Monday, July 18, 10:12 pm
Turning the Tables
What a night! Full house, Tigers take the early lead and then bam … Joe Crede changes the entire dimension of the game. You need to add this to the list of games where you just might say, "something special is happening this year."
Three cool things from tonight’s game … the 37,000-plus sellout crowd serenading Detroit’s parting pitcher with "Hey-Hey-Hey, Goodbye", then singing in unison the chorus from "Halfway There" acappella. Finally, the crowd demanding a curtain call from Crede (a la the 1977 South Side hitmen) after his blast.
By El Duque. He competes and always seems to give us a chance to win games he starts.
Shingo Takatsu came in early today to clean out his locker in the clubhouse. His professionalism and smile will be missed, but we just were not able to get him the innings he needed to stay sharp. Bobby Jenks has the ability to possibly be an impact-type bullpen guy, so the choice, while difficult, was made.
The other tough call came on Ross Gload. There certainly are times we need his left-handed bat and his ability to spell PK at first base, but for now he will continue to play his way back into shape at Class AAA Charlotte.
A lot of pregame speculation about the return of Magglio Ordonez to USCF. Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams low-keyed any issues with their pregame comments, although Ozzie mentioned that having the first media question be about Magglio would be an insult to the 25 guys who have helped make this a first-place team. Comments I heard from Magglio seemed very reserved, as well. Magglio and Jerry Reinsdorf met behind the batting cage before the game.
Thank You Fans
Not sure everyone saw it, but Jerry sent an email to all our registered users on Thursday thanking Sox fans for their great support this season. It also was posted on the main page of whitesox.com. Tonight was the eighth sellout of the season, two behind last year’s franchise record 10. Here are upcoming promotions.
I apologize for falling short this weekend with updates. Things were busy and my wireless card did not make it into my briefcase for the trip home. I do appreciate that some of you were concerned about my health/whereabouts, or at least pretended to be … thanks.
Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Thomas, DH … Konerko, 1B … Rowand, CF … Dye, RF … AJ, C … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … El Duque, P.
Earlier today, the White Sox designated RHP Shingo Takatsu for assignment and optioned OF Ross Gload to Class AAA Charlotte.
Sorry I have been slow to post over the past few days, I will try to write more tonight.
Today’s Sox Lineup
Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Thomas, DH … Konerko, 1B … Rowand, CF … Dye, RF … A.J., C … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS.
To answer a question on my last post, our players pack their own bags (with assistance from Vince Fresso, our clubhouse manager) for the All-Star Game. They travel with their own shoes (although many companies issue special edition spikes for the ASG … see Alex Rodriguez’s white shoes), socks, pants, belt, undershirts, guards, gloves, etc.
MLB provides special All-Star jerseys (BP), gamers (with arm patch) and hats (with logo).
I have to confess … in the past I have not been a big fan of the All-Star Game. We are always so busy during the middle of the season that three days "off" in July were always a great breather. I found it hard to sit and watch a game that often took a very long time to play.
That changed in 2003 when we hosted the game. I guess "This Time It Counts" worked in attracting my attention. And now that the American League won last night’s game, home field advantage belongs to our league.
We had a few friends over to our house to watch the game and the party atmosphere was great. How terrific was it to see Mark Buehrle punch out three guys in his 2.0 IP. A couple of balls were hit hard, but I felt Mark set the tone for the night in terms of an AL win and pace of the game. I wonder how the voting went, but you could have named him MVP.
Introductions are often one of the best things at an ASG. What a sense of pride when four Sox were introduced.
If you haven’t seen them yet, we ran half-page ads in the Sun-Times and Tribune this morning congratulating our All-Stars. Take a look. Kudos to the guys at Two by Four for coming up with the concept.
After the break we open at Cleveland (four games), home vs. Detroit (3) and home against Boston (3). Ten tough games to open the second half. Ticket sales for the coming homestand are very strong, so I would encourage anyone planning to come out to get your tickets in advance … soon. Tickets do remain for the Friday and Sunday Red Sox contests, so come out.
That I heard this morning on ESPN Radio … 16 of the last 19 World Series winners had home field advantage.
Many readers sent me notes about Juan Uribe’s standing at home plate after hitting the eighth inning fly ball last night. Most also applauded Ozzie Guillen’s action (removing Uribe from the game). From what I have heard, the message was sent loudly and clearly. My guess is that if Joe Crede was available to play third base today, Pablo Ozuna would have started at shortstop.
