White Sox

White Sox' Adam LaRoche: 'Last year sucked ... but I'm over it'

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White Sox' Adam LaRoche: 'Last year sucked ... but I'm over it'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as he may have desired to, Adam LaRoche couldn’t totally ignore the worst season of his career once he reached the offseason.

The veteran designated hitter/first baseman needed to review what took occurred last season to determine if he could discover why he struggled mightily before he moved on. But as soon as he assessed it properly, LaRoche removed himself as far as he possibly could from his first season with the White Sox.

Shortly after he arrived at Camelback Ranch on Sunday, LaRoche said he’s refreshed and fully removed from a campaign in which he hit .207/.293/.340 with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs in 484 plate appearances.

“You can’t help but look at some of it,” LaRoche said. “You kind of look back at what you could have done different, as a team, individually, kind of where things went south and then put it behind you as fast as you can. I felt like I let go of that early on, enjoyed the winter and (am) excited to do it again.

“Last year sucked. It was tough. But I’m over it now.”

[MORE: Todd Frazier - White Sox have 'key cogs' in place]

Doesn’t matter if a player has two years in the league or 10, hitting the reset button after a poor season is critical. Not once in 2015 could LaRoche maintain a hot streak. He didn’t identify why he struggled on Sunday other than to say he began to press and everything began to snowball — “in the middle of it you try a little too hard and you just don’t recover,” LaRoche said.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura believes LaRoche’s struggles were a combination of everything, from mental and mechanical issues, to adjusting to the life of a DH and a new league.

But what Ventura — who said at SoxFest that LaRoche must earn playing time this season — likes is how he found the veteran in a good place after he reported to camp on Sunday morning.

“He looks great, he feels good and he's going to be ready to go,” Ventura said. “It's always good to get a reset.

“The biggest thing right now is he comes in in a great frame of mind to help us win games.”

LaRoche spent the offseason relaxing with his family. He also fished and hunted as he always does.

LaRoche is optimistic about his second attempt at being a designated hitter. He thinks he has a better plan on how to fill the time in between plate appearances and is eager to prove he’s up to the challenge. The knee issues that dogged him for the final two months of the season have gone away with rest.

[SHOP: Gear up for the season, White Sox fans!]

While most of his offseason routine remained the same, LaRoche did make one change. He began to do CrossFit for the first time and said he feels good as he’s about to begin the 13th season of his career.

In an attempt to bounce back, LaRoche wanted to put himself in the best place possible. He wants to be the guy the White Sox signed for two years and $25 million in November 2014.

He has already experienced hell on the diamond, and he isn’t interest in another visit.

“It was tough, it was a grind,” LaRoche said. “It’s just a different feeling coming to the field when you’re feeling good and playing good and winning games. As a team there is just a different atmosphere in there. Unfortunately, the only way you can get it is winning ballgames. So yeah, it was draining. I really don’t want to go through that again.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list