Grosse Pointe South alum Getz hired by White Sox
Sometimes, Chris Getz misses playing baseball.
Other times, not so much.
"There's plenty of stuff I don't miss," he said over the phone Monday morning. "If you look at the injury history, I had about 1,000 of those.
"What I miss is competing. The competition is something that's special you just don't get anywhere else."
Getz will get to fulfill at least some of that competition bug in his new job, as director of player development for the Chicago White Sox.
He was hired less than two weeks ago, and the club made it official last week.
At just 33 years old, he'll oversee the White Sox six minor-league outposts, from rookie ball to Triple A. Getz replaces Nick Capra, who was promoted to Rick Renteria's major league coaching staff.
Getz has spent the last couple years as a baseball operations assistant for the Kansas City Royals.
"This came out of the blue, to be honest," Getz said. "I was drafted by the White Sox, I came through their system, so I certainly have had relationships over there. They called a couple weeks ago, and I was dialed in with the Royals and their player development.
"This has not been an ongoing thing. I live in Kansas City. I bought a house here about a year ago."
That house is about to hit the market.
Getz, a Grosse Pointe South and University of Michigan alumnus, and his wife, Nicole, will be moving to Chicago over the offseason — an offseason that's going to be a busy one.
Next week, he's traveling to the Dominican Republic to see some of the organization's international prospects, before returning to Chicago for organizational meetings. He'll then be heading west to check out the Arizona Fall League, where some of the White Sox top prospects are participating. There's a whole lot of players to get to know.
"There are a lot of players," he said. "It's gonna take time.
"Really, truly to get a good feel of the system, you've gotta see the players. That's going to take some time."
With the White Sox — for whom Getz played from 2008-09 before playing for the Royals from 2010-13 and wrapping up his career with the Toronto Blue Jays (2014) — Getz will inherit a farm system that isn't anybody's darling.
The White Sox were ranked 23rd out of 30 teams, in terms of organizational talent, by Baseball America in February. The five previous years, they were ranked 20th, 24th, 29th, 30th and 27th. You can see at least one reason why the White Sox haven't made the postseason since 2008.
"We are pleased to add Chris's intellect, background and energy to our front office," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in making the announcement last week. "He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago."
Getz, a career .250 hitter with 89 stolen bases in seven major league seasons, said he never thought when he was playing that this is where he would end up, hiring minor league staff, evaluating players' ceilings, creating a consistent minor league culture, and much more.
As a backup player, he was just focused on "trying to survive in the major leagues." But toward the end, he started to become intrigued, and started asking around about that side of the game.
The Royals gave him his first crack, and as a result he now owns a World Series championship ring, from 2015.
He hopes he won't have to wait long to get one with the White Sox.
In the meantime, the other team from Chicago, the Cubs, are in the World Series for the first time since 1945. They're looking for their first championship since 1908.
"This has been something that (the Cubs') regime and ownership, it has been in the works for a while and it's happening in front of our eyes," Getz said. "I experienced it here with Kansas City last year, the plan that they had in place, and it was executed and it was really cool to see process come together. That's kind of what you're seeing."
"But in terms of the rivalry, I want it to be a White Sox town, not a Cubs town, put it that way."
So, you're not rooting for the Cubs?
"No comment," he said, with a laugh.