CHICAGO – For years, there were whispers about Adam Eaton and his shortcomings as a teammate.
They were out there before Eaton joined the White Sox in 2014, and the volume steadily rose during his turbulent three-year run on the South Side.
Todd Frazier went firmly on the record three weeks ago after almost getting into an on-field fight with Eaton during a Mets-Nationals game.
Afterward, Frazier didn’t try hiding his dislike for Eaton. The two were Sox teammates and locker neighbors in 2016 and fought at least twice in the clubhouse before Eaton relocated.
“Just immaturity,” Frazier said. “If you know Adam, every team he’s been on, you hear what people say, you understand it.
“Ask all 23 of those guys [on the 2016 White Sox], they know what happened.”
Back at Guaranteed Rate Field with Washington, Eaton told the Daily Herald that he is much different now at age 30 than he was in his mid-20s.
“Light years,” Eaton said. “For me, it’s life perspective. I have two children now, I’m married, I had a huge [knee] injury two years ago. Even family, my nephew had open heart surgery this year, so it’s like … it used to be just, ‘Me, game. Me, game. Me, game. Me, game.’
“Now, it’s like, it’s not about me. It’s about my family, health. I’ve changed a lot. You’ve got to go through hard times in order to appreciate it and gain an understanding and learn from your past.”
One thing he’s learned to do: block the outside noise. Eaton said he’s unaware of Frazier’s criticism and he also didn’t hear Ozzie Guillen say, “Nobody likes you in a White Sox uniform in the clubhouse.”
“I didn’t hear it, and I don’t need to hear it,” Eaton said. “My house is pretty quiet. I do Instagram, and that’s basically for my charity. No Twitter, which is good.
“When I was with the White Sox, I was usually on Twitter right after the game to see whatever. You have a bad game and you just go into a hole. Just a lot of wasted energy.”
Before he was traded to the Nationals for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and promising prospect Dane Dunning after the 2016 season, Eaton had no complaints about his time with the Sox.
“Coming to Chicago (in a trade from Arizona), first it was a big market,” Eaton said. “Second, I got to play every day. I was very excited. I really enjoyed my time here, really enjoyed Chicago, really enjoyed the front office and all the opportunities they gave me to play every day. It’s a heartfelt appreciation.”