July 2005

Sunday Pregame Notes

Sunday, July 24, 2005, 12:59 pm

Today’s Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, RF … Konerko, DH … Pierzynski, C … Rowand, CF … Gload, 1B … Crede, 3B … Ozuna, SS … Contreras, RHP.

Dye Update

Dye_2 Jermaine is much better today and could have started.  Ozzie will hold him out one more day to make sure.

Heat

If you are coming to the game, please be aware of the heat and be smart.  We have added rain rooms and cooling stations around the ballpark.

Busy Time

Rumors abound at this time of the year and possible trade scenarios circulate with names floating around left and right.  I think most Sox fans know Ken Williams’ track record and know if there is something going on, we will either be in the middle of it, or looking for ways to take advantage of its fallout.  Ken will not travel with the team this next week but will remain in Chicago and his "war room" at the ballpark where the walls are filled with scenarios, rosters of other teams and rosters of future White Sox teams.  This week will be exciting.  Let’s see if we can get something done to improve our club.

Tonight’s Lineup

Saturday, July 23, 2005, 2:54 pm

Tonight’s White Sox lineup against Wade Miller of Boston:

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … Konerko, 1B … AJ, C … Rowand, CF … Perez, RF … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … El Duque, RHP.

Five more Grinder Rules for your entertainment:

Grinder Rule #4 … Knowking what’s coming and hitting what’s coming — not the same thing.

Grinder Rule #18 … NEVER be late for the National Anthem.  No matter what nation you’re from.

Grinder Rule #33 … The only way to get out of the hole yoCrackerjacksu dig yourself is to dig deeper.

Grinder Rule #44 … There is more to baseball than peanuts and cracker jacks.

Grinder Rule #58 … In the unlikely event an opposing player turns a lucky swing into a home run here at U.S. Cellular Field — home of the White Sox — and an unsuspecting fan catches said ball, he or she should NOT throw the ball back onto the field of play.

(Note: our advice, find a kid instead and make their day).

Tonight’s Lineup

Friday, July 21, 3:33 pm

Against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield:

Pods, LF … Rowand, CF … Everett, DH … Konerko, 1B … Pierzynski, C … Crede, 3B … Perez, RF … Uribe, SS … Harris, 2B … Garland, RHP.

Jennie Finch and TWIB

Scott Podsednik came in early today Jenniefinch to tape a segment with TWIB’s Jennie Finch on basestealing.  I asked if he took a few swings against her …

"Are you kidding?" he said.  "They asked me if I wanted to and I said, ‘No thanks.’  I should have said I would hit against her if she would race me in a 40-yard dash."

Grinder Rules

Grinder Rule #3 … Grass stains.  Dirt stains.  Mud stains.  Blood stains.

Superman Grinder Rule #19 … Flying does not make you superman.  Getting up and making the throw to first, now that makes you superman.

Grinder Rule #37 … Never walk.  Even when you walk.

Grinder Rule #55 … It’s called stepping up to the plate for a reason.

Morning News

Friday, July 21, 2005, 11:59 am

Attendance Notes

We came close but fell short of a sellout last night.  A few thousand tickets do remain for tonight’s game (as well as Sunday), so if you are thinking about attending, go on-line now to purchase. 

Gload/Frank

We will know sometime early this afternoon if Frank Thomas has to go on the disabled list with inflammation in his left ankle.  If so, Ross will be added to the roster in time for tonight’s game.

Dye

Those insect bites on JermaineSpidey Dye’s leg evidently came from a spider while the team was in Cleveland.  According to Ken Williams, Dye’s leg looks "grotesque" from the multiple bites, which have become infected.  He may still be available tonight depending on how he responds to medicine. 

Lineup Change

Thursday, July 20, 2005, 5:55 pm

Lineup Change

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … Konerko, 1B … Pierzynski, C … Rowand, CF … Perez, RF … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … Buehrle, LHP.

Jermaine Dye was scratched from the lineup with infected bug bites on the back of his leg.  Evidently, they became infected when he slid in one game.  He wanted to play tonight, but Ozzie wanted to rest him.  My guess is he will be available to pinch hit if needed.

