What we heard from the Cubs and White Sox in the All-Star Game, including Willson Contreras' "experience we'll never forget"

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Willson and William Contreras sat back-to-back in booths Monday afternoon in Dodger Stadium’s Center Field Plaza, taking questions from reporters.

On Tuesday, the brothers will be batting back-to-back in the All-Star Game.

Willson, the catcher for the Chicago Cubs, is sixth in the National League lineup. William of the Atlanta Braves ranks seventh as the designated hitter.

“This is one of a lifetime,” Willson said on the day of All-Star training. “This is an experience we will never forget. This is amazing for me and my family. Very proud of what we have done together.

“And hopefully we can continue like this. I hope it’s not just one. Hopefully we can spend more All-Star Games together.”

William didn’t know how the lineup was until a reporter asked him about it.

“That was something we talked about (Sunday night) at dinner,” William said through an interpreter. “It’s really a happy thing for us to share.”

It’s the first time since Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1992 that the brothers will start an All-Star Game together.

Willson’s Cubs teammate Ian Happ an All-Star for the first timepredicted “many tears.”

“It’s going to be great for them,” Happ said. “Just seeing them in the clubhouse being able to greet each other. What a really special moment for those two to be able to put on the same All-Star jersey and share that field.”

Late in Monday’s press session, William walked up to his older brother’s booth and the two answered questions.

“We saw each other last night and we hugged each other and said, ‘We finally made it,'” Willson said. “It was a dream come true. I’m very proud of my brother because I’ve shared a lot of experiences with him and he’s making the adjustments at the right time. That’s why I think he deserves to be in the All-Star Game.”

The White Sox shortstop doesn’t have a particular NL pitcher he’d like to face.

“It doesn’t matter,” Anderson said with a smile. “I just want to get in the box.”

Voted the American League’s starting shortstop, Anderson is the No. 7 hitter in the AL lineup. He is his second All-Star and his first start. He was on deck when he finished the ninth inning last year at Denver. This year he’s in line for at least one plate appearance.

“It means a lot,” Anderson said of being a starter. “It hasn’t happened in more than 50 years of White Sox history. (Luis Aparicio in 1970), so it’s definitely a blessing. It is definitely a dream come true.

“I never imagined starting or even being in an All-Star Game. I will always be grateful”.

Anderson thanked the fans for their support.

“The class is deep,” Anderson said. “Shortstop is a hot position and for me to be able to start is crazy. I’m just having fun and enjoying the moment.”

While the Sox fell short of expectations in the first half, they’ve won five of their last six before the All-Star break. That included taking three of four against first place Minnesota Twins to be within three games of the AL Central standings.

“It was definitely great to finish that way against a good baseball club,” Anderson said. “You saw what they did to us when they came to our place (the Twins won two of three from July 4-6). Hopefully we’ll keep playing that way and hopefully we’ll get back to this.”

During last year’s All-Star Monday at Coors Field, Kris Bryant answered questions about his future with the Cubs.

Contreras and Happ, the representatives for this year’s Cubs, answered similar questions Monday.

Contreras, an impending free agenthe was asked if it had crossed his mind that his third All-Star appearance might be his last as a Cub.

“It’s not like I hadn’t thought about it,” he said. “But this is my third time as a Cubs player and I am very proud and grateful because the Chicago Cubs were the first team to see me in Venezuela. They were the first team that gave me the opportunity to be a professional baseball player and I will always be grateful no matter what.

“No matter what the future holds, no matter what the outcome is, I feel like Chicago will always be my home, even if I end up playing in a different city.”

Happ is a free agent after the 2023 season.

“The connection I have to Chicago, the city, the organization, I wear this jersey every day,” he said. “Wrigley Field is a place you go to work and it’s pretty special.”

When asked what he learned from watching his former teammates navigate through uncertainty, Happ said, “What I learned from that, as hard as it was to lose friends, those guys still play baseball and they’re doing very well.” right.

“Joc (Pederson is) an All-Star. (Anthony Rizzo) has (22) home runs before the break. Kris is happy where he is, Javy (Baez) is happy where he is. The guys end up being good and playing baseball and still having a great time.”

As for the present, Happ is having a great time sharing the All-Star experience with his family.

“Words cannot express how amazing it is to be able to share that with family and those people who have been there through it all,” he said. “They have been there through the big times, when I was playing as a kid, all the journeys and the struggles all the way. So to be able to enjoy this together is very, very special.”

The Sox closer learned Sunday morning that he had been added to the list of stars of the AL. A great deal of planning quickly followed.

“Trying to figure out the flights, trying to figure out my parents’ flights, trying to get the dogs to the sitters and someone to take care of the cats,” Hendriks said. “My wife, who was in Chicago at the time, comes here. Her flight was delayed, she booked another flight to make sure she arrived on time.

He added with a smile, “Other than that, it’s been fun.”

Hendriks wasn’t needed in relief Sunday as the Red Sox beat the Twins 11-0 at Target Field.

“So I didn’t have to worry about adding stress and throwing as well,” he said.

Hendriks said all the last-minute planning paid off.

“Without a doubt,” he said. “You go through stress levels of that, it’s always an honor to be here and experience this. Whether it’s the first day (listed) or the last day, it’s always an honor to come here and represent the White Sox in consecutive years.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.