TORONTO -- Because he has been consumed with news of Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon, Jesse Crain is glad to have games to play to offer a distraction.
He’s not just thinking for himself, either.
The White Sox reliever believes organized sports offer society as a whole a much-needed distraction from the horrifying events near Copley Square, where three people have died and at least 174 were injured in Monday’s twin blasts.
Though his own awareness about sporting events becoming targets for terror has been heightened, Crain believes the overall safety at stadiums is high.
“You have to keep living your life,” Crain said. “You can’t live in fear. It’s nice for (athletes) to go out there and keep a normalcy out there. We still go out there and live life and not worry that’s always going to happen. But it’s definitely in the back of your mind. You never know when it’s going to happen and it’s a sad situation that fortunately in this country we don’t have to deal with very often. But it definitely hits home when it happens.”
Crain hasn’t attended a baseball game as a fan in many years. But he has attended several Houston Texans football games and thinks the security protocols in place are a good deterrent and provide safety for fans.
“Just like the airlines, we all complain about it when you have to go through all that security, but in the long run it’s definitely worth it when things like this could possibly happen,” Crain said. “I think they do a good job and they’ll obviously be on more alert. I’m not worried about it. I think they do a good job.”
Latest on Danks is positive
The White Sox are pleased with the latest report on John Danks, who threw 71 pitches over in six innings in extended spring training on Monday. Club officials won’t say at what velocity Danks threw but said they’re happy with how he continues to progress from offseason shoulder surgery.
Danks will make another start in extended spring training on Saturday but then is expected to rejoin his teammates in Chicago. The White Sox haven’t said when Danks will begin a minor-league rehab assignment but manager Robin Ventura senses it could be close.
“I think (velocity has) been getting better and I think that makes him pitch better,” Ventura said. “He’s feeling stronger and it’s coming out of his hand a little better. … He’s getting there. I don’t know when (a rehab is) going to happen. I don’t make that call, but people seeing him have positive reports.”
Santiago thrives in ‘pen
Hector Santiago has been one of the more impressive performers in a White Sox bullpen full of them. The left-hander has struck out six and allowed one hit and walked three in eight scoreless innings this season. If continues to perform the way he has, Ventura said he’ll have trouble keeping Santiago in the long-relief role.
“He’s effective and gets the job done,” Ventura said. “How we use him from this point forward, he’s probably forcing your hand to use him a little more.”
Cooper set to return
Pitching coach Don Cooper should be in the dugout when the White Sox return home on Friday, a club official said. Cooper has missed the entire road trip as he recovered from diverticulitis. The veteran pitching coach was hospitalized in Arlington, Va. last Tuesday and was later released, and has been resting in Chicago since the weekend.