Well, the day has finally come. After months of waiting and trying to retain some sense of sanity, Manny has made his decision. That decision was not the Chicago White Sox, sadly. How could this be though? The Sox were the reported favorites for months. They signed/traded for his family and friends. They were the highest bidders by most accounts for a while. Hell, everything about Machado posted on social media, was in the Sox favor. From him in the batting cages in a Sox hat, buying Sox baby shoes for Yonders kid, to his new glove being Sox colors. Everything was pointing to the White Sox and it was only a matter of time. Well, that all went to hell today around lunchtime. Manny chose the Padres for a 10y/300m dollar contract. Sox fans all over were upset, hurt and angry and rightfully so. This wasn’t just a statement to be made by the Sox organization. It was Sox fans reward. A reward for many years of under .500 ball. A reward for never being in the playoffs in consecutive years. A reward for only 6 playoff appearances in 60 years.
It was our moment as a fan to say we made it. That we can have nice things too as a fan. That we are no longer mixed in with the Rays, Marlins or A’s as a lowly team that won’t spend. Instead of that glorious moment to say “Take that” to Cubs and Yankees fans, we were given an awful choke job by this front office. This was the best time for the Franchise to strike and I don’t think the stars will ever align like this again. The Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Nationals were all out! They weren’t in on this. The Phillies were the only competition and it was expected that one team each gets one of the big two. I don’t think we will be this lucky to have the biggest spending teams all out again with this much cap space and resources available. Not only that, but money is dropping for players these past two off-seasons. They could get a bonafide star for cheaper than 5 years ago. Plus, these guys are top 15 players in the game and they’re twenty-six years old! That doesn’t happen often! We were not beaten by the big market teams. We were beaten by the Padres. California’s 4th best team.
You have to sit back and wonder, would the Padres have been in this situation had the Sox never made the trade for Shields? That’s what I think hurts the most. We gave them their key player in their rebuild for James Shields. They would still have a good farm without Tatis Jr. but I think they’d still be a year off from going in on big name Free Agents. Without Tatis, they lack the mega-prospect which would make them wait one more year. We gave the Padres the dagger to strike us in the heart today, in my opinion. The butterfly effect was strong on this one. Then, the Sox sent out Kenny Williams to make the initial statement. This is the guy that all Sox fans want to disappear and have nothing to do with Sox business. Yet, here he is in a golf cart saying he’s shocked and wearing shades to cover that shock. He then proceeds to say they won’t go to the 300m threshold and that they don’t want to tie up money for the future. What?! Did Kenny just say that? Yes… he did. This is the time you spend Kenny! You have all young players on cheap contracts for many years! Just an absolute clown comment. Later on, Hahn finally speaks and says they felt good about the Machado offer all the way till today. Then says they will spend what it takes to get their guy and not be outbid. Two different statements from Kenny and Hahn. Cubs have Theo and only Theo to call the shots. I still don’t know if this is Hahns or Kenny’s team. I’d like to think the last couple years have been Hahn but I don’t know and that’s not a good thing.
With all of that said, The Sox can still be great and win a title soon. I want that to be clear. Today was an absolute slap in the face as a Sox fan. You’ve been working on this deal for 3+ months now and in one week, the Padres swoop in and get a deal done. The Padres!!!! We bought into the Sox Ponying up and they did to an extent. But it is not okay to be outbid by the Padres and refuse to reach 300m. Sox fans have been very patient with this ball club and excitement has been sky high this offseason. All of that buzz has been deflated in minutes and the Sox missed a wide open layup here. Like I said, they won’t get this clear path to a huge star again. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Dodgers will be bidders again. I don’t think players salaries will continue to drop like this so Manny could have been a relatively good contract in a few years. I am hoping they now make a serious push at Harper but I have little faith in that happening. Let’s hope I am wrong but I doubt it. Then, the insult to injury, Basabe news broke that he broke his hand and out 12 weeks. When it rains it pours. Thanks for letting me vent my frustration Sox fans. Brighter days are ahead. Now, off to a southside bar to drink my Sox sorrows away.
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Mort wrote about the mismanagement of the message here.