Sunday, April 29, 2007
Hitting Woes Continue
As we drop the deciding game of the series to the Angels.
Following the game, we optioned outfielder Brian Anderson to Class AAA Charlotte. A corresponding move will be made prior to our game on Tuesday.
A reminder that Wednesday’s game is now a day game. Start is 2:35 pm our time.
I am scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on my right kneee Tuesday, so you may not hear from me for a short while (hopefully). I have a day of golf scheduled for Monday, and then Dr. Ho will work his magic on Tuesday. Depending on the vicatin, I’ll post when I can …
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Erstad, CF; Mack, RF; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Dye, DH; Crede, 3B; Cintron, 2B; Uribe, SS; Sweeney, LF. Buehrle pitching.
Before today’s game, we recalled Ryan Sweeney from Class AAA Charlotte and placed Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his right rib cage.
Mark Buehrle, today’s starter, is in position this afternoon to become just the fifth pitcher in history to record each of his first 100 career victories in a White Sox uniform. With his next win, Buehrle will join Red Faber, Joe Horlen, Ted Lyons and Ed Walsh as the only pitchers to accomplish that feat. Mark ranks 12th in Sox history with 99 wins (Thornton Lee is 11th with 104).
Buehrle ranks second in baseball with 1,401 IP since 2001. Our lefty trails only Livan Hernandez, currently with the Dbacks, who has 1,425.1 IP.
I am sitting in Ozzie’s office yesterday before the game with Ken Williams. As we talk, Ozzie flips channels on the television. He stops at an LSU vs. Tennessee women’s fastpitch softball game.
"This hitter can really rake," he says as an LSU batter lines a ball into center field. "And that pitcher is one of the best in college softball right now."
I give him an incredulous look (not because it is women’s softball but because he really has enough time in his life to watch any and all baseball/softball on television).
"No, really. I watch this all the time."
Saturday, April 28, 2007, 3:00 pm
Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Dye, RF; Mackowiak, LF; Crede, 3B; Cintron, DH; Uribe, SS. Garland pitching.
First fireworks night of the year.
Nice to take that first game of the series last night against the first-place Angels.
After a sluggish start (at least according to batting average), Darin Erstad is now hitting every ball right on the nose.
As I write this, Ken Williams and Ozzie Guillen are behind closed doors in Ozzie’s office discussing what they want to do regarding Jim Thome’s re-aggravating his injury in the first inning last night. If they do go the DL route with Jim, the question then is who to bring up. Last night, Ozzie stated his preference to use guys on our current roster to take over DH at-bats as opposed to someone from the minor leagues. We should have a final decision pregame today.
Several correspondents contacted me to point out that two of the top picks in today’s NFL draft — No. 6 Laron Landry (FS, LSU) to Washington and No. 11 Patrick Willis (LB, Ole Miss) to San Francisco — were sporting White Sox caps.
With the Yankees struggles this week, the White Sox now own the best record in baseball since Opening Day 2005, going 201-144 since then. (And that is not adding in our 11 postseason wins). The Bronx Bombers are second at 200-145, Boston third (196-150), followed by the Angels (196-151) and Mets/Cardinals (193-152). Worth noting that the top four teams are all from the AL as well as seven of the top 11 (Minnesota, Oakland and Cleveland crack that list).
Tonight’s game is closing in on a sellout.
Tuesday’s game at SAFECO Field against the Mariners will now be televised on Comcast Sports Net, not CSN Plus as originally scheduled.
Friday, April 26, 2007
Erstad, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mack, LF; Uribe, SS. Contreras pitching.
Sorry I didn’t get to the blog yesterday to inform everyone of the rainout. The afternoon became a little hectic.
Think whatever you want about Curt Schilling, Gary Thorne, the blood/paint controversy of recent days and how the media covered it, but Curt did have an interesting post on his blog today. Check it out if you care:
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; PK, 1B; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, RF: Ozuna, LF; Uribe, SS; Anderson, DH. John Danks on the mound.
According to the experts, things will clear for a time and then the rain will return around 4-5 pm. The rest of the evening will be spotty rain and scattered showers, but we remain hopeful we will be able to play baseball in and around the rain drops.
It took a long time, and it wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. It’s safe to say that last year, this game in KC would have ended up as a loss.
Our team plane left KC around 2:00 am and arrived at Midway near 3 am. Pat O’Connel our manager of media relations, arrived at his home at 4:15 am. As a result, players don’t need to be at the ballpark (dressed) until 5:15 pm today for our game tonight. We’ll hit in the cages, not on the field, which, given the weather, makes sense anyway.
"It is starting to come," said Joey Cora, our bench coach. "You can feel it in the clubhouse. We’re close to getting rolling."
Jim and Andrea Thome and Paul and Jennifer Konerko will join with Children’s Home + Aid at a press conference tomorrow at the ballpark (11 am) to announce a major partnership.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Erstad, DH; Iguchi, 2B; Konerko, 1B; AJ, C; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, LF; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Vazquez pitching.
