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."


None of those times work for me as an out-of-town Sox fan. I’m starting to realize these events are made mostly for Chicagoland Sox fans.

If I was to vote for a date based on a game that the boys would have a better than average chance of winning,I would vote for the June 18th date versus the Pirates…But, of course, I would like to see the Blog Nite game played on either a Friday or a Saturday, so that perhaps more members of White Sox Universe could make it to the Cell, and wouldn’t have to leave early in order to go to work the next day…
As to the Cox anecdote…

As the old expression says…

If at first you don’t succeed, keep on…

The determination that Jeff and his father shared kept him going…until the goal was reached…

A lesson for all of us…

kr-trepac…See there, Kris?…I’m trying to be on your side, because I am sure that you would be able to get away from Macomb on a Friday or Saturday, wouldn’t you?

TQ, absolutely! Friday and Saturday games are the only ones I make it to every season. I would be there for sure if the game was on a Saturday/Friday.

Except Opening Day. I always take Monday and Tuesday off so I can attend the first game at home. It has become a tradition for me and my family members since 2002.

I vote for July 22, August 5 or August 7. I doubt that we could get a Friday or Saturday game gang, those are too prime a sale to give to us bloggers!

While I’m optimistic about this season, I’m scared to death that Kenny is going to pick Josh Fields to play third base. I don’t care how this kid bats, because his inability to play third base more than offsets that. You win championships with defense folks, not with some kid who bats .245.

Once again in yesterday’s game, Fields error costs the team the game. After his error, Javy gives up a three run shot. Last year Fields lack of defense cost Bobby Jenks the MLB record. How much longer will it be before Kenny swallows his pride, admits this kid cannot play defense, sends him back to AAA to learn the position and signs Crede to keep him where he belongs. On the south side for crying out loud. I’ll bet Mark Buerhle is glad Crede played the game he threw his no hitter, cause there is NO WAY Fields makes a bare-handed play to end the game. No way. The difference between a third place finish and making the playoffs….Joe Crede and his glove.

hey Scott, any date OTHER than june 18th (i’ll be in okinawa visiting my son). and i really want to make it for this one. day of week doesn’t matter to me, just no 6/18!!! thanks and i’ll see you later this week or the first of next for another game…. j.k. from drying out tucson…..

I vote for July 22nd so we can all wonder where Brandon McCarthy is and hurl insults at vicent padilla. Plus, then we can show Klien what exactly humidity is.

All of the dates seem to work for me. Fridays are bad for me (but that seems to be a moot point anyway). And I PROMISE not to misplace my tickets this year..that was such a bummer. I WILL make this one! -Dawn

I can only do weekends…how about July 5 or 19…hey, Elvis night would be fun!


Thought you’d enjoy reading this interview with Steve Stone. I had been trying to get him for the past few seasons without success. This person was in the right place at the right time.

Very nice story about **** Allen and some honest opinions on the Sox (and Cubs…)

Mark Liptak

Swfsafley, totally agree, I was at the game, sox, mil. The ball was slighly down the line fields backhands and the ball bounces out off his glove like the glove was concrete. Mil. went on to tie.
That could happen a lot if fields plays third all the time. I think they only place fields could play is 1st base where he can block the ball and would not have to throw much, even that has a lot of ifs. KW was setting right by the ws dugout near ozzie in that game. I now would not mind a trade with field’s name on it, though he could become a big power hitter, yea but unless you dj , one needs to play the field also.

ps maybe alexi R. could play 3rd base , he seems to be able to play about everywhere else, as does ozuna.

Swfsafley – You are right that Crede is a much better defenisve third baseman than Fields. However that difference alone will not vault us into a playoff spot in this very strong division. Will it make a difference in a few games? Absolutely, but when the Sox finish double digit games behind the 2nd place team in the division defensive play at 3rd base will not be the only reason.

Plus, the Sox are not going to be signing Crede. Unless things have changed, Crede’s agent Scott Boras has Joe convinced that he needs to test free agency after this season. And as we painfully know our stuck in the mud GM refuses to deal with Boras and his clients.

In my opinion Josh Fields is the first baseman of the future here. Once Thome is gone, or hurt again Konerko goes to DH and Fields to first.

If they can swing it I would like to see Josh on the MLB roster to spell Crede 1-2 times a week and DH or play 1st when we are facing a lefty. It is painful to watch Thome try to hit a lefty, and last year 60% of the starters for the other 4 teams in our division were lefties.

dleen and jim. i’m glad i’m not alone in my worries about Fields. I called into the radio broadcast yesterday and one of the announcers said that he (Fields)can learn his way if he plays everyday. I politely told the announcer that any position player shouldn’t be learning how to play in MLB. They have a place for that and its called the minor leagues. Dead silence. The other thing everyone brags on is Fields batting, which was .244 with 120 strikeouts in 2007. Average at best. You are right about defense not being the only reason we win, but its a big reason. Last year, Ozuna was as inept at third as Fields. As a season ticket holder, I sat through it all. Ozuna, Fields, and even Cintron all tried and failed to field the position. I think Thome is probably spending his last year with the Sox, although he was the leading hitter on the team last year at .275. If PK, JD and the others return to form at the plate, we’ll give the Central a run for their money.

sw…You are exactly correct…However,due to the ridiculously high demand for warm bodies to fill out a roster…players do not get the chance to work out in the minor leagues…They are, instead,shown the equivalent of diving off a ten meter board into the ten foot level of water with just a kick stand…You either sink or swim…
There is no place for youngsters like Fields to learn their craft…and third base is one of the most difficult positions to learn in all of baseball…As much as I dislike Ron Santo for his abilities(???)as a broadcaster(???),I do have to grudgingly admit that he was one of the better third basemen in recent memory, along with the incomparable Brooks Calbert Robinson,Mike Schmidt,Ken Boyer and others of that ilk…The only difference was,with those gentlemen, they had the opportunity to refine their talents before taking on the task…Fields really doesn’t…unless he goes to Charlotte for more seasoning…

jim devereux…I know that it is painful to watch some batters try to hit a left hander…but IT CAN BE DONE…all that the player has to do is to psyche himself up to do it…

Because, believe it or not, Brother D, those southpaws put on their uniform pants the same way as the others…one cloven hoof at a time…

TQ – You are right, it can be done. Thome just does not do it very often.

Rumor from Tuscon is the Sox waived Uribe today. Nobody is confirming yet, but that sure would be surprising. I would have thought if they were going to get rid of him it would have been via trade.

On the topic of Blog Night III, any of those dates is workable for me. Wouldn’t miss it!

I vote for June 18, July 2, or August 5.

Thanks Scott! Already looking foward to it! Last year’s was great.

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