What was 2018 for the White Sox, anyway?

What was 2018 for the White Sox, anyway?

Way back among the first posts of the Sox Machine relaunch, I took up Sam Miller’s concept of reducing every season to a single memory and applied it to the White Sox.

I won’t go over the whole list, which went back to the start of the millennium, but after lots of thought and more discussion, I felt comfortable with these conclusions for the previous eight seasons.

  • 2009: The Year That … Mark Buehrle threw a perfect game
  • 2010: … Jim Thome crushed the White Sox to Hell.
  • 2011: … Ozzie Guillen lost his power play against Kenny Williams.
  • 2012: … Robin Ventura was exposed.
  • 2013: … Gordon Beckham crashed into Conor Gillaspie.
  • 2014: … Jose Abreu set the rookie home run record.
  • 2015: … the White Sox won the winter, and nothing else.
  • 2016: … Chris Sale cut up the jerseys.

I wanted to give 2017 some time to gestate before deciding on one, but with a year to think about it and a review of the comments, it seems fairly safe to add this one to the list:

  • 2017: The Year That … The White Sox traded everyone.

If you’re a stickler and say Chris Sale and Adam Eaton don’t count since they were traded in December 2016, there’s still Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings. But I’m comfortable with saying the ramifications of the Sale and Eaton trades weren’t fully realized until they didn’t show up at SoxFest or spring training in 2017.

As for 2018, it’s going to require some distance before coming up with anything definitive, but I have two leading candidates, and the course of the 2019 season will determine which one stands taller. As always, feel free to contribute your own and argue mine into the ground.

Best-case scenario: 2018 was The Year That the White Sox hit rock bottom.

The White Sox hadn’t lost 100 games since 1970, so going 62-100 is noteworthy in and of itself. But it wasn’t just a number (or two numbers, for the aforementioned sticklers). These White Sox were worse than the 63-99 White Sox that shocked everybody with their ugliness five years earlier and triggered the first rebuild.

This one will stand on its own if the White Sox return to respectability in 2019. Maybe they sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, or maybe they rally solely on improvements from Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jimenez, but even a 73-win season will give the White Sox some distance from all the discussions about tanking and draft position.

Worst-case scenario: 2018 was The Year That Michael Kopech got hurt.

However, if the 2019 White Sox go, say, 65-97, the White Sox will still be bouncing along the league’s floor, even if there continue to be two or three worse teams in that particular season. It’s hard to imagine a 90-loss team including meaningful contributions from the guys the Sox need to win sooner than later, so the rebuild is still going to feel awful.

If losses alone fail to truly set the 2018 White Sox apart from the surrounding seasons, then maybe Kopech’s stunted arrival and swift departure sum up the season better than anything else. Every attempt at a honest-to-goodness Kopech Day was ruined by rain delays before a torn ulnar collateral ligament cut his season short, proving that White Sox fans would not be allowed to enjoy any aspect of the 2018 season.

This argument might become stronger if Kopech’s recovery from Tommy John surgery resembles Zack Burdi’s, but that’s dour for another day, which at this time means another year.

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Right Size Wrong Shape
Member

2018 was the year that…the young guys were all bad and everyone FREAKED OUT!

karkovice squad
Member

Frontrunner for ’19: when Eloy spent a year working on his defense for 3 weeks. Or the 3 weeks Eloy spent a year working on his defense.

Marty34
Member

The year Hawk retired or the year Harold Baines(!) made the HOF.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

Words are too much effort. A poop emoji sums it up just fine.

craigws
Member

Poop is too limiting, a toilet covers all the bodily excretion bases that the year represented.

Gutteridge70
Member

After having witnessed the 104 loss season atrocity in 1970 as an impressionable youth the only redeeming aspect of the 2018 Sox season was that I did not change my on line identity to Renteria 18 as a cynical geezer.

ForsterFTOG
Member

The year we finally moved on from Avi Garcia.

WBWSF
Member

2018 was the year the team lost 100 games AND Forbes said the team had the lowest team payroll in MLB. The 2018 season was probably the most PROFITABLE year for the owners in many years. The owners are laughing all the way to the bank.

Ronbo
Member

2018 was the year Rick Hahn’s clock started ticking.

Trooper Galactus
Member

But he already has two kids.

Ronbo
Member

2018 was the year to forget

MadManx
Member

2018. The year Adam Engel robbed some home runs.

roke1960
Member

2018- The last year we lost 100.

yolmers gatorade
Member

Yeah, let’s hope 2018 is the really bad year that needed to happen so they can get good again.

jorta
Member

Not just Hawk, but Hermie and Jim Angio rode off into the sunset as well. Maybe it’s the year the old guard had enough. Say a prayer for Coop. We’ll need him to finish polishing Matt Davidson 2.0 in a couple years.

Josh Nelson
Editor

2018 – Not terrible enough for the first pick

As Cirensica
Member

The year I watched the least White Sox games ever.

Patrick Nolan
Editor

fewest.

Trooper Galactus
Member

The year Daniel Palka was our hero.

KenWo4LiFe
Member

The beginning of Palkamania running wild

MrTopaz
Member

Happy New Year, everyone!

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