So who exactly will be manning the diamond at 35th & Shields on Opening Day in 2020? Seems close enough that we might even be able to pencil in a lineup right now for Ricky’s Boys. The recently talked about outfield of Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo might be a good start.
So who is on first… Casey Gillaspie? Jose Abreu still? Nicky Delmonico? Jake Burger? I’ll go with Abreu sticking around on the Southside for a long time to come. Pretty safe to say Yoan (Pippen) Moncado and Tim (Jordan) Anderson will be scooping up groundballs in the middle of the diamond for the Sox. Does Manny Machado don the black and white of Chicago or does Jake Burger make his presence known by then at the hot corner? This, I believe, is the biggest unknown as we look into the next decade of White Sox baseball.
Who’s throwing fire from sixty feet six inches by then? Rodon, Kopech, Fulmer, Giolito, Dunning, Shields (gotcha!), Hansen, Kershaw (yeah right), Dylan Cease? Do the Sox go back and get Q after he is done with Cubs as he still seeks his first ring? Who in Single-A now will become the next Mark Buehrle? It looks as though the catchers are pretty lined up with Zach Collins and Seby Zavala. And what do they do with the Garcia’s (Avi, Leury and Wily), not to mention Crazy Yolmer? Tough question, but every championship team needs a Geoff Blum!
As we ponder what the team will look like in just about 24 months give or take, one thing is for sure, the sun is arising for a new and bright era on the Southside of Chicago! And we all know that with Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn at the helm, players we know and don’t know will be inhabiting the batters box and sending fireworks exploding into the sights of the Dan Ryan passerby’s who just might think next time… “Tomorrow I’m going to turn off at the 35th Street Exit and see what all this fun is about at that big ‘ol party going on… and hope they have the bacon on a stick and Old Style on tap”!
One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to start penciling out my own lineup to see just how my managerial lineup skills are and compare notes with Ricky. Besides, I might just be ready to see how my Game 1 lineup compares to his in late October 2020! Keep the pencil sharp and have a handy eraser.