White Sox

Sox drawer: White Sox feel confident despite second loss to Cubs

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Sox drawer: White Sox feel confident despite second loss to Cubs

Most baseball players will never admit that they follow the standings or read the out-of-town scoreboard during games this early in the season.

But Tuesday night with his team trailing the Cubs 2-1, there was at least one member of the White Sox who was watching his game and the one being played simultaneously in Cleveland.

It was the same guy who saw Robin Ventura come out of the dugout in the eighth inning, seemingly to pull him from the game, and shouted back at his manager, "NO!"

Ventura was merely checking on the ankle of his pitcher. He had just taken a screaming ground ball off of it.

Jake Peavy was fine. He stayed in the game. And after holding the Cubs to two runs over nine innings, he sat helplessly in the dugout, hoping the Sox would mount a comeback. The same kind of rally he had noticed the Reds had just completed against the Indians in the top of the ninth.

It didn't happen.

And after taking questions from the media at his locker, Peavy had his own question for us. It was about the Indians.

"Did they end up winning or losing?"

They won. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth.

Peavy tossed his head back, rolled his eyes, and did the math. The Indians grabbed a half-game lead in the division. It's the first time the White Sox haven't been in first place since May 28.

Considering the White Sox had been in first and the Cubs are buried in last, losing two straight to the North Siders did not sit well in Peavy's stomach.

"I don't mean any disrespect, but a team playing the way the Cubs have been playing, we've got to beat those teams," Peavy said. "Again, please, don't take that out of context because the Cubs are a big-league team and you gotta show up every night, anybody can beat anybody. But teams that we feel like we should beat that aren't playing that well, we gotta show up and take advantage of these opportunities."

The White Sox had their chances. They drew seven walks, but the big hits never came.

And the White Sox can feel the footsteps of that other team in the distance. The Tigers are now just two games out.

"Detroit is coming, and we know Cleveland isn't going anywhere," Peavy said. "I don't think by any means this team has lost any confidence. We've showed we can play with anybody on any given day. The bottom line is we've been a little too streaky. We've been real good for a little while then not so good."

Kenny Williams is known to be one of the most active general managers around the trade deadline. He has hinted that if attendance doesn't pick up, he might not get the go-ahead to make moves and take on additional salary.

But remember this: Jerry Reinsdorf wants to win. If it's the end of July and the White Sox are in it (few thought they would be), Reinsdorf could give Williams the green light.

"You can always get better," Peavy said. "I love the team that we do have, but if Kenny and Jerry and those guys see fit, you'd always take an added player. That's something that we'd all welcome. At the same time, if that doesn't happen, we think we have enough here to beat the other teams in our division."

The White Sox need better production at third base, the back-end of the rotation, and in the bullpen.

What do the Tigers need?

According to manager Jim Leyland, they need dirtbags.

"They know how to win games," Leyland told reporters Tuesday. "That type of guy can hit .240 and be just as important as a guy that's hitting .310 because he got the guy over (to third base) on a consistent basis, he got the squeeze down, he broke up a double play, he tagged up from first on a long fly to left-center. Those are the dirtbags I'm talking about."

Leyland wants players with a mean streak. After losing five series in a row, the latest coming at home to a Cubs team with the second worst record in the majors, the White Sox have plenty to be angry about.

So get mad. Get even if you have to. And then, get going.

Because it's way too early to be talking about the Bears.

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: