Before you do it…before you light Chicago on fire, let’s hear what Rick Hahn and Jerry Reinsdorf have to say. We owe them our patience and they owe us a serious and contrite explanation. If you aren’t satisfied after that, feel free to burn your Buehrle jerseys in front of Guaranteed Rate Field.

Remember back to Bruce Levine’s report about seven years and $175 million offer to Manny Machado from the White Sox. Think back to Hector Gomez and his eight-year, $220-$250 million reports that his sources declared were closer to the White Sox actual offer. And don’t forget Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano’s strident denials of Levine’s reports. This offseason has been a doozy from the beginning.

Some talking heads are already giving Hahn and Kenny Williams free passes while slamming Jerry Reinsdorf. I think this is letting Hahn and Williams off too easy. Each of them is culpable in this missed opportunity. Machado was the player they needed to fill a hole in the roster. Bryce Harper would be a nice addition, but he has walked a winding path through Washington over the past seven years and doesn’t have the best reputation for hustle and camaraderie.

There is no comfort in this swing and miss. We can’t look to the Phillies and tell ourselves they missed an opportunity as well. They traded for Jean Segura and there wasn’t much room for Machado to slide into the infield unless he played third. Lord knows it feels good that the Yankees whiffed on Machado as well. Yet, Didi Gregorious is on his way back and there wasn’t much room to fit Machado into the mix.

The White Sox have no excuse. They NEEDED an infielder. Yoan Moncada is positionless, Tim Anderson is shaky and inconsistent, and there’s no telling if Jake Burger will recover all the way from a gruesome achilles injury. The ascension of Nick Madrigal is still far enough away to make news of Machado heading somewhere else intolerable.

Baseball has changed. Each team has a proprietary set of algorithms that evaluate and value skills in different ways. In this sense, the game of baseball has been reduced to a mathematical equation.

Make no mistake about this fact: fans deserve more than this “shocked” answer. Why weren’t Sox brass willing to go to $300 million? What was their final offer to Machado? Were they given a final opportunity to counter the highest offer? Do they value someone else inside the organization higher? Who had final decision on financial numbers? Were they unwilling to agree to a long-term deal? If so, did they offer higher average annual value in a shorter deal? What was the final offer to Machado? Will the Sox go all in on Bryce Harper?

Someone has to answer for this fumble.