Today’s been an upsetting day for White Sox fans. First, news came out that confirmed most of our suspicions: Manny Machado “strongly prefers” to be a Yankee. Next, the Reds upset 28 other teams in the Major Leagues by allowing the Dodgers to dump enough salary to sign Bryce Harper. Our dreams of #BringHimHomeThome look all but dead. White Sox Twitter erupted in uproar, upset Jerry Reinsdorf hasn’t used “The Force” to make Bryce Harper grab a pen and sign the contract that the Sox offered him. “WIN NOW, RELOAD. GIVE ME ADAM DUNN OR GIVE ME DEATH” has once again become the rallying cry. Where’s Drake LaRoche when you need him the most?!?
What are White Sox fans supposed to do now?!?
The only thing we can do: Hype the heck out of James McCann.
Yes, THAT James McCann: former Tigers’ backstop who signed for the outrageous, bank-breaking amount of $2.5M. Is he the best defensive catcher? No. Is he better defensively than Narvaez? Hard to be worse. Is he the best offensive catcher? No. Is he the worst possible catcher we could’ve signed? No – Robinson Chirinos is worse defensively than him, and his offense leaves plenty to be desired, yet he still signed for $5.75M. Then there’s Chris Herrman (Who? Exactly).
What McCann seriously provides is intel on a team that the Sox just couldn’t figure out last year: the Detroit Tigers. Ron Gardenhire has clearly placed a spell over the White Sox so that no matter where he goes, he will always defeat the White Sox: the Sox went 7-12 against the lowly Tigers last year. Having a former backstop will provide some insight into the Gardenhire Voodoo Magic. If you think I’m kidding about this part, look at the Sox’ record against the Twins during Gardenhire’s tenure and after his tenure. The man clearly has always had the Sox’ number. Every little bit helps. McCann also threw out the second most baserunners in Major League Baseball last year, just 4 behind Jonathan Lucroy. He threw out a total of 37% of base-stealers last year. That’s pretty solid – 4th in the league to be exact. When you have guys like Lopez and Giolito who take a bit of time to get it to the plate, his arm will be impactful. He also seems to be a great team guy and a player fans can rally around – his farewell post on his Twitter account (@JamesMcCann34) received nothing but love. Good guys are fun to have.
Here’s the crazy thing: if you take McCann’s OPS+ from last year (58), and add his career 3B (8), HR (40), and SB (2), what do you get?
It’s clearly meant to be.
This is what we do as White Sox fans: we hype the heck out of every player we bring on. We make stupid nicknames for them, study all of their career highlights, and get irrationally upset when they leave (Trayce Thompson Round 1, anyone?).
So get down off your soapboxes and stop pretending we know better than Jerry, Rick, or anyone else in the organization. Every move they make has some role we don’t always understand, simply because we aren’t in the room making the decisions. We don’t know what’s going on, so stop pretending we do.
You know what we do know, though? It’s time for McCann to have a breakout year. He’s 29, so let’s hype him up and help him in his prime. The James McCann Hype Train is leaving the station soon. SoxOn35th’s crew is fully on board. You better be too.
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