Evidently there are storms and rain in the KC area today/tonight.
A reminder that tonight’s game has been moved to Comcast Sports Net Plus 2 (or Plus, Plus). Most cable networks are carrying it on the channel normally airing Total Living Network. Go to whitesox.com for a complete listing of where to find tonight’s game on your cable network.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, LF; Uribe, SS. Some guy named Buehrle on the mound.
Johnny Vander Meer
Very good story about Johnny Vander Meer and his accomplishment of throwing consecutive no-hitters on Page 2 of ESPN’s site today. To read the piece, click below:
Hall of Fame
I boxed up Mark Buehrle’s hat (still smelling of stale beer) and a ball from his no-hit start on April 18 and sent both items to The Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown. The Hall has a baseball from every MLB no-hitter ever thrown. To this day, one of the cool moments in my career was taking a private, after hours tour of the Hall of Fame with the 1993 White Sox. I stood next to Wilson Alvarez as he looked at his encased ball and hat from his 1991 no-hitter in Baltimore. Made you understand the history of this game and what it means in about three seconds.
Rumor has Brian Bannister joining the Royals in time to start tomorrow’s game.
Buehrle has actually faced only 27 men in a game twice in his career. The left-hander also turned the trick on 7/21/04 in a 14-0 victory over Cleveland.
Congrats to Ozzie for celebrating his 500th game as a White Sox manager last week. Only three other Sox skippers had more victories in their first 500 games, Fielder Jones (304), Clarence "Pants" Rowland (303) and Al Lopez (286).
As much as Sunday’s conclusion hurt, I still had to remind myself that it was a pretty good weekend for the White Sox (and the Chicago weather). Two-game series are tough because you likely go 1-1, but let’s not let up against the Royals tonight and tomorrow. If you look at last year, we beat the Tigers regularly (12-7, 6-3 at home, 6-4 in Detroit), but they pounded the Royals, 14-4 (9-0 in KC), and we struggled in KC (4-5) in going 11-8 against the Royals overall.
Because of the Bulls playoff game, the Cubs game moves to Comcast Sports Net Plus while ours goes to Comcast Sports Net Plus Plus. Check whitesox.com for an up-to-date list of where to find CSN++ on your cable system. In most cases, I have been told it will be on the Total Living Network channel.
Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, LF; Uribe, SS. Vazquez pitching.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
All the noise in the ballpark stopped for a second last night as Mark Buehrle celebrated his no-hitter by hugging and kissing his expentant wife. The left-hander then bent over and kissed his wife’s pregnant stomach in a moment that was captured by a Tribune photographer in today’s print edition.
During the postseason of 2005, a daily ritual was for me, Jerry Reinsdorf, Phyllis Merhige and Dennis Gilbert to meet for breakfast each morning. Everytime we did, we won.
Last night, I sent Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn an email around 6 p.m. asking if they wanted to have dinner in the Scout’s Lounge. Last year, we ate quite a few times and up til last night, we hadn’t gotten together in 2007 (too many day games).
We met, had dinner, and then we won with a flair. So early this morning, I sent KW and Rick and email asking if they were free for dinner tonight. We have a streak going (not that we actually influence anything that happens on the field).
In addition to his up-against-the-wall catch last night, how amazing was JD’s at-bat that resulted in his grand slam? He fouled off tough pitch after tough pitch and then hit a laser just over the left-field fence. You could hear the ballpark exhale in unison.
Funny Comments From Last Night
As everyone in the clubhouse celebrated postgame, Mark walked in. "Hey," Paul Konerko said, acting all excited. "You hit 90 mph on the juggs gun."
In the fifth inning, Buehrle taunted/joked with Toby Hall, saying:
"Better get the champagne ready. I have a no hitter going."
So much for superstition.
This From Our Friends At Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN:
There have been more than 180,000 games played in major league history, but Wednesday’s Rangers-White Sox game was unique. It was the first game in major league history in which one player (Mark Buehrle) threw a no-hitter, another (Jermaine Dye) hit a grand-slam home run, and a third (Jim Thome) had a multiple-homer game.
Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters in his no-hitter against the Rangers. All that stood between him and a perfect game was a fifth-inning walk to Sammy Sosa – whom Buehrle promptly picked off.
The last two big-leaguers to throw non-perfect-game no-hitters in which they faced the minimum 27 batters were Terry Mulholland and Sandy Koufax. In 1990, Mulholland, pitching for the Phillies against the Giants, allowed only one base runner (who reached on a Charlie Hayes error; the next batter hit into a double play); back in 1964, Koufax threw a no-no against the Phillies in which he walked rookie Richie Allen, who was then caught stealing.
· Buehrle, long one of the majors’ fastest workers, completed his no-hitter in just two hours and three minutes. It was the fastest no-hitter since 1988, when Tom Browning threw a perfect game for the Reds against the Dodgers in one hour, 51 minutes.
