Manager Pedro Grifol summed up the 2023 Chicago White Sox season as the ultimate days of the yr approached.
“Frustrating, educational, somewhat embarrassed,” Grifol stated Saturday afternoon. “But hungry and committed to get it right.”
The Sox had hoped to bounce again after ending 81-81 and lacking the playoffs in 2022. Instead, they suffered at the very least 100 losses for the fifth time in staff historical past.
The Sox misplaced Sunday’s season finale 2-1 to the San Diego Padres in 11 innings in entrance of 20,588 at Guaranteed Rate Field to wrap up the yr 61-101. They matched the 1948 staff (51-101) for the third-most losses in a season. The Sox misplaced 106 video games in 1970 and 102 in 1932.
They completed 40 video games underneath .500 for the primary time since finish of the 1970 season (56-106).
There is nowhere to go however up. Here are 5 takeaways from 2023.
1. The staff by no means recovered from a dismal April.
The Sox knew April could be a problem.
After opening the season in late March in opposition to the 2022 World Series champion Houston Astros, April featured collection in opposition to the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and two in opposition to the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Sox failed the early take a look at, getting off to their worst begin since 1948 with 21 losses of their first 28 video games. During the April 24-26 collection at Toronto, they had been outscored 20-2 whereas getting swept.
The Sox suffered their first 10-game shedding streak since 2013 and wanted to stage an epic ninth-inning rally — scoring seven runs — on April 30 to finish the slide with a 12-9 victory in opposition to the Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field.
When April ended, the Sox had an 8-21 document. They by no means recovered.
2. It turned a season of change.
When a staff flops, change is inevitable.
Well out of the American League Central race, the Sox had been lively on the commerce deadline as sellers. They moved infielder Jake Burger and pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, Kendall Graveman, Keynan Middleton, Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly.
The shake-up didn’t finish within the clubhouse.
On Aug. 21, the Sox parted methods with govt vp Ken Williams and normal supervisor Rick Hahn.
“I made the decision a couple of days before we announced it, but I spent a month thinking about it and talking to people inside and outside the organization,” Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf stated on Aug. 31. “I considered a variety of alternatives. One alternative was to do nothing. Another was to keep Kenny and let Rick go, another was to keep Rick and let Kenny go, and another was to let them both go and I came to the conclusion it would be better to let them both go and have a fresh start.”
The Sox promoted Chris Getz to normal supervisor. He’s added Josh Barfield (assistant normal supervisor), Brian Bannister (senior adviser to pitching) and Gene Watson (director of participant personnel) to the baseball operations division.
Getz stated Grifol would stay as supervisor.
Asked about attainable modifications to his teaching employees earlier than Sunday’s sport, Grifol stated, “There’s a few ideas that I can’t share. It’s a very sensitive issue. When you talk about the staff you talk about people that have been here for a long, long time. Unfortunately, this is a game that’s predicated on wins and losses so obviously, every year this is a tough time of the year for staff.”
3. The information by no means stopped for a staff out of rivalry.
While they had been nicely out of rivalry, the Sox had been by no means out of the information.
And not for the precise causes.
The Sox and Cleveland Guardians received right into a brawl on Aug. 5 at Progressive Field. The melee resulted in six suspensions, with Sox shortstop Tim Anderson serving 5 video games and Guardians third baseman José Ramírez serving two.
The mud hadn’t actually settled from the brouhaha when Middleton — a member of the New York Yankees after an Aug. 1 commerce — stated in an Aug. 6 interview with ESPN and the New York Daily News that the Sox clubhouse had “no rules,” which acquired pushback from Hahn and Grifol.
The focus shifted to the stands on Aug. 25, when two ladies had been hit by gunfire at a Sox sport in opposition to the Oakland Athletics at Guaranteed Rate Field. Questions nonetheless persist in regard to that incident.
4. Luis Robert Jr. and Liam Hendriks offered highlights.
The highlights aren’t plentiful when a staff loses 101 video games.
But Robert elevated his sport to a different degree, ending third within the American League with 38 homers. He earned his first All-Star choice on the way in which to changing into the primary participant in Sox historical past to hit 35-plus doubles (36) and 35-plus residence runs and steal 20-plus bases (20) in a single season.
He additionally performed Gold Glove-caliber protection in heart subject.
One of essentially the most memorable moments of the season got here May 29 when Hendriks made his inspirational season debut in opposition to the Los Angeles Angels at Guaranteed Rate Field after battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The reliever continued to make an affect after present process season-ending Tommy John surgical procedure in August, assembly with households affected by most cancers throughout residence and street video games the remainder of the season.
5. The Sox face a number of selections this offseason.
The Sox have membership choices in 2024 for Hendriks and Anderson, two selections dealing with the staff this offseason.
There’s a whole lot of work to do, whether or not it’s with the pitching employees, infield spots like second base and outfield positions like proper subject.
“I’m committed, determined, excited to start this offseason with Chris and his staff and get this better, way better,” Grifol stated Sunday. “It needs to get better.”