On opening day, White Sox maintain high expectations despite gloomy forecast
Outside preseason analyses may project the White Sox to record their fifth straight losing season as the club moves deeper into its rebuilding project.
But inside the clubhouse, players want nothing to do with forecasts gloomier than the one for opening day Monday against the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“The meetings we’ve had and the energy we have it’s all been positive,” third baseman Todd Frazier said. “You have to take accountability for yourself and show Chicago what we are about. I’m sure everybody doesn’t have us on their lists of doing anything. But we make a push, we play baseball like we know we know how and take it from our leader Rick Renteria and we will be all right.
“You are going to see a lot of hustle. You will see a lot of great plays and a determined team to prove themselves.”
The Sox hadn’t given any indication early Monday morning that the opener might be moved to Tuesday’s off day because of a forecast of hours of rain around the 3:10 p.m. start. They were tweeting opening day parking and entrance instructions to fans as of 9 a.m.
Whether the Sox kick things off Monday afternoon behind left-hander Jose Quintana or Tuesday, Renteria said his expectations have remained the same throughout spring. He plans on seeing his players show off fundamentally sound baseball that will give his team a chance to win.
“There is no professional athlete in any sport who comes out thinking they’re going to lay down for an opponent,” Renteria said. “That’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to win every single game. We’ll do the best we can, and the best way is to execute. I’m sure we’ll have good days and bad days like any club, but every day we’ll try to come out on top.”
Among the challenges for the Sox this season will be guiding young players, the number of which might grow as the season wears on.
On Monday, the Sox had three players with less than a year of experience in their starting lineup — shortstop Tim Anderson, center fielder Jacob May and catcher Omar Narvaez.
“It’s still baseball,” May said. “You’ve still got to go out there and have fun and help the team win.”
Here’s the Sox lineup against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander:
- Tyler Saladino, 2B
- Tim Anderson, SS
- Melky Cabrera, LF
- Jose Abreu, 1B
- Todd Frazier, 3B
- Cody Asche, DH
- Avisail Garcia, RF
- Omar Narvaez, C
- Jacob May, CF
- JoseQuintana, P