GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A rough day for Chicago sports Tuesday was not lost on Chicago White Sox players at spring training some 1,900 miles away.
News of injuries to both the Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane and the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose were a topic of conversation in the clubhouse before White Sox players took the field Wednesday for their daily workout. Kane's "upper body injury" could cost him 6-10 weeks, while Rose is headed for surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
“I just saw it on the news; it's unfortunate,” pitcher Jeff Samardzija said. “It's something you deal with; it's a reality in the game in any sport you play. That's the way it goes sometimes.”
Samardzija has participated in the Blackhawks’ shoot-the-puck promotion, but said he only knows Kane in passing. He not only feels for a fellow athlete, but also for Chicago sports fans who are so emotionally invested in their teams.
“I'm a fan of Chicago sports myself and I enjoy watching and keeping up to date with all of it,” Samardzija said. “Obviously, the great run that's happened with hockey has been awesome and been really a big part of the city.
Adam Eaton said he feels for Rose, not only for the three successive knee injuries the guard has sustained, but also because of the frustration that has been unloaded toward the former MVP.
“Mentally, I bet you it’s very difficult,” Eaton said of Rose and his struggles to stay on the court. “You are getting a ton of heat from media and a ton of heat from your fan base. You are making a lot of money. It’s difficult. Physically getting back from that is difficult on its own, but mentally being able to battle that day in and day out with keeping the people around you tight and hearing the right things, it’s going to be key for him.
“Eventually, you gotta sit back and say this is still a human being. He has a family to go home to. He’s putting in the work to get back every time. You definitely feel for him.”
It may be a tiny consolation, but White Sox players hope that with both of the town’s baseball teams getting back on the field, maybe fans can temper their disappointment with a little optimism for the approaching spring and summer.
“Yeah, I think spring training brings hope for every team,” Samardzija said. “I think anytime there's preseason football, preseason basketball, every fan base is excited and the possibilities are endless. You've got to stay healthy through camp and through the season and if you want to have success late in the year it definitely helps to have all your guys healthy.”