White Sox's 10-1 loss to Twins marks fitting end to forgettable season

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • White Sox pitcher Davis Martin wipes his face during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday. In the final game of the season Wednesday, the White Sox were blown out 10-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    White Sox pitcher Davis Martin wipes his face during the first inning against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday. In the final game of the season Wednesday, the White Sox were blown out 10-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Associated Press

  • In the final game of the season Wednesday, the White Sox were blown out by the Twins 10-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jose Abreu did not play and will likely not return to the Sox.

    In the final game of the season Wednesday, the White Sox were blown out by the Twins 10-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Jose Abreu did not play and will likely not return to the Sox. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/5/2022 7:01 PM

It wasn't supposed to end like this.

In a quiet clubhouse Wednesday morning at Guaranteed Rate Field, White Sox players packed up their belongings in boxes and bags, preparing to head home after facing the Twins in the final game of the regular season.

 

They were supposed to be a winning team, energized ahead of their third straight trip to the playoffs.

"Everyone is in a frustrated, disappointed mood right now with the way things have played out," Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.

That's putting it mildly.

The White Sox came into the season as the clear favorites to win the AL Central, baseball's worst division.

Instead, a combination of key injuries, lack of power, poor defense and baserunning, an embarrassing record at home (37-44) and a major distraction that was erstwhile manager Tony La Russa kept the Sox around the .500 mark throughout the year.

Following a 10-1 loss to Minnesota in the finale, the White Sox finished the forgettable season with an 81-81 record.

Without a doubt, they were the biggest busts in baseball this year.

"To be honest, it was an overabundance of confidence that turned into arrogance," closer Liam Hendriks said. "I think we played into the fact that we were expected to win the division too much, we were expected to be the team that challenged for a World Series. It was going to be an easy ride, we're in an easy division, all these things.

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"I think everybody took this season for granted. It was like, 'OK, we won by so many games (13) last year, we're going to roll through it again this year.'"

They reeled instead of rolled, and the Sox hit the exits feeling flustered.

"There's no one associated with this organization, at least on the baseball side, including the guys in uniform, scouts, player development, who doesn't find this past year unacceptable," Hahn said. "And extraordinarily frustrating and disappointing. A lot of hours, time, effort, support for fans, dollars were poured into trying to create a successful expanded window for this team to contend.

"Even though things looked we were going to continue that six months ago, it didn't happen. The squandering of this year is something that I know I will carry with me for a while. I know the baseball side or in uniform would echo those sentiments for themselves."

• By his own request, Jose Abreu did not play in Wednesday's final game.

"I asked (manager Miguel) Cairo to not play today because I want to enjoy this game with him and have the manager's perspective of the game," Abreu said through a translator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cairo would have liked Abreu to pinch-hit, but the veteran slugger did not want to be in the game in any role.

"He didn't give me any reason," Cairo said. "I'm good with that."

Now free agent eligible, Abreu's nine-year run with the White Sox is likely over.

"It's hard to imagine," starting pitcher Lucas Giolito said. "That would hurt, man. He's done just amazing things on and off the field ever since I've been here and had the pleasure of being his teammate. We'll see what happens.

"Obviously, I just want the best for him and his family, whatever that may be. Hopefully he can come back another year."

•Leury Garcia's miserable season is finally over.

The Sox's veteran utility player, who signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract in December, batted .210/.233/.267 with 3 home runs and 20 RBI in 97 games.

The 31-year-old Garcia had only 18 at-bats since Sept. 1.

"He has some problems with his back," Cairo said. "It was mostly swinging. He could have played defense, he could have run, but I didn't want to make it worse."

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