate the VAST majority of his contract, paying even half of his ~$19MM AAV for a platoon player is not exactly cost effective
Other than that, I’m going to do an AL Central mailbag for the end of this week. As it sits right now, the AL Central is COMPLETELY up for grabs. There’s a legitimate chance 1st place through last place aren’t separated by too many games at all come September.
16 days until pitchers and catchers report, can’t wait.
PS: met my child hood idol for the first time, Hawk Harrelson. He was just chilling in the Sox Social lounge signing autographs and taking pics with anyone and everyone even though it wasn’t his allotted signing time. He was just doing it out of the kindness of his heart, proving once and for all that he is the perfect human being. Hawk’s getting a little senile in his old age and he didn’t really understand my question, but I had him give me a ‘Put it on the Board’ call. This was basically my Holy Grail, hearing his patented call in person and up close. I can now die happy.