MIAMI -- There wasn't much time for José Abreu to sleep Friday with the White Sox having an early-morning arrival from Kansas City. But where getting to spend time with his son, Dariel, is concerned, an ecstatic Abreu understands that he can rest at another time.Abreu spent Friday with his
MIAMI -- There wasn't much time for José Abreu to sleep Friday with the White Sox having an early-morning arrival from Kansas City. But where getting to spend time with his son, Dariel, is concerned, an ecstatic Abreu understands that he can rest at another time.
Abreu spent Friday with his son, parents, wife and sister, and they all attended Friday's game at Marlins Park, marking the first time his 5-year-old watched Abreu play Major League Baseball. Dariel had one not-so-simple request for his father before leaving for the ballpark.
"The only thing he asked me is to just hit a homer," said a smiling Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. "That's the only thing that he asked me."
Abreu didn't homer, but he did drive in a run with one of his two singles in Chicago's 4-2 win over Miami.
"To have my son here is very nice," Abreu said. "Everybody knows how I am with my family. All of my family and I are very happy because we have him here. It was a special moment for us, and we're trying to take advantage of all the time that we can spend together."
After this weekend in Miami, Abreu will go with the White Sox to Cleveland in completing this three-city, nine-game road trip. The family will be reunited once again in Chicago on Aug. 19, where Dariel will spend some time before returning to Miami and then Cuba for the start of school in early September. The younger Abreu has a five-year travel visa, so he will be able to visit his father again.
There's no question having Dariel in the stands will bring Abreu a little extra excitement and inspiration. But his focus remains on the game at hand.
"I have to do everything I can to try to help this team win all three games," Abreu said. "But he's going to be happy either way. I'm a professional, and everybody knows that once we are on the field, we have to do our best to try to help this team win.
"Everybody has known that we have seven or eight months without seeing each other. But I'm happy he's here and I'm happy that he can come tonight to see me play. Like I said before, I'm going to treat it as motivation and have to channel it the best way possible."
Playing in Miami also provides a little extra push for Abreu, who is hitting .342 with three homers and nine RBIs over his last 19 games. It remains to be seen whether the thrill of the moment translates into the requested Abreu home run.
"Cuba is my town, my country," said Abreu, who makes his offseason home in Florida. "But Miami was the first place I visited when I came to the U.S., and then Chicago. I'm glad because of all the welcome that Miami and Chicago gave me.
"Like I said before, this is my second home. I don't want to pick between one or the other, but I'm very glad to have this opportunity to play here tonight."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.