Friday, April 11, 2008
On a cold and blustery night …
Quentin, LF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; Crede, 3B; BA, CF; Uribe, 2B; Hall, C. Contreras pitching.
We’ve spent most of the day preparing for the unveiling of the Championship Moments monument at 6 pm tonight. It’s a little windy, which will make uncovering the piece of art much quicker, but hopefully rain holds off.
We actually covered and uncovered the piece three times today, which given the wind, was a challenge. The first time was at 8 am to see that the cover fit. The next time was at 2 pm when we tested the unveiling process. The third time was to cover it for the final unveiling.
We expect quite a few fans to come out early and brave the wind (this is Chicago afterall) for the event. Comcast TV will show the unveiling during its pregame show for fans watching at home.
I am looking forward to hearing reaction to the piece from our players and our fans.
My personal condolences to Ed and Barbara Farmer on the death today of Barbara’s mother (Ed’s mother-in-law). He has flown back to California to be with his family. Chris Rongey will fill in for the time being.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Rain and cold (really cold) weather has caused the cancellation of tonight’s game. It will be re-played on June 9 (had been an off day) at 1:05 pm. Tickets for tonight will be good for that game only.
Contreras moves to Friday, with Floyd Saturday and Vazquez Sunday. Buehrle and Danks will now face Oakland.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Stay on the horse …
Swish, CF; OC, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Quentin, LF; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B. Danks pitching.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Odds & Ends
You couldn’t ask for a better, and more beautiful, Home Opener. Special thanks to Javier Vazquez, for finding his groove, and Joe Crede for being Mr. Clutch.
Funny moment: During Sox introductions, Head Athletic Trainer Herm Schneider led our non-uniform personnel, clubhouse guys, trainers, etc. The line extended from third base out toward the outfield grass. The first White Sox player introduced? Cuban Alexi Ramirez. He diligently ran down the line, high fiving everyone and then took his place outside Herm.
You could see Herm gesture to Alexi that he really belonged inside the support staff at third base, starting the string of players to home plate.
“I guess that’s how they do it in Cuba,” someone joked.
Of all the guys to introduce first, we pick the poor guy who has never done this before.
Annual Event: Roger Bossard always receives a huge cheer.
Payback is a … Opening Day and Cubs/Sox series mean long lines at the men’s restrooms. “See what it feels like?” one woman asked with a smirk.
From Ron Kittle: “The key is staying healthy.”
From Steve Stone: “I could get use to this.”
Several Blackhawks players attended yesterday’s game and visited with Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle and others in the Sox clubhouse after the win. Not being a hockey fan (and not recognizing anyone without a helmet and without a sweater), I had no idea who they were, but they seemed to enjoy the clubhouse experience.
We announced a unique partnership with the Blackhawks yesterday (see news realeases on our site).
Best sight from yesterday was to stand out at the Champions Plaza at Gate 4 and watch all of the Sox fans reading bricks on the plaza trying to find their own personal brick.
Fans posed for photos next to their bricks and used paper and crayons to make copies.
“And everyone was smiling,” a Sox employee noted.
We will unveil the Championship Moments monument this Friday at 6 pm before our game with the Tigers. Make sure you stop and check out the Plaza and Monument the next chance you get.
Yes, that was my spouse on the front page of today’s Chicago Tribune, cheering Joe Crede upon his return to the dugout. As her boss said today, “you’d think if you dodged work to go to a game, you’d be a little more discreet than to land on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.”
But here’s the TRUE story.
Sure, she was elated by the grand slam — she does, afterall, have a vested interest in Sox success.
But she was only about 70 percent happy about the blast. The other 30 percent was meant for me.
You see, I stopped down to see her, her friends and our kids in the third inning. With two outs, Dye and AJ singled to bring up Carlos Quentin.
“I really think Joe should be hitting seventh,” my spouse offered, playing Ozzie for the day.
“No, I like Carlos seventh,” I countered, towing the party line. “I like his bat.”
Carlos then flew out.
So her elation in the seventh inning was seven parts joy at a likely Sox win and three parts pleasure at being proven right at my expense.
My guess is that if you look at the photo closely, most married men will recognize that mix of spousal emotions.
Now you know the entire story.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Opening Day Lineup
Swisher, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Quentin, LF; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B. Vazquez pitching.
We’ll be wearing our black alternate tops for today’s Home Opener.
Today marks just the third time that the White Sox are playing the Twins in the home opener (also 1970-71, Sox are 1-1) … the Sox are 57-51 all-time in home openers and have won five of the last six (losing last year) … the Sox have not lost both Opening Day and the home opener since 1996 and have lost both just 14 times … gates to the ballpark open today at 1 pm … Emerson Drive will sing the National Anthem, NIU President John Peters will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and today’s game will feature a flyover.
Lou Hernandez, Marty Maloney, Roger Bossard, Ron Kittle and Christine O’Reilly were at the ballpark very early today for all of Chicago’s early-morning television stations who went live from the park. Marty drew the shortest straw, showing up at 4 am. It’s thankless work, generally, so let me thank them publicly for making all the interviews and the morning run smoothly.
I’m biased, but in my house Opening Day and the Home Opener are treated like National Holidays. My kids certainly look forward to the start of the baseball season. There’s nothing like being at U.S. Cellular Field in the early morning, watching the sun come up over the left field fence. Roger’s grass is always so green and everything inside the park glistens. The silence on the field in awesome. Then, as the ballpark begins to fill with fans later in the day, you feel the excitement and the buzz. Nothing like it … except postseason play.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
After coming down with the flu the last week in Tucson, packing, traveling to Memphis for the Civil Rights Game (what an experience) and then landing in Chicago, I’m back to posting. And of course, MLB has made all kinds of changes that have forced me to catch up a bit.
What a game with all kinds of twists and turns. In the end, it’s one game, but we shouldn’t have had a chance and end the day feeling like it was one we coulda won.
Looking forward to game two tonight in Cleveland.
Lineup: Swisher, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Ramirez, CF; Crede, 3B; Uribe, 2B. Vazquez pitching.
Old Stereotypes Die Hard
The Associated Press came out with its annual estimates of team payrolls and player salaries today. Those “ever-cheap” White Sox again rank fifth in baseball, according to the AP numbers, in payroll at 121 M.
The Top 10: Yankees, Tigers, Mets, Red Sox, White Sox, Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Mariners, Braves.
Notes From Opening Day
Jim Thome recorded his 41st career multihomer game to become just the third player in White Sox history to hit two home runs on Opening Day, joining Sammy Sosa (1991) and Minnie Minoso (1960).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was just the second time in Thome’s career that he has hit two home runs in one game vs. a left-hander, with the first occurrence on 6/20/04 off Kansas City’s Dennys Reyes at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Thome entered the game 0-11 lifetime vs. Sabathia, who himself gave up two home runs in one game to a lefty for just the second time in his career. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki was the first to accomplish the feat off Sabathia on 7/30/05 at Safeco Field.
Mark Buehrle made his sixth career Opening Day start, second-most in Sox history behind Bill Pierce’s seven, and Paul Konerko made his club-record eighth straight Opening Day start at first base.
The 18 combined runs were the most in a Sox season-opener since 1960 when they defeated Kansas City, 10-9, at Comiskey Park behind Minoso’s two homers.