CHICAGO (AP) To Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, his team's main competition comes from all across the AL Central, not across town from the Cubs.
Hahn and manager Robin Ventura kept touting the club's offseason moves, especially the acquisition of slugging third baseman Todd Frazier and second baseman Brett Lawrie, on Saturday at the White Sox fan convention.
The White Sox peddled optimism heading into the 2015 season, but the team started off poorly and limped into fourth place in the division at 76-86 before dwindling crowds. Chicago finished near the bottom of the majors in hits, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, and committed 101 errors.
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Meanwhile, nearly everything went right for the headline-grabbing Cubs until the New York Mets swept them in the NL Championship Series.
The North Side team soared in the second half to finish at 97-65. The Cubs defeated Pittsburgh behind Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta in the wild-card game, then knocked off St. Louis in four games in the NL Division Series before the Mets ended their magical run.
The young, talented Cubs are expected to only be better in 2016.
So when White Sox fans got a chance to query Hahn and Ventura directly on Saturday, the first question: ''Does that put some pressure on you to make some moves to compete with (the Cubs) a little bit?''
''No, it doesn't, simply because it's kind of impossible to feel more pressure to win than we put on ourselves as it is,'' Hahn said. ''It doesn't matter what another team in another league is doing. Kansas City, Detroit, Minnesota and Cleveland, that's who we have to keep up with.
''The only thing that makes its harder on me is when I'm sitting home in October and they're (the Cubs are) celebrating,'' he said.
But when a 6-year-old boy asked outfielder Adam Eaton about his favorite color in a later session, the player forced himself to pause in mid-sentence.
''Blue . dark blue, not that Cubs stuff,'' Eaton said.
The Cubs and White Sox meet only four times in interleague play in 2016, on four consecutive days in late July.
By about that time last season, the White Sox climbed back to within one game of .500, but then slumped again.
The damaged had already been done, Hahn and Ventura said.
This season they're depending on a stronger start.
''Obviously things didn't play out the way we expected,'' Hahn said. ''Some of the players we were relying upon either got off to slow starts or performed in sort of the the lower realm of their possibilities.''
''We dug ourselves a pretty big hole that kind of affected you the rest of the way,'' Hahn said. ''So it's got to start in the spring.''
Coming off the disappointing season, Hahn and the White Sox decided to fill gaps and make upgrades rather than rebuild. Besides trading for Frazier and Lawrie, they think they improved their offense at catcher by signing Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro.
''We have the ingredients to win this thing,'' Hahn said. ''We're going to have to tighten up . the baserunning, the defense, some of the decision-making by the players on the field on the field.''
''And that starts in spring training. We saw what can happen to a team that had talent and got off to a poor start,'' he said.