June 2008

Cleveland Returns

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tonight’s Lineup

OC, SS; BA, CF, Q, LF, Dye, RF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Swish, 1B; Ram, 2B; Hall, C.  Floyd pitching.

Random Notes

Heading toward another sell out tonight with absolutely beautiful weather … Sox have won four straight … pitching opponents the rest of this homestand are tough:  Lee, Sabathia, Duscherer, Blnton, Smith and Haren … Sox finished interleague at 12-6 and lost ground … White Sox are 16-9 so far on this stretch of 26 of 32 at home … the White Sox own an AL-best +85 run differential and are 21-11 vs. the AL Central …

Vote Early and Often

On-line voting ends Wednesday.  Vote as often as you can …

Kenwo4life Where Were You?

I read yesterday that you were heading to the ballpark to sit in the last row of section 557, so I sent an intern up to find you in the first inning.  He had tickets for the 10th row.  Alas, he said he asked for you until he felt stupid but no one fessed up to being you.  Sorry.

The Stuff You Never See

Prior to tonight’s game, Brian Anderson entertained a group from the Mercy Home for Boys.  Sporting “Team Anderson” t-shirts, Brian met with the group, signed autographs and talked during BP.  They will be sitting in center field during the game.

And Scott Linebrink entertained two Vietnam War veterans prior to the game as part of his “Scott’s Heroes” program.

Anniversary Anyone

June 30, 1988 ring a bell?

At the stroke of midnight tonight (some would say the clock was magically stopped), 20 years ago, the Illinois General Assembly approved an amended stadium bill ensuring the club would remain in Chicago.

 

Sweep Celebration

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes

From Ozzie Guillen:

Comparing this weekend to last weekend …

“We pitched a lot better.  We had big hits.  Our defense this week was outstanding.  We pitched well.  The bullpen picked us up and we got the big hit.

On sweeping the team with the NL’s best record on National TV …

“Everytime you sweep somebody, win games, it’s good.  Right now, I’m worried about Cleveland.

“White Sox fans will go home tonight with a smile on their face.  It will be a different Monday in Chicago.  White Sox fans can’t wait to get to work tomorrow.”

On Mark Buehrle’s effort …

“Strikes.  Strikes, commanding the ball well and movement.  It is Buehrle being Buehrle.”

 

Series Finale

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tonight’s Lineup

OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; Dye, RF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Swisher, 1B; ARam, 2B; Anderson, CF.  Buehrle pitching.

Weather

Word from the weather service is that these off-and-on showers this afternoon should not impact the start of the game. 

AL vs. NL

Entering today’s contests, the American League owns a dominating 141-96 (.595) edge over the National League in interleague play.  The Sox, 11-6 against NL foes, have lost 2.0 games in the standings to the Twins, who are 13-4 against the NL.  As several pointed out yesterday, that’s where playing six games against the Cubs — arguably the best team in the National League — hurts the Sox when it comes to competing against the rest of the AL Central …

DYK

The Sox have never swept the Cubs at home in Interleague play?

I’ll try to post more later …

Postgame — From the Interview Room

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Carlos Quentin on his home run:

“For a period in the game, the shadows significantly affected the hitters.  It was a defensive swing at a fastball I didn’t see that well.  I got the barrel on it.  Fortunately, it carried out.

“It feels good to come through for your team.  I was just fortunate to be in that situation at that point in the game.”

Ozzie Guillen

On the end of the game:

“I wasn’t going to put the go-ahead run on base in this ballpark.  I told Bobby, ‘You got your best stuff.  This is the guy we are going to get.  Go after him.'”

On the bullpen:

“They are a big reason we are where we are.  It’s fun to watch.  All those guys have been contributing all year long.”

On the game:

“The beginning of the game was an ugly duel.  Sometimes in this ballpark, you’ve got to go by the wind, not necessarily the guy at bat.”

On Lou Piniella’s praise of the Sox and forecast they would win the division by six games:

“That’s nice.  Thank you.  Lou knows a lot about baseball.  Last year, I said the same thing about the Cubs.  Coming from Lou, it’s true.  Coming from Ozzie, it’s crazy.”

