Longtime White Sox reflect on tough season

Longtime White Sox reflect on tough season

CLEVELAND -- John Danks, Paul Konerko and pitching coach Don Cooper stand as three of the four current White Sox players and coaches who had the unpleasant task of working through a 90-loss season in 2007 and this year's disappointing campaign. To a man, they agree that the 2013 season has been far worse and tougher to handle.

"The bottom line is it has been an awful lot of bad baseball," said Cooper, who joins Danks, Konerko and coach Harold Baines as the lone holdovers from that '07 squad. "This has never been tougher. It just seems what can ever go wrong, will go wrong. That's kind of what's happened.

"This is the exact opposite atmosphere of a good club. Good clubs come looking forward to come to the park, ready to go, believing they are going to go out there and win. I don't think we have any of that going on."

That dismal '07 season had individual highlights such as Mark Buehrle's no-hitter against Texas, Jim Thome's 500th homer against the Angels and Bobby Jenks' consecutive batters retired streak. There also didn't seem to be as much to fix with the team overall as this year's group.

And because of this year's painful feeling from pretty much late May on, Cooper admits it has been tough to even evaluate talent at times.

"You are evaluating out of frustration and maybe anger because you are just not happy with the way things went," Cooper said. "It doesn't make any sense to sit and try to dissect what has happened. That's [general manager Rick Hahn's] end and [executive vice president Kenny Wiliams'] end to figure out how do we fill the holes, whatever holes they see and in what order."

"We have to be better in all facets of the game," Danks said. "We know that and we are going to do everything we can to right the ship."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.