CHICAGO – This is the spring training which players like him have been dreaming of since they joined the franchise late in the 2016 calendar year.
There was a taste of it back in 2020 when the team was entering their first season where it was expected they would be competitive. Even in a 60-game season, that came to pass, with the team making the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
Lucas Giolito pitched a gem in that first game of the Wild Card Series against the Athletics in Oakland in a win, but the series ultimately went to the host.
Now the pitcher, who is one of the best in all of Major League Baseball, is finally talking about the one thing that he’s had on his mind since joining the club in 2016: Win the World Series.
“We want to win a ring. We want to win a World Series,” said Giolito when speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the eve of report day for White Sox spring training at Camelback Ranch.
With pitchers like him, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn leading a veteran staff, an elite closer in Liam Hendricks, the reigning MVP Jose Abreu, along with young stars like Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Luis Robert, new manager Tony La Russa will have a lot at his disposal.
Yet it will all have to come together over 162 games with a new leader at the helm, and they’ll have to first conquer their division to start. Minnesota has won the last two division championships and feature a strong team again in 2021.
So Giolito’s not naïve to think that this talented team could just show up and make their dreams happen.
“For that to happen, we have to improve in a lot of areas. We definitely need to improve in a lot of areas. I think with the player acquisitions, coaching acquisitions, were already in a good spot,” said Giolito. “But the AL Central is no slouch. Other teams have been putting some pieces together as well. So we just have to stay focused on our day-to-day, what we need to do each day individually and as a team to just get better.”
Doing that like a championship team takes time, but Giolito believes those seeds were planted under Rick Renteria in 2020 and have already taken root.
“Building the winning culture, I think we had the first steps last year, but there’s still so much more room to grow,” said Giolito. “That’s what we’re intent on doing.”
That along with getting a new piece of jewelry in late October.