GEORGE CASTLE: Brass takes blame for historic Sox tumble

2013-08-05T21:00:00Z 2013-08-05T22:27:16Z GEORGE CASTLE: Brass takes blame for historic Sox tumbleGeorge Castle on the White Sox nwitimes.com
August 05, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Yeah, there was another story at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday.

And, unfortunately, one just as negative as the Alex Rodriguez suspension-dodging, lawyering-up press conference that infuriated many of the New York writers who cover him regularly.

There’s the case of the White Sox, in worse shape at the 109-game mark than any other team in franchise history since the record 106-loss bottom feeders of 1970. One man in the entire ballpark declined to answer A-Rod questions because he’s got a bigger crisis on his hands. He turned the blame direction toward himself.

“They all do, myself included,” said general manager Rick Hahn when asked if management has to accept responsibility for the disaster. “I don’t put this on any individual coach or the coaching staff as a whole or myself or the people in the front office. I put this on all of us, players included …We as a group are collectively to blame for this.”

Teams that go 16-45 over two-plus months, plunging to 29 games under .500, and rack up the longest losing streak (10 in a row) in 37 years usually are not good for the employment health of the manager.

Vultures are starting to circle around Robin Ventura. But the guess here is Hahn knows he mis-evaluated much of his lineup, expecting linear improvement for 2013 when the backsliding actually began in the dog days of 2012, amid a first-place run.

Astoundingly, minutes before Hahn took blame, Ventura tried to take it all upon himself.

“It’s all my fault …it is,” Ventura said, freezing his audience momentarily. “I’m the manager, so I have to take responsibility for it.

“You go through everything. I don’t think there’s anything that you don’t look at, and move around, and brush over, that you think finding a way to change it or make better.”

Perhaps some players simply can’t accept instruction, such as in base running?

“I made mistakes, too, when I played, even though I did get very good instruction,” Ventura said. “Sometimes it’s a guy trying to do too much because we are in such a bad spot right now.”

Until Hahn and Ventura figure out how to fix the mess, Sox fans can take some small comfort in still not collapsing as badly as the hated Cubs. Since the Sox last lost 10 in a row, the Cubs have had losing streaks of 14 (to start a season) and 13 twice. Just last season, they lost 12 in a row.

Small victories, folks. You have to start somewhere.

This column solely represents the writer’s opinion. Reach him at DGemsNet@aol.com.

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