Dallas Keuchel believes the White Sox can and should make the playoffs. At least that’s what he told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
According to Nightengale, Keuchel put his money where his mouth is, all of the Sox mouths for that matter, treating 125 members of the organization to a $25,000 spring training dinner as they begin their quest for the team’s first postseason appearance in 12 years.
“I haven’t done anything like that before. I was originally thinking to have a dinner just for the pitchers and catchers. Then, I thought, well, it’s a new organization that really put a lot of thought into making this a playoff team, so why not get everybody in that clubhouse together. I wanted to show the young guys, like, this is what a big-league spread is.”USA TODAY Sports
Keuchel’s mom, Teresa, commemorated the evening with an unforgettable toast, ending in four words – “Playoffs or Die, (expletive)!”
The former Cy Young winner and World Series Champion shared a similar stance with Nightengale saying, “If we don’t win the Central, to me, it’s a failure of a season.’’
Keuchel threw four innings of one-run ball in his Cactus League debut Monday against the Padres, giving up six hits with one strikeout in a 3-1 loss.
“I gave up a few hits to lefties, but at the same time I’m working on off-speed command. I’m trying to get better at that. Last year, I didn’t really have a breaking ball to lefties. At the same time, I know I can attack inside with my two-seam changeup. When the time comes it will be there. These stats don’t count and that’s a nice feeling. At the same time, the competition brings out the best in you. You want to do as well as you possibly can, but you still have to work on certain things. Breaking ball is one of them. I’ll take today.”