White Sox

White Sox have kept it loose despite slow start

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White Sox have kept it loose despite slow start

MILWAUKEE -- He isn’t about to reveal the meaning of the stirring motion but it's evident Gordon Beckham and the White Sox still know how to have fun.

Beckham wouldn’t confirm Monday that his celebration after Sunday’s game-winner was a playful jab at the expense of outfielder Adam Eaton, who recently said he’s the straw that stirs the White Sox lineup.

Eaton, as well as a multitude of players wearing t-shirts featuring the leadoff man’s quote, have corroborated just what everyone was doing on the field after Beckham’s two-out, RBI single off Aroldis Chapman lifted the White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. As he rounded first base and teammates raced in his direction, Beckham clasped his hands together and made a circular motion as if he were churning butter.

“We’re just messing around and having some fun,” Beckham said. “I mean, it’s always fun to win games and it’s definitely fun to win like that. I haven’t had that feeling in like six years so that was a lot of fun for me. It was good, a good day.”

[MORE: White Sox ink Felipe Paulino to minor-league deal]

Eaton doesn’t seem to mind the playful swipe.

After all, he was the first one to greet Beckham -- whose RBI single gave the White Sox their fourth victory in six tries -- and mocked the motion as well. And Eaton already has exacted some revenge on Beckham (suggesting perhaps he created the highlighter-yellow T-shirts), posting throughout the clubhouse a grainy picture of the utility man from his youth.

“That’s the showing of a good team,” Eaton said. “I was fortunate to be on a couple of championship clubs in the minor leagues and that’s what you have in the clubhouse, just fun going and guys giving each other a hard time, T-shirts that make no sense, and pictures of guys when they were in their teens.

“It’s fun loving and like I said, a club that can laugh together usually will win.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

White Sox manager Robin Ventura appreciates the gag. Formerly a prankster in his own right (ask him about that John Olerud/Rickey Henderson story sometime), Ventura wants his players to stay loose as they attempt to dig out of the hole they created for themselves on their previous road trip.

“Teams always come up something,” Ventura said. “I’m out of that business. I just stay away from it. I want them to have fun so that’s one way for them to have fun. It could get dirty, but it’s been fun for them. Let them have as much fun as they can while also realizing what’s going on in the game.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

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NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

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USA TODAY

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


 

As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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