Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was discussing Jim Leyland’s National Baseball Hall of Fame choice on the MLB winter conferences Monday when he was requested about his pursuit of Leyland to interchange Terry Bevington as supervisor after the 1996 season.
“It was after 2003,” Reinsdorf replied. “In 1996 or ’97 didn’t I try to bring (Tony) La Russa back?”
Bruce Levine and I confirmed it was Leyland in ’96.
“No after Bevington that was La Russa, when we tried to bring him back,” Reinsdorf stated.
“And I don’t want to get into that, but we did try to bring Jim back (in ’03).”
Never get in the best way of a great story is my motto.
The Sox wound up hiring Ozzie Guillen in ’03, the one membership supervisor to win a World Series within the final 106 years. Leyland completed his profession in Detroit and wound up in Cooperstown the place he belongs.
After Reinsdorf completed speaking up his outdated pal he requested: “Is that it?”
I advised him there have been many questions we had for him. Unfortunately, Reinsdorf had solely agreed to speak about one topic, Leyland, so we didn’t get an opportunity to ask concerning the state of the non-rebuild; the dumping of Tim Anderson; the departure of broadcaster Jason Benetti or the seek for his substitute; the choice to cancel SoxFest once more; an replace on the investigation of the taking pictures incident at Guaranteed Rate Field; the potential of transferring from the South Side or some other matter.
It wasn’t shocking Reinsdorf wouldn’t focus on something Sox followers are remotely concerned about, nevertheless it was par for the course.
That’s the recommendation he was given, and avoiding robust questions is a stance he feels is working.
It’s not, after all, however none of Reinsdorf’s interior circle dares inform him the reality.
The Sox are at a crossroads after the disastrous 2023 season, and solely an infusion of expertise will help them out of this gap.
The White Sox have cash to spend this winter after dumping virtually half of the ’23 roster since August, however lack any actual incentive to spend it.
Reinsdorf, who spent $181 million final 12 months on a 101-loss crew, appears keen to browse within the low cost rack, realizing it’s going to be troublesome to fill his ballpark in 2024.
The apparent motive to spend — to try to win a championship — is just not in first-year normal supervisor Chris Getz’s playbook after a major drop in attendance and a roster missing any title gamers other than Luis Robert Jr..
I requested Getz on Monday if the Sox could be keen to spend on beginning pitching, which opens at about $10 million per 12 months for a fifth starter and goes up from there.
“Improving your team sometimes comes at a cost,” he stated. “And you weigh different avenues to improving your club, whether that be on the trade market or in free agency. There’s different ways to attack this and certainly I have the support to improve this ballclub.”
Seeing is believing. Reinsdorf has at all times been reluctant to spend what’s wanted on starters, and that philosophy gained’t change underneath Getz.
Rebuild is just not in Getz’s vocabulary; he prefers to name it a “retooling.” But inviting provides for Dylan Cease and Eloy Jiménez counsel the goal date for profitable is just not 2024 or perhaps even ’25.
Getz’s “spending spree” thus far is at $1.75 million, the quantity he paid on a one-year deal for shortstop Paul DeJong, who apparently signed with the Sox to keep away from taking a minor-league deal elsewhere.
The Sox clearly have monetary flexibility. Three of the opposite 4 Sox place gamers with assured contracts — Robert, Jiménez and Yoán Moncada — had been all a part of former GM Rick Hahn’s plan to tie up his core with long-term, team-friendly offers to keep away from paying huge cash in arbitration.
Only one has labored out.
Moncada was awarded a five-year, $70 million deal in 2020 that rapidly grew to become an albatross. Jiménez agreed to a six-year, $43 million deal in 2019 with two membership choices earlier than he grew to become an harm magnet. Robert’s six-year, $50 million cope with two membership choices in 2026 and ’27 is the one one that appears like a discount, with the Gold Glove-winning heart fielder incomes $12.5 million in ’24 and $15 million in ‘25.
So Getz doesn’t have a lot to work with. But as Reinsdorf’s hand-picked GM, whom the chairman thought so extremely of he didn’t interview anybody else, Getz doesn’t really feel the burden to win now.
Getz stated he interacts with Sox followers “if someone recognizes me,” which he acknowledged was a “rarity.”
What do they inform him?
“People are excited,” he stated. “I’ve gotten actually constructive suggestions, they usually could be saying it to my face, however I’ve loved these conversations.
“It’s an opportunity for me to explain the direction of our club. I’ll take the time to do it because it’s worth it.”
Getz appears far more self-deprecating than Hahn and understands criticism is an occupational hazard for a GM.
A humorousness can also be a prerequisite for a Sox govt while you’re coping with hard-bitten Sox followers, lots of whom are skeptical he’s the best man for the job.
Reinsdorf ought to comply with Getz’s instance and take the time to clarify the path of his crew.
Why? Because it’s price it, it doesn’t matter what Reinsdorf’s advisers inform him.