Wheels Up

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Today’s Lineup

Pods, LF; Erstad, CF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Iguchi, 2B; Perez, 1B; Hall, C; Uribe, SS; Anderson, RF.  Buehrle pitching.  Adam Russell in relief.

B Game

We played another B Game this morning at Colorado with Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski taking part.

Mr. Danks, I Presume

After yesterday’s game, Ozzie Guillen announced to the media that John Danks would be the fifth starter, but he hadn’t found Danks (who was in the shower) to tell him yet.  So the media agreed to wait, and I went up to John with a solemn face and told him, "Ozzie wants to see you."

Ozzie, Rick Hahn and Don Cooper then broke the good news.

Danks was beaming.  What is always tough at this time of the spring is that a decision like that negatively impacts several other guys in the clubhouse.  So you often get this mix of happiness and disappointement.  It’s a tough time as the roster gets pared down.

Happy Birthday

As part of an initiation into the big leagues, several Sox players reportedly (I didn’t see it) made Danks go into the stands during a game last week (in full uniform) and serrenade a young female fan with a top-of-the-lungs rendition of Happy Birthday.

Danks then returned to the dugout, scoring tons of points with his teammates.

Sean Tracey

A poster questioned why we didn’t trade Sean, now or later, as opposed to allowing him to be claimed.

I hope I can explain this well.

At this time of year, some teams have a surplus of players, guys who can probably make other teams’ rosters but who aren’t going to make the final cut for the team they are with because of where they rank on the "depth chart" at their position.  So those teams often shop those players to other teams, calling around to see if there is any interest in a trade.  Of course, the other team also knows you might be caught in a roster bind, so they may adjust their trade offer (downward) or even wait, assuming that at some point near the end of spring you will have to make a roster move.

If a team waits until the very end of spring to make this move, the player is often hurt because suddenly the market is flooded just days before the start of the regular season.  Many of these guys have to settle for finding spots with new clubs at Class AAA.  Next week you will see this happen to a lot of guys.

In other cases, teams help the players or agree to let the player know earlier in the spring, which gives him a chance to find another big league job.  I don’t know if this was the case, but the Rockies released Javy Lopez last week.  At least now, he has the chance to get another job.  What if they had made him the final cut on March 31?

In Tracey’s case, we did the player a favor in the sense that we could have sent him to Class AAA again for the year as insurance against something bad happening to our big league bullpen.  Rather, when there was no viable trade possible, we placed him on waivers to allow other teams to claim Sean.  Now, he has a chance to make an Opening Day roster with the Orioles, and we wish him luck.  I like the move by our baseball operations staff.  Call it good karma.

Make-A-Wish

One of the great things we get do to is work with the Make-A-Wish program to give kids who are battling deparate illnes a chance to fulfill a life-long wish.

Today, Bob Beghtol, our director of public relations, took a young fan around our clubhouse.  You should have seen the kid’s face (as well as his dad’s).  Ozzie Guillen, Jim Thome and Scott Podsednik posed for photos.  Toby Hall gave him a bat.  Everyone signed his jersey.

It certainly is a small gesture on behalf of the team and takes only a few moments, but those few minutes are something the child and his family will remember for the rest of their lives.  Puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it?

39 Comments

That it does (i.e. puts everything into perspective).

Scott, just a quick note of thanks for keeping us up-to-date on all that’s been happening in Tucson. Having you share your perspective and stories is a real treat for all of us. Here’s to a safe flight home, and the continued enjoyment of your blog throughout the season.

A few things:

1. What’s the latest on Toby Hall’s injury?

2. With one week to go until the bell rings the pitching by and large still looks awful.

It’s not March 10th anymore friends and neighbors.

With a difficult start to the season the pitchers simply have to perform better this final week to have it carry over into the regular season. I hope they can but as of now I have serious doubts. It’s not just the starters but some of the bullpen guys that Kenny stuck his neck out over like Aardsma and Sisco, have been brutal.

Mark Liptak

One Week. And counting….

