Attendance may make Sox stand pat
CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Monday the team's attendance figures are still an issue and could impact his ability to make any trade deadline moves.
The White Sox rank 27th in the majors with an average paid attendance of 21,330 fans. The Tampa Bay Rays (19,928), Oakland Athletics (19,392) and Cleveland Indians (18,251) rank worse than the White Sox.
The White Sox drew an average of 23,186 fans during their last nine-game home stand from June 1-June 10. They've been in first place in the American League Central since May 29.
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"I don't want to expound because then I get buried because I'm crying about money and things," Williams said prior to Monday's home game with the Chicago Cubs. "I don't want to do it, but yes (it's still an issue.)"
Williams said he will be looking for ways to improve the team prior to the July 31st deadline, but he will be careful not to affect the team's current chemistry. The White Sox are currently 35-31 overall.
"No matter if (the current injured players) were here or not, we're still going to look at potential places where we can improve the club," Williams said. "But you've got to be careful with that because once guys start to believe in themselves as a unit, once they rally around one another and the guy to the left and the right is fighting as hard and is a good fit in the clubhouse and on the bench and team bus and team bench and all that, you've got to be careful not to disrupt that chemistry. Right now, it's pretty good."
The White Sox's biggest inconsistencies this season have come at third base and in the starting rotation. Brent Morel began the season at third base, but he has been dealing with a back injury most of the season and has been on disabled list since May 18. Williams signed Orlando Hudson, who was released by the San Diego Padres, in mid-May to play third base, and he has hit .183 in 23 games.
As for the starting rotation, White Sox pitcher John Danks has been on the disabled list since May 20, and Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber have had a number of rocky starts over the last month. Floyd is 4-7 with a 5.63 ERA, and Humber is 3-4 with a 6.01 ERA. Rookie Jose Quintana has filled in for Danks and has had a 1.53 ERA in 35 1/3 innings. Starters Chris Sale (8-2, 2.46) and Jake Peavy (6-2, 2.91) are likely headed to the All-Star Game.
Williams said he will have lengthy discussions with his staff before making any moves.
"Through hours and hours of discussion, days and days, you just try to come to the best conclusion you can, collectively," Williams said. "That's when I rely to a large degree on our coaching staff. I'm in the stands or I'm in a booth. I've got to rely on them.
"What do they see in each guy's eyes? What do they feel from that player? Is there a positive energy? Is there any defeat in them? Can they weather the August and September battles they're going to have to go through and continue to contribute? Those are discussions I lean heavily on the staff."