The power of the team meeting is well-known to fans of any sport. When a franchise’s most prominent players gather together and get down to brass tacks, good things usually come in the short-term and sometimes even yield long-term results. The Chicago White Sox are yet another case in point, after ripping off a spirited win streak reportedly after having one of those good old-fashioned team meetings.
Closer Liam Hendriks recently spilled on the private gathering some members of the White Sox had behind closed doors that has the team trending in the right direction. About 8-10 players and skipper Tony La Russa were said to be part of the meeting that focused on the team’s mentality that’s lacked fire of late after losing their series against the usually hapless Kansas City Royals.
Via The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg:
“Just making sure we’re all on the right page, making sure we’re all kind of united and making sure that, if there was anything we needed to air,” Hendriks said on what the meeting was about. “It was a safe space. But the message of the entire thing was positivity. Make sure you’re a united front on positivity and make sure we breed kind of that because these 8-10 guys that are in here right now, let it seep into every single person.”
At the center of the intense discussion was none other than White Sox icon Jose Abreu, who called out his club for getting overly cocky this season after comfortably taking the division last year via a 93-win campaign.
“One thing that was stated by Abreu was how our confidence turned into cockiness,” Hendriks said, noting that there was a “complacency level” with the team.
Whatever complacency they had seems to have disappeared of late, with the White Sox ripping off a five-game win streak – including two huge victories against the American League leading Houston Astros before falling in a close 3-2 defeat on Wednesday
Veteran pitcher Johnny Cueto was one of the loudest voices calling for an immediate change from within. He had been vocal on the team’s lackluster play of late and was one of the key participants in said meeting.
As things stand, Chicago is two games behind for both the Wild Card spot and the division lead as the league enters its stretch run before the postseason. If the team can channel the message from the team meeting throughout the rest of the season, they’ll have a decent chance of climbing back into the playoff conversation.