Hope you enjoy these pics from our first Blog Night, and more were posted here. It’s also a new Photo Album on the side of this MLBlog.
Thursday, August 17, 2006, 9:55 am
Ozuna, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Anderson, CF; Uribe, SS; Alomar, C. Buehrle on the mound.
It was ugly. No doubt about it. Everything seemed flat. As Ozzie said, let’s hope the last two games serve as a slap on the face to get us going.
Given the sweep of the Tigers, we all were hoping to go 3-1 against the Royals which would have given us an 8-2 homestand. A win today puts us at 7-3 on the homestand. We’ll take it but grudgingly.
Last night marked the 41st sellout of the season and 21st in a row, both franchise records. We certainly could not have accomplished those marks without the buzz and excitement of our fans. Thank you. There are about 1,000 tickets left for today’s day game, so our streak might end, but you should take great pride in the accomplishment.
History Lesson — Mark Buehrle is in position to become the White Sox fifth 10-game winner of the season, joining Jon Garland (13-4), Jose Contreras (11-5), Freddy Garcia (11-7) and Javier Vazquez (11-7) … the Sox have not featured five 10-game winners on the same staff since 1990 when Greg Hibbard (14-9), Jack McDowell (14-9), Melido Perez (13-14), Eric King (12-4) and Barry Jones (11-4) accomplished the feat … all 11 of Jones wins in 1990 came in relief … the last time Chicago had five starting pitchers win 10 or more games in the same season was in 1983: Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt (24-10), Rich Dotson (22-7), Floyd Bannister (16-10), Jerry Koosman (11-7) and Britt Burns (10-11).
Grand Salamis — Alex Cintron last night hit his first career grand slam and the ninth of the season for the White Sox, setting a new franchise record (see box at lower right) … Joe Crede leads the Sox with three grand slams in 2006, Tadahito Iguchi has two, while Cintron, Ross Gload, Scott Podsednik and Jim Thome have one apiece … the Sox hit grand slams in three straight games on 6/23-25 vs. Houston, the first major-league team to accomplish the feat since Detroit on 8/10-12/93.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006, 7:32 pm
About Last Night
Tonight’s game is underway … sorry, too late to give you a lineup since it is already the third inning … but I need to thank everyone for last night.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with everyone who could make it, and the gift from you all was amazing. I spent several innings last night reading your comments and submissions. It gave me chills.
Often, in August, you need your batteries re-charged. I could not have asked for a better power source than to read how much you enjoy this blog, love the White Sox and appreciate the inside news and tidbits about the club. Like I said last night, when I sit down to write, I try and think of you and what you would like to hear. To know how much you enjoy these posts really makes me feel like a million bucks.
I was able to sneak out very (very) early this morning — along with a couple of unnamed members of the coaching staff — and get a round of golf in at Ruffled Feathers.
None of us should quit our day jobs, but we sure had fun. If anyone has an extra 5-iron (right-handed) laying around, let me know. I know a guy who needs one after today …
Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 2:31 pm
Pods, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Vazquez takes the mound.
See You Tonight
I look forward to meeting those fans who purchased tickets as part of "Blog Night."
We will meet for about 30 minutes and then you all can head to the Patio for the reknown Bertucci Buffet and socializing. Then, hopefully, it is another White Sox win.
Odds and Ends
Someone posted about an issue with the Contreras letter (it sent you back a month on Jenks). They found it was a problem with the text version, and I am told it is fixed by BAM in New York. Kudos.
A couple of references have been made about something screwy with the Message Boards. BAM runs those, or at least administers them. They look OK from our end but we will have someone check on it. You should be blogging with me, anyway.
Monday, August 14, 2006, 4:54 pm
Ozuna, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; Konerko, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Garland on the mound.
I didn’t have time today but did anyone check the Baseball Prospectus site to see what our odds were to win the division or to capture the wild card? If you have a minute, check it out and post the answer …
I am looking forward to seeing the group tomorrow night. Feel free to post any questions tonight and tomorrow in advance. I’m hoping we can have some fun and throw around some ideas. I want to learn as much from you and what you’d like to see on the blog …
Things have just gotten a little tighter in the American League Central.
The Tigers have now been swept twice this season — both by the White Sox including the Tigers’ first home series of the season — and they head to Boston tonight for a three-game series while the Sox remain at home to take on the improving Kansas City Royals in a four-game set.
Each team’s schedule for the rest of August:
Detroit: at Boston, TEXAS (4 games), WHITE SOX (4 games), at Cleveland, at New York.
White Sox: KANSAS CITY (4 games), at Minnesota, at Detroit (4 games), MINNESOTA, TAMPA BAY.
Overheard in the crowd today in the second inning …
One Detroit fan calling to another (who was wearing a Dmitri Young jersey) and taunting Sox fans …
"Are you worried? ‘Cause I’m not worried."
Wonder how he feels now?
Sunday, August 13, 2006, 10:55 am
Granderson, CF; Polanco, 2B; Rodriguez, C; Ordonez, RF; Guillen, SS; Young, DH; Monroe, LF; Casey, 1B; Inge, 3B. Miner pitching.
