July 2008

Final Push

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rounding Third, Headed to Home

Third base coach Jeff Cox is waving everyone in … word this morning is that JD remains in second place in Final Man balloting but still can catch Longoria.

So, I know fatigue has set in — both mental (judging from some of the comments yesterday) and physical.  Keep voting, and let’s send him to the ASG along with Aaron Rowand.

Here is what sources have told me … Tampa Bay played on Monday when all other candidates were off, helping Longoria to an early lead that he has not surrendered.  Coupled with that, a group out of Boston, The Boston Dirt Dogs (or something like that), endorsed Longoria right away as an anti Giambi and have voting in large blocks …

But all that said, JD still has a chance to keep clicking.

Among our Vote for JD ideas that didn’t get off the ground:

Having Mayor Daley or Senator Obama record campaign pitches for our outfielder (logistics and tight timing made this impossible)

Placing “Vote for JD” messages in the Wrigley Field and Kauffman Stadium scoreboards … Wrigley had no inventory on that little message board in center and Kauffman Stadium needed a longer advance to place a message (so we were told).

Apparently, KC teammates of Jose Guillen have had fun placing Vote for JD posters and stickers in his locker …

True Stories

While at dinner on Tuesday with my wife at Salpicon (one of our favorites spots on Wells), the hostess asked, “Are you still with the Sox?”

“I am,” I answered.

“Well, I voted for JD about 100 times today.  He really deserves to go.”

Same day, one of our PR staffers is out with a Cubs friend at a bar up North to watch the Sox game.

Two guys walk up behind them.

“Hey, we got Harden,” one said.

“He’s left-handed isn’t he?” asked his friend.

“Yes,” replied the other.

Then the two left.

“That’s what makes me embarrassed to be a Cubs fan at times,” said the friend to our PR staffer.

Why An Airplane

There seemed to be some question as to why we’d send an airplane up in KC with a “Vote for JD – Whitesox.com” sign …

Well, here’s an explanation …

1. The team wasn’t home; it was in KC

2. The “stunt” — which had to happen prior to the game due to FAA regulations — was intended to snag media attention back in Chicago and possibly nationally

3. Another intent was to let JD know we still were campaigning for him and to give his teammates something to have fun with, maybe at his expense.

So that’s why we did it an I’m glad we did …

 

Today’s Musings

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Record Turnout

Keep voting, Sox fans.  A record number of votes have already been cast, which throws the whole race up in the air heading into tomorrow. Check out this story from MLB.com.

We were able to find a plane to fly over Kauffman Stadium before today’s game (4:30 to 6 pm) with a sign reading, “Vote for JD – whitesox.com.”  We also have a request in to the downtown buildings to see if any want to light up “Vote 4 JD” tonight.  Later today, we are going to send out a press release listing all the things we’ve tried to do to help our fans vote and vote again.

Word on the street, true or not, is that Longoria is picking up support from Chicago National League fans who just can’t stomach the idea of yet another White Sox fan winning the vote, while Jason Giambi earned the endorsement of some goofy national mustache group.  I also just heard that some Boston fans are voting — many for Longoria — in an anti Giambi move.

Keep plugging away, Sox fans, this is something we know we can win for JD.

As For the Game

We tried to lose that every which way and yet won.  I choose to take that as a good omen.

 

Opener in KC

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tonight’s Lineup

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

Washed Away

Apparently a Kansas downpour at 2 pm flooded the visiting clubhouse, causing early arrivals among our players, including Ozzie Guillen, Jim Thome and Matt Thornton, to pitch in and help the clubhouse staff move sofas and chairs out of the flooding water.  With the renovations to the ballpark currently underway, drainage can be an issue behind the scenes.  Sounds like the ballgame will be fine, however.

Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote, Vote and Vote

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Campaign Slogans

So here are some of the slogans for JD’s campaign that I have received via email, on this blog and via voicemail.  Let me know which one’s you like and feel free to add others …

He’s to Dye For

Vote or Dye Trying

Live & Let Dye

The Dye is Cast

Vote Jermaine

JD.  Just Dynamite.  Just Deserving.

