Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Chris Getz Doubles Down On Descion To Stick With Pedro Grifol


Chris Gretz made it very clear during his opening press conference that nobody on the White Sox roster was untouchable. Nobody but Pedro Grifol. The White Sox manager still has two years remaining on his contract and will be sticking for at least another season. 

Getz announced during his opening press conference that Grifol would be back for the 2024 season. Since that announcement, the White Sox have gone 2-7 as their march toward 100 losses continues. Many assumed Getz would want to hire his own manager once he took over as GM. After all, Grifol’s first year at the helm has been a disaster. 

Getz was part of the process that resulted in hiring Grifol and his coaching staff back in November. However, it seems strange that Getz would back a manager who hasn’t accomplished anything he said he would in his introductory press conference.  

The White Sox were expected to win the division. By mid-September, they have already been eliminated from postseason contention. Grifol was billed as a great communicator who was going to help build a culture. As Keynan Middleton and and others exposed, the White Sox “culture” or lack thereof was toxic. Grifol said the White Sox were going to show up ready to play each night.  The White Sox looked like they quit on Grifol by May. Simply put Grifol looks like he is in way over his head. 

Despite all of this, Chris Getz reiterated his support for Grifol on Saturday. 

“These last couple of weeks of the season, I need to spend more time with Pedro, the coaching staff and the players just to learn more about the areas that we need to get better,” Getz said. “They are going to highlight some things that can help us do that swiftly but I need to go through that assessment period first.

“Pedro came into a tough situation with the disappointment of 2022. His experience is very valuable with all the different roles he’s had in this game. He has experienced winning. He’s determined to get this right. I think that different type of support, he’ll benefit from. And I think that the leadership starting with myself could really help him do that.” 

The White Sox did not struggle this season due to a lack of talent. On paper, they had a better roster than the majority of the division. Their problem was that they had failed to build a cohesive unit. Not all of that is on Grifol. But he failed to set the tone early in spring training and now most of the players have lost respect for him. 

If Getz decides to keep most of the core intact for next season he can expect more of the same with Grifol as the manager unless some new veteran leadership is brought in this offseason. 

Getz also said this weekend that the White Sox have lost their edge.

“There isn’t an obvious recipe to regain an edge,” Getz said. “With that being said, there’s professionalism, there’s loyalty, there’s execution. Those are the big three pillars I often point to.

“With those pillars, there’s a lot to unpack. But it does represent what it takes to be a championship-caliber ballclub.”

Once again most of the points he brought up fall on the manager. Professionalism thrives in a good culture. Grifol has failed to cultivate a professional culture. According to Jesse Rodger’s report on ESPN,  players skip practices and fall asleep in the bullpen. 

Execution has been something the White Sox have struggled with for years. Their fielding and base running are consistently amongst the worst in the league. These are fundamentals that should be drilled into each player in Spring Training. 

This season cannot solely be pinned on Pedro Grifol. However, he has given the front office no good reasons to bring him back next season. If you take a step back and think about what Grifol has done well as a manager you are going to have a tough time coming up with a reasonable argument.

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