The White Sox rebuild has been compared to that on the North Side since it began in earnest in 2016 with the trade of Chris Sale. The White Sox didn’t build as extensively through the draft, but they moved out high-priced and/or high-demand veterans in order to replenish a weak farm system. There were glimmers in 2019, then 2020 served as a bit of a coming-out party and a sign that the best is yet to come.
Cementing their comparison to their cross-town colleagues, the White Sox announced on Monday that Ricky Renteria won’t be the manager for that next step.
In his press briefing after the announcement, Rick Hahn made it abundantly clear that this was a “mutual decision.” No, really. According to Hahn, the call came after “months and months” of discussions with Renteria, Kenny Williams, and Jerry Reinsdorf. It is hard to believe that Renteria went through three years of losing only to say, “You know what, I think it’s time for me to go.”
Short of a league championship, maybe even a World Series appearance, Renteria wasn’t going to be around in 2021. The Sox faltered down the stretch and it’s hard to believe their playoff performance didn’t have something to do with the decision. Quite frankly, Renteria looked overwhelmed by the moment. Hahn even mentioned that the next manager will have “recent October experience,” so it must have been on his mind.
This leads to speculation as to who that next manager will be. It seems like the White Sox are going for someone from outside of the organization who’s familiar with the pressure of postseason baseball and they believe they’re attractive enough to lure those potential managers. They’re probably right.
The top name as of now is AJ Hinch, formerly of the Astros, who is available because he lost his job in the wake of their cheating scandal. Alex Cora also fits the bill, right down to being fired for cheating. Based on the initial reaction across social media and talk radio, fans are split on either of those candidates coming to the South Side,
Do they deserve a second chance? Probably. Does it have to be with the White Sox? Not really. If either of them do come to Chicago and win without a hint of scandal, the initial objections will fade. Just like Renteria did. Twice.