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As you might expect, much of what we hope to gift the White Sox centers around the front office and Rick Hahn.
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South Side Soxivus 2023: Gifts

This Christmas morning, some of our staffers share what they hope they could give the White Sox for 2023

We started this Soxivus season with the Calling of Managers, then moving on to Grievances and Feats of Strength, and the Worst and Best Games of 2022. Most recently, we ran our Soxivus Miracles for 2023.

And among the new categories in our Soxivus celebration is this brainchild of Melissa Sage-Bollenbach: Soxivus gifts.

What would we give to the White Sox this holiday season? Read on and find out.


On the 12th Day of Christmas
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach

I’m giving out some unique gifts to White Sox players/coaches/fans during the 12 days of Christmas.

  1. Jake Diekman A gift certificate for a one-on-one facial hair grooming session with former Sox southpaw Dallas Keuchel, so that Jake no longer looks like he doesn’t own a mirror.
  2. Eloy Jiménez A new catchphrase, because “Hi, Mom!” needs to go. What about “See the ball, hit the ball OVER the fence (please do not run into it, either)?”
  3. Joe Kelly LASIK eye surgery to help him see home plate.
  4. Andrew Vaughn A framed photo of José Abreu to keep in his locker for inspiration.
  5. Leury García A one-way ticket out of town, so we never have to see him again.
  6. Luis Robert Another different nickname, one that’s more accurate, like The One-Armed Bandit.
  7. Gavin Sheets A brand new, state-of-the-art, shiny first baseman’s glove, and it’s the only one he’s EVER allowed to use.
  8. Dylan Cease An online poetry class, so he can write a better one next time.
  9. Mike Clevinger A stylist, because that dude needs some help.
  10. Lucas Giolito A Harry Potter time turner, so we can get back 2019 and 2020 Gio.
  11. Pedro Grifol A four-leaf clover and all the luck I can possibly drum up. The guy will need every ounce of it to get more than 75 wins out of this team.
  12. White Sox fans A new owner and front office. After all, we deserve nice things, too.

Giving to others
Dante Jones

One of my favorite parts about Christmas is opening the presents, but I’m one of those people who loves giving gifts as much as receiving them. So for this Christmas (insert the song,) the White Sox should focus on giving gifts to other teams. Mainly: relievers.

Last year, bad ol’ Saint Rick spent his money for gifts to the fans on relievers, and pretty much only relievers. This year, he can give to fans by taking away from his “super bullpen.” Regifting is usually a bad thing, but sometimes that’s how you can make someone else happy. I’m sure that a team like the Dodgers or the Braves would love an Aaron Bummer in their stuffing this year.


A Soxivus Eve (with a gift for us all)
Joe Resis

“If there ever got to the point where I felt I wasn’t the right person in my role, I’d step aside.” This quote from Rick Hahn on October 3 came on the heels of a quote where Hahn said that nobody is harder on him than himself. In this moment, Hahn was answering a question about how grateful he is to still have ownership’s support.

There is a lot to unpack here, but it is safe to conclude that both of Hahn’s comments are false. For one, the White Sox have not had much to celebrate in Hahn’s 10 years as GM (700-817 in the regular season, 2-5 in two playoff appearances). In the vast majority of other professional sports organizations, a general manager with that track record would not be able to keep the job after 10 years. With only 30 of these high-paying, high-status jobs available, and with no other organizations likely to have any interest in giving Hahn a similar opportunity, I cannot picture a circumstance where Hahn would voluntarily leave.

In addition, Hahn’s quote indicates that he believes he remains the right person for the GM role. While that level of confidence is important, it is insufficient on its own, and there is no way he can claim to be his own harshest critic. Hahn’s approval rating at an all-time low, and as a result, fans who believe he is the right person for the job are hard to find. Therefore, contrary to this absurd claim, Hahn seems to be among his own most lenient critics. This was arguably the lowlight of a press conference that had many White Sox fans up in arms and with good reasoning. A gift to them would be sending Hahn packing.


Jerry Gets a Big, Fat Check
Allie Wesel

“Sell the team” banners began appearing at Guaranteed Rate Field during the team’s second-half downward spiral, and I can’t say I disagree with these people. For the holidays this year, I would love to deliver Jerry Reinsdorf a check to purchase the team.

I have said it before and I will say it again, the problems that continue to occur with this team are systemic, and until the entire front office is cleaned out and ownership changes, nothing is going to improve on the South Side. I gift Jerry a check, he hands the team over, and I subsequently fire everyone.

Is this a tall order gift? Will I probably come up short? Yes and yes.

But hey, a girl can dream.


Innovation
Brett Ballantini

You can read in more detail about it in a feature I wrote last week, but my gift to the White Sox is innovative thinking. Specifically, a willingness to roster six legitimate MLB starters among the 26- or 28-player active roster in 2023. The details, of which most of you who commented seemed to get behind, are simple: A starter is usually (always?) on the IL, so while one sits/rehabs/rests, the other five are in the rotation. Even if a starter never missed one turn all year, a six-man rotation would yield 27 starts per pitcher. An it is a guarantee that whether due to health or performance, there is no way the White Sox (or any team, ever) is rolling out six strong from April to October.

But I can pull the camera back, especially given the likelihood of Rick Hahn adding anything significant to the roster by Opening Day (much less a rotation piece) is slim. Innovation from a stagnant front office is hard to come by. But let’s hope the new training or game-readiness staff is given free reign to improve White Sox methods. Or that Pedro Grifol was hired for more than his willingness to be marionetted by Hahn.

Something, anything to indicate we aren’t just watching the clock tick down on the so-called contention window, would be quite a gift to fans. I wish I truly had the power to give that courage to the front office.

Poll

There’s a lot to parse through here, even from just a handful of writers, but which gift would you most like to see the White Sox get this holiday season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    New stylists for Diekman, Clevinger ...
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    New nicknames for Eloy, Luis ...
    (1 vote)
  • 12%
    Shipping off some of the mega-pen to fill other holes on the roster
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    A new front office
    (12 votes)
  • 65%
    New ownership
    (51 votes)
  • 2%
    Innovative thinking (six arms for five slots ...)
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    My own gift, which I will share down in the comments
    (0 votes)
78 votes total Vote Now
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