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‘Labor’ strife hits the Sox

And, well, Houston might be having the worst 107-win season ever

Paul Sullivan: Twitter trolls clearly annoy White Sox GM Rick Hahn, even though he insists he’s not ‘frustrated’ by angry tweets
Berth canal: Navigating to the playoffs? You’ve got to massage media and fan demands first, Rick.
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

So it begins.

No doubt that is some weird stuff from Rick, who runs neck-and-neck with Ken Williams as most quotable exec in the city — for better or worse. You can imagine as part of the run-up to every major media event (SoxFest, spring training opener, Opening Day, draft, trade deadline, end-of-season postmortem, Winter Meetings) there is a series of team briefings, meditation training, and linguistic drills, Rick and Ken feel like there in a cool groove, and then ... plop.

“We deserve a seat at the table.”

“We feel our offer was in some ways better.”

“Not usual. More than usual.”

And this really just rates a HUH? on the Williams-Hahn heat scale, because it’s just ... weird.

And then there was this, with a big assist from the White Sox/ex-South Side hurler and current system coach Danny Farquhar:

I mean, jaw-dropping in its brazenness. Stunning in its disingenuousness (looking at you, Grandpa Verlander). Just, gross.

Many fans (not just Houston fans, but baseball fans in general) are shrugging shoulders a bit over this because, after all, sign-stealing falls into that “unwritten rules” grey area. But let’s be clear, this goes well past gamesmanship. Now, you’re getting players speaking up in the aftermath ...

... which means the story has legs and could go deeper.

And, ha-ha, Houston lost the 2019 World Series, didn’t even make it back in 2018, the White Sox actually won the game that Farquhar cited in the athletic story — which is ... not the point.

The Astros not winning key home games in which they had a significant advantage not afforded their opponents doesn’t matter. Houston’s practice of gaming the game does fall outside of the lines.

It will be interesting to see how MLB handles yet another new Astros controversy. Wonder if this one wraps up before the next one starts ...