On the subject of the White Sox, Sam Hartman and other things

By Roger Grossman
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Last week I wrote about the White Sox, and how badly the end of the Williams-Hahn Era had gone and ended.

I said then that Sox fans deserved better than what owner Jerry Reinsdorf had given them since winning the World Series in 2005.

It didn’t take long for him to make it worse.

About a week after firing team president Kenny Williams and GM Rick Hahn after letting them butcher the team’s trade deadline moves but before the season was over, the Sox hired their new player personnel boss from within the organization.

So, they cleaned house, but not the bathroom.

Getz was previously involved in player development in the Sox organization. You only need to watch a few games to realize that the White Sox have done an abysmal job of developing their players. Who can the White Sox and Getz claim as success stories?
I’ll save you some time … there aren’t any?

So at the press conference, when asked what he was most proud of in his eight years with the Sox, he said “player development”.

I bowed my head in dismay.

In introducing Getz, Reinsdorf admitted knowing there were other people who could have stepped in and done the job who are currently working for other teams, but they didn’t interview any of them. None. Not one.

That’s when we all realized that they were never going to interview anyone else. They never intended to at any point.

Jerry also said that while they wanted to take a new approach to everything they do, they also were actively looking for people who had been let go by other teams because they still subscribed to old-school, gut feeling and eye-test methods of analyzing players.

In other words, Jerry didn’t learn a stinkin’ thing from bringing back Tony LaRussa to right a 40-year-old wrong.

I know “he owns the team” and all, but it’s most definitely time that he shouldn’t anymore.

When Sam Hartman announced he was going to go somewhere else for the final year of eligibility of college, Notre Dame fans were thinking, “This is a guy we should go after” … they didn’t have to — he reached out to the Irish.

I also know it’s only been two games, so not a big sample size, but Hartman has been fantastic in wins over Navy and Tennessee State.

The on-field production has spoken for itself, but what has impressed me most are the ‘other things’ that he has brought to the locker room.

Before the season started, Hartman took some of his Name Image and Likeness money and bought high-end headphones for every member of the team and the support staff members. And he had them delivered to the practice field at the end of a day’s work. And it was a total surprise.

Pretty cool.

We are also hearing about how he works with younger players and wide receivers. How he is patient with them and stays late with them until they all feel like they got whatever they were working on right.

What a great leader he is in every way.

We only have him for a year, Irish fans, so let’s enjoy it while we can.

Some other random thoughts.

I love that college football doesn’t stop the clock for first downs until the last two minutes of each half now. Through the first weekend, the feeling I got from it was a greater sense of urgency and a faster pulse of importance with every play of the game. With the clock running more, there are fewer plays, and that means every play is more important. Less really is more.

Purdue paid $1.35 million dollars to Fresno State for them to come to West Lafayette for the opening game of their 2023 football season. If you believe in first impressions, this was like meeting someone for a blind date and they come wearing baggy sweatpants and a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off — they might be attractive, but you’re not thrilled with their approach.

I would also say the renovations to Ross-Ade Stadium look really nice. Kudos to them on that.

And finally, Jimmy Buffet passed away.

Jimmy loved the Cubs as much as I do and his traveling Margaritaville found its way to the corner of Clark and Addition frequently.

I will never be mistaken for a “parrot head”, and I will never appreciate the beach and the beach-goers way of life like he did. Heck, he was the Pied Piper of it. But I do understand why humans have held him in such high regard for taking the edge off of life and helping so many by putting a voice to chilling out.

To all who loved him much, my deepest sympathies.