White Sox

Jose Abreu: 'It's the players, not Robin'


Jose Abreu: 'It's the players, not Robin'

MINNEAPOLIS — Jose Abreu said Sunday his manager isn’t to blame for the team’s woes; it’s the players.

The White Sox slugger came out in strong support of Robin Ventura before Sunday’s game. Now in his fourth season, Ventura has been the focal point of fan criticism on sports talk shows and social media as the White Sox have sputtered out to an 8-13 start this season. But Abreu said the team’s struggles are more about what has transpired on the field than anything involving the dugout.

“We cannot blame Robin,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It’s our fault because we are the ones who are playing. We are the people who are in the field. Just for us, we are not doing the things right.

“If the people want someone to blame, it’s the players, not Robin. He’s doing what he can do, but the results aren’t there.”

[MORE: Adam Eaton sick, out of White Sox lineup again]

The White Sox offense is last in the American League in a number of major categories. They have scored three runs or fewer 13 times in 21 games.

The team’s starting pitching hasn’t been consistent, either. And the White Sox have performed poorly on the bases and in the field.

Though Ventura appreciates Abreu’s statement, he stressed that everyone needs to improve.

“In the end you just need to play better,” Ventura said. “I don’t think anybody is sitting around here and pointing fingers at somebody. It’s a team game we play and we all have to do our part, I do, the players do, everybody does. It’s not a time to sit there and point fingers, it’s a time to play better and they know that time is coming and they have to continue to grind and get through rough patches and you realize what’s there and what guys are capable of.”

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Ventura’s aware there have been calls for his job. But he said he can’t allow himself to be distracted by something out of his control.

“It doesn’t help us today trying to win a game,” Ventura said. “The focus today is trying to win today, not anything that’s happening in the future. For all these guys we’re focused on what we’re doing today.”

Ventura’s ability to stay level is what has made him popular with his players since he took over as the club’s manager in 2012. Abreu is just the latest to endorse Ventura for treating players like professionals.

“I really love to play for Robin because he’s a friend, he’s a brother, he’s like a father in some situations,” Abreu said. “He lets you play your game. That’s good. Something that in baseball, if you are a good person, that doesn’t translate that you are going to be successful every time. He’s very good. I love to play for him.”

Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox


Chris Sale labors in World Series opener for Red Sox

When Chris Sale was with the White Sox, fans dreamed of seeing him headline a postseason playoff rotation.

That never materialized in his time with the White Sox, but Sale is headlining a World Series rotation for the Red Sox. The 29-year-old pitched Game 1 for the Red Sox against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Sale didn't last long, making it into the fifth and getting pulled before recording an out. In those 4+ innings, Sale gave up three runs while striking out seven.

One of the key plays of the game featured Manny Machado getting an RBI single against Sale in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2. Machado later had an RBI groundout to again tie the game in the fifth before Boston regained the lead in the bottom half of that inning.

Was that a meeting of the White Sox past (Sale) against the White Sox future (Machado)? Machado will be a highly sought after free agent this winter and the White Sox have been connected to the former Orioles infielder since last offseason.

Game 1 featured a stellar pitching matchup of Sale against Clayton Kershaw, but it didn't materialize as it looked on paper. Sale labored while Kershaw gave up five runs in 4+ innings.

This postseason hasn't been a standout one for Sale. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA in 16 1/3 innings over four appearances (three starts and a relief appearance).

The longer Chris Sale is with the Red Sox, the less this will feel relevant to the White Sox, but it is still something to see the longtime White Sox ace on the mound starting a World Series opener.

White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado


White Sox Talk Podcast: A.J. Pierzynski rips Manny Machado

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski comes on the podcast and tells Chuck Garfien why he’d sign Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado (6:15).

Pierzynski criticizes Machado for saying that he doesn’t play hard everyday (7:08). Would he make Machado the face of the White Sox franchise? (12:30)

He also talks about how bullpenning cost the Milwaukee Brewers a spot in the World Series (14:45).

He reveals the former White Sox player who had a gift for recognizing players who tipped their pitches (21:00).  Pierzynski tells behind the scenes stories about former teammates Nick Swisher, Bartolo Colon, Gavin Floyd and more (28:00).

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

White Sox Talk Podcast