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Chicago White Sox: Rick Hahn complains about negativity

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox general manager made some comments that described his displeasure with negativity on team-related blogs.

It appears that there is a good chance that some of our articles have caught the attention of someone from the Chicago White Sox front office. Recently, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn did an interview on the White Sox Talk podcast. In typical fashion, Hahn said basically nothing of substance and mostly muttered lawyer-speak about why his baseball team isn’t very good, what they are going to do about it, and when this will all change. Nothing really stood out much except for this one part where Hahn stated:

"“There are some areas now whether it’s White Sox blogs or on twitter universe where just everything’s negative… the glass is always half empty”, “They’d rather have the rebuild fail so that they can say I told you so”"

Now with that being said, it’s hard to sympathize with him. He is in his seventh year as GM and the White Sox have never finished better than 78-84. That’s a bad team, yet it’s the best you’ve managed to field in all this time. That doesn’t bring a lot of confidence going forward. If you want the glass to be half-full, then make a half-good team.

Here’s another thing, he traded Fernando Tatis Jr. for James Shields. A 20-year-old superstar shortstop for one of the worst pitchers in baseball. This is already one of the worst trades of all time, as they lost in the short-term and long-term. There hasn’t been such a lopsided trade since Babe Ruth was dealt for cash to build a theater. If the White Sox don’t turn it around and become a great team, that trade may end up being his legacy.

Tim Anderson is pretty good, but he’s put up basically half the WAR as Tatis in essentially the same amount of games. He’s also six years older. There’s no reason Tim couldn’t be moved to second base and given his superfluous amount of throwing errors it would probably be for the best anyways.

Perhaps most importantly, you lied to the fans two years ago. He said that money won’t be an issue. But then the time came and money was an issue, as you offered Manny Machado 50 million less than what it would take to get him. What he should have done was to be more honest with the fans. Nobody knows about the rest of it, but on a monetary level, he didn’t put his best foot forward. This isn’t just about one player – the White Sox have utterly failed at free agency the past ten years and it is a big part of today’s game, whether anti-player owner Jerry Reinsdorf likes it or not.

The fact is that the people running the White Sox are not exactly Billy Bean. They’re not smart enough to build a team on prospects alone. They just aren’t that good at drafting guys. Since 2005, the only White Sox draft picks that have reached 10 career WAR are Chris Sale and Marcus Semien and both have been traded away. If they’re going to win a championship, they’re going to have to spend the necessary money to do so, and the track record shows they aren’t going to do it.

On the podcast, Hahn said that some “blogs/twitter users” seem like they would rather be “right” then have the team be good. It is time to sign elite (and not mediocre) free agents like Anthony Rendon and Gerrit Cole. They’re going to need both of them, not merely one or the other, but Rendon is such an elite player you could actually make the case that he is as good as Tatis and Machado so you could really make it up to the fans by getting him. Then fill the holes at right field and DH. Call up Luis Robert now so he can learn to adjust to big-league pitching and be a good player next year when the team will be able to compete for the playoffs.

However, none of this will happen. The White Sox won’t do any of these things and will continue to be a mediocre (or worse) baseball team. In the fourth year of their rebuilds, the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros both made the playoffs and got as far as the division series. The White Sox will be in year four next year, and it doesn’t look like they are going to do that. Worst of all, the team has already fallen to 9th in farm system rankings despite not even being good yet.

They’re also probably not going to win the World Series in the next five years either. Anything is possible, but the track record shows that it is extraordinarily unlikely. The White Sox already lucked into one world series and it’s probably not going to happen again, especially considering how hard it is to win for teams that aren’t the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, or San Francisco Giants.

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If they want the articles to be positive then build a positive team. By that, win more games than you lose. They haven’t managed to do that once in seven years as GM. It is time to fix the horrendous offense and add an ace starting pitcher. Have some draft picks pan out, and spend money to fill the offensive holes with elite players.

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