Before Saturday's game, and delayed by a day, new White Sox outfielder Jarrod Dyson met the media — and made it worth the wait.
Immediately laughing about collecting checks from media awaiting his take on his trade and the White Sox, Dyson leaves an immediate impression of a player who will bring not just a specific skill set but strong leadership to the South Side.
"Whatever I got to do to help the team," Dyson says of his anticipated role in Chicago. "I'm not going to be a guy who comes here and demands something. Once you’ve been around the league for awhile, you understand."
The White Sox knew they were getting an outstanding late-inning defender at the corner outfield spots and base-stealer par excellence, but his added value as a veteran presence in the clubhouse — and World Series winner — is a sweet bonus.
"Hey, have fun. Winning takes care of a lot of stuff," Dyson offers as a part of his chemistry class. "Once you play for the guy next to you, when you have something to fight for, it changes. You never know when you’re going to be back in that [contending] position."
Dyson is excited to be in Chicago, after having just played the White Sox in Pittsburgh's two losses this week.
"They rah-rah at the home runs," Dyson says of the building chemistry on the South Side. "Players play attention to the [opposing] dugout" 'Dang, they look close, they look like family.'
"I watched them take BP and ground balls, and you saw a team that’s loose and confident. You’re like, 'Wow, this team here has really developed a team and a culture.'"
As for Dyson's skill set staying solid into his mid-30s, there were more smart answers from the man.
"You get smarter. You put it in your tool box, use it when you need it," he says of the accumulated knowledge he possesses. "The main thing is being willing to learn, once you are you can carry that a long time. Once you’re stubborn, it can be a short career for you."
And his base-stealing prowess?
"Confidence," Dyson says. "You have to have confidence. It’s pure confidence. I had so much success early, it’s a cat-and-mouse game."