Adam Engel had played on three losing teams. If Dallas Keuchel hadn’t spoken up when he did, would the 2020 White Sox have been his fourth in as many seasons?
“We had a really good roster last year, and I think we would have eventually corrected ourselves, corrected the curve, but we didn’t have that kind of time in a short season,” Engel said. “We were 8-9 [after a loss to the Tigers in which Keuchel called out the Sox for going through the motions]. But having someone like Keuchel, who recognized that, step up in that way and speak truth into us really expedited that process. That’s what leaders do, they step up and say what needs to be said, and that’s what Keuchel does.”
The Sox went on a 13-4 run and finished 35-25, making the postseason for the first time since 2008.
“There was kind of a running joke there after we fired off a few wins in a row like, ‘Keuchel, why did you wait so long?’ ’’ Engel said.
A role player who knows his place, Engel said leadership comes in various forms and from different voices.
“Jose Abreu has taken a lot of guys under his wing and shown them how to work, what it looks like to be a championship worker,” Engel said. “That’s absolutely leadership. What Keuchel did was absolutely leadership. Different guys have different personalities, so all of it is necessary. It’s not just one way or the other; we need all of it. It was good of Keuchel to step up and say something.”