· Buehrle’s mound opponent on Wednesday night, Kevin Millwood of the Rangers, threw a no-hitter five years ago this month. Only two other no-hitters over the past 30 years came in games in which the opposing starter had himself previously fired a no-hit game.
In 1999, Cardinals rookie Jose Jimenez no-hit the Diamondbacks in a game started by Randy Johnson; and in 1980, the Dodgers’ Jerry Reuss tossed a no-hitter against the Giants, whose starting pitcher was Vida Blue.
And If You Missed It
Fans who missed the game on television, have two options to see the action:
1) They can sign up for MLB.tv and watch the game via BAM’s archive, or…
Tonight marks Ozzie’s 500th game as White Sox manager. We are digging up more info on this as I write, so I’ll post more later.
2) They can search for the game via iTunes and download it from there. Although, it’s not up now (mid morning), it should be soon.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007, 10:11 pm
Congratulations to Mark Buehrle
So my wife calls me this morning and says, "We want to come to the game tonight."
"Do you know how cold it will be," I ask.
"Yeah, we’ll come for a little while."
I sat with them in the first and sixth innings. After the sixth I said, "You know you have to stay."
History in the making for my family, Mark Buehrle, U.S. Cellular Field and all White Sox fans.
What a great night.
Watching the ninth inning from a seat right behind home plate. After the game, I headed across the field, caught my wife’s eye, and then ducked into the dugout to help with media right after the game.
The beer shower for Mark while he was being interviewed on Comcast Sports Net. I tossed him a towel so he could wipe himself off.
The genuine excitement and joy expressed by the entire team for Mark. Everyone stayed in the dugout to congratulate him. Ken Williams came down to shake his hand. It reminded me of the feel of the World Series.
Kudos to the fans who came and stayed. Can you believe three people were leaving the ballpark as we went to the top of the ninth inning? I asked them what they were thinking …
Collecting the game balls, lineup cards and various items to be authenticated from tonight.
Standing in the dugout after the game with Ozzie Guillen who said, "Look at this." He pulled a coin out of his pocket and flipped it over. It was a special dollar that showed the American flag, the Iraqi flag and a map of Iraq. "Someone sent this to me and I had it in my pocket tonight."
"Keep it there," I said, and we laughed together.
Watching all of the White Sox collected in the clubhouse and watching Buehrle on the in-house television talking about his outing. The clubhouse was dead quiet and all you could hear was Mark on all the televisions.
The terrific performance by my staff as they looked up stats and details, fielded calls from across the country, and dealt with the media right after the game. First class jobs by Bob Beghtol, Pat O’Connell, Lou Hernandez, Marty Maloney, Colter McElree and Tim Miller. Job well done.
To Mark Buehrle. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.
This was the third no-hitter of my career. First was Wilson Alvarez on 8/11/91 (also my first anniversary). Second came less than two weeks later when Bret Saberhagen no-hit us in Kansas City and the third came tonight.
This was the first no-no in U.S. Cellular Field history.
Key defensive plays in the game:
Dye’s catch at the wall
Crede’s dive and throw on Hairston
Iguchi going to his left into the outfield
Uribe going into the hole
Crede’s play on the slow roller to end the game.
On when he thought the no-hitter was possible:
"In the ninth inning with two outs. Konerko looked nervous. Some of the other guys were nervous. I joked with Thome in the 5th that I had a no-hitter going. I was trying to jinx myself."
On the no-hitter compared to postseason:
"I was more nervous after the 8th, coming out in the 9th, when the crowd was going crazy. I could feel it in my knees a little, definitely had a little extra adrenaline then. Nothing compares to winning a World Series though. Individually, this ranks high, but baseball is a team game."
On the last play:
"I know Joe Crede is a good defensive player, I started pumping my fist. I just kept saying ‘oh, my God.’ I never thought in a million years I would throw a no-hitter. It hasn’t sunk in."
"I was a little nervous because the last hitter (Laird) had some good at-bats against him. I was telling Don Cooper, ‘I don’t care if he walks him and pitches to Kenny Lofton. It’s a great feeling. I think we needed that. Buehrle needed that for himself. As a team, I think we were nervous. I heard guys saying they weren’t really nervous during the World Series, but they were nervous today. It’s a great feeling, especially for Buehrle. Everybody loves this kid. It’s something that’s really hard to do, and he did it."
"It wa pretty cool. I told Mark I’ve been nervous, but never like that, in the World Series, playoffs, or whatever. In the ninth inning with two outs, I was a lot more nervous than in the World Series. I don’t want to say there was more on the line, but for a personal accomplisment, that’s as good as it gets. For him to get it, it’s amazing. I couldn’t be more happy or more proud of anyone."
Maybe this is what we need to get going?
On J.D.’s Grand Slam … "Like giving a starving man a steak."
Jim Thome … boom-boom.
Enjoy your night.