GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The roster isn’t the only target when it comes to changes the Chicago White Sox are in the midst of undertaking.
Dietary enhancements are already in place, and an entire remodel of the home clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field that will include a new kitchen capable of providing healthier meals to players is a possibility in the next couple of years.
Healthier athletes are hardly a new concept as the idea has spread throughout sports in recent years. One noticeable change for the White Sox is with the clubhouse snacks provided to players.
Candy and snack cakes that were once prevalent have been replaced by at least relatively healthier choices of fruit and grain bars, and granola-based options. Even the chewing gum has been reduced to only the sugar-free variety.
We’re not exactly taking about an organic farmers’ market here, but it is an improvement nonetheless.
“We didn’t take all of the sugar out, but we took out some things and started to progress to what needs to be in the clubhouse,” said Allen Thomas, the team’s longtime director of conditioning. “The kitchen here has been great and now more so in the season. That’s the optimal nutrient time and we’re getting good stuff. It’s just to continue to help keep our guys in a place to be able to succeed.”
Gordon Beckham joked that if wants candy, he’s going to get candy, but he appreciates the team’s effort not to make sugary snacks so readily available.
“It’s just attention to detail,” Beckham said. “Any time you have attention on that is good, as long as it’s not like 'this is all that is important' then it’s all good. They’re just trying to clean up some stuff and make it a healthier environment. It won’t hurt.
On the clubhouse countertop where things like licorice and colored gumballs used to reside, there now are more nuts, seeds and natural choices.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Thomas, who admitted that money had to be added to the budget to provide healthier choices. “But with thoughts of having a new clubhouse in the next few years possibly, then we wanted to make sure the setting completely changed.”