White Sox Host

Lynn responds to projections of another bad Sox season

White Sox Host

GLENDALE, AZ – If you believe the dire predictions being made about the White Sox this season by the sabermetric computers, there’s a burly human being with a large beard and sharp tongue who has many thoughts about the team’s outlook for 2023, the disaster that was 2022, and the machines that are spitting out win totals between 74 and 79 for the White Sox.

“Someone told me we’re projected to be under .500.  That’s pretty good because we were .500 last year with a shitty team, so I like our chances of being better than their projections this year,” Lance Lynn said in an interview on the White Sox Talk Podcast. “This is my third year here.  They haven’t been correct with any of them so far.  Hopefully, we make sure they’re not correct again and definitely on the way higher side than whatever (amount of wins) they have.”

Last season, nobody predicted what ended up happening with the White Sox. After running away with the AL Central by 13 games with a 93-69 record, the team flatlined from April to October, going 81-81.

How did a team with so much talent and World Series expectations fall apart like that?  And how do they have a big comeback season with almost the same roster taking the field?

The veteran sage inside the White Sox clubhouse provides answers to both questions.

“I think you saw the worst of everything, starting off with injuries.  It’s impossible to come together as a team when you never have your team on the field.  We had bad luck, injuries, more bad luck, injuries, went on a streak when we were decent and then had some more bad luck and injuries.  


“So I think all in all that gives you a different mindset coming into this year.  How are we going to deal with the bad luck?  How are we going to turn it around?  Injuries are going to happen.  Who’s going to step up?  And when the next wave of bad luck happens, how are we not going to let it override our season?  And then when you get on a heater you ride it.”

When the White Sox embarked on their rebuild in 2016, fans looked into the future and dreamed about this being a possible golden era of White Sox baseball.  But after being bounced from the playoffs in the ALDS in 2021 and failing to reach the postseason in 2022, Lynn says there is an important lesson to be learned.

“If you don’t use those two failures to your advantage, then this year is going to pass you up, too,”  Lynn explained.  “You try to tell kids, guys who are younger than you, take nothing for granted in this game.  You might not have a chance to make the playoffs again no matter how talented you are.  So you better show up every year or the next guy is going to pass you, the next team is going to pass you.  The next thing you know you’re on the back end of your career, you haven’t been to a World Series, you have a couple of individual stats but what does that mean when you go home and you don’t have anything to look at?   I have the luxury of winning a World Series early in my career and every offseason when I’m at home and the World Series is being played, I look at that and say I failed this season and that’s the truth.”

Lynn said he has shared these thoughts with his younger White Sox teammates.  Have they taken his message to heart?

“Yeah, but we’re in an age of individuals and the “Me” era of showcase baseball and things like that.  So until people learn to play the game together as a team and everybody comes together, that is going to be the case.  You have that with every team in baseball. You have 40-man rosters and you have to figure out how you’re going to develop to a team each season because no season is the same.  And if you think it is, that’s when you get bit by another team that figures out something new that year.”

In 2022, that was the Cleveland Guardians who took advantage of their youth, speed and high contact rates by torturing their opponents, especially those with below average defenses like the White Sox.  Throw in one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and one of the game’s best managers in Terry Francona, and the Guardians won a division title that no one saw coming.   


Did Lynn happen to see (and hear) how they trolled the White Sox after clinching the AL Central?   Amid the post-game celebration that was shared on social media, you could hear the words “F— the White Sox!” and “Fire Tony!” coming from the Guardians winning clubhouse.

“They were just chanting what our fans were chanting. So when it’s all said and done, we brought that on ourselves by not playing up to our standards,”  Lynn said.  “Yeah. They won the division, so they can say what they want.  Our goal this year is to come back and try to win a division because that’s the first step towards making the playoffs and winning a championship.  We have to do our part.  In this game, whoever wins the division or wins it all can say whatever they want.  That’s the beauty of it.”

The offseason hasn’t made White Sox fans plan for an October parade just yet.  Jose Abreu is now a Houston Astro and closer Liam Hendriks is undergoing a courageous battle against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They did sign Andrew Benintendi to a 5-year, $75 million contract to anchor left field and brought back infielder Elvis Andrus on Sunday to play second base, but their other free agent addition, Mike Clevinger, arrived at spring training facing allegations of domestic abuse and child abuse.  His status for the season is unknown at this point.

Many fans might be skeptical about the White Sox chances this season.  Lynn points out that they aren’t the only ones.

“Even some of our writers have given us F’s in the offseason grades and things like that,” Lynn said.  

“When it’s all said and done, our job is with whatever team we have, figure out how to be the best possible team we can.   We have talent.  Right now, we have health.  We have to figure out how to put those together to make sure we’re the best team possible. We’re a similar team to what we came to spring training last year.  We were supposed to win the division.  So to say this team is going to be worse than last year.  Obviously, you’re going drastically one way or the other.  Let’s just see what product we bring to the table, what the new coaching staff can do here,  see what they’re about and what they can bring to help each individual become the best player they can be, and then we’ll go from there.”


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