As Saturday and especially Sunday proved, there are going to be tough moments during the White Sox rebuild. There will be times when the performances look even uglier than the score.
But in the end, Royals manager Ned Yost thinks that’s fine because the Sox have bigger goals in mind. They’re trying to remake the franchise, build for the future and develop young players. Yes, losses will happen now, but they are happening for a reason that should keep things in perspective.
“What are you trying to do? You’re trying to win a world championship, and that’s the most important thing above everything else,” Yost said Saturday. “Your focus is always on that goal, and you’re always developing your young players to head in that direction. Sometimes the best tool for teaching it to have, is mistakes and getting beat and they learn from it and they gain experience from it.
“Then progressively they get a little better and a little better and a little better until they’re at a point to where they can compete.”
That’s something Sox manager Rick Renteria stressed Sunday after seeing his team lose 14-6, make two errors, throw three wild pitches and misjudge a fly ball in left field.
“I think as we continue to move along, hopefully (mistakes) continue to be fewer and far between,” Renteria said. “But is it to be expected that they might make mistakes like some that have occurred? Yes.”
Yost would agree, and he isn’t just speaking from the perspective of an opponent. He’s been in the same place the Sox are now.
First in Milwaukee and then in Kansas City, Yost managed rebuilding teams that went through hard times. With the Brewers, Yost lost 94 games in each of his first two seasons and didn’t have a winning year until his fifth in Milwaukee. Then for the Royals, he was hired in 2010 when their farm system was getting hyped as historically great while the big-league team struggled. But even as the roster gradually improved and progressed, it took until 2013 for Kansas City’s first winning record under Yost before it won the 2014 AL pennant and 2015 World Series.
Undoubtedly, there were trying times for Yost in Kansas City but everybody got the ultimate reward. And he sees the Sox doing this with the correct level of patience.
“You can’t expect them to come out and compete for a championship this year, but they’re building. They’re working,” Yost said. “It’s kind of like somebody wanting to build a new house and you put the framework in and you want to move in. You can’t do that. It takes time. It takes time to get it right and to get it to a point where they’re going to be able to compete.”
That won’t be this year for the Sox and it probably won’t be next year. Though as the Royals and other rebuilding teams have shown, that’s how these projects work. Success might not be coming now, but if things are run properly it should eventually.
And Yost sees it coming for the Sox. He said they’ve amassed “some incredibly talented” young players and sounded like a manager who sees how much trouble the Sox could cause when they’re ready.
“They’ll get (success). You can’t have it right now. That’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s going to probably take them two-to-three years before they start really putting it together,” Yost said. “Once they put it together they’re going to be a real, real tough team in this division.”
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