Tim Anderson, Tony La Russa chat


CHICAGO — White Sox manager Tony La Russa recently reached out to Tim Anderson and had a phone conversation, which the Silver Slugger-winning shortstop termed “a good talk.”
It was the first step for both individuals in a working relationship they hope nets much success and, eventually, championships for the

CHICAGO — White Sox manager Tony La Russa recently reached out to Tim Anderson and had a phone conversation, which the Silver Slugger-winning shortstop termed “a good talk.”

It was the first step for both individuals in a working relationship they hope nets much success and, eventually, championships for the organization.

“We definitely are looking on both ends, looking forward to working with each other and gaining trust with each other,” Anderson said on Friday. “Just, hopefully, it goes well. We’ll see how it goes. Yeah, really, he didn’t have much to say. There really wasn’t much to say.

Statcast facts, figures from 2020 White Sox | Offseason checklist

“He has to build his trust with me, and I have to build trust with him. So it really wasn’t much that he could say or much that I could say. It’s one of those things we are going to start fresh, and I just told him we can block out all the noise and deliver what the ultimate goal is and get along.

“Just say we start at zero. He don’t know me, and I don’t know him. The only way is that we block out all the noise and try to start fresh. I told him that’s something I would be willing to do. I did tell him I won’t change the way I would be playing. But I will be showing up and be ready every day. I made that statement clear. We just are looking forward to start fresh.”

At age 27, Anderson has become the face of one of the more exciting Major League franchises. He also has developed into one of the true stars, through his on-field play and his distinct competitive flair and style.

Anderson’s immediate focus falls upon a turkey drive at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala., this coming Monday evening. The League of Leaders outreach developed by Anderson and his wife, Bria, will give away turkeys to 205 families in the comfort of their own vehicles. Anderson also has begun working toward the 2021 campaign, starting the strengthening process about one week ago, with an additional goal of beginning baseball activity after Thanksgiving or in early December.

There’s really no reason for Anderson to alter his high-energy, bat-flipping celebration of the game, as he told La Russa directly, when it’s authentically who and how he is. Anderson followed up his 2019 American League batting title with a .322 batting average, .886 OPS and 45 runs scored to tie for the AL lead in 49 games last season. He added a trio of three-hit games in the Wild Card Series loss in Oakland, finishing 9-for-14 at the plate.

The White Sox are a team getting national notice after their first playoff appearance since 2008, but reaching the playoffs should be the base goal, in Anderson’s mind. Gone are the 90- or 100-loss seasons from the rebuild days, replaced by thoughts of World Series titles.

“People are definitely seeing what kind of ballclub we are and how we go about our business. We got some hitters on our roster, and now people are tuning in,” Anderson said. “Our bar should always be high, and I’m not going to shy away from the ultimate goal of winning a championship.

“I’ll never shy away from that. You always set the bar high so you can try to achieve it. If you fail, we’ll keep trying until we get it. Continue to keep working. That’s going to keep you inspired and keep you motivated. We know what the ultimate goal is.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.





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