Notes & Observations From Day 2

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Same Old

It doesn’t take long in spring training to fall into the rythym of camp, especially before games start.  Today was a little different in that we were able to get out onto the fields because the weather has gotten much, much better (high 60s, sunny).  Pitchers threw from mounds again with Mike MacDougal catching Ozzie Guillen’s eye.

"One guy who really impressed me was MacDougal," the manager said.  "I talked to him and told him if he can get the ball over the plate and make guys swing and miss, he’ll get people out.  He told me he felt healthy and was ready to go.  I really like how he threw the ball today."

He wished MacDougal could face himself.  It might be an education.

"Hitters don’t want to face him," Guillen said, noting he’d had a few thousand plate appearances himself as a hitter.  "This kid has some filthy stuff."

MacDougal is just one piece of a re-constructed bullpen that includes Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink.

"I think games will dictate how we use them," Guillen said of acquisitions.  "To me, the bullpen is very important, especially in the American League.  A lot of games are decided by the bullpen.  Think of how many runs were scored against us in the seventh and eighth innings last year.

"I found out how bad a manager I was (in 2007).  There were a lot of tough decisions and I made a lot of bad ones," he said, talking specifically of the bullpen.  "I’m a better manager now.  It’s easy when everything goes right.  You learn things when you fail and things don’t go right."

In Camp

Pablo Ozuna and Josh Fields joined the position players in camp early.  Ozuna, with his ever present smile, looked good when I saw him in the hallway.

"A lot of players want to be here," Guillen said.  "They’re hungry and ready to go.  No one wants to go through what we did last year again."

Guillen said he talked to Fields and Crede about their situations and having to deal with questions all spring.

"I told them to go out there and perform.  Make KW and myself make the decision," Guillen said.  "At this point in spring training, we don’t know Joe’s situation.  We have to wait for Joe, so right now, Josh Fields is my third baseman.  We’ll wait and see what happens when the games start."

Golfing For A Cause

Tomorrow is our annual Dbacks/White Sox Charity Golf Outing in conjunction with the Accenture Match Play Championship in The Gallery Golf Course just north of Tucson.

Ken Williams, Harold Baines, Mark Salas, Bobby Jenks, Javier Vazquez, Toby Hall, Nick Masset, Charlie Haeger (a scratch golfer) and Gavin Floyd will take part.

For devoted readers, you’ll remember this outing led to the notorious Jumping Cholla incident last year that left a cactus stuck in Mike Gellinger’s eye.  Battling through the blood and the pain, he gamely finished the round.

We’ll see what Monday’s outing brings.  But like I said at the time, it’s always a bad thing when the EMT walks up and says, in effect, "Holy Cow."

16 Comments

Funny, Scott. As soon as I read your first paragraph re: the golf outing, my first thought was “Watch out for the cacti!”. You’ll have to link back to the original post, as it was painfully funny to read. (Glad Mike’s OK, of course.)

Happy to read that Ozuna’s in good spirits and seemingly good health. We sure missed his pep last year.

I am proud to announce to all that I cancelled my Sun-Times subscription a few weeks back. I just couldn’t stand the thought of another season of blatantly biased rhetoric. Got a call yesterday from a marketing research firm hired by the Sun-Times inquiring my reason for the cancellation. I let them know EXACTLY why I’d had enough. I’d love to know if my verbatim comments make it back to the powers-that-be.

I’m back to reading the blog religiously now that the baseball season is underway. Makes these last days of winter go so much faster. Hope all my fellow bloggers are safe and warm.

Congrats, Maria, on your sun-times cancellation….that paper is banned from our K-2 school by all Sox fans and even cub fans:) (hey, being the purchasing secretary has it’s perks). I also am reading the blog every day for updates. Keep ‘em coming, Scott.
Amy

For those looking for it, here’s the original golfing post: http://whitesoxpride.mlblogs.com/inside_the_white_sox/2007/02/one_for_the_age.html

Looking forward to another season, hope to read a lot of good things!

Oh wow, I just read last years link about the cactus… how freakin weird is that! :) Welcome back to all of us… so glad baseball is on our horizon!! GO SOX!

I’m with you Maria. But as I sit here, freezing, and contemplating going out and salting the ice rink that our driveway has become, baseball seems a million miles a way. What I wouldn’t give for the warmth of the sun as I sit in the bleachers watching our boys entertain… I still recall sitting in the stands along 1st base 2 years ago in early April..wearing my parka WITH THE HOOD UP. Cold or warm, I’m ready for some baseball!! -Dawn

I agree with all of you about how happy the start of spring training makes me. It’s better than seeing that first robin in the spring. I love seeing the guys on the sports segment on the news each night. It just makes me so happy to start this season. I personally, have a good feeling about this year.

With all the subscription woes that both newspapers are suufering through,Maria, I am not the least bit surprised that the powers-that-be would be trying to find out why people are leaving in droves…You would think they would smarten up and get rid of the devisive(sic)elements, especially at the former “Bright One”…
Of course, if they did that, the sports section would only consist of the small print agate type announcing scores, box scores and deals made…

because all of those leaches would be unemployed…

Now, to Ms Brusa…Just remember, Dawn…after the Spring Training warmth of Arizona(right, jk?),the boys go to open the regular championship schedule in…

Cleveland and Detroit…

Oh,goodie…

Speaking of newspapers and their blogs, I just saw this little disclaimer on the Chicago Sports.com blogs page…
“Comments are not posted immediately. We review them first in an effort to remove foul language,irrelevancies and unfair attacks.”

