White Sox on June 15th

So here we sit, a day after a loss to the team with the best record in the American League. We are 40% through the season, 16 games over 500, and playing at a .621 clip…which would give us 100 wins on the season. We are surviving the loss of Eloy, Robert, and now Madrigal. How did we get here…and where are we going from here.

Starting Pitching

Our starting pitching has been great, save for some starts where guys don’t have it (e.g. Lynn last night). Lucas Giolito has been ok…not always at all-star or ace form, but better than his 5-5 record. Dallas Keuchel is starting to show a little age, but is still getting it done. He is also better than the 5 wins he’s posted. Dylan Cease has been refreshing to watch, he’s gotten his walk habit under control, and seems to be on the way to being a solid #3 starter, with flashes of being able to be a #2. Lance Lynn has been as advertised. His 7 wins lead the club, his ERA of 1.51 also leads the club, his WHIP is under 1 at 0.93, and he’s chewing up innings. Carlos Rodon has been the surprise of the season. He FINALLY looks like the guy we drafted #1, 3rd overall in 2014. He’s leading the team with 97 strikeouts, a 0.84 WHIP and a Batting Average Against .166. I think that our starting pitching will continue to lead the way for us.

Hitting

Our hitting seems to come in bunches. We have only 1 player batting over .300, Yermin has come back down to earth as he is now hitting .285. Jose has been struggling as is at .258. Moncada seems to be getting back to the form he should have. Yoyo is hitting .280, leading the team with an OBP of .402, slugging .408, and leading the club with a .810 OPS, second in walks with 41, even though he’s leading the team in strikeouts with 75. He’s also leading he team in games played at 62. Andrew Vaughn needs more MLB at bats…he will be a solid hitter, he just needs to see more at bats. When we hit, we win…when we don’t hit, we have issues. We need to get our hitting more consistent. We seem to be taking more pitches, but we need to get better.

Bullpen

Liam Hendriks has been the closer we need. 17 saves, 44 K’s against 3 walks. Kopech has been good when healthy, the rest of the bullpen has been the model of inconsistency. Marshall comes in one game, lights out, great inning, etc…next game, he can’t get an out or throw a strike to save his life. Codi has been inconsistent, Crochet, Ruiz, Bummer, etc…the entire pen has been an inconsistent let down.

The rest of the season

We have a 4.5 game lead in a weak division. Our starting pitching should carry us, and hopefully as it warms up…so will our hitting. Plus we will get Eloy and Robert back in July/August, which should be a big boost to the team. If our bullpen can gets its act together, we will be posed for a long October playoff run.

10 Reasons to Hire A Fractional CFO

This is a copy of my article that I wrote for LinkedIn. Here is a link to it.

This and other posts appear on my company’s blog page. Click here to see our other posts.

A Fractional CFO Logo Final PNG copy
My Company’s Logo

By Tony Fremarek | A Fractional CFO, LLC

A CFO is responsible for managing the financial operations of a business, this includes accounting, financial reporting, cash management, budgeting, maintaining controls, capital structure issues, and financing.  Additionally, the CFO is involved in strategic planning and financial analysis related to daily operations. Many CFO’s also have experience dealing with issues involving HR, IT, and insurance. They also provide guidance to business owners to maximize cash flow, minimize business risk, and increase the overall value of their business. 

The role of CFO differs from the services traditionally provided by the external CPA.  Since the most common corporate structures are either an LLC or a S-Corp, the CPA is focused on taxes in most small to mid-size businesses. The CPA spends most of their time and efforts looking backwards and reporting on the past. The CFO, on the other hand, is more focused on the present and working towards the future.  Don’t get me wrong, the CPA plays a vital role in the business, but they are more effective when working with a CFO.

Most small and mid-size businesses employ an accountant or bookkeeper who maintains the financial system and records transactions on a day-to-day basis. The external CPA produces the tax returns and, at times, may do some light analysis work at quarter- and year-end.  This leaves a significant gap in the information and management reporting available. Without regular reporting, business owners lack the critical financial information needed to make an informed decision. 

