Saturday, July 13, 2019

Loyalty? Or selfishness?

Watching the Chicago White Sox these days, a part of me can’t help but wonder who’s smoking what with regards to the ballclub’s best player these days – Jose Abreu.
Potential Sox all-time star?

Yes, I know the team has several youthful ballplayers who have the potential to be stars that lead the White Sox to potential championships in coming seasons.

BUT THE FACT is that Abreu, the Cuban exile who came to Chicago back in 2013, has been THE significant part of the White Sox during this past decade. He’s also achieved enough in recent seasons that his name has to come up in any discussion of White Sox history.

Abreu, at 167 home runs is already amongst the top home run hitters in Sout’ Side baseball history. Wouldn’t it make sense that people would want Abreu to be the BIG BAT at the lead of the potential White Sox championship teams of the 2020s?

Yet the fact is that there is a significant share of White Sox fandom who would just as soon see Abreu depart. It seems the contracts he has had to play in Chicago come to an end after this season.

If the White Sox want to keep him, they’re going to have to come up with some sort of financial bonanza to make it worth his while to want to stay in Chicago.

BUT THERE’S THE fact that Abreu now is 32, which in traditional baseball thought, is the point in time when a ballplayer crosses over from his physical athletic peak and starts to become over-the-hill.
Also an Indian, Cardinal and Senator

Do the White Sox really want to pay big money to keep Abreu for a few more years to see if he can be a part of the White Sox’ next World Series title-winning team?

Would the team be better off letting him go to some other ball club, while relying on the big name peloteros such as Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez to be the stars of the Sox?

For his part, Abreu says he wants to stay with the White Sox – going so far as to say he will sign himself to stay with the Sox even if the Sox themselves don’t make him a contractual offer beyond this 2019 season.

SO IS ABREU truly loyal to the Sout’ Side baseball scene? Or is he just being selfish in thinking about himself?
An Orioles team Hall of Famer

Actually, it’s the reason why I think old-timer fans who complain about modern ballplayers having no loyalty are full of it. The so-called loyalty of the past was usually one way – players were expected to give all to the teams, who would think nothing of trading away or releasing a player when it was to the team’s self-interest.

Heck, I remember when Frank Thomas (the White Sox’ most recent Hall of Fame player) expressed thoughts of wanting to play in Chicago his whole career. But the White Sox let him go willingly – and he wound up finishing with stints in Oakland and Toronto.

Even such White Sox notables as “Minnie” Miñoso and Harold Baines played for other ball clubs – with Miñoso also playing for Cleveland and Baines playing well-enough for Baltimore that he’s also a member of that team’s personal Hall of Fame. Or even legendary Sox like Luis Aparicio or Nellie Fox, who also played for Baltimore and Boston, along with Philadelphia and Houston respectively.
Sox combo also had their moments with Athletics and Orioles
SO MAYBE IT wouldn’t be the most outrageous deal if Abreu became a Yankee or a Red Sox for a few seasons. Who knows; that might be his best chance to actually be on a championship team.
One of the few life-long Sox

It’s not exactly out-of-line to think that the White Sox of the 2020s could find their championship dreams thwarted by the up-and-coming teams the New York Yankees are putting together these days.

Which actually would be in character with White Sox history, as the “Go Go” teams of the 1950s wound up finishing most seasons in second place behind the Yanks.

And we’ll have to see for ourselves just how much a part of White Sox history Abreu himself (will number 79 be the next uniform digit retired) is destined to become.


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