Pollock on players meeting: 'We're trying to light that spark' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The White Sox have held two "players only" meetings this season in accordance with their performance.
The first was inspired by starting pitcher Johnny Cueto's comments about the team needing to play with "fire." Liam Hendriks claimed the first meeting was "productive" as the team discussed keeping positivity up in the clubhouse.
The second came Thursday morning. Bench coach Miguel Cairo wasn't at the meeting, but said the focus was centered around "having fun once they get on the field for this final month," according to Scott Merkin.
The team has recently gone through some troubling adversity. Manager Tony La Russa missed the series against the Royals with an ongoing heart issue which sparked a flight to Arizona to visit his personal doctors on the matter.
Plus, before the Sox garnered back-to-back wins over the Royals to win the midweek series on Thursday, they had lost five straight games and fell back under .500 on the season.
But, the second players meeting seemed to put all the cards on the table, according to outfielder A.J Pollock.
"I feel like we've had times where we felt like we were going to get on a roll and it just never happened and it probably deflated us a little bit," Pollock said. "We're trying to light that spark. When you get guys talking real and you get guys just sharing what's really going on and not faking it, it felt good."
It sounds like the team vented their frustration on the season by "talking real" amongst each other and maintaining transparency about their expectations.
The team sits one game under .500 and four games back on the AL Central leading Cleveland Guardians. The Sox are currently holding down third place in the division.
"When you're rallying everyone and everyone's putting the energy, everyone's putting the work in, sometimes it's something you can't fake in a baseball season," Pollock said. "Football, you can rally and just psych yourself up for a couple games. Baseball, if it's generated and you're trying to get that energy, you can kind of get exposed.
"We'll see what happens. It'd be cool to look back and say that was the turning point. But we know we've got work to do. We know we've got to show up and just keep getting after it and keep pushing and put pressure on the teams above us. Maybe they fold and we can get hot too."
The Sox will face off against the Minnesota Twins on Friday to kick off a three-game weekend series at home.
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