Cruciality of Developing a Winning Culture: White Sox Spring Training 2023

Under the new management of Pedro Grifol, it is vital for the White Sox to develop an atmosphere that breeds hunger, motivation, and, inevitably, a winning team. The talent on this year’s squad undoubtedly has the potential to win the division and compete in the playoffs. It is just up to the coaches and players to get the job done.

Last season was notably disappointing, and its woes were vocalized by many of the players that the underperformance and letdown cannot happen again. Focus was lost, and too many distractions prevented the team from competing every day on the field. With this, there has to be a desire to win. In an interview on the White Sox Talk Podcast, Lucas Giolito shared, “as a group and individually, all of us, we learned our lessons from last year. Last year pissed us off.” This is where the development of a new culture has to come into play. A high-caliber team is not sustainable and cannot play winning baseball when relishing in the sorrow of seasons past.

It is very clear that the fanbase is getting rather impatient with a team that has not produced any postseason success throughout a hefty rebuild and reloading. Fans watched the team’s star players get moved around back in 2016 in return for a sizable amount of quality prospects and draft picks, only to then watch them go 81-81 in a year where there were serious World Series aspirations. Towards the beginning of spring training, GM Rick Hahn mentioned that the organization needs to “win back the trust of the fans” and this can only happen when a team wins and is set up to succeed. It is never a good thing when fans chant to have their manager fired in the middle of games as well as bring banners wishing ownership to sell the team. However, winning is the solution to all problems.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Pedro Grifol has the opportunity to take this team in a direction that outcompetes other ball clubs on a daily basis. Watching from the stands or a television, too often, it felt like the 2022 White Sox lost because the other team just simply wanted it more. Sox competitors did the little things better, such as playing the ball cleanly, running hard around the bases, being a team player at the plate, etc. This is not to say the Sox were always facing players with better talent. At the end of the day, it was just a matter of who was hungrier. There are a lot of new roles to fill. With Jose Abreu’s departure, someone needs to step up and take on the head seat at the table. With Liam Hendriks being out, someone in the bullpen needs to be the man who closes the door at the end of games. With new management, they need to ignite the flame and place all the pieces in order that will allow the Sox to, at minimum, be competitive 162 times this season.

The match is ready and waiting. It just needs to be lit.

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