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.

The Making of a White Sox fan!!! The joys of being a Dad and having a son who loves the Sox and baseball as much as I do. Part 3 of my Sox fan journey.

July 27, 1995 – One of the most important days of my life

This is a day that changed my life forever. This was the day my son Anthony was born. So a little background…I’m Tony, my Dad is Tony, my Grandfather was Tony…to make it a little more crazy…my father-in-law is Tony, and so is my brother-in-law…another Tony. So while Anthony would be the V (5th), or as my buddy Brett called him Cinco…my wife Gina agreed to name him Anthony, but ONLY if we called him Anthony. Deal was done. So Anthony it would be. As most of you know from my blog, or knowing me I have a few very strong sport loves…aside from my beloved White Sox, I am a huge Notre Dame fan (like being a Catholic school kid in Chicago there was another choice). So much so that on Anthony’s coming home outfit I had a Notre Dame Leprechaun on his outfit.

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Notre Dame Leprechaun

As Anthony started to grow, I began the indoctrination into the world of White Sox fandom. For starters, he was exposed only to White Sox gear, clothing, etc…my in-laws (Cubs fans God Bless them) thought it would be funny to buy him a Cubs outfit…funny how quickly that got “lost” in the house. I’ll be honest…at times I was a little worried about him and liking baseball…he showed huge interest in NASCAR, so a NASCAR fan I became. Eventually…his love of baseball began…and is still strong to this day.

I remember taking him to games when he was young, as outlined in my prior posts. He became obsessed with the game that I loved so much. This was and is something that we share. I remember his first favorite player being Magglio Ordóñez. I also remember him watching so many games, and one of his favorite things to do was to remember every players batting stance. He would grab a bat, and get into a stance…and ask me, “Dad, who am I? Whose stance is this?” He was dead on…all the time. I remember how sad he as when we let Mags go to Detroit…the first hard lesson about the business of baseball.

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Gotta have the picture of Magglio

So it begins…Wire to wire in 2005

Monday, April 4, 2005 – This was mine and Anthony’s 5th Opening Day in a row. 5 is kinda a milestone. Coming into this game we were 3-1 on our first 4 Opening Days, so we were feeling pretty good about our Sox. Gone was Anthony’d first favorite player, and roaming right field now was Jermaine Dye. Of course we had Mark Buehrle on the mound. If you would have told me on that day, that the White Sox would be in first place in the division, and would win the World Series I would have told you “No Way”. The Sox were picked to finish 4th in the division that year…ahead of only the Royals. The Sox won that game 1-0, Mark went 8 innings, giving up 2 hits, striking out 5. Who can forget the gong as Shingo Takatsu took the mound to secure the save in the 9th. We won…the Sox were in 1st place.

As the season progressed I think all Sox fans started to realize we had something special going on on the Southside. I remember listening to the division clinch game against the Tigers in my office on an afternoon…Paul Konerko catching the throw to clinch the division. We were headed to the Playoffs. While I had my memories of the 1983 Winning Ugly Sox, this was the “Don’t Stop Believing Sox” and Anthony’s first playoff run.

So Anthony and I watched or listened to all the playoff games together. I remember that we had Church School on the day the Sox played Boston…the infamous El Duque game…bases loaded, nobody out…in comes El Duque…the right man at the right time. Anthony and I listened to that inning as we headed home, nervous as could be…this was the defending World Series Champs we were facing…Fly ball, 1 out, Fly ball, 2 outs…then the strike out to Johnny Damon…we went nuts in the car…this was the “Don’t Stop Believing” White Sox…of course we got out of the inning.

ALCS

Here come the Angels…They were tired, we were rested. Somehow they won that first game. I think all Chicago Sox fans had that collective, “oh no”. Then as game 2 went…we had that same feeling…up until the infamous strike 3 in the dirt to AJ in the 9th…did that ball hit the dirt…we now Tim “I hate the White Sox” McCarver thought it was in the glove…but A.J. was smart enough to run to first. A.J. Pierzynski…the guy who, if he’s on your team, you love him…if he’s on the opposing team, you hate him. Thankfully we love A.J.

We headed out to Florida the morning after the dropped 3rd strike game. So my son and I experienced the games from LA watching from my in-laws home in Fort Myers. Each game was great, start to finish. I just know that we will probably never see another performance of 4 straight complete game wins by a pitching staff in the playoffs. The game as evolved so much since 2005, with starters, middle relievers and closers, never again. I remember that it used to be you wanted your starter to get into the 7th, that has now evolved to getting to the 6th. I still go back and forth on the new rule of finishing an inning or facing 3 batters, it certainly changes the game…I’m just not sure if it changes it for the better. It was annoying to watch teams trot out three relievers in an inning for “situational” pitching, but the idea of managing around that…I’m going with my best guy against your best guy is now gone. Wouldn’t it be interesting if pinch hitters needed to play at least 1 inning after the pinch hit? Would certainly make extra innings or late innings interesting as we still have defensive replacements. Imagine the big pinch hitter needing to come play the field…think how that would change the game.

Anyway…I got off on a fun tangent…I still remember that feeling when Paulie gloved that last out at first in game 5, and the White Sox were headed to the World Series….

Fractional CFO update with Tony Fremarek – Cash flow

Cash flow. Why is it important to my business?

Tony Fremarek discusses the importance of Cash flow management and modeling in your business.  Cash flow management is the most important aspect of every business. A healthy cash flow ensures that the business can pay salaries on time and have funds for growth and expansion of the business.  So many business owners fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to cash management.  This is especially true with companies in growth mode, new businesses, seasonal businesses, or can be a leading indicator of a business that is struggling.  At A Fractional CFO we recommend most businesses to create a 13-week cash flow model.  This model becomes a “living” document, one that is updated weekly.  It allows actual results to be compared to the forecast, and tweak the model to keep it in line with the business.  You then add the 13th week to the new model.  This essentially gives the owner 1 quarter of vision into the cashflow of the business.  It is certainly easier to make adjustments to meet a payroll in week 7 when you know cash will be short then, versus trying to figure it out 2 days before payroll.

Check out my company blog page for additional tips.

Tony Fremarek discussing Cash flow

The Costs of hiring the wrong person – A Fractional CFO update.

Tony Fremarek of A Fractional CFO and Thomas Herman of CRO Executive RoundTable engage in a discussion around the Right Person for the Right Role. In small to mid-sized businesses, a hiring miss can be detrimental. It is also important to make sure that you utilize people in the right roles. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole doesn’t always work. When hiring sales people this is even more important as the sales cycle dictates how long you will need to hold on to a person before you know what you have. Tony and Thomas also discuss using metrics and leading indicators instead of lagging indicators in judging a sales person. The use of third parties, whether tests or other impartial measurements helps to take the emotions out of decisions. We are probably all guilty at some point in our career of hiring the “nice guy”, because we liked them. For the record, a lot of nice people are really incompetent when it comes to the role we may be filling. Great people, and maybe a great person for the organization, but do you have them in the right role? Using the Good to Great book by Jim Collins and it’s theories, ask yourself, Does this person belong on the bus? Do you have them in the right seat on the bus?