Sox's brass confident as August begins

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
8:05
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- The old theory is that when August begins the dog days of summer for competitive baseball clubs also begin. This year’s surprising White Sox team will try to hold on to its Central division lead as the last and most grueling part of the 162-game season approach.

“I think we need not change our approach,” said GM Kenny Williams. “Just grind it out like they always have. The work hasn’t changed, you just grind it out like they have all (season).”

The one-day-at-a-time approach manager Robin Ventura and his staff preach to their team may be challenged as games become more critical in a tight pennant race.

“ There are ways that guys can stay within the game they are playing,” Ventura said. “You can’t control what is going on in the scoreboard, but you can control what is going on in the field and in front of you. A lot of these guys have been through things in their career, so it should not be too hard to put (scoreboard watching ) aside and just play.”

Williams appears to have done a masterful job of adding veterans like Kevin Youkilis , Brett Myers and Francisco Liriano to a group of players that has lived up to the potential the GM envisioned when put the team together two season ago around Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios.

“These guys don’t want to come out of the lineup,” Ventura said. “I want guys that want to play. If you have guys that are looking around for days off especially now (in the last two months), those are guys you probably don’t want on your team.”

Williams has a good feel for his team as it heads into the defining months of the season.

“We have had teams that were in first a lot of times this part of the season,” Williams said. “I had a feeling that a couple of those teams were tight. I don’t get that feeling now because the approach is very workman like. They enjoy themselves and each other, it is a different feeling.”

The veteran GM is not concerned with the 10 or so rookies that have contributed for Chicago.

“The key for them was showing they could compete and belong here the first four months of the season,” he said. “The stress is proving you belong.”

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jose Abreu
BA HR RBI R
.317 36 107 80
OTHER LEADERS
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
WC. Sale 12
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208