Scorpions crash White Sox big league camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Perhaps the Chicago White Sox will embrace their new creepy-crawly visitors and create the “Rally Scorpion.”

A handful of scorpions were found at the team’s spring training facility this weekend, and while it technically can’t yet be called an invasion or even an infestation, the creatures have raised some eyebrows.

Reliever Jesse Crain approached a reporter Sunday morning to ask about the scorpions, which are known to deliver a painful sting when they come into contact with humans.

“I’ve never liked spiders, but at least spiders, for the most part, can’t sting you,” said Crain, who added that being from Houston he doesn’t have much of a history with scorpions. “You’re always a little worried, especially for your kids’ sake.”

Scorpions tend to like cool, dark places to live, so their presence can often be hard to detect.

Looking for a voice of reason on the subject, Jeff Samardzija offered his take. As a former member of the Chicago Cubs, who also train in the desert, the pitcher has lived in the Phoenix area off and on since becoming a major leaguer. He has plenty of experience with the arthropods.

“They’re not big deal really,” Samardzija said. “As long as they’re dead and on your floor, you can pick them up. But you always have to check your shoes is what it is. Every morning when you go to put on your shoes, shake them out to make sure there are no albino scorpions in there.”

Samardzija, who just purchased a new home in the Phoenix-area foothills, said he is more concerned with cougars, mountain lions and javelinas, “especially when taking out the trash at night” he said. For visitors to the desert who want to check for scorpions, Crain offered a tip.

“At night, under a black light, they glow like they’re full of radiation,” Crain said. “I still need to buy a black light to see if they’re out there.”