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Eloy urges community to help slow the spread

@scottmerkin
April 7, 2020

CHICAGO -- When Tuesday’s conference call with Eloy Jiménez came to a close, the charismatic White Sox left fielder delivered a message to the media, making his team and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proud. “Have a good night, enjoy your dinner and stay at home,” Jiménez said. “I hope to

CHICAGO -- When Tuesday’s conference call with Eloy Jiménez came to a close, the charismatic White Sox left fielder delivered a message to the media, making his team and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proud.

“Have a good night, enjoy your dinner and stay at home,” Jiménez said. “I hope to see you soon.”

The exact timetable for Jiménez, the Chicago media and White Sox fans to get back together remains unknown as on-field action continues to be suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jiménez, along with White Sox right-handed pitcher and All-Star Lucas Giolito, is doing his part to help keep the public informed about proper social distancing practices by taping a public service announcement for the “We Are Not Playing” campaign in conjunction with eight Chicago professional sports teams and the city.

Jiménez’s message via that program echoed what he said to the media on Tuesday -- stay at home.

“For me, I appreciated being part of this,” Jiménez said. “It was pretty good to help the community understand this is not a joke.

“It's a little bit hard because the feeling that we had right now, it was ready to go. But it happened for a reason. This is not in our hands. It's time to be healthy right now.”

Since Spring Training was shut down in early March, Jiménez has been playing video games and resting. Baseball-wise, he has been doing some pushups, jumping rope and hitting in the backyard at his Arizona home, where he has remained.

He misses being with his teammates, although the 23-year-old, who had 31 home runs, 79 RBIs and an .828 OPS during his 2019 rookie campaign, has stayed in contact with José Abreu and Luis Robert. Jiménez misses being with the fans and playing for the city, but most of all, he simply misses playing baseball.

“That's why, right now, it's a little bit hard because with all of this, I can't do it,” Jiménez said. “If it wasn't for this, we should still be playing baseball. I just want to play baseball.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.