Monday, March 12, 2007
Another gorgeous day here in Tucson with temperatures approaching the mid 80s. Sounds like we could be playing ball in Chicago as well.
Jim Thome absolutely crushed two balls today. His first home run sailed over the 50-foot high batter’s eye in center field where the fence sits 405 feet way. The second went just to the right of the first and one-hopped the cyclone fence that surrounds the ballpark block. Two massive shots.
Trip to Peoria
Yesterday’s successful trip to Peoria to face the Mariners luckily fell on a weekend so traffic was minimal. We left on the two-hour trip at 10 am (the team bus left the complex at 8 am) and arrived home at 7:40 pm. A tiring day of riding in the car, watching baseball and then riding in the car. Tough job, but someone has to do it. Props to all the White Sox fans who showed up in Peoria. The crowd seemed to be almost half Sox fans. As we got gas at a local station before the game, a black pick-up truck nearby had a Sox logo in the back window and an Arizona license plate that read, WSOXFAN.
Good to see Jim Parque yesterday, and we wish him luck on his comeback attempt after sitting out two seasons. Plans are for him to go to AAA and build up arm strength.
Following this morning’s workout, Bobby Jenks followed through on his pledge to support the St. Balderick’s Foundation’s efforts to cure childhood cancer and shaved his head in front of WFLD cameras. Bullpen mates Andrew Sisco and Sean Tracey learned of Bobby’s gesture and shaved their own heads in support. Heath Phillips helped in the clipping, but since the left-hander is already bald, he couldn’t join in the team gesture.
Nice to see Scott Podsednik taking live batting practice on the backs fields before today’s game. It had to feel good for him, too.
A.J. Pierzynski and Herm Schneider watched yesterday’s game on AJ’s computer from the Tucson trainer’s room thanks to Pierzynski’s slingbox. Cool technology.
Each day at 8 am, the staff (baseball operations and coaching staffs) have a meeting to review the previous day’s game (what went right, what went wrong), discuss the plan for the day ahead and evaluate individual players and their progress. Early in the year, the meetings are relatively quick, 15 minutes or so. As it gets later in the spring, the meetings can last an hour or more.
It took two innings for the first bad hop single of the spring. Roger Bossard, our world reknown grounds keeper (and good friend), comes down in early February each spring to get the fields ready for the team. It seems like as soon as Roger leaves, and he flew back to Chicago this afternoon, the fields start to show the wear and tear of the spring.
How do you think minor-leaguer Clayton Richard felt when his errant throw hit Bobby Jenks in the side of the neck yesterday. Richard, a former quarterback at Michigan, sailed one into the big right-hander as the team warmed up prior to a B Game in Tucson. Stunned, Jenks took a couple of steps toward Richard before he realized it was an accident. "Bobby was going for the first sack of the spring," quipped pitching coach Don Cooper.
Count on AJ to finish his NCAA basketball pool by having Florida face the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Gator fan’s guess at the score? 41-14, the same score of the national championship football game.
Looking forward to the arrival of the Reifert family tomorrow night. It will be great to see my wife and kids. They are looking forward to swimming, hiking, warm weather and Sakura.