May 2006

Tonight’s Lineup

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 3:20 pm

Tonight’s Lineup at the Jake

Pods, LF; Cintron, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mack, CF; Uribe, SS; Garcia, RHP.

About Last Night

Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 10:31 am

Thoughts …

Some losses hurt because you shoulda won.  Some losses hurt because you coulda won.

Last night fell into the second category for me.  O’ for that big two-out hit with runners in scoring position.

Usually, the shoulda losses hurt worse and are more frustrating than the coulda losses.  Maybe it was because we were playing the Indians after winning the first game in the series, but last night’s loss lingered for me.

All-Star Balloting

The first wave of results for American League voting for the All-Star Game come out later this afternoon.  Cardinals dominated the NL voting, which was released yesterday.  It will be interesting to see how our White Sox fare.

Remember to vote early and often online at whitesox.com or in the ballpark via fan ballot.

Guysanddolls
Egg Creme and Poodles?

For those of you who listened this morning, Jerry Reinsdorf was on the air with Mike North and WSCR from 9 to 9:30 or so talking White Sox and Bulls.

No real news came during the interview, but North did end the show by asking Jerry for his favorites, including:

Favorite drink:  egg creme

Favorite movie:  guys and dolls

Favorite way to spend his free time: playing with his dogs

Jerry, who is at the Berto Center with the Bulls today, ended the interview by telling North, "Now, Scott Reifert will call me and critique my interview."

So, of course, I did.  I sent Jerry and email saying, "Egg creme and poodles, so much for your tough guy image."

He called me, we laughed and then he explained what an egg creme was and how to make one.

Matt Thornton

What a bright spot last night!  Joe Cowley, Sox beat writer with the Sun-Times, wrote a very good piece about Matt, Don Cooper and their project together on May 26.  I saved it to show Matt when he is back in town.  It’s not often you can bring a left-hander out of the bullpen throwing high 90s.

Blackout

Sorry to lay low over the holiday weekend.  I needed a break and my kids were playing in a soccer tournament in Park Ridge.

As we drove home from Day 2 of youth soccer listening to the White Sox game on the radio, my littlest one teasingly asked me what was more important, soccer or baseball, because I had just spent the day in 90 degree heat watching 11 year olds play the "beautiful" game.

"Wrong question," my wife explained.  "It’s what’s more important, baseball or family."

Family won last weekend and the blog lost … sorry.

Yesterday, however, I was just swamped with messages, emails and meetings and did not have a chance to post.  That one was my bad.

Holiday Friday

Friday, May 26, 2006, 9:28 am

Suspensions

MLB announced its suspensions and fines this morning.  Michael Barrett received 10 games and a fine, Brian Anderson five games and a fine, Joey Cora two games and a fine, and A.J. received a fine only.

The players can choose to appeal the rulings, otherwise the suspensions begin today/tonight.

No Lineup Today

Sorry, but I am speaking at Highland Park High School this afternoon, so likely will be unable to post our lineup as I usually try to do.

Yikes

I clicked on mlblogs.com today to see this blog highlighted.  Always scare me …

Tigers

Wouldn’t you know my son’s Little League team this year is the Tigers?

Off Day Odds and Ends

Thursday, May 25, 2006, 3:21 pm

Suspensions

Word is we should hear about any MLB fines and suspensions sometime tomorrow morning.  Remember that players have the right to appeal, so suspensions won’t necessarily begin tomorrow night (or day in the Cubs case).

Gooch

Was given the last two days off due to his sore foot.  With the next three games on turf, my guess is you likely won’t see Tadahito unless he is feeling 100 percent.

Jimthome
King of Illinois

Jim Thome was honored before yesterday’s game for becoming the all-time home run leader from the state of Illinois (passing his "hero" Dave Kingman, who attended high school in the state).

Tom Quaid

Was kind enough to stop by the ballpark today and say hello.  He left with a heavy pack of media guides in tow (he begged enough for a set that we had to give in to him), so when he starts quoting obscure facts about the 1982 Padres on this blog, we all will know why.

Event

Reminder to anyone interested that for $54, you can attend the game on August 15, enjoy an all-you-can-eat pregame meal and then we will hold a special event for your eyes only in our conference and learning center (which doubles as Ozzie’s postgame interview room).  The offer is only open to the first 50 fans.

Yesterday, I wrote that all the reservations had been by women.  Turns out that wasn’t completely true.  Dustin, who is coordinating the event (and reads this site), evidently struggles with gender recognition at times.  My apologies, but several men have also purchased tickets to the event.

You may want to order soon by calling Dustin at 312-674-5186.

