April 2007

Wednesday Weather

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today’s Lineup

Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, LF; Uribe, SS.  Buehrle pitching.

Yesterday

So a bad day (Podsednik onto the DL after hurting his right adductor working out on Monday’s off day) goes to worse (last night’s result).  The great thing about baseball is that there is always another game the next day.

Good Quotes

From ESPN Radio 1000 host and Tribune reporter Steve Rosenbloom:

"Yesterday, the Cubs learned something the White Sox already knew.  Don’t pitch to Geoff Blum in the 14th inning."

From Greg Walker, our hitting coach:

"We will be fine.  We will hit.  We just can’t panic."

From Ozzie Guillen about Sammy Sosa during his pregame meeting with the media.  Ozzie was asked about a young Sosa who was his teammate with the Sox:

"We called him Zorro.  You know, zip, zip, zip.  Strikeout."

Ozzie Postgame

During last night’s postgame comments to the media, Ozzie reinterated that he would always walk Texiera to pitch to Sosa, and that Sosa should be ready to hit.

It did sound like Ozzie said that Sammy needed to get ready to "get hit," but he and our department quickly corrected any misperception of his comments.  Everyone in the room at the time understood what Ozzie was saying. However, several televisions and a radio station carried the comments without explanation or correction.

Just to be clear:  Ozzie was not saying that Sosa would get hit by a pitch.  Throughout his career, Ozzie has pointedly said that teams should never hit an opposing hitter for being successful against them.

Texas In Town

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today’s White Sox Lineup

Erstad, CF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Mackowiak, LF; Cintron, SS.  Garland on the hill.

Catching Up

Monday, April 16, 2007

Breaking My Silence

Sorry to disappear last week.  The first few days kept me very busy — what with battling the late night games in Oakland — and a few personal matters with my family that landed us in the emergency room one night (in the end, all will be well).

Funny how things look 11 games into the season.

Coming out of Tucson, the concern was all about our pitching, particularly our starting pitching. 

Just two games into the season, our favorite columnist wrote an angry (imagine that), fevered piece with the header:  "Spinning Out of Control … Let’s Start with Sox’ Rotation: Just two games into the season, it’s already clear that Williams & Co. were all wrong about their staff."

Among the very best quotes …

"Well, swallow this:  The rotation stinks."

"We knew more than you knew."

"… Kenny GM is going to owe fans a major apology for being so smug."

"The Sox are so busy trying to show people how brilliant they are, they twist themselves into silly knots."

Oops.  Want a mulligan?

Now, my guess is that this column was actually written sometime during the winter with the columnist’s finger poised over the send button waiting for his next opportunity to strike.  It might have been a little premature, and perhaps a little wrong.

It took Sun-Times beat writer Joe Cowley’s article on April 13 to correct the newspaper’s written record with "Trader Kenny On a Roll."

"Looking back on Williams’ trades, he is 3-0-1, and even that tie is swaying heavily in his favor."

Later, Joe concludes with, "Point is, these deals were to be measured in September, not in February.  It’s way too early to underestimate what Williams did."

Pretty disparate views, huh.  Which one do you think is more accurate? 

Actually, it’s way too early, and way too cold, to draw conclusions one way or the other.  I sat through most of those spring games.  Arizona weather, Tucson altitude and the hard infield, high sun, do matter, but no one looked like Cy Young in Tucson.  Matt Thornton and John Danks were our best pitchers in the spring, while David Aardsma struggled all of March to make the staff.

So where do we stand now?

We are third in the AL in pitching with a 3.54 ERA, while our starters — despite the rough/quirky first three outings of the year — are eighth at 3.86.  The re-vamped bullpen, led by Aardsma’s 0.90 ERA, owns a 3.10 ERA.

We stand at 5-6, and oh for a few clutch hits, this trip could have been 5-1 or at least 4-2.

Offensively, we rank last in the AL with a .222 mark and just ahead of KC with 38 runs scored (to the Royals 36).  I think all of us feel pretty comfortable that this team eventually is going to hit and eventually going to score runs.

If not, we have a completely different issue from the one we all anticipated coming out of spring training. (just review your posts on this blog from mid to late March).

What was it that Coop said this spring? "Never evaluate in spring training."  Particularly with veteran teams.

Maybe we all learned a lesson.

