Good Evening. The first spring training game is less than 50 days away (February 23rd against the Dodgers), and the White Sox are no closer to an A.L. Central title than they were when they finished the 2018 season with a 62-100 record. Tim Anderson is stuck in neutral, Yoan Moncada struck out 13,000 times, Carlos Rodon couldn't stay healthy, Lucas Giolito struggled with his command the majority of the year, and Carson Fulmer has been 100% written off. Not everything is going as smoothly as the politician Rick Hahn would like you to believe. Competing in 2020 is far from a guarantee.
So, what does Hahn think will fix this? A number five starter, Ivan Nova? A back up catcher, James McCann? One good reliever, Alex Colome? A star's brother-in-law, Yonder Alonso? More patience with Anderson and Moncada? Deals with the devil to ensure Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease don't end up like Avisail Garcia and the aforementioned Fulmer? Fingers crossed on both hands in the hope that at least three of Nick Madrigal, Blake Rutherford, Zack Burdi, Luis Robert, Luis Gonzalez, Zack Collins, and Alec Hansen will succeed (quickly) at the major league level? An instituted rebuild plan does not make a successful rebuild an inevitability.
Trade Jose Abreu for more depth? Probably too late. Trade Avi after his career year? Definitely too late. Trade Rodon for more depth (he is the Antichrist's, Scott Boras, client)? Trading Rodon is too risky for the button down Ivy Leaguer Hahn. So what's the plan to accelerate this rebuild? According to Yahoo Sports, it's to hire a cancer for the next seven to ten years.
David Vassegh, a radio station employee in Los Angeles, claims he knows somebody who knows Machado well, and this mystery person believes Manny Machado will sign with the Sox. I don't know how much credence I'd give this report normally, but the internet is buzzing pretty loudly with rumors the White Sox will offer (or have offered) Machado the best deal.
A couple quick notes before I remind you of something. Rick Renteria is supposedly all about hustle. He benched Anderson and Avi in 2018 for what he felt at the time was a lack of hustle.
In 2008, the most recent year I can find data for this, there were 2.2 million children in the United States playing Little League Baseball. Let's say that number has remained consistent. 2.2 million children, ages approximately 7 to 12 years old, are playing the greatest game in the world. Kids looking for heroes and role models within the professional game.
Machado, circa October 16, 2018, "Obviously I'm not going to change. I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle' and run down the line and slide to first base and ... you know, whatever can happen. That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."
I coached Little League Baseball. My son plays college baseball; he's 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 163 pounds, and he needs every ounce of effort and hustle to see the field. I teach children ages 12 to 14 years of age, and I ask them for their best effort on a daily basis. I chastise them hard when I do not receive that effort because I believe that illustrates to them how important a good work ethic is for their future.
Off the field antics notwithstanding, dads (40 to 55 years old) out there, who did you tell your Little Leaguer to emulate? Don't answer because I already know. Pete Rose.
So, I am 48 years old. I don't blindly root for guys just because they wear my favorite team's jersey. Those days are long past. I root for guys that work hard, that seem like good guys and good teammates. I root for guys I can imagine having a beer with, based on the way they interact with fans and the media. I don't...no no no, I can't root for a guy that says he doesn't have to hustle, implying he's too good for that. I won't do that.
I want to swear right now at the thought of bringing this cancer to the south side, to my team. But what's the point? All Hahn's talk is garbage. If he'll bring in a guy with Machado's attitude, a guy that can infect the young players on this team, he doesn't have a blue print for what a White Sox player should be. He has a blue print for talent, obvious talent, and to hell with the warts and the message they send.
I love the White Sox, and I love writing this blog, and I appreciate my 19 readers very much. But if Hahn goes the distance with this and signs Machado, I'm done. I can't support a guy that would say what he said with 2.2 million Little Leaguers listening, looking for a baseball hero. White Sox jersey or not, Machado's no one I want to know.
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