As a lifelong Sox fan who never agreed with the Cubs process of tanking to rebuild, let me say, I am close to turning in my fan card and disowning the Sox forever. General manager Rick Hahn is clearly the worst and most incompetent professional sports executive in town, yes worse than Ryan Pace! His hire of former Cubs skipper Rick Renteria as head coach was met with yawns and a smattering of applause from local beat writers, who appreciated his ability to coax 73 wins out of the Cubs in 2014.
But in his 2nd year on the south side, after winning 67 games last year, the Sox are clearly regressing as the team promotes t-shirts that say “Rick’s boys don’t quit.” Excuse me while I try to swallow the throw up in my mouth.
When I have watched the Sox this year, they have been an excruciating mix of errors everywhere on the diamond, baserunning mistakes, terrible handling of the bullpen and lineups that defy explanation. Why does Leury Garcia continue to get starts when he is one of the main culprits of error’s and bad baserunning?– when he does run. He was benched for part of one game when he didn’t hustle out what would’ve been a hit last week. The local beat writers praised Renteria for his “handling” and benching of Garcia during the game. But there he was starting the next game, while Matt Davidson, the Sox probable all-star representative, was on the bench, in spite of leading the Sox in home runs, slugging and rbi’s. Instead of truly punishing Garcia, the fans get punished when Davidson rides the pine and Leury starts.
And let me be very clear, Leury Garcia at 5 foot 7 inches tall, hardly has any business being in the majors, let alone starting everyday, when he is making more mistakes than anyone else on the team. Of course since I’ve started my campaign to get rid of Garcia, he is now in a six game hitting streak… figures.
I really don’t understand what is going on. Is Renteria sleeping in the dugout? Does he have a blind spot for undersized, undervalued latino players like Renteria was. It’s as if the team is being sabotaged by it’s manager. Players like Davidson and Adam Engel aren’t being given steady doses of at-bats. They play a game and sit the next, start, pinch-hit, defensive substitution, whatever. Garcia gets at-bats everyday as a jack of all trades kind of player, alternating between 2nd, shortstop, centerfield and left field, depending on who else gets a day off or has an injury. He gets all of this playing time in spite of having one of the lowest batting OPS numbers and the worst fielding percentage on the team. At a time when the Sox are supposed to be developing their young talent by letting them play, Renteria has them constantly shifting positions and not getting everyday at-bats. Players like Engel and Davidson might be the future, but we may never know how high they can go because of Renteria’s love for his diminutive utilityman.
When it comes to developing a team, you have to let young players try to play through slumps and mistakes without worrying they will be replaced at a moments notice. Consistency has to come from the front office and manager in the form of steady playing time and at-bats. Adjustments need to taught, not at-bats and opportunities taken away. Another example of this is starting pitcher Carson Fulmer.
Fulmer was drafted 8th overall in the 1st round of the 2015 draft out of Vanderbilt. By the end of 2015 he had already been promoted once. He started 2016 by pitching in double-A and was promoted to the White Sox in July of 2016. They demoted him to triple-A the next month where he finished his season. He started 2017 in triple-A and was promoted at the end of the year in August to make his first start, he had been previously used in the bullpen by the White Sox. After that one start, giving up 6 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in 2 innings, he was sent back to triple-A again. He was recalled in September and won three games as a starter by the end of the season.
So the 2018 season was full of hope for Carson, who was carrying the added pressure of being a number one pick. In spite of having the second most wins on the team with only 2, the Sox just sent him back to triple-A this past Saturday for the 3rd time in two years after another bad start.
The teams supposed ace, Reynoldo Lopez had yet to record a victory for the Sox this season, until he won the next day, this past Sunday. No replacement for Fulmer in the rotation has been announced as of this writing. Rick Hahn, has treated a number of players like a yoyo during his tenure with none of them ultimately panning out. They say Fulmer will be back soon, but why not keep him in the majors until Carlos Rodon is back from injury. With no announced replacement four days later, there clearly was no plan to this decision. Just as there is no reason to suspect that the White Sox have the men in place to patiently lead this rebuild into success.
During an effort to rebuild is the time to have a steady hand, and with no one in the wings and denials that phenom Micheal Kopech is ready, why send Fulmer down? If Rick and Ricky’s plan was to rob their players of confidence, I’d say they have done a masterful job. If that were my kid getting jerked around by a couple of incompetents, I’d pay them a visit with a bat in my hand!
The Sox are basically becoming the Bulls, deliberately benching productive players in an effort to lose in the most boring and pathetic way possible. Oh that’s right, Jerry Reinsdorf owns both teams. Careful Jerry, Sox fans aren’t sheep and Guaranteed Rate Field isn’t Wrigley, a mecca to out of town, long suffering turned celebratory Cubs fans. Sox fans won’t pay for an inferior product, as the Cubs will probably outdraw the Sox, 3.4 million to 750,000 this year.
Every week that the Sox deliberately lose, jerk around their talent and do not call upon triple-a stars like Micheal Kopech, will be more and more Sox fans burning their fan cards!