Schedule

Don’t look now, but the next seven weeks are looking pretty tough on our White Sox.

at Toronto, at Cleveland

vs. Texas, vs. Detroit, vs. Cleveland

at Texas, at Cincinnati

vs. St. Louis, vs. Houston

at Pittsburgh, at Cubs

vs. Baltimore, vs. Boston

All-Star Break

at New York, at Detroit

Pretty tough rowing …

Duke_3

Sweep Thoughts

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 2:41 pm

Tonight’s Lineup

Pods, LF; Cintron, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mack, CF; Uribe, SS.  Buehrle pitching.

Sales Update

Here’s a "sad but true" sales update for our event on August 15 (like Juan Uribe’s batting average, it is early).

So far, we have sold 12 (with two pending) tickets to the event, which is fine, although the ticket sales rep gleefully informed me that he thinks all the sales so far have been to women!?

Since it is limited to 50 people, and I don’t want to start twisting arms, please place any orders with Dustin at 312-674-5186.  We can even offer a special discount price for members of the media (just joking).

Early and Often

I am sure you are all over it, but feel free to vote and often as you’d like for 2006 All-Stars.  Just visit whitesox.com or click right here to vote, preferably for our guys. You can vote up to 25 times online so use them all.

Allstars

Wednesday Thoughts

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 10:28 am

Random Thoughts this Morning

Roger Bossard said it may be wet off and on until 5 pm today, but he expects we will have no problem getting tonight’s game in …

We have sold out 11 games this season, including the last five …

We have beated the A’s in two straight for the first time since 2002 …

We haven’t swept Oakland at home since 1983 (can you believe that?) …

Perspective

I read through the posts yesterday, and the back and forth debate was interesting.

Don’t think for a minute that Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen don’t share the same concerns as our fans, but we all do need to keep the perspective that we are 15 games over .500.  We have some guys who need to improve their performances, and we all know Kenny will act if need be, but we cannot overreact.

Last night was a case where Javier Vazquez won — to improve to 5-3 with a 4.25 ERA — without very good stuff.  There are a fair number of pitchers who would have struggled to get through that start and post a victory against a team like Oakland.

I think it is safe to say that Jon Garland (and Kenny and Ozzie and Coop) understand that Jon needs to be better and what he needs to do to be better.  Now, he needs to do it.

On Juan Uribe … Juan is indeed a very streaky offensive player historically.  If you look at his career, he is generally very good in April, August and September. (For example, Juan is a lifetime .310 hitter with 23 of his 63 career home runs entering 2006 coming in September).  May, June and July can be offensive struggles for him for whatever reasons.  I am not sure anyone can really explain that …

I don’t think we can suddenly expect Juan to become Mr. Consistency at the plate … that’s not really his approach (high strikeout/low walk/big swings).  We do need him to be Mr. Consistent in the field, though.

Another blog I was reading the other day had Juan listed as one of the 10 unluckiest offensive players to date in 2006.  I believe their "balls in play" statistic said he should have been hitting something like .270, which is probably where we all expect Juan to end up by year’s end (I think he is a .268 lifetime hitter entering this season).  The expectation is that this "luck" will balance out — in Juan’s favor — over the rest of the season.  I do know anecdotally, that he has been hitting the ball on the nose lately, sometimes with nothing to show for it.

Ray Durham remains one of the streakiest players I remember in a Sox uniform.  Ray’s streaks would be relatively short — 8 to 12 games — but lethal.  He could carry the team for a week, looking like an MVP candidate, or he wouldn’t touch a ball for a week, looking lost at the plate.  But the amazing fact was that in the end, his seasons all ended up being pretty statistically similar despite wild fluctuations from week to week during the year.

Juan’s streaks appear to be longer, but they also seem to balance themselves out over six months … at least that appears to be the case over the past two years.

Another team may have been unwilling to give Juan a regular job because of his streakiness.  We took that chance in 2004, and we all have to admit it paid off in spades in 2005.  It is certainly worth monitoring, but let’s show him some patience.

Just my (pretty worthless) opinion.

Two for Tuesday

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 5:49 pm

Tonight’s Lineup

Pods, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; Konerko, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, CF; Uribe, SS.  Vazquez.

So What Do You Do When You Are Thrown Out of a Game

For White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, you flip on the televisions in the clubhouse.

"I watched our game and the Spanish news," Guillen said.  "My wife asked me what I did for three hours, and I told her ‘what do you need to know about South America?’"

Random Pregame Thoughts

Monday, May 22, 2006, 6:11 pm

On Frank’s Reception

The man is the greatest offensive player in our franchise’s history.  It is certainly up to the fans to decide his reception, but I think he deserves a standing O.  Then I hope we strike him out four times.

