GLENDALE, Ariz. — Da Coach didn’t feel the White Sox needed any coaching up on Saturday night.
Hall of Fame tight end and ex-Bears coach Mike Ditka threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday’s night game against the Los Angeles Dodgers but didn’t address White Sox players as planned. Ditka was in town to visit his newly opened restaurant at a nearby casino.
“They don’t need me talking to them,” Ditka said. “They know what they’ve got to do. They’re paid to play baseball, they’ll play it, they’ll do a good job and it would be great for the city of Chicago. ... It’ll be good to see them win again. They’ve got a good franchise, they’ve got a great manager, good owner. They’ve got all the pieces.”
Ditka said he watches plenty of baseball, but rarely attends games.
The man who led the Bears to a Super Bowl XX title in January 1986 prefers the comforts of home where he can avoid crowds and smoke a cigar. Ditka thinks the White Sox made some necessary changes this offseason when they overhauled their roster.
“The whole thing is, if you’re an organization, you have to understand where you’re at, where you’re trying to go to and how you’re going to do it,” Ditka said. “If you don’t have the people to do it you better make moves and you’ve gotta change. There’s one constant in life: its change if you have don’t pieces of the puzzle. Evidently they thought they didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle so they went out and made some changes. I think they’re good changes. I think they’ll be good.”
But Ditka believes the Sox have some challenges ahead as they try to rebound from a 99-loss campaign.
“Again, it’s not easy to win in baseball,” Ditka said. “You play a lot of games and a lot of good teams and if you look at some of these teams like Kansas City, they’re coming up. There’s a lot of good teams out there now. It’s not like you only have to beat the Yankees or the Red Sox. You have to beat everybody.”