White Sox

Lorenzo Cain on Jeff Samardzija: 'I'm not a big fan'

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Lorenzo Cain on Jeff Samardzija: 'I'm not a big fan'

The Kansas City Star reported that Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was “contrite and apologetic” for his part in a brawl Thursday that resulted in five ejections, including his own.

Royals manager Ned Yost said his postgame message for Ventura talked about better controlling his emotions. The right-hander has already been involved in several high-profile incidents this season, including one with Brett Lawrie and the Oakland A’s last weekend.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“He’s a young guy,” Yost said. “I had trouble learning how to control my emotions when I was young. It’s something you’ve got to continue to work on. It just comes out. He’s a competitive guy, and it just comes out. He’s going to be focused on trying to control his emotions better from here on out.”

But not everyone wearing a Kansas City uniform was as diplomatic. Lorenzo Cain, who also was ejected, isn’t fond of White Sox pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who hit the outfielder on Opening Day. Samardzija could be seen charging into the massive pile twice, including once in Cain’s direction.

[MORE: White Sox describe brawl that led to five ejections]

“I’m not a big fan,” Cain said. “I’m not a big fan of him. I don’t know what the deal is. We’re just going to try to clean it up and get ready to play some baseball tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”

At one point, Yost was face to face with Chris Sale, who also got ejected as did Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez. Yost also found himself at the bottom of the pile as did third-base coach Mike Jirschele after Samardzija raced into a crowd.

"It felt like there was 20 guys sitting on top of me for a little while,” Yost said.

[MORE: White Sox Adam Eaton: 'I respect the hell out of that team']

Yost did add he didn’t feel Sale intended to hit Mike Moustakas with a 0-2 pitch in the fifth inning. Sale’s hit batsmen came an inning after Ventura struck Jose Abreu and plate ump Sam Holbrook immediately issued warnings to both benches.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Rebuild advice from 3 Houston Astros All-Stars

With the White Sox in the middle of a rebuild, Chuck Garfien spoke with 3 Houston Astros All-Stars who explained how they went from a rebuilding team to World Series champions. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Alex Bregman talk about how they dealt with losing, how they learned how to win, the importance of adding veterans to the young core, and how they kept hope alive during the rebuild.  Then later, Chuck spoke with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain trying to understand how he dominated the White Sox for so many years.

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu didn't come to White Sox looking for leadership role, but he's the face of the franchise on the All-Star stage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Abreu didn’t come to the White Sox to be a leader. But that’s what he is as he took his spot among the best in baseball at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Abreu is the face of the South Side baseball club and he’s had a stellar-enough first four and a half seasons in Major League Baseball to earn the distinction of a starter in the Midsummer Classic. But Abreu, unsurprisingly, doesn’t look at himself as one of the best in the game. He looks as himself as a hard-worker.

“I don’t believe that I’m the best,” Abreu said through a team translator on Monday. “I’m just a person who likes to work hard every day and try to do my best.”

That humility is nothing new to folks who follow the White Sox on a regular basis. And neither is talk of Abreu’s work ethic, the admiration of everyone involved with the team and a constant talking point from Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all Abreu’s teammates.

Abreu has become as important for his off-the-field roles as he has for his on-the-field production for this rebuilding White Sox team. He’s been described as a role model for all the young players in the organization, whether they’re on the big league roster right now or coming up through the system.

“None of them have told me that yet,” Abreu joked. “But I know that. It’s definitely a compliment, and I take it as something that makes you feel good, something that makes you keep moving forward and to keep trying to help the guys to improve and get better as a team. You feel like that is a big honor, that people think that way of you.”

As good as he feels to be held in such esteem, Abreu didn’t set out to be one of this team’s leaders when he came to the United States. And to be honest, he might not be in his current position if it weren’t for the team’s rebuilding effort. Abreu is one of the few veterans on this team.

“That was something that happened. I didn’t look for it,” Abreu said. “I was always trying to help people and trying to give advice to help people to improve. But I never tried to be a leader. If people say that because of what I do, that’s good, but that’s not something that I’m trying to force or something that I say, ‘I want to be a leader.’ No, that’s not who I am. I am just the kind of person who likes to help people, who likes to give advice.”

Abreu is seemingly the definition of what the White Sox want their next winning roster to be full of. And whether it’s the special relationship he has with fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada or the role-model status he holds in the eyes of his other teammates, both current and future, he’s helping the White Sox develop those kinds of players.

Oh, and he’s generally — though this season has seen an extended slump and atypical numbers — one of the most consistently productive hitters in the game.

Who wouldn’t want all that as the face of the franchise?

“It’s all a blessing. I can’t ask for anything else,” Abreu said. “I’m a true believer that if you work hard, good things are going to happen. That’s why I work hard every day, I try to do my best, I try to improve every day and just to be a better person. Not just a better player, but a better person.”