Intasquad Action

Monday, February 25, 2008

Action On The Diamond

"Let’s watch a big-league game," yelled Ozzie Guillen at high noon, "some people pay to watch this and they pay me to watch it!"

And with that, it was time to begin the first of two abbreviated intrasquad games prior to Wednesday’s Cactus League opener against the Rockies (heard on WSCR 670 AM and on MLB.TV).

Just prior to Gavin Floyd’s first pitch, we all discussed having Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald throw out the ceremonial first pitch in honor of his seeing more intrasquad games than any other member of the media.

Gregor said thanks, but no thanks, so the honor will have to wait.

To the game …

Nick Swisher went 2-2, including one hit off a one-bounce pitch, and scored twice, although his team dropped a 3-2 decision in 3 1/2 innings.

Guillen, an expert at hitting the split finger, admitted he collected three hits in his career on pitches that hit the dirt first.

"It bounced and he hit it," said catcher AJ Pierzynski.  Swisher ran to first base laughing.

"Jack Morris, Paul Byrd and Dave Stieb," Guillen said with pride.

Pablo Ozuna went 1-2 with a triple.  His head-first slide into third base brought a cry of, "He’s back!" from a fan in the stands.

Jerry Owens led off for the winning team and went 2-2 with a run scored and a bunt base hit.

Paul Konerko doubled, Orlando Cabrera drove in a run with his own hit-and-run double, Jermaine Dye had an RBI single and Royce Huffman doubled and scored.

Ehren Wasserman and Andrew Sisco threw scoreless innings, while Scott Linebrink and Floyd (W, 0 ER/2.0) also threw well.

Photo Day

The day started early with Photo Day setback at 6 am.  Players and staff headed through the line at 7 am with Jim Thome one of the first to go through.

Later, Jim was running speed ladders with strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas.  As I worked out on the elliptical, I was impressed watching a superstar veteran working the ladder over and over, by himself, on an early Monday morning.

A few posters Saturday questioned the level of work based on the schedule. 

Players are out at 8 am every morning working on specific skills … today I saw Joe Crede and coach Bryan Little bunting as the sun started to shine in the desert.  Baserunning is a daily subject, led hilariously by third base coach Jeff Cox.  Remember, with six or seven fields available to us, a great deal of work can get done in a pretty small amount of time.

Our advertising agency, BBDO, was down from Chicago using Photo Day to shoot some of the team’s new commercials.  Two are done and in the bank.  You’ll start to see them during spring training games.  The rest, which will be filmed today and tomorrow, will air once the season starts.

Puke

Mark Buehrle brought his young (and cute) son into the lunch room after yesterday’s workout.

Ozzie’s eyes lit up like a grand father’s.  He took the little boy, and of course, immediately got a smile and a giggle out of the kid.

"C’mon," said Guillen, "You know what happens everytime I hold you.  You can do it."

He handed the baby back to Buehrle. 

The kid, Braden, immediately spit up all over Mark’s arm and himself.

"That a way," said Guillen.  "I knew you had it in you!"

As I am sure you read, Mark is battling a little soreness and skipped throwing in today’s intrasquad game.  It’s not serious, so he’ll see how he feels heading into Cactus League play.

8 Comments

First off, to Mr Reifert…
Do not let the criticisms of your GM, your trainers and your manager about your physique get you down or aggravated…

Just remember,if the Good Lord had wanted us to all look like athletes,present and PAST(sarcasm directed towards the people throwing the barbs to begin with…),He

would have built us the same…

Sometimes, pasty ain’t that bad…(this observation coming from a man who does not wear shorts during the summer because of one simple reason–there is too much violence in this world to begin with… besides, when I was born, my legs were put on upside down…)

Now, I have heard rumors that Buehrle and Contreras were going to be held out as much as possible during the Cactus League schedule, in order to keep them fresher for when it counts…that way, they don’t have the dreaded “dead arm phase” at the tail end of training, that some times lasts until the middle part of May…

I also agree with Brother Liptak in one of his last posts concerning the little things which mean a lot, such as bunting, running and hitting(which,in my viewpoint, is the way the phrasing should go…you don’t “hit and run”…the “run” comes first…(I know, I know…semantics…)…

If the manager is too busy with other details(checking on prospects,throwing poison darts at his picture of Jay, et cetera),from what I read in the tabloid today, Jeff Cox would be my candidate to run the drills…

Scott- I heard Owens tweaked his leg a bit today, is he alright? Also, how’d Juan look at 2nd?

-Mark

I can’t wait for the start of the season! Keep up the posts, and let us know how things go. I’m getting excited for the new season!

I thought Podsednik signed with the Rockies to a minor league deal?

I got all giddy reading this post. I’m SOOO ready for some baseball…with baseball comes warmer weather =) I can say this after another round of shovelling..UGH Can’t wait to see the boys in action! -Dawn

Thanks, Scott! I know it’s a lot of work to do these posts, but we really enjoy them!

Boy, I can’t wait for the start of the season!

Go Sox!!!!

Per Mark Gonzalez, here’s todays highlites:

TUCSON, Ariz. – Paul Konerko cranked a grand slam off Charlie Haeger to give his team a 5-3 victory over Jim Thome’s team in Tuesday’s five-inning intrasquad game.

Konerko’s slam came one-half inning after NIck Swisher ripped a two-run home run off left-hander Carlos Vazquez with two out in the top of the inning. Non-roster invitee Brad Eldred led off the inning with a triple. Eldred also hit a double and scored on Cole Armstrong’s sacrifice fly off Mike MacDougal in the third.

Javier Vazquez pitched two perfect innings and struck out three in front of two major league scouts. Konerko and Jermaine Dye hit consecutive doubles in the fourth.

Nick Masset pitched two scoreless innings.

It would be nice to see Masset have a good spring because the Sox are out of options with him. Either he makes the big club or they will most likely lose him. I heard he lost 25 pounds over the winter and is in great shape. Hopefully that helps. He showed some signs last year, but just needs to be consistant.

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