NEW YORK -- When it comes to those two losses against the Texas Rangers, Jimmy Rollins is blunt.
“We should of swept,” he said.
But what’s more important to the team’s long-term success than any individual game is that they don’t let any one contest get them down, Rollins said Saturday.
The White Sox bounced back from any potential disappointment yet again on Friday, rolling the Yankees 7-1 behind Chris Sale and a two-run homer by Rollins. Through 36 games, that attitude has been prevalent as the White Sox have proven to be a team with a short-term memory. And while the mindset may be new to the White Sox clubhouse, it’s hardly original for guys like Rollins, Alex Avila, Dioner Navarro and Austin Jackson.
“That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Rollins said. “It’s nothing to me, it’s nothing to guys that have had success because that’s what good teams do. For guys that may not have had success, it may be refreshing like, ‘Ok, this is what it’s like to be around guys who know how to win, around a team that wants to win, the only objective is winning.’ You lose, but you don’t dwell on it because ‘that wasn’t us, that game got away.’ ”
Part of the front office’s aim this offseason was to upgrade the White Sox roster and fill in a number of holes. Another aspect was focused on acquiring players with strong leadership skills. The White Sox have added several players with winning backgrounds to a team largely inexperienced in the postseason. Through 22 percent of the season, manager Robin Ventura sees a difference in how his team bounces back.
“They don’t hold on to it,” Ventura said. “Every day they come in, they just find a way to focus on that day.
“I don’t know if it’s similar to a dog when you leave and come back, it’s just excited to see you. Every day is a fun new day for them and they feel like they’re going to go out and win.”
He’s a big believer that day’s game is the only thing that matters. Forget the past. The team can review what went wrong in a loss or two and adjust.
But they’re just as focused at moving on.
Losses happen. Rollins expects at least 50 in a season no matter what. He added the two in Texas where pitchers didn’t execute and the defense couldn’t make a play to that “50 pile.”
“Some games you’re going to go out there and other teams are going to come out hot and it’s like ‘We never got started,’ ” Rollins said. “And a game like Texas, we aided them in that one. Never are we going out feeling a team is better than we are and we’ll lose games. Sometimes a team is going to play better ball than you that day. But we all look at ourselves and ‘we must have done something wrong that was the reason we didn’t win.’ So put that behind, we’ll make that adjustment and fix it tomorrow.
“The only thing that matters is now.”