Jose Abreu is a Mike Singletary like leader for the 2021 Chicago White Sox.
Heart. Dedication. Toughness. Those three things are the characteristics that endeared both Abreu and Singletary to fans and made each of them the consummate leaders on their respective teams. Singletary was the leader of arguably the greatest defense in NFL history.
He manned the middle linebacker spot with an aggressiveness and intelligence that stymied offenses. The defense was feared by opponents as symbolized by the look in Singletary’s eyes. You knew he meant business when he stepped into position and he delivered.
Abreu has been a steadying force in the White Sox lineup since coming to the majors in 2014. Once inserted into the lineup, pitchers had to account for his offensive abilities. Singletary produced in the middle of the defense and Abreu does the same in the heart of the White Sox lineup.
Toughness is a part of each guy’s makeup. Suffering an injury in football is nothing new and Singletary wasn’t about to let a thing like a missing finger keep him from playing. Abreu-while not having lost a digit- has had his fare share of painful moments on the diamond. Yet, he too, either was back soon after producing as usual or stayed in the game. Nothing was going to keep either guy from taking the field.
Both men are the calming forces management could trust to lead their teams. Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan knew Singletary was the quarterback of the defense and put his trust in him to execute the schemes he wanted by getting his teammates on the same page. In Abreu, LaRussa sees that same type of guy whose devotion to his craft makes him special to his teammates and the organization.