On Carlos Quentin:

“This kid has been great.  It’s about 25 guys, not one.  Everytime he hits, we’ve got guys on base.  But he gets big hits.”

 

Sox vs. Cubs, Part 2

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Today’s Lineup

OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; Dye, RF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Swish, 1B; ARam, 2B; Wise, CF.  Vazquez pitching.

Happy Birthday

Saw Alexei and congratulated he and his wife, Mildred, on the birth of his son, Alexi.  It’s the couple’s third child, second son.

Matt’s Take

Tune in to WSCR 670 AM from 10 am to noon Monday to hear Matt Thornton’s in-studio take on the weekend series.  Thornton will be appearing with host Lawrence Holmes.

How The Sausage In Made

OK, maybe it’s me, but here are actual conversations I had with media representatives yesterday …

On my way into the press box in the top of the fourth, I run into a radio host, who is exiting …

“This one should be called on the slaughter rule,” he said.

“I don’t know, ” I demurred.  “They pounded us last week.”

“Listen,” he said, “when Nick Swisher hits a grand slam, you know it is your day.”

Huh?  In his last three years, Nick has 21, 35 and 22 home runs.  It’s not like an Ozzie Guillen homered.

Then I sit down …

A reporter comes over and laughs, “Do you know how many writers right now are crying into their keyboard?  Let me see, 1, 2, 3 … 4,5,6 … 7.  I count seven Cubs fans right here,” the reporter said, indicating the sections closest to where we were sitting.

So maybe it’s not just Sox fans who feel this way about the rooting interests in the media.

Then I am sitting in a suite when a television producer calls.

“We’ve got a reporter outside the ballpark.  He just interviewed a fan who claims he was ejected for cursing.  He dropped a beer and said to his friend, what the (blank)?  Can you comment?”

As he’s saying this, I’m thinking, what’s the point …

So I ask him if he knows a name so I can check incident reports.  In the meantime, I check with security.

They know who I am talking about immediately, since it is no surprise to them that this particular fan found a television camera as soon as they were ejected.

“It was the second instance,” I am told.  “They were warned once and then ejected the second time the same thing happened” apparently uttering the profanities in front of fans who complained or our security (or directly in front of our security), who took action.

So what’s the big deal?  You can be ejected for profanity — it is a warning we have in writing at each gate to the ballpark.  And as a father of three who had to listen to an amazing amount of profanity last Friday as literally countless (they actually tried to count and couldn’t) Mai Ti’s were downed behind me, I’m glad we do.  How about the idea of going and standing outside a ballpark to interview fans who have been ejected?  Let’s go stand outside a police station on a given Friday night and interview people who were arrested and have just been released?  I’m sure you’ll get unbiased, accurate stories of their plight …

Then, at dinner, I get a call from a newspaper reporter, who asks if I have any comment on the record number of incidents at today’s game.

After each game, I get an update from our security staff about how things went, so I know that not only weren’t there a record number of incidents at Friday’s game, but there actually were very, very few.  The limited number of ejections were for smoking and profanity (see above).

So I explain all of this and ask, “Who said there were a lot of incidents?”

“Oh, we got a phone call saying there were …”

To their credit, both organizations contacted me and asked for our information before running stories (or choosing not to).  I offer these stories only as examples of how people try to manipulate media and how, so often, everyone’s assumptions are based on often-inaccurate stereotypes.

So then I open today’s Sun-Times (I know, I know, it’s almost impossible to find a Saturday Sun-Times, but I swung it).

Page 51 is titled, “Crosstown Showdown” and sub-headed, “Savoring the Sights at the Cell.”

Of the five photos, one is of Derrick Rose in Sox garb with John Paxson (OK, makes sense), one is of two tailgating spreads, one Sox and one Cubs (OK, makes sense), one is of a Cubs fan looking at our misnamed (in the caption) “Championship Moments Wall” (OK, maybe the Cubs fan looking at a Sox monument angle works, but what about all of the other options you could shoot out there on that day … we had to pick a Cubs fan in Cubs jersey?) … and then the two kickers, for me, one an eight-year-old Cubs kid and another of Derrek Lee signing autographs.  I am sure that it was tough, if not impossible, to find an eight-year-old, jersey wearing Sox fan at yesterday’s game, and of course, of all the players signing autographs yesterday and U.S. Cellular Field, where the newspaper wants to provide you with “Savoring the Sights at the Cell,” we get a Cubs player …

Look at the page, I know very few of you actually read the hard copy of this paper anymore, and tell me it is an equal representation of the fans at yesterday’s game.  Someone picked those photos and made conscious decisions what to run, didn’t they?  Was that person neutral, a Sox fan or a Cubs fan?

