GLENDALE, Ariz. – Shortstop Tim Anderson’s goals for the 2021 White Sox are pretty straightforward: win the American League Central, win the American League and win the World Series. Pretty much start winning and don’t let up.
In order for the White Sox to accomplish the first goal, they will have to unseat the Twins, the two-time defending American League Central champs.
“We are way more athletic than them and that’s just true facts,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, we have to go out and prove it. We have to go out and be dominant.”
As for individual goals for the face of the franchise, those haven’t changed much from his great success produced over the past two seasons.
“Continue to keep proving I’m one of the best shortstops in the game. Continue to keep leading these guys in the right direction,” said Anderson during a Monday Zoom. “Be ready every time I step on the field.
“Come to play every single day. I don’t know too many guys that are going out there and giving you something every single day. That’s my goal, to go out and play hard every single day. I’m still in the same mind frame as last year: continue to keep being dominant.”
Anderson won the AL batting title with a .335 mark in 2019 and hit .322 last year while tying for the AL lead with 45 runs. He has become a true force throughout baseball and wants to use his undeniable will to help build something special on Chicago’s South Side.
For starters, when asked Monday if walking through the hallways had a different feel this year, Anderson joked that numerous pictures of the 2005 World Series championship hanging in the hallways of the White Sox facility at Camelback Ranch “are still the same.”
“Those are getting old,” said a smiling Anderson, hinting without explicitly saying it’s time for new celebratory photos. “But just to see the guys we have in the clubhouse and see the guys we added, we are serious. We are dead serious.
“I couldn’t be more proud to be right in the mix of it. I’m going to give everything I got to try to deliver something that is really cool and really dope, something you can cherish for life.”
Jimenez’s upbeat nature returns
Eloy Jiménez appeared to be in mid-season form when it comes to his upbeat positive demeanor. He laughed and waved to reporters, while being fully masked, before his Monday Zoom began. He spoke of shedding tears when he heard of José Abreu’s 2020 American League Most Valuable Player honor and acknowledged Monday was a long day, but it was awesome to be around family again.
And even questions about his left-field defense, which is a work in progress, didn’t alter that sunny attitude.
“Yeah, that motivates me because you need to work for something and I try to work hard for that,” said Jiménez of his defense. “But I don't try to hear that a lot. I try to do my work and try to be better every day.
“Be better. Stay healthy for my team and help the team win.”
According to the White Sox, Abreu's arrival to camp will be delayed due to additional COVID-19 antibody testing. He is expected to be in camp on Wednesday. Abreu is in Arizona and talked with manager Tony La Russa Monday, sharing how anxious he was to be with the team, which La Russa shared in his morning address to the players.
He said it
“If last year we were good, this year we're going to be better.” -- Jiménez.
“No one was satisfied with the way things wound up … but it was a big stage that players felt like they belonged on and want to get back to finish what we started.” -- General manager Rick Hahn on the ’20 season’s conclusion, during Monday’s Town Hall session on the White Sox YouTube channel.
“Some of the [batting practice] I saw today and some of the arms I saw today are some truly special individuals. But you have to come together as a team, you have to come together as a unit, hold each other accountable. If we can do that I think we can have a lot of success.” -- Right fielder Adam Eaton on the ’21 outlook.