Casting the Chicago White Sox As AMC’s Mad Men
Jul 8, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) takes the field for batting practice prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Don Draper: 1B Jose Abreu
Don Draper. He doesn’t say much, but when does, people listen. He doesn’t have as long of a history with the firm as the other partners. Bert Cooper and Roger Sterling had both been doing just fine before Draper showed up. After they split with Sterling Cooper Advertising to form Sterling Cooper & Partners, Don didn’t even get his name on the mantle. It’s not that didn’t deserve it, it’s that he didn’t care. Make no mistake, SC&P doesn’t succeed without Draper.
Draper is deliberate. He picks a direction and stays the course. He is also flawed. His past is a mystery and his alcoholism is problematic. His competitiveness drives him to do whatever he needs to do to win. Whether he is competing for an account or the attention of a particular female, Draper won’t be denied.
Jose Abreu was signed by the White Sox prior to the 2014 season. White Sox fans are sure glad that he was. He’s cordial and soft-spoken, but his actions on the field speak loud and clear. He’s the probable 2014 American league Rookie of the Year. His stats, however, are more reminiscent of the “Big Hurt,” Frank Thomas, in his prime than a rookie. Abreu finished his first MLB season batting .317 with 36 home runs, 107 RBI, and a .964 OPS. Despite all the young talent on the White Sox roster, it became clear very quickly Abreu was the indispensable piece needed to build a championship contender around.
Abreu was born in Cuba and, like many Cuban players, his journey to the MLB is clouded in secrecy. We don’t know what Abreu went through in order to gain his citizenry in a country other than Cuba before becoming an eligible free agent. Whatever it was, I know it probably wasn’t easy. My mother’s family immigrated to South Florida from Cuba in 1962. I used to sit and listen to my grandmother tell her family’s story. I hope someday soon Abreu will tell us his.
Abreu is the guy. It’s Abreu’s team now. As he goes, so go the Sox. If he’s on fire, the offense will click; if his ankle is hurting, the team will be hurting. It’s a big responsibility for a sophomore, but judging by his determination, I think he’ll do just fine. If anyone should fill the lead role in this group of Mad Men, there’s no way it shouldn’t be Jose.
*All advanced statistic provided by baseball-reference.com