TA on White Sox: 'We are here to take it all'

February 15th, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Regrets? White Sox shortstop has had a few.

Then again, those regrets for the gregarious, heart and soul of the franchise came before he simply went about being himself.

“Now that I’m being myself, I have no regrets,” said Anderson during his first Spring Training media session Saturday at Camelback Ranch. “Don’t listen to noise. I don’t let nobody inside my head.

“I do what makes me happy, but I do it in the right way. Certain people can’t say certain things to you if you carry yourself in the right way and I feel like I carry myself in a respectful way. That’s what the feedback has been, positive.”

Anderson was a relatively quiet 20-year-old when he first arrived as the White Sox top pick (No. 17 overall) in the 2013 Draft out of East Central Community College, blessed with immense raw athleticism. Fast forward seven years, and Anderson is the reigning Major League Baseball batting champion with his average jumping from .240 in 2018 to .335 in 2019.

That strong showing in 2019 by Anderson, along with breakout seasons from third baseman Yoán Moncada, left fielder Eloy Jiménez and right-handed starter Lucas Giolito, gave general manager Rick Hahn and the front office an extra little impetus to add to the youthful core and push the rebuild toward contention.

But for the most part, Anderson didn’t want to rehash those lofty individual accomplishments Saturday. That was last year, and with a new year and many positive changes, comes a new bigger picture focus.

“We want to go do something different,” Anderson said. “Why not go get more? We have a chance to do something crazy. It’s a playoff lineup. That’s what everybody is talking about, right?

“So why not own up to it and set the bar high, go to the playoffs and win the championship? That’s the goal, right? We didn’t come here to work for nothing. We come here to win championships and make it to the playoffs. That’s no secret. Everybody knows we are here to win championships.”

Or as the 2020 marketing campaign states, the White Sox are looking to change the game. Anderson made that sentiment a part of his vernacular after his javelin-like bat flip celebration following a long home run launched off Royals starter Brad Keller in the fourth inning of a game on April 17.

On April 26, Anderson’s walk-off home run against the Tigers in a 12-11 victory provided another bat-flipping glimpse into his desire to bring fans back to the game. The White Sox embraced Anderson’s change the game idea, so much so they hosted a popular and entertaining bat flip seminar for young home run hitters at SoxFest.

“When I talk, people listen. I have a lot to say,” a smiling Anderson said. “People are in tune when I speak. That’s real. That’s real. People gravitate to what is real. That is just being honest and open. Things are changing.”

And how will Anderson and the White Sox change the game in ‘20? That’s a story yet to be told.

“We’ll show you. We’re not here to talk about it. We’re here to play,” Anderson said. “I get a winning vibe, all positive and winning vibes. We are here to win a championship, and we are here to take it all. Everybody is on that vibe.

“Everybody in that locker room is all in. Everybody is excited and we are ready. We just have to control what we can control and keep taking it a day at a time.”