Apr 6, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) makes a running catch against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY SportsThe Arizona Diamondbacks hired Tony La Russa today to “oversee baseball operations”. If we as White Sox fans didn’t have Rick Hahn as the GM of our team, with the organization headed in the right direction, I’d be upset. Word leaked last year that La Russa wanted back in baseball, and the south side of Chicago was a possible landing spot.
Nothing ever came to fruition, obviously, and I’m just fine with that now, as you all should be. But think about this, La Russa is a great baseball mind, as evidenced by his soon to be Hall of Fame induction this summer. So I’m sure he has an eye for talent, right?
What if La Russa held this position with Arizona over the winter when the Diamondbacks traded away Adam Eaton, who ended up with the White Sox? Would he have given up Eaton in a deal? I say no.
Obviously we have no idea. Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda. But imagine if he was in charge then, and the Sox didn’t acquire Eaton. Where would they be right now? (I know Eaton’s been on the DL for a couple weeks now, but bear with me here.)
The complexion of this ball club would be completely different. Would (gulp) Alejandro De Aza be our lead off hitter/CF again? Probably. And that would not be good.
While Jose Abreu has been the story for the White Sox so far this season, Eaton has been the spark that’s ignited the Sox offense. Who beat out a ground ball at first base to eventually set up Abreu’s game-winning, walk-off grand slam against Tampa Bay a couple weeks ago (man was that awesome)? It was Eaton. Who was getting on base with regularity to have Marcus Semien (still second in RBI among American League rookies to this point even though he lost his starting spot at second base when Gordon Beckham returned from injury)? It was Eaton.
Maybe I’m way off. Maybe Eaton burned some bridges while in Arizona and would have been traded regardless who was in charge. The point is, I think we, as White Sox fans, have something good brewing here. And it all starts with Eaton.
For the first time in a long time, this organization is in good hands, from top to bottom. And while we’re probably not going to win the World Series this year, who’s to say it can’t happen soon? All I know is, the offense begins and ends with Adam Eaton. And Tony La Russa would agree, or at least I’d like to think so.