March 2008

Counting Down …

CivilRightsGame.jpg

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Ozuna, 2B; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, LF; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Ramirez, CF.  Floyd pitching.

Cuts

As I’ve written before, nothing is more painful than cut day in camp.  And the later in camp, the tougher because guys understand they were thisclose to making the major league club.

Yesterday was no different.  Josh Fields was told he was going to start the year at Class AAA Charlotte, while Jason Bourgeois, D.J. Carrasco and Paul Phillips were sent out as well.

Josh was a tough one for the obvious reasons.  He understood and took the decision with class.

Paul had a great spring, but once it was clear that Toby Hall was healthy and ready to go, we no longer needed the protection of the third catcher in camp.

An MRI on Jerry Owens adductor showed a small tear.  This means we’ll need to shut him down for 7-10 days to let it heal completely.  Given that he likely suffered the injury in late February, it’s pretty impressive that Jerry played all of March with the injury.

Pitching

Here are matchups for the first two series of the season:

Buehrle v Sabathia

Vazquez v Carmona

Danks v Westbrook

Contreras v Robertson

Floyd v Willis

Buehrle v. Verlander

It’s about time to get going.

Tuesday at Colorado

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Ramirez, CF; Cabrera, SS; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Fields, 3B; Quentin, LF; Uribe, 2B; Buehrle, pitching.

Also throwing:  Logan, Dotel, Jenks, MacDougal.

Meeting

As you probably read in the newspapers, our staff meeting started early today.  As clubs near the end of spring, conversations about players, roster fits, etc. take longer and longer as KW, Rick Hahn and our coaching staff review all of our options.

Happy Easter

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Today’s Lineup

Owens, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; Dye, RF; Swisher, 1B; AJ, C; Fields, 3B; Quentin, LF; Ramirez, 2B.  Danks pitching.

Updates

Sorry, I haven’t posted much over the past few days.  Between not feeling well (the cold everyone down here has had all spring claimed me as well) an driving up and down I-10, I haven’t had much time to blog.

After John Danks today, the rest of our pitching for the spring stacks up as:

Contreras on Monday, Buehrle Tuesday, Floyd Wednesday, Masset on Thursday (get-away day), Danks on Friday in Oklahoma City and Contreras on Saturday against the Mets in the Civil Rights Game in Memphis.

Sunday, we’ll work out in Cleveland at 3 pm and then Monday they’ll count.

The last week is always a tough time in spring training.  Everyone is ready to leave, in part to get out of camp, in part out of excitement to get the season going.  Players are nervous, at those who are still on the bubble about making the team.  It’s time to start focusing on Opening Day.

Harold

We officially announced today that this year’s statue unveiling (on July 20 by the way) will be of Harold Baines.  No one is more deserving.

Harold will join Minnie, Pudge, Billy, Louie, Nellie and the Old Roman in the U.S. Cellular Field outfield.

Pitching Change

March 19, 2008

Starting Pitching Change

Battling the flu (like this correspondent), Jose Contreras was scratched from today’s start.  Nick Masset will start in Contreras’ place.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Ramirez, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, LF; Fields, 3B; Anderson, RF; Ozuna, 2B; Hall, C.  Contreras pitching.

Others scheduled to throw:  Thornton, Masset, Carrasco

Telecast

Reminder that today’s game is being telecast on Comcast Sports Net in Chicago.

Odds & Ends

We made four roster moves prior to the game today, meaning 32 players remain in camp.  Donny Lucy and Andrew Sisco were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, and Brad Eldred and Tomo Ohka were reassigned to minor league camp.

The White Sox are 5-5 vs. Arizona and Colorado this spring after going an amazing 2-22-2 in 2006-07 … we are 3-1 against the Rockies in 2008 with two games remaining.

Josh Fields is hitting .429 over his last four games … Pablo Ozuna has five multihit games … Nick Swisher is tied for second in the Cactus League with 12 RBI and is hitting .320 with four RBI over his last seven games … Alexi Ramirez has hit safely in eight of nine starts … Jim Thome leads the CL with 11 walks … Jerry Owens has hit safely in all seven CL contests (.440) … Juan Uribe owns a six-game hitting streak … Javier Vazquez leads the CL with 16 strikeouts.

Padres In Town

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Owens, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Quentin, LF; Uribe, 2B; Danks pitching.

Also throwing:  Wassermann, Ohka and Linebrink.

Yesterday’s News

Talk of camp today was Alexi Ramirez’s appearance in center field yesterday at Milwaukee where he more than held his own.

Jim Thome remained in Tucson where he played in a Class AAA game against the Dbacks.  The weather was raw (52 degrees) and windy with rain showers off and on around Tucson.

Thome went 4-8 with a home run off Doug Davis.  According to Jim it was one of the three longest of his career, although he admitted this one was wind aided.

His longest?  Came one spring off Alex Fernandez over an apartment building.  Bart Swain, famous Cleveland PR Director, measured that blow as travelling 600 feet.

