The one thing the White Sox can’t afford to be in this city is dead. Not with the Cubs so popular and, this season, so good. Not with a small, fickle fan base.
The Sox are as dead as a bear rug.
It’s time for chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to start over. That means firing vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn. I like both men, and I believe both could be successful elsewhere. But there’s something fundamentally wrong with this organization. Bright, talented people walk in carrying high hopes and walk out looking like they just had a nap interrupted. This goes for players and front-office types alike.
Manager Robin Ventura has to be sent packing too. Ventura is a good, decent man, but again, the results won’t shut up: a 289-340 record in his four seasons.
There needs to be a culture change, the kind that Theo Epstein has brought to the Cubs. Sox fans don’t want to hear their franchise being compared in any way to the franchise 10 miles to the north, but there’s no escaping the obvious. When the Cubs hired Epstein as their president of baseball operations in 2011, a fresh breeze blew throughout the organization. With it came new ideas and a new way of looking at things. The Sox are stagnant and have been for most of the past decade.
Just to be clear, the Sox’ 17-6 loss to Oakland Tuesday night has nothing to do with my cry in Reinsdorf’s wilderness. Yes, Jeff Samardzija did give up 10 earned runs in three innings, but he has given up the most earned runs in baseball this season. He is but one example of deflated high hopes.
What position does Adam LaRoche, one of Hahn’s big offseason signings, play?
A) First base.
B) Left field.
I was all for the Sox standing pat at the trade deadline. They had shown enough life that they deserved a chance to compete as constituted. Then they became petrified wood. Something drastic needs to be done.
Now, as I’ve written before, these calls for action likely will go unheeded by Reinsdorf, who thinks of change as a deadly sin. But until something is done, Sox fans can count on one decent team every four or five years and perhaps a contender every 10 years. That’s not enough.
Bring in a new crew with big ideas and let them start over. If that means considering a trade for ace Chris Sale, so be it. I never thought I’d say that about someone so talented, but the Sox are in a hole that only a rebuild can fill.
I’d rather see signs of life than whatever it is I’ve been watching this season.