Another loss ramps up trade talk

CHICAGO -- If Adam Dunn had just another foot or two on his deep drive Thursday night, the Chicago White Sox would be talking about a renewed sense of purpose.

But that drive ran out of steam at the base of the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning and Alejandro De Aza standing at third base as the White Sox fell 5-4 to the Oakland Athletics.

It made nine defeats in the past 10 games and although the season has practically four months remaining, players are now talking about drastic changes could be right around the corner.

Do the White Sox need to win now?

"Yeah, but we're not putting pressure on ourselves to do that, although that pressure is there," Gordon Beckham said. "We need to start winning some games or we might be saying bye to some people in July. Hopefully we can start winning and get a streak going."

Beckham would be referring to the non-waiver trade deadline in July, knowing the White Sox will be sellers at that time if the current losing trend continues.

Not only are White Sox players trying to figure out their issues as the season rolls on, now there is the distraction of teammates potentially being sold off for prospects and/or salary relief.

"I don't think it's in anybody's heads," Beckham said. "I just think it's a part of the game. I don't think anybody's worried about that, obviously. I'm just saying that's the way it goes. Hopefully we're not in that position come a month from now."

For Adam Dunn, the time to get going has already passed.

"I think we had that feeling three weeks ago," Dunn said. "I hope guys realize that this is a marathon and we're one, two, three weeks away from being tied, if not, right up there. There should be a sense of urgency, but I'm not panicking."

Less than two weeks ago, the White Sox had pushed themselves into third place in the American League Central. Their defeat Thursday dropped them back into last place, 8½ games behind the division-leading Detroit Tigers and 4½ games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians.

They don't exactly pose a threat to the leaders right now, but with over 100 games remaining they aren't buried yet either. It just feels that way.

"It's nice that we're not 15 games back right now, but we kind of have a lot to clean up here before we can get to that discussion," captain Paul Konerko said when asked if it was fortunate the team wasn't further back in the standings. "I don't think we've earned that yet which is fine. There still is a lot of baseball to play.

"We just have to keep grinding and hopefully you hit that stride. Where the ball has been bouncing the wrong way, and the hits haven't come and all that, it could flip and make all that stuff makes sense. We have to look inward first before we start worrying about teams like Detroit and Cleveland and all that."

Or they can ultimately look inward and realize why players are being shipped off to contenders next month.