“It just kept going wrong” for 2022 White Sox, Yasmani Grandal said

SAN DIEGO — White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal paused for several seconds, contemplating the question.

What went wrong with the 2022 Sox?

”Obviously, it was a very frustrating year for everybody as a whole,” Grandal said before the Sox opened their final road series of the season Friday against the Padres. ”It just seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. When you thought it was kind of coming back, it just never went back. It just kept going wrong.

”To put it plain and simple, we just sucked. Anything else would be an excuse, and the last thing you want to make as a team, as an individual, is an excuse.”

As an individual, Grandal wasn’t good. He struggled defensively and hit .200/.301/.269 with only five home runs in 97 games in the third year of his four-year, $73 million contract, the richest in club history.

Grandal didn’t walk nearly as much this season, and his .570 OPS is well off his career .785 mark and way behind his .939 of last season. He said next year ”will be a way different story” because he expects his legs to be stronger after dealing with knee problems in both the last two seasons.

”It’s gotten better and better,” he said. ”I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do in the offseason to get back to the explosiveness I’ve been talking about.”

With knees in better shape to allow for more intense workouts, Grandal said he hopes to return to normal strength levels. He will work out in Chicago during the offseason and kiddingly invited reporters to come and watch him.

The Sox’ poor performance after entering the season with high expectations was a stark reminder that nothing is guaranteed, even to heavy favorites defending a title in a weak division.

”It’s almost like a slap in the face,” Grandal said. ”If you don’t take this year seriously, it’s going to come back to bite us in the [butt] next year again. Hopefully we get everything straightened out and come back next year and give it a shot.”

Acting manager MigueI Cairo has talked all week about players coming to spring training in good shape for next season. He agreed with Grandal’s ”slap in the face” take, knowing the Sox made the postseason the last two years.

”You’ve got to be looking at yourself in the mirror and saying: ‘OK, why didn’t we make it? Why didn’t we go to the postseason? What do I need to do to get better?’ ” Cairo said.

”Coming in knowing what we had, knowing what we can do and knowing what we needed to do and then all of a sudden everything going out of the window, it’s eye-opening,” Grandal said.

This and that

Shortstop Elvis Andrus’ leadoff double Friday against Padres starter Yu Darvish snapped an 0-for-24 streak.

oWith a 77-79 record entering play Friday, the Sox needed to win five of their last six games to finish above .500 and four of their last six to finish 81-81. They end the season with three home games against the Twins.

oThe Sox played in San Diego for the first time since 2005.

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