White Sox

Sox Drawer: How Close was Peavy to Cubs?

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Sox Drawer: How Close was Peavy to Cubs?

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010
6:30 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Not sure how many Cubs fans read the Sox Drawer, but a warning to those who do: The following sentence from Jake Peavy could be hazardous to your health.

My agent called me and said, This trade to the Cubs is about to go down, its about to get done, Peavy said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet about his near trade last winter to the North Side. In the next couple of days, we basically agreed on a deal. I was excited about the opportunity.

But as we know, that opportunity never materialized.

Talks between the Padres and Cubs broke down. The same with the Padres and White Sox later that May after Peavy vetoed the deal, preferring to stay in the National League for the moment. However, Kenny Williams made one last attempt to pry Peavy loose last July, and just minutes before the trade deadline, Peavy gave the Padres the green light to send him to the Sox.

But how fortunes would have changed had Peavy gone to the Cubs ...

I knew I was getting ready to leave San Diego, Peavy recalled. It was just inevitable, and I was excited about going to a great city and great franchise. I dont want to sit here because were arch rivals and talk bad about the Cubs. Theyve got a great franchise and history and I was excited about being a part of that, but it didnt work out and Im certainly glad about where I am today.

Peavy is from the South. Does he have a little South Side in him?

There is, Peavy said with a laugh. You know what I love about the White Sox, they seem to be a blue collar team. We dont have any prima donnas, no pretty boys. Were just a bunch of good ol boys who dont mind getting dirty. If you look at the past, Carlton Fisk, even our manager Ozzie, were just a bunch of good ol boys.

Ozzie Guillen, a good ol boy? Thats a first.

I think we embrace the people of the South Side of Chicago, and certainly that relates to where I come from for sure.

Jake admits that hes a fiery guy, which just so happens to be a trait shared by his catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, and his manager, who can occasionally be a bad good ol boy.

Does Peavy expect to see some problems from time to time?

It certainly has all the capabilities to," he said. "Im passionate and believe what I believe, and A.J. and Ozzie are the same way. But at the end of the day, we love one another. Its all going to be in good fun, if anything was to happen. But Ill certainly back down to anything from my manager. Hes the one in charge. But Im going to speak my mind in a respectful way, Ill promise you that.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: American League All-Stars rave about Jose Abreu

With Jose Abreu playing in the All-Star Game, we asked some of his American League teammates about the White Sox first baseman. Justin Verlander, Craig Kimbrel and Michael Brantley rave about Abreu, explaining why he’s such a great hitter and a tough out for pitchers. 

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

All Star of the present Jose Abreu trying to help Yoan Moncada become the All Star of the future for White Sox

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the White Sox wait for their All Stars of the future to develop, Jose Abreu is representing the club at the All-Star Game in the nation’s capital.

Abreu, elected by the fans to be the American League’s starting first baseman Tuesday night, might represent the White Sox present, but he’s a key part of their future, as well. While his contract situation remains a mystery — the team would need to extend him in order to keep around past the 2019 season — he’s helping to develop the players who are planned to make up the next contending group on the South Side.

No player is more under Abreu’s guiding hand than Yoan Moncada, his fellow Cuban who just a season ago was the No. 1 prospect in baseball. Moncada’s development from top prospect into star of the future is the biggest storyline of the season for the White Sox. And Abreu, the role model in this clubhouse, is in part tasked with helping Moncada do just that.

“Our friendship is special,” Moncada said through a team translator last week. “We’re always talking about everything, having fun. He gives me advice, and I always try to make fun of him. Our relationship has been for a long time. We were friends in Cuba. And now we are rejoined here. It’s just a very good relationship. I’m blessed having him here.”

“He’s a Cuban, and it’s always special to play with a fellow Cuban countryman. He’s a great kid,” Abreu said through a team translator Monday. “I think that it’s a blessing. The White Sox did all that they could do for us to play together. I’m just enjoying the moment and every day with him. It’s special. It’s definitely a very special feeling.”

Abreu is often lauded by White Sox brass as the perfect example of what they want their young players to become. His incredible production makes that an easy comparison: He put up at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs in each of his first four major league seasons. But it’s what he does outside the lines that gets the highest praise. Rick Hahn, Rick Renteria and all of Abreu’s teammates constantly talk about his work ethic, his routine, his dedication to getting better and the way he goes about his business.

Moncada’s noticed. And he sees Abreu’s latest accomplishment — getting picked as an All-Star starter — as vindication that, yes, Abreu’s methods certainly work.

“Knowing him, knowing all the effort that he puts into his preparation, his work ethic, all that work that he puts into his preparation is paying off and he’s recognized with this election,” Moncada said. “That’s something that motivates you, something that lets you know that if you do things the right way, you’re going to get rewarded. For me, it’s a motivation, and I feel really honored to share this team with him.”

Moncada’s first full season in the bigs hasn’t gone smoothly. He’s had his hot stretches — including the last couple weeks; he’s slashing .356/.453/.644 since July 2 — but he’s also had long periods of struggles. Certain aspects, such as a propensity for striking out and making errors at second base, have been constants throughout the campaign.

Renteria refers to the mistakes and the poor results as teachable moments. Does he have a proxy teacher in Abreu?

“I tell him to enjoy the game,” Abreu said. “Enjoy the game, have fun, be a little more focused on the situation of the game. But I think the key is to have fun.”

Mostly, though, Abreu is convinced that Moncada will blossom into the kind of player White Sox fans hoped he would when he brought that top-prospect track record to the organization in the Chris Sale trade. The expectations are undoubtedly high, but Abreu’s been seeing Moncada meet them for some time. The two have known each other since the younger Moncada was 17 years old.

“I think that he was born with special abilities to play this sport,” Abreu said. “Before I met him, there were a lot of people talking about him in Cuba because of his abilities, the talent that he has. And when I met him, it was a very special moment. As soon as I met him, I realized, ‘Wow, what people say about him is true.’ His body type, his ability to play the game. He’s special.”

So will the All Star of today and the All Star of tomorrow one day share the All-Star stage?

“I would like to have that opportunity. Let’s pray to God to have that opportunity,” Abreu said. “If that happens, that would be really special for us.”