PHILADELPHIA – Toms River, N.J., where Todd Frazier was a Little League World Series hero, is 60 miles from here and there is an off day on the White Sox schedule Thursday.
But Frazier was taking the team charter to Cleveland Wednesday night, even though all that’s left in a disappointing season after Wednesday’s game against the Phillies was three games on the road and seven at home.
“I’m not staying at home [in New Jersey] tomorrow because I want to stick with the team and finish strong with the team,’’ Frazier said. “In these last games, let’s keep that mindset going of you have to battle. I want to get my numbers up, yes. And I want to win games.’’
While disappointed with his career-low .221 batting average and runners he left in scoring position, Frazier needed three homers and six RBI to record a 40 homer, 100 RBI season.
That would be a nice feather in his cap – it’s been done 10 times in Sox history, including five times by Frank Thomas — but above that, “I want to win,’’ Frazier said.
“Like [manager] Robin [Ventura] said the other day, ‘play for the day.’ That’s what all of us are doing. Let’s add some positives to the end of the year, rest up for a month and then hit the weights.
“At the end of the day all you have is your team and ‘what have you done lately? My high school coach Ken Frank had it on his desk, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ It’s true.’’
Frazier was touching on the subject of desire, which Jose Abreu brought up Monday after yet another loss to the Royals. Abreu said the Royals had more desire to win than the Sox.
“The bottom line is, everybody on this team has the desire to win and everybody has the desire to do as much work as they can to be the best professional baseball player they can be and represent the White Sox,’’ Frazier said.
“I wasn’t there when the question was asked, but I think we’re all frustrated. We all understand we shouldn’t be in this situation (72-79 and in fourth place in the AL Central]. If we all look back at this year we’re going to say it’s a disappointing year. And if it is, then you didn’t really give it your all.’’
Frazier, finishing his first full season with the Sox, said the team’s mindset, preparation and work ethic are where they should be.
“Yes. Without a doubt,’’ he said. “It starts with Robin. He’s a good manager. He focuses on things you need to focus on, on and off the field. And our other coaches work their tails off to make us better every day.’’
Even with ace Chris Sale on the mound Wednesday, the Sox were headed to their 80th loss. Sale lasted four innings and left trailing the Phillies 6-1.
Adam Earton led off a game with a homer for the fifth time this season and ninth time in his career with season homer No. 14 against Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff. Eaton was hitting .318 with 30 runs scored over his previous 36 games.