Rick Hahn

Rick Hahn denies that a White Sox pitcher was asleep in the bullpen during a game

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Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has denied allegations that a White Sox pitcher was asleep in the bullpen during a game this season, as well as claims that the organization lacks rules and discipline.

Former White Sox reliever Keynan Middleton, who traded to the New York Yankees last week at the MLB Trade deadline, told ESPN's Jesse Rogers that players came into the season with "no rules or guidelines to follow" and gave examples of incidents where leadership failed to punish players for unprofessional behavior such as skipping practice and falling asleep.

Hahn spoke to the media prior to Monday's game at Guaranteed Rate Field to address Middleton's comments.

"At no point over the course of this year has there been a reliever sleeping in the bullpen during a game," Hahn said. "That's just wrong. We do have a player, a position player, who has fairly serious sleep issues. And as part of our sports performance program of trying to address that issue, he has been given permission, and in fact encouraged, to sleep in the clubhouse at times. Earlier in the season, a couple of our veteran players approached me complaining about such behavior. To their credit, they thought they were trying to help the environment. And when I explained to them the background of the player and why we were doing that, they relented and understood.

"Perhaps that's something that got lost in translation in Keynan's report, but at no point have we had a player sleeping in the bullpen."

Hahn also pushed back on Middleton's claim that players were able to skip meetings and practices without repercussion.

"We did have a young player miss infield practice," Hahn said. "And for the next three days, he was out there doing infield practice as extra work as a means of breaking through and holding him accountable for missing the practice and showing the importance of being there."

The general manager was "shocked" to see these reports coming from Middleton, who, according to Hahn, had been disciplined for his own unprofessional conduct during the season by White Sox manager Pedro Grifol.

"No one in this organization for the last several weeks has run from the fact that we've had cultural issues and we need to improve the leadership in that room," Hahn said. "We're going to continue to strive to get better in that area. But one thing we're not going to do is stand idly by while false reports are put out there about the character of the men that remain in that room."

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