Blog Night III

I need your vote.  Since I never seem to pick a good date for Blog Night at the ballpark, here are five.  Pick one that works best for you and reply by posting.  Whichever date seems to "win" will become Blog Night III in 2008.

June 18

July 2

July 22

August 5

August 7

Vote early and vote often.

Cut Day

The end of spring training always means one of the toughest days of the year for general managers, assistant general managers and managers:  roster cuts.

Third base coach Jeff Cox told an interesting story this morning.

Cox was released three times before he played in a big league game.

The first time was with the Kansas City Royals.  The next two were by independent league teams … "and there were only two independent teams at that time," Cox said.

So at age 19 and released three times, he called his dad.

"My dad was a brilliant guy, a college professor," Cox explained.  "When I told him want happened, he said, ‘There are always setbacks on the way to success.’"

Cox told his dad he had heard of a tryout the next day for a short-season A’s team.

"Do you still have the money I gave you?" Cox’s dad asked his son.  "Then get on a plane and go try out."

So Cox shows up along with 88 other guys.  After workouts that day, he gets asked back to play in an "intrasquad" game that night against the regular A’s team.

"I hit two home runs and went 4-5 with a triple," Cox recalls like it was yesterday.  Tom Treblehorn, the manager of the team, pulled him aside.  The next day, he signed a contract with the A’s and played first base that night.

That was 1975.

In 1980, Cox reached the big leagues with Oakland, appearing in 59 games.

It’s probably a good lesson for the hundereds of minor league players who are going to be released in camps from Florida to Arizona over the coming 10 days.

"And you know," Cox added.  "When I finally get a Topps baseball card, they make a mistake and put Steve McCatty’s photo on it.  But Donruss, Donruss, made one with my photo on it, and I have it to this day."

Sunday Info

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Owens, CF; Cabrera, SS; Swisher, LF; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B; Floyd P.

Odds & Ends

Bob Beghtol, our director of media relations, is "proudly" wearing a vintage Marquette basketball jersey today as payoff for a bet he lost when "his" Badgers dropped a regular-season game to the in-state rivals.

Funny story from yesterday … I was grabbing lunch in the lunchroom (where else?).  Dale Torborg and Alexi Ramirez were sitting at a table behind me eating.  Jerry Reinsdorf came in and said hello to Alexi, who, you could tell, had no idea who it was.

Dale tried to explain, through a mix of English/Spanish and sign language, who Jerry was.

I turned to them and said, "Jeffe.  Grand Jeffe." (Note: I know NO Spanish except what I’ve learned over the years in the clubhouse, most of which probably gets me slapped in mixed company).

Alexi’s eyes lighted up and he walked over to Jerry to thank him.

Jim Thome had a big smile on his face after his home run yesterday.

"You just have to get your work in and hopefully good things will happen to you," he said againa and again.

It’s a bit cool today, high in the mid 50s with chances of afternoon thunderstorms.  Tomorrow is a bit warmer with less of a chance for rain.  Tuesday returns to the 70s and Wednesday to the 80s.

We decided to take a pass on Shingo Takatsu for our Class AAA bullpen.  There are quite a few arms competing for jobs already at Charlotte.\

It was a bit weird to see Neal and Shingo yesterday.  Felt like 2005.

Cubs Saturday

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cubs Lineup

Here is the lineup from the North Side of Arizona for today’s game:

Theriot SS; DeRosa 2B; Hoffpauir, 1B; Ward, DH; Fukudome, RF; Murton, LF; Soto, C; McGehee, 3B; Fuld, CF.  Hill starting, followed by Hart, Lahey, Ascanio, Walrond and Pignatiello.

Shingo Time

Shingo Takatsu, trailed by a pack of 13 Japanese media members, threw for White Sox staff and scouts this morning in an attempt to return to our organization.  I haven’t heard what we thought about his outing …

Welcome to Arizona

My family arrives at 11:35 today and they are looking forward to seeing the sun and 75 degree temperatures, at least for a day (a cold front threatens temp drops and rain for Sunday and Monday).

Moves

Friday, March 14, 2008

Postgame Roster Moves

Following today’s game, the White Sox optioned pitchers Jack Egbert and Adam Russell to Class AAA Charlotte and optioned catcher Cole Armstrong to Class AA Birmingham.

We have 36 players remaining in camp.

Saturday Doubleheader

Saturday, March 15, 2008

B Game

We start the morning with a B Game against the Rockies at Hi Corbett.

Our lineup:

Owens, CF; Ozuna, SS; Fields, 3B; Hall, C; Quentin, LF; BA, RF; Richar, 2B; Eldred, 1B; Lucy, DH.  Pitching will be Egbert, Poreda and Broadway.

White Sox vs. Cubs

And our lineup for the 1:05 matchup with the Cubs:

Bourgeios, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1b: Swisher, LF; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B.  Nick Masset throwing.

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