White Sox

Josh Harrison saw your mean tweets, but doesn't care

White Sox

Over the past month or so, no one player has drawn more ire from White Sox fans than Josh Harrison. When Rick Hahn signed Harrison to a one-year dealー with a club option for 2023ー the expectation was he could lock down second base and provide a steady bat near the back of the lineup. But things didn’t go according to plan early in the year, and Harrison struggled to find any consistency. Through the first two months of the season, he was slashing .172/.255/.263. He only had three RBIs, but grounded into five double plays.

So the boo birds started to flock. On social media, many called for him to be “DFA’d to the moon,” as if removing him from the 40-man roster wasn’t enough. And Harrison hinted that he noticed.

“We see a lot of things,” Harrison said following the White Sox’ victory on Tuesday night. “But I’ll be honest, I don’t care what anybody says.”

One would think a player could draw motivation from wanting to prove the haters wrong. But that’s not the case for Harrison.

“I don’t play for the motivation of people that don’t like me or that do like me, no disrespect,” Harrison. “Everything I do on the field is how I’m wired. I play for me, I play for my teammates, I play for my family. If somebody is not for me, it doesn’t bother me. The greatest players in the world have people who don’t like them. I’m not going to waste any energy on anything negative. I focus on the position and that’s what I gotta bring.”

 

That sentiment echoes a “good vibes only” message we’ve heard all season from players in the White Sox clubhouse. They know they’re a talented team, they know what they can accomplish, and they’re going to focus on trying to have fun while they’re on the field. All the other stuff is noise that they will try to block out. It’s a sentiment that may have helped the team weather a rash of injuries to stay around .500, and keep them in position to make another run at a division title.

It may have also helped Harrison to stay the course until he could turn things around personally. Since the start of June, Harrison has looked much better at the plate. His slash line for the month is .325/.378/.475. There’s been a big uptick in production too, with six RBI and no double plays. The recent resurgence was capped with a walkoff single in the 12th inning on Tuesday night. But if things turn sour again and the boo birds return, Harrison still won’t care.

“Those people, they are entitled to their own opinion at the end of the day. Godspeed.”

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