- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Criticized in the past that he might prioritize his love of music over his baseball career, Jake Peavy will make some changes to his annual charity concert.
The event, which has been in partnership with San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito, will have a new look this year and will actually take place midseason in Chicago instead of in Arizona during spring training.
The springtime event, known as Wood Jock, did not take place last year. Zito isn't expected to be affiliated with the Chicago event.
"I had some people questioning my commitment to my team and if I was spending too much time on this or cared (more about it)," Peavy said. "In Chicago, it can be very narrowed down. Just me and my teammates are going to be there with the artists we have. The people running my foundation can put it together without me having to devote so much time to it.
"That was the biggest thing, and I wanted to get the season underway and get everything smoothly running, and I wanted to do something in the town I play in as well. So that was the biggest reason for me."
The event will be open to the public, with proceeds not only going to the multiple charities Peavy supports through his foundation, but also to the foundations of the musicians who will perform at the event.
Peavy would not give any hints to the artists that will be involved, but said there will be more than just country acts.
"It's going to be a mix of music," he said. "That's one thing about me. Obviously everybody labels me as a country guy, but I am very open to pretty much anything. I don't get into really hard-core rap music, but other than that I really dig it all. There will be something for everybody there, I can promise you that."
Peavy said the event likely will take place at Chicago's Joe's Bar on Weed St. An official date has not been chosen, but the event is expected to take place in June or July and likely will coincide with one of the team's days off at home.
The White Sox have off days on June 27 and July 1, with both of those coming during an eight-game homestand. Other off days in that time period are June 13, June 24 and July 8, but team travel commitments could affect those dates. The All-Star break is also during July but many teammates probably wouldn't be in town to attend at that time.
"I'll tell you, I'm as passionate about music as I am about baseball and down in my home in Alabama I have built this amphitheater, and I'm in the process of having this studio going in," Peavy said. "Those are some of my closest friends in the world, the people who write music and produce music and actually play it. To be able to tie that in a little bit with baseball and then also raise money through that cause is an awesome feeling and is always fun for me."
As of now, the working title of the event is "Jake Peavy and Friends." Time will tell if they find a new name that really sings.
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