White Sox

White Sox seek first winning April since 2009

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White Sox seek first winning April since 2009

The White Sox aim to put their recent miserable, cold and slow starts in the past this season.

Much of the talk at SoxFest last weekend surrounded the team’s hope for a strong opening month. The White Sox haven’t played above .500 ball through the end of April since 2009. Though a good April could convince fans tired of the team’s losing ways to attend more games, general manager Rick Hahn said he’s more concerned with wins and losses. En route to their third consecutive losing campaign, the 2015 White Sox opened with a thud. They lost 11 of their first 19 contests and trailed eventual World Series winners Kansas City by 5 1/2 games.

“I don’t look at it from an attendance standpoint, I look at it from a standings and momentum standpoint,” Hahn said. “I think it’s extremely important that Robin (Ventura) and I, Kenny (Williams), Jerry (Reinsdorf), all of us talk about this, in terms of from the first day of spring training setting the tone about the importance of accomplishing what we want and what our goals are on and off the field, which will then translate into a better start at the start of the year. So it’s something that we’ve targeted, but it’s important for every club to get off to a good start. I don’t view it as any more important than in years past, but it’s a priority, no doubt.”

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A strong start won’t be easy.

The White Sox play 16 of 26 games on the road, including a four-game series at the Oakland A’s to start the season. Over the past three seasons, the White Sox are just 95-148 (.391) away from U.S. Cellular Field.

Poor March/April play has become the norm of late on the South Side. The team went 14-15 in 2014, 10-15 in 2013, 11-11 in 2012, 10-18 in 2011 and 9-14 in 2010. While a slow April doesn’t doom a team’s chances, it can make all the difference. One change Ventura talked about at SoxFest is potentially playing the team’s starters longer in spring training so they could get accustomed to one another. The 2016 White Sox will feature an entirely new infield, save for Jose Abreu at first.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

While Hahn isn’t worried about attendance, pitcher Chris Sale hopes for a byproduct of increased numbers of fans.

“I do think (a strong start is) important,” Sale said. “I don’t think it’s everything, but I would say that if you’re starting off on the right foot, you get a good taste in your mouth, fans are getting excited. I think that’s huge too. When there are people at the stadium, and its loud and rocking and there’s an atmosphere, there’s no doubt in my mind or anybody else’s mind that the players feel that. That’s an energy you can’t replicate otherwise. Hopefully we do that and we can get that support.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.