Random Thoughts

(Some of which are dated)

Anyone else struggle with the late nights/early mornings of the Oakland series?  I did.  All spring and the first two weeks of the season, I was up at 6 am to work out before heading into the office.  6 am comes way too early with the team on the west coast.  Even after the game is over, I find myself awake for an hour replaying what coulda been …

Family Field Day

Tickets to the popular Family Field Day are available now at whitesox.com.  This season, we timed the Chicago White Sox Charities event for Father’s Day (June 16), so take advantage and bring your dad or your son out and play a game of catch you will remember forever.

All three sessions sold out last year, so act quickly.

Sox Pride Club

Fans who are Sox Pride Club Premium members (or fans who want to upgrade or join now) will have access to purchase a limited number of lower box tickets to specific games.  We hope to offer this perk from time to time this season as availability allows.  Go to whitesox.com for details.

Jerry’s Letter

We received some great feedback on the letter to fans and his definition of the organization vision that Jerry sent out last week.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it, check out our site …

Competition

Is always a good thing.  Mark Newman, BAM superstar who avid readers know looks over this site as a sort of uber editor, informed me that my competition now includes the likes of Alyssa Milano.  Like I have a chance!

Mark did say that he has to spend a lot more time proofreading/cleaning up comments made on her site than this one.  Go figure.

(But I have been working out lately …)

Hawk

By now, most people realize that Hawk missed the three-game series in Oakland to attend Boston’s Opening Day reunion of the Impossible Dream Red Sox team.  He was really excited to go back to Fenway and see his teammates again.  And thanks to Jack McDowell for filling in for Hawk.

Vote and Vote Again

ESPNdesportes.com is selecting the Greatest Latin Team.  This week, the balloting is for shortstop with Omar Vizquel, Davy Concepcion and Luis Aparicio as the nominees.  So let’s start voting again and again for No. 11.

Support

So in arranging to have knee surgery in the next few weeks (long story), it just so happened that my ortho and his lead nurse are big Sox fans (season ticket holders infact), and she is an avid reader of this blog.  So, Barb, thanks for all your help and for fitting me in to see the doctor.  Just list me as day-to-day.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Today’s Lineups

Castillo, 2B; Punto, 3B; Mauer, C; Cuddyer, RF; Morneau, 1B; Hunter, CF; Redmond, DH; Tyner, LF; Bartlett, SS.  Santana pitching.

Ozuna, LF; Erstad, CF; Konerko, 1B; Thome, DH; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; AJ, C; Iguchi, 2B; Uribe, SS.  Danks making his ML debut.

A Little News

Toby Hall is going to test his right shoulder by throwing tomorrow in Oakland.

Don’t Look

The last White Sox starting pitcher to win his debut was …

… Kip Wells on 8/2/99 (1 ER/5.1 IP).

Since then, we have seen eight debuts: Garland, Biddle, Stewart, Cotts, Diaz, Munoz, McCarthy and Haeger without a win (0-4, 9.53 ERA, 42 ER/39.2 IP).

For some reason (John’s performances this spring, a lefty vs. the Twins, the Twins not having seen Danks yet or just a feeling), I have a good vibe about today (also, maybe it was all the chocolate this morning, who knows?).

We’ll know by 4 pm.

More on Saturday

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Sights Seen

Batting practice in stocking caps … Juan Uribe sitting at the end of the dugout near the super heater (think jet engine), warming his hands and bat handle.

Looking Ahead

Of the top hitters against Johann Santana (minimum 30 career at-bats, which pretty much means Central division hitters), the White Sox feature three.  The top 10 (by batting average):

Ordonez, .394

Ozuna, .323

Blake, .282

Martinez, .281

Sweeney, .273

Iguchi, .250 (two RBI)

Rowand, .250

Crisp, .242

Dye, .227

Also of note:  Paul Konerko is only 6-45 (.133) against Santana, but two of the six hits are home runs.  Joe Crede (7-39, .179) also has two career homers.

Saturday Pregame

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Today’s Lineups

Pods, LF; Erstad, CF; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; AJ, C; Iguchi, 2B; Uribe, SS.  Vazquez pitching.

Castillo, 2B; Punto, 3B; Mauer, C; Cuddyer, RF; Morneau, 1B; Hunter, CF; White, LF; Kubel, DH; Bartlett, SS.  Silva pitching.

Honoring Robinson

Jermaine Dye wants to wear uniform No. 42 next Sunday (April 15th) to honor the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Other uniformed personnel have until the end of today to let us know if they also want to wear number 42 for the day.

Time Very Well Spent

After yesterday’s game was called because of cold and wind, many of our hitters came to the ballpark in the early afternoon to take batting practice inside in the batting cages.

