June 2008

Inning 8

Sox up, 2-0

RHP Ramon Troncoso in to pitch. 

Ramirez down swinging.

Don Cooper was ejected for the second time in his career.

Hall batting with Thome on deck.

Hall out swinging.

Thome out, 3-1, to end the inning.

Bottom

Scott Linebrink in to pitch.

Today’s attendance, 37,000 and something.  I didn’t type quickly enough.

37,000 people and the place looks empty.

Martin, GO 5-3, one out

Loney, broken bat pop up to second, two out.

LaRoche, routine 6-3.

 

Inning 7

Sox lead, 2-0.

Two runs, seven hits and two errors for the Sox.  No runs, four hits and one error for LA.

BA leading off.

Deep fly ball to right.  One out

Quentin is hit by a pitch and then steals second.

Dye walks.

Pitching coach to the mound as Swisher is announced.

Fly ball to medium center.  Two out.

Crede at the plate.  Full count.

Swing and a miss.

Bottom

Thornton in to pitch.

PH Maza singles up the middle.

PH Ethier flies to left.  One out.

Pierre at the plate.

Listening to Scully just now, he relates a story about Matt Thornton that is completely new to me.  He’s really good a what he does, and maybe I’m bad at what I do.

Foul ball … just foul, down the left field line.  Dodged it.

Fly out yo Q.  Two out.

Dotel in to face Kemp.

Strike out swinging.

 

Inning 6

Sox ahead, 2-0

DYK that the White Sox are averaging 6.0 runs per game in June, hitting .304 as a team this month.  I mention that now, trying to get our bats going this inning.

New LA pitcher, RHP Corey Wade.

Ramirez and Hall make outs.

Danks singles sharply up the middle for his first BIG LEAGUE hit.  Congrats John.

Line out to second.  Inning over.

Bottom

I had held out for two days, but I just broke down and am eating my first Dodger Dog of the series.  Check back with me during the flight home to find out how it went.

Minnesota and SD are tied, 3-3 in the fifth.

Upton Sinclair, aka KW, is sitting to my left shaking his head about me eating a Dodger Dog.

Loney flies out to left, LaRoche to center.  Young walks.  WP to second.

Swing and a miss for Berroa.

Inning over.

Inning 5

Sox up, 2-0.

So the Sox minor leaguers in the Futures Game are LHP Clayton Richard (US) and INF Chris Getz (US).

BA reaches on an E6.  Yet another lead-off hitter aboard.

WP moves BA to second. 

Walk to Quentin.

JD to the plate.  Torre to the mound.

RHP Brian Falkenborg the new Dodgers pitcher.

5-3, runners move up.

Here’s Swisher with another run-scoring opportunity for the Sox.

Where’s the Ohio State hater?

Intentional walk.

Crede up.

1-2-3 DP.  Another Ugh.

Bottom

Bobby Jenks, Scott Linebrink and Octavio Dotel head to the bullpen beyond right field.

Let’s hope this isn’t another instance of missed scoring opportunities coming back to hurt us …

74 pitches for Danks entering this inning.

PH Mark Sweeney lines to left.

Nice running catch by Quentin on Pierre.  Two out.

Kemp walks. 

Nice catch by JD jumping up against the right-field wall.

Inning over.

Gulp

 

 

Inning 4

Sox up, 2-0.

The mister and fan are going strong in our dugout.  Steamy day in mid 70s.

Ramirez leading off.  Always amazing about baseball … that whole thing about the great play then leads off thing …

Scoreboard just showed the Dodgers 1959 banner.  Does it seem like 20 years, 1988, since the Dodgers last won a World Series … wow.

Double off the center field wall.

Single to right by Toby.  ARam holds at third with no out.

Danks up

pitch out

bunts into a DP.  Ramirez has to hold.

Ugh

C’mon OC.

SO looking.

Bottom

LaRoche leading off

So the 10 Dodgers:

1   Pee Wee Reese

2   Tommy LaSorda

4   Duke Snider

19   Jim Gilliam

20   Don Sutton

24   Walter Alston

32   Sandy Koufax

39   Roy Campanella

42   Jackie Robinson

53   Don Drysdale

LaRoche doubled down the line past a sprawling Crede.

GO 4-3.  Runner moves up

ball back to Danks.  He makes a great play and then throws to third but LaRoche is back in time.  First and third, one out.

WOW.  Great play by Danks on a line drive to the box.  He turns and fires to first for a DP.

We caught a break!

 

 

 

 

Inning 3

Sox up, 1-0

OC leading off.

Vin Scully notes that we’ve played two innings and all four lead-off men have reached.  Only Dye scored.

Make that five.  OC walks.

BA up.

Can you name the 10 Dodgers players with retired numbers?  Answer next inning.

Strike out swinging.

Q up.

Hitting .278 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI.

