New Faces Providing Leadership For White Sox

New outfielder Jon Jay has a respected voice in the team's clubhouse.

Bruce Levine
March 12, 2019 - 1:49 pm
White Sox outfielder Jon Jay (45) hangs out with teammates.

Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- As the rebuilding White Sox look to return to respectability with more competitive play on the field, several new voices have vowed to provide leadership.

Right-hander Ivan Nova, reliever Alex Colome and outfielder Jon Jay are in their first seasons with Chicago, and none is afraid to speak up. Nova draws on his experience from playing for the Yankees from 2010-'16, pointing out that, "All the veteran guys in New York held you responsible."

"If I see something, I will say something right away," Nova said. "A lot of guys don't like to say something during the game. I will not wait. If somebody is pitching and you think you can help him out, I am not going to wait until after the game to let him know what he was doing. That makes no sense. You help your teammates now. If he gets mad, he gets mad. The next day won't help him win that day."

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Colome also relies on the past veterans who he has seen lead. He played five-and-a-half seasons in Tampa Bay before being moved to Seattle in the middle of last season.

"A leader is someone who guides you and sets the right tone with your group," Colome said. "Those people, like some of the teammates I had, help make the young guys better. That is what you need in a leader. A leader can get in your face and tell you things that you are probably doing wrong. Not everyone can do this. You need to understand and respect the guy, knowing he is doing the best for you and the team."

Jay has never been the best player on his team but has always been one of the most respected.

"I have always been able to get along with a large group of guys," Jay said. "I watched and learned over the years what other leaders did. I definitely like to be the guy to get the others together. I enjoy helping people. I believe we have already developed some good communication and bonding in a short time.

"Some guys are born being natural leaders. There is definitely a time and place for everything dealing with teammates. The more true leaders you have and are respected can make a huge difference. I think this is a direct correlation with teams that win. You watch the interaction with teams that win on and off the field are similar. There will be some tough conversations at times. That is just a part of 25 guys in a room striving for one goal."

As for the holdovers, infielder Yolmer Sanchez and first baseman Jose Abreu have been regarded as leaders for the White Sox. Sanchez leads with a fun-loving attitude, and he has a knack for communicating well with all his teammates.

"The leader to me is someone who will help you when you need help and wake you up when you need a push," Sanchez said. "There are not many of those guys who set an example as a player and person. This would be a guy who does everything right. Someone who has a good routine and gets here early every day. Be a good example of a team, especially a young team like ours. You see young guys who watch the room from the minor league side in spring training. They are looking for those leaders.

"You must build trust and respect with each other. That is the only way you can have a good conversation with a teammate without him taking it the wrong way. I really like taking to Jon Jay a lot already. We have a lot of really good guys that just came here."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.