Wednesday, March 21, 2007
We announced a series of roster moves this morning as Ken Williams and Ozzie Guillen delivered the news to seven players. Josh Fields, Jerry Owens, Ryan Sweeney and Sean Tracey were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, while Gio Gonzalez, Gustavo Molina and Robert Valido were reassigned to minor league camp (a decision will be made on what team and what level later this spring).
Always a tough way to start your day all around.
We now have 33 players left in camp (15 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders and six outfielders).
Today’s Lineup vs. SF
Two instances of note from yesterday, one in the game vs. Oakland in Phoenix (where I was) and one here in an intrasquad B Game (according to the reliable Bob Beghtol).
As Lou Merloni’s home run sailed over the fence, center fielder Luis Terrero leapt to try and catch the ball. (AP Photo is above.) As he banged into the wall, his glove slipped off his hand and fell on the wrong side of the eight-foot fence. Luis either did think he had another option or really loves that glove because he vaulted over the wall, tossed the glove back over into the field of play, and the pulled himself back up and over the fence to cheers from the fans.
In Tucson, Mark Buehrle and Jim Thome faced off in the intrasquad game. With Thome batting every inning to increase his AB totals, the left-hander continued to record out after out. Buehrle made sure Jim heard about it, shouting, laughing and egging him on — all in a good-natured way. Finally, the big bopper had enough. In his final at-bat against Buehrle, he hit a bomb, estimates had it at 450 feet, and he just stood at home plate, bat pointed to right center field in the classic Jim Thome pose.
Jim could never remember showing up someone in that way but everyone agreed that Buehrle had it coming. As Buehrle bowed in respect to Thome, everyone laughed.
Watching A Baseball Game
Yesterday reminded me how nice it can be to just watch a ballgame and not have 25 other things going on. I had the chance to drive to Phoenix with my dad and take in the game. It reminds me of what it’s like to be a fan and why you all love the game so much.
On my dad note, Moose Skowron (pictured here in Yankee days) saw me over the weekend and asked (in a way only Moose can), if I was from Iowa?
"Yes, Muscatine," I said.
"I was in Iowa and they tell me you were a heckova pitcher," Moose said.
"I pitched," I answered, "but I am sure you are talking about my dad."
My dad, Ron Reifert, helped pitch his team to three straight state titles, went 36-1 in his career with four no hitters and averaged two strikeouts per inning, went on to pitch at Iowa, hurt his arm and then coached at Iowa and for years and years in high school, Little League, pitching clinics, you name it.
Moose still thinks it was me. My greatest accomplishment was to win both games of a doubleheader once, a la Tom Seaver with the Sox.
Chicago is hitting .341 (138-405) with 30 doubles, 19 home runs and 94 runs scored (8.5 per game) over the last 11 spring contests (team is 6-5).