Yankees’ Middleton rips ‘no rules’ culture within White Sox

Yankees' Middleton rips 'no rules' culture within White Sox

Former Chicago White Sox reliever Keynan Middleton, who joined the New York Yankees prior to the trade deadline, said his old team is plagued by a chaotic culture, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

“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 (pitcher fielding practices) and there are no consequences for any of this stuff.”

The identity of the pitchers who fell asleep during games or skipped fielding practices was not divulged, but Rogers added that multiple sources corroborated Middleton’s story.

While Middleton was critical of the team, he stated that the poor culture predated his arrival in 2023 and didn’t pin it on current manager Pedro Grifol.

“Leadership in general. They say shit rolls downhill,” Middleton added when asked about fixing the culture. “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.”

The White Sox, expected by some before the season started to compete in the AL Central, are in the midst of a dismal 2023 campaign, sitting at 45-68 and 14 games back of the first-place Minnesota Twins. As a result, they were sellers at the deadline, parting ways with Middleton as well as Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Jake Burger, and others.

“The second I found out I was traded, I shaved my face,” Middleton continued, alluding to the Yankees’ strict grooming standards. “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’s comments come in the wake of a benches-clearing brawl between the White Sox and Cleveland Guardians, initiated by Tim Anderson and Jose Ramirez throwing punches after a play at second base. Additional discipline has not yet been announced by the league office.

The 29-year-old boasts a 3.86 ERA over 37 1/3 innings this year. The right-hander is a seven-year veteran now playing for his fifth team.

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