White Sox

White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez on Cuba: 'Thanks, Obama'

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White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez on Cuba: 'Thanks, Obama'

Alexei Ramirez said “Thanks, Obama” on Tuesday afternoon without a hint of irony.

Both the White Sox shortstop and teammate Jose Abreu, who hail from Cuba, are encouraged by the recent news their homeland and the United States have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations.

The pair is hopeful the accord between the countries to renew their relationship for the first time since 1961 and reopen embassies could one day lead to a return trip home they previously thought may never be possible. Both players fled Cuba to pursue their dream of playing Major League Baseball and currently are unable to return.

“It’s something good,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “It’s very good and I just want to say ‘Thanks, Obama.’ He has been the one -- follow the leader in that category, that relationship between the countries. If it wasn’t (for my situation), I’d be there tomorrow. But it’s a process still and I have to wait until I’m able to come back.”

[SHOP: Buy an Alexei Ramirez jersey]

Ramirez, who played center field for Cuba in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, left in September 2007 and applied for citizenship in the Dominican Republic in an attempt to become a free agent. He signed with the White Sox that offseason and debuted in 2008.

Abreu left Cuba in August 2013 and signed with the White Sox that November.

While both players’ immediate families have joined them in the U.S., many of their extended family members remain in Cuba, including Abreu’s son.

[MORE: Where do the White Sox stand after ugly series vs. Royals]

“For me that has been very difficult because while the majority of my family is here I have my son there and my family,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “With this situation, it’s something good because sooner rather than later I think I can go back and rejoin them and see themagain.

“I always thought this could happen but I never thought it would be this early, but I imagined that one moment this could happen.”

“I’m very happy.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.