Sox out to exceed expectations this year

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Sox out to exceed expectations this year

By Jim Owczarski
CSNChicago.com

A year ago, the Chicago White Sox were all in. This year, theyre asking Why not us?

The tenor surrounding SoxFest this year is markedly different than 2011, an event bursting with expectation and excitement due in large part to a veteran core that was boosted by the free agent acquisition of Adam Dunn.

A year later, the team is in a modified rebuilding mode, infusing some younger talent around that same veteran core that under-produced en route to a 79-win season.

In meeting with the media prior to the opening ceremonies of SoxFest Friday night at the Palmer House Hilton, general manager Ken Williams set a tone that new manager Robin Ventura and players carried throughout the afternoon -- one of exceeding expectation.

This is an interesting year because yes, we have injected some youth into our equation, but theyre pretty good, Williams said. Theyre pretty good, and we can come out of this thing competing and get some momentum on our side and surprise some people.

Several players felt entering the season as an afterthought might be what they need to do just that.

Its always nicer to have less pressure, less expectations and then go out and do it, second baseman Gordon Beckham said. Nobody thought (Arizona) would win the (National League) West last year and they did. Its just one of those things. If we mesh well and do what were supposed to do I really think weve got a great chance.

Starting pitcher and Cy Young-winner Jake Peavy, healthy for the first time in his White Sox career, wholeheartedly agreed with his teammate.

I think its going to be nice with expectations lower and not being where it has been in the past, Peavy said. We can certainly sneak up on people. Theres enough talent (on this team), I promise you, to compete.

We can play with anybody in baseball and thats with the losses weve had and the gains other people have had. Its just a matter of if we show up and do it.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Will more dominoes fall after Adam Eaton trade?

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Will more dominoes fall after Adam Eaton trade?

In the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, CSN's Chuck Garfien goes 1-on-1 with White Sox GM Rick Hahn following the trade of Adam Eaton to the Nationals, which brought more top prospects to the South Side. Will more dominoes fall as the Sox go into a full rebuild?

Hahn says they expect to compete for championships within five years! Chuck also chats with new manager Rick Renteria, who tells us what he hopes to get out of his club in 2017 and beyond.

Plus, Insider Dan Hayes and Siera Santos join the crew to breakdown the timeline of getting some of these new pieces to the major leagues.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

Morning Update: White Sox ship Adam Eaton to Nats; Cubs acquire Wade Davis for Jorge Soler

Morning Update: White Sox ship Adam Eaton to Nats; Cubs acquire Wade Davis for Jorge Soler

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White Sox deal Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, two others

Why Cubs felt like they had to trade Jorge Soler now

Much-needed face lift has vastly improved White Sox farm system overnight

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How Cubs convinced themselves Wade Davis would be worth the health risk

Chris Sale: Trade from White Sox 'bittersweet,' ready to move on with Red Sox

Blackhawks: Dennis Rasmussen's defensive roots run deep

White Sox manager Rick Renteria won't be fazed by rebuild

The second-guessing follows Joe Maddon from World Series to winter meetings