BOBBY SWEET BY ANY NAME


Posted Friday, August 11th 2006, 12:00 AM

CHICAGO - There is another nickname for Bob Kelly Abreu that is much more meaningful than simply "Bobby." In Venezuela, Abreu is known as "El Comedulce" - loosely translated to mean, "He eats sweets" - because that is what his father, Nelson, was called. Nelson Abreu died when Bobby was 19, and shortly thereafter, Abreu said, he began asking people to call him the same name as a way of honoring his father's memory. "We had a very close relationship," Abreu said yesterday. "He meant a lot to me. He taught me about life and about baseball. This is just one way to remember him." Abreu, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored in Yanks' 5-4 loss to White Sox yesterday, said he did not know exactly where his father's nickname came from. He admitted that it is "a little different" but smiled and added, "It was just what people called him. I am proud when people call me it." While few people in the United States know about Bobby being called by the same nickname, it is Abreu's calling card in Venezuela. A quick scan of Spanish-language newspapers and Web sites shows that Abreu is frequently referred to as "Bob (El Comedulce) Abreu" in reports and stories. Most recent dispatches about Abreu have focused on his smooth transition from the Phillies to the Yankees. Since being traded to the Bronx on July 30, Abreu is 15-for-37 (.405) and has shown his trademark patience at the plate. Abreu also showed some of his power on Wednesday night, hitting his first home run since June 13 when he crushed a changeup from Jon Garland over the center-field fence. That snapped a drought of 163 at-bats without a homer - a career-high for Abreu. "There's been so much talk about it," Torre said. "I'm sure it's one of those things where that first one gets out of the way and you forget about it."