Welcome to the SSS Summary — a little review of what happened this past week in Chicago White Sox baseball, including on-the-field play, the front office jibber-jabber, and everything in-between. Even if you don’t want to remember what happened, sorry, we will tell you anyway.
Recency bias is real; we overstate our current experiences’ significance. Throughout the various forms of social media over the past several months, I’ve seen numerous White Sox fans complain that this is the worst season they can remember. While for some younger South Side followers, if the team can’t manage to squeak out 63 wins, they’re actually 100% accurate. The worst team in the last 30 years was the 2018 rebuilding squad that lost 100 games. On the other hand, those with 55+ years of fandom have definitely seen worse. 1970, anyone?
The Opening Day lineup in 1970 included some names you might recognize, including Bill Melton, Tommy John, and Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio. That band of brothers went 56-106 on the season, with the most notable acquisition that year easily being the hiring of Nancy Faust to play the organ at the stadium. Honestly, we all know the Sox have never made a better decision than bringing Nancy on board. She was the BEST!
With 37 games left on the schedule, I suppose there’s a possibility that the current team doesn’t win another six games to fall below that 1970 club. However, it’s undoubtedly more likely that they end up somewhere around the 60-102 mark. Which, yes, would make the 2023 Chicago White Sox the worst team in the last 52 years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive and probably true for many South Side die-hards as well.
Doing a bit of a deep dive, I discovered that the 1948 season was the worst one in franchise history by winning percentage (.336); they were 51-101, as they didn’t play 162 games until 1961. For those of you who are still alive that remember that season, first of all, I’m glad you’re still with us. Also, I’m sorry you’ve endured a substantial amount of White Sox torture. Being subjected to that much agony utterly sucks.
So, after an entirely miserable season, many of us are frustrated, disenfranchised, disgusted, disappointed, sad, pissed off, tired, etc. Just pick your adjective. For most of my life, it seems the ownership and front office have been entirely tone-deaf for fans’ experience. Hopefully, this time around, they’re trolling the cesspool of X and other media platforms, and they’ll do what’s WAY overdue. Strip this thing down to the studs, gut the rot, and do whatever it takes to bring winning baseball back to the South Side.
The Recaps Worth Revisiting
Tuesday, August 15: White Sox 5, Cubs 3
This game briefly provided us with the hope that, at the very least, we could hang our hat on the Crosstown Classic trophy this year. Welp, we can’t do that either because the Cubs clobbered us on Wednesday. Anyway, back to Tuesday.
The Sox took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first by manufacturing a run! Can you believe it? Well, that lead didn’t last long as the Cubs went up 2-1 in their half of the first on an Ian Happ two-run blast. Have no fear, though; the Sox retook the lead in the top of the second after a two-run single by Elvis Andrus drove home Yasmani Grandal and Zach Remillard, who had walked and singled, respectively. The Cubs tied the game 3-3 when Seiya Suzuki hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth.
The Good Guys would score what ended up being the winning run on a Luis Robert Jr. rocket shot to left-center field in the top of the seventh. They then scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Andrew Benintendi doubled home Andrus who had singled and stole second.
Touki Toussaint took the bump for the South Siders and surrendered three runs on three hits and five walks, striking out four in four innings. The arm barn of Tanner Banks, Lane Ramsey, Aaron Bummer, and Gregory Santos held the Cubs scoreless for five innings. Ramsey earned the win, Bummer the hold, and Santos the save.
Sunday, August 20: White Sox 10, Rockies 5
Boy, oh boy, this was a series to forget. After getting pummeled by one of the worst teams in baseball on Friday and Saturday, Chicago managed to grab a comeback win on Sunday.
Dylan Cease tried to follow up his two previous starts with another gem, but that was definitely not to be. He stunk up the joint. He surrendered five runs on eight hits with two walks and struck out six in 4 2⁄3 innings. The good news was the bullpen held on to a lead, and Brian Shaw, Bummer, and Santos shut the door on Colorado.
