White Sox

A.J. Pierzynski still going strong as 2005 White Sox reunite

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A.J. Pierzynski still going strong as 2005 White Sox reunite

ATLANTA — Only four players who appeared in the 2005 World Series weren’t able to make this weekend’s reunion at U.S. Cellular Field because they’re still in the majors.

Mark Buehrle (Toronto), Neal Cotts (Milwaukee), Juan Uribe (Atlanta) and A.J. Pierzynski (Atlanta) are the only active players left from the 2005 White Sox, though Brandon McCarthy — who appeared in 12 games that year but none in the postseason — is currently on the disabled list with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

[MORE: Current White Sox know what made 2005 team so special]

Pierzynski currently hits in front of Uribe in the Braves’ regular lineup, and at 38 is enjoying a fairly typical season: His .283 batting average, .318 on-base percentage and .438 slugging (.756 OPS) are right in line with his career averages (.281/.318/.438).

While Pierzynski would’ve liked to be around to reunite with his 2005 teammates, he’s not disappointed by the extenuating circumstances keeping him out of Chicago.

“I hope they all have a great time,” Pierzynski said. “It’d be cool to be there but obviously I’m here and still like to play. But there’s always good memories any time you have a team like that and win a World Series the way we did. Those guys will always be special in your heart.

“… There’s a lot of really good memories. Both my kids were born when I was in Chicago. There’s just a lot of fond memories and happy times.”

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Pierzynski played eight years with the White Sox and resurrected his career on the South Side after his reputation was tarnished during his one year in San Francisco. He had a .912 OPS in the 2005 playoffs, hitting three home runs and scoring nine runs — though he’s most known for reaching first on a controversial dropped third strike call in Game 2 of the ALCS.

A decade later, Pierzynksi’s still going strong as a major leaguer. He’ll just have to settle to go to the 20-year reunion in 2025.

“We’ll see if they invite me,” Pierznyski smiled. 

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu has already begun mentoring Luis Robert

As the White Sox have added young Cuban stars in the making in Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, Jose Abreu's long-term role on the team has shifted.

The 31-year-old first baseman has been looked at as something of a mentor for the two young Cubans. He seems to be delivering on that so far.

Abreu picked up Moncada from the airport when he first was called up to the White Sox last July. Now he's helping Robert in the batting cage.

The Cuban trio is expected to play a big part of the White Sox future in the coming years. 

Robert has already stated his goal of making it to the majors this year to join Abreu and Moncada, but that may be an overly ambitious goal. Either way, plenty of eyes will be on him throughout 2018 as he marches towards the White Sox roster and his Cuban teammates.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: