Home News Day in the life of Chicago White Sox, from F.A.S.T. to L.A.S.T.

Day in the life of Chicago White Sox, from F.A.S.T. to L.A.S.T.

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A couple of months ago during spring training, the Chicago White Sox created a video that was labeled a “behind-the-scenes” coaches meeting.

In the video titled “The Definition of F.A.S.T.,” manager Pedro Grifol reveals an acronym created to describe the way he wanted his team to play: Fearless. Aggressive. Selfless. Technically Sound.

“F.A.S.T.S.” doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, so it was shortened to “F.A.S.T.”

“That’s got to be our identity,” Grifol says.

Cut to a highlight of a Cactus League game in which Yoán Moncada advances from first to third on a single by an energized Eloy Jiménez.

“This new White Sox squad, they’re taking extra bases,” marveled broadcaster John Schriffen. “This is fun.”

“This is the kind of baseball that Pedro wants the Sox to play,” Steve Stone added.

The next scene returns to the coaches meeting, where the music swells as Grifol exclaims: “When people watch us play and other teams are playing against us, they need to know who the f— we are and what we bring to the table every single day.”

The profanity, of course, is bleeped out.

Column: Bromance between Chicago White Sox manager Pedro Grifol and Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is one for the books

Fast-forward to Wednesday afternoon at Sox Park, where the team was on the field practicing relay throws a day after left fielder Andrew Benintendi overthrew the cutoff man in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Former manager-turned-consultant Tony La Russa sat alone in the stands behind the plate watching as coaches repeated the drills over and over. The media had assembled in the dugout waiting for Grifol to emerge from the clubhouse, wondering why he was taking so long to talk.

White Sox advisor Tony La Russa watches batting practice before a game against the Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 29, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)
White Sox adviser Tony La Russa watches batting practice before a game against the Blue Jays at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 29, 2024. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

When he finally arrived, Grifol addressed the team’s slump, his relationship with Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and the eight walks Sox pitchers issued Tuesday night.

“You can’t have eight walks in a game and expect to win against the Toronto Blue Jays,” he said. “Everybody knows that. And you can’t have opportunities to drive in some runs and not take advantage. Everybody knows that.”

The Sox would go on to lose 3-1 to get swept and finish the homestand with an 0-7 record for the first time since the franchise began play in 1901. Instead of playing F.A.S.T., the 2024 Sox were closer to L.A.S.T.: Lousy. Appalling. Substandard. Tedious.

They finished with four hits and avoided being shut out for the 11th time in 54 games thanks to Korey Lee’s two-out home run in the ninth. The fireworks went off on cue, giving the thousand or so fans who remained something for their money.

The media filed downstairs in the press box elevator, watching former Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a conversation near the suites. Reinsdorf and La Russa would follow in the same elevator a few minutes later.

On most teams, the manager addresses the media shortly after the game to let the players cool off. But the White Sox frequently have players talk first and let Grifol cool off, as was the case again Wednesday.

Starter Chris Flexen, who walked five Blue Jays in five innings and watched two leadoff walks score, said he had “pretty solid stuff” overall.

“Five walks is pretty tough, but I did have some good swing and miss,” he said.

Flexen has made it past the fifth inning in two of his 10 starts and has a 5.50 ERA.

Veteran shortstop Paul DeJong stressed the need to keep a “positive attitude” in spite of the losing.

“You question what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and then you’re making choices,” he said. “For us, it’s about choosing to be positive and prepare to win.”





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