Good to see him, although he still looks funny in green.

Turns out my information was wrong in a prior post.  The ceremony will be between the first and second innings, so hopefully right before he hits.

I spoke with the TV folks and they will not be able to air the tribute.  You may be able to hear the other gesture we have planned.

No Biting

A story out there that Joey Cora bit Jacque Jones’ shoe during Saturday’s fight was circulating the ballpark before the game.

I went to Joey and told him he probably needed to comment in some way to end the speculation.

"I did not bite anyone … in this fight," he said/confessed.

Don’t ask him about a fight with the Padres in something like 1988.

Who?

We all were giving Ozzie Guillen a hard time about the ever-present billboards of him in downtown Chicago promoting a Brazilian-style steakhouse.  If you haven’t seen them, they are everywhere … omnipresent.

"It looks like you are carving a rabbit," one person said.

"My brother said, ‘Look, he is always watching us,’" said Oney Guillen.

"Listen to this," Ozzie said, before launching into a hilarious story.

(Note to reader: all of this is a direct quote from Ozzie, so imagine the following with his accent)

I am going to the place where I get my nails done.  I’ve been going there for a year and a half now.

I sit down at the table and take off my White Sox World Series ring.  Then I put my hands out.

Chefozzie
‘Oh, the White Sox,’ the woman says.  This is the same woman who has done my nails for almost two years.

‘I am the biggest fan,’ she says.

‘I know you from somewhere,’ she says a bit later.  ‘Are you famous?’

No, I’m not famous.  Now, I am thinking that she has seen my face for two years, claims to be a big fan and has even seen my credit card … G-U-I-L-L-E-N.  She still doesn’t know who I am?

‘Are you a chef?’

Chef?  I have no idea what she is thinking about.  Then I remember?  Oh yeah … the billboards.

No, I work in baseball.

‘Baseball?’

Yeah, I am the manager.

‘Manager?  What is a manager?’

Nevermind … I’m a chef …

Two days later my wife goes in to have her nails done.

‘I didn’t know your husband was famous,’ the woman says. 

My wife tries to lowkey our name and celebrity so she doesn’t say much.

‘He’s a chef’, the woman says. ‘What restaurant does he work at?’

‘He told you he’s a chef?!’ Ibis responds.

Oakland Arrives

Monday, May 22, 2006, 2:20 pm

Tonight’s Lineup

Ozuna, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Widger, C; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF.  Gar takes the mound.

Frank_3
Frank Return

I learned a little more about the video this morning.  The tribute will last about 1:40 and run between the top of the first and bottom of the inning.  Because the music used with the piece is popular in nature, and we do not own rights to it on the internet, we unfortunately cannot post it on our site.

And as I mentioned, we have planned one other special moment for our fans (and Frank).

Dr. Cooper

At long last, the Cooper family has found its lost dog.

Originally lost in Tucson in March, the Coopers were notified last week by someone who thought they had found the canine.

"It was about the fifth time someone called," said Coop.  "But they sent us a faxed photo and it sure looked like our dog.

"My wife hopped on the next plane back to Tucson — getting the dog back cost me something like $1,700 in air fare — and sure enough, it was ours.  Now, it’s back with the other two dogs like nothing ever happened.  The dog just took a one-month vacation from the Coopers."

More from the Clubhouse

Sunday, May 21, 2006, 10:43 am

Oops

I sense a fine coming.  Manager Ozzie Guillen showed up a little late to the ballpark this morning having set his alarm to pm instead of am.

He and his family took in The Da Vinci Code last night, and Ozzie said he screwed up when he set his alarm.

Graduations

Congratulations to Greg Walker and Don Cooper on two separate graduations today.

Walk’s daughter, Kaycee, is graduating from John Marshall Law School today, and Greg will leave just about game time to be at the ceremonies downtown.  I told him it is always impressive how the younger generation can leap so far ahead of the older generation.

And Coop today received an honorary degree from the New York Institute of Technology, where he played baseball 28 years ago.

"I thought I was six hours short of a degree and was taking two classes," he said.  "Then I found out I was actually nine hours short.

"It had taken me 28 years to get the six hours, so I figured I would never get to nine."

Coop has stayed in touch with the school and has given baseball clinics and held camps on the campus each offseason.  His former teammate is the AD.

"So they called me this winter and said they would like to present me with the honor.  It is really nice when people think of you in ways they don’t need to.

"I guess the World Series title is a gift that keeps on giving."

Top Secret

We closed our clubhouse after batting practice today to make arrangements for a special promotion.  You didn’t read it here, but our team is going to wear replica uniforms from the 1906 World Series for today’s game.  Let’s just hope these have hits in them.

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