Rios not bothered by being ignored

August, 24, 2013
8/24/13
7:45
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- After watching Texas Rangers teammate A.J. Pierzynski get a five-minute video salute and a standing ovation on Friday night, you would think Alex Rios would be upset. The White Sox honored Pierzynski for his eight seasons of solid play. Rios, who was with Chicago four seasons, was barely acknowledged by the fan base.

[+] EnlargeAlex Rios
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesAlex Rios did not feel slighted by the reception he received from White Sox fans compared with A.J. Pierzynski.
"Hey, I did not mind that," Rios said. "It was up to the fans to express what they felt at that time. A.J. played for the Sox eight years, and they won a World Series with him. I understand why his reception was better than mine. I am not a personality that brings much media attention. I don’t think, in general, people see what I bring to the table. That is too bad, but I don’t go out and seek attention. I really only blame myself because I don’t overexpose myself to media or other sources."

Rios, who was traded to Texas in late July, has fit in nicely with his new ballclub. The Rangers have been on a tear since he was acquired from Chicago. His new club has won 19 of 23 while overtaking Oakland as the leader in the American League West.

"The people have been great to me here," said the right fielder, who replaced Nelson Cruz following the latter's 50-game suspension. "I felt like a part of the team immediately. A.J. helped me a lot by introducing me around and relaxing me."

The 31-year-old Puerto Rico native misses Chicago and his former teammates but loves the situation he has ended up in.

“I always say you come to the field for one reason, and that is to win," he said. "When you are winning like we are, you are much more motivated to go to the field and do your job. To play here is like a breath of fresh air. I am lucky, but that doesn’t mean I disrespect Chicago or my former teammates."

Current teammate Ian Kinsler likes what Rios has brought to the Rangers.

"This is a very easy clubhouse to fit into," Kinsler said. "We have a lot of guys who enjoy the game and each other. Alex is an extraordinary talent. He brings a lot to the game. He has good speed and plays really good defense; he kind of can do everything on the field. Alex has fit in perfectly with our club; it is nice to have a guy like that."

Rios is still perplexed by the horrendous season the White Sox have endured in 2013.

“I still can’t figure all of that out," he said. "We felt like we would be at least as good as last year, when we won 85 games. It was a big surprise to me and everybody on the Sox. It was very bizarre what took place, because we had a good group of guys with excellent talent."

Rios has one year remaining on his contract at $13 million. The Rangers can either pick up an option on his 2015 contract or buy him out for $2 million.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.17 208 174
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .317
HRJ. Abreu 36
RBIJ. Abreu 107
RA. Ramirez 82
OPSJ. Abreu .964
ERAC. Sale 2.17
SOC. Sale 208