Tim Anderson’s fight with Jose Ramirez that shocked the baseball world this past Saturday has only piled on to the disappointing Chicago White Sox 2023 season, begging the question as to why the once-prolific postseason team has been falling.
An ex-player has revealed some details as to what is going on inside the clubhouse.
The New York Yankees recently struck a trade with the White Sox prior to the MLB trade deadline to acquire reliever Keynan Middleton, who was playing his first year with the franchise.
Middleton began his career with the Los Angeles Angels, where he spent four seasons before playing with the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. Heading to Chicago this season, Middleton noticed that there were simply “no rules” under the new leadership of White Sox manager Pedro Grifol.
“I don’t know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing,” Middleton told ESPN. “Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?”
Middleton was referring to what he told ESPN, claiming that players were “sleeping in the bullpen” during games and players would not face any discipline if they missed practices or meetings.
However, Middleton believes that the dysfunction within the White Sox organization started before Grifol was named manager in November of last year, following Tony La Russa’s final season with the team as he dealt with health issues.
“When I got to spring training (Middleton signed a minor-league contract in January), I heard a lot of the same stuff was happening last year,” he told ESPN. “It’s happening again this year, so not sure how I could change It. They don’t tell you not to miss PFPs (pitcher field practices). They don’t tell you not to miss meetings, and if it happens, it’s just, ‘OK.'”
Middleton also said he noticed the veterans of the group, like Anderson, do not set the tone.
“If guys are doing things that you think are wrong, who is it wrong to? You or them? It’s anyone’s judgment at that point,” Middleton said.
Middleton was part of a deadline that saw some of those veterans get dealt out of Chicago. Lance Lynn and Kendall Graveman, two of the team’s veteran pitchers, were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros respectively.
Middleton has since enjoyed his time with the Yankees, pitching three innings in two appearances thus far without allowing a hit or run. He pitched 36.1 innings in 39 appearances for the White Sox this year with a 3.96 ERA.