MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Eaton emerged from Thursday’s blowout loss with a trimmed beard and a hoarse voice.
The White Sox center fielder hasn’t been shy about how hard he has taken his and the team’s struggles through their first 19 games. After he went 1-for-5 and had a pair of defensive miscues, Eaton felt a change was necessary and cut off his beard.
“That guy sucks,” Eaton said. “I've got to get rid of him.”
Eaton was being overly critical of himself on a night in which nothing went right for the White Sox, whether it was Chris Sale’s struggles, a poor overall defensive effort or an offense that stranded 10 base runners.
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Eaton, however, chose to focus on the plays he made -- or didn’t make -- in the second and fifth innings. In the first instance, Eaton raced in and scooped up Brian Dozier’s blooper to shallow center field. But instead of getting rid of the ball quickly, Eaton clutched the ball for an extra instant and Danny Santana scored all the way from first when Jose Abreu cut off the throw home.
Then in the fifth, Eaton wildly overthrew home plate, his throw soaring to the backstop and ricocheting toward the first-base dugout, which allowed Eduardo Escobar to advance to third after a two-run single.
“It starts up the middle and I take full responsibility for that,” Eaton said. “You’ve got to make sure to get throws down and get throws in and catch the ball.”
“I want to make plays for them. I want to make plays for every pitcher out there and I want to get on base and I want to start this offense. I take it very personal when the offense isn’t really up and going like it should be.”
Eaton isn’t the only one who has struggled this month, but he’s accepted much of the blame. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Eaton is one of many players he believes is feeling the pressure of the team’s slow start.
“There’s a lot of pressing going on,” Ventura said. “He’s caught in between that. There’s frustration with that, and you understand that, but you just have to fight through it.”