Tuesday, September 27, 2022

White Sox Goals: Show Emotion, Get Angry, Piss Everybody Off


Andrew Vaughn has been hit by a pitch nine times already this season. But when Minnesota Twins closer Jorge Lopez uncorked a 97 mph dangerously close to his head, he had finally had enough. It didn’t matter that it was the ninth inning. Or that it was a tie game, or if it was unintentional.

“I’ve been hit up high a few times. Got hit in the face a couple of weeks ago. Spur of the moment I was mad, I was upset,” Vaughn told reporters after the game.

After getting hit, Vaughn had a quick exchange with Lopez.

“That was at my head, that ain’t right,” Vaughn told Lopez. He then put his head down and began to run towards first base, not hearing a word Lopez said in response.

“I came here last time with Baltimore, and I did the same thing,” Lopez explained to the media after the game. “If they don’t like me pitching in, that’s something they can’t take out of me.”

Lance Lynn watched this unfold and decided to take matters into his own hands. He jumped over the dugout fence, and the rest of the team followed. Both benches emptied, and a fracas ensued.

The White Sox were sticking up for their teammate. It was a showing of unity fans have been looking for all season after rumors of “cliques,” and a lack of fire in the clubhouse have surrounded the team.

“We are living in a moment of unity here. We are united,” Jose Abreu said through interpreter Billy Russo. “We are working toward the same goal, and it’s winning as many games as we can, trying to stay together.”

When the dust settled, warnings were issued to both teams. White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo who was still fired up from his on-field argument with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, got ejected for arguing said warnings.

He didn’t even realize he got tossed until an umpire came to the dugout to tell him.

“Kulpa told me,” Cairo said after the game. “I guess I’m not supposed to argue warnings. Now I know.”

Two Walk-Offs One Inning

When play resumed, Jose Abreu got hit by a pitch to drive home the winning run. Or so he thought. Abreu went running around the bases in celebration while his teammates chased after him, and fireworks shot off in the distance.

But the celebration was short-lived. Upon review, it was ruled that the ball did not hit Abreu, so he was forced to return to the box and try to win the game again.

Two pitches later, he hit a ground ball to second base, and Nick Gordon and Carlos Correa could not turn a double play in time. Abreu beat out the throw to win the game.

A New Mantra

This sudden burst of energy, fun, and fire is exactly what the White Sox has been missing. There have been small glimpses but never for a sustained stretch.

Friday marked the White Sox third straight victory since they held a team meeting. What’s the difference?

“They’re just having fun right now,” Cairo said. “The game should be played like that: hard, complete, go out there and give everything you’ve got and enjoy what you’re doing.”

The White Sox stressed having fun in their team meeting on Thursday. The tone has changed. Since Tony La Russa had to leave the team with heart problems, the team has rallied together in support of their manager.

“Everyone’s got a little more pep in their step,” Liam Hendriks told Vinnie Duber of CHGO sports. “It’s just one of those mantras of just, ‘Fuck it. Fuck it, let’s go.’ This is who we are. We need to embrace who we are instead of trying to be that stoic, old-timey baseball player. Show some emotion, get angry and piss everybody off.”

Stoic, old-timey baseball sounds an awful lot like a Tony La Russa run ball club. While it is true that the White Sox looked re-energized since Miguel Cairo took over, that doesn’t mean that Tony La Russa was the root cause of the problem. Last season the team had no problem playing with energy and having fun. It is what has made them successful.

Tim Anderson’s bat flips, Lance Lynn crotch grabbing and Yasmani Grandal flexing are what made this team fun to watch. It is also what gave the White Sox an identity. With 30 games left, it’s not too late to get that identity back, regardless of who is managing.


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Sep 3, 2022 6:28 pm

Probably easier to have energy when the skipper isnt falling asleep or throwing curveballs at the team. Hope hes ok and ready to retire.

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