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Thornton tries to silence trade talk

Updated: July 9, 2013 10:52PM



DETROIT — Matt Thornton has been through trade rumors, and he has been on teams with no hope this early in the season. But he never has been on a team this bad, and he never has been the subject of so much trade talk.

“I’ve been on bad teams — a couple teams in Seattle, and in 2007 here we were a bad team,’’ the White Sox left-handed setup man said Tuesday. “I’ve never seen anything like this, what’s going on here.’’

What’s going on is a combination of bad hitting, bad defense, bad base­running and bad luck. No team is immune to bad luck, but good teams create their own breaks. Bad teams do the same.

“We’d get guys on base and who would come up? The guy who was struggling at the time,’’ Thornton said. “Stuff like that.’’

With perhaps the exception of Chris Sale and Paul Konerko, all Sox are possibilities to be moved before the non-waiver trade deadline July 31. General manager Rick Hahn met with manager Robin Ventura and bench coach Mark Parent in the visiting manager’s office before the Sox faced the Detroit Tigers for the first time this season.

Ventura was asked if Hahn keeps him appraised of trade talks.

“There’s two trains of thought,’’ Ventura said. “One, you want to have that information. On the other hand, you want to play games and want to stay away from that. We just talk and keep in contact of what’s going on. Once the game starts, it’s just trying to win a game.’’

Thornton, who is in the last year of his contract (the Sox hold the option for 2014), figures to receive interest. It’s not the first time he has been in this situation, but he said this is different.

“It has a different feel because of how badly we’re struggled,’’ Thornton said. “Usually the rumors are around and we’ve been in the hunt, within five or six games of first. That’s the biggest thing. But you can’t bring it to the ballpark. You have to prepare yourself every day, do your job, help your team win ballgames and filter the distractions out.’’

Which isn’t easy.

“It’s brought up by media every day, it’s written in papers, on websites or we’re being asked about it. There is a core of players who have been here awhile that have heard all the rumors. It’s part of the game. We’re struggling, and for the first time in my eight years with the White Sox, we’re sellers. I plan on being here, but if the time comes, you adjust.’’

Thornton, 36, came to the Sox from the Mariners in a trade for Joe Borchard during spring training in 2006. He was a first-round pick of the Mariners in 1998, so his roots in the organization made it somewhat difficult to be traded. It’s something many fans — such as the one standing behind the Sox’ dugout who booed Thornton off the field at the top of his lungs Monday — don’t seem to care about.

“I don’t know how it would affect me,’’ Thornton said. “I was traded one time, and the excitement for me to go to the defending [2005] world champions outweighed the disappointment of being traded from an organization I had been with for about seven or eight years. The emotional part is the friendships and relationships, losing that and starting over.

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into [possibly being traded]. I just know I’m disappointed with the way the season has gone for us. I didn’t see it. I didn’t see this happening. I really believe this team is so much better, way too talented of a team to be this bad of a team.’’



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