Friday, September 1, 2023

South Bound

 You know the Looney Tunes gag where somebody cuts a hole with a saw around somebody and everything falls back down except for them? That's basically what happened to Pedro Grifol last week.

I swear to god, I spent the whole season going 'man, this is not gonna go well for Grifol'. All that came out about how relaxed the clubhouse was, Anderson being even more volatile than he was with LaRussa around, the team once again not going anywhere. I just thought 'well this is what they get for not hiring Miguel Cairo'. And now, once people start dropping, it's revealed that pretty much the only person to keep their job was Grifol, and Chris Getz, after getting in as GM, is already confirming he's coming back next year.

Unless there's something I missed about Grifol just being a careful tactician and smart leader while also losing 80 games with a team that should have competed, that really doesn't add up to me.

It really comes down to 'was it Grifol's fault for not making something of this team or was this just the team he was given and even a skilled HOF manager couldn't fix this', and there's cases for either. On one hand, this team hit 81 losses at the end of August, while last year's hit 81 losses at the end of September. The 2022 White Sox at least hit a second wind and were competent to finish the season, ending with a .500 record exactly. Unless these White Sox can somehow go an entire month without losing again, they will finish with a worse record than the 2022 team that got LaRussa ousted. So Grifol couldn't even be an improvement over the guy that got ran out of town for pissing off the whole fanbase. Yet at the same time, Grifol seems to piss off the fanbase way less than the owner, the new GM, the starting shortstop, the rookie outfielder who was supposed to be good this year, and the starting pitcher that didn't net them Jackson Holliday. There's still the air of 'well maybe he's not the problem, maybe if things are different next year he'll be better'. It paid off with Brandon Hyde, it paid off with David Bell, maybe it pays off with Grifol.

...or maybe he does worse next year and it turns out Cairo was the answer all along.

With that all developing, there isn't that much left for the 2023 White Sox to do, really. Luis Robert is really just adding exclamation points at this juncture, he might have a 40+ homer year, that'd look really good for him. Jesse Scholtens has ascended to the rotation and is getting a lot of the good energy as Kopech, Cease and Clevinger sputter a bit. Vaughn and Jimenez are hitting but not completely wowing people right now. Moncada, Anderson and Grandal are purely mediocre at this rate. They know they're not competing and there's a month left. 

I really hope next year is something of an improvement for the White Sox, cause it's just gotten worse year after year for them, and I don't know how many more years of that they can take.

Coming Tomorrow- It took him about a decade to play in the majors for the team that drafted him, so with that in mind it's been a nice year for him.

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