Mid-season, SSS staff Grading 46-46 White Sox, from monitor Dylan Cease to Dallas Keuchel. We’ve invented a WARsss metric, and it’s likely just a cute way to show the rank of our particular site – but as you know, it’s probably the product of years of research in the statistics lab.
Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw White Sox uniform time, as well as some front office types. Most of our writers will be playing with a few players by the end of November, with final scores and short writing. enjoy!
Mid-season: -1.2 sssWAR
Final: -2.321 sssWAR
In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled in a mysterious tax and ownership case involving depreciation, deductions, and other issues that concern only tax enthusiasts and investors. In the simplest terms, this situation, Frank Lyon & Co. to America People who rent real estate are allowed to get some tax benefits by deferring certain things or deducting other things. Again, only the Tax Hound and others didn’t even notice it by David Foster Wallace.
One of them was Jerry Reinsdorf, a young Brooklyn boy who moved to Chicago and who grew from a small-scale tax analyst to a smart investor. Frank Lyon Changed the real estate rules and made him a fortune. It even earned him enough money to buy the Chicago White Sox, a run-down villain team on an unpopular side of town, for $19 million.
That’s why we see Bryce Harper leading other teams to the World Series.
Of all the years Reinsdorf has had the White Sox, 2022 may be the most Reinsdorfian year. Of course, one could use the 1997 white flag trade to show his disregard for what happened on the court. You can point to his tough stance during the 1994 lockout, who valued breaking the league more than having a World Series contender. Or you can go back to him and threaten to skip Florida towns and use the beloved local institution as a bargaining chip to make more money.
But this year, all of Jerry’s worst tendencies really came into play. In a year when the system rots, a vague euphemism for loyalty is a culture of flattery, and the best way to maintain good manners is to ask no questions, threaten to close the window on arguments, and turn good things into pain.
- Shows what loyalty means by forcing a standout pitcher and human Lucas Giolitio to arbitrate. A handful of pennies are prized for actual loyalty, decency, or long-term reputational thinking.
- Free agents rejected by the Sox, most notably Bryce Harper, led their team to the playoffs. Harper particularly stings — Reinsdorf believes avoiding Scott Boras is more important than signing the best player.
- What wasn’t spent on Harper (or Manny Machado, Zach Wheeler, etc.) was spent on some more or less unhelpful rescuers and backups.
- We enter the second year of the Tony La Russa Apology Tour, where Reinsdorf imposed a drunken glass on a group of young, exciting players in order to make up for La Russa’s dismissal more than 20 years ago. Nothing — not injuries, underperformance, allergies to launch angles — can hurt this team more logistically and morally than TLR.
There’s some interesting, extremely Reinsdorfian stuff here. It’s not that Jerry doesn’t spend money; the Sox is in the top 10 for salaries this year. It’s just that he won’t give out huge contracts. He’d rather spend $35 million on people who have been and never will be, shuffling cards and mediocrity, than spending $30 million on a star who happens to fill our biggest hole.
Why? Because he knows he’s going to make money no matter what. It’s more important not to give big contracts, because then unions and players have more power. Reinsdorf certainly values money, but he values the principle of power more. He could make more money by signing great players and winning, but at what cost? It’s a principled position, but the rich are always willing to sacrifice paltry money to protect their class.
The TLR fiasco is another classic Reinsdorf inversion. Hey, he cares about his friends! He was saddened by the decades-long contempt. Now, in effect, his White Sox firing ruined Tony’s life and made him a millionaire Hall of Famer, but still. In 2020, the Red Sox have a great team. Jerry thought his old buddy could easily win the World Series, and he wanted to give him a solid foundation. So here – bring the team.
This is not true loyalty. It’s not loyalty to people who care about you, they have no power. It’s not allegiance to the fans, to the organization, or to the city. This is allegiance to the idea that there are two groups of people: me and my friends, who matter — and everyone else, who should just listen.
That spirit is exactly how Reinsdorf runs Sox. With those who depend on your work, they will never back down. Doing enough to make money, but not enough to actually have to spend. Keep the long term in mind — not on the court, but for the business of the league and the White Sox. Protect ownership as a class. protect their privileges. Embrace the rich.Product is important but not important also important.
Granted, there are more important things in life than winning, but when it comes to the way Reisdorf does business, none is particularly good or noble. He pulled up the wall, closed the gate, and called it home. He wanted us to be grateful, and he let us go in and watch. He wants everyone to thank him for his ability to make money.
I’ve seen people think he’s the worst boss in sports, a fluke in 2005, and luckily Jordan was his lifesaver. I didn’t know this – while there was institutional rot, he didn’t gamble, wasn’t an overtly scary racist, and wasn’t regularly involved in some kind of sex scandal. He’s not a rich kid who always gets everything he wants. In short: he’s not Daniel Snyder, for which we can take a small favor.
But if he’s not the worst boss in sports, then Reinsdorf may be the one with the most. As the owner, protecting what that means, making sure others pay the bills – that’s his motivation. Winning is accidental. That — owning the White Sox, calling the shots around other owners, planning for the future of Major League Baseball — is his job. It’s not passion.
Reinsdorf is a working man. He saw an opportunity. He used frivolous court cases to get rich and knows how to defer taxes now to make big bucks. That’s what he’s still doing: keep making money with rules and systems, go to work every day and see how he succeeds. Some fan loves are fun in the ledger, but serendipitous.
There is a horrific disconnect between the civic importance of the team and the wallets of the people who manage it. Maybe always. Losers, tech tycoons, and slum lords take over the team as a vanity project, and our happiness depends on them getting out of trouble, not arrogantly heading for disaster.
Reinsdorf is none of these things, but he’s not interested in bridging the divide. The team is part of his portfolio. He has the Red Sox and we don’t, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
2022 White Sox Class
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jack Dickman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT coach, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Hasley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, manager, -3.5
Dallas Kuchel, LHSP, -3.9
He’ll outlive all of us, but we can still rate Jerry Reinsdorf. How are we doing?
Too hard, after all, he finances the No. 7 payroll in all of baseball.
It’s too simple, look at the man he gave his pocket money to.
Wow, you know your stuff. Another suitable grade.
132 votes in total