To the ‘Brink - ‘The responsibility lies solely on our shoulders’

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DETROIT – Scott Linebrink can’t think of just one reason of why a season with so much anticipation and hype has gone so very wrong.

That’s because the White Sox reliever said there’s 25 to be exact, and they were all sitting in the clubhouse with him.

“The responsibility lies solely on our shoulders,” Linebrink said. “The front office, everybody has done everything they can to put us in a position to win, to get the right components in here. That’s all I heard in spring training, I was talking to guys on other teams and they said, ‘Holy cow, look at y’alls pitching staff, it’s unbelievable. You look at the starters you have, the guys you brought in, bringing Putzie [J.J. Putz] into the bullpen, you got several options as closers, set-up men.’ So it’s definitely here.

“I know from a fan’s perspective it’s very frustrating to see how much work has been put into getting this team together and now it’s not translating to wins. But yeah, I think everyone in here knows what’s expected of us and we’re disappointed, but not to the point where we’re giving up. It hasn’t reached that point. I think everyone here is hoping things turn around, and for the most part it’s just about getting a few breaks here and there. I realize we’re not hitting the ball like we want to, and at times we haven’t pitched, but it will start to happen.”

That may very well happen.

The problem becomes will it be too late and will it come at the expense of the wrong people losing their jobs as scapegoats?

“The coaching staff, they’re doing a great job you know,” outfielder Alex Rios said, when asked about the Sox staff. “They’re trying the best they can to get us out of this bad stretch. We are the ones that have to perform and do our job to start winning games. I don’t think it’s the coaching staff’s fault or anything like that.”

So while manager Ozzie Guillen volunteers on an almost daily basis to be the one that falls on the sword, for the first time this season the Sox players were using Tuesday to really go out of their way to make sure the finger pointing is in the right direction.

And just as the players feel that they dug this hole, they also feel like they’re the ones that have the responsibility of climbing out.

“You here people talk about hitting being contagious, well losing can be contagious,” Linebrink said. “Once that disease starts to set in you can really see it start to infect everybody. I think the most important thing you can do is to stay positive, be an encouragement to other guys, looking at little ways in which you as an individual can help the team win, and hopefully that will start to infect everybody. We really need a transfusion here to stop this negative thinking, this expectation that bad things are going to happen.

“Go out there and make good things happen. It’s not something that’s magically going to happen, we’re going to have to want it, grab hold of it and shift the whole role reversal that’s going on. It’s not an overnight fix. It’s something that will take time, and hopefully we’ll have that one week where we just bust out, get on a role and gradually climb our way out, but it is frustrating for everyone here.”

What Linebrink and his teammates are holding onto are the standings. As bad as they’ve played, evident by the fact that they haven’t won back-to-back games since April 24-25, front-running Minnesota and Detroit are still not out of sight.

“It has been a disappointing six weeks of the season, but I think the important thing is we’re still single-digit games behind the first-place team,” Linebrink added. “I’ve seen guys get down. There are times in the dugout when it’s quiet. I think it’s important for the veteran guys that have been through it to pick these guys up because it’s easy to feed off that negativity and bring everyone down. To know, ‘Hey, this is not the end of the world.’ Try and pick guys up.”

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