White Sox fans lament organizational failures as they watch Bryce Harper win the NL Pennant
It’s hard out here for a Chicago White Sox fan.
Aside from being the “Second City’s Second Team”, being reduced to a trivia question associated with gambling, and growing up, watching your team as the bad guy in two feel–good baseball movie franchises (One of which required literal divine intervention). This past year, White Sox fans suffered through the most disappointing season in recent memory, going from being favored to win the World Series to finishing 81-81. Now we have to watch an old target go to the World Series the team could be playing in.
Sometimes my TL just gives this lifelong White Sox fan multiple kicks to the groin… pic.twitter.com/Y7aDmWnAOf
— Spooky FitzMagic🍀🎃 (@CheapSeats411) October 23, 2022
A common thread in White Sox fans’ suffering can be traced back to lousy ownership. I already wrote about Jerry Reinsdorf “Reinsdorfing” a managerial search. But we also have to talk about another facet of the rebuild, and a White Sox fans’ nightmare.
The Ride #WhiteSox The Ride
Fans Were Expecting to #WhiteSox
Enjoy: Fans got: pic.twitter.com/k5HEO8Mc8P
— Sell The White Sox (@HashTagWhiteSox) October 23, 2022
I already brought up in my last blog that the White Sox were in contention to sign then-free agents Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado. We all know how this ended. This year’s National League Championship Series pitted Bryce Harper’s Philadelphia Phillies and Machado’s San Diego Padres. The Phillies won the series 4-1, with Harper blasting a two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning of game 5 to give the Phillies a 4-3 victory.
Almost immediately, White Sox fans on Twitter, aka “White Sox Twitter”, lamented what could have been. General manager Rick Hahn had offered Manny Machado and his agent a $250 million deal, which Machado implicitly spurned to sign a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres. Then they gave up on Bryce Harper, even after Harper expressed interest in playing for the Sox (Do the White Sox have a bad time dealing with Scott Boras?).
Bryce Harper wanted to play for the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/lXxs410hF4 https://t.co/UJjtmIKADj
— Wes Offerman (@wesoff) October 23, 2022
So of course, Sox fans were mad at the organizational failures. It’s not that Jerry Reinsdorf can’t afford either or both players. Forbes estimated his worth to be $1.8 billion. It was only this year that the Bulls, whom Jerry also owns, finally offered a 9-digit contract, a 5-year, $215.2 million deal for Zach Lavine (who doesn’t think highly of Reinsdorf it seems, but that’s another story). Point is, the White Sox could easily have afforded Harper, Machado, or both. But Jerry may have “Reinsdorfed”, or “Dorf’d” the process, unwilling to spend that much on them.
Most importantly, the Phillies made moves in-season that the White Sox did not do. They fired then-manager Joe Girardi after a 22-29 start, after which they went on a 7-game winning streak, signed Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber in free agency, and acquired Noah Syndergaard at the trade deadline.
The White Sox, well… they got Jake Diekman?
Remember when the Phillies fired their manager early into the season? Now they’re going to the World Series.
*cries in White Sox fan*
— Chrystal O’Keefe (@chrystal_ok) October 23, 2022
It is impossible to say what could have happened if the Sox did get Bryce Harper. Who knows, maybe they could have gone to the World Series this year. Or, with their already-stacked lineup, they didn’t need him. Hindsight is 20/20, of course. White Sox fans have unfortunately gotten used to watching other teams succeed while they… don’t. They don’t know what the organization will do in the offseason.
A once-promising rebuild is looking shaky. The new manager might not be able to fix everything, and there are huge concerns about the minor league system (this author believes the White Sox should model themselves after the St. Louis Cardinals in that regard, but that’s just my opinion. Disclaimer: This author’s father is a lifelong Cardinals fan from southern Illinois). It was probably inevitable that calls for Jerry to sell the White Sox finally materialized.
Scott Boras is no prize to deal with but Reinsdorf’s kindergarten mentality with him has cost the Sox through the years for sure. https://t.co/4RoOXMM7LU
— Mike Eulitz (@NdEulitz) October 24, 2022
And to top it all off, they canceled SoxFest.
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