Chicago White Sox fans are positively giddy about the teams’ rebuild. The annual fan convention was sold out, which is a rarity for the South Side franchise. The talk around town has been so positive that I’m thinking they might be getting fitted for rings any day now. Maybe they should curb the enthusiasm just a bit. After seeing the Cubs successful rebuild culminating in the World Series in 2016, it seems Sox fans think you just push the reset button and out comes the trophy. It’s not just the fans, however. Local media has fallen into the same trap. A sports columnist and radio host mentioned on a Sunday night TV wrap-up show the Sox would be winning the World Series in the future. It sounded like he guaranteed it. The Sox have added several pieces since last winter with the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton deals, along with the José Quintana trade with the Chicago Cubs last summer. But like preparing a meal, you have to pair the correct ingredients for the dish to turn out right. The Cubs focused mainly on adding impact bats in the draft including Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora and Ian Happ. They added Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell via trades, along with holdovers from the previous regime in Javy Báez and Willson Contreras. You add in a bit of luck acquiring Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks in seemingly minor deals, and you have the core in place to win. The axiom in baseball is you have to be strong up the middle. With Báez and Russell at second and short, Almora in center, and Contreras behind the plate, you don’t get much better than that. The Sox currently feature Tim Anderson at short and Yoan Moncada at second as the likely future double-play combo. Neither one is a magician with the glove. It fits the pattern with most of the players the Sox have drafted or traded for. Defense is one of the main reasons the Cubs won in 2016 with one of the best statistical seasons on record.
The White Sox Rebuild Is Being Oversold
The Sports Post | Feb 3