CHICAGO – Filmmaker Spike Lee, clad in a New York Yankees jersey, created a stir as he walked into Jake Peavy’s news conference Saturday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.
If Peavy noticed Lee, he didn’t show it. He was too excited talking about his future with the White Sox.
“I’ve never been more happy to be in a place where they’re committed to winning,” Peavy said. “I feel honored to put this uniform on with the other great players I just had a chance to meet in that clubhouse.”
Peavy’s flight to Chicago arrived a couple of hours before Saturday’s game against the Yankees. He shook hands with Sox general manager Ken Williams and watched the game from the dugout in his No. 44 jersey.
The Sox had acquired Peavy 24 hours earlier, waking the Cy Young Award winner from a nap to agree to the deal. The Sox shipped Clayton Richard and three minor-league pitchers to San Diego for Peavy, who has three years and $52 million remaining on his contract with a $22 million option for 2013.
The Sox and Padres had agreed to the same five-player trade in May, but Peavy opted to stay. The Padres were in the middle of a 10-game winning streak at that time, and the Sox were six games below .500.
“This time around, obviously, those things were different,” Peavy said.
Peavy, 28, said he could return within three or four weeks from a strained tendon in his right ankle, which forced him to the disabled list June 13. He played catch Saturday and hoped to pitch off a mound this week.
Besides his Padres teammates, Peavy said, he would miss hitting the most. He joked that he might ask for pinch-hit appearances from Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, whose passion to win excited Peavy.
“You can’t ask for anything more than a manager who wants to win and will do anything possible to win,” Peavy said. “I’m excited for sure. [It will be] crazy at times, but it will be fun if we do what we’re supposed to do.”
Extra innings: Shortstop Alexei Ramirez (ankle) will not be available until Tuesday or Wednesday against the Angels, Guillen said. … The Sox recalled right-handed relief pitcher Jhonny Nunez from Triple-A Charlotte and optioned infielder Brent Lillibridge. … Bobby Jenks pitched a scoreless inning Saturday after missing the previous two games because of kidney stones.