The 2017 baseball season came to a quiet end Wednesday night after a thrilling seven-game World Series. When the smoke cleared the Houston Astros were World Series champions for the first time in their history.
The Astros were the feel-good story this season, especially after Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston and southeast Texas. The Astros, a team full of young, homegrown talent, were the best team in the AL for the first half of the year. The addition of pitcher Justin Verlander at the deadline cemented their staff heading into the postseason, and the rest is history.
Despite having to now curtail 2005 jokes, it was a fantastic night for White Sox fans who have their eyes set on the future.
The Astros, like the championship Cubs of last year and the Royals of two years ago, are the perfect example of why teams should rebuild.
It’s hard to imagine that Houston lost more than 100 games for three consecutive seasons (2011-2013), but they did. Three years of not just losing, but losing horribly. But despite all of that, they kept faith in the plan that was in place. Their patience and persistence was all paid off. The team started winning, fans gravitated to their new core players, began packing Minute Maid Park again, and eventually you have what you have tonight.
Their rebuild was long and painful. It also wasn’t without blemish, as Houston whiffed on drafting Brady Aiken, and selected Mark Appel over Kris Bryant with the No. 1 pick. Imagine adding Bryant to the haul of Correa, Altuve, Springer and Bregman.
But the Astros, much like the Cubs and the current Sox, had a plan. They put smart people in place to make baseball decisions, held on to their young assets, let them develop, and when the time came to win they made moves to fill their championship window. Of course the losing had to sting, especially when you lose that many games and are the laughing stock of the league. But everyone with half a brain could see what was going to be coming up in a few years.
The Astros’ title should give all White Sox fans, especially the remaining skeptical ones, a tremendous amount of hope regarding the decision to start rebuilding last winter. The proof and model for success is right there in the last three World Series winners. That doesn’t mean everything is a given, but if you put yourself in a position to acquire and develop talent with smart people making the calls success is more than likely going to be the result.
The White Sox are on the Astros rebuild track, just a few years down the line. It may look and sound different, but at its core it holds the same ideas and goals.
In my opinion, any middling or below average baseball team looking at the last three champions that isn’t considering completely tearing down their roster for a long term rebuild is absolutely missing the boat.
Have the patience to develop homegrown talent, use aging assets to acquire more prospects, make wise moves in free agency, engage your fans with new core players, and when the time is right pull the trigger on trades to round out your roster. It’s a proven recipe for success.
The blueprint is there. This is why you rebuild.