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Wishful Thinking – Chicago White Sox Style!

2013 was, by far, one the worst years for the Chicago White Sox, but one of many in a long run of disappointments for the organization. Teams in major markets should have contending on the field regularly. The Sox have a ways to go in order to shore up their poor farm system, and put home grown talent on the field.

2013 was, by far, one the worst years for the Chicago White Sox, but one of many in a long run of disappointments for the organization. Teams in major markets should have contending on the field regularly. The Sox have a ways to go in order to shore up their poor farm system, and put home grown talent on the field.

By ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen 

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As much as I enjoy watching the MLB postseason, it’s a constant reminder of my favorite team’s failures.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching Juan Uribe hit a game winning HR, sending the Dodgers to the NLCS.

I just wish that was MY team headed to the League Championship Series.

This was the 5th consecutive season that the Chicago White Sox did not make the postseason. And while that pales in comparison to other team's poor stretches, it's an embarrassment in a major market like Chicago. Maybe the word is unacceptable, not embarrassing? Either way, things need to change. While the Sox have had a couple competitive teams the past few years, they haven't had a contending team since 2005.

This was the 5th consecutive season that the Chicago White Sox did not make the postseason. And while that pales in comparison to other team’s poor stretches, it’s an embarrassment in a major market like Chicago. Maybe the word is unacceptable, not embarrassing? Either way, things need to change. While the Sox have had a couple competitive teams the past few years, but they haven’t had a playoff contending team since 2005.

Sure, they won the AL Central in 2008, advancing to the postseason after winning game 163 against the Twins on a solo HR by Jim Thome. But we all know that team wasn’t a true contender.

In 2012, the Sox were in first place for most of the year, collapsing the last two weeks of the season, and relinquishing the division to the Tigers.

But even though they were in first place for over 100 days, the team never seemed like a true contender. At least not to me.

Chris Sale put up great numbers again in 2013, but had little to show for it statistically as the offense behind him failed to produce many runs. He has the talent to lead the Sox to the postseason, but needs an offense and quality defense behind him.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching Jake Peavy pitch the Red Sox into the ALCS. But, the problem is, he was pitching for the wrong Sox.

I want Chris Sale on the mound, in game 7 the ALCS. And maybe someday, he will. But not until the Sox build a contender. Competitive teams can be fun to watch. But contending teams are what fans dream of.

I want Chris Sale on the mound, in game 7 the ALCS. And maybe someday, he will. But not until the Sox build a contender. Competitive teams can be fun to watch. But contending teams are what fans dream of.

I want to listen to Dick Stockton mispronounce Avisail Garcia‘s name on a national broadcast over, and over, and over again. But the Sox have to get there first.

They have to get on base at a higher rate. They have to be more patient at the plate and take more walks. They have to run the bases better.

They have to play better defensively. Hitting the cut-off man would be a good thing. All these things can help get your team get to the postseason on a regular basis. Fundamentals.

Good fundamentals lead to contention. Competitive teams are fun to watch, but contention is the goal.

Are you tired of seeing the Cardinals in the playoffs year, after year, after year? I’m not/ They’re a joy to watch as a baseball fan. I just wish my Sox were that joy.

How about the Rays? Tired of seeing them? They have never once, at least not in recent memory, signed a high priced free agent (do Greg Vaughn and Vinne Castilla count?). Almost all of their success stems from home grown talent.

With the exception of Chris Sale, who would you consider home grown talent on the Sox roster?

Granted, the acquisition of Avisail Garcia from the Tigers by Rick Hahn was ingenious, where’s our 5 tool sensation in our minor league system waiting to hit the major league scene?

While the Cardinals have the resources to sign big $ free agents (and they have, see Carlos Beltran recently), a huge part of their success is also home grown talent.

I want to watch a Sox Latin phenom hit a stand-up, bat flipping triple to give them the lead in game 3 of the ALCS. But they have to sign hime first.

Yes, the Sox have had some success in the international market. Alexei Ramirez has been steady (until 2013) since he was signed out of Cuba.

Dayan Viciedo had shown a lot of promise (again, until 2013). But there’s a chance neither of these players will even be with the Sox in 2014.

Andre Rienzo became the first Brazilian born player to start an MLB game while pitching for the Sox in 2013. A step in the right direction. The Sox spent a good amount of $ in Latin America in 2013, and will be spending even more in 2014. Also a step in the right direction.

The Sox have solid pitching, a must-have for contention. And it doesn’t appear as though Rick Hahn is ready to completely tear down and rebuild, for that reason.

Is a complete rebuild the answer? I don’t know, and if I did, I’d be the Sox GM, and nobody wants that. I just want a consistent contender.

I want someone for my Sox to hit a game tying grand slam in the bottom of the 8th inning in the ALCS.

I want U.S. Cellular Field to shake like it did in 2005 when I was in attendance. I want a contender, year, after year, after year.

But contending teams take time to build. Rick Hahn has a tough task on hand. And once all of the excitement of the 2013 MLB playoffs is over, he can start building.

GM Rick Hahn and VP Kenny Williams have some work ahead of them to put together a consistent contender that White Sox fans crave. Modeling their organization after the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks franchise may be a good way to start. Building through the draft and young talent can go a long way in constructing a contender.

GM Rick Hahn and VP Kenny Williams have some work ahead of them to put together a consistent contender that White Sox fans crave. Modeling their organization after the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks franchise may be a good way to start. Building through the draft and young talent can go a long way in constructing a contender.  Kenny Williams knows how to do this – as he was the architect behind the 2005 World Series run.  I just hope the ‘Southsiders’ don’t have to wait another 87 years to have their name back atop the trophy.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘White Sox Correspondent’ Brian Madsen for preparing today’s featured article. Brian was born and raised in Chicago Heights, IL, a south suburb of Chicago.

He attended Illinois St. University, majoring in education/teaching. Brian now lives in Joliet, IL with his wife Suzanne two daughters, Abby, 9, and Grace, 4.

He has worked at The Little Guys Home Technology for 12 years as a salesman/system designer/custom integrator.

Brian is an avid White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls fan.   

a brian madsen

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback. To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Posted on October 17, 2013, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Wishful Thinking – Chicago White Sox Style!.

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