Marie… you aren’t kidding, dear heart… This is the time that I hope for the most… right after the time when the spring schedule is announced, when the temperature is in the range of “Good Gawd,it’s FREEEEEZING out there. We need a sign of spring, SOON !!!'”…
Then,they report and begin to play again… then it seems that the training season runs almost as long as the regular season… I know that the vets want to get going, for real… so do the rest of us…

As for Brother Liptak,out in the wilds of Idaho… Don’t misunderstand me,Mark,but…

THE “CHICKEN LITTLE” BIT IS STALE… NOT GETTING STALE,BUT THREE WEEKS OUT OF THE BREADBOX STALE !!!

(For those of you too young to know what the h*ll a breadbox is…well, I was going to explain,but then I got too depressed about thinking how old I was, so I decided to drop it…)

The main goal for pitchers in Florida and Arizona both is to get back into the mechanics of what they do to make a living for themselves…to get back into the routine and the patterns which they are going to spend the next six months doing…

As I have tried to explain,and Scott and some of the other bloggers have tried to explain to you… these are HUMAN BEINGS,NOT AUTOMATONS… They need to go through trial and error… They need to be instructed on what to do,and when,because they have a tendency to forget after a long time off…

The batters,too,go through the same process… Now,I know that you’ve heard the old wheeze about “This early in the year,the batters are ahead of the pitchers”,or vice-versa… Well, that’s why they play the games for six months in Spring Training… I mean, six weeks…but it seems like the former… Let’s just see for ourselves what happens when everything counts…

To be optimistic,looking at things with your heart instead of your eyes all the time, is silly (or the way the mopes and lemmings who follow the North Side react…)… However,the way that some in White Sox Universe see doom, gloom and disaster all the time, because the pitchers are not performing like automatons (robots, for those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the word),throwing the ball where they are supposed to, and not having ERA’s in the double digits… are just as asinine…

Speaking from the middle ground, I remain, as always…

“The Voice of Reason”.

On a non-related to baseball note… Any of you out there who had Ohio State, Georgetown,UCLA and Florida in the Final Four from the beginning…
You lie like a throw rug…

I thought it was really something how North Carolina went into the Flubs mode yesterday…meaning they couldn’t hit in the clutch to save their souls…

We now return to baseball…

Ha ha, Mr Quaid. I got in a pool here at work and was the only person out of 8 who picked the Final Four. I sir, am not a rug. Surprisingly, there were about 4 other teams who had 3 out of the 4. How did UNC blow that game?

Mark – Don’t know if you got your answer yet, but it sounds like the verdict is a torn labrum. NOT GOOD! Maybe the Sox can make a run at Javy Lopez, as I don’t believe he has signed with anyone yet.

I hope the 2nd opinion is more optimistic. Kind of ***** that Ozzie had him playing 1st at the end of some meaningless game. I’m sure Kenny will pick up ole Sandy to fill in for Hall (kidding, at least I hope he doesn’t). Did anyone see Ozzie blow up when a reporter asked him why Hall was in so late at that position?

**** = ******* s

I didn’t know that word was so profane.

Ozzie’s excuse was that he was trying to keep him fresh by getting him a full game of at bats. Nice excuse Ozzie because if that was really the truth why not send him to a B game where he can bat every inning if you want?

Tom:

I understand where you’re coming from but have you looked at the date on the calandar?

The ‘trial and error’ part of the pitching program is dead and buried. If you are still trying to figure things out with a week to go till the bell rings, you’ve got some serious issues.

I’ve always felt that Spring Training means little until you get to the final week / ten days. Then it does matter. We are now at the part of the program…and the losing continues.

Mark Liptak

Mark:
Let’s just see what happens starting next week, when these pitchers realize that…

now, when you lose, it COSTS your team in the REGULAR SEASON standings… there are no trophies given out for winning the Cactus League or the Grapefruit League… but, if you’ll recall, there is a little trophy under glass just inside the door to the main office on 35th street…and,if I recall as well, that spring, the pitching staff wasn’t such hot stuff, either… but, when it counted, they produced…

Mark:
Just as a follow-up (along with a cheap shot aimed at Jurassic Park at Neverland),

I am more confident in Contreras,Buehrle,Garland,Vazquez and Danks than I would be with Big Z and a bunch of unhealthy,rehabbing question marks…

kr… To answer your NCAA related question,how did UNC blow that game?…how did Illinois blow THEIR game versus Virginia Tech, as well as a few other games during the year?…How did Northwestern blow a football game they were dominating against Michigan State,to lose in the last seconds…
It’s called “lack of concentration”…or, to be more blunt, “lack of a killer instinct”…Just ask any of the coaches at Western about that… When you have a big lead, you DON’T coast…you keep your foot on your opponent’s throat…

Or have you forgotten August and September of ’05?

