Chicago White Sox teammates Tim Anderson and Liam Hendriks have another All-Star Game in the books. When fielding questions prior to the festivities, both players were asked about the Bob Nightengale report indicating the White Sox were experiencing cliques in the clubhouse and a lack of player leadership.
“Nobody really knows what's going on...You know, just a lot of people with a lot of opinions. But we on the inside laughing, you know what I mean?" Anderson said. "But we understand that when you're going through a lot of things, [there ’s] going to be a lot of opinions. The biggest thing is to not really buy into those opinions and just stay the course and stay focused.”
To Tim Anderson's point, the team's play has improved significantly since the report emerged. The White Sox won five of their last six games prior to the All-Star break, including taking three of four from the first-place Minnesota Twins.
Liam Hendriks went as far as calling the statement “a complete fabrication." The always-vocal Australian fireballer also addressed the report's origins. "I don't know where the source came from. I've got my inklings, but other than that the clubhouse is fine."
Hendriks is likely referring to Nightengale's "source" being Dallas Keuchel, whom the Sox DFA'd in late May. If Kuechel is in fact the source, it wouldn't come as a surprise given the veteran's track record of contentious comments during his time on the South Side.
“There's no issues in that clubhouse with any dissension, with any quips, with any kind of lack of leadership or anything like that," Hendriks continued. "It's a very strong family in that clubhouse.”
The Upcoming 2nd Half
Now, the Nightengale report is running its course and the Chicago White Sox have a couple of days off to gear up for a second-half push. With a favorable stretch of the schedule over the better part of the next month, the South Siders have a prime opportunity to tighten the gap in the AL Central.
They open the second half with four games at home against the Cleveland Guardians, whom they trail by one game for second place in the division. After that, the Sox have a two-game set against the Colorado Rockies sandwiched between off-days. They will then return to the South Side back-to-back home series against the Athletics and Royals, a pair of teams sitting at the bottom of their respective divisions.
Winning cures all ills, and these upcoming series should prove that point -- so long as the White Sox can take care of business.