Chicago White Sox fans are left to think about what might have been now that the Texas Rangers have moved on to the American League Championship Series.
In the aftermath of a disappointing 2022 season in which the White Sox finished with an 81-81 record, a coaching vacancy was created when the team and manager Tony La Russa decided to part ways.
Among the names available at that time was another former manager whose resume was probably better than anyone's out there.
Bruce Bochy led four teams to the World Series in his career, (winning three times with the San Francisco Giants and losing once with the San Diego Padres) and is on the verge of going to a fifth following the Rangers' AL Divisional Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Chicago White Sox made a mistake by not bringing Bruce Bochy in.
Bochy retired from baseball following the 2019 season and, at the time, was 12th in all-time wins as a manager.
However, then White Sox general manager Rick Hahn felt the right choice to get the team to the next level wasn't the proven manager with World Series titles, but, instead, a first-time manager in Pedro Grifol.
While Grifol was managing a team that finished with 101 losses, Bochy's Rangers went on to win 90 games and a playoff berth.
Bochy now is in the top 10 on that managerial wins list after taking over the helm of a team that won just 68 games the year before.
While the Rangers were playing good baseball throughout the season and contending for a playoff spot under his leadership, the White Sox sputtered behind Grifol and wound up hitting the century mark in losses for the fourth time in team history.
It is not a certainty that he could have done the same with the Chicago White Sox, but for a team that was division champs as recently as 2021 and whose window of opportunity seems to be closing, Bochy might have been the best choice for the team to get the most out of the talent it has.
Rangers' general manager Chris Young, who played one year for Bochy when the two were with the Padres, looks like a genius for bringing him into the fold, while Hahn's choice backfired and led to him, along with team president Kenny Williams, being fired.
Young has put together a solid ball club by bringing in the likes of second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Cory Seager, pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Dane Dunning, and pitching coach Mike Maddux to name a few.
Bringing Semien is one example of what separates the Rangers from the White Sox. Young addressed a team need by bringing in the former White Sox slugger to play second base and occasional shortstop. Since joining the team in 2022, Semien has played in 161 and 162 games each of the last two years.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have gone through a revolving door of players at second base, including trying out shortstop Tim Anderson at the position while settling on veteran Elvis Andrus who had not played there before.
The Rangers have also spent money. Over the last two years, the Rangers have spent $889.9 million on free agents such as Semien, Seager, and Jacob deGrom. They also got active at the trade deadline, making several moves including one that brought over starting pitcher Max Scherzer from the Mets.
In the end, the glue to all of this was Bochy. Young knew he was the right man when he said:
" "I think we needed a presence. We needed someone who could create the environment we wanted, create a daily expectation of winning"."
That "daily expectation of winning" is something the White Sox can only hope happens as soon as possible.