Late Friday, catcher Yasmani Grandal said the White Sox thought about not playing their series opener against the Royals. He said the main reason they did was because it was Jackie Robinson Day.
On Saturday, shortstop Tim Anderson echoed that.
‘‘Yesterday was a huge day, especially for [Black] culture,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘Jackie Robinson did so much on and off the field, so we definitely wanted to play yesterday.
‘‘There’s a lot of negative things that have been going on, so being able to play brings positives and makes me happy, a place that I can be happy and bring a lot of excitement and hopefully put on a show for people to put a smile on their face.’’
The game Friday was the Sox’ first since teams from across all sports sat out in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, last Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Anderson said he didn’t speak with the media Friday because he was ‘‘lost for words, being hurt and going through such a tough time.’’ But playing has been therapeutic for him during a trying 2020.
‘‘Just being on the field is definitely a positive,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I kind of get away from so much negative and kind of get in a bubble to enjoy life and just enjoy the moment. I definitely wanted to play.’’
Dyson likes what he sees
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson said he saw something in the Sox when he opposed them as a member of the Pirates this season.
What he witnessed was much different from when he faced them as a member of the Royals a few years ago.
‘‘I watched them take BP, take ground balls, and you saw a team that was loose and full of confidence,’’ Dyson said. ‘‘You can tell when they took the field against us when I was with Pittsburgh, they came out swinging the bat, playing defense, pitching, and you’re like, ‘Wow, this team here has really developed an environment and a culture.’ Because I played against these guys when I was with the Royals, and it was a little different. You see the difference now, and it’s a big difference.’’
Dyson, who was acquired Friday from the Pirates for international-signing-bonus pool money, figures to provide the Sox with a late-inning defensive replacement, speed on the bases and championship experience from his role on the 2015 Royals.
Dyson said playing selfishly ‘‘goes out the window when you have something to fight for,’’ which the Sox do now.
‘‘It’s just staying focused, and every at-bat matters,’’ Dyson said. ‘‘Every pitch matters when you are going down that stretch. Every game matters.’’
Sox manager Rick Renteria said that reliever Aaron Bummer (strained left biceps) has been playing catch and feeling better and that starter Carlos Rodon (soreness in left shoulder) will throw a three-inning, 60-pitch simulated game Sunday in Schaumburg.
Right-hander Dane Dunning will start the series finale Sunday against the Royals.