Friday, June 9, 2006, 3:02 pm

Tonight’s Lineup

A little different look against the left-hander …

Pods, LF; Ozuna, 3B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Iguchi, 2B; Uribe, SS, Anderson, CF.  Vazquez pitching.

Afternoon Well Spent

I joined Ozzie Guillen and Chris Singleton this afternoon at the Polo Cafe (just north of 35th and Morgan) for the monthly meeting of the Windy City Sox Fans.

The food was great, as was the company, and as usual, Mr. Guillen was quite entertaining with his answers.  Both Ozzie and Chris signed for everyone in attendance at the well-run event.  Kudos to the WCSF club.

Inside the Mind of Don Cooper

Don’t mind the dust and the cobwebs …

Rick Hahn (our assistant GM) and I were speaking to Coop yesterday before the game, and he made a really good observation.  The comedian in me wants to point out that this rarely happens, but that would be too mean to Coop, who indeed is very good at his job (just look at the track record).  But Coop is also from Long Island, so it is very easy to give him a hard time.

Anyway, his point was this:

Confidence is so important to pitchers, especially closers.  One of the things he has learned (actually, we all have learned) is how fleeting confidence is.  That’s probably not just true about sports figures.  It’s probably also true about humans in general. Our pitching staff last year — especially last October — performed on the largest stage in the world and did just survive … they starred.

Doncooper"You would think pitching like we did throughout the playoffs and World Series would give you confidence for the rest of your life," Coop said. 

But one of the things we have all learned is how fragile confidence is and how it needs to be nutured and built up over time.  Five great outings can be destroyed by one bad pitch … and then you start all over.

Which took us to closers.  Coop talked about how important confidence is in the back of the bullpen.  He pointed out closers through the years who succeeded even though their stuff did not fit the typical image of a closer.

For me, certainly Matt Karchner and Keith Foulke fit that description.  They both turned in fantastic roles in the bullpen, in Keith’s case for years, without having dominating, overwhelming stuff.  They did it with confidence in themselves and in their ability to pitch.  By this argument, guys can create their own persona on the mound, a persona that might even make them better than their physical abilities.

Not really sure what, if any, conclusions I am trying to draw.  Just thought the point was an interesting one.

Friday Night

We moved Friday night start times back 30 minutes to 7:30 pm this year because of our expectations for construction on the Dan Ryan and general, Chicago traffic on a Friday night.

Has it helped?  Has it made a difference for you?  Let me know.  I would love to hear from you.


Should be interesting to see how Gooch does lower in the order. Also nice to see Brian in the lineup, hopefully he’s in there for awhile.

Scott thanks for the insight, it’s great to get a different view. I’m very nervous about tomorrow, because AJ is catching tonight with tomorrow being a day game that means most likely Widger will catch Buehrle. Buehrle’s record when Widger catches is, well, very un-Buehrle like. Thanks again for the great work Scott.

7:35p YESSS!

I wish all games started at 7:35p considering the Ryan, open road tolling on 294 not done yet, Southwest highway under construction,Joliet road all dug up for 355 expansion. Every where I go I sit in traffic.

we live on the far nw side of the city and my husband takes 90 until it starts to back up. then takes the back streets and we haven’t had any problems getting to the games. and buehrle will get his groove!!

As for 7:35 starts, I like them for Friday nights. I take the CTA, but I appreciate not having to rush from work to make it by 7:00 (or 6:45 since I have to fill out my scorecard). Of course the 7:35 start means ending later, but I don’t mind that on Friday night.

I love the 7:35PM start time! Keep up the great stories Scott!

7:35 is critical. We live in the NW suburbs, and have little options to get there. Even without the construction, last year, it could be a nearly 2 hour trip in to the park. This helps a great deal!

7:35 VERY cool.

Jermaine Dye has just been amazing this year!!! He IS an All-Star. It was good to see the boys fight back after giving up the lead on Hafner’s bomb. AND the winning run didn’t come by way of homerun. Javier pitched well tonight and the bullpen, despite the homer Cotts gave up, did well too. What an exciting game!!

I agree!!! JD has been amazing. This team has so many guys that any pitcher would love to pitch around and when the line-up is clicking on all cylindars, WHOOO-WEEEE, look out. Javy did well again but just needs to get through a start w/o having an inning that get’s me pacing. Still need to get Anderson going. I know it’s getting redundant but I think we need this guy.
Let’s get the series Saturday.


LOVE the 7:35 time. Gives us more time to enjoy the view of downtown as we tailgate. I think that the tailgate is an important pre-game ritual for many fans and it’s harder to make them happen on 7:05 starts.

I like the 7:35 start times.

The way our staff’s been pitching, you dont notice than the game started 30 minutes later than normal.

I have no problem with the team keeping this start time, but only for Fridays.

I am, however, very diassapointed and puzzled about the Sunday start times. the 2:05pm starts were great for me personally, as I work on the weekends. Also, as a weekend season ticket holder, it allowed me to go to more of my games. I have been forced to sell or give away almost ALL my sunday games this year due to the scheduling change. This change was NEVER mentioned in any surveys or explained by you or any other staffer. And to add insult to injury, two of those games I sold ended up being night games (6/11 and 6/25).

Gene Kelly

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