Crede on his way back to Chicago
Former White Sox favorite to visit South Side with Twins
CHICAGO -- The code of silence shown by Brian Anderson on Thursday morning would make even the toughest of CIA agents proud.
If there is something special planned by the White Sox players for Joe Crede's return to U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, something of the practical joke variety, Anderson wasn't about to provide any sort of early hints.
"I have no comment," said Anderson with a smile, before going to take batting practice on Thursday. "I'm trying my best to pretend to stay out of it.
"It sounds pretty lame, but I'm pumped to see him. I'm excited for him because he's healthy and he's on a team where I know he's pumped to play on. I wish the best for him."
Anderson's sentiment toward Crede has been echoed by everyone throughout the organization, not to mention the throng of White Sox fans in attendance this weekend. Crede played parts of nine seasons on the South Side of Chicago and established himself as one of the top defensive third basemen in the game, as well as a top-flight clutch hitter.
Crede stood out as the team's Most Valuable Player from start to finish during the White Sox 12-game-run to the World Series title in 2005. But in a strange twist, a healthy Crede now is playing third base for the White Sox most heated American League Central rival from Minnesota and Josh Fields has taken over at third for the White Sox.
His back is healthy following a second surgical procedure, and Crede is getting his return to Chicago over in the first week of the season.
"Yeah, but at the same time I'm looking forward to it," said Crede, before the Twins' series finale against the Mariners Thursday. "You know a lot of them I've played with, like [Paul] Konerko and [Mark] Buehrle. I played with them for six years in Chicago and I played with Buehrle in the Minor Leagues as well. I just played with those guys for so long and I haven't seen them in a while. It would be a good chance to get back and see them.
"Everybody is always so busy right now worrying about their own stuff. I got a chance to say a few words here and there with Konerko, Anderson, and A.J. [Pierzynski] and stuff. We haven't really had a chance to talk much. I'm just looking forward to seeing them and hopefully coming out of there with three wins."
At 4:45 p.m. CT on Friday, Crede will meet with the Chicago and Minnesota media to discuss his career change. The White Sox will have some sort of video presentation in Crede's honor at approximately 6:45 p.m., and the fans figure to give Crede a rousing ovation even during his first at-bat.
Then, the White Sox hope to retire him in every at-bat to follow.
"Hopefully, he has a really bad weekend here and then goes out there and plays better," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Joe is very special in this house. In my heart, in my mind, that guy is a pro. I don't see anybody in this ballclub or anybody in this organization that has got anything bad to say about this kid. He's an organization guy, grew up in this organization. [Helped get us] a ring, play hard. I tip my hat to him."
As for any extra honors directed toward Crede, Anderson isn't budging. He does plan to make his presence known to Crede while he's playing defense a few feet from the White Sox dugout.
"The chances of me throwing gum at him while playing third is about 155 percent," Anderson said. "I'll be messing with him. You wish the best for him, but if he makes an error or does anything over at third base, I'll be letting him know. I just want to mock the heck out of him."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.