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Managers du jour

The old manager

The day after the regular season ended the Chicago White Sox held a press conference to announce the dismissal of Jerry Manuel, the team’s manager for six years. It happened one season too late. Jerry  managed to take the best talent ever assembled under his reign as manager, and not make the playoff’s, or really come that close. Kenny Williams assembled a very good team for Jerry for this season, and shored up some trouble spots at mid-season with the acquisition of Carl Everett and Robbie Alomar, and Jerry used all this talent to take two out of three in the final series of 2003 to assure that the Sox finish ahead of the Royals for second place. Second place, the other term for the first loser. The only bright spot to come out of this season was the fact that we will not have to deal with Jerry’s musical line-ups or his little league,  everybody plays whether they should or not attitude. Jerry finished with a winning record as Sox manager, except where it counts, his post season record was 0-3. You prove yourself as a competent manager by making it to, and winning in the postseason, when you only make it there once and get swept in six years of trying it is time to the page. I hope Jerry enjoys being the bench coach in San Francisco, I know I will enjoy the fact that he is far away from the southside of Chicago.


New Managers


The search for a new manager has begun, and a lot of names have been thrown around, names like Terry Francona, Cito Gaston, Buddy Bell, hell someone even suggested Harold Reynolds of all people, but when all is said and done I would not be surprised if the Sox hired their next field general from within the organization. There has been talk about the job going to Wally Backman, the current Birmingham Barons manager, but that talk is coming from the media, not from the team, I think Kenny Williams is smart enough to know that Backman would be a poor fit for a mostly veteran team. Wally has his niche, he has a real talent for getting young ballplayers to play using enthusiasm and a go get it attitude, it works well with young guys trying to make a name for themselves and make it to the major leagues, it does nothing for players that are already in the major leagues though. If the Sox hire from within the organization I believe they will turn to Nick Leyva, who is currently running the rehab camp in Arizona, Nick has managed in the Sox minor league system on every level from rookie league to AAA, and has had success wherever he has gone, as well as having major league managing experience with the Phillies. There has to be a reason Nick did not manage somewhere in the Sox system this season, for the first time in eight years, teams do not waste talent without an ulterior motive.


Big Hurt's Comings and Goings


This years version of the Frank Thomas watch is on again, this year the question is whether or not he will take his option for six million, or if the team takes their option for eight million, or whether he will bolt for the FA market. There are many mixed feelings about this, some fans want him back, some want him back, but only at the lower payroll number, and some don’t want him back at any price. I personally would hate to see one of the most productive hitters in the Sox line-up from last season disappear from the team, he was among the team leaders in almost every offensive stat, and to replace that kind of production will not be easy, and I truly doubt they could do it for less than eight million dollars. Say what you want about Frank Thomas, from the bad clubhouse presence to his stupid comments to the press, even if it is all true, the fact remains, he can hit a baseball better than most of the other guys on the twenty five man roster, and has done so for the vast majority of his career in a White Sox uniform, which is also the only uniform he has ever worn. It would be in the Sox best interest to pay him and keep him around, not just for the production he brings to the plate, but also for what he does at the gate. To quote Al Davis “Just win baby.”


The fall classic is right around the corner, and it will take seven games from both leagues to determine who gets there, I’m sure FOX is pleased with that, but the return of the fall classic also marks the return of hunting season, and I am pleased with that, with that said I have preparations to make for both fall classics.



Dave Schmitt is a life-long resident of the Joliet area, with the exception of two years spent being the only Sox fan in the hell hole known as Baytown Texas, where the trucks are large and the alligators are hungry.  Plumber by trade, hunter by choice, and fisherman 'cause you can’t hunt year round.  Married With Children, and four dogs that are confirmed Sox fans.  The kids have less sense.  You can send email to Daver at

More features from Dave Schmitt here!

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