Ex-White Sox reliever Keynan Middleton says team has no rules, accountability

The Sox will see him again Monday, when they begin a three-game series against the Yankees, and the Chicago team — more specifically first-year manager Pedro Grifol — likely will have heard what he said by then.

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Former Chicago White Sox pitcher Keynan Middleton.

“We came in with no rules,” Keynan Middleton said of the White Sox. “I don’t know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing.”

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CLEVELAND — Former White Sox reliever Keynan Middleton might’ve gotten to the root of the team’s problems this season, telling ESPN on Sunday that the Sox have no rules or accountability.

After trading Middleton to the Yankees on Tuesday, the Sox will see him again Monday, when the teams begin a three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Sox — more specifically first-year manager Pedro Grifol — likely will have heard what he said by then.

“We came in with no rules,” Middleton said. “I don’t know how you police the culture if there are no rules or guidelines to follow because everyone is doing their own thing. Like, how do you say anything about it because there are no rules?

“You have rookies sleeping in the bullpen during the game. You have guys missing meetings. You have guys missing PFPs [pitcher fielding practices], and there are no consequences for any of this stuff.”

The Sox signed Middleton to a minor-league contract in January, and he posted a 3.86 ERA in 40 appearances with two saves. Middleton made his second appearance for the Yankees on Sunday, throwing two scoreless innings. Then he praised his new team’s culture.

“The second I found out I was traded, I shaved my face,” Middleton said. “I was ready to play by their rules because all I want to do is win games. You know how to act [here]. You know not to be late, and you know there are consequences if you are late.”

Middleton said the Sox’ problems predated him, occurring during previous manager Tony La Russa’s tenure.

“When I got to spring training, I heard a lot of the same stuff was happening last year,” Middleton said. “It’s happening again this year, so not sure how I could change it. They don’t tell you not to miss PFPs. They don’t tell you not to miss meetings, and if it happens, it’s just, ‘OK.’ ”

Middleton had strong words for about Sox’ leadership.

“They say [expletive] rolls downhill,” he said. “I feel like some guys don’t want to speak up when they should have. It’s hard to police people when there are no rules. If guys are doing things that you think are wrong, who is it wrong to? You or them? It’s anyone’s judgment at that point.”

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