Pods, LF; Cintron, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Gracia pitching.
Ozzie gave Iguchi the day off today, pointing out that sometimes you need a day off mentally as much as physically.
"I want him to come back the rest of next week and be strong," Guillen said.
We are now back on pace to win 97 games, which would be the fifth-most in franchise history. We are five games behind last year’s pace.
"You’re lying if you say you don’t watch the scoreboard," Guillen said Sunday. "Every time I raise my head, it’s right in front of me. Maybe you try not to pay attention to it, but you can’t help seeing it."
"Every series is big," Guillen said. "That’s why you need to take care of one day, one game at a time. We are on track right now. But you can’t get too high or too low. You move forward. You move backward. Baseball is that way. All you can ask for is a chance and we have that."
The Sox go for a series sweep today for the 17th time in 2006. Overall, the team is 7-9 in these games but enters today having dropped its last six opportunities … the last five coming on the road (6/25 vs. Hou; 6/29 at Pitt; 7/2 at Cubs; 7/30 at Bal; 8/2 at KC and 8/6 at Tor). The Sox are 4-4 in these situations at home. The team did open the season by completing its first four sweep opportunities, beating Detroit (4/13); KC (4/19); Minnesota (4/23) and the Angels (4/30).
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 11:35 am
Great to see Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk and his son, Casey, this morning in our clubhouse. Pudge and his family came in for today’s game, and the former Sox star stopped by the clubhouse on his way to his suite to say hello to Ozzie, Greg Walker, Herm Schneider and others.
Ozzie was waiting with a surprise for Fisk.
The Sox manager handed Carlton a White Sox World Series Ring, and Fisk immediately put it on.
I’d say that’s a good way to start the day …
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 9:36 am
Pods, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Alomar, C; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Buehrle on the hill.
Note The Return
Of shortstop Juan Uribe today. Juan went to Ozzie last night and told him he is physically ready to perform. Let’s hope for a big return today.
Buehrle and The Tigers
Today is Mark Buehrle’s first start of the year against Detroit. The lefty is 11-5 with a 2.56 ERA in his career, including a 6-1 mark at home. Buehrle has won his last three starts against the Tigers. Since Opening Day 2004, he is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA (10 ER/35.2 IP) against Detroit.
From our game notes:
VS. DETROIT — Makes his 19th career appearance (18th start) against the Tigers and first of the season … was 3-0 with a 2.18 ERA (5 ER/20.2 IP) in three starts in 2005 and is 11-5 with a 2.56 ERA (36 ER/126.2 IP) and four complete games lifetime … 2.56 career ERA is his second-best vs. any American League opponent behind Baltimore (2.26) … 15 of his 17 starts have been quality, including five in a row … four of his starts have been scoreless and allowed no earned runs in a fifth … has limited the Tigers to a .232 (110-474) average … won his last start on 9/3/05 at home (1 ER/7.0 IP) … his prior five starts came in Detroit … won on 4/21/05 (3 ER/7.0 IP) and 6/28/05 (1 ER/6.2 IP) … threw complete-game shutouts in Detroit on 5/26/01 (3 H) and 9/1/02 (7 H) … last loss came on 8/25/04 at Detroit (3 ER/6.0 IP).
Kudos To Contreras
Last night was the first complete-game shutout of Jose Contreras’ major-league career. With 24 games in as many days, our bullpen also appreciates the night off.
Funny that I was exchanging voicemails and emails with Robin Ventura this week and then last night Jim Thome surpassed RV’s club mark for home runs in a season by a left-hander. Robin hit 34 in 1996, while Jim nailed his 35th last night.
From our game notes:
More Thome — Jim Thome has hit 35 or more home runs in a season for three teams … Thome also did it for Cleveland five times and Philadelphia twice … according to the Elias Sports Bureau, only six other players in major league history hit at least 35 home runs in a season for three teams: Albert Belle (Indians-White Sox-Orioles), Reggie Jackson (A’s-Yankees-Angels), Dave Kingman (Mets-Cubs-A’s), Alex Rodriguez (Mariners-Rangers-Yankees), Gary Sheffield (four teams: Marlins-Dodgers-Braves-Yankees) and Alfonso Soriano (Yankees-Rangers-Nationals).
Robin is doing well after surgery earlier this spring to repair that ankle he injured way back in 1997. He might even be faster after the surgery, I joked, because he couldn’t get slower.
Ring Raffle Drawing
Some of you who purchased ring raffle tickets on-line were mentioning that you received numbers that did not feature six digits, for example … 331. BAM just didn’t put the first three zeros before the number. If you were "331" it meant you were the three hundredth and 31st ticket sold on line. Had the number 0-0-0-3-3-1 been drawn on Thursday, you would have been a winner. Your number was certainly eligible to win. Hope that makes sense to those who were questioning.
We have reached two of the three winners via phone yesterday and are trying to connect with the third.
And The Votes Are In
The winner of the Punch AJ Line was …
… Punch AJ: You Won’t Be Suspended.
I am trying to reach the author of the line outside this blog.
Let’s Keep This Going Today …