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Wednesday’s Spring Training Update: Abreu, and the White Sox Coaches Roundtable

The highlight of the day was getting a first, and frank, taste of the key staff La Russa, Menechino and Katz

Chicago White Sox

The big news of the day, Brett touched on earlier when the news broke on José Abreu and his COVID diagnosis, and there hasn’t really been an update since. You’d figure that in a best-case scenario, Abreu is probably still held out through the weekend. We’ll see.

The big event of the day was the next step in Sox Spring Break, which was the Coaches Roundtable. And it was pretty entertaining:

  • Tony La Russa started out looking like he wanted to be anywhere else, but it was terrific hearing from him. Right off the bat: “We don’t want to win the on-paper championship,” speaking in the context of the work that needs to be done this spring
  • Frank Menechino, as most of you know already, is just awesome, hilariously straight-talking and brassy
  • Interesting insight from Tony (somewhat via former pitching coach Dave Duncan): “To pitch well, you have to catch well,” by way of explaining the addition of catching coach Jerry Narron to the staff (A bit Hawk Harrelsonny, as Hawk the GM was a proponent of specialist coaches, including left- and right-handed hitting coaches, relief pitching coach, etc. ... I don’t think Tony appreciated it much back then, though.)
  • Menechino on hitters getting some form of in-game video use back this year: “They complained about it [last year], but I complained about it more ... bottom line is you gotta do your homework before the game ... there were some times I was happy they couldn’t go in during the game, because sometimes you get paralysis by analysis.” Again, with typical candor, Menechino looks forward to seeing how guys use video to assist them, both to see who is doing it right, and also to “know who you have to kick out of the video room” (Looking at you, Yasmani.)
  • La Russa agreed with Frank’s thoughts, adding, “you gotta know how it can help you ... it can confuse you”
  • Moderator and radio play-by-play man Len Kasper admitted he thought he’d hate the man-on-second rule in extras, but kinda dug it. Menechino: “I don’t like it” (drawing a pretty big grin from La Russa
  • La Russa didn’t mind it, seeing it as a practical deterrent to super-long games that just kill a team, rare through they may be. The manager seems to feel that the rule should be implemented around the 12th inning-on, though

Really great stuff, which you can watch below. Again, well done, White Sox!