Easygoing bond is something White Sox can sing about
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org April 18, 2013 10:41PM
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 18: Adam Dunn #32 of the Chicago White Sox throws a football before batting practice prior to an MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 18, 2013 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Updated: April 19, 2013 12:40PM
TORONTO — Some good teams get along well. Other good teams don’t. Some of baseball’s best teams over the years have been ‘‘25 cabs for 25 guys.’’ Others were like family.
While the White Sox try to figure out whether they’re good, bad or somewhere in between, they have quickly established where they stand on getting along: They’re a tight, closeknit bunch.
That became even more evident on their first road trip, a 10-day swing through Washington, Cleveland and Toronto that ended Thursday night. After flying into Toronto from Cleveland on Sunday night, Adam Dunn threw a party at a Toronto restaurant. Twenty-three players, staff and broadcasters attended, with Ken Harrelson providing a large portion of the laughs. Players said they couldn’t remember a party with player attendance so high. Several said it was the best and most memorable team bash they’ve attended.
On Monday night, after the Sox suffered a tough loss to Mark Buehrle, their sixth defeat in seven days, they got together again at manager Robin Ventura’s urging. This time, Ventura demanded karaoke participation, and with Jose Quintana kicking things off with ‘‘La Bamba,’’ the party was on.
A lot of the credit for the culture in the clubhouse goes to Ventura, who sets the tone.
‘‘I don’t know how you can’t [like him],’’ Dunn said. ‘‘You can’t do it any better. The communication is great, he’s the same guy every day, and you know what you’re going to get. Twenty-five guys playing hard for one guy . . . you’re doing something right.
‘‘There’s always a few guys on a team who are always talking, ‘I don’t like the manager, the manager doesn’t like me, blah blah blah, I’m getting screwed.’ In the year-plus since [Ventura became manager] I haven’t heard one person. Nothing. No rumblings about anything, which is pretty awesome.’’
The Sox are Dunn’s fourth organization, and while he gives high marks to the Nationals, the Sox are ‘‘the best by far,’’ he said.
‘‘The communication from top to bottom, it might not seem like a big deal, but it is,’’ Dunn said. ‘‘When you can talk to your owner or general manager about anything, it means a lot to the players. They’re accessible. If you have a great relationship with your boss, it makes everything great.’’