According to a report, there’s a lack of leadership in the White Sox clubhouse
It is not the season many fans on the South side have been hoping for. The Chicago White Sox find themselves stuck in third place in mid-July playing below .500 baseball. To put it bluntly the White Sox are a disappointment.
Following a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers that they split, the White Sox are 41-43 and five games back in the division. That record includes a poor 19-25 record at home. So what exactly is going wrong?
Well MLB writer Bob Nightengale is reporting that he’s hearing whispers that there is unrest and a leadership problem in the clubhouse:
“No one has been more disappointing than the Chicago White Sox, who must take a good hard look at what went wrong if they miss the playoffs. There have been a lot of whispers of unrest, cliques and the lack of player leadership inside the clubhouse tearing this talented team apart,” said the senior baseball writer.
And Nightengale is certainly right, the energy in the locker room has seemed to absolutely disappear.
Twitter user EloyGarcia84 shared a video showing the locker rooms reactions to Tim Anderson being announced as an all-star during 2021 and 2022.
2021 All Star announcement when Tim Anderson was a reserve (didn’t play) vs 2022 All Star announcement when he is announced as a starter. If you watched the whole announcement, you can tell that locker room is dead. #ChangeTheGame pic.twitter.com/Nnj0SGmhBr
— Eloy (@EloyGarcia84) July 9, 2022
The reaction is truly night and day. It seems as if the locker room is dead. It is not entirely clear what caused this but a leading theory circle back to manager Tony La Russa. La Russa has been a hard sell since day one. Hiring a 77-year-old who hadn’t coached in 10 years didn’t make much sense. Considering the promise of this squad a younger manager may have worked better. Most of those doubts were silenced following a strong 2021 campaign. It seems the relationship between players and coach may have soured.
Are the White Sox Struggling because of Tony La Russa?
La Russa still faces troubles stemming from his 2020 Dui arrest in Phoenix and doesn’t seem to be relating well to the players. La Russa has been slow to pull the trigger on pulling pitchers during poor performances and has been subject to “fire La Russa” chants at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Injuries are certainly partly to blame for a poor season but a fractured locker room potentially from La Russa’s doing is not helping. La Russa continues to make poor decisions on the field, leading to costly mistakes. Those mistakes add up when you are playing below .500 ball in July. The AL Central should be a very easily winnable division for the White Sox based off of talent alone but if the team isn’t playing as a team, that’s where the losses pile up.
La Russa’s lax leadership style and a locker room without a clear leader may be what is going wrong for the White Sox. A few players have come to La Russa’s defense but based off of the video and Nightengale’s reporting it seems like the rest won’t be. Missing the playoffs would be a massive disappointment and it may come down on La Russa in the offseason. If this team hopes to salvage anything from 2022 they will have to start playing like a team immediately.
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