The 11 White Sox quotes that mattered most from the first half of season

The all-star break is here, and the Chicago White Sox are last in the American League Central Division with a 38-49 record.

In seasons past, that type of performance would have Sox fans demanding changes in the front office, coaching staff and roster.

This season is different, much different.

Just more than a year ago, general manager Rick Hahn traded veteran relief pitcher Zach Duke to St. Louis for center fielder Charlie Tilson, a promising prospect who has dealt with several injuries since then.

Ace starter Chris Sale and leadoff man/outfielder Adam Eaton were traded in early December, and the long overdue rebuild officially was in motion.

Yes, the Sox entered the current season with playoff aspirations, but every major-league team feels that way approaching the starting gate.

The 2017 White Sox have been a scrappy group that competes for nine innings, but this is clearly a team in transition.

That said, let's review the most interesting things the Sox had to say in the first half:

• • •

“Wins and losses at the major-league level are the easiest thing to judge us on. It's how we all judge ourselves. But there are going to need to be certain process and environmental improvements around here in the coming years so that when the talent is ready, it's seamless in terms of turning that into a championship club.”

— Hahn on April 3, the day before the season opener

• • •

“Maybe everyone has written us off, but everyone in this clubhouse hasn't written us off at all. We don't think this is a rebuild. We think it's a reload. We have a lot of good players in this clubhouse, a lot of good, talented players and some good veterans.”

— Starting pitcher James Shields on April 29, the day the Sox (13-9) won their sixth straight game and were first in the AL Central

• • •

“Just tears, hurt. It was tough. Just to think about the last conversation and text we had was real tough.”

— Shortstop Tim Anderson on May 10 on the loss of his close friend, Branden Moss, who was murdered in Alabama

• • •

“I just tell them tomorrow is another day. Things that you might identify as being an issue, you might just try to clean it up a little bit and try to find the solution. The only way you can do it is if you hit it straight on and you talk about it and hopefully we'll continue to kind of chip away at some of things we need to correct and move forward.”

— Manager Rick Renteria on May 12, after the Sox (15-18) lost a sixth straight game

• • •

“In adding Luis to our organization, we feel we've added another dynamic potential talent. Luis, who we view having the potential to be an impact center fielder for the long term, provides a special combination of power and speed that's unique in this game.”

— Hahn on May 27 after signing highly touted center fielder Luis Robert

• • •

“Tonight, for me, was a little embarrassing. They made a lot of effort to win this game, and I can't do anything.”

— Jose Quintana on May 30 after giving up 7 earned runs on 10 hits over 2 ⅔ innings in a 13-7 loss to Sale and the Red Sox

• • •

“It's unbelievable. I grew up watching Paul Konerko and tried to emulate his game. There are no words to describe how pumped I am and excited I am for this opportunity. There are just no words.”

— Third baseman Jake Burger on being drafted by the White Sox in the first round on June 12

• • •

“I was trying to hold my emotions together. But just looking up there and seeing that, I can't put it into words.”

— Former Sox starter Mark Buehrle on June 24 after having his uniform No. 56 retired

• • •

“People know where we're at and it's clear in terms of our communications with everybody. No one's really taken by surprise when we're on the other end of the call about what we're looking to do.”

— Hahn on June 25 about trade talks in advance of the July 31 nonwaiver deadline

• • •

“There's really not a whole lot to say, to be honest. There wasn't a lot said. I'm sure I'm going to deal with (things) here in the next 24-48 hours, but there wasn't much said.”

— Renteria on June 28 after being ejected for the third time in six games

• • •

“I feel really, really proud. It makes me more motivated. I just feel blessed, man. Blessed for this year because my wife (Anakarina), we're waiting for another baby, and now this. I've been having a great season, and I just thank God for that.”

— Right fielder Avisail Garcia on July 2 after being named to his first all-star team

• Twitter@scotgregor

Cuban outfielder Luis Robert smiles at a news conferences after signing with the Chicago White Sox before a baseball game between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, May 27, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu, right, is hugged by Avisail Garcia (26) after a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Saturday, April 29, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comVice-President/General Manager of the Chicago White Sox Rick Hahn speaks to the press during SoxFest Friday at the Hilton Chicago.
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