Following the workout, Tadahito Iguchi made a trip to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital to visit 12-year-old Takuya Matsumoto, a Japanese native who was brought to UC to await a heart transplant.  Tad met the boy and his mom and sister.  After he learned that a fund had been established to help defray some of the boy’s expenses, Tad immediately offered a personal donation of $10,000.  To see a WGN TV story of the visit, click here (assuming the link works and I haven’t screwed it up somehow):

http://video.wgntv.com/global/video/popup/pop_player.asp?clipid1=1350430&at1=News&vt1=v&h1=Helping+Hand+from+Sox+Star&d1=126133&redirUrl=http://www.wgntv.com&activePane=info&LaunchPageAdTag=homepage&playerVersion=1&hostPageUrl=http%3A//video.wgntv.com/global/video/popup/pop_playerLaunch.asp%3Fclipid1%3D1350430%26at1%3DNews%26vt1%3Dv%26h1%3DHelping+Hand+from+Sox+Star%26d1%3D126133%26redirUrl%3Dhttp%3A//www.wgntv.com%26activePane%3Dinfo%26LaunchPageAdTag%3Dhomepage&rnd=69816878

Pitching

Friday, April 7, 2007, 3:30 pm

Rotation

Ozzie just called me to say that they have decided to have John Danks pitch Sunday against the Twins.  Our rotation now is Vazquez (tomorrow), Danks, Contreras (at Oakland), Garland and TBA (depending on how Buehrle feels).

Friday Weather

Friday, April 6, 2007

Freeze Out

With the cold temperatures and wind chill forecast for tonight, we postponed today’s game.  It will be re-scheduled at a date and time to be determined once the weather turns warmer.

Tomorrow’s and Sunday’s games, since they will be played in the sunshine (we hope), will go on as scheduled.

Pitching

Javier Vazquez will go tomorrow and Jose Contreras will throw Sunday against Santana, skipping John Danks the first time around.  Jon Garland will start the first game against Oakland with TBA scheduled for games 2-3.

And for those conspiracy theorists out there (you know who you are), we began discussing the Friday night weather concern before our starting pitchers logges only 7-plus innings in the series with the Indians.

Sox Pride Club

I asked Dakin Dugaw to write a quick note for any SPC members who have or continue to have troubles activating their memberships.  He sent me the following:

-To those members who have been experiencing problems with Gameday Audio, all of those accounts (approximately 100) have been identified, and the proper entitlements to receive GDA as a free membership perk have been granted to all.  If you’re still experiencing GDA problems, please e-mail fanfeedback@whitesox.mlb.com and we’ll address the problem immediately.

-Next week, we’ll be sending an e-mail to SPC members offering additional Premium Lower Box ticket opportunities for the April 25-29 homestand to Sox Pride Club Premier members only.  This information also will be posted in the Sox Pride Club member page and FAQ page.  Please make sure to check all the details once they are finalized.

Sox Pride Club Regular Members looking to upgrade to a Premier membership should call 866-800-1275 or e-mail soxprideclub@whitesox.mlb.com to make the switch. 

-The 2007 Sox Pride Club membership packets – including your membership card – are being mailed now, and all should arrive to current SPC members within the next two weeks.  If you do not receive your packet by Friday, April 20, please e-mail us at fanfeedback@whitesox.mlb.com.

-The Sox Pride Club Premier T-shirt design is done, and the shirts are at the printer.  We will be contacting Premier members soon with details on how to claim their shirts. 

-Finally, we will be starting our exclusive Sox Pride Club on-line auctions and offering new members-only desktop wallpapers very soon. 

Please do log-in to the Sox Pride Club member page regularly for membership updates, new FAQ information and access to select perks, such as the postgame press conferences after each home game.  That’s also the place to go to see what tickets are on sale, check the SPC message board, review the club benefits and access your Gameday Audio subscription.

We hope that these updates are helpful, and we appreciate you taking your allegiance to the White Sox to a whole new level.  We will continue to work hard every day to make your membership the best it can be, and thanks for showing your Sox Pride!

Dakin Dugaw

Manager of On-line Communications

Buehrle Update

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Mark Buehrle Update

Saw Mark after the game and we spoke briefly.  TV showed the egg on the top of his forearm right after he was hit.  Mark told the media his arm went numb and that’s why he came out, but he fully expects to make his next start.  We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.

We Got One

Thursday, April 6, 2007

It wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t pretty, but … Put One On The Board

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