'Gut Check' Awaits White Sox After Keuchel's Criticism

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(670 The Score) A day after veteran left-hander Dallas Keuchel called out his White Sox teammates in the media, catcher James McCann on Tuesday revealed Keuchel gave them the same message in a players-only meeting first and lauded him for being forthright.

"He said it to everyone's face in the clubhouse," McCann said. "First off, that's the sign of a leader. He's going to address how he feels and what he sees to the team and not try to do it through the media. And with that being said, he's exactly right. Even in a 162-game season, there has to be a sense of urgency. If you go through the motions, you're going to end up looking up in September and chasing the team in first place. It's even more important this year in a 60-game season. There has to be a sense of urgency. Does that mean you're going to win every game? No. But you have to have the sense of urgency and not just go through the motions."

Asked how the message was received, McCann responded "great."

"No one was singled out, it was a team-type comment," McCann said. "It was really the first full-team kind of gut check. It couldn't have come from a better guy or at a better time."

After a 5-1 loss to the Tigers on Monday, Keuchel called the White Sox's performance "very subpar" and "flat." He had more harsh analysis beyond that.

"We have some guys taking professional at-bats, being professional on the mound and doing what it takes to win, and we’ve got some guys going through the motions," Keuchel said Monday night. "So we need to clean a lot of things up."

The White Sox have lost three straight and five of six games to fall to 8-9. They've scored just 11 runs combined in their past six games.

Keuchel's words were a message the clubhouse didn't have any problem with, shortstop Tim Anderson said after he was activated off the injured list.

"Like he said, there is a lot of talent in the locker room," Anderson said. "Sometimes you have to light a match under some guys to get them going. I don't see anything wrong with what he said.

"We can make a million excuses. We can blame it on a lot of things. The truth is to keep it simple and go out there and beat the other team. We know how to compete. We know how to go out and be dominant. We need to bring that fire back and find that energy to continue to go as a team."

When it came to Keuchel's comments, White Sox manager Rick Renteria stayed out of the clubhouse fray while reminding that the organization wants its players to lead and be accountable. 

"You know that we've talked about having our players, encouraging our players to start to start talking to each other when they think things aren't as they should be," Renteria said. "Maybe yesterday was one of the first things that you guys were aware of, but it isn't the only one that's ever happened.

"It's one of those things that you encourage, you embrace it. We're at a different stage in our point of growth as a club, as an organization. We're wanting to continue to have guys now push each other. We've been pulling guys from games, talking to guys, screaming at guys, we've been doing that for a long time now. And I think that the pieces that the organization has brought in bring a certain type of experience and they're able to put forth their sense of what they see or what they believe they see. Basically, players have to look at themselves in the mirror. If you feel like you're one of those guys who's not giving what they should be giving, if you're honest with yourself, you know who it is, you know who you are and continue to hopefully adjust to it. If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, it doesn't really affect you very much. He felt compelled to do what he did. We encourage all of our guys to do it. The way they're going to continue to grow is to be able to know how each feels about each other and the efforts they're giving on a daily basis."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.