Ticket Availability

Thursday, July 20, 2005, 2:30 pm

Ticket Availability

I will keep everyone updated on this, but this morning, we had just a few thousand tickets left for tonight and tomorrow.  No tickets remain for Saturday, and just two thousand for Sunday.

If you do plan to attend, please act immediately, and I suggest by going on-line at whitesox.com.  We expect all four games to sell out … which would mean six out of seven games on the homestand would be sell outs, with the seventh attracting over 31,000.  Way to go, Sox fans!

Pregame Info

Thursday, July 21, 2005, 1 pm

Tonight’s Lineup Against the Red Sox

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Everett, DH … Konerko, 1B … Rowand, CF … Dye, RF … Pierzynski, C … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … Buehrle, LHP.

Joe Crede’s Hands

Someone on the blog asked, so I checked with Joe about his not wearing batting gloves …

He was surprised anyone noticed, but he made the change before Monday’s game at the suggestion of Paul Konerko.  The change was based more on superstition and changing his routine than anything baseball related.  Given how he has been swinging the bat the last few days, my guess is he will remain bare-handed for awhile.

Grinder Rules

Someone else asked about a list of "Grinder Rules."  For those of you living outside the Chicago area, a portion of our advertising campaign this summer has focused on Grinder Rules.  Our team tries to represent the values of Chicago and Chicagoans:  you work hard, show up on time every day, take pride in what you do and let others do the talking (like, in some cases, Ozzie) … You do that, you are a "Grinder."  A couple of years ago, Ken Williams explained that those were the type of players he was hoping to get for his team because he felt like you win with those types of people/players.

Anyway, the idea by Two by Four, our advertising agency, was to create fun (yet reinforcing) Grinder Rules and use these in our campaign (which has been well received, by the way).  So you have seen these in television spots, on billboards, on the sides of buses, in radio commercials … hopefully, everywhere.

So someone asked for a list of Grinder Rules.  As a trick to make everyone keep coming back to this blog, I am going to list a few a day.  I would love to hear what readers think of them (and if you and your friends come up with any of your own).

Grinder Rule #1 … Win.  Or die trying.

Grinder Rule #11 … When jumping on the White Sox band wagon, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, keep your hands and arms inside the wagon at any time.

Grinder Rule #23 … When all is said and done, make sure you done more than you said.

Grinder Rule #39 … Be a Man.  Play like a Boy.

Grinder Rule #45 … Respect the past, people who are shoeless, and anyone named Joe.

Battle of the Sox

Since the start of 2003, 13 of the 15 games between the White Sox and Red Sox have been decided by three runs or less, 10 by two runs or less and seven by one run … we have gone extra innings twice … the Red Sox have won six straight games in Chicago, so something needs to change.

Today’s Pregame Notes

Wednesday, July 20, 2005, 9:30 am

Ticket Sales

As of 9 am, just 500 tickets remain for today’s game.  Sales for the four-game Boston series remain brisk, so act soon if you intend to attend.

Lineup

Ozuna, 3B … Iguchi, 2B … Thomas, DH … Konerko, 1B … Everett, LF … Dye, RF … Rowand, CF … Widger, C … Uribe, SS … Garcia, RHP.

Postgame Notes from Last Night

Our five-game winning streak was snapped and we fell to 31-6 against the AL Central … it was our first loss in the division since 6/5 (Wow!) … we have now lost four of our last five games at home (thanks to the A’s) … with 31,008 attending last night, we recorded our 17th plus 30,000 crowd of the season and are now averaging 31,853 over our last 20 home games (we have played 47).

Freddy in Daylight

Today’s starter, Freddy Garica (9-3, 3.41), has gone 6-0 with a 2.99 ERA over his last 11 starts … he is trying for a career-best seventh straight victory … is 9-4 with a 3.54 ERA lifetime vs. Detroit … in daylight, Garcia is 38-11, 3.28 over his career, 13-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last 18 day starts and 4-1 with a 2.71 ERA this season.  Let the sun shine …

Garcia_1

Tonight’s Game

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 4:35 pm

Tonight’s White Sox Lineup

Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Thomas, DH … Konerko, 1B … Everett, RF … Rowand, CF … AJ, C … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … Contreras, RHP.

