The Most Interesting White Sox In The World…

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Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com put together a pretty entertaining “investigative report” on Wednesday afternoon concerning the recent, and suddenly more frequent, appearance of a certain cardboard cutout in the White Sox clubhouse.

The Most Interesting Man In The World, a popular character created by the beer company Dos Equis, has begun showing his face around the locker rooms of U.S Cellular Field after White Sox victories. In the form of six-foot tall cardboard poster.

Perhaps Garfien should explain:

It’s a life-size cardboard cut-out of the man, who has quickly become the team’s unofficial mascot, carefully placed in the player of the night’s locker after every Sox victory. You’ll often find him repeatedly leering over the shoulders of Paul Konerko, Jake Peavy, Juan Pierre, etc., staring eerily into every TV camera pointed in his direction.

….

He is the life of parties he’s never attended.
He’s won trophies for his game face alone.
He can speak French, in Russian.

And as reliever Sergio Santos so eloquently put it, “He doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks Dos Equis.”

The White Sox have gone 32-24 since opening the season with a dreadful 11-21 record and currently sit only 4 1/2 games back of the Indians for first place in the American League Central. It’s almost as if the Pale Hose opened the season 10 games under .500 … just to see what it would be like.

Anybody? Anybody? Stay thirsty, my friends.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.