A Very Good Off Day
You have to appreciate an off day that includes losses by Minnesota and Cleveland with a little golf mixed in. With those losses, we wake up this morning with a 10 1/2 game lead over the Twins and a 12-game lead over the Indians. Detroit is 17 games out at 40-43. But believe me, no one in the clubhouse has counted anyone out. Repeat with me the Chicago sports mantra, "It is only July 8 and there is plenty of baseball yet to be played."
Frank Thomas was really struggling physcially during batting practice, limping on his foot. He came into the clubhouse with sweat dripping off him, took off his shoes with a grimace and sat down.
"Does it hurt you constantly?" I asked him.
"Yes, pretty much," he said. "Some days are better than others. It’s really bothering me today."
"Is it the kind of thing where if you are home on the couch it hurts? Can you go out in the driveway and shoot baskets with your son?"
"It pretty much hurts all the time. The doctors say it could be like this for awhile … maybe until I retire," he said with a smile and a laugh.
I was there to ask him about taking part in an ESPN The Magazine photo shoot that many of the players are doing Friday and Saturday.
"I would, but I have been coming in early and undergoing a couple of hours of therapy with Herm (Schneider) to get ready to play," Frank said. "So I don’t think I can."
Of course, he then went out an hit a mammoth home run that night.
The biggest news Wednesday may have come in the last inning when Bobby Jenks made his major-league debut with a scoreless frame. Jenks, who throws in the high 90s, could make an impact in the Sox bullpen during the second half of the season.
Bobby, his wife and two little ones were leaving the ballpark at the same time I was.
"Congratulations," I offered. "That had to be a night you will never forget."
"Thanks," Bobby replied. "To be honest, I was just numb out there. I couldn’t feel a thing."
I relayed this story to Ed Farmer yesterday and asked him about his debut.
"I think I hit two batters and walked three," Ed said. "It was at Yankee Stadium. Then, I told myself, ‘This is where you wanted to be. This is what you worked so hard to achieve. You belong here.’"
In response to yesterday’s attacks in London, we have received several media calls inquiring about security changes at our ballpark. We always decline to discuss specifics, for what we hope are obvious reasons, but I can assure all our fans that our stadium operations and security personnel are in communication with MLB, as well as national, state and local law enforcement officials to make sure we are working jointly to make the experience at U.S. Cellular Field safe and secure. If anything, yesterday again underscores the importance of vigilance and security, not just for law enforcement officials, MLB and the team, but for fans, as well. We need fans to be alert to the surroundings and contact any White Sox employee if anything seems amiss. Unfortunately, this is the world we currently inhabit.
I am sure I speak for everyone in saying our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families hurt yesterday in the random London attacks.
Since this is much more important than baseball, maybe I misnamed today’s blog. Maybe it wasn’t such a good day.