The journeyman has reinvented himself as an offensive threat to go along with his defensive prowess. If not for a quirky trade that sent All Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees, Wise would still be playing in New York.
“I really enjoyed my time over there,” Wise said. “Everyone is very professional over there as well. When you sign with New York you already know what you are getting into. It is a great place to play, especially when you are doing well.”
Wise’s strong play has forced Sox manager Robin Ventura to use a platoon of Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza and himself over the past three weeks of the season. Great defense aside, Wise is hitting .310 with eight extra base hits and nine RBIs over his last 17 games. The long ball has been a new part of Wise’s offensive arsenal. He has eight home runs this season, five since coming back to Chicago.
“It’s crazy how my career has varied to this point,” Wise said. “I always felt like I could play up here. It is all about getting the chance. I have never had the amount of big league at-bats that I have had this season.”
The 34-year-old Wise signed a contract with the White Sox on Aug. 3, one day after getting his release from the Yankees. The Sox were looking for a left-handed hitting outfielder who could play defense and run a little bit. They approached the Chicago Cubs about a trade for Tony Campana and were turned down. They also talked about resigning 2005 World Series hero Scott Podsednik before giving Wise a chance.
“I am really glad to be back,” said Wise, who up until this season was best known for “The Catch”, saving Mark Buehrle’s perfect game with a homer-saving grab of Gabe Kapler’s ninth-inning drive. “So many people in the organization have been great to me and I’m happy to pay back in any small way I can.”