March 2009

Sunday, March 16

Sunday, March 16, 2009

White Sox at Seattle

We travel up the road just a bit today to take on the Mariners in Peoria.  Biggest news of the day will be the first spring appearance of Jose Contreras, who is scheduled to start and go one inning today.  Contreras will be followed by Jeff Marquez, Franklyn German, Kelvin Jimenez, Jon Link and Mike MacDougal.

Our lineup:

Owens 8, AJ 2, Q 7, Dye 9, Kroeger 3, A Ramirez 6, Betemit DH, Fields 5, Beckham 4. 

More On Marines

Apparently the story about our fan reaction to the group of recovering Marines who attended our game last weekend started to make the internet rounds.  This from the military website Blackfive:

Here are some pics from Ron Vesely:

Military1.jpg

Military2.jpg
Military3.jpg

Wish I Was In Glendale

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Too Cold

It’s way too cold up here in Chicago.  I guess my blood has thinned.  I need to head back down to spring training … not that I am getting an sympathy from my family (or many of you).

Today’s Lineup

Against the Brewers:

Owens, CF; Ramirez, SS; Quentin, LF; Dye, RF; PK, DH; Betimet, 1B; Viciedo, 3B; Miller, C; Lillibridge, 2B.  Buehrle pitching.

Tryouts

Each year, the White Sox (like most teams) hold an open tryout the first Saturday of March.  Usually about 100 guys show up, and once and a while someone will get signed out of the camp for our minor league system.

I try to wander down each year just to get a feel.  There are always interesting stories.  This year was no exception.

There was one player from Chicago who had flown down with his parents to try out.  The sense was that he had never played baseball before that day.  We were literally afraid of the kid for his life during BP.  He got eight pitches and actually made contact on one.

Two former big leaguers tried out.

One kid has his mom stretch him before the workout (note: not a great idea).

And the best story of 2009 was this …

As the camp began at 8 a.m., the grounds crew was out dragging the infield, setting up cages, etc.

One of the young kids dragging the infield asked what was going on.

“Try out camp,” he was told.

“Can anyone do it?” he asked.

“Yes.  It’s open to anyone.”

With that he dropped his rake, told his co-workers he was heading to the car to get his gear and tossed over his shoulder the comment, “You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.”

Alas, I think he’s back on the grounds crew today.  It actually might pay better.

New Day

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday

°Feliz cumpleaŮos amigo! to Dayan Viciedo, who turns 20 years old today.  Can you imagine how the Cuban’s life has changed over the past year?

Congratulations

As well to Jose Contreras, who today becomes an American citizen in Miami.  Contreras, 37, defected from Cuba in October 2002 and today will become an American.

This winter a visitor planning a trip to Cuba contacted us to purchase a box of White Sox hats for kids on the island.  The tourist visted the home province of Contreras and Alexei Ramirez, passing out hats in the neighborhood and hopefully creating life-long Sox fans (and maybe future players).

You can read about the visit in the first edition of the game program and see photos from the trip, including Estadio Capitan San Luis, the ballpark where Alexei and Jose both players growing up.

Sweet Home

I’m back in town until Friday morning to catch up on things in the office and re-introduce myself to my kids.

Monday in Glendale

Monday, March 9, 2009

Batting Practice

Bartolo Colon and Jose Contreras each threw two “innings” of batting practice to three minor-league hitters today for a total of 40 pitches.  It was the next step in their prepration for the regular season and all went well, according to pitching coach Don Cooper, who was pleased with the sessions.

“They felt good during it.  They felt good after it,” Coop said.  “We’ll check back with them in an hour and see if they still feel great.

“It was important for them to take the step of facing live human beings with bats in their hands.”

The duo likely will throw one more BP session before appearing in a spring game.

B Game News

Word from the back field as I type this is that Gordon Beckham drove in a run and collected another hit …

Today’s Lineup

vs. the Indians

JO 8, AJ 2, Q 7, JD 9, PK 3, Betemit 5, Vic dh, Getz 4, Lilli 6.  Danks pitching, shooting for 4.0 IP.

Buehrle’s Back

Mark Buehrle is back in camp today, bringing deer meat for his teammates. He took some good-natured abuse about being away from camp.

“Some of his teammates wondered who had the baby … Mark or Jamie,” Cooper told Chicago media, smiling.

Sunday Victory

Sunday, March 8, 2009

White Sox Win

Gordon Beckham went 3-5 with three doubles and an RBI, Alexei Ramirez was 2-4 with two RBI and Donny Lucy went 2-3 with a home run and two RBI to lead the White Sox to a 9-4 win over the Dodgers Sunday at Camelback Ranch — Glendale.

Gavin Floyd threw four no-hit innings in the start and Bobby Jenks added a scoreless frame.

Manager Ozzie Guillen’s postgame comments:

“Beckham’s had a great spring training,” Guillen said.  “He’s making it tougher on us to make a decision.  He continues to impress us, impress the coaching staff.

“We have something like 30 games left, but if he continues to play like this, it will be a nice headache.  I love having to make decisions like that.  I hope he makes my job pretty tough by the end of spring training.  We have another two months down here to take care of business.”

When asked about Floyd’s performance …

“Awesome.  Outstanding.  Strikes.  Location.”

Honor

The White Sox hosted a group of 15 Marines from Camp Pendleton at today’s game.  The group of wounded warriors featured a couple of Sox fans, one of whom was from Orland Park, another from Iowa City.

The guy met Jerry Reinsdorf, who insisted that they tour our clubhouse, Ozzie, Harold Baines, Jim Thome, AJ, Scott Linebrink and others.  John Danks and Aaron Poreda spent time with them on the field prior to the game.

During the game, the public address announcer recognized the group who stood.  The entire ballpark gave the Marines their own standing ovation as players and coaches from both dugouts applauded.

USA, USA

We had better beat Venezuela or we will never hear the end of it from you-know-who.

B Game

Tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. vs. the Dodgers on our back field.

   

Twitter and Tweet

For those of you who are interested, I am now providing news updates, lineups, scores, etc. on Twitter under the name, nelliefox2

Good Reading

If you are bored with my stuff — and who could blame you — check out the new book, Go-Go to Glory, edited by Don Zminda.  The book, published by ACTA press, contains chapters on each player from the 1959 White Sox.

A must read for a Sox fan who loves the club’s history …

Picking Up Pieces

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Random Rants

I’ve sat down to post about four times during the last week and always seem to get interrupted or something has come up.  So I have a pile of notes and items and am just going to dump them out and see how the pieces fall.

  • The Netherlands, homeland of Herm Schneider, lead