Jake Peavy won the National League Cy Young Award while he was with the Padres in 2007. At the trade deadline he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox and is currently dealing with a partially torn ankle ligament (right). Peavy will make a rehab start against the PawSox on Thursday in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Dan and I had the opportunity to sit down with Peavy and go one on one. He is a thoughtful and articulate young guy. He’ll probably make a very good broadcaster when his playing days are over. Here is a portion of our conversation.
Jake, how’s the ankle feeling and how close are you to 100%?
I’m getting there. It’s certainly not 100%, whether it’s my ankle or my arm. I spent 6 weeks in a cast and a boot and I was not able to do any sort of leg workout. I’ve been out of the boot for about 2 weeks now. I’ve played some long toss. It’s a matter of getting out there and trying to help my new team. Get in the playoff chase, make a push, and maybe face your Boston Red Sox in October and have some good times.
Are you prepared for the contrast of “laid-back” San Diego compared to the intensity of Chicago and the great microscope you’ll be under?
I’m very excited about the passion of Chicago. I think anybody who’s watched me play knows I put more pressure on myself than anyone else could. I’m excited to be in a town that cares about its’ teams and takes its’ losses hard, because I take my losses hard. I’ll ride the “highs” with them. I am really excited about the opportunity. Yes, I am.”
In 2007, you were the Cy Young winner. You took the pitchers’ Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA. (19-6, 2.54, 240 K’s) What does it mean to you to be forever known as a Cy Young winner?
It’s a huge honor to be among the handful of people that have won the award. When you say that, it’s a great feeling. I know the first time I made an All Star team, Mark Loretta told me “They can never take this away from you. You are a Major League All Star and you’ll always be referred to as that.” To receive calls from former winners like Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux, multiple time winners, it’s a huge honor. I don’t take it lightly. Some day I’m sure I’ll look back on it. If that one is the only one sitting up there on the mantel, I know that it’s the same one that other greats have won. I feel blessed.
President Obama is obviously a big sports fan. He fills out the NCAA basketball tournament brackets, he plays golf whenever he can and he is the nations’ number one Chicago White Sox fan. Is there any added pressure knowing that the leader of the free world might get upset with you if you don’t get through the fifth inning?
He is our forty-fourth president and I wear number 44, so that takes it a step further. I understand that President Obama is a big White Sox fan and I am glad to have the leader of the country on board. He certainly did us well at the All Star game, going out there in his White Sox jacket, supporting the boys. I am certainly going to try to make the President of the United States proud.
Peavy has a very nice way about him and you can’t help but root for his success. After the microphone was turned off, he spoke a little bit further about his rehab. If he hadn’t been traded, the Padres were willing to let him recuperate for the rest of the season. The ChiSox, however, are in a pennant chase. Peavy is supposed to make 3 minor league starts. Thursday, he expects to throw about 50 pitches. He didn’t sound overly confident about his chances. Peavy noted that he was coming in cold and had lost about 2 inches from the circumference of his legs, due to inactivity. He seems more than willing to give it a try and that’s all the White Sox can really ask. Their hope is that Peavy wll be ready in time to face the Yankees on August 28. Peavy was candid saying that Chicago might be better off using young Carlos Torres instead, but he realizes that he carries the name value as a perennial All Star and former Cy Young recipient.