Chicago Bulls: Jake Peavy
ESPNChicago.com writer Scoop Jackson is spending this week trying to prove that when it comes to sports, there is no city like Chicago.
Day 3: Wednesday
Got the GQ with him gracing the cover. Read through it first thing in the morning.
1. "This life doesn't fit my personality."
Now, I love Derrick Rose. Heavy emphasis on the word, "love." Been knowing him since his sophomore year at Simeon, been knowing about him since 7th grade. Love Pooh to the point that there may not be any objectivity. When it comes to him I can't be objective. He's one of those players/people where the job becomes secondary to our relationship.
That said, after reading Will Leitch's GQ interview, this is all I could think: How can Rose say that fame doesn't fit his personality, but agree to be on the cover of one of the top magazines in the world?
I wanted to call him and just say, "Fame, you can't have it both ways."
He can't say that he "hates" the attention, but contribute to the public exposure. It's not about being a recluse, but the Catch-22 here can't be contradictory.
2. The clothes they styled him in for the spread.
That was someone else in those photos, not Pooh.
A stripped tank top and white skinny jeans again? (In a photo shoot for the January, 2010 issue of GQ, Rose was given similar attire to pose in.) The real Derrick Rose rocks Gucci and Fashion Geek Clothing. Shops at Leaders 1354 and drops into Neiman's. Rocks imported Y-3‘s, not deck shoes.
The real Derrick Rose has his own flavor and uber-style, his own fashion sense of who he is. One that he's never been ashamed of.
I happened to be with White Sox GM Kenny Williams when he made the almost stealth-like move to get Jake Peavy. But since that day over 2 1/2 seasons ago, I had yet to see Peavy up close and personal on the mound.
Part my fault, mostly his. It's not like, due to injuries, he's given us a lot of opportunities.
So Wednesday night at The Cell was my chance.
I watched his first two innings from the press box, talking to some of the people who have seen and criticized him over the years. I listened to how most of them felt (believed) that he was as close to the Peavy who won the Cy Young (2007) in San Diego as he's ever been.
I had to get into scout mode in the third inning. From behind home plate I watched Peavy put on a show. Between the third and sixth innings I was able to watch him like I was going to report intel back to a GM. From eye-level it is very hard to pick up on his pitches, it's easier to see what they do on TV or Jumbotron -- or from a center field camera angle.
The movement of all of his pitches is subtle, but he throws hard every rip. A pitching coach once told me that what a pitcher needs to remain un-hittable is control and confidence. Peavy seemed to be bathing in both. He kept the Orioles' batters guessing like befuddled Jeopardy guests.
Eight strikeouts for the second game in a row. Both wins. An ERA of 2.75. This is what the Sox paid for. Now I can tell my kids I saw the real Jake Peavy in a White Sox uniform. Figuring years from now that may actually mean something.
Afterwards Peavy used the word "blessed" to describe his life in baseball right now. After seeing what I saw, I'm thinking blessed may be an understatement.