CHICAGO – In what could have been his last home start in a Chicago White Sox uniform, Jake Peavy made sure that he was dressed for the occasion.
Instead of picking white pinstripes, or black tops and white pants, Peavy went off the board Thursday and selected the White Sox’s 1983 throwback uniforms that are reserved for Sunday home games.
Like those red, white, and blue duds, Peavy stood out as well, giving up four runs on just four hits in a 7-4 victory over the Tigers and opposing starter Justin Verlander.
“I wanted to wear it; I never (pitched in) it,” Peavy said. “Last year I never made a start on Sunday and didn’t get to pitch in those (1972 throw back jerseys), and we all know the situation and I hadn’t pitched in these, and these are so cool. When (clubhouse manager) Vinny (Fresso) asked me if we were wearing black or white, I said ‘How about those? Let’s get the Sunday uniform out.’ And I appreciate (manager) Robin (Ventura) letting me wear it.’’
If that doesn’t sound like a guy who thinks he’s going to get traded, how about the fact that Peavy already has a couple of suitcases packed and sitting by the door … just in case.
“You know, I certainly have things in order if I was to get traded,” Peavy said. “When you get traded, you don’t get two or three days to get there. You have to get up and go. We won’t be caught off guard for sure. Hopefully that’s for naught but we’ll see how it plays out.
Now the waiting game begins. Peavy could still make one more start for the White Sox on Tuesday at Cleveland, one day before the deadline. Or he could be on his way before ever getting to decide what he and his White Sox teammates will wear next time out.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox have been reported this week to have shown interest in Peavy, and the Atlanta Braves could come knocking as well after Tim Hudson suffered a broken ankle Wednesday night. The Braves have had a scout watching White Sox games the entire homestand.
Then again, a report also surfaced this week that said the White Sox have not completely committed to the idea that they will move Peavy for prospects.
With a thin pool of players available on the trade market, Peavy figures to be a hot commodity over the next week and is widely believed to be the best pitcher to be had now that the Cubs have traded Matt Garza.
“I don't want him to go,” manager Robin Ventura said. “I enjoy him being on our team; I know what he means. I don’t make that decision so again, I’m kind of the guy that appreciates him being on our team right now and I hope he's here through next year, too.”
A fierce competitor, who’s biggest flaw might be that he can’t always tell when it’s the proper time to back down, the right-hander has the respect from his teammates.
“He's a big part of this team and he's a veteran leader and sets examples for a lot of guys,” said Tyler Flowers, who had the privilege to catch Peavy on Thursday. “He's a guy that's helped me since he came over. We've worked together a fair bit and I love catching him. If that does happen (that he is traded) we wish him the best, of course, and he'll definitely be missed here and especially in the clubhouse.”
Peavy’s determination showed Thursday. He gave up just four hits to a lineup that remains imposing even without Miguel Cabrera, who missed the last three games with a hip injury. But Peavy also gave up four runs on three home runs.
Once again, it was Peavy’s never-back-down mantra that was on display.
“He was pretty good,” Flowers said. “He was better than four runs but in those situations you don't want to walk guys and create momentum for the other team and then they put the ball in play and then hit it out. No big deal. He did a good job competing all day.”
If this is the end Peavy certainly won’t leave with any regrets. A lasting memory will be the ovations he received when leaving the field in the seventh and eighth innings.
“It was very humbling,” said Peavy, who acknowledged the crowd with a quick wave as he left the game in the eighth. “It was emotional for me. If it was the last time I pitch here at U.S. Cellular, with this uniform on, it was a nice way to go out. It meant the absolute world to me. I hope everyone knows that.”
Peavy says he has no idea what will happen in the coming days, but you get the idea he has a clue one way more than the other.
“I’ve talked to (GM) Rick (Hahn) a little bit,” Peavy said. “We’ll just have to sit and wait. I really can’t put words in his mouth and my gut feeling tells me I could be traded or I could be a part of this going forward. Either way, I’ll be OK. I’m a big boy and understand the situation.
“I’ll be happy to stay here and be the best teammate I can be, grind it out the rest of the season and make sure we keep playing hard and show up to win every day. If I get traded, I’ll give the boys a big hug and I’m sure a few tears will be shed, leaving the friendships here. I’ll go play as hard as I can to help the next ballclub I’m on. I’m just going to take it in and we’ll see how the next few days play out.”