One of the things I have asking a lot of people about lately is their feelings on the Chicago White Sox. It’s an honest question about what they think of the team at a time when I have all but completely blotted them out of my entertainment schedule.
Most of what I’ve gotten as feedback from people is, as expected, not good. Considering that the team has one of the worst in all of Major League Baseball, this should come as no surprise.
The most common theme from people is that they should blow the team up and start over. It’s a common term that is used when a fan base gets sick of the product on the field. In other words, make drastic changes.
My friend Bill from Channahon, a life-long Sox fan, is “completely sick of” the team and like me won’t watch at all. Like me, he has been relegated to catching bits and pieces of news on the team from various sources, and he was very unhappy about Alex Rios being taken out of Friday’s game for not running out a ground ball to shortstop that should have gone as an error. He is one in a long line of people who have insisted to me that the Sox get rid of Rios as soon as possible. His actual words were that they should “get a bag of baseballs for him” and call it even.
Mark from Minooka and Bruce from Morris both agree with that when I asked them what they should do to improve the team.
Bill and George from Morris say that the White Sox are in the shape they are in because of former general manager Kenny Williams and that it’’s not the taut of current GM Rick Hahn. They’d like to hear Hawk Harrelson say ‘He gone’ when in comes to Williams, too.
Speaking of Hawk, many Sox fans I know find his style to be wearing thin these days. Still, he doesn’t ruin it for me the way Ed Farmer does as a play-by-play man on the radio. I actually didn’t mind Farmer as a color analyst, but he unbearable doing play-by-play.
But I digress.
Earlier in season, Mark also said that he’d get rid of Gavin Floyd, but he is done for the year with an injury and likely will not be back with the team since he is a free agent after this year.
What makes things feel even more awful for White Sox fans is that, in addition to the team being bad, the organization was ranked next to last in all of baseball as far as overall talent is concerned according to baseballamerica.com
“They probably have less reason to be optimistic, short or long term, than any team in baseball,” Mark from Seneca said.
I did a little bit of quick research as to who mlb.com said the top White Sox prospects were in 2012. Brace yourselves because these numbers are not pretty.
The No. 2 prospect was Courtney Hawkins — he’s currently hitting .189 in Class A Winston Salem with 115 strikeouts in 65 games. The No. 5 prospect was Keenyn Walker — he’s currently hitting .199 at AA Birmingham with 109 strikeouts in 90 games. The No. 9 prospect was Jared Mitchell — he’s currently hitting .178 combined with 88 strikeouts in 66 games between Charlotte and Birmingham. The top prospect was Trayce Thompson, and he’s currently hitting a robust .246 with 65 strikeouts in 95 games with Birmingham.
Those guys are all outfielders and are ranked by mlb.com as No. 2, No. 1, No. 9 and No. 5. The current No. 4 prospect is infielder Carlos Sanchez and he is hitting .236 at Charlotte in 91 games.
Catcher Josh Phegley was ranked as the Sox 16th best prospect by mlb.com and he has been a pleasant surprise in the little time he has been up, but there doesn’t look to be much more by the way of pleasant surprises coming from the minor leagues.
As far as position players who you could get something for by the trade deadline, Rios and shortstop Alexei Ramirez are about all the team has in trade value. Gordon Beckham would also probably be a solid trade piece but he’s probably the closest thing to a “franchise player” they have other than pitcher Chris Sale.
Paul Konerko is 37 with a bad back, to this point Dyan Viciedo is pretty much a bust, Alejandro De Aza has shown virtually no improvement and is 29 years old and Adam Dunn — well, just fagetaboutit. Who’s left as an asset at all? Jeff Keppinger, Tyler Flowers or Conor Gillaspie? Please.
At least the Cubs always have next year to look forward to. That’s pie in the sky for the White Sox right now, I’m afraid.