Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday)

On your feat: Down-and-clout magic


Now there’s something you don’t see every day.

Rookie center fielder Luis Robert homered to center field against Carlos Rodon in the White Sox’ intrasquad game Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field. That was one thing. Doing it while falling down is another. It was a sight to see, which tens of thousands have by now thanks to social media, the right-handed-hitting Robert twisting on his follow-through, losing his balance and tumbling over and through the left-handed batter’s box.

For a moment, it was a scary sight, but Robert gracefully picked up his helmet and took a home-run trot around the bases while Rodon tossed his glove in the air. “He’s a special talent,” said bench coach

Joe McEwing, who’s in charge of the club while manager Rick Renteria is away for a funeral. “He’s the kind of individual you will pay to watch play. You can come to the ballpark and understand he has the chance to do something special every day in every aspect of his game, whether it’s running, playing defense, throwing or hitting.”

Robert has the kind of talent worth buying a ticket to see, but his career will start in empty stadiums, which hitting coach Frank

Menechino said might not be all bad. Should he go into an 0-for-10 streak, playing with no fans would allow him “to ease into it and get comfortabl­e with it and to really check and see where he’s at,” Menechino said.

“I would have loved to see 162 games, so he could make adjustment­s and stuff, but it is what it is, and I think he’s just going to go out there, actually see what it’s about,” Menechino said. “He’s going to go out there and be Luis Robert. We’re going to see what he can do. It’s going to be a great test for him.”

Robert appeared in a LeBron James

Lakers jersey and gold chains for his Zoom conference call after the intrasquad game. Someone asked if he’s trying to be as dominant as James.

“I think that every athlete has that in mind,” he said. “When you see what other athletes have done in whatever sport they’re playing, it’s something you use to motivate yourself.”

Robert wasn’t the only player who went deep. Nomar Mazara, Zack Collins and

Adam Engel also homered. But Robert’s blast stole the show. He was expecting an off-speed pitch but got a fastball inside.

“That was pretty impressive,” said Rodon, making his first ‘‘start’’ since coming off Tommy John surgery last year. “Honestly, I didn’t think that ball would get out. . . . I went in, and I didn’t think he’d get to it. He fell over in the process and still hit it out. I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Intrasquad­s streamed and televised

Starting Monday, the Sox’ intrasquad scrimmages from Guaranteed Rate Field will be streamed on the MyTeams app, and on Wednesday and Thursday, the scrimmages also will be aired in prime time on NBC Sports Chicago, in addition to streaming on the MyTeams app.

Jason Benetti will be in the booth with Chuck Garfien.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States