March 2008

Friday and the A’s

Friday, March 14, 2008

Today’s Lineup

Ramirez, 2B; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, CF; Dye, RF; Fields, 3B; Quentin, LF; Hall, C.  Contreras pitching.  Also throwing for the Sox … Matt Thornton, Bobby Jenks and D.J. Carrasco.

Morning News

Early this morning, the decision was made to have Mark Buehrle skip tomorrow’s start against the Cubs.  He’s scheduled to throw again against the road-weary Dodgers on the 20th in Phoenix.  Nick Masset takes his spot tomorrow.

Before anyone overreacts, the plan was to have Mark skip a start this spring.  As the thinking goes, what’s more important, innings now or innings in September?

Rotation

Bringing us to the other news from this morning.  After discussing options internally, Ozzie Guillen is now leaning toward having Buehrle pitch on Opening Day at Cleveland, followed by Vazquez, Danks, Contreras and Floyd.  The main reason: matchups.  Ozzie likes Buehrle against the Indians and Floyd has had success against the Tigers.  This way, Javier will throw the home opener.

Of course, this is all subject to change as Opening Day approaches.

Quiet Thursday

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Offices Closed

I’m trying to get some work done this AM before golfing this afternoon.  John Danks is throwing in a minor-league game out back in about five minutes (10:15 am), and we’ll get his line from that to the media later today.

Interesting

John Dewan, a great baseball statistical mind, founder of STATS, Inc., produces a "Stat of the Week" that is distributed via email.

His note from yesterday provided hitting and pitching projections from The Bill James Handbook: Projections Update 2008.  According to their projections, Nick Swisher will tie for third in the AL in home runs with 36, Bobby Jenks will finish third in the league with 37 saves and Javier Vazquez will finish third in strikeouts with 196.

Post Game Reax

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

Impressive, impressive outing by Javier Vazquez today (5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 7 SO) in our 4-1 win over the Rockies.

After the game, manager Ozzie Guillen said he is leaning toward having Vazquez start Opening Day, likely followed in the rotation by Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd, Jose Contreras and John Danks.

"We expect that from him," Guillen said of Vazquez.  "We need outings like this from him from the go get."

Remember the outcry when we signed Vazquez to that contract extension last March?

Guillen also said he liked the way Floyd threw in his last outing and was comfortable throwing him third.

Jerry Owens

Was scratched from today’s lineup with a sore groin.

"It soreness," said Guillen.  "I’m not worried about it but I’m concerned.  Soreness can become injuries and I don’t want that to happen."

Batting Order

With Owens out for the time being, Guillen was asked about his options for the leadoff spot.

"Cabrera is a real good No. 2 hitter," the manager said, indicating that he would leave the shortstop in the second hole.  "My lead off hitter needs to do two things:  get on base and score runs."

Guillen said he is comfortable with Nick Swisher filling that role or a combination of Owens and Pablo Ozuna.

BA

Brian Anderson went 2-3 with an oppo home run to raise his spring average to .381.

"He showed up to play," Guillen said.  "He showed up to show this organization he belonged in the big leagues."

My Day

Included Ed Farmer and Hawk Harrelson in my office talking about colonoscopies … trying to find a place where our manager can go horseback riding tomorrow if he has time (which now he may not) … dealing with the Champions Plaza back home while trying to watch our fast-paced victory.

Best Moment

With Guillen in the middle of roster cuts today, one veteran walked up to the manager with a semi-established player and said, "Ozzie, here he is.  Weren’t you looking for him."

Without missing a beat, Ozzie replied, "Him, no, not yet."

Everyone burst into laughter.

Funniest Moment in the Game

Not sure if you saw it on Comcast’s telecast …

Ground ball to Juan Uribe at second.  He "Manny Trillos" it and then guns a throw to Swisher at first.  It had to hurt his hand.

Swisher comes off the base to throw the ball around and guns it right back at Uribe, mimicking Juan’s throwing style.

You could see the two out on the diamond talking and joking about it afterward.

Fun Read

See this link to an espn.com story by Jerry Crasnick:

click here

Shingo-san

I’m on my phone after the game and who stops in to say hello but Shingo Takatsu.

