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What an IDIOT. The Bullpen is seriously that good? Unreal statement from me.

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Between this and that Traitor tweet the other day starting to think maybe Vic Mensa is the real Chicago rapper. There’s A lot Going On Ruled! Album of the Summer!

Now is not a fun time to be a White Sox fan, no getting around it. While the Cubs are out playing playoff baseball for the 2nd year in a row, we are doing things like getting scrutinized for hiring a damn director of player development. Seriously, this is the life we live. So, what’s our future got in store? Well it starts with a fresh face at the helm

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  • Finally the Sox pulled the trigger and rid themselves off the disaster that was Robin Ventura. I’m not a big believer in pinning the entire seasons struggles on Ventura, he can’t do anything about Jose not hitting for 3 months and James Shields being the king of gopher balls, but I can’t support moving on from him enough. He was entirely overmatched during games, and shit like sending Matt Albers out in high leverage situations was enough to earn a pink slip. So now we get Rick Renteria, and I absolutely love the hire. Sure, interviewing absolutely nobody and hiring Renteria a mere day after the season ended wasn’t a great look for a franchise that has already been criticized for pulling shit like this, but I think this was an awesome hire and am willing to totally look past that visual. The Sox job just isn’t that desire-able, they have an incompetent front office (I like Hahn, but his moves have been meh, and its clear Kenny still runs things), a meh roster with a weird mix of young talent and veterans, and are one of the lower revenue teams in the league in a city where they are a clear second fiddle. The Sox job has to be on the worst 10 or so in the MLB. So to get Rick Renteria was a major win in my book. Renteria was more than competent as the Cubs head man, he just ran into some poor luck when Joe Maddon became available. He will be the only Latin American manager, and has experience with this clubhouse so he should be able to work with the players well. Simply put, I consider him a massive upgrade over Robin Ventura, and that alone should get us a win or two. I would also say this, I don’t think they brought Renteria on to be the manager of a rebuild. While he would certainly be an adequate candidate (remember, he ran the 2014 Cubs), I believe they brought him on to give it one last shot with this group. Which leads me to my next point

The 2017 Sox are, and should be, going for it.

  • I get it, I really do. You look across the city and see the Cubs, who completely bottomed out for talent, and think “that could be us”. And you might be right. Maybe the Sox sell Sale and Q, get fresh young bats, draft a couple Kris Bryant’s and square off with the Cubs in the 2020 World Series. Maybe they do. But do you trust Kenny Williams? Seriously, do you trust Kenny Williams? Theo Epstein might be a little overvalued by Cubs fans who forget the game still takes place on the field, but the dude is very fucking good at his job. He nailed it taking Bryant over Jon Gray (though Gray has started to make this at least a little interesting), crushed the Arrieta trade, and put his trust in the perfect 1B (Anthony Rizzo). He’s been awesome. Kenny Williams has been anything but awesome. People forget that the Sox aren’t the Cubs!!. They aren’t going to be able to supplement their youth movement with Jon Lester and Jason Heyward (hahahhahahha). They aren’t going to sell out the stadium when they are going 30 under .500. Seriously, they struggled getting butts in the seats when they were hovering around .500 all summer. They don’t have new owners hungry for long term success (Ricketts), they have an old fart who will sell the team before he watches it rebuild. This isn’t the Cubs we are dealing with here, simply choosing to rebuild does not guarantee we just become the 2016 Cubs in 4 years. So what do we do then? Look, going for it 2017 is by no means ideal. There are plenty of holes on this roster (C, CF, DH), and not a strong enough minor league system or fat enough wallets to fix those holes. However, we do have some duct tape, and maybe that can be enough. I don’t love going for it 2017, but I understand it, and ultimately as a fan who enjoys watching a contending baseball team and treats his sports teams like an emotional investment rather than a financial investment I re-visit every once in a while (cough, Cubs fans who showed up last July), I can get down with it. So lets take a look at what “going for it” looks like

 

The 2017 AL Central Champions

  • Catcher: This was without a doubt the biggest disaster surrounding the 2016 White Sox. Navarro and Avila were total trash on defense, and provided even worse offense than Tyler Flowers. What a disgrace. So this is our #1 off-season priority. In true White Sox fashion I can totally see them attempting to run with Omar Narvaez as the full time catcher, but lets imagine they actually care for once and realize he is probably a backup. I think the general feeling is the Sox #1 target should be Jason Castro, and I am cool with that. He won’t provide a huge offensive upgrade but should be a terrific boost in the field. Run Prevention matters too. With Zach Collins years away from catching in the big leagues, lets hope the Sox step up and ink Castro to a nice 3-4 year deal.

