It is fairly simple to make the Chicago White Sox look foolish these days. The 2023 season featured 101 losses and a dysfunctional front office that led to long-time leaders Kenny Williams and Rich Hahn being fired.
Then the unqualified Chris Getz got promoted to replace them in the laziest general manager search known to man. Somehow the Texas Rangers making the World Series can be added to the list of ways to make the Sox look bad.
It is not like the Rangers set out to make the White Sox look like a bad franchise. It just happened because they did two things the Sox were not willing to do (or did not think of doing) on their way to winning the ALCS.
The Chicago White Sox are one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball.
These are the two biggest reasons why the White Sox look terrible right now:
1. Spending big (and wisely) in free agency after the 2021 season
The Chicago White Sox won their first division title in 13 years in 2021 but did nothing major in free agency to cover up huge holes in their lineup.
The Rangers lost 101 games then went out and lavished Marcus Semien and Corey Seager with the GDP of a small country.
Some thought it was a good idea the White Sox did not spend big on players in their 30s.
Being prudent is never a good idea when you play in a big market and have a contention window wide open. A self-imposed salary cap is one reason the title window slammed shut on the Sox. It was also a missed opportunity to solve the eternal second base problem.
The Sox were rumored to have wanted to bring Marcus back to the Southside. Instead, the organization went the cheap route by signing Josh Harrison to platoon with Leury Garcia.
The result is Semien bounced back from a mediocre 2022 season to hit .276 with a .826 OPS and 29 homers this year. Harrison and Garcia are no longer with the Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers realized that big offseason spending was a great way to turn things around quickly and find solutions to their lineup issues that their farm system could not solve.
It was not like they spent like a drunken sailor. The spending was strategic to build a roster that is four wins away from a championship.
General manager Chris Young put together a roster that is going to the World Series with just five players drafted or signed in international free agency. The rest of the roster was built by signing nine players in free agency and 12 players being added through trades or waiver claims.
2. Hiring Bruce Bochy last offseason.
The Chicago White Sox brought the wrong legendary manager out of retirement in 2021 and then did not hire Bochy last offseason. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf infamously brought back Tony LaRussa.
That decision is a big reason why the Sox title contention window went from wide open to being slammed shut. La Russa’s influence on the organization and having the game pass him by led to the disappointing 2022 season.
Rick Hahn then let the Rangers blow past him in the line to hire Bochy. Making matters worse, Hahn chose Pedro Grifol and he has been a disaster. Somehow Grifol still has his job.
Maybe Bochy would have been considered for the job had he had ties to the Kansas City Royals instead of beating them on his way toward winning a third World Series title with the San Francisco Giants.
Choosing the best leadership and spending big money is something the Chicago White Sox have never been known for. That is why they will never be confused with the Texas Rangers.