I think it was clear to all — Juan, players, media and we hope, fans — that actions like that will not be tolerated by Ozzie. Message sent.
All-Star Break R & R
Players are heading in all directions following today’s game … Detroit, Florida (weather permitting), Lake Geneva or to sleep. Tadahito Iguchi was pleasantly surprised to hear that the team did not have mandatory workouts during the break as they did each day off in Japan.
Bumps and Bruises
Players are looking forward to the next three days as a chance to re-energize and let the physcial bumps and bruises heal a bit. Joe Crede has been struggling with a sore/stiff back, and Aaron Rowand has been playing with a stiff neck/shoulder he suffered when sliding into second base a few games ago.
Each day, Herm Schneider, our head trainer provides Ken Williams and Ozzie Guillen with a medical report on all of our players, along with their status for the day’s game. What I have learned over the years is that when you question why a certain player isn’t in the game, or isn’t used in a situation where the game dictates, it generally is because of an injury. Sometimes these are injuries the media (and the opposition) are aware of, sometimes not.
Game In Progress
As I have written this post, we tied the game and are now in extra innings. This is the second time I have sat down to write in-game, and we have come back both times. I am going to continue writing this as we play through extra innings … call me superstitious, but whatever works …
… or doesn’t. We lost, 9-8.
Many of us are going to play in the Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities golf outing tomorrow. The CBCC outing, which each year generates thousands of dollars to Children’s Memorial Hospital and other great causes that fight cancer, is a tremendous event and baseball celebrities from around Chicagoland willingly take part. White Sox great Bill Pierce does all the legwork for the outing each year, just another reason this guy is a Hall of Famer to anyone who knows him.
Sox Batting Order
Pods, LF … Iguchi, 2B … Thomas, DH … Konerko, 1B … Rowand, CF … Dye, RF … Widger, C … Ozuna, 3B … Uribe, SS … Buehrle, P
July 8, 2005
Pods, CF … Harris, 2B … Everett, DH … Konerko, 1B … Pierzynski, C … Dye, RF … Perez, LF … Crede, 3B … Uribe, SS … Garland, P
Before today’s game, Mark Buehrle, Scott Podsednik, Jermaine Dye, Cliff Politte, Juan Uribe and Tadahito Iguchi all posed for a photo spread on the White Sox in an upcoming edition of ESPN The Magazine. Each photo depicts a current Sox player in a setting from one our club’s marketing promotions. Pods and Buehrle are in Go-Karts on the Pontiac Fundamentals Deck, while the other four are dressed as Beatles from the Sgt. Pepper album cover.
Dustin Hermanson is currently posing as Elvis. Tomorrow, Paul Konerko and his two dogs will be photgraphed sitting in the stands, Aaron Rowand, his daughter and some kids will take a shower on the outfield concourse and AJ Pierzynski will help some senior Sox fans — including a few celebrities — around the bases. Look for the shots in an upcoming edition of the mag.
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.
Letter to Fans from Scott Podsednik
I want to personally thank everyone – my friends, my family, White Sox fans, baseball fans in general, the Chicago White Sox organization, and of course, my teammates – for showing their support for me during the past three days of on-line voting for the final spot on the American League All-Star Team.
The response has been amazing and humbling. Being named to the All-Star Team is a dream every 10-year-old enjoys when growing up playing baseball. Thanks to your votes, I will have the opportunity to fulfill those dreams on Tuesday night in
Detroit at Major League Baseball’s 76th All-Star Game.
It will be an experience I will never forget.
Congratulations to Scott Podsednik
Congratulations to left fielder Scott Podsednik on being elected the 32nd player on the American League All-Star Team tonight.
The announcement was made as Scott took the field in the third inning tonight. As the fans stood and cheered, Scott tipped his cap to the fans and teammate Aaron Rowand ran up and hugged his outfield partner.
Kudos as well to everyone who had a hand in making this possible. First off, Sox fans were amazing in their commitment to this campaign and their willingness to devote hours and many sore finger tips to make this happen for Scott. No one should question the number, commitment and Pride that Sox fans show after seeing what they accomplished at the ballot box over the past three days.
The team was incredible as well as guys sat in the clubhouse voting time and time again. Joe Crede’s back is sore, so he sat out batting practice and voted over and over again. Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko and Jon Garland were as happy for Scott as they were when they were named to the team. Everyone contributed. One of the fans who commented on this blog asked for examples of this year’s chemistry … tonight was it.
Way to go Scott and way to go Sox fans.