The White Sox need a retool but nobody should trust this front office
Here we are a month and a half into the supposed winning season and talks of blowing the whole thing up again are gaining more traction.
Maybe a month ago, fans were willing to give things a shot one more time, ready to get hurt again. Today, though, fans are sick of losing when promised they would be winning and they want changes.
In December 2015, I was among the few who thought this team could win with Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, and the rest. A couple of moves here and there with the right free-agent signings and that team could have won.
However, the holes started to show and a rebuild at that time was necessary. Players were not getting along, leadership was out the door, and it seemed like everyone was playing for themselves.
The atmosphere needed to change and surprisingly, Jerry Riensdorf okayed a full-scale rebuild. A new core developed and fans waited eagerly.
The Chicago White Sox need to make some impactful changes very soon.
In this instance, the front office did everything right for about three years. Slowly the Daniel Palka and Derek Holland-type players were moving out and the new core was on its way up.
There are a few ways to interpret the core but five players (two pitchers and three position players) fit the bill. The clear-cut leaders of this team should be Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert Jr, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Cease. The fact of the matter is they are the "core" but not the leaders.
Baseball might be the toughest sport for a franchise to succeed simply because three superstars on your team might not be enough.
However, if those three superstars are outspoken leaders in the clubhouse, the dynamic changes. Even if they can't be on the field, the mentorship they offer is invaluable. We have not seen this from this team.
We'll never know precisely the potential of the 2020 White Sox and how that team would respond to losing in Oakland but the team worked and played hard for Ricky Renteria.
This team was learning to win together, regardless of how Renteria would've turned out as manager. Shaking up the atmosphere drastically potentially killed this rebuild and this core.
The past is the past and we can't change it. Jerry Reinsdorf handed the managerial job to his buddy but didn't realize he shouldn't be the guy anymore.
We can't keep blaming the past on irrelevant figures in the organization, so we blame the current figures in the organization that has been disappointing Chicago longer than I've been alive.
There are multiple problems to identify. They have a faulty front office, poor development, underperforming players, and more. Steps need to be taken on all fronts to fix the league's laughing stock and it starts at the top.
The ownership and general management of this team are the biggest priority. Before any retooling can begin, the current figures in the organization should not remain.
Unfortunately, Chicago's wish for Jerry to sell will probably never come true. The same people in his ear will keep telling him the same thing and fans will suffer if any are left.
For those left, they want to see a winning team. A retooling process is necessary. To successfully retool, the team must trade away one or two, maybe even three players of this core. Which players to move on from is the most challenging decision.
The point is to retool, not rebuild. The atmosphere is losing but the culture isn't. The atmosphere is the daily dread of "how will we lose this time" but the culture always has been accountability and working hard for your teammates.
Even with Tony La Russa managing, José Abreu kept that cultural mindset. There is a way to fix the atmosphere but trading away the wrong guys to do so could damage the culture.
If the culture is damaged, a complete rebuild is necessary but this organization does not recognize that. It'll be 2013-14 all over again.
At this point in the season, it's nearly impossible to figure out who should be traded. We have ideas but ultimately it comes down to the return haul and its worth.
The damage to this core may be irreparable but carefully retooling it correctly with a well-thought-out 21st-century plan could save this team.