Chicago White Sox: While We Waited Part 6 – The Rebuild
Where it went wrong
Days before Opening Day, the story around the Sox was not the lack of quality acquisitions, but the loss of first baseman LaRoche. The White Sox as an organization asked LaRoche to limit his son’s access to the team’s clubhouse during Spring Training. Upset with Kenny Williams, LaRoche announced his retirement before the season started.
After a decent start to the season, the team fell below .500 on July 17 and were never able to break that invisible wall. On July 23, Chris Sale was scratched from his start just a few hours before the game. At first, it came out that he was sick but everyone knew that was a lie. During the rain delay in that game, the news finally broke that Sale cut up the throwback jerseys. The situation itself and how the front office handled foreshadowed the beginning of the rebuild.
All hope was lost for the core of players to contend after the 2016 season. When the team finished in fourth yet again and failed to reach 80 wins, the manager Robin Ventura resigned. As we all know, that off-season Hahn stripped the team down to the bones and rebuilt the infrastructure. It might be a good thing in the end, but it was tough in real-time.