Great to see him.

Tomorrow

With the only off day of the spring scheduled, tomorrow is valuable for all of us.  If you happen to be on the golf course at Ventana Canyon tomorrow around 3 pm, duck.  It’ll be me, Kevin Hickey, Mark Salas and today’s starting pitcher sneaking in 18.

Finally

As noted during the game …

"How come all of our players are always described as aging when you never read that about the competition?"

After all, aren’t we all aging each and every day?

Return to Tucson

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back Where It’s Warm

I flew back to Tucson late last night, forgetting my house keys and car keys in Chicago, of course.  It’s good to be back where it’s warm.

My two main reasons for heading to Chicago were:  1. to check out the progress on the crews laying the inscribed bricks on the Champions Plaza at Gate 4 (it looks great) and 2. check in on the design group as they worked to complete the scorecard, first edition of the program and yearbook by Opening Day.  Right now, is crunch time.

This weekend is our annual investor/sponsor trip, so plenty of Chicagoans will be down for Friday and Saturday’s games.

Tomorrow is our lone off day of the spring, so don’t count on much news out of here or this blog.

Cut Day

Ozzie spent the morning calling guys into his office in the first round of cuts in camp.  It’s something he hates to do.  Once everyone has been told, we’ll release the information to the public.

Today’s Lineup

Bourgeios, CF; Cabrera, SS; Swisher, 1B; PK, DH; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Anderson, LF; Uribe, 2B.  Vazquez returns to start.

Also pitching will be:  Dotel, Carrasco, Logan, Egbert and Linebrink.

Upcoming Pitching

Friday vs. Oakland:  Contreras

Sat vs. Cubs:  Buehrle

Sunday at Ariz:  Floyd

Monday at Mil:  Vazquez

Tues vs. SD: Danks

Broadcast News

Today’s game can be heard on WSCR Sports Radio 670 AM and seen on Comcast Sports Net in Chicago.

Minor League Camp

Games begin for the White Sox in minor league camp on Friday.

Monday, Monday

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back in The Cold

I’m back in Chicago for a few days, mainly to check in with staff and see the installation begin for our brick Champions Plaza at Gate 4, which by the way, is looking very, very cool.

Bricks are going down — weather permitting.  Once the palza is complete, the white bronze and black granite center piece will be installed and then covered until the unveiling on April 11.

The final piece is the landscaping around Gate 4, including brick work and installation of special monuments to our retired numbers.

I can’t wait to see it all completed.  Christine O’Reilly has been working on this project for two years.  Believe me when I say, she can’t wait to see it finished either.

Today’s Lineup

Bourgeios, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, LF; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B.  Buehrle pitching, followed by Wassermann, Jenks, Logan and Linebrink.

Ventura

Fit into a White Sox uniform on Friday and was leaving camp on Saturday, so I missed his last day.  Good to see RV, who was laughing that he’s even been snowboarding on his "new and improved" ankle.

Heroes

I met a hero on Friday at our game in Tucson.  I’ll write more about Sgt. Del Torro when I get a chance.

I’m back to Tucson (which, sadly, I tend to call "home" during Feb/March) late Tuesday night and will be back working out bright and early Wednesday morning.

Split Squad Friday

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Bruin

Groundskeeper Roger Bossard is beside himself this morning after "his" UCLA Bruins (and you thought they were John Wooden’s) beat Standford last night.

Welcome

To Steve Stone and Ed Farmer who broadcast their first game togther today on WSCR Radio 670 AM.

Lineups

We sent a pretty potent lineup to Tempe today for that game:

Swisher, CF; Ramirez, SS; Konerko, DH; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B; Eldred, 1B; Wise, LF.  Broadway pitching.

At home vs. the DBacks it is:

Ozuna, LF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; Fields, 3B; Liefer, 1B; Anderson, LF; Negron, RF; Lucy, C; Bourgeois, CF.  Masset pitching.

We are a little banged up right now with some nicks … hurting are Carlos Quentin, Jerry Owens, Scott Linebrink, Gavin Floyd (flu) and Toby Hall.  Nothing is serious, but with two games today, we’re a little thin.