WWJD — We Want Jermaine Dye

Vote ‘Til You Dye

Other Ideas

Hopefully, you saw today that we started a special offer where anyone who votes for our guy today through Thursday will be eligible to receive a JD signed jersey with six lucky winners.

We tried to get three things done today with no luck.  1. We tried to get a “Vote for JD … Go Sox” message on the KC Royals scoreboard (you gotta think Jose Guillen would love it) but they need a two-day notice for scoreboard messages. 2. We tried the same at Wrigley, thinking Cubs fans might suddenyl feel the love, but there was no inventory.  3. Right now, I am trying to find a plane to fly past Kauffman Stadium with a “Vote for JD … whitesox.com” message dragging behind it, but for some reason, it’s tough to find a plane in KC.

We did send down some Vote JD stickers for the players to wear on their BP tops tonight and tomorrow, so we’ll see what kind of play that gets.

And if you missed my note earlier, make sure you also vote for Aaron Rowand when you vote for JD.  The Giants have agreed to push JD, who grew up in their area, in return for our pushing ARow, which is, of course, very, very easy.

 

Election Time

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Vote For JD

At the end of day yesterday, MLBAM announced that JD was a close second to Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria in the Final Man voting, which ends Thursday at 4 p.m. CT.

So come on White Sox fans!  Time to mobilize.

You’ve succeeded in helping Scott Podsednik reach the 2005 game and A.J. Pierzynski the 2006 Midsummer Classic.  JD certainly is deserving, so let’s show him the way.

This morning, we are announcing a special offer.  Anyone who votes for JD from this morning until polls close will be eligible to win one of six autographed Jermaine Dye jerseys … so keep voting (unlike regular All-Star voting, there is no limit to Final Man balloting).

We also reached an agreement with the San Francisco Giants yesterday on a trade of sorts.  I told them we would encourage our fans to vote for Aaron Rowand in exchange for San Francisco fans voting for JD. 

As someone from BAM told me yesterday, “How cool that a team would want to support a former player.”

“It’s Aaron,” I replied.  “If you knew him, you’d understand.”

So vote for JD and vote for A-Row.  We can re-unite Aaron and Joe Crede in New York next week.

Off Day

And so how did JD spend his off day Monday?

Along with Harold Baines and Ken Williams, he took part in a special forum for young African-American ballplayers at USCF and then stuck around to watch a few innings as those same high school stars played in the “Double Duty Classic,” an brand new event meant to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Negro League East-West All-Star Game and to pay tribute to the tradition of the Negro Leagues at old Comiskey Park.

The morning’s forum, hosted by ESPN’s Michael Smith, featured three panels.  The first was made up of historians Larry Lester of the Negro League Hall of Fame in KC, Eddie Bedford a professor at Western Michigan who will hold a special Negro League convention later this month, Adrian Burgos, a professor from Illinois who specializes in Latin baseball history in this country, and Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter who now works for MLB.

The second panel featured JD and HB talking about their personal experiences and offering their insight and advice to the young players.

Finally, Ken Williams spoke to the group about how young players should approach their lives and the game of baseball.  Williams talked about taking advantage of opportunities presented and the responsibility each person has as just one member of a long timeline of history.

The 1:30 forum was attended by several VIPs, including The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Jimmie Lee Solomon of MLB, Darrell Miller of MLB, Jerry Reinsdorf and members of the Radcliffe family, for which the exhibition was named.  Negro Leaguers like Hank Presswood, Minnie Minoso, Walt Owens, Ernest Westwood and Al Spearman attended.

Following lunch, nearly 1,000 fans attended the nine-inning game, which ended in a 4-4 tie when the West team scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The day was a resounding success, most importantly for the kids who got to play on a major league field in front of family and friends, but also for everyone in attendance who learned about the Negro Leagues and had a chance to see some great young talent take the field in old-style uniforms.

