Despite struggles, White Sox upbeat, supportive

Despite struggles, White Sox upbeat, supportive

KANSAS CITY -- Going 4-11 in their last 15 games, the White Sox have lost much of the ground built up by a 23-10 start to the season. That's tightened the race in the American League Central, where the top four teams sat within three games of each other entering Thursday. For that, the players would have reason to feel added pressure.

Instead, ahead of Thursday's postponed series opener against the Royals, the mood in the clubhouse wasn't tense. In fact, it was the opposite.

Some players gathered around a table, sharing videos with each other; Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier broke out into song at various points. It continued throughout the day.

As Lawrie stood at his locker, answering questions, Frazier roamed around the clubhouse. Lawrie spoke about the responsibility players have taken for recent losses and said accountability was really a big part of the club. He brought up the old cliche of how there's no "I" in team, at which point Frazier interjected.

"Are there 'A's, 'E's, 'U's or 'Y's?" Frazier said

"There has to be or else this wouldn't work," Lawrie deadpanned back.

"OK. Just making sure," Frazier said, smiling as he walked away.

The White Sox come into the series having gone 3-7 on their most recent homestand. They have scored three or fewer runs in eight of their last nine games, but you wouldn't know it looking at the players.

Part of that comes from players taking responsibility for the losses. Some, including Adam Eaton and Chris Sale, have put the blame on their own shoulders following games.

But there's also more going on than what happens in the public eye.

"We keep picking each other up every day and we keep being positive," Lawrie said. "That's a big thing in a step toward winning baseball teams. ... Everyone is in here for one another."

And there's more than one reason for that positivity, but a main source of it seems to be that, despite the struggles, the White Sox remain atop the AL Central.

First baseman Jose Abreu said there hasn't really been a change in the team's mentality. Instead, there's been an understanding that there are going to be ups and downs in a long season, and there's a desire to get through the current skid.

"I think the only thing is that we are in first place," Abreu said through translator Billy Russo. "No matter what the situation is, we are in first place."

Scott Chasen is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the White Sox on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.