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South Side Sox’s Top 20 Stories of 2023

Trades, no-hitters, season-long pain ... and Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!

Despite another devastatingly disappointing 2023 season, South Side Sox had a successful campaign by every metric. Our staff made some additions to help weather losses, and the bench remained deep and diverse. Even through the pain, there was some amazing analysis, humor, spot news, recapping, and regular features.

This survey highlights the Top 20-read stories on the site for 2023. There’s a wide range of content in the list that follows (in fact, just missing the cut, at No. 21, there’s a story written in 2022, Brett Ballantini’s analysis of baseball’s new look, Picking apart the limited-pickoffs rule); there will be some painful moments. But we don’t make the highlight tape, we just report on it.

We have writers new and old on this year’s Top 20, and this year sports even more bylines than last. Chances are you’ve already read our most popular stories once, but links are provided with each title in case you want to revisit.

We will continue to provide exhaustive coverage of this team, win or lose. And we promise to offer you a diversity of voices that you should now come to know, and hopefully appreciate, South Side Sox for. Look around — newspapers, magazines, team sites, blogs — you don’t see a staff like this anywhere.

I’m terribly proud of them. And incredibly appreciative of all of you reading. Like Brett says on the podcasts, without you, we’re not here.

Thanks for spending your White Sox time with us.

20. So, you’ve decided not to put an injured player on the injured list?
Dante Jones
July 30

Dante has proven adept at quick-hit columns in the wake of the news, and this was no different. We’ve all been rolling our eyes at White Sox management’s inability to properly manage the IL, but it took Dante’s piece to address it with something more than a short, cutting comment on site.

19. Are the White Sox the worst team in baseball?
Di Billick
April 25

Di always has a spot or spots on our top stories list, with this one asking the question with an answer that became all too clear very early on in the season. And if this wasn’t the first of her stories to feature chats with her Sox-fan father, this one packs the most entertaining ones.

18. George Wolkow signs with White Sox for a cool million
Brett Ballantini
July 18

While there wasn’t a ton of excitement following a somewhat dismal top of the 2023 draft for the White Sox, the club packed a pleasant surprise in Round 8, when blue-chip prep slugger George Wolkow was available and willing to sign with his hometown favorite team.

17. The White Sox don’t deserve us
Dante Jones
April 30

Echoing themes expressed by Di just five days earlier and repeated by all of us (writers and readers alike) all summer, Dante attacks the ugly notion that Luis Robert Jr. — that’s MVP candidate Luis Robert Jr. — doesn’t hustle.

16. Things I did instead of watching an abuser pitch today in the 6-5 White Sox loss
Brett Ballantini
March 11

We’ve already reached the most controversial story on this list, one that even got some failed GOP candidate in Georgia all riled up, attacking me on social media for being some sort of opportunist. But, after all, it was early in spring training, and we as a staff were still feeling our way around how to cover the pitcher we most commonly ended up referring to as [redacted]. Given there was no way to address this player without controversy, we let our own consciousnesses be our guide — we’d sidestep the scumbag entirely.

15. White Sox dumpster dive, send Bummer to Braves
Brett Ballantini
November 17

A lot of the spot-news still falls to Brett, and he does have a knack of turning that quickie coverage into big readership. He, as most of us here do, spins some fast analysis (right, or sometimes even wrong!) into these pieces. There’s little use for us to simply parrot everything that’s already out there. Brett’s take on the return was pretty harsh, but honestly even he’d agree it’s tough to get too verklempt over any 5-for-1 swaps.

14. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf considering relocating, selling team
Salina Rae Silver
August 22

Salina is a new addition of ours, and she’s been terrific. While most of her work for us has been covering the minors (writing and photographing) and some individual player analysis, she put together this spot-news piece during an incredibly tumultuous time in White Sox history.

13. Meet Edgar Quero and Ky Bush, the two new additions from the Lucas Giolito deal
Salina Rae Silver
July 27

And as if on cue, here is another style of writing Salina proved incredibly adept at: player analysis. Whether diagnosing major league slumps or breaking down projections for prospects, she’s been a great addition to our team.

12. Colás No Más, Alás
Leigh Allan
September 15

Like Dante, Leigh Allan provided strong, real-time opinion all season long. This time around, Leigh took on how the decision to send Oscar Colás back down to the minors exposed a much wider, fundamental problem with the White Sox.

