Let me say right off the bat that I don't have a clue where Manny Machado will play in 2019. It is said he wants to play for his favorite team, the New York Yankees, but the Yankees don't seem all that interested in signing him. For a while it looked as if the battle for his services would come down to the White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies, but the emergence of a so-called "mystery" team has clouded the picture. Now for all I know these reports are a lot of nonsense but when you get right down to it that kind of result would fit in with the White Sox' long and distinctly mediocre history. In their quest for a genuine super star the White Sox always seem to come up a day late and more than a few dollars short.
The Manny Machado story seems to add another chapter in the White Sox' march toward NOT being taken seriously by major league baseball. For at least the last thirty years the Sox have announced that they were in on signing one significant talent after another and they have almost always invariably failed in the attempt. And even when they were successful, as in the case of Albert Belle, the results have not always been desirable. The reason for their abject failure in their search for serious recognition has been that, for the most part, the management of the team has been way too timid to make a splash in the game. Particularly in this day and age of free agency, it takes a bold move by management to sign a really GOOD player. Take this off season for example. Right from the beginning the Sox announced that they would be players for either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, maybe even both, which is fine. But did they jump into the free agent pool with both feet, ready to do whatever it took in order to get a signature on the dotted line? No, they didn't. Instead they piddled around the peripheries of the bidding, hoping that somehow they could get either one of these players at bargain basement prices. Thus far they have been unsuccessful.
The market for these two players doesn't appear to be as strong as they would have hoped and thus far they haven't received a mega-contract offer sufficiently large enough to induce them to sign. You would have thought under the circumstances that the White Sox would have made a bold move, offered a large enough contract and got the job done in time to spark a huge spike in season ticket sales, but alas such is not the case. I can understand why the White Sox would want to get either player for as reasonable a salary as possible, but they have to understand that they aren't one of the glamorous franchises in major league baseball, far from it. The Sox are the second-ranked baseball ball team in Chicago and when you get right down to it they are the fifth ranked major league team in town ranking below the Bears, Cubs, Bulls and Black Hawks. This puts them into a position where they have to pay through the nose to get even a second-ranked star to play for them, someone like Jose Abreu or A.J. Pollock. When you're the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers you don't have to go begging to get a star player interested in playing for your team, they just naturally are. Why even the Cubs have elevated themselves to the ranks of prestige franchises by taking risks, spending money and making bold moves, at least until this off season. Alas, the White Sox have not followed the Cubs' example.
I have no idea what the White Sox are offering Manny Machado, but whatever the dollar figure may be it's apparent it's not big enough to convince Manny to sign on to play on the South Side. Now maybe the Sox are right. Maybe they're just being financially responsible, taking a long term view of the situation and not tying their future to the fortunes of just one skilled ball player. But the White Sox have tried the financially responsible route before. They've ALMOST landed any number of talented players to come play for them, only to lose out to franchises that were willing to take significant risks to be successful.
In the cosmic scheme of things it doesn't really matter what happens with or to Manny Machado or the White Sox for that matter. Right now there are 800,000 people who haven't been paid for almost a month and are suffering severe financial ramifications as a result. In too many places on this planet people are either starving to death or suffering from severe malnutrition so that what happens with what amounts to a little boys' game doesn't seem to matter so much. But you'd think after over one hundred years of existence that the White Sox would have at least learned the rudiments of how to be a successful major league baseball franchise. It would appear this just isn't so!!
Filed under: Politics