‘It’s nice to be able to appreciate these moments’ – The Mercury News


Tim Anderson is a batting champion and two-time All-Star.

The Chicago White Sox shortstop added another achievement to the roster as a member of Team USA for the World Baseball Classic.

“In order for me to enter this phase of my career, it’s only right that I play for Team USA and do something cool,” Anderson recently told the Tribune. “Few people can do that.

“And it’s even better – I have a USA jersey, so that’s great.”

Anderson, 29, is one of three Sox players on Team USA, along with starter Lance Lynn and reliever Kendall Graveman. Their first game is on Saturday against Team Britain in their Group C game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

“It’s cool to be able to appreciate those moments and let people around you see those moments and you have things to show,” Anderson said.

Anderson appeared in six Cactus League games this spring before heading to Team USA camp. In an exhibition game on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, he went 1-4 with a double and a run as leadoff in a 6-0 victory in the United States.

“I’m really impressed with Tim Anderson,” said Sox head coach Pedro Grifol. “He wants to be big. He practices to be big. He has a great attitude. He’s a winner. He has an advantage. I admired him from the other side. Big moment.”

Grifol has spent the previous 10 seasons in various coaching roles with the Kansas City Royals. The teams have had their beefs, including the Royals opposing Anderson’s bat flip during a 2019 match.

“I know KC and the White Sox had their deal, but even back then I looked up to him from the other side,” Grifol said. “I just think this game needs to be played with leverage. And he brings — he brings that advantage.

“Whenever I meet a player like that, I admire the player. Especially when he trains and plays the way he plays, which for me is a very difficult game”.

Second baseman Elvis Andrus also noticed these features from a distance.

“We have the same mindset of showing up and dominating,” Andrus said. “That’s what I tell my teammates. I don’t care what you do, how you prepare, it’s up to you, it’s your career. But as long as we have the same mindset to show up and we’re all pulling in the same way, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s been really easy. In addition to being talented, he is a very good human being.”

Teammates know what Anderson brings to the table and are happy to have him back at the top of the lineup after his 2022 season was cut short due to injury.

“Tim means a lot to us,” said outfielder Gavin Sheets. “He is our spark plug. He is our energy. Obviously an unbelievable player too.

“Excited to have him back. He’s energized, he’s ready to go and just one more piece towards the full health we have this year, that’s exciting.

Anderson had some highs last season, including being named an All-Star for the first time in his career. 301/0.339/0.395 – his fourth straight season with a batting average above .

But he was limited to 79 games last season after suffering a sagittal band tear in his left middle finger. The injury occurred during a ninth-inning hit on August 6 against the Texas Rangers. It turned out to be his last game of the season.

Anderson said he missed “just competing”.

“Looking for that pitch you can smash,” he said. “There’s nothing like being on time and waiting for your pitch to hit. To the point of climbing (up to the plate) and simply embracing everything. From the fans to being on a big league field with some of the best of all time.

“It definitely feels good to be back competing and just enjoying it.”


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