The CFO works closely with the owner to define the future for the company. This involves setting realistic goals and helping to plot the roadmap to achieve those goals. Working with the internal team, as well as working with external vendors and stakeholders, is yet another key function. This includes setting and managing expectations, presenting financial information, and often working with bankers, creditors, and lenders. 

Most small to mid-size businesses cannot justify hiring a full-time CFO.  Aside from the costs involved, there is just not enough work to be done.  The solution is to hire a Fractional CFO.  A Fractional CFO allows all businesses to have the advantages of a larger organization. The business gets the advantage of a C-level financial expert, but on a fractional, affordable basis. Often times these Fractional engagements can last forever, or until the organization grows to the point it can justify a full-time CFO.  In the case of growth, the hand-off from the Fractional CFO to the full time CFO is seamless. 

Key advantages of hiring A Fractional CFO include: 

  1. Better Financial Information – Accurate and timely financial statements and management reports that include projections, actual results versus forecasts, cash flow forecasts, and other KPIs that improve insight and promote proactive management.   The goal is to increase visibility and efficiency to increase net income.
  2. Improved Decision Making – Basing decisions on accurate and relevant financial information allows the business owner the opportunity to avoid making wrong or costly decisions.  Key decisions include growth strategies, cost management, financing and business investments, and staffing among others.  
  3. Team member – The CFO becomes embedded in the company and acts as part of the management team. The CFO, while virtual, is always available given today’s technology. It’s like having them sitting in the office with you.
  4. Internal Controls – Financial controls can provide many benefits including accurate financial statements, improved control of company assets, and greater financial visibility.  Another “set of eyes” also reduces the chance for errors or fraud.
  5. Specialist Skillset – A Fractional CFO is, first and foremost, a business professional with experience within various business enterprises.  A Fractional CFO is exposed to many other businesses through their clients, and they bring that knowledge to their business.  A significant difference between a CFO and a CPA is that a CFO can solve many financial and business problems because they have experience doing just that. They can quickly identify and address issues and bring their experience to bear using best practices to solve those issues.
  6. Increased Productivity – Hiring A Fractional CFO to perform the financial and administrative functions of the business frees up the business owner so they can focus on “doing” the business, rather than trying to “run” the business. In addition to bringing financial and accounting expertise – a CFO can deal with administrative areas such as human resources, facilities, insurances, legal and compliance, IT, and banking relationships. 
  7. Perspective – A CFO can improve the decision-making process by helping owners ask the right questions and base decisions on facts. A Fractional CFO provides a fresh perspective to the owner and often seeing things in a different light.  A Fractional CFO can be a sounding board and trusted advisor for new ideas and initiatives. There is also the added benefit of making life a little less lonely for the entrepreneur. We all know it’s lonely at the top.
  8. Flexibility – By using A Fractional CFO, the level of involvement can be varied and customized to the needs of the organization. The ability to ramp up or down the efforts of A Fractional CFO, allows the organization the ability to increase the level of support when needed, and then adjust it down when not needed.  That flexibility is not an option with a full-time CFO.
  9. Stakeholder Confidence – Stakeholders, such as lenders and creditors, react positively to the knowledge that a professional CFO is part of the management team. This takes on additional importance when looking for outside investment, debt financing, or positioning the company for sale.  
  10. Cost – A Fractional CFO can bring all the benefits in terms of skills and knowledge of a full- time resource, at significantly less of the cost.   

To summarize, A Fractional CFO brings all the benefits of a full-time resource, but at a fraction of the cost. They work for an agreed upon amount of time on an ongoing basis. The benefits, which are numerous, range from improved reporting and decision-making, better vision into the business for planning and forecasting, and stronger financial management and controls. I believe the biggest benefit is the owner’s ability to transfer the financial and administrative burden to the CFO, and free themselves to work on other parts of the business.  Business owners are forced to wear many hats and the financial and administrative hat is usually the worst fit. 

