Chris Sale emerged from the visitors clubhouse at Citi Field Monday morning, adjusted his headphones and started jogging on the warning track counterclockwise, and he continued for lap after lap, bouncing along with the loping stride of an experienced runner.
Sale slowed occasionally as he passed the dugout on the White Sox side to draw from a water bottle, then would pick up speed, looking like he could go on forever. Sale stopped after 10 laps, and after quickly catching his breath, Sale explained that through running, he was just trying to flush everything out of his system, after his Sunday start in Kansas City.
If only it was this simple for the whole team, which has plummeted into a deep slump. Matt Harvey dominated the White Sox on Monday, and Chicago's losing streak is at seven games. There is speculation in Chicago about whether manager Robin Ventura could or should be fired, which seems a little silly, given the ongoing problems of a thin White Sox bullpen and the inability of Jose Abreu -- theoretically the best hitter in Ventura's lineup -- to combat and adjust to inside fastballs. Blaming Ventura for that would be like sacking the head of the National Park Service in response to an economic crisis.
The White Sox have lost 15 of their last 19 games and surrendered the early lead they held in the AL Central, but really, they should take a big-picture view of their standing this morning. Chicago is 27-25, two games behind the Royals in the Central; if the baseball gods had offered that to the organization in January -- a solid position of contention on Memorial Day -- the White Sox would've made that deal. As of today, Chicago is in a spot very similar to that of the Dodgers, who are heavily reliant on the top of their rotation but have room for growth.
That said, the White Sox do need change within their roster, and as soon as possible.