RV in the House

Robin Ventura came to camp for a few days to hang out and see a few friends.  I was giving him a hard time yesterday trying to get him to put on a uniform.  We’ll see if I can wear him down.

St. Baldrick’s

Josh Fields and Jerry Owens are shaving their heads today to support the St. Baldrick’s campaign against cancer.  Pat Elwood from FOX 32 is down to film the shaving.  Owens has grown quite the distinctive Afro, so he’ll look funny bald.

"I figure I can just let it grow all season then," said Owens.

Thursday at TEP

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today’s Schedule

Just walked in from our B Game over at Hi Corbett Field this morning.  It started at 10 am, and I left early for a meeting back at the ballpark.

Our lineup for later today against the Rangers:

Swisher CF; Cabrera SS; Thome DH; Konerko, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; Anderson, LF; Uribe, 2B; Phillips, C.  Floyd was supposed to start but was scratched this morning due to flu-like symptoms.  Charlie Haeger and Tomo Ohka will take up his innings.

No Joke

Walked into the traning room this morning at 7:08 am (got that, Joey?) and what was playing on the local Tucson FM radio station?  Steve Perry, Journey and Don’t Stop Believin’ … go figure.

Wednesday at Hi Corbett

Today’s Lineup

Swisher, CF; Ramirez, SS; Thome, DH; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Fields, 3B; Liefer, 1B; Anderson, LF; Richar, 2B.  Buehrle pitching.

Also throwing:  Vasquez, Linebrink, Dotel, Russell, Wassermann, Perez.

Best pre-game moment:

Starting pitcher Mark Buehrle complaining that he nevers gets to bat even though we keep playing all these "road" games at National League parks.  The Dbacks, Sox and Rockies use the DH even if the NL team is home.

Swisher Heroics

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sox Win

Nick Swisher’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the White Sox to a 7-6 victory Tuesday over the Angels.

"That’s what we brought him here for," said Ozzie Guillen, who noted that only a fluke kept Swisher in the game for all nine innings.  "It was a great deicison by the manager," smirked Guillen.

"On the field, off the field, that’s what we need," Guillen said.  "He doesn’t like to lose."

Paul Konerko went 3-3, Swisher 2-4 with three RBI and A.J. Pierzynski added a bases-loaded double.

"Every time the lineup is out there, we’re a pretty exciting team," said Guillen about the Sox, who improved to 4-4 on the spring.

Jose Contreras started for the Sox and was impressive over his 3.0 IP.

"Best he’s thrown in a while," said Guillen.  "He’s more aggressive.  We told him to be aggressive and see what happens.  The ball was coming out of his hand really well today.

"Last year, I think he lost confidence and velocity," said the manager.  "Pitching is about throwing strikes, hitting your spots and throwing the big pitch.  He didn’t do that last year, but I knew he had too much pride to let that happen again."

Congratulations

To Javier Vazquez and his wife on the birth today of a little girl (name TBD).

Vazquez left camp to join his growing family in Puerto Rico.

"I hope Javy doesn’t have the same doctors Uribe had," said Guillen.  "When Uribe’s wife had a kid, he was gone so long the kid was two years old before he got back."

Thanks

NIU Athletic Director Jim Phillips visited camp today to thank Ken Williams, Ozzie and the Sox for the support the organization showed for the DeKalb school during its recent tragedy.

Phillips delivered NIU gift bags to Williams and Guillen.

Enough Already

Enough abuse about the bad photos of me …

"Did you do something to make the photographer mad at you?"

"Honey, you look really fat."

"Really, as a friend, I need to tell you these don’t look good.  I’d hope you do the same for me."

"You’re a Vice President of the White Sox and you have that photo on-line?"

"Dad, that photo on your blog … it’s really bad." (then laughter)

Angels Tuesday

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

White Sox vs. Angels at TEP

Lineup

Owens, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Swisher, LF, AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B; Anderson, RF.  Contreras pitching.

Also throwing … Broadway, Carrasco, Thornton.

Radio Team Changes

If you didn’t hear this morning’s news, Chris Singleton is leaving our broadcast booth for a new career in sports television and Steve Stone has agreed to fill in with Ed Farmer for the 2008 season.

The duo should debut from TEP on March 7.

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