Reading Room: White Sox position players report today

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Plus: Jose Quintana is picking up English, Don Cooper wants to be a pitching coach forever, and other spring training news

For all the talk of Paul Konerko around Camelback Ranch this week, what's going to happen when he actually, you know, shows up?

Konerko is one of the few players who will arrive on the official reporting date for position players, instead of before. That's his thing, but it's kinda funny that the two latest arrivals are the guy who always loses the wrestling match with responsibility with regards to his visa ... and Captain Mister Mentor, who lives 45 minutes away. The example he seems to be setting here? Showing up early is for grade-A chumpzillas, that's what.

Gordon Beckham rolled out the red carpet for him regardless, saying about Konerko's gold-watch season, "I think he deserves it. I think baseball deserves it." Whether America deserves it remains to be seen.

Christian Marrero Reading Room

Jose Abreu isn't the only Spanish-speaking White Sox determined to learn English. Jose Quintana flew solo on an interview Wednesday, and Daryl Van Schouwen said Quintana's self-study program is working for him.

‘‘Yes, it’s important because this is my work,’’ the White Sox left-hander said. ‘‘I need to speak in English for media, coaches, everything. And I like the English. I like talking to the other guys.’’

Entering his third season with the Sox, the 25-year-old Quintana, who is Colombian, has used one of the Sox’ translators — usually coach Lino Diaz — to converse with English-speaking media. During the offseason, he practiced with his brother in Colombia.

‘‘It’s getting better,’’ he said.

Don Cooper wants to be pitching coach for the White Sox until he can't anymore, which sounds good.

One of Cooper's new pupils is Eric Surkamp, and there will be a to-do list. It sounds like Surkamp would like to add a cutter, which Cooper knows a thing or two about.

Scott Reifert reiterates something that I saw at SoxFest -- Avisail Garcia may not be the biggest guy on the Sox in terms of listed height or weight, but he may as well be.

Garcia stood next to Abreu at the batting cage today and made an impression.

"Avi Garcia managed to make Abreu look small and that’s not easy," an observer noted.

Andre Rienzo enters spring on the outside looking in, but he also comes in with the confidence of big-league experience, and without the distraction of the World Baseball Classic, so it's a net gain.

There were flashes of solid pitching and some struggles as Rienzo fought through command struggles, but he still returned this winter to tell tales of joy in his native Brazil where the temperatures were "hot, hot, hot," as he put it.

"It was great, you know," the 25-year-old said. "The people in Brazil know that baseball is not popular and soccer is the sport. But the people who know baseball are happy with me and glad that I can finally go to the major leagues after seven years in the minors. They were so happy and it was just for two months. I don't know the future yet, but I know what happened and the people are happy."

John Danks said he would take the Condor over anybody in baseball in a must-win game. Sale said of Danks, "He's not the smartest guy in the clubhouse, that's for sure." A small child had his back on that one.

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