Q was born in Bellflower, CA, same hometown as Jeff Kent.

WP moves OC to second.  RBI opportunity.

Cubs are getting hammered by Orioles.  Is that the same team that pounded us?

Single by Q scores OC.

2-0 Sox

JD to the plate.

“Let’s go White Sox,” a fan shouts.

Visit by the pitching coach as Kershaw’s second pitch to Dye is way high (94 mph fastball)

GB to third (another nice play by Martin), throw to second for force is late/dropped.  Ruled a base hit.  First and second, one out.

Swisher up.

“Ohio State @#&*%,” a fan shouts.

Fly out to the warning track in left.  Both runners advance.

Crede up.  Two-out opportunity.

Shattered bat, Quentin diving to avoid the barrel.  Out 5-3.

Inning over.

Bottom

MLB announced the Futures Games participants.  Class AA Birmingham manager Carlos Subero is coaching for the World Team.

E6

Kemp single to center.  Pierre to third.  No out.

Infield back.

Martin strikes out.

Loney up.  John reaches back for a 92 mph fastball.  Strike one.  Swinging strike two on a slider.  Now 2-2. 

Pretty, pretty GIDP with Ramirez flicking the ball to OC from his glove.

Inning over.

 

 

 

 

Inning 2

0-0

JD leads off

Kershaw’s fastball is at about 92-93

walk to JD

Swish up.  Crede on deck.  Joe appears fine.

Great bunt down third by Swisher.  Even better play by Russell Martin to get him at first.  We can’t catch a break.

Two-hopper to third.  Two out.

The rocket up.  Yesterday, within the same at-bat, he looked bad on a change up and then adjusted and singled on the next changeup he saw.

Broken bat single to left, RBI.  Took second on the throw from Pierre.

1-0 Sox

Intentional walk to Hall.

Danks up. 

Good cut by John. 

Strikeout swinging.

Bottom

Adam Sandler in the house.

Delwyn Young batting.  When he homered on Tuesday night, KW noted that as a teammate of Delwyn’s dad, he used to bounce a little Delwyn on his knee.

Walked him on a 3-2 pitch after several foul balls.

John’s thrown 31 pitches

FB at 89-90 mph

Berroa up.  Pitcher’s best friend.  GIDP

Important because now the No. 8 hitter might be the last out of this inning.

Base hit.

So much for the pitcher leading off the third.

See ya.

41 pitches.

 

 

Inning 1

The smog (or Marine layer, according to Ed Farmer) has burnt off and exposed a beautiful day.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. LA time.  All three games here have drawn quite a few White Sox fans to Dodgers Stadium.  Sox jerseys are well represented in the ballpark.

Today, we are wearing our black alternate tops with our grey road pants.

Oh, look, another left-hander takes the mound against us. 

Jeff Cox trots down to the third-base coaches box.  Coxsie, always happy, spent yesterday with his mother on her birthday.  While he had to admit that he never played at Dodger Stadium as a high school athlete, he did proudly point out he was here to accept his first-team all-state honors for baseball (he also was named to the basketball team).

74 degrees

Kershaw is throwing hard.  OC takes him to right for a single.  Nice approach.

BA grounds to third on first pitch.  OC forced out as throw skips to LaRoche at second.

Q GIDP up the middle to second.  Inning over.

Bottom

E2 as Hall drops a foul pop. 

Crede is at third, bouncing up and down as Piere fouls pitches off …

Lots of kids groups here today as the outfield bleachers are filled with a variety of colored t-shirts.

Pierre slaps a single to left.

Danks almost picks Pierre off first.

SB

Kemp walks on a check swing.

Foul pop to Swish.  One out

Double Steal.

Looping out to Cabrera.  He throws to third to try and double up Pierre.  Crede looks a little stiff trying to field the throw.

fly ball to right to get out of the inning.  John had to throw a lot of pitches.

 

Day Game In LA

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today’s Lineup

OC, SS; BA, CF; Q, LF; Dye, RF; Swish, 1B; Crede, 3B; ARam, 2B; Hall, C; Danks, P.  John enters today ranked third in the AL with a 2.80 ERA.

Pierre, LF; Kemp, CF; Martin, 3B; Loney, 1B; LaRoche, 2B; Young, RF; Berroa, SS; Ardoin, C; Kershaw, P.

As a little experiment today, I’ll try to blog throughout the game, providing whatever thoughts and observations I might have from the press box.

