Ricky Speaks: "I Told Them They Battled Their Asses Off"
Ricky Renteria donned his specs for this final regular season press conference of 2020, but the improved vision still couldn't turn a 10-8 loss into a win, and the division title that came with it.
"I’m disappointed with how we ended the ballgame right there, not happy with how it ended," he said. "We were down 10-1, and the guys kept battling. With two outs, a couple of strikes, it seems like it was snatched from us [with Nomar Mazara called out on strikes]. But the most important thing is we were still battling."
Renteria, ever the optimist, know it's time for the young White Sox to put away their childish things and enter the do-or-die realm of the postseason.
"There’s nothing for us left to do but do go up," he said. "You fight all year long to get into the dance. If we don’t perform, there’s no more tomorrow after that."
After a horrible start in the season finale, Reynaldo López went from possible No. 3 playoff starter (after an impressive first inning) to ground chuck, battered by a B-squad of northsiders. For Renteria, his playoff rotation following Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel is no clearer.
"It is not any clearer, but I’m sure we'll have some ideas as to how to proceed," he said. "We have three guys capable of at least starting."
(The way Renteria said, "starting," made it sound like he couldn't count on many innings from anyone not named Giolito or Keuchel, and he wouldn't be wrong.)
Finally, I asked Ricky if he had any sort of "state of the team" statement in the clubhouse after the game. After all, the playoffs, and a 35-25 record, is nothing to sneeze at.
"All I did was I told them they battled their asses off," Renteria said. "If people want to lament, they can lament. We have to stay positive."
Ricky Renteria footage courtesy of the Chicago White Sox.