Rebuilds in major-league baseball push patience levels like no others.
In pro football, basketball and hockey, young talent can step right in, contribute and immediately change the direction of the franchise.
Baseball takes more time, and the Chicago White Sox are being as patient as possible with their slew of minor-league prospects while trying to stay above water in the AL Central.
They continued to sink at home on Tuesday, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Before starting the season with an 0-5 record at home for the first time since 1975, the Sox did show some signs of life with a furious late rally.
Trailing the Rays 6-1 in the ninth inning, Tim Anderson doubled, stole third and scored on Yolmer Sanchez’s sacrifice fly.
Jose Abreu made it much closer with a 3-run homer, but it was too little, too late.
So on a day where White Sox fans were more likely talking about Michael Kopech’s first start with Class AAA Charlotte and Eloy Jimenez’s return from injury, manager Rick Renteria thought it was a good time to go to bat for the players on his current roster.
“You can never take anything for granted,” Renteria said. “Any young major-league team, any veteran major-league team understands it, learns it, continues to live through it. We’re no different than anybody else. We haven’t had the outcomes we’ve wanted over the last five games, but I assure you that there’s no confidence being lost.
“There will be more conversations about our focus, making sure we’re taking care of little things. There are still things we’re cleaning up so we are a quality major-league baseball team on a day in and day out basis.”
The Sox hit 14 home runs while opening the season with a 3-2 record in road games at Kansas City and Toronto.
Since arriving home last Thursday and blowing a 7-4 lead against the Tigers with two outs in the ninth inning, the White Sox have been messy in all phases of the game.
That continued in Tuesday’s loss, as starter Carson Fulmer allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, 6 walks and 2 hit batters in 4⅔ innings while also being hurt by poor defensive plays from shortstop Tim Anderson and left fielder Nicky Delmonico.
“I definitely wanted better results,” Fulmer said. “One of the kind of good things overall, I was able to minimize. But the walks are really a big thing for me that I pride myself on a lot, and obviously there were six of them.
“That can’t happen. The majority of walks are going to score. I know that and I have to do a better job of attacking guys.”
After the Sox’s fifth straight home loss in front of another crowd not even large enough to be deemed sparse, Renteria refused to attack his players.
“I’ll tell you right now, for anybody who’s watching,” Renteria said. “This is a very positive group of men who are learning how to play this game. If anybody believes I’m going to doubt or knock my team in any way shape or form, that’s not going to happen. This is five days of which I wish we’d been able to give the fans a lot of victories. We haven’t. It’s not for a lack of effort.”