Chicago, IL

Mike Clevinger is Just the White Sox Latest Misstep

Larry E Lambert

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Mike ClevingerPhoto byCreative Commons: Erik Drost

I wouldn’t say the White Sox are haunted by the ghost of Jerry Reinsdorf. I would say they are haunted by the zombie of Jerry Reinsdorf. A couple of years ago Jerry took a dip in the Hot Tub Time Machine and hired Tony LaRussa to manage the White Sox. And to the surprise of no one, except Jerry, the hiring turned out to be a fiasco.

This offseason was supposed to be a palate cleansing for the team. The Sox got a quick jump on free agency by signing Mike Clevinger. Even before allegations of domestic abuse arose, the signing was iffy at best.

At best Clevinger was a questionable signing.

As late as 2020, Clevinger was a very effective pitcher. Then in 2021 he underwent Tommy John surgery. His return in 2022 was mediocre at best. Clevinger went 7–7 with an ERA of 4.33. On that alone, a team might be enticed to take a flyer. But wait, there’s more.

In 2020 then Cleveland Indian Clevenger, in a flagrant disregard for Covid protocol went out on the town with teammate Zach Plesac. This resulted in considerable uproar in the Indians clubhouse. So, Clevinger, even prior to recent allegations was not without controversy.

Heard of Trevor Bauer?

While Clevinger was in Cleveland they were buddies. The allegations against Clevinger sound sickeningly similar to those against Bauer. That doesn’t make Clevinger guilty, but it certainly doesn’t help Clevinger’s case.

What now?

I’m guessing Clevinger won’t take the mound as a member of the White Sox. The White Sox, who seem steadfastly resolute in not spending over an artificially self-imposed salary cap may well have flushed $12 million down the toilet. The Sox could try to make amends to their fans buy showing some willingness to spend some money to improve the team, but don’t look for that to happen. Reinsdorf would have to actually care about Sox fans for that to happen.

It can’t get any worse, can it?

Nah, unless Adam Benintendi turns out to be a serial killer. In the past I’ve defended Rick Hahn, but this may be a bridge too far. The Sox really make it hard to be a fan of their team.

Clevinger stated he wanted to be a member of the White Sox. Did he know that the White Sox did such a poor job of vetting personnel they wouldn’t pick up on the allegations against him? Does anybody in the White Sox front office have a clue about social media? Look for the Sox to address this situation in much the same way an ostrich deals with a concern.

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You probably don't know my name, but you've likely seen or heard my work. I've written for various syndicated cartoonists and TV standups. My gags have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Barron's, Parade Magazine, and the Saturday Evening Post. The comedians I've sold to include Jay Leno for the Tonight Show. In addition, I've written for radio stations and ad agencies. I hope you enjoy my work.

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