Those last two ought to be used by the editors at the S-T…

But then, of course, the sports section would be reduced to what I mentioned before…

I would like to find out from you folks if the current squad meets with your approval going into the ’08 campaign…
Because I feel that these guys learned a very bitter lesson last year…which is, very simply,hustle from Day One(I sound like Hillary and Sen.Obama, don’t I?)in March to the end of October and see where it lands you…

I heard Thome on Ch 2 today…I think he feels the same way…

Please, Mr Reifert, ask him if he does feel that way…

o.k. i’ll weigh in on this one T.Q.overall, i’m happy with this squad, especially the speed factor. we need to get back to moving runners over and executing like we did in ’05 as many of you have already pointed out. i would like to see cabrerra signed to a multi year contract so that losing Jon won’t be for naught. i’d say we need to move Juan: we have too many utility infielders now as it is. we also have to decide on third base on Joe or Josh and move on from there. I’m concerned about our rotation,(what’s new), but then our #4 & 5 had the same questions going into ’05. i also agree with whoever said to platoon Thome when facing lefties. why give up at bats simply because his name is Thome? and lastly, i really HOPE that Ozzie WILL be more like the ingitor he was before his gaffe in ’06 that neutered him.

for ’08….. i wish for, world peace, a respectful presidential campaign(ha ha ha) an olympics free of rumored cheating, an end to insane campus shootings, happiness to my fellow Sox pride bloggers…… and, and, and a run at another title…….Go Sox ’08… j.k.

As a NIU Huskie mom and a lifetime White Sox fan, I was very proud to see Ozzie and KW wearing NIU baseball hats. I would like to see all the players wearing the black Huskie ribbons on their hats or uniforms like the Chicago Blackhawks are sporting on their helmets. The start of Spring Training couldn’t have come at a better time after that awful tragedy.

Tom:

To answer your question, I don’t think this is a bad team on the field but the starting pitching is a real concern.

That may change somewhat when Crede is traded, there have been rumors the Giants might give up a starter.

Pitching wins pennants as the Sox proved in 2005 and right now the back three of the rotation are Contreras, Danks (who I think eventually will turn into a fine starter a la Garland) and Gavin Floyd whom Ozzie himself today (Tuesday) talked about his confidence-issues.

Let’s say that it’s still a work in progress and how the starters go, go the team.

Mark Liptak

Hi bloggers! I have an air of excitement reading all my familiar, and new, bloggers posts!! As cold as it is outside, the start of spring training warms me up inside…let’s see if that lasts! I too want to throw in my comment as an NIU alum at the coolness of seeing the Huskie hats worn. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, families, and students of NIU.
To your post TQ, Maybe I’m drinking too much White Sox Kool-Aid, but I’m not as pessimistic as many seem. I don’t think we have that bad a team. I am a bit concerned about the back end of the rotation, but I think we improved some of our weaknesses from last year. I have cautious optimism. Yea, I know Cleveland and especially Detroit look good on paper, but baseball is a strange game. The Yankees should have been incredible too given all their names and look at them. Things don’t always turn out as good, or bad, as they seem on paper. I’m not ready to call anything a wash yet. Now talk to me in July and I may be singing a different tune!

Helloooo, everybody, happy Spring Training to you! I am glad Ozzie has taken a more serious approach to the prelude, I think it will build up a positive attitude that is valuable to any team. TQ,I like our team, position by position, with a few questions left, although they are not bad questions…Crede vs. Fields (win/win), outfield- Owens, Quentin, Ramirez…I like that look a lot better than the Mackowiak/Terrero/
Hurtstadt solution. Richar/Uribe/Ramirez, something good will rise there at second base. My only apprehension, which echos most others, is the rotation…it could be great, or it could be bad. Let’s hope for the best! Dr. Coop, work your magic! See you at Belton Bill Melton’s, Maria!

I can just taste the Italian sausage smothered with grilled peppers and onions. YUMMY! 48 days and counting….

Hello from rainy California! I know I’m waaayyy late on this post, but to answer Tom’s question, I feel pretty good about our team and our chances. I see a lot of potential pluses and minuses, and it will all depend on how the balance ends up. For instance, Swisher brings youth, some speed, and a great attitude, but is by no means a great defensive presence in center field. (He’s much better in left field.) We have two outstanding players vying for a spot at third base, and that is a major plus. The back end of the pitching rotation could work out well, or be a nightmare, only time and some actual games will tell.

If Ozzie plans to be “more himself” by being a more animated presence in the dugout, that will be another big plus.

Maybe it’s the perennial optimism of spring and a new season, with a clean slate, but I’m hopeful for good things. And I love that the players seem to have a bit of chip on the shoulder – that might help a lot.

Maria, you’re making me hungry for a Polish sausage, and envious of the number of games you’ll get to see in person.

Hope to see everyone, either in Oakland (you know, the house of horrors) or Chicago this season!

GO SOX!!

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