The Sox offense collected fourteen hits, including home runs by Andrew Vaughn and Lenyn Sosa. The Andrews (Benny and AV) both went 3-for-5 on the day. Down 5-3 in the top of the eighth, the Good Guys decided getting swept by the Rockies was just too embarrassing. With the bases loaded and no outs, Yoán Moncada doubled to right, tying things up 5-5. Displaying a never-give-up attitude that we really haven’t seen this season, Oscar Colás hit a double that scored two more, making it 7-5. That’s all they would need to secure the win, but they locked in three more runs, two off of a Lenyn Sosa dinger, to guarantee a victory.
The Defensive Disport of the Week
An Amazing Play from a Disappointing Player
Yoán Moncada, a former No. 1 prospect, has been a total disappointment. He has not come close to the player we all expected. However, he occasionally makes a defensive play that reminds you of what he was supposed to be, and one of those occurred in Saturday’s game. In the bottom of the second, Moncada saved two runs with a magnificent play up the left field line.
The Week’s Top Three Biggest BLASTS
Luis Robert Jr., 447 feet, Saturday, August 19
In the top of the eighth inning, La Pantera smashed his 33rd gopher of the year. It’s been a blast watching Luis develop into a well-rounded professional.
Elvis Andrus, 439 feet, Friday, August 18
Elvis has been on quite a streak over his last 15 games; he’s slashing .393/.404/.625. I think this is what Sox fans were hoping for when he was signed right before Spring Training. On Friday, he hit the 100th no-doubter of his career.
Luis Robert Jr., 422 feet, Tuesday, August 15
In the top of the seventh inning, Luis blasted a solo jack that quieted the Wrigley Field faithful.
The White Sox signed outfielder Wilfred Veras out of the Dominican Republic for $200,000 in 2019. Veras has quite the baseball pedigree. His father, Wilton, played for the Boston Red Sox, and you may recognize his uncle, Fernando Tatis Sr., and cousin, Fernando Tatis Jr.
The 20-year-old has been flying through the minor league system, starting in Rookie ball in 2021, Low-A and Double-A in 2022, and High-A and Double-A in 2023. Since arriving in Birmingham this year, he’s crushing it, slashing .351/.383/.596 with a .979 OPS. Bat speed and strength are all there for the youngster, but he struggles with breaking pitches and plate approach.
On the defensive side, he started his professional journey as an infielder. However, it quickly became evident that his average arm and below-average quickness seemed to be a liability. Therefore, he has spent most of 2023 in the outfield corners and at DH. Veras currently projects to debut in 2025.
Other Tasty Tidbits
The club called up Lenyn Sosa on Aug. 18 to replace Eloy Jiménez, who is on the paternity list. Sosa is the team’s No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and this is his third stint in the bigs for 2023. He played in all three games at second base this past weekend in Colorado and went 3-for-9 with one home run.
Running Down the Rehabbers
No news is good news. Incredibly, there are no new injuries to report. I’m too lazy to go back through and look at all the summaries from the season, but this might just be the first week someone didn’t hurt a part of their body. Honestly, I’m in a bit of shock.
It’s another harrowing week of White Sox baseball, I’m afraid. And by the time it’s over, we will have had 10 straight days of enduring it. The Good Guys have a seven-game homestand where they’ll host the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s.
The M’s come into Chicago for a three-game set playing crazy good ball in August. They’re 13-4 on the month and currently hold one of the three AL Wild Card spots. Julio Rodríguez is a legit superstar and loads of fun to watch.
The Athletics are the worst team in all of baseball and thoroughly terrible, but not the worst they’ve ever been, if you can believe it. Throw it back to the 1916 Philadelphia A’s, who had an embarrassing .285 winning percentage. However, if they keep up their current pace, the 2023 team will be their third-worst team ever. Which, you know, means they’re for sure winning all four of the games against the White Sox. The real question will be, though, which fan base will be yelling louder this weekend, “Sell the team!”
Which White Sox prospect are you most excited about?
This poll is closed
Colson Montgomery, SS
Noah Schultz, LHP
Edger Quero, C
Jacob Gonzales, SS
Jake Eder, LHP