Ouch that hurts! Toby Hall was hitting so good too. He can get a second, third and fourth opinion if he wants but depending on the extent of that tear to his labrum, there’s little to no chance of him being effective backup this season. Modern medicine performs miracles, but the stress he’d put on that labrum (especially throwing runners out) wouldn’t allow his shoulder to heal properly. I hope it’s not as serious as it first sounded but Toby’d be wise to let that heal. Aside from their knees, a catchers shoulder is probably their most crucial body part.

I’m wondering which coaching genius put the CATCHER who was hitting .405 at 1B in a meaningless Spring Training game. Brilliant move. Really brilliant. Now, we can watch AJ hit .150 against the AL Central lefties all season. This is just great.

Tom:
Let’s wait at least past one or two weeks into the regular season before we have to hear your nay saying. You gotta have faith – believing in something you can’t yet see. Give the boys a chance. Maybe they’ll prove you wrong. At least give them some time.

Marie

Unfortunately those first two weeks will tell a lot. 6 against Cleveland, 3 against Minnesota and 3 at Oakland (where we always stink it up). The Sox better come out firing or they will be looking up the standings. It’s not gonna be an easy start and there is not a set amount of time they should be given. Spring training is there for a reason, get yourself ready for the regualr season. And if you can’t get that done then shame on you. I won’t begin passing judgment until opening day, but I sure am nervous.

Uh oh, Gavin Floyd makes the start today. Better score lots of runs White Sox.

rpr, simple really, don’t bother watchin.

I can’t remember a spring training that was overwhelmingly fabulous so folks.. get stressed and puke later, enjoy the Spring weather and breathe!

Good ole Gavin Floyd. 3 innings and 4 earned runs. Glad they picked Danks and will be sending Floyd to the minors.

I haven’t been impressed with Gavin either. I look at his stuff and just wonder at how he could be so lousy, kinda like Javier in that respect. Luckily he’s still young so he can turn it around, but Gio’s turning out to be the better part of that trade easily.

Marie… You don’t understand,dear…You can ask anyone who has been involved with this site since August of ’05, and they will tell you…For the most part, I am the one who is chastizing the naysayers…because I do have the faith in the knoiwledge of Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen and their minions…who know a h*ll of a lot better than the rest of us outsiders what the makeup is of their team,and what it takes to make a successful season…You needed to address those remarks to Brother Liptak in Idaho,kr-trepac in Macomb or kenwo4life…they are some of the bunch who need to be addressed in the fashion that you addressed moi…

keep my name out of your mouth tom! or il be forced to make you retire from the blog like last year :-D

and boy does gavin floyd stink. you cannot compare h im to javy vazquez. gavin floyd will never come close to winning 50 big league games let alone 100+ like vazquez.

I make it a point not to watch a lot of spring training games, but I decided to tune in today. I wanted to see Floyd and see if maybe the fact that he lost the race for the 5th spot would give him a little mojo to step it up. Unfortunately it was another unimpressive outing for him.

Hawk made a comment during the neverending 6th inning, that this has been getting way too ugly lately giving up all these runs. When “Homer Hawk” starts getting pessimistic it may be a sign to worry a bit.

Wiki Gonzalez is NOT the answer to replace Hall. The Angels ran all over him today, and he does not look like he can hit major leage pitching yet. Supposedly Molina has the defensive skills, but not the stick. Hey maybe Ozzie will have Mackowiak catch instead of butchering center field this year. Get Javy Lopez in here now before somebody else picks him up!!!

Wow I can’t believe how some of you can be so down on Guillen for putting Hall at 1B. Obviously that move caused what is now a big problem, but if this injury never happened would any of you be upset that he was playing first for the game? I doubt it. Ease off a little bit, in no way could this have been foreseen by the fact that Ozzie was putting Hall at 1B.

Don’t pretend you knew what was best to do.

