The Chicago White Sox were eliminated by the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series. It was a tough way to go out after the team had one of the best years in its franchise history. We know that they will be back but it was very sad at the moment. Changes will be made and they will be back better than ever in 2022.
Despite this, there is one thing that people want to ignore. That is the fact that the Houston Astros are just a really good baseball team. They cheated in 2017 and many people were punished because of it. 3 coaches lost their job (two with other teams as a result of suspensions) and the general manager is gone.
Some speculate that the cheating went all the way through 2019 and they may be right. Many feel that the punishment didn’t hit all of the right people (like the players) and that is okay. The thing that makes this all the worse is that the Houston Astros clearly didn’t need to cheat. Like at all.
They are showing us right now just how good that organization is from a baseball ops perspective. They have constructed a lineup that just does not quit in any game. 1-8 they are dominant and then the 9th spot is held by one of the best defensive catchers we have in the game right now.
The Chicago White Sox should take some things and learn from the Houston Astros.
Jose Altuve has embraced the role of the villain and he is a marvelous baseball player. As good as he is, he is also extremely clutch. He hits timely home runs and can come up with that big hit of any variety at any time. He also has an amazing supporting cast with guys like Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, and the ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez.
This group climbed out of a 2-1 series hole that looked like doom and gloom for them. They won three straight games to advance to the World Series for the third time in the last five years. They really are in the middle of a dynasty. The Boston Red Sox had an awesome run and deserves a lot of credit but the Astros were just too strong.
Although there were some tight races down the stretch in terms of the Wild Card, it is fair to say that the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Ray, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees were the five best teams in the American League. Houston proved to be better than all of them in a year here people wanted to see someone new (like the White Sox).
It isn’t all bad. The White Sox can take the (baseball-related) things that the Astros do well and try and bring it next year. They are the measuring stick that needs to be used for offseason planning. The White Sox have a really deep lineup but their approach may need to change. They also need to have healthier pitching in the playoffs.
There will be some changes that come in the offseason as a result of this. It was tough the day the White Sox were eliminated because Houston felt beatable but they weren’t. They deserve respect, even if you don’t like them.
They will play the National League Champion in the World Series which will be determined over this weekend as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves finish their series. It is going to be a very exciting end to a very fun season.