Ozzie’s Touch

We received this nice email from a fan:
 
Subject: Ozzie
 
Message:
I wanted too write too you and tell you what a fine Manager you have. My wife Susie,my son Andrew and I drove up to Chicago too see Ozzie at Binny’s beverage on 13 June 2008 from the Quad Cities. My son and wife are hugh Sox fans and I am a Cubs fan. When we got too Binny’s a lady over heard us telling someone that we had driven up from the Quad Cities. The night before we had some big storms and our power was knocked out. None the less I wanted my son too meet Ozzie. This lady told Ozzie that we had driven up from the Quad cities and Ozzie was very happy. When we got our turn too meet Ozzie he was nothing but spectacular. He asked if we were going too the game that night and we told him no that we were just up too meet him and we would be going to a game on the 23rd of August. He asked if we could stay and come too the game on the 13th and if we would like tickets. We said yes and left him our names. Ozzie left us tickets for section 132, row 27. That was a tremendous suprise. My son,wife and I had a great time. I am still a Cubs fan but if anyone ever bad mouths your organization or manager I will defend you guys to the end. Once again THANK-YOU Ozzie you made my fathers day because you made my son and wife smile. Thank you so very much. Sincerly Chip, Susie and Andrew. Your freinds and fans from the Quad Cities.
 

Dodger Stadium

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thoughts From LA

I tried to post yesterday but ran into computer problems, so sorry to leave you in the dark for so long.

I headed out to LA with the club Monday evening.  Dodger Stadium is one of the ballparks I had never visited (I missed our 2003 trip), I needed to meet with my counterpart at the Dodgers to talk spring training, and I like to walk around other ballparks in the league and steal ideas we might be able to implement.

Last Night

What a game by Mark Buehrle, what a play by Alexi Ramirez and what a blast by Jermaine Dye.

Congratulations to Mark on the victory and on topping 1,000 career strikeouts.

I asked him if his dad had made it out to LA.

“No, and he really wanted to see this,” Mark said.  “When I got the one, I’m thinking he wasn’t here.  Each time I got two strikes on a guy, I was thinking, maybe he’ll hit a ground ball and I can get 1,000 in my next start at home.”

And for those of you who stayed up … thanks to Mark’s 2:05 game it didn’t end too late in Chicago, Alexei made an amazing catch and turned it into a double play.  Make sure you check out today’s highlight shows to catch the catch.

Dodger Stadium

So this is my first visit to Dodger Stadium …

As we walk in from the bus in mid afternoon, I see a guy in Sox uniform playing catch with a young boy in Sox garb right in front of our dugout.  I know those mannerisms, I say to Steve Stone as we walk in past first base.  It’s Robin Ventura, playing catch with his son, Jack.  It’s great to see Robin, I congratulated him on the great job he did during the College World Series, and then felt very old seeing Jack running around.

The playing surface at Dodger Stadium was immaculate.  It ranks up there with the very best in baseball.  The stadium itself was a mix between the 1980s and some of the newer work the Dodgers have done to the seating area.  Overall, the ballpark seemed older than I expected, but then it is now one of the oldest in baseball … which is amazing.

I’ve said before that I believe all of us are 12 years old inside, which means for me, it’s always 1977 in some spot in my mind.

So it was fun to see Vin Scully — and great to listen to his telecast — Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela (1981, I know), Ron Cey and run into Charlie Hough in the press box.

World Series Redux

Down on the field during batting practice, I saw Steve Perry — still sporting a 2005 World Series hat.  Also attending the game was Michael Clark Duncan, voice of our World Series video,  proudly wearing his Sox cap (courtesy of Ken Williams), and I was told Common was in the house cheering for the Sox.

Ozzie Being Ozzie

So Ozzie was looking for a way to “get” me for coming on the trip …  his opportunity came during his media session when he told reporters, with a broad smile, that I had just told him some private information about our Spring Training plans.  This wasn’t true.  He just wanted to see me squirm.  He spent the rest of BP laughing at me about it.

Typical Ozzie in his exchange with Juan Pierre during BP.  As Ozzie talked to media from Chicago and LA, Pierre took a lead from first base during Dodger BP. 

“Don’t worry Juan,” Ozzie yelled, laughing.  “You won’t get there tonight.”

“You’re right,” Pierre countered.  “I’ll double.”

“We’ll see.”

Prior to the game, Ozzie told the media one of the keys to JD’s hot streak has been his patience and discipline at the plate.

“He’s been swinging at strikes,” Guillen said.  “That’s the key for any player.”

And then JD’s at-bats during the game illustrated that perfectly.

Notes

Joe Crede was a late scratch last night with a stiff lower back.  They’ll see how he feels today.  The victory snapped a nine-game road losing streak.

Lost Weekend

We got our butts kicked last weekend, but keep the bigger picture in mind.  As Ozzie said Tuesday, “I’d rather lose a game to the Cubs than to the Twins”, meaning it’s always better to drop a game to someone outside your division.

Wish I Had Seen

My favorite columnist scurrying down the hallway of the Wrigley Field press box to “escape” two reporters from his very own newspaper and calling for security.

When he excuses his absence from clubhouses and ballparks in terms of feeling threatened, maybe he isn’t talking about players or staff after all.  Maybe it’s the media who scare him.

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