It was a career that once looked promising. Wins happened on what felt like a weekly basis, and his name became synonymous with the now popular game Jason Benneti introduced to us years ago. Back-to-back appearances in the championship rounds at SoxFest made it seem as if we were on the verge of witnessing a remarkable run. Unfortunately, not even the Hallmark Channel could write a more despairing ending.
If you have been following the latest episodes of the Sox On 35th Podcast, you should know that Jordan’s #SoxMath decline has been a hot topic. Quite frankly, the discussions we’ve had are warranted due to the lack of production this season. By the end of this article, hopefully we can come to some sort of conclusion about Laz and his future as a Sox Mathlete.
Living in the Past
A common theme in the White Sox community has always been to overreact from a small sample size. Jordan is always the first to combat these reactions to players not producing early in the year, with a calm response telling us it will be okay. But when we questioned HIS early season struggles, Jordan went on a tirade flaunting his handwritten Jason Benetti notes, free White Sox ticket vouchers, and other random goodies from his treasure chest of Sox Math prizes. Not the calmest reaction from someone who is known for not engaging too heavily with people that disagree with him.
“I was at the game you assholes” is the classic line from Mr. Laz, himself. I call total bullshit on this one. If you’ve ever watched more than three innings of a White Sox game in the past few years, you most certainly have heard an advertisement for the MyTeams app. Jordan, you’re a veteran now and you should have the MyTeams app pulled up for the question. There have been at least 20 other games that you could have won, and that is what we are really mad at here.
This brings us to the GrandaI Gate. @YasmaniGrandaI has been stirring the pot with his correct guessing this year. GrandaI got two Sox Math wins this season, and retired before our very eyes. Jordan claims that it was just “unlucky” and that he would have won if there was no guess. Jordo, we are nearing the 30 game mark. If you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have anything.
Slow Reaction Time
To make this read more Jordan-friendly, let’s take a look at the numbers from Baseball Savant.
As you can see the front page is already trending news about Laz, as it should be.
A quick glance at the numbers, and now you can tell how alarming this really is. Laz is missing more questions, getting less correct answers, has zero Sox Math wins in the 2021 regular season, building up more Excuses Above Average, and getting even angrier at our founder Joe Binder. When you want to succeed as a Sox Mathelete, these are the percentiles that you should focus on for production.
As you can see on the right side of this screen cap, his excuses spray chart is actually somewhat consistent. Only one straggler from when he wasn’t in attendance. Which gives us a glimmer of hope. If you are consistent with anything, whether it be good or bad, at least we’ll know what we’re going to get.
To put these stats into comparison for the more average fan, a player very similar to Jordan would be Kris Bryant. Before you disagree, let me explain my side. Kris Bryant started his MLB career as N.L. Rookie of the Year, was an All-Star, and finished 11th in N.L. MVP voting. He continued in his sophomore season with another All-Star selection, won the N.L. MVP, and won a World Series (cringe). But then, poof, nothing. Yes, his stats are still good, but no hardware to show for it. We thought it would be multiple MVPs, All-Stars, Silver Sluggers, and maybe another World Series (cringe). The same goes for Jordan. Two remarkable seasons from Lazowski then, poof, nothing. We thought we were witnessing greatness, and expected many more wins in the years to come, but some prospects just can’t find a way to stay in the show for long.
In conclusion, let’s answer the question everyone is asking us – “Should we be worried about Laz?”
For the first 12-15 games, I would have told you no. I would have said something that Jordan has said numerous times. “It’s a small sample size, you cannot make final decisions on players who have 60 games under their belt.” But now, we’re heading into game 26 of the season, today is a very winnable game for Jordan, but my faith is lacking. I remember back in 2019, in Laz’s prime, I came up with a very profound statement. “There’s a huge difference between a worn veteran and a player who is just washed up. Jose Abreu is a worn veteran; Yonder Alonso is washed up.”
So, to answer the question that started this conclusion…
Yes, I am worried.