Well, well, well. Look who’s all grown up now making rational, mutually beneficial trades with their big brother to the North. Let me be the first to welcome Rick Hahn and the White Sox into adulthood.
With Thursday’s Jose Quintana blockbuster trade, unlike in his past dealings with the Cubs, Hahn exhibited some maturity in orchestrating the first deal between the two in over a decade. Instead of flippantly dismissing a potential trade partner for no logical reason other than spite, he put on his big boy pants and made a excellent, sensible trade that helps both sides immensely.
But man, was it a long road getting here.
In the timeless sibling rivalry of Chicago baseball, the White Sox have always been, and always will be, the little brother. Besides the literal age difference of 24 years, the second team in the Second City looks up to their elder brethren on the North side in almost any conceivable measure.
On the field, while both have three World Series trophies in the cabinet, the Cubs lead in pennants (11-6), playoff appearances (18-9), wins (10754-9120), and W-L % (.512-.504). If you want to talk off the field in terms of national relevance, Q-rating, and attendance it’s a fucking blowout.
And much like a quintessential little brother, the Sox and their fans always seem to have an eye on what their big brother is up to. Beyond typical cherrypicking rants from fans like PV against Cubs fans, White Sox’ brass always seem to gaze jealously northward.
The Sox obviously saw what Theo Epstein & Co. have accomplished over the last five years and have stolen a page out of their elder bother’s playbook with the full-teardown-and-rebuild plan after a decade so famously “mired in mediocrity.” It’s no coincidence the Chris Sale trade that kickstarted their rebuilding process went down just 32 days after the final pieces of confetti fell on the Cubs’ world championship parade.
Despite being rivals in no other way than geographically, somehow, silly acrimony persisted from the Sox front office. In fact, no one besides KatyPerrysBootyHole and WetButt23 saw the Quintana deal coming with the Cubs expressly because of the childish and disingenuous way Hahn chose to address Epstein’s interest in Sale a mere seven months prior. Hahn’s outrageous demands sent a clear message that Sale, or any other player of value, would ever be dealt to the Cubs under any circumstance, defying all reason. Here’s Theo’s description of their extremely brief negotiations:
When Chris Sale was being put to the market, I called Rick and told him we were very interested, and was told that it would have to be a huge package, including Kris Bryant, or there was nothing to talk about. And Kris had just won the MVP award.
Fortunately for everyone on both sides of town, something has subsequently changed in the Sox previously juvenile mindset and now both teams are better for it. With this one bold move, Hahn looks like he’s finally reached adulthood and I applaud him.
With their rebuilding project now in full swing, the White Sox have fully embraced “The Plan.” Like hand-me-down clothing, the Sox have implemented the very same Plan their big brother used to bring a world championship to Chicago. A Plan that took a lot of courage and faith. The same Plan that had been mercilessly mocked by Sox fans for years when it was put into effect at Clark & Addison. The very same Plan that is now enthusiastically embraced at 35th & Shields.
It’s pretty neat watching your kid brother grow up.