White Sox

Poor base running hurt 2015 White Sox in a big way

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Poor base running hurt 2015 White Sox in a big way

There are several statistics you could point to as a key for a failed White Sox campaign that ended with a 6-0 loss the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

But perhaps the one that best exemplifies a stumble that took the White Sox from postseason aspirations to narrowly avoiding the American League Central cellar is Outs On The Bases.

For while the White Sox offense scored the fewest runs in the AL, the defense was at or near the bottom of almost every metrical measure and the starting pitching wasn’t as good as they had hoped, there’s no question the 2015 White Sox were also felled by many self-inflicted wounds. Even though they entered Sunday with the fifth-worst on-base percentage in the majors, the White Sox somehow ran into a major league-leading 74 outs, according to baseball-reference.com -- 19 more than the league average.

“There are some mistakes you can make that look aggressive and some you make that don’t look aggressive, that just look like you’re not paying attention,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There were too many of those.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Outs On The Bases doesn’t include stolen base attempts nor do runners who are picked off count. Same for force plays.

They’re merely an accumulation of plays where runners are thrown out stretching singles into doubles, contact plays that result in easy outs at home, or players caught trying to advance on balls that get away from the catcher, etc. If you’ve seen more than a handful of White Sox games this season, you’ve seen your fair share.

While they can represent an aggressive mindset (which is good if properly used), Outs On The Bases also can make a team appear as if it has no idea what it’s doing.

In Friday’s 2015 postmortem, general manager Rick Hahn said base running is one of the issues that plagued the White Sox this season.

“The mistakes on the bases, are far, far too numerous and not the brand of baseball we want to play,” Hahn said.

While fans on social media blame the coaching staff for these mistakes, Hahn and the players disagree. Hahn said players fundamentally hadn’t lived up to his expectations.

[MORE: Eaton set for offseason shoulder surgery]

But Ventura said he understands the criticism levied toward the coaching staff and said it comes with the position. Ventura is OK with aggressive outs, but not the ones caused by mental mistakes. He hopes next season’s team is more aware of the situation and alert, looking to coaches, paying attention to stop signs, etc.

“A lot of it is really what’s going on in the head as they’re running around, paying attention to Joe (McEwing) a little bit more,” Ventura said. “You continue to work at it. You continue to try to get them to learn when those situations are and when they aren’t. We have some guys who are young and haven’t been in the league all that long, so there is a certain element, and you want them to get it quicker rather than later.”

Leadoff man Adam Eaton, who made a team-high 12 Outs On The Bases,hopes experience gives White Sox players have a better idea what not to do in the future. He believes the mistakes fall squarely on the shoulders of the players, not the coaches. Echoing Hahn’s sentiments, Eaton said it’s not because of poor preparation -- plenty of work goes into base running in spring training.

[ALSO: Shuck thriving as pinch-hit specialist]

“Coaching is not the problem,” Eaton said. “We were well prepared coming into the season. Basepaths, it’s just us. Guys learning. From my standpoint, I’m still very young and I’m learning every day. I’m learning every day to be a better player on the basepaths, to take better care of myself out there.”

“It’s not the coaching, it’s us as players. If the season failed, it’s us.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: 'Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia'

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: 'Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia'

With the Cubs back in the NLCS, White Sox fans have had to deal with another post-season of Cubs this and Cubs that. How does one escape it? Diehard White Sox fan John Kass of the Chicago Tribune comes on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his recent column entitled "Searching for a safe space in Cubslandia." Kass talks about how he's dealing with the Cubs success and how White Sox fans can find this safe space. He tells the story about taking the White Sox World Series trophy into a Chicago Tribune board meeting in 2005 to rub it in the faces of the Trib's executives who were all Cubs fans.  

Kass talks about how he watches the Cubs in the playoffs, the Chicago media coverage of their playoff run and how Cubs fans will react if they don't repeat as champions. Garfien and Kass also discuss the White Sox rebuild, the Cubs losing in 2003 and why Kass will be calling Cubs Pre and Post host David Kaplan in the middle of the night if and when the Cubs are eliminated.  

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

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USA TODAY

White Sox mourn passing of former pitcher Daniel Webb

Former White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb died at the age of 28 in an ATV accident on Saturday night, according to Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis.

Davis called it a “tragic accident, and we should rally around the family.”

Webb, a Paducah, Ky. native, was with the White Sox from 2013-16 and went 7-5 with a 4.50 ERA.

The White Sox released this statement:

Daniel left many friends within the Chicago White Sox organization, and we are all shocked and stunned by the news of last night's terrible accident. He was a terrific young man with a full life ahead of him. All thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends as they deal with today's tragic news.