GLENDALE, Ariz. — There’s a tinge of jealousy and a lot of pride felt among White Sox veterans for two former teammates who won it all last October.
Even though a few players said they didn’t watch one pitch of the World Series, White Sox players didn’t take issue rooting for Jake Peavy and Matt Thornton in their pursuit of championship rings.
Adam Dunn’s television remained off for the postseason, including Peavy’s Game 3 start. But he made sure to follow along and even made a trip to Alabama during the offseason to check out Peavy’s famed spur-of-the-moment purchase.
“Jake being Jake, I had to check out the duck boat,” Dunn said. “I saw it. Couldn’t figure out how to get it started.”
Whether it was his work ethic, competitive fire or his genial nature in the clubhouse, Peavy was popular with his teammates during his time in Chicago.
One of the toughest stretches for White Sox players to endure during last season’s 99-loss campaign was before and after the inevitable occurred and Peavy was traded to Boston in a three-team deal on July 30.
Energy in the clubhouse was lacking even more than normal during a 10-game losing streak that began the day after Peavy’s final home start at U.S. Cellular Field.
While Peavy moved on to greener pastures, players were stuck in the midst of a campaign that chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has referred to as a bad dream he wishes he could wake up from.
Even though he wanted to be in Peavy’s shoes and wanted to be far removed from a miserable White Sox season, John Danks found time to watch all three of Peavy’s postseason starts.
“You can help but be happy for him,” Danks said. “I was pulling for the Red Sox for Jake and Thornton. You want your buddies to get a ring. You’re obviously envious of them because they got a ring. But if it’s not going to be me it’s better someone I like than some guys I don’t know.”
Something White Sox teammates knew and respected is how hard Peavy worked to comeback from a potentially career-ending shoulder injury. Chris Sale pitched alongside Peavy enough to know it couldn’t have been easy to endure several seasons of injuries. Sale said he was glad his former rotation mate was able to be part of winning the “ultimate prize.”
“He’s a hard worker,” Sale said. “He really cares about what he does on a field and knowing the road he went to get to where he is now, there was a lot of down time in there. It wasn’t easy…I’m obviously very happy for him. I’m a little jealous.”
Dunn also is happy for Peavy, whom he said is “one of his best buddies in baseball.” Though he wouldn’t watch the World Series for any reason, Dunn did find himself pulling for the Red Sox. He also appreciates the way Peavy enjoyed the moment, including his $77,000 purchase of the duck boat he rode in during the World Series parade in Boston.
He likes to think he’d have done something similar and its part of the reason he went to Alabama.
“It’s one of those things where you don’t take that kind of stuff for granted,” Dunn said. “I know a lot of guys, ‘Well we expect to make the playoffs because we’ve done it forever’ or ‘we expect to make the All-Star Game.’ That stuff doesn’t happen. He realizes that. Take it for all it’s worth because you’re not guaranteed to get there again ever…I was going to bury (the duck boat) in the pond or something but I couldn’t figure out how to get it started.”