Pregame Talk

Centered around the health of pitcher Hermanson Dustin Hermanson.  He continues to suffer from a back spasm, but White Sox head trainer Herm Schneider said Dustin should be better by tomorrow.  Ozzie Guillen usually tries to give guys one extra day of rest after they are given the medical OK.

"I looked at Hermie’s MRI results today," Guillen said.  "The doctor was wasting his time trying to explain them to me.  I couldn’t tell what I was looking at.  It looked fine to me."

Big News

Hold the presses … The biggest news pregame was the installation of five benches on the steps of the dugouts.  Players were busy trying out their new digs, which will allow them to sit on the benches and lean onto the railing of the dugout.

Thanks from Pods

Scott Podsednik continues to receive and read emails, notes and letters from fans who voted for him during the 32nd Man competition.  He is more than appreciative, saying the All-Star Game was an amazing event for him and his family.

News & Notes

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 9:15 am

Challenging Me

Just so you know, I rarely am aware of what day or date it is, so your Groundhogday_2request to begin putting day, date and time at the top of each post is just another thing for me to screw up.  With a game everyday, baseball can really become like the movie "Groundhog Day."  You wake up, come to the ballpark, go through your day — from 9 am to 1 pm you try to get business done, meetings, phone calls, etc. — from 1 pm to 7 pm you are dealing with the clubhouse, media, etc., from 7-10 is the game, and then from 10-11 pm is wrapup and postgame stuff.  Somewhere in there I try to post to the blog.  Then, you go home, spend an hour catching up with my wife about the kids (who are long asleep) before going to bed and doing it all over again the next day.  No sympathy, I have a passion for baseball, the White Sox and my job, but I just don’t always know what day it is.  I am pretty good about the month thing, though.

Notes

With last night’s 7-5 win, we have captured five straight and 11 in a row over American League Central opponents.  The Sox are a season-high 33 games over .500, the high-water mark on the season, and the franchise’s best since finishing the 1983 season at 99-63.  We are an amazing 31-5 against the division.

Attedance Figures

While tonight’s crowd is expected to probably be in the mid to high 20,000s, attendance for the other five games on this homestand will be terrific.  Wednesday’s day game against the Tigers is into the high 30,000s.  All four games against the Red Sox are doing well.  Saturday is very close to a sell out, but tickets do remain for Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  If you are planning to come out, act now.  Right now, in terms of tickets sold, this year already ranks as the seventh best in franchise history.  Where are all the positive Sox attendance stories?

Last night was the eighth sellout of the season, two short of the franchise record, set last season.  We have enjoyed 15 crowds of 30,000-plus and are averaging 31,897 fans over the last 19 home games.

Good Reading

I can’t speak for everyone, but I really enjoyed reading that story about wind currents at Wrigley Field this morning on the back page of the Trib.  No, really, I did.  Especially with the Cubs out of town and all … seemed appropriate.

In an attempt to balance my sarcasm, Melissa Isaacson did a very nice piece on Bobby Jenks over the weekend in the Trib.  You should check that out.

World Baseball Classic

A reader asked about how the White Sox roster might break dowWbcn along national lines for next March’s World Baseball Classic, so I did a quick list:

United States (16):  Buehrle, Cotts, Garland, Hermanson, Jenks, Politte, A.J., Crede, Harris, Konerko, Thomas, Dye, Everett, Pods, Rowand, Widger.

Venezuela (1): Garcia.

Dominican (5):  Marte, Vizcaino, Uribe, Perez, Ozuna.

Japan (1):  Iguchi.

Cuba (2):  Contreras, Hernandez.

And, believe it or not, it adds up to 25.

Hermanson

For those of you have wondered … Ozzie admitted yesterday that Dustin’s back is bugging him some.  It’s nice to have space (13 game lead) and time (it’s July something or other) to let guys recover from bumps and bruises without pushing them back into games.  I think I mentioned on a previous blog that when the situation calls for a certain player and a manager doesn’t use him (which often brings about loads of criticism from radio talk shows), there usually is a very good (and health related) reason.

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