GLENDALE, Ariz. — There's a noticeable difference to the White Sox clubhouse atmosphere this spring and Bo Jackson feels it.
Making his annual visit to White Sox camp, the former outfielder and legendary two-sport star said Monday morning that he detects a different energy under manager Rick Renteria. While part of the changing atmospheric conditions are a byproduct of the team's youth movement, there's little doubt Renteria's upbeat, energetic style has had an impact. Jackson likes the feel he has sensed when addressing the room earlier this week.
"I've noticed a big change," Jackson said. "And not saying that the past people that were here didn't do a good job, because they did. But this spring, players have a little more hop in their step. They are smiling more and they are talking more and they are having a good time. That's always a positive.
"It's always a positive when you are on a baseball team that wants to win."
A community relations representative for the club, Jackson addresses the clubhouse each spring. He said he noticed the change because of the way players have interacted with each other in the clubhouse. Part of it could stem from a new voice after five seasons under Jackson's former teammate Robin Ventura.
"I noticed it right off the bat," Jackson said. "The guys, you know, it's almost like you get tired of doing the same old thing every year and they are trying to do something different and they are having fun doing it different.
"There's a whole lot more conversation that's going on around here. Guys are hanging around the clubhouse longer. They are sitting and talking at lunch and breakfast and so forth. That is a positive thing. Nothing can come out of that but positive."