Oh what a f#$%&in! surprise!!!!
There's only been ten damn years of Kenny Williams not rebuilding despite countless other years that screamed "REBUILD! REBUILD! THE CUPBOARD IS BARER THAN STEPHEN BALDWIN'S CAREER PROSPECTS, REBUILDDDD!!!!" so much harder than this one. I mean the rotation's pretty much set so long as you're not concerned about Floyd or Peavy's injury, Buehrle's off year, or Edwin Jackson's late-season slide. The bullpen has uh....Thornton in it...and as far as the lineup, all Kenny Williams needs to shore up are the C, 3B, 1B, DH, RF slots....and perhaps get rid of Juan Pierre.
But besides that, the White Sox are friggin' golden. Which is why it's no surprise that Kenny has come out and said they're not rebuilding next season.
Thanks to Tribune reporter Mark Gonzales, for delivering the most expected and worst news in the world.
Thankfully, a more thorough examination of Williams' words reveals his declaration to be just as much about his strange personal aversion to acknowledging any sort of rebuilding process, as his unwillingness to develop young talent.
we are currently, which right now, is kind of middle of the road. Yes,
we have potential to be that notch above, but I have to look at where we
are right now. You look at going out and adding the necessary pieces
through free agency and through trades where you think you can compete
for a championship. After
that, you take a look and say, 'well, if we have to go the other way
because of budgets or my pie-in-the-sky thinking, we aren't going to be
able to afford it,' then what's the best young team we can put out there
and start the process?"
So it seems that Williams unfortunately has a direct mental association of "rebuilding" with "intentionally sucking". Which is unfortunate, because most would interpret developing young players in the farm system as investing in one's future, and giving Mark Teahen and Scott Linebrink multi-year contracts as "intentionally sucking".
The words about concerns over the White Sox having enough money to fund Williams' ideal spending spree are certainly troubling. Rebuilding through free agency on a tight budget, which the White Sox would need to do certainly on some degree to determine the positions I listed above, doesn't necessarily work. If you're going to morph a 85 or so win team into better than the Minnesota Twins, it probably won't be solved by $3-$5 million a year steals, but legitimately doing something bold like overpaying for Vic Martinez, Carl Crawford, or Jayson Werth, rather than the half-assed acquisitions that have defined previous seasons.
That whole "best young team we can put out there" talk; now that sounds more exciting. Extensive playing time has been given to Brent Morel down the stretch, who has at least proven that he can play the 3B position and provide power if not contact hitting, and there's no possible way Dayan Viciedo could be worse in the DH slot than the 'committee' was this season. Expecting the Sox to give regular time to Tyler Flowers after a pretty crappy 2010 or Jordan Danks, or anyone who isn't kinda crappy or Mark Teahen in RF, well that's probably pushing it. And it would quantify rebuilding
There isn't a White Sox fan around who wouldn't view Williams giving time to promising players to improve rather than shelling out cash and hoping mid-level players can maintain their already meager production levels as an improvement; or at least a bizarre change worth shelling out dollars to see. Dozens of White Sox products have flourished elsewhere why we've talked ourselves into the short-term results, and it's hard to imagine the fanbase being more impatient toward developing young players than they are about watching deeply flawed divisional contenders.
The 2010 White Sox were a step away from a division title, but they're not a team moving forward until they begin to build their talent from the ground up, or spend a lot more money than ever before. With Reinsdorf and Williams in charge, it's a tossup as to which is more unlikely.