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José Abreu honors Eloy Jiménez with red batting gloves originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Eloy Jiménez has called his relationship with José Abreu not dissimilar from the one between a son and a father.
So it made sense that Abreu made a family-style tribute to his injured teammate during Sunday's spring training game.
The White Sox clubhouse leader came to bat in the first inning with a pair of red batting gloves in his back pocket, Jiménez's signature red batting gloves, as an apparent shoutout to the left fielder, who will miss months after rupturing his pectoral tendon Wednesday.
Abreu, of course, is a mentor to the team's young stars, especially young Spanish-speaking players such as Jiménez, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert. Jiménez has said Abreu has been "like a dad" to him during the early years of his major league career, and indeed, Abreu has acted like a proud papa as these and other young White Sox stars have broken out and helped vault the team into contention mode.
Abreu has long been lauded as a role model and example for those youngsters as they made their way to the big leagues during the White Sox rebuild, a big part of the reason everyone around the organization took such pleasure in seeing him win the American League MVP Award last year.
That included Jiménez, who said he cried when Abreu won.
"When they announced that," Jiménez said on the White Sox Talk Podcast, "I was talking with my dad about it, like, 'I think he’s going to win it, I think he’s going to win the MVP.' And when I heard he won the MVP, I was just crying because I felt like it was me.
"He’s so special for me, that I felt like it was me winning the MVP."
Now it's Abreu giving a tip of the cap — or a tip of the batting gloves, rather — to Jiménez as the younger of the two White Sox sluggers spends time recovering from injury, another example of how tight Abreu is with his teammates in the White Sox clubhouse.
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