But maybe I’m too sensitive to this stuff …

Finally

And this is absolutely true … last Friday, I took my family to Wrigley Field for the game.  My kids can handle the profanity (see above), but the threesome behind us (and we were in row 1 just past our dugout), literally lost count of the number of drinks they had during the game.  They tried to remember and tried to count, but it was beyond their capacity.  Then, the very best part, one guy fell asleep.  Sox vs. Cubs. 40,000-plus crowd. Great seats. Great game, going down to the final pitch, and the guy FALLS ASLEEP!!! 

“Dad,” my 11-year-old son whispers, “that guy’s asleep at the game.”

“Cubs fan,” we both say in unison.

Have fun today, Sox fans, and do your best to stay awake.

 

Postgame Remarks

From the White Sox Interview Room:

Ozzie Guillen on …

Jose Contreras:

He couldn’t command his fastball.  He was making the big pitch.  He fought through it.

JD:

“JD’s been outstanding.  He and Derreck Lee are the most overlooked players in town.  Over the last five years, it’s been amazing what they do.

“JD’s been carrying us … defensively and offensively.”

On The Offense:

“When these guys start hitting the ball to the opposite field, good things happen.”

Nick Swisher …

On The Game:

“There’s a huge difference playing here than when it is over there.  We’re home.  We’re in our backyard.  The atmosphere, with 40,000 people screaming, is great.  You try to think it’s just another game, but it’s not.”

On The Grand Slam:

“I was just trying to get something into the air to score a run.  I swung through a fastball earlier in the at-bat and missed a slider.  At Wrigley, he got me out on a slider.  I saw a slider on the outside half of the plate, got lucky and put the barrel on it.”

 

 

Lineup Update

Friday, June 27, 2008

Juan Uribe will start at 2B in place of Alexi Ramirez, who is with his wife as she gives birth today.

Cubs Visit

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today’s Lineup

OC, SS; AJ, C; Q, LF; Dye, RF; Thome, DH; Crede, 3B; Swish, 1B; Ramirez, 2B; Wise, CF.  Contreras pitching.

Coop Update

So most of the Western Hemisphere saw Don Cooper injury his left hamstring during yesterday’s game in LA, and you couldn’t miss the team’s reaction … most of which is because it was Coop, of all people, who was hurt.

The pitching coach was wheeled out to our team bus in a wheelchair.  During the trip to LAX from the ballpark, the players all watched his misstep on DVD and then the plane qould erupt again and again as players watched YouTube and the video.

Had to make Cooper feel great, although he took it like a champ.

“This won’t affect my workout routine at all,” said Cooper, who has none.  “I will be able to run as fast tomorrow (Friday) as I could today.”

Cooper is no better this morning and won’t be making any trips to the mound to talk to pitchers.  We did arrange for a motorized scooter for the weekend, labeled with his name and number, to help him roll around the ballpark. 

It’s all meant in good fun.

Rose

Bulls first pick Derrick Rose will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before today’s game.

 

Inning 9 — Bottom

Sox up, 2-0.  Jenks in to pitch.

Young, Dewitt (PH) and Maza due up.

Young tops a ball down the first base line.  Jenks fields it and tags him.  One out.

One hopper, 5-3.  Two out.

Maza up.

Count goes to 2-2.

3-2.

Fly ball to JD.  Game over.  Sox win.

 

Inning 9 — Top

Sox hold a 2-0 edge entering the ninth inning.

OC, BA and Q due up.  Jenks warming.

Lead off walk.

Sac, 3-4.  OC moves to second.

Quentin is out, 5-3.

OC steals third without a throw.

JD strikes out.  We head to the bottom with Big Bobby coming in.

 

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