Column: Chicago White Sox have to observe the Cubs’ sport plan and clear home for 2024

The Chicago Cubs and White Sox have traded places given that finale of the 2021 Metropolis Sequence, when the Sox pummeled Kyle Hendricks in a 13-1 win at Assured Fee Discipline for a three-game sweep.

The ’21 Cubs, coming off their vaunted sell-off, went into that sport on the South Facet with a 6-20 doc in August and the third-worst doc in baseball given that All-Star break, ahead of solely the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers. The Sox have been 19 video video games over .500 with a 10-game lead inside the American League Central.

The longer term regarded exceedingly vivid for the Sox, whereas the Cubs have been entering into the rebuild that president Jed Hoyer wouldn’t identify a rebuild.

As Hendricks took the mound as soon as extra Tuesday night time time at Wrigley Discipline, the Cubs have been once more inside the hunt for a playoff spot for the first time in three years, whereas the Sox had the fourth-worst doc inside the sport and have been 14 1/2 video video games out of first, collaborating in out the string after a mini sell-off of their very personal.

Occasions flies whether or not or not you’re having pleasurable or counting the instances until the start of the offseason.

Nobody would possibly’ve predicted once more in August 2021 that Hoyer’s plan would rapidly start paying dividends, or that Sox regular supervisor Rick Hahn may very well be beneath fire for the collapse of a rebuild he’d been lauded for whereas it was taking place.

However proper right here we’re, and now the two largest questions are whether or not or not the Cubs can journey on Cody Bellinger’s shoulders into the postseason, and if the Sox ought to tear apart the core, as Hoyer did in ’21, and take a look at one factor utterly totally different to get once more in competitors in a relatively transient timeframe.

The excellence between the two teams was noticeable sooner than Tuesday’s sport.

Dansby Swanson said the Cubs have “performed rather a lot to construct chemistry” inside the clubhouse and have gelled collectively as a result of the season went on and players grew further cosy with their roles. They went into the start of the Metropolis Sequence 19-10 given that break, and participating in almost pretty much as good a mannequin of baseball as we’ve seen on the North Facet since 2019.

It doesn’t matter what their normal doc is on the end of the frequent season, getting in gives them a shot, and it’s as a lot as them to make it rely.

“You wish to be enjoying at your finest when October comes,” Swanson said. “You see plenty of groups that catch fireplace on the proper instances and at all times have an opportunity. That’s all we’re asking for.”

On the other side of the park, Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. said inside the company’ clubhouse that he didn’t view himself as a doable chief. Robert was then requested if there have been any leaders inside the Sox clubhouse.

“I don’t know,” he said by a translator.

At the least he was honest. Tim Anderson should be that man, nonetheless the one-time face of the franchise has studiously averted the media given that José Ramirez knockdown punch went viral.

Whether or not the core of the Sox is salvageable is a question no person can reply. This employees was constructed spherical Anderson, Robert and Eloy Jiménez, who all keep, along with starters Michael Kopech and Dylan Stop.

Might the Sox get once more to worthwhile subsequent 12 months with the an identical core and slightly little bit of tinkering?

“That’s out of my palms,” Robert said. “That’s the entrance workplace’s job. They’ll do what they suppose is finest and I don’t have any vote or any main opinion of gamers or what they must do.”

He doesn’t have a vote, nonetheless he should have an opinion. Sadly, it’s rather a lot less complicated to say nothing and go about your small enterprise favor it’s merely one different job. That’s the model new Sox custom. “Change the Sport” was the mantra in 2021 when the employees was cocky and energetic. Now they’ve gone within the improper means — saying nothing and looking lifeless.

Supervisor Pedro Grifol, who received right here into the job talking about “kicking ass,” has resorted to repeating the an identical talking elements.

“I don’t ever wish to compromise a major-league win to seek out out what any person can do,” he said Tuesday. “Nonetheless, that’s essential for us too, shifting ahead. There’s a fantastic line we’ve to stroll by way of to get to the place we want so far as analysis functions.”

What Grifol doesn’t know is that someplace inside the baseball world, any person is evaluating him to see whether or not or not he ought to stay spherical subsequent 12 months. Hahn might or is not going to be the one requested to restore this mess, however when he’s not once more of his private volition, his substitute desires to watch what Grifol is doing and saying these closing 42 video video games.

Whereas Hahn deservedly will get plenty of the blame for the downfall, (along with govt vice chairman Ken Williams) as a minimum he did a great job of eliminating some deluded would-be leaders who not solely declined to information nonetheless confirmed no accountability for his or her very personal roles inside the employees’s regression.

You’ll be able to’t have good clubhouse chemistry with self-serving players like Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman backstabbing their teammates alongside the best way through which and pretending they weren’t part of the difficulty. If any of the current Sox pitchers nonetheless revere their former teammates, possibly the clubhouse chemistry is doomed to fail as soon as extra in ’24.

Solely a handful of the Cubs who carried out in that 13-1 loss inside the Metropolis Sequence finale of 2021 stick with the employees now. Hoyer cleaned dwelling and situated a bunch of players who put their egos aside for the betterment of the employees.

The Sox can flip points spherical comparatively shortly with the an identical sort of sport plan.

Who will execute that plan, inside the govt suite and inside the dugout, stays to be seen.

However as a minimum everyone knows it might be completed.

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