Jason Castro

  • 1st Baseman: Jose Abreu is locked in here. While I think much of the blame for 2016 can be placed on his shoulders, he did show some serious signs of life over the last two months, and should be counted on to produce like the middle of the order threat he can be.
  • 2nd Baseman: Brett Lawrie and Carlos Sanchez should be a more than adequate pairing here. Both showed more than enough in 2016 to make the roster.
  • 3rd Baseman: Todd Frazier just cranked 42 HR’s at a position the Sox have traditionally gotten absolutely NOTHING at and people still complain. Not me. Welcome back Todd.
  • Shortstop: Our Savior Tim Anderson is here to save us. Seriously though not hard to see how much fun Cubs fans have had these past two years with all their young stars after what Tim did this past year. Tyler Saladino should continue being the greatest bench player of all time. Basically Javier Baez in the field with a little Mike Trout in his swing. God is he good.
  • Left Fielder: Without Melky Cabrera I don’t know if I could have watched most those Sox games in July and August. Our ray of sunshine.
  • Center Fielder: 2016 White Sox Problem #2. Austin Jackson was a nice try, but we have to fill this hole. Solution? Enter Dexter Fowler. There is no chance the cheapo White Sox are signing Yo, so get over it. Not gonna happen. The other option here is ian Desmond, but I want me some Dexter Fowler so I’ll guess its him. The Cubs love Fowler, but with the money they have tied up in Heyward/Soler/Zobrist, Almora/Baez emerging and Schwarbo returning its hard to see where he fits on the 2017-2020 Cubs. 2016 Trade Deadline steal Charlie Tilson can do the backing up.

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  • Right Fielder: David Haugh is a joke. Adam Eaton just enjoyed a nice piss all over David Haugh’s grave. RIP David Haugh baseball takes 2016-2016.

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*Clears throat* Avisail Garcia is probably going to be a part of this baseball team.

I am so sorry

  • DH: So this is where I tell you the Sox are overpaying for Edwin Encarnacion or Mark Trumbo and he hits 35 HR’s for the 2017 Sox. Nope. You think after signing Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro Jerry is shelling out $100 million for a freakin’ DH. No chance!! Get ready for Carlos Beltran. Kenny Williams special baby. Love me some half measures.

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  • Starting Pitchers: Carlos Rodon needs to make the “jump”. If the 2017 White Sox want to compete the time is now, we need Rodon to start pitching like a #2 and give us a dominant top 3. It can absolutely happen, and I think it will. Besides that we should have steady performances from Miguel Gonzales again, and hopefully Carson Fulmer is ready. If not we go for a Don Cooper special in the 5th I’m not worried as long as it isn’t James Shields.
  • Relief Pitchers: Robertson, Jones, Burdi, Jennings and Putnam (health pending) seems like a safe guess for the bullpen. In my world James Shields finds his ass here as well, and hopefully they sign a nice LOOGY to replace Zach Duke, who was a pleasant surprise this past year. Let’s guess Boone Logan for fun.

2017 Lineup

  1. Tim Anderson
  2. Adam Eaton
  3. Jose Abreu
  4. Todd Frazier
  5. Carlos Beltran
  6. Dexter Fowler
  7. Melky Cabrera
  8. Brett Lawrie
  9. Jason Castro

2017 Pitching Staff

  1. Chris Sale
  2. Jose Quintana
  3. Carlos Rodon
  4. Miguel Gonzalez
  5. Carson Fulmer

Dan Jennings

James Shields

Zach Putnam

Boone Logan

Nate Jones

David Robertson

 

That’s a nice team. That isn’t a perfect team, and it isn’t the 2017 Cubs, but it’s a good team that can certainly contend for the playoffs. And if they make the playoffs, look out, Sale-Q-Rodon is right up there with Kluber-Salazar-Carasco or Bumgarner-Two dead leaves in terms of pitching staffs you don’t want to see come October. I can see an October full of 2-1 wins behind a bloop and a Frazier blast. Don’t look now but I think I just predicted a 2017 White Sox World Series Victory. Ricky Renteria for life.

 

I’ll be doing White Sox coverage all off-season here at Let Me Be Frank so let me be your White Sox Dave this winter. Ill spew a bunch of thoughts on a word document in an incredibly confusing fashion and yell about the Cubs a bunch.

Lets go Dodgers!

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