Monday, June 10, 2024

New Poll Shows White Sox Have One Of The Worst Reputations In Baseball


The White Sox are earning quite a reputation across Major League Baseball. On top of having the worst record in the American League, they were among the three highest vote-getters for teams with a “bad reputation”  in a poll from The Athletic.

The poll surveyed more than 100 MLB players on various topics. One of the 12 questions The Athletic asked was “What organizations have a bad reputation among players?” Respondents were allowed to pick multiple teams. 

Of the 79 players who responded, 40 listed the Oakland Athletics as the team with a “bad reputation” while the White Sox came in second with 19 votes. The Colorado Rockies rounded out the top three with 10 votes. While the White Sox may have finished behind the Athletics the comments about the organization were the most eye-opening. These comments included: 

“I’ve never heard a good thing,” 

“Unlike some other bad teams, they have more potential to be good.” 

“It sounds like no one wants to be there day in and day out… like it’s a grind to just show up to the ballpark. I couldn’t imagine.” 

“It’s not good over there. You can tell by how often there’s turnover that it usually means something’s going on. Players leaving the organizations and automatically doing better (with their new team).” 

via The Atheltic: MLB Player Poll 2024: Worst organizations, the most overrated peer, brst vibes guy and more

The negative perception from the rest of the league is hampering the White Sox’s ability to attract free agents. The comments match similar concerns expressed by Kevin Pillar before he signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox this offseason. Despite not having a robust market of teams calling him in free agency, Pillar admitted he was hesitant to sign with the White Sox during an appearance on the White Sox Talk Podcast

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“When I came here, I have friends that are in this clubhouse that have been here the last couple years. I got former teammates that played in here and to be honest it wasn’t the most positive things said about the organization. So there is definitely some hesitancy of wanting to come here,” Pillar said.

Getz also said during the offseason that the White Sox were having trouble attracting free-agent pitchers, which was one of the reasons he was targeting perceived defensive upgrades and veterans he thought could help with the culture. 

It’s bad enough the White Sox are not known for spending money. They are one of just two teams in MLB history to have never spent $100 million on a single contract. The only other team is the Athletics.  This comes as 91.8% of players surveyed by The Athletic said that the Dodgers $1.2 billion spending spree was good for baseball. It’s also no surprise that many of the other teams listed with “bad reputations” also have reputations for being cheap such as the Athletics, Pirates, Marlins, and Rays. When you pair an unwillingness to spend money with a history of poor leadership, players are going to take notice.

The White Sox are the beneficiaries of an improved farm system, that boasts four top-100 prospects, per MLB Pipeline’s rankings. But as the White Sox last rebuild attempt showed, prospects won’t solve your problems if you don’t supplement the right free agents. Given the amount of holes on the roster, Getz is going to have his work cut out for him luring talent to the South Side. 

The White Sox are on pace for a -353 run differential, which would mark the worst run differential in the MLB since the 1932 Red Sox, who finished with a -349 mark. Pedro Grifol’s squad is also 26 games out of first place in a weak AL Central Division. This was aided by a franchise record 14-game losing streak. 

The White Sox also have a reputation for boneheaded front-office decisions, which plays into the “poor communication” comment. The decision to hire Tony La Russa was met with flack. Midway through the 2022 season, there were multiple reports of rifts in the clubhouse. Later ESPN released a story that depicted a culture where nobody was held accountable. The story alleged that multiple players skipped practices and one player was caught falling asleep in the bullpen. 

The circus continued when former GM Rick Hahn was reportedly against the decision to trade away Jake Burger, but Kenny Williams signed off on the move. After the pair were fired by Reinsdorf, the organization did not interview a single outside candidate before promoting Chris Getz to the general manager position. Reinsdorf runs the White Sox like a mom-and-pop shop. Not a big market team.

It’s easy to see why the White Sox have a negative reputation. The question is how they will go about improving their image. If history is any indication, things will likely get worse before they get better.


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Southside Mike
Southside Mike
Jun 10, 2024 5:27 pm

This is the kiss of death compliments of Jerry Reinsdorf and an indictment of the whole damn organization. Any decent player is going to stay away from the Sox at all costs. They can get better money and a better team elsewhere. And any good players currently on the roster (of which we have few) are going to want to leave. It will take years to recover from this, but you could start by getting rid of the absolute fool that is Grifol. The ultimate solution is Reinsdorf selling the team, but I just don’t see that ever happening.

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