GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Robin Ventura's first address to the full White Sox roster on Tuesday morning earned high marks for its directness, clarity and even its brevity.
"It was pretty short and straight to the point," said Ventura of his managerial discourse covering approximately 30 minutes.
"Respect," said White Sox reliever Matt Thornton of the main message delivered by Ventura. "He put it in our hands as veterans to be leaders and do things the right way and set a good example. We're going to play the game the right way, play hard and surprise some people."
Ventura's speech stressed that the White Sox are in Arizona to win games, but it's important to him and the staff that the players show up every day and give a good effort.
"Everybody has put too much time and effort into coming out here, organizing all this stuff and doing stuff for the team for guys just to show up and not care," Ventura said. "It's offensive to me for people to come in and not put out a good effort. It's pretty much that simple, for right now.
"Right now, you're going through drills. I want them having fun, but I want them taking it serious and realizing we don't put it on the schedule just to kind of go through the motions and just have it there. I want it done right or we're going to stay out until we do it right."
When asked about player feedback to his speech, Ventura laughed and said, "They didn't like it very much."
"There was a little bit of grumbling, but that's the way it is," Ventura said. "That's the way it's going to be."
Judging by Thornton's supportive comments and the positive response from other players and staff members, Ventura's charges are following the leader.
"Details, the little things," said Thornton, expounding on Ventura's main point. "Making good throws in [pitchers fielding practice], making good throws in team fundamentals and not beating ourselves. When we do the little things right now, it will make it a whole lot easier when you have 35,000 people screaming."
Off-field distractions took away from '11 team
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Paul Konerko doesn't believe the problems between White Sox general manager Ken Williams and former manager Ozzie Guillen were as huge of a deal as it was made out to be during the 2011 season.
Konerko does believe the non-baseball distractions took a little bit of a toll on the team's on-field pursuits.
"There was definitely sometimes late in the year last year, especially where there was probably games and days given away because of people worrying about things that were not related to the game of baseball," Konerko said.
Konerko believes everyone from last year's saga is in a good place for 2012 and seems fairly certain those particular issues won't play out again with this year's White Sox.
"I have a good feeling that no matter what happens this year, whatever our record winds up being, you can look at that record and say, 'That's what this team did. That's the true measure of this group of guys,'" Konerko said. "The last couple years, and especially toward the end last year, we were just giving away games.
"Big league players, you should be mentally tougher than to have that stuff bother you. And I think for the longest time we were as a group. It's not the same group every year. I think it just all came to a head. But that's how things end. If it didn't go like that, then no one would see a need to make a change.
"Some stuff like that has to happen to make a change. But I think going into this year, I think that when you look at it, it will be this is what this team really had to offer. There was no side issue or side project this and that. At all times, we'll be approaching it right, thinking the right stuff and getting after it, and the talent will dictate what our record will end up."
White Sox upbeat after Konerko's comments
GLENADLE, Ariz. -- Gordon Beckham completely understood Paul Konerko's points in regard to the White Sox having a successful year in 2012 even without reaching the playoffs, based on young players' development and doing things the right way.
But after looking for the right words in assessing Konerko's comments, Beckham came up with his own winning take on the matter.
"I want to make the playoffs," Beckham said. "That's not saying it's going to be an easy thing, but I haven't played in the playoffs. I want to be there. I want to be one of the guys who help us get there."
Manager Robin Ventura knew that Konerko was addressing expectations from the outside, in that the team has young components and is not expected to do much. But the White Sox obviously are looking for more than what was expressed by Konerko, who clearly pointed out that he's conceding nothing in regard to winning the American League Central.
"He's looking at it matter-of-factly," Ventura said. "But he wants more than that, too. Sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. He wants to win, too. I get what he's saying."
Early-camp standouts have more to prove
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nestor Molina, Zach Stewart and Dylan Axelrod were just a few of the young hurlers who made strong impressions during batting practice Tuesday against the likes of Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn.
But manager Robin Ventura wasn't about to point to anyone in particular as early standouts through just one week of camp.
"It's still early," Ventura said. "It's nice to see the full squad here. All the kids are here, they're all in the house."
Third to first
• The White Sox will meet with officials from the Major League Baseball Players Association before workouts Wednesday.
• Robin Ventura doesn't have many rules for his 2012 White Sox, but he stands strongly behind the few that he has listed.
"Be on time is definitely at the top," Ventura said. "Being a good teammate and respecting each other and who you represent as far as the White Sox, the city, that kind of stuff."
• Paul Konerko believes teammate Gordon Beckham is in a good place for a bounce-back 2012 performance.
"He's going to have a big year and [is] just ready to take that step," said Konerko. "He didn't really get to learn a lot in the Minor Leagues. He's had to learn things that most of us got to learn in Double-A on a bus, not under the brightest lights.
"That takes time to get those things mapped out and kind of figured out, and he just unfortunately had to do it on the biggest stage the game has. He's at that point now where he's got that stuff hammered down. It's really kind of like his rookie year maybe again."