8:46 AM CDT, August 1, 2013
Alex Rios is still with the White Sox, so that’s not good for the Sox or Avisail Garcia.
Garcia should be up now. If the right-field headliner in the Jake Peavy trade is that prized, then he ought to be seeing as much major-league pitching as possible and working with major league coaches daily. See if he can catch the ball, even while being tried in center.
Geez, would it hurt to sit Alejandro De Aza or Dayan Viciedo? It sure hurts to play them.
A potential five-tool player ought to get the chance to hone those tools at the level where the Sox will need him.
But he’s at Charlotte because, I guess, Rios is still here. Sigh.
But hey, there’s always the waiver trade deadline. Same goes for Alexei Ramirez.
I’m not sure whether Sox general manager Rick Hahn tried to go all Cubs by trading veterans for prospects, but I hope so. He had a good start on it by dealing Peavy for Garcia and three other minor leaguers Tuesday night.
The comparison to the Cubs’ reconstruction project is inescapable. What the Cubs were doing wasn’t working. Same goes for the Sox this year. The Cubs set about piling up young talent. The same would seem to go for the Sox.
Hahn faces a trickier situation than the Cubs because the Sox are more turnstile-challenged. But the Sox are nearly as bad as the Astros with an overpaid lineup, bad defense and lunatic base-running, so it behooves Hahn to blast the roster and explain the plan and likely timetable.
That was the important thing about Theo Epstein’s entrance. He detailed Cubs plans to become a drafting and development machine that would sustain success. His clarity of purpose earned him faith. His actions brought him credibility.
It’s not just Epstein, by the way. There has been a surprising trend of candor and transparency among all Chicago general managers. They might not be completely honest, but none of them are the secretive, harrumphing Jerry Krause.
Hahn, though, doesn’t think fans need to be told what the plan is.
“I don't think we need to put a title on it or print up T shirts,’’ said Hahn, and I’m thinking, wait, this is coming from the man who works for an organization that sold “TWTW’’ T shirts?
Hahn is wrong. Detail what you plan to do and how. Otherwise, people might think you don’t really have a plan. Or at best, it’s incomplete because you couldn’t complete a deal for Rios and/or Ramirez and/or Your Name Here.
Hahn talked about “starting to transition this club to a new core’’ and talked about never giving away a season with the pitching the Sox have, and I’m thinking, isn’t that how the Sox death-spriraled into this predicament?
The Sox tried that last year, got enough fool’s gold to fill the hole where Viciedo’s power used to be, and haven’t recovered from the September choke.
Look, nobody regularly transitions to a new core with great pitching except the Rays. The Sox don’t have the Rays’ talent at the major-league level. The Sox don’t have the Rays’ talent in the system. The Sox don’t have the Rays’ drafting and development machine. Would it kill Hahn to admit they want to be the Rays when they grow up?
Apparently, it would. Maybe it’s because the big question is whether Sox fans would pay to watch that type of young team grow. But if the hoped-for new Sox can catch the ball, play smart, learn to walk, and not bore the snot out of everyone, there’s a chance. It’s a gimme they won’t pay for another season of this brainless, heartless, useless play.
Here’s the deal: If Hahn doesn’t think he needs to take the time to explain his plan -- to sell his plan like he believes in it -- then he risks leaving fans as confused as the Sox working a rundown play and further risks having fans quit like they were Rios.
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