The years of ‘going for it’ for the Chicago White Sox since the World Series in 2005 have resulted in limited returns. Only making the playoffs once since the title is the true measuring stick on the inevitability of the decision that was finally made.
It was time to start over, and try something else. With the active offseason that the White Sox had under GM Rick Hahn, it is a new day on the South Side.
The White Sox came out of the gate last season with a fury, and were one of the better teams in baseball for about a month and a half. Then they showed who they really were in finishing 78-84, ending up fourth in the AL Central. Veterans like Jimmy Rollins, Justin Morneau and Alex Avila were brought in, but contributed little to raise the bar to playoff level baseball. The lack of consistent hitting plagued the White Sox as veteran sluggers Jose Abreu, Todd Frazier and speedy leadoff man Adam Eaton never seemed to get it going at the same time.
Affable manager Robin Ventura was given another chance to make the playoffs, but came up short in what would be his last season at the helm. Former MVP Jimmy Rollins described the atmosphere with the club based on his couple months with the team, per NBC Sports:
"“It was a clubhouse in disarray after that point. Although we did great. It’s always a little players versus the front office but I think just because of the way it was handled — a lot of the guys that were outspoken are no longer there. They’re in better places if you ask me, but they’re no longer there.”"
‘Big Game’ James Shields was added in a trade during the season, and the results were disastrous. The White Sox hope they don’t see those results again, as Shields posted a 4-12 record and 6.77 ERA with Chicago.
But late in last season’s campaign, when the hope of a postseason run had faded, the White Sox made the decision fans have long-awaited: rebuilding like the team nine miles north did in 2011. While the fruits of such an endeavor may not manifest themselves all at once, the development of young stars, along with the established talent that could be a part of upcoming trades, or the team’s core, will be exciting.