The epitaph for this Chicago White Sox season was delivered Wednesday night by starter Lance Lynn.
“Nothing surprises me, especially when you play like a (bleep) all year,” Lynn said after the loss The Cleveland Guardians are coming off one of their worst performances of the year.
A three-game sweep of the Sentinels put the Sox on the brink of elimination, and we’ll soon find out what they’ll do to make sure it doesn’t happen again next year.
As everyone knows by now, the Sox don’t operate like most teams. Sometimes who you know is as important as anything else in getting—and keeping—a job with that organization. So who will stay and who will go, can only be guessed.
General manager Rick Hahn is on the hot seat despite a rebuild that appeared to be on target before regressing this season under a manager he didn’t choose.
Heading into the end of the season, here’s a look at some of the key personnel that are expected to be evaluated by executive vice president Ken Williams and, if he stays, Khan.
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf single-handedly selected Tony La Russo as manager in 2020, relieving Hahn of the responsibility to hire his friend. Reinsdorf denies that scenario in his hiring statement.
“His hiring is not based on friendship or something that happened years ago, but the fact that we have the opportunity to have one of the greatest managers in the history of the game in our dugout at a time when we believe our team is ready to great success. achievements,” Reinsdorf said.
La Russa left the team on Aug. 30 due to a heart problem with a month remaining in his second season and remains sidelined. He is reportedly signed until 2023, but that too remains in doubt. If they want, the Sox can use the health issue as a reason to move on from La Russo’s second era, which was a failure by most standards.
Reinsdorf will have the last word, however.
Hahn was allowed to hire pitching coach Ethan Katz after the 2020 season to replace Don Cooper, whose sell-by date was extended by years by Hahn and Williams. Cooper managed to outlast managers Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel, Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura and was let go on the same day as manager Rick Renteria after a 2020 playoff loss to the Oakland A’s.
Katz managed a team that finished second in the American League in 2021, but entered Friday ranked seventh with a 3.88 ERA. He would seem to be safe with any change of managers and could even be considered as a candidate to replace La Russo.
Miguel Cairo, who played under La Russa in St. Louis and was a special assistant in Cincinnati to former La Russa boss and friend Walt Giacchetti, was hired as a bench coach two years ago. It was a surprising move considering that Cairo had never been in charge at any level and was only the Reds’ interim back-up coach for part of the 2013 season.
The Sox seemed to respond when Cairo replaced La Russo as acting manager.
“From August 31st, they decided to play, they decided to fight,” Cairo said after Thursday’s loss.
But the Sox fell short in their biggest series of the season and fell back to two games over .500. Cairo remains a manager candidate with La Russa out, but a poor finish could overturn his hot start.
Hitting coach Frank Menecchino replaced Todd Steverson after the 2019 season and remained at La Russa State. Steverson was later rehired in 2021 as a special assistant to Williams. As of Friday, the Sox are second in the majors in hitting (.260 average), but are 22nd in home runs (140) and 29th in RBIs (367). If the Sox need a scapegoat for this mess, Menechino would be a likely candidate.
First base coach Darryl Boston, hired by Williams in his 10th season at the state, looks safe. Joe McEwing, who had a tough season coaching third place, could be substituted for a few bad decisions, notably a terrible send-off on Yasmani Grandal that resulted in a left knee injury.
Shelley Duncan, son of La Russa’s friend and longtime pitching coach Dave Duncan, was hired as the analytics coordinator in 2020. Ironically, La Russa once said in Arizona, the use of analytics was “an important training tool, (but) if you let it interfere with the decision-making of your manager and coaches, you’re going to be easier to beat.” The overuse of Leury Garcia shows that La Russa doesn’t prioritize analytics.
Assistant GM/Player developed by Chris Getz can go up if Khan is pushed out or moved to another position. Ken Williams Jr., son of the vice president, was promoted to assistant director of minor league player development under Goetz in 2020 and could replace Goetz if he moves up.
The bottom line is that no one should feel safe after a season like this.
But Reinsdorf is known for his loyalty, so use your judgment at your own risk.