White Sox’ Pedro Grifol, Bears’ Chase Claypool, Big Ten football race in this week’s Polling Place

Who is Pedro Grifol?

He’s not Tony La Russa, that’s who.

In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked for your first take on new White Sox manager Grifol. The former minor-league catcher and Royals coach, 52, was introduced to the media Thursday on the South Side.

“We’ll see on Grifol,” @RonaldVoigt4 commented, “but it’s nice to see [general manager] Rick Hahn taking charge again. Still lots of potential here.”

On the whole, respondents could be described as cautiously optimistic. Not all of them, though.

“Glad they hired a guy that’s coming from a team with a winning legacy of late,” @revot14 wrote, dialing up the sarcasm.

We also wanted to know how Bears trades — shipping off Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith in separate deals, and bringing in Chase Claypool — are going over.

“Love them all,” offered @mcfoster12, who has plenty of company.

Lastly, we asked for your Big Ten football champion. Illinois, anyone?

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: What’s your first take on the White Sox’ hiring of Pedro Grifol as manager?

Upshot: Sox fans, bless ’em, have never been accused of being an overly cheerful lot. Credit respondents for being properly skeptical here. This is Grifol’s first rodeo as a skipper, and he’s inheriting some players who have much to prove themselves. The sensible, if boring, way to approach this hire is with a mindset of wait-and-see.

Poll No. 2: What’s your first take on the flurry of Bears trades involving Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith and Chase Claypool?

Upshot: Man, it must be nice being Ryan Poles with this kind of a honeymoon. Wasn’t Smith the Bears’ best player? Wasn’t Quinn a 100-sack man? Did Claypool become Jerry Rice at some point and we just missed it? Really, though, the young GM is making moves and it’s kind of exciting. It certainly makes us wonder how it’ll all play out. Is the Bears’ future bright? Jeez, let’s hope so.

Poll No. 3: On Dec. 3 in Indianapolis, the Big Ten’s football champion will be …

Upshot: One in four respondents went with the upstart Illini. We suspect that if we put that question to college football fans outside our realm, it would be more like one in 40. Sorry, make that one in 400. But who’s counting?

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