Steve Stone

Why Steve Stone is predicting White Sox to make MLB playoffs in 2020

Why Steve Stone is predicting White Sox to make MLB playoffs in 2020

While there are many unknowns about this pandemic-shortened, 60-game regular season in 2020, White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone is certain about one thing.

The White Sox are making the playoffs.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a surprise if the White Sox get there, and I’m fully intending that they will,” Stone said with confidence on the White Sox Talk Podcast.

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He points to several factors for his prediction, which of course hinges on Major League Baseball being able to complete the season. With the virus, who knows?

One is the White Sox offense, which has added All Star Yasmani Grandal and Edwin Encarnacion, plus rookie stud-in-the-making Luis Robert. Put them into the mix with Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez and new power-hitting right fielder Nomar Mazara, who could hit 20-plus home runs from the eight-spot in the lineup, and the White Sox offense will light up the scoreboard on many nights, Stone says.

“The White Sox have one of the fine offensive clubs, not only in the division, but maybe in all of baseball,” Stone explained. “If everybody plays to their potential — who knows if they’re going to, I think they have a good chance to — if everybody plays to their potential on this team, this team is going to be fearsome offensively.”  

He believes the shortened season will help them, too. As a former Cy Young Award winner, Stone knows from experience how long it takes to get into a groove. With only three weeks of training before the start of the regular season, he thinks it’ll be the hitters who have a big advantage in the beginning.

“When pitchers' arms aren’t entirely ready yet, they play right into the hands of the hitter because that slider and the curveball don’t break near as sharply, they don’t break near as much and they’re not nearly as consistent, and that means that hitters will probably dominate at the beginning. Because it’s only a two-month season, pitchers aren’t going to have a chance to get that consistency.

“I think all things play into the hands of the White Sox, and I’m looking for big things.”

RELATED: White Sox not adjusting high hopes for 2020: 'I'm still extremely optimistic'

And if you’re a White Sox fan who’s been soured by the ugly labor battle that poisoned the game for the last few months, Stone suggests that you put those feelings aside and enjoy what’s coming next.

“For the fans of the White Sox, understand something: They are entering into what I believe is going to be a renaissance period for White Sox baseball,” Stone said. “I would say don’t choose to stay away because you’re going to miss some really, really good things on the South Side of Chicago. The White Sox are going to be offensive, they’re going to score a lot of runs, and hopefully it translates with some pretty good pitching into a contending team a long way down the road.”


White Sox announcers Benetti, Stone rank as one of top 10 MLB broadcasts

White Sox announcers Benetti, Stone rank as one of top 10 MLB broadcasts

White Sox fans like their broadcast team.

In a poll by conducted by The Athletic, in which it asked its readers to rank their local broadcasts on a variety of criteria, the White Sox ranked eighth out of 30 major league teams.

Both play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti and analyst Steve Stone received high marks. On a scale of 0 to 5, Benetti received a 4.59 from White Sox fans, and Stone received a 4.62.

Benetti got some particularly high praise from commenting fans, with The Athletic quoting one as saying, "Jason Benetti is like an updated version of Bob Costas; witty, well-informed and adept at multiple sports."

Another praised the in-booth duo as a successful combo: "Stone has always been a great color guy … but pairing him with Jason, one the funniest, most likable play-by-play guys around, has been an absolute joy to behold."

RELATED: White Sox executive Ken Williams opens up about personal history facing racism in powerful interview

Cubs fans ranked their team's broadcast highly enough that it placed one spot ahead of the White Sox. North Side fans praised the announcing duo of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.

The top six looked like this: 1. New York Mets, 2. San Francisco Giants, 3. San Diego Padres, 4. Los Angeles Dodgers, 5. Houston Astros, 6. Milwaukee Brewers.

Though it's been a long time since White Sox fans have heard Benetti and Stone on a broadcast, baseball will be back one day. Until then, enjoy Benetti's #SportscasterScenes.

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Crosstown quiz: Which player or manager are you?


Crosstown quiz: Which player or manager are you?

Ever wondered which Crosstown player or manager you are most like?

With the Cubs and Sox ready to renew their rivalry June 18-19 on NBC Sports Chicago, this quiz is your chance to find out: 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream your teams easily on your device.