It was just another typical loss at Kauffman Stadium; tied game halfway through before the bottom falls out underneath the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals run away with the game. These types of games have become the norm against the Royals, so much so that fans and media alike just shrug it off.
Since 2010, when the White Sox were 10-8 against their new arch nemesis, Kansas City has held a significant advantage over the South Siders. In the last 111 games, the Royals have won 71 against Chicago. That's a winning percentage of .639. In a different franchise setting, owner Jerry Reinsdorf would join the team's other hated rival, the Minnesota Twins, in finding new baseball operations leadership to overcome their shortfalls.
Alas, this is the Chicago White Sox, and unfortunately, watching them get their butts kicked by the Royals the last six seasons is nothing new.
What is new, that in a season with random outbursts from Chris Sale and Adam Eaton's admiration of a teenager's clubhouse leadership, is a voice that has emerged from the clubhouse to express his frustrations with the team's play.
In his game recap last night, MLB.com's Scott Merkin spoke with Jose Abreu about the team's loss and his thoughts on what makes the Royals unique.
Jose Abreu credited the Royals' "desire to win" and their "hunger to win games and to be good" as important traits setting them apart during three years of dominance while Abreu has been part of the White Sox.
When asked if the White Sox had that same desire to win following Kansas City's 8-3 victory at Kauffman Stadium Monday, one of the White Sox leaders provided a one-word answer that didn't need further explanation from interpreter Billy Russo.
"No," said Abreu, shaking his head.
That's a pretty resounding "No." Sure, Jose Abreu is having a very erratic 2016 where he slumped in April and May to go powerless in July, only to turn it on in since August 1st to find himself at 25 home runs for the season. He eventually got to his stat line that we are accustomed to since he joined the team in 2014, but it wasn't a straight line to success. Even he pointed the finger at himself to change his approach to be part of a winning ballclub.
However, anyone that has watched the White Sox this season knows the lack of success is not all Abreu's fault. The issue has been a stars-and-scrubs model with replacement-level players who are better suited to play in Charlotte than in Chicago. Now you have one of the stars who has openly admitted that the team doesn't have -- to borrow an expression from Hawk Harrelson -- the will to win as their Royals counterparts.
Abreu's ability to lead the clubhouse is always going to be a challenge because of the language barrier, but general manager Rick Hahn should be listening. Now it's not just Chris Sale complaining (who I think the franchise has tuned out) about the team not winning. This dissatisfaction has been a drum beat that has been getting louder and louder over the course of 2016, and the frustration of losing is going to boil over if it hasn't already.