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5 reasons why the 2024 White Sox should excite you

by Noah Phalen

I want to get one thing out of the way, I have never been called an optimist. My wife loves to look at the positives in every situation, however, I prefer to be realistic. Call me a pessimist if you want, but I have no problem recognizing when a situation looks bleak and lowering my expectations.

Trust me when I say, the situation the 2024 White Sox are in is bleak. A team that lost 101 games in 2023 and did little to improve the talent on the field should not be expected to make too much noise in 2024. It’s easy to approach the 2024 campaign with a mindset of indifference, and ultimately, a winning baseball team is all that most of the fans want. But as Spring Training winds down and the regular season gets set to begin later this week, I’ve found myself getting excited all over again. Here is my proposition to Sox fans: temper your expectations, but be excited, because baseball is back!

Here are my five reasons to be excited for the 2024 team.

5. They won’t be the laughingstock of the MLB again … hopefully

Not only were the 2022 and 2023 seasons miserable from a baseball perspective, but the White Sox weren’t able to stay out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Whether it was Tony La Russa intentionally walking Trea Turner on a 1-2 count, reports of clubhouse turmoil and pitchers sleeping in the bullpen, or Tim Anderson getting rocked after squaring up with Jose Ramirez, it seemed the White Sox were constantly being clowned by 28 other fanbases (sorry Oakland).

When new General Manager Chris Getz took over the baseball operations, he made it clear that the club needed a makeover both on the field and in the clubhouse. While he didn’t acquire much in the way of star-level talent, he did emphasize defense and leadership in the offseason acquisitions. Paul DeJong, Nicky Lopez, Brett Phillips, Martin Maldonado, Max Stassi, and others are not going to sway the standings too much, but they’re good leaders and good defenders, which should at least help the White Sox stay out of the lowlights of the week every week.

4. A Balanced Schedule

As part of the new CBA agreed upon before the 2022 season, MLB has started to balance their schedule in ways they never have before. Teams will now face all 29 other teams every season, creating matchups between teams that didn’t used to face off often, and allowing fans to watch players they don’t often get to see.

For example, the White Sox will host Shohei Ohtani and the Dodgers in late June and will welcome Steve Cohen’s Mets in August. For big baseball fans like myself, it will allow seeing that player or team you’ve always wanted to see live without needing to travel.

Even if the White Sox roster isn’t incredibly intriguing, there is still excitement to be found in the matchups.

3. Cheap Tickets

If you can ignore the win/loss record, there’s nothing quite like spending a summer evening at the ballpark.

The smells, the sights, and the sounds create immaculate summer vibes that I spend all winter longing for. Now that I live out of state, my opportunities to go to games are few and far between, but I still try to take in a Sox game at the ballpark every chance I get, regardless of the quality of the on-field product. One of the advantages to a losing baseball team is that tickets are usually cheap.

According to bookies.com, the White Sox have the cheapest average ticket price in baseball this season.

This is a luxury that isn’t available to winning teams. Although there’s something to be said about not wanting to put money in the pockets of those responsible for this team’s failures, it’s okay to enjoy summer nights at the ballpark for cheap.

2. Colson Montgomery and Other Prospects

He is not going to be on the Opening Day roster, but it shouldn’t be too long before White Sox top prospect Colson Montgomery makes his major league debut.

The shortstop comes in ninth overall on MLB Pipeline’s preseason prospect rankings, and it’s easy to see why. He’s drawn comparisons to Rangers All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who was a finalist for AL MVP last season.

After a back injury got Colson’s 2023 season off to a late start, he tore up the minor leagues at multiple levels once he got going. Montgomery should open the season at Triple-A Charlotte, and assuming he continues his ascent, should be headed to Chicago by the end of the summer. He’ll be an exciting watch once he’s up.

Montgomery isn’t the only interesting White Sox prospect set to debut in 2024. Infielder Bryan Ramos has spent years growing in the White Sox system and has become an exciting prospect. He has a good chance to make his MLB debut in 2024. Other position player prospects that should spend at least part of the year in the majors include Dominic Fletcher, Jose Rodriguez, Zach DeLoach, and Wilfred Veras.

