June 8, 2010: After a 7-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers, the White Sox fell to 24-33, a dismal 9.5 games behind the division-leading Twins.
The starting pitching wasn’t there. The bullpen wasn’t there. The offense, Paul Konerko aside, just wasn’t there.
The team was out of answers, but players stood in front of their lockers and answered questions anyway, the same way they had all season.
Words such as “urgency” and “change” were dancing on the tongues of media members and fans, as well as the players themselves. The team looked great on paper but wasn’t performing on the field. Chemistry and leadership were under scrutiny.
The next day at the ballpark, general manager Kenny Williams said this before the game:
“Some changes need to take place. I don’t know what and I don’t know when but some changes need to take place. Things aren’t happening the way we envisioned and when they don’t happen as we envisioned we have to make an adjustment or two.”
Change, adjustment…whatever you call it, something struck a nerve. The White Sox pounded 16 hits, then a season-high, and tore apart the Tigers 15-3.
Fans rioted in the streets after the game. The city erupted.
Okay, so that may have been due to the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup the same night, but little did they know it was a magical night for the White Sox, too.
The victory was the beginning of a 25-5 run, leaving the Sox in first place at the All-Star break. The first two months of the season seemed like a distant memory.
We know how this story ends. A September swoon and the Twins’ determination not to lose a game buried the Sox down the stretch, but lessons were still learned from the ups and downs of the 2010 campaign.
Last month at Soxfest, Paul Konerko spoke about the importance of the entire team getting off to a good start in 2011.
"The start last year is what killed us. I know just by talking to Ozzie and some of the coaches that they’re going to try and do some things this spring. I don’t know what they’re thinking but they just want to change it up and see if we can get the team a little more in tune. It’s not so much the individual stuff. You can come out of the gate and have individuals doing well but the team may not be winning. They’re going to try and structure spring training different and make it more real, earlier, before we leave. We can’t complain about anything like that because as a team, the last few years, we haven’t started well."
The changes will begin to unfold next week when pitchers and catchers report. Be sure to bookmark us because you can get all your White Sox news first-hand right here at SouthsideShowdown.com.