In case you aren’t fully enjoying the broken ride that is the 2022 White Sox, let me make it worse! Change won’t happen overnight, and it will always come from the top. The White Sox are in desperate need of change, and not just #changethegame or #changethechannel. Real change.
Allow me to play as Jerry Reinsdorf right before I sell the franchise, and fire a few people to build a better White Sox team.
Rick Hahn: General Manager
It all starts from the top of the pyramid. Yes, the top is technically Jerry Reinsdorf, but he won’t sell the team, so why bother with him?
Sure, Eloy Jiménez and Dylan Cease for José Quintana was a great trade. Michael Kopech and Yoán Moncada have been great, too. Johnny Cueto might be the best acquisition in a long time. Yet, Hahn’s track record is often undesirable, and he’s proved many times that he is not to be trusted.
There’s only space for a few awful Rick Hahn moves along his 10-year tenure as general manager for the White Sox, so I’m going to just rip the bandage right off. At the time, Sox fans' most painful memory was Fernando Tatís Jr. and Erik Johnson for James Shields. Perhaps after recent news of Tatís testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and other poor judgment (motorcycle accidents, really?), as well as quite possibly being made of glass, this trade no longer looks as bad.
So what about Hahn’s piece de resistance: Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley, and Rangel Ravelo for Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa. Ouch.
This brings us to another White Sox offseason grab that Hahn could’ve at least tried to put his foot down for.
Tony La Russa: Manager
Ah yes, our re-animated corpse of a manager who hadn’t managed in a decade before making his way back to Chicago to allow Jerry to repent for the sins of the White Sox past.
The hiring of Tony La Russa has ruffled feathers in the White Sox organization. A number of employees have concerns about his ability to connect with younger players and how he will adapt to the field after being away 9 years.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 29, 2020
This was a Jerry Reinsdorf decision. Simple as that.
In 2022, we’ve seen managers fired for much less than falling asleep in the dugout while piloting a grossly underachieving team, starting with Joe Maddon, then Joe Girardi, Charlie Montoya, and finally Chris Woodward. But sleepy La Russa is still hanging around, unaware of most rules and costing the White Sox plenty of games along the way.
Is that not enough? How about intentionally walking hitters with unfavorable counts, on multiple occasions?
Here is one from June:
Tony La Russa with the classic intentional walk on an 0-1 count pic.twitter.com/KjdnUOLLjR— RunYourPool (@RunYourPool_) July 12, 2022
Oh, and August:
Tony La Russa has intentionally walked another batter on a 1-2 count— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 20, 2022
The White Sox were already down 5-2 pic.twitter.com/BHnLONyJ3B
The “Weekend at Bernie’s” schtick is getting old.
Frank Menechino: Hitting Coach
The Menechino magic is long gone, friends. It died somewhere along the warning track at Minute Maid Park. Menechino was called up from Charlotte in 2019 to replace Todd Steverson. While in Charlotte, he helped work with Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert, and pushed the Knights offense to an International League-best 792 runs scored and a franchise-record 208 home runs.
Wait, home runs? What are those?
Let’s compare some notes.
As of right now, the White Sox have 102 home runs, 1,084 hits, 482 runs batted in, and are slugging at .385.
What about 2019, when Steverson was at the helm? With significantly less offensive talent, those White Sox ended with 182 home runs, 1,443 hits, 676 runs batted in, and slugging was at .414. Obviously, we haven’t finished the 2022 season, but with end quickly approaching, does anyone think they’ll match any of those numbers?
OK! Let’s see what Menechino’s first year with the White Sox looked like. There were only 96 home runs, 534 hits, 294 runs batted in, and slugging at .453. For a shortened season of just 60 games, that’s really not bad.
Now for his first full year with the White Sox, 2021: 190 home runs (highest since 211 in 2012), 1,373 hits, 757 runs batted in, and .422 slugging.
Just for fun, let’s see about extra base hits in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, there were 275 doubles and 22 triples. For 2022, 205 doubles and just eight triples.
But fuck the home run, right? It’s time for Frank to go.
Daryl Boston: First Base Coach
“You guys are scaring me,” Cindy Powell told Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, and Daryl Boston, according to her statements to police. “I’m not into this, I don’t know what you’re doing — you’re scaring me.”
“You should be flattered,” she said Boston told her. “Here we are, three black men, and we all want you.” According to her statements, Boston and Gooden began to kiss her on her neck and back.
The rape lasted for two hours, Powell told police. “I just wanted them to do what the fuck they had to do and get off me,” she said. “Once I gave in, I felt no pain.”
This happened in 1991. No one was ever charged.
But Chrystal, what does this have to do with baseball? In case you didn’t know, I’m a woman. And South Side Sox has several women writers on staff that provide excellent coverage day and night. Knowing that someone capable of doing such awful things stands by first base to coach players feels like a gut punch.
Omar Vizquel’s time eventually came, perhaps too late — but he’s no longer employed by the organization. So why is Boston still here? Why are we still allowing alleged predators a job anywhere, let alone in sports?
Joe McEwing: Third Base Coach
Where do I begin? Ah, yes, just yesterday, McEwing sent the slowest player on the team (and likely the slowest in all of baseball) with known knee issues diving into home plate with no outs and a lead. Yasmani Grandal was out by a foot, clutching his knee and writhing in pain.
The good news:
Grandal is preliminarily projected to return to play in 10-14 days.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 21, 2022
But why was Grandal sent? This could also be a La Russa issue, as Adam Engel should’ve been in to pinch-run (where was the guy yelling at Tony?!) Alas, this is not even close to the first time Super Joe has sent runners home only to be called out or worse, injured.
Is Joe McEwing stopping the runner or sending him?— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) May 18, 2022
Answer in the first comment. Tell me if you were right. pic.twitter.com/jTvyleAfxP
So ... who will get fired first?
No one. We know how this all plays out.
But should they all go? Yes.