Tony Fremarek is the Founder of A Fractional CFO, LLC with offices in Plainfield, IL and Fort Myers, FL. 

www.afractionalcfo.com

White Sox 2021 – 22 games in

So here we are, 22 games in, 140 to go, 13.6% of the season has passed. What have we learned about these White Sox? Well, we’ve learned that we still are a young club, with some growing pains. We’ve had the early success of Carlos Rodon and Yermin Mercedes to be excited about. Tim Anderson is being TA7, and Nick Madrigal will continue to put the ball in play. This White Sox team is still in a great spot. As we get to the end of the first month of the season, we are 2 games behind the Royals, which is a surprise #1. The Twins that so many people picked to win the division, are residing in the basement at 7 and 15.

As the weather heats up…so will the bats on this team. We will hit, the pitching should get stronger. I am confident that the bullpen will get it’s footing, and be the pen that we expect.

The message…don’t panic. I’ve read so many different blogs, and Facebook group posts that have fans trashing this team, which is really premature at this time. Stay the course, history is full of teams that had great starts, and horrible finishes…and teams that have had slow starts, and then won the World Series.

Go White Sox!!!

White Sox 2021 – Part 1

Current White Sox Logo
Current White Sox Logo

Like most die hard and dedicated Sox fans I have been anticipating this Spring training for years now. As I’ve outlined in my prior posts…I have lots of great White Sox memories. We’ve watch the Sox rebuild begin with the Chris Sale trade, and have watched the young players start to develop. In the past years I even found myself watching the minor league teams to see how the kids were doing. As we begin this year, I’m not sure which player I’m most excited to see. We should put up tons of runs, and be lethal from 1-9 in the order…with the power guys, the speed guys, and the put the ball in play guys…we will be solid. The starting rotation is clearly solid with the big three of Giolito, Keuchel, and Lynn. If Cease has finally learned the strike zone…then we are good 1-4. Every team is weak at the 5 in the rotation…that’s why guys are a 5th starter. How good is this team…my opinion on the team below. I’ll start reviewing players until we get to Opening Day.

White Sox Starting Lineup

Tim Anderson – Here is a guy who years ago I would watch, and I so wanted him to be good. When he came up in 2016, and hit .283, I thought to myself…ok…he’ll be a .300 hitter in a year or so, once he adapts to big league pitching on a full time basis. He followed up that performance with a .257 average in 2017, again…ok…sophomore slump…he’ll be fine. The he hits .240 in 2018, and my thoughts are is he not going to make it, we can find defensive shortstops that hit .240, what happened to the guy we drafted in 2013 with our number 1 pick? Then TA7 appears…I’m not sure what happened to this guy between 2018, and 2019, but 2019 gave us a new Tim Anderson, bolder, a leader, an individual, a guy who looked like he was having fun, and guy who hit .335 and won the batting title. 2020 confirmed that this guy is the real deal…he’s one of the leaders on this team. When he slumped at the end of the year, I had a saying…and I think it’s very true…as TA7 goes…so do the White Sox. This is now the guy I think we always wanted him to be…and the Sox are and will be better off for it. Tim Anderson will be the White Sox shortstop for a long time.

Tim Anderson.  Chicago White Sox Shortstop. Jersey number 7.
Tim Anderson

Yoan Moncada – As I mentioned earlier…here is a guy who was the start of the rebuild. On that day in December of 2016, we acquired Yoan, and he subsequently changed his color sox from red to white. Here is another guy I have enjoyed watching get better. I don’t think he is close to reaching his potential yet. He had a rough first year and a half with the Sox…with an average just above .230, and then leading the league in strikeouts with 217, yes…217, that is not a misprint. His strikeout average was .375…yikes, with only 17 home runs. 2019 brought us what I hope is the real Yoyo…a .315 hitter, 25 homers, and down to 154 strikeouts. If he truly was affected by COVID last year, then we should see a bounce back to 2019 form. If we could get .300/25/100 out of him that would be great. He should clearly have more RBI chances with the stacked lineup. I also think that moving him around in the infield messed him up a bit as well. He has learned to play a solid third base…so I am excited to see what this season brings.

Yoan Moncada.  White Sox Third baseman.  Jersey number 10.
Yoan Moncada

To Be continued…

Please leave your thoughts or comments in the comments section. Would like to hear your thoughts fellow White So fans.