So here’s my question, why not put Casey Rogowski at back up? He played well this spring and has put up good number in AAA. I don’t even see why there’s a question. Am I missing something?

I’m not always the pessimist Mr. Quaid. Gavin Floyd is absolutely terrible. He’s bad in spring, the regualr season, or wherever you pitch him. That is the truth.

Now let’s get this season started already. I’ve got my tickets, days off of work, parking pass, and beverages ready for Monday. Go Go White Sox.

Hey all haven’t posted in a while I was wondering if Molina is realted to the Molina brothers?

Nope. Bengie, Jose, and Yadier are the only Molina brothers/catchers in baseball.

Casey Rogowski is not a catcher. He is a first baseman. As long as we have Konerko, Casey’s days here are numbered.

OK, here is something scary to think about. No doubt we struggle against lefties. According to what SI is saying will be the starting rotations for the other 4 teams in our division, 9 of the 20 pitchers(that’s 45% for you math majors) are lefties.

Think about the lineup we would be throwing out there:

Pods (hopefully Pablo)

Iguchi

Thome (easy K for lefties)

Konerko

Dye

Crede

Uribe

Anderson

Gonzalez/Molina

If we don’t get runs out of Iguchi, Konerko Dye and Crede we are in trouble. The rest are at best unreliable against lefties. You get to the bottom 3 and you may as well skip that half of the inning. You can live with sacrificing one bad hitter in a lineup, look at the whole NL. However if we have 3 or 4 guys in the lineup that we are looking at as guys that are bonuses if they do anything that won’t be good.

Now I hope some of these guys prove me wrong, but just the thought of all those lefties is pretty scary!

It was our pitching that was most responsible for last year’s fall, we put all kind of great offensive numbers up. I don’t think Hall was going to save us from the lefties in our division, not that he wouldn’t have helped.

kenwo… All right, teacher… I shall refrain from any mention… UNTIL you make some statement that calls for a rebuttal… then I’ll take my chances…
jim devereux… the point that mgrothendick was making was this,I do believe… Why not put Rogowski in at 1st base that particular game?…

The answer: Ozzie wanted to get Hall more AB’s to get him ready for the regular season…the problem is this…at this time of year, the infields in Arizona are like,to quote the late Pirates announcer Bob Prince, “alabaster plaster”…

Hard as a rock, in other words…and ANYBODY would be taking a gamble diving for a ball as Hall did…but just imagine what the hubbub would be if it was Konerko getting hurt that way?… Ozzie would never make it back to Chicago…White Sox Universe would have had him drawn and quartered immediately…

In addition, the point you make about the number crunching is valid,EXCEPT…

Just as you don’t win pennants and championships on paper, you also do not play games on paper…when pushed to the ultimate,it is amazing sometimes what the human spirit and ability can accomplish… now these left handed pitchers you talk about facing…as I stated before, they are human beings…the put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us…they are fallible… it depends on the time and the situation…

the writers at SI,believe it or not, can be wrong…

Finally, kr…Kristopher,I apologize to you, my young friend…You indeed are not always the pessimist…There are indeed some pitchers, just as there are some position players who couldn’t succeed on a 16 inch softball team, let alone a major league squad…they just,unfortunately,pick the wrong times to show it…

Danks is danking it today. I think I’ll just wait for 4/2 and not pay anymore attention to ST. Should have done it 3 weeks ago.

Pretty pathetic effort thus far. Some D-Back legged out a triple to start of the 5th after Scott P. jogged after a fly ball with no urgency whatsoever. Danks is doing his best Floyd impersonation and just walked his 6th batter….I’m with you tuckers, no more Sox until Monday.

Jim D was right. I was just mixed up, I thought Casey Rogowski was a catcher for some reason. I wish he was…

I wish he was too because he is a beast at the plate. He was the guy that showed up El Duque in live BP before the 05 season and next time up Duque threw at his head.

Okay, it’s near the end of ST, at this point you’re glad the team has made it through, relatively healthy. Hall at first base? I know this has already been bantered about, but I don’t get people defending Ozzie over this deal. It’s just that Hall’s played so few games at first base. Just to get more at bats?? He needed a few more at bats less than anybody on the team! Again, put him in the back lot, bat twice an inning, but keep him out of the field. “Fruuuustrating”.

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