On the pitching side, White Sox eighth-ranked prospect Nick Nastrini has had a dominant spring and has a chance to break camp with the team. If not, he’ll be up before long. Newly acquired right-handers Drew Thorpe and Jairo Iriarte could be in Chicago at some point this season, as well as recent draft pick Jonathan Cannon and lefties Ky Bush and Jake Eder. Relievers Jordan Leasure and Prelander Berroa should spend the majority of their seasons in the bigs.

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time the White Sox had this many interesting pitching prospects. The new wave of the farm system should be an exciting watch in 2024.

1. Luis Robert Jr.

When the White Sox first signed Luis Robert Jr. back in 2017, it was immediately obvious that the tools were there. The organization believed so as well, as they gave him a hefty signing bonus to bring his talents from Cuba to the South Side.

Robert Jr. flew through the White Sox system, quickly becoming one of the top prospects in baseball. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year race during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, and things were pointing up. Unfortunately, the road to success was a bit rocky, as Robert battled injuries and plate discipline issues during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

In 2023, after a rough early season stretch, something clicked for Robert Jr. as he went on a tear for the final five months of the season. When all was said and done, he finished with 38 homers and an .857 OPS. This type of production provided Sox fans with something to watch every night, despite the rest of the team being a chore.

Robert Jr. enters the 2024 season healthy, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t put up similar or even better numbers this season. With four years remaining on his contract, he figures to be part of the core of this team, and watching him excel should be fun.

As Opening Day closes in, I’ve found myself once again excited for first pitch. Not because I expect the White Sox to be a winning baseball team in 2024, but because I love baseball, I live for summer nights at the ballpark, and I’m excited to see if this time is different.

With new leadership and a new organizational philosophy, I am once again optimistic that maybe, just maybe, the White Sox will begin building things the right way, and we might finally get the run of sustained success we were promised all those years ago. There’s a long way to go, but the journey begins this week, and for that, I am excited. ‘

For more updates, follow us on social media @SoxOn35th!

Featured Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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I am sorry, but I choose to be a huge pessimist.

  • Sox will again be a laughingstock. Gri-Fail is still the manager and Katz is still the pitching coach. That alone is a sure fire recipe for disaster.
  • The offense again will be stagnant. The defense might be improved. So instead of losing 8 to1 with several errors. It probably read 4 to1 with maybe one error. But, a loss is still a loss. While they may not loose 100 games. I still see this team losing 90 plus this season.
  • And, your cheap tickets theory does not hold water for me. Any penny spent on a Reinsdorf endeavour, is wasted money. I understand wanting to show support for the players… but not if Reinsdorf stands to benefit. Besides, those cheap seats won’t be cheap when Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox or any other top tier team comes to town. Ebenezer Jerry will jack up the prices. Until Ebenezer dies and any all things Reinsdorf are expunged from the Southside… I won’t spend one penny if that old bastard and his cronies stand to profit from it.
  • Besides. Milwaukee is not that far away. Tic-pik, it a great place to find tickets on the cheap. If there is a particular team or player I want to see, I’ll go to a Brewers game. Or take a road trip… KC, Detroit, Cleveland and Minneapolis are all easy to get too. I went to several Brewers games last season and had a blast. I thought the concessions were far better than the Cell. And, the ballpark staff seem to be very focused on the fan experience. All the staff I interacted with were extremely helpful and polite.

  • Montgomery and the other prospects… this organization still has a major problem developing players. Their minor league system is still loaded with far too many failed former prospect and “friends” of Jerry that are managers / coaches. This too is another recipe for failure. Colas was supposed to be ready to go last season and was a colossal bust. I think he might be salvageable… but not as long as he stays in this putrid organization. Sox still need a major overhaul/house cleaning done. Until that happens… the status quo will remain and we will continue to see prospect bust after prospect bust.

I hate to say it… I just do not see this team being competitive any time soon. Not until the Reinsdorf stench has been washed away and new ownership is brought. Maybe then the changes that need to be done will finally happen.

CLT Knight

This is funny.

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