White Sox

Early on, Sox turning tables on Detroit

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Early on, Sox turning tables on Detroit

The White Sox lost 13 of 18 games against the Tigers last season, and it wasn't particularly close. The Tigers scored 111 runs against the Sox, an average of six runs scored per game and the most allowed by the Sox to any opponent. The season series wasn't a perfect representation of 2011 for the Sox -- they were better than a .278 winning percentage, to say the least -- but it was a key part of the grander scheme of failures for the club.

While it's just two games, that the Sox have already won both contests against Detroit in convincing fashion is somewhat encouraging given what the Tigers did in 2011 and how they look to shape up in 2012.

"This team feels so new and nothing from last year feels a part of last year," captain Paul Konerko explained after Saturday's 5-1 win. "So that's a good thing. But you want to win divisional games. The Tigers are going to be there, they're just too good of a team. They're going to be there. All we can hope is that we're in the mix at the end and that fight too."

But the first three White Sox-Tigers games last year went as follows: 9-3, 9-0, 3-0, all wins for Detroit. To a point, that late-April series set the tone for the season series between the two clubs.

Detroit's offense won't stay down for long, so perhaps this first meeting won't set the tone for 2012. While they've only scored three runs in two games against the White Sox, the abundance of firepower the Tigers possess will show at some point.

"Detroit obviously had a couple big series early on where they swung a lot," Konerko said. "Sometimes you catch a team in a lull, and hopefully that lasts one more day."

That's a prevailing theme in talking to White Sox players about the Tigers. There's a belief that Detroit is an excellent ballclub -- at least on paper -- with little to prove at this point.

"That was one of the more stressful games I had because there's no break in the lineup," catcher Tyler Flowers said. "Every pitch has to be a quality pitch otherwise we're going to get hurt. It's definitely good and nice to get those kinds of wins, but I definitely give the most credit to our pitchers, who held Detroit to just a couple runs. That says a lot."

As Konerko pointed out, the start of the season isn't the first week, it's the first two months. The Sox play Detroit six more times before Memorial Day -- three at home (Sunday, then May 14-15) and three on the road (May 4-6).

"Its nice to start off that way," manager Robin Ventura said. "It is April, though. But its better than losing those games and trying to say its still a long season and we hope that doesnt carry."

These two wins are a fantastic start, but the tone for the season series still has plenty of time to change early on.

"All I know for sure is that those two games are over, they're in the books," Konerko said. "Other than that, I don't know anything else."

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.

The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.

Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.

The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years. 

Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: