What a terrific time to be a White Sox fan!
The holiday season is too often a stressful season, nerves sent to the edge by decisions on presents and parties and food and hangovers. It’s no time for baseball to tauten the tension even more by making fans anxious about which free agent will go where, what trade may or may not be made. Which makes Sox fandom perfect, as we as a group watch others sweat out the Hot Stove League and join followers of the Pirates and A’s and Rockies, sitting calmly in the bleachers of the Malfunctioning Microwave Association.
I’m just back in Chicago from Los Angeles, where axons were being axed as Dodgers fans fretted over whether their team would end up signing Shohei Ohtani. Sure, they were the favorites to pen the superstar, but given Ohtani’s penchant for privacy they knew all kinds of things could go wrong and devastation would ensue.
And that’s the team that won the battle. Think of the awful impact on fans of the Blue Jays, who thought they’d won the lottery when a private jet flying from LAX to Toronto was wrongly identified as bearing the $700 million man when it merely carried billionaire Shark Tank shark Robert Herjavec. And the Jays weren’t flying alone — fans of the New York teams, the Mariners, the Giants, and — shall we gloat — that other team in town all had to be totally frazzled, aggravated even more by holiday stress.
But we White Sox fans? Cool as Lake Michigan in February, knowing there was no possibility Ohtani was headed our way. Heck, our esteemed chairman even invited a fine by announcing it would never happen.
And it’s not just Ohtani, not by a long shot. Did you get uptight when Aaron Nola re-upped with the Phillies, lose sleep when Sonny Gray signed with the Cardinals, get your knickers in a knot when Jung-hoo Lee went to the Giants or ERod went to Arizona or the Tigers loaded up on pitchers or even Kansas City got aggressive? Of course not — you just sat back, poured another eggnog and let the baseball world slide on by.
The future is just as bright. Where might Yoshinobu Yamamoto be headed, or Cody Bellinger or Marcus Stroman or Blake Snell or Josh Hader? Who cares? We’re sure it’s not us, so relax.
Did you fret at the possibility some other team would jump in on Erick Fedde or Max Stassi or Yerardo Ciofani? Of course not — the very fact they were considering the White Sox meant no one else wanted them.
As for trades, bet you didn’t post a picture of Juan Soto on your “gotta get ’im” board in place of Stassi, And you may be wondering which team will steal the White Sox blind in a trade for Dylan Cease — but you’re not all that concerned, are you? So go back to deciding whether grandpa will really be thrilled when he opens a box and find a tie that lights up to say, “I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid.”
And as for non-players, you most certainly didn’t think there was the slightest possibility the White Sox would hire Craig Counsell or have an eye on James Click, did you?
No and no. ’Tis the season of peace on turf for all of us.
The Chicago White Sox — the gift that keeps on giving.