CHICAGO – There are two things that could be gathered from the comments of the White Sox new manager at his introductory news conference on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
First, Pedro Grifol believes the club has the talent to make the most of the window of competitiveness that they’ve been building since late 2016. Optimism that was there for the White Sox the previous two years took a hit when the club finished a lackluster season 81-81 and outside of the postseason for the first time since 2019.
At the same time, he knows some work has to be done to get the team to where they want to go.
Hearing that wasn’t a surprise to those in person or watching Grifol’s first news conference in Chicago, but the biggest question to the first time Major League Baseball manager is where he would try to start fixing the club first in 2023.
Grifol, who watched the White Sox for ten seasons as a member of the Royals organization and the last three as bench coach, had his answer ready for the media.
“Fundamentally we’ve got to improve,” was the first thing that the new manager said when talking about bringing the best out of the club.
The next part dealt with another talking point with the current White Sox team: Preparation. Grifol mentioned a few times the need for changes to the team’s mindset and routine to get them ready to succeed game in and game out.
“Again, I go back to the intensity level and the energy that we’ve got to bring to our preparation,” said Grifol. “This is a very good club. It’s a club that’s prepared to win, to do great things. I’m gonna be a stickler to the preparation and the energy is going to get us where we want to go.
“These guys are going to come to play every single night.”
As far as additions to the club to make that work, Grifol didn’t have any specifics on that, though general manager Rick Hahn said he didn’t foresee wholesale changes this offseason for the club. While those questions will be answered over the next few weeks and months, the new manager knows exactly what to do when the players arrive next spring in Glendale.
“I just think this club is prepared to do great things and I think with a few adjustments on just the mental side of it and approach to our practices and our preparations, it’s going to be sufficient,” said Grifol.
If they do, it could help put this current era of the White Sox back on track toward a championship