Effervescent Eloy Jiménez enters the arena
From the moment he lost his mind of a media members dandy new mustache, Eloy Jiménez cemented just why his ascendant stardom could see all of Chicago eating out of his hand — if we aren't already.
In a media session that continually circled the idea of Eloy having to somehow find a way to tone down his irrepressible love for life, occasional baseball material wormed its way in.
"I'm happy to be back in Chicago and happy to be back with my boys," Jiménez smiled. "Even with a pandemic, we're still happy."
When I asked specifically about Luis Robert, and whether their reunion would allow Eloy to continue his mentorship of the rookie, Jiménez was firm.
"Luis Robert is a great guy," the outfield mate said. "I say, 'I'm going to take care of you because you are my buddy.' Why not help him?"
Eloy also expressed some skepticism over whether social distancing rules for the 2020 season will remain.
"There are too many rules," he said. "But this is for now. When the season starts, it's going to be better."
And when asked about new "social distancing" greetings and celebrations (White Sox footage yesterday showed Eloy and Dylan Cease engaging in a "distanced hug"), Jiménez simply cracked up and promised some fun stuff to come.
And as for games with no fans? "The game will feel like rookie/summer league a little bit."
Jiménez also expressed confidence both that his hot September of last season was no mirage, and that his defense would continue to improve.
He ascribed the change late in the season simply to putting less pressure on himself and realizing that he didn't have to hold on tightly to one bad day.
As for defense, "I feel I get better every day," Jiménez said. "Spring training  was much better than last year. I want to one day be a Gold Glove. [Coach] Daryl [Boston], Rick [Renteria], [coach] Super Joe [McEwing] say I can be one of the best players in the business, but only if I work hard."
Watch the complete session with Eloy below, courtesy of the White Sox:
And if you missed it in the Ricky Renteria story from today, here's the sights and sounds from Day 2 of Summer Camp, from SoxTV: