GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu agreed to a six-year, $68 million deal with the White Sox in October, and a throng of media came to U.S Cellular Field for his opening news conference.
Abreu arrived at Spring Training, and the story repeated itself. The same pattern followed for his first Cactus League start, his first Cactus League hit and his first home run, which came Thursday in Surprise.
The big first baseman understands the attention and doesn't mind the constant focus during his first camp. He grew accustomed to that sort of interest as a standout player in Cuba.
"I don't like to talk a lot, you know, but I understand that everybody has a job, and I'm all about what I need to do to help them do their job," said Abreu through translator and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "Those are things you don't control.
"They're external, but I think they are beautiful. They're good things for me to do. They're part of this, and I'm always open to them."
Abreu's blast to right Thursday came on a first-pitch fastball from Kansas City's Brad Penny. But he certainly doesn't label himself as a home run hitter.
"I'm a guy who does the normal work every day, and I try to do the little things to help the team and do my best every day," said Abreu, who got his home run ball back. "I'm not looking for home runs, but when they come out, they're well taken."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.