11. Jerry gets his way
Brian O’Neill
August 31

Brian is the current bard of our pages, and while this story wasn’t his strongest (the competition is fierce, after all, here he examined the role of luck in our fan fortunes. For Jerry Reinsdorf and him minions, the luck is good; for the rest of us, something well short of “good.”

10. Hallelujah White Sox!!!
Leigh Allan
December 17

There’s a suspicion that Brett having snuck “Shohei Ohtani” into the story url had something to do with Leigh getting Top 10 status with this one, written just two weeks ago. But you’ve just gotta love Leigh’s contrary approach here — celebrating the White Sox not teasing/disappointing us with rumors of free-agent dalliances that could fall short.

9. Look how fast they’ll turn on you
Dante Jones
August 14

Dante hits again, this time with a passionate defense of Tim Anderson and scold of those fans so quick to abandon the heartbeat of the White Sox.

8. White Sox draft steal George Wolkow confirms he will be signing
Tommy Barbee and Darren Black
July 10

Tommy took on the original draft writeup, but it was Darren who quickly spotted a reference to Wolkow’s inclination to sign. It made an uplifting story for the White Sox into a positively giddy one. One of the many benefits of having a pretty large and engaged staff here is that hopefully not much gets past us when it comes to breaking news.

7. The face of the worst rebuild in sports
Dante Jones
November 5

Like Leigh Allan did with his piece indicting Oscar Colás as just a symptom of a larger problem, Dante took the release of Tim Anderson and spun it wider. TA indeed was the face of systematic failure on the South Side.

6. Benetti, Boyer and respect
Brian O’Neill
November 17

For all the stops and starts the White Sox franchise went through in 2023, one repetitive theme of many emerged: the absolute arrogance of the club we follow. Brian wrote about that arrogance, as seen through the prism of Brooks Boyer running off prized broadcaster Jason Benetti.

5. The Mariners rock the White Sox so hard, they’re moving the team
Di Billick
August 21

In the middle of all the news about executive firings and other Reinsdorfian maneuvers, Di covered another loss. To set the seen, Di is talking to herself by the middle of the bottom of the first inning — and the pain only increased from there.

4. The trade the White Sox desperately need to make
July 1
Leigh Allan

You’d be forgiven if you thought this piece ran three months earlier, as Leigh’s joke wrapped in analysis is that the one move the White Sox need to make is ridding themselves of GM Rick Hahn. The team Leigh will foist Rick on? The Tampa Bay Rays.

3. An Open Letter to Jason Benetti
Chrystal O’Keefe, Joe Resis, Ryiin, Dante Jones, Lily Hass, Tommy Barbee, Brett Ballantini, Year of the Hamster, Jacki Krestel and Hannah LaMotta
November 10

Well, this one is self-explanatory, but credit due to the whole staff here for pitching in, and for Chrystal making the suggestion that got the ball rolling.

2. White Sox Minor League Update: May 12
Julie Brady
May 12

I’ll admit, this one has me perplexed. Julie inserted a Tears of the Kingdom reference on the subhed, but drilling into the metrics almost half of readers came from SSS, more than any other traffic source, and there was no tears-of-the-kingdom in the URL. So, aside from Julie’s inherently brilliant writing, was this Update such a winner? Clint Frazier had a great game for Charlotte, Jonathan Cannon took a no-hitter nearly into the sixth inning for the Dash, but it’s not adding up: No comments on the story, and only 5-10 MVP votes on the player polls.

1. White Sox Minor League Update: May 18, 2023
Julie Brady
May 12

While our Minor League Updates do get a lot of attention, it’s amazing that one scored top billing for our readership in 2023. Unlike No. 2 on the list, at least there is some logic to the story, as Connor McCullough through a seven-inning no-hitter for the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. It would seem we were the first and most thorough in reporting that no-hitter, including photo treatment; perhaps that steered some readers our way.

Julie needed to stop writing for us before season’s end in 2023, but we are hopeful she can make a return in 2024. There’s no one better.

Honorable Mention: White Sox release updated 2023 promotional schedule
Jacki Krestel
March 14

We went for some dry stretches without Jacki in 2023, and we were poorer for it. Schedule stories are generally not counted here, but like Chrystal did in 2022, Jacki put some spice into her rundown of White Sox promotions here. Plus, adding this allows us to spotlight 21 stories, not 20. But truth be told, this story was our No. 1 read in 2023.

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