CHICAGO -- In the mind of shortstop Tim Anderson, the ultimate goal of winning the World Series rates as a realistic target for the 2021 White Sox.
“Anything is possible. It’s always the goal to win a World Series, not going to shy away from that,” Anderson said during a Thursday Zoom call after he was announced as the cover star for R.B.I. Baseball 21. “I know what we can do.
“We’re going to go out and give it everything we’ve got and hopefully we can reach that goal. If not, we’ll continue to work and hopefully we can one day.”
Anderson and the White Sox went 35-25 in 2020, earning the franchise its first playoff appearance since '08. Chicago lost in three games to Oakland in the best-of-three American League Wild Card Series. But this offseason, the White Sox have added starter Lance Lynn via trade and closer Liam Hendriks and outfielder Adam Eaton via free agency.
The moves have resonated with Anderson, who appreciates the White Sox continuing to build around their youthful core during a time when many teams seem to be cutting back on payroll.
“We added some pieces that we needed,” Anderson said. “I don’t really think it’s about spending a whole lot of money. It’s just doing what makes sense and getting pieces in there to really help us. They have really been making the right moves to kind of get to where we are trying to go. We are heading in the right direction.
“You’ve seen that last year. We were just missing a little bit. Now, they are coming together and hopefully we continue to build and keep going. Every guy we signed is going to help us. Those guys have been around. You know the history on those guys. You’ve seen what they have done over the years.”
This team will be playing under manager Tony La Russa, who returns to the dugout in search of his fourth World Series championship following a nine-year managerial absence. La Russa will benefit from core players such as Anderson, Lucas Giolito and José Abreu, to name a few, having bought into this winning process from the beginning, even when the White Sox were rebuilding and losing regularly.
They’ve developed together, lost together and now built a winning clubhouse culture together. And with the specter of last year's postseason elimination still hovering above, this team wants more in ’21.
“We remember what Oakland felt like. So just having a piece of the playoffs, it definitely makes you more hungry,” Anderson said. “I can only imagine what winning the World Series feels like. That just makes me hungry there. Just trying to stay motivated and continue to push to the ultimate goal.
“Everybody gets along. We have a great group of guys, and we have some great leaders. We have a mix of older guys with younger guys. We’ve just got a routine to go out there and continue to push these guys in the direction that we know how and keep following Abreu. He’s going to lead us to where we need to be.
“We’ve been here since the beginning and nothing has been easy. So we’ve grinded all the way up until this point, and we will continue to take those steps to get better day in and day out. You can’t really forget what the ultimate goal is through all this confusion that has been going on. We are going to try to keep positive vibes and stay happy and continue to move.”