It was another moment that made me proud to work for the White Sox.

 

Vote, Vote and Vote Again

Sunday, July 6, 2008

dye-signs2.jpg


So Now It’s On …

Let’s go White Sox fans … it’s time to start voting over and over again.  Let’s get JD onto the All-Star team … vote at whitesox.com and/or mlb.com.

You all know we’ve got a reputation as voters to live up to.  Send me your thoughts and/or ideas for promoting JD over the next few days (voting closes Thursday at 4 pm CT, so our schedule, off day, Tuesday and Wednesday in KC, doesn’t help us).

dye-signs1.JPG

So get voting …

So far, we’ve been working on the following …

+Creating artwork to support his campaign

+We made and distributed 100 signs for fans inside the ballpark

+Our crack scoreboard crew is creating a 15-second TV campaign spot

+We handed out “Vote for JD” t-shirts to our entire clubhouse

Congrats

To Joe Crede and Carlos Quentin on making their first All-Star teams.  I was surprised — but honestly, happy — that none of our pitchers were chosen.

http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/486957c54c88e2fc/48717ee7db002078/48712264bf9bbd81/f795a77f

Oakland Finale

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Today’s Lineup

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

All-Star Announcement

Rosters for the 2008 All-Star teams will be announced today on the Selection Show, carried by TBS at 1 p.m. CT.  As of 2 p.m. CT, we will be able to announce any player(s) we have going to New York and whether or not we have a player in the Final Man competition.  If we do, then voting begins immediately at mlb.com and whitesox.com.  In fine Chicago fashion, we need you to vote early and vote often.  Dead relatives also are eligible to vote.

Double Duty Classic

Two terrific stories in midwest newspapers about tomorrow’s Double Duty Classic. And this from the Indianpolis Star.

 

Oakland Again

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Venezuelan Independence Day (perhaps, knowing Ozzie, maybe I should have checked first, but he said it’s Venezuelan Independence Day … Viva Simon Bolivar)

Tonight’s Lineup

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

Tomorrow’s Trib

Check out these two stories in tomorrow’s Chicago Tribune, one on Carlos Quentin and a column by Mike Downey on Alexei Ramirez.

Random Notes

The White Sox lead the American League with 117 home runs, 13 more than Texas …Paul Konerko went 2-3 with a walk playing first base last night for Class AAA Charlotte … the Sox are 19-12 when the opposition starts a left-handed pitcher … the Sox have been in first place 76 days this season.

Double Duty Classic

For those of you who love high school baseball and want to support a neat new event we are hosting on Monday:

WHITE SOX TO HOST TRIBUTE TO NEGRO LEAGUES ALL-STAR GAME

Double Duty Classic to Feature High School Talent from Across Midwest and Commemorate 75th Anniversary of East-West All-Star Game

 CHICAGO – This summer, the Chicago White Sox will host the first-ever Double Duty Classic – an event celebrating the history and tradition of Negro Leagues baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players. 

The game will take place on Monday, July 7 at U.S. Cellular Field with inner city high school players from across the Midwest (Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and St. Louis) participating in the All-Star showcase.  The players will dress in uniforms honoring the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star Game.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first East-West All-Star Game, which was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago.  The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) will collaborate with the White Sox on the event, which will include a special forum on the history of the Negro Leagues and African-Americans in the game of baseball.  The forum will precede the game on July 7 and feature a roster of speakers and prominent members of the baseball community.

“It is with great honor we host the first-ever Double Duty Classic,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox chairman.  “With this event we hope to provide young inner-city players an opportunity to showcase their skills.  Equally important, the event honors the legacy of the Negro Leagues and its history in the city of Chicago.”

Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe was born on July 7, 1902 in Mobile, Ala. and played for the Chicago American Giants of the Negro Leagues.  At the age of 41, Radcliffe earned MVP honors for his performance during the 1943 season with the American Giants.  Nicknamed “Double Duty” because he would regularly pitch the first game of a doubleheader and catch the second game, Radcliffe was one of the most dynamic players in the Negro Leagues and all of baseball.  Beginning in 2002, until the year of his death in Chicago in 2005, Radcliffe threw a ceremonial first pitch prior to a White Sox game.

Chicago White Sox Charities (CWSC), on behalf of the Double Duty Classic, will make a $10,000 donation to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Ed Farmer

Just stopped in my office.  We snuck a round of golf in this morning at Lost Dunes in Bridgman, Mich.  Ed played well.

He looked at the framed newspapers on the wall of my office from the 2005 postseason.

“We played like that team a few days ago,” he said.

“I look at those pictures from 2005 … in some ways it seems like it was a long time ago.  In other ways, it seems like it was yesterday.”

He was off to find a dozen baseballs to sign for a friend.

“You want me to de-value a baseball?” he asked his friend, just to be sure.

Running this a third time …

Blog Night III

OK, we finally got this worked out … to order click here.

Game is 8/6 vs. Detroit (7:11 start).  Tickets are $18 each and supplies are limited so order early.  Passcode when you order is:  “Blog” (creative, I know).

If you have any problems or issues ordering:  dmilliken@chisox.com (my good friend Dustin)

As in past years, Blog Night III attendees will be asked to arrive by 5:45 pm for an event in the Conference & Learning Center (details to follow).  From there, you can head up to your seats as a group.

Sound good?

How about anyone who has attended in the past offering their thoughts/opinions/comments to others here to explain how the evening goes and if it’s a good time (or not) …

Happy Independence Day

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tonight’s Lineup

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

Honoring our Servicemen and Servicewomen

The White Sox are wearing unique camoflauge uniforms for today’s game with two-tone brown hats in tribute to the men and women across the globe serving our country and protecting our freedoms.

Mark Buehrle, who happens to be starting tonight’s game, told Brooks Boyer, our marketing head, that he really wanted the Sox to wear the camo uniforms similar to what San Diego wears.  Brooks made it happen and July 4th is perfect.

Ozzie, ever the funnyman, said he thought some of our guys would use the camo tops to go hunting down on Jim Thome’s spread this fall …

There also will be a flyover tonight.

Prior to the game, the White Sox hosted two special servicemen during batting practice and many more will be in attendance for the game.

 

Oakland Arrives

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tonight’s Lineup

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

Walk Off

A.J. now owns three of the 36 regular-season, game-ending home runs in U.S. Cellular Field history.  The last time the White Sox recorded consecutive game-winning hits was on 5/30-31/05 against Anaheim.

Pitching, Pitching and More Pitching

This series features the best two pitching staffs in the majors as the Sox lead all teams with a 3.38 ERA and the A’s are second at 3.45 …

Notes

Nick Swisher takes on his former foes … Frank Thomas is at the ballpark this series, rehabbing his sore knee … Frank said he expects to be back sometime after the All-Star Break … Paul Konerko packed his bags for Class AAA Charlotte and likely will begin his rehab tomorrow with the Knights … Ozzie said prior to the game that he wants Bobby Jenks to take his time recovering from tightness in a muscle in his left back.

Blog Night III (Re-printed from yesterday with the consent of the author) …

OK, we finally got this worked out … to order click here.

Game is 8/6 vs. Detroit (7:11 start).  Tickets are $18 each and supplies are limited so order early.  Passcode when you order is:  “Blog” (creative, I know).

If you have any problems or issues ordering:  dmilliken@chisox.com (my good friend Dustin)

As in past years, Blog Night III attendees will be asked to arrive by 5:45 pm for an event in the Conference & Learning Center (details to follow).  From there, you can head up to your seats as a group.

Sound good?

How about anyone who has attended in the past offering their thoughts/opinions/comments to others here to explain how the evening goes and if it’s a good time (or not) …

Finally

Did people like the running, inning-by-inning report from our game in LA or was it a pain?

Let me know …

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