White Sox

White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn dies at 80

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White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn dies at 80

White Sox vice chairman Eddie Einhorn died Tuesday night in Alpine, N.J. following complications from a stroke. He was 80. 

Einhorn and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf met while attending Northwestern's law school and, in 1981, purchased a controlling interest in the franchise. Einhorn served as the White Sox team president and chief operating officer from 1981-1990 and was the franchise's vice chairman from 1990-2015. He also was a member of the Chicago Bulls' board of directors. 

"Eddie was a creative whirlwind whose ideas -- many of them far ahead of their time -- changed the landscape of sports, and sports on television, forever," Reinsdorf said. "He was a man of many interests, projects, ideas and opinions, and we all will miss him dearly. It is exceedingly rare in this day and age to have enjoyed a friendship and a working partnership that lasted our lifetimes.  We celebrated many great moments together."

White Sox head trainer Herm Schneider, who joined the organization in 1979, remembered Einhorn fondly.

"He was an interesting man and a great man," Schneider said. "I’ve known him probably since Day 1 since Jerry and Eddie took over, the Sunshine Boys. He was an incredibly brilliant guy.

"A lot of people didn’t know how brilliant he was. He did a lot with wrestling. He did a lot with the NCAA Tournament, (which) is basically his brain child. He and I had a very special relationship with his family and my family and everything else. Very close with him. I just found out about it this morning myself from Scottie, but it really is a very sad day about that happening."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement on Einhorn's passing. 

"All of us at Major League Baseball are deeply saddened by the loss of White Sox Vice Chairman Eddie Einhorn, a leader in the world of sports and broadcasting," Manfred said. "He was a sports television pioneer and a huge champion of youth baseball. In recent years he bridged those twin passions through the National Youth Baseball Championships, which appeared on MLB Network and MLB.com. 

"A proud and loyal leader of the White Sox owned by his longtime friend Jerry Reinsdorf, Eddie took delight in the franchise's momentous 2005 World Championship. Most of all, for decades Eddie was a friend to seemingly all in the baseball and broader sports communities. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Eddie's wife Ann, their daughter -- and our former colleague -- Jenny, their son Jeff, and their entire family, as well as his countless friends throughout the White Sox organization and our game as a whole."

Einhorn, while a law student at Northwestern, worked as a vendor at Comiskey Park from 1959-1960. He founded TVS Television Network, which in the 1960s and 1970s pioneered nationwide TV and radio coverage of college basketball. In 2011, Einhorn was inducted in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame for his role in growing the popularity of the sport. 

During his nearly three-and-a-half decade time in baseball, Einhorn was recognized as the architect of Major League Baseball's first billion-dollar TV deal and also served the Major League Baseball Schedule Format Committee, the Professional Baseball Association Committee, Player Development Committee and Television Committee.

Einhorn is credited with helping create MLB's wild card playoff format; the Chicago Tribune's Jerome Holtzmann wrote in 1998 that "If it weren't for the acumen and foresight of White Sox Vice Chairman Eddie Einhorn, there wouldn't be a wild card."

Einhorn is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann, daughter Jennifer (and her husband, Darryl), grandson Meyer, and son Jeff.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.