Welcome to Soxivus 2023! For those of you actively following the White Sox, it may feel like you’ve never left. Between exiling players and announcers, canceling the lone semblance of fan interaction, and the steaming pile of “product” on the field, we’ve had plenty to complain about all year long.
And us? We had to write about it, talk about it, hope against hope that there would be a silver lining along the way.
For a split second, it happened with the announced firing of Ken Williams and Rick Hahn. It was the perfect opportunity for a fresh voice and perspective to oversee the organization. Instead, Jerry Reinsdorf promoted an internal candidate with a similarly underwhelming background in Chris Getz. Jerry also gave a once-in-a-lifetime, bumbling presser, where he sang the praises of one David Eckstein. You know, like a guy who clearly understands the game of modern baseball.
While all this is happening, the White Sox ticket office and social media teams have to pretend to be excited about the product and sell you, the fan, on that sad product.
With that in mind, Week 4 of our Soxivus celebration, which we release early as a gift under the tree for you, addresses Soxivus Miracles: What needs to happen in 2024 to make our fandom in any way worthwhile.
This story is your written companion to our Miracles podcast (click link, or listen on our embedded megaphone player at the bottom of this story).
There is no miracle to come on the field for the White Sox in 2024, at least not one worth singling out as cause for
World Series playoff . 500 fewer-than-100-losses hope. So let’s dispense with on-field dreams.
I’m not going to root for any deaths or even firings; the White Sox made this mess, so they can luxuriate in it for a while, even it mean we fans will need to live under rocks for the rest of the 2020s.
So I’ll be selfish and suggest something implausible but doable, as has been merited for at least the last 10-15 years of this site’s existence: A season credential for South Side Sox, to use for our game and team coverage.
We write on every game, even when the club has not merited such (if any team deserves “agate paragraph summary” coverage in 2024, it’s the White Sox). The team’s definition of “accredited” media is malleable. So as the White Sox market share shrinks to Chicago Dogs or Schaumburg Flyers levels, you’d think any additional attention — including from a site run by a former beat writer and filled with tenured and responsible staff, including those who made the trek to the park to cover in 2020 — would be welcomed.
I’m not holding my breath. But that would be a miracle that would hit home for all of us here, writers and readers alike.
It might be an obvious choice, but the only true miracle I can muster with the current iteration of the White Sox is that the rebuild works this time.
Yes, it’s a stretch for an organization that previously treated rebuilds like flipping houses without permits or a blueprint. Still, there’s a pipeline of nearly MLB-ready decent to good talent.
Of course, a successful rebuild isn’t that simple, because this miracle would require three components:
Historically, the White Sox have struggled to get even two of those three things going, but once again, let’s assume this time it’s different.
Heading into next fall, I can picture the optimism of Sox fans as guys like Colson Montgomery, Noah Schultz, Edgar Quero, Nick Nastrini, and Jake Eder all show glimpses of being bona fide MLB starters. Then, with that foundation seemingly in place, it’s up to GM Chris Getz and the rest of the front office to have the foresight to build around this new core properly.
Can that happen? Well, if history tells us anything, it would take a miracle.
This will be utterly unrealistic, but I hope that Chris Getz telling us that Pedro Grifol was coming back for 2024 was only a fever dream. So after the holidays, Getz will hold a surprise press conference announcing that the White Sox are conducting a managerial search. When reporters ask Getz why he’s had a change of heart, he espouses that the ghost of Joe Jackson visited him and told him that he needed to do it.
I know, completely ridiculous, right? Well, truly, anything and everything ridiculous falls in perfect step with the circus on the South Side! Seriously hiring a legitimate manager might help me be a bit more optimistic about the future, albeit just a smidge.
Miracles do happen! If there’s ever a silver lining to rebuilding — or just being bad — it’s that by cycling through the league’s overlooked and cast-off players to fill out your roster, you often find a diamond in the rough who becomes much more fun to root for than your average first round pick.
At least, that’s what most teams do; I’ll reserve judgement here until I know whether we’re going to see Gavin Sheets in 118 games next year. Still, there’s always the hope that we can find our own Jake Arrieta (minus the attitude), or perhaps a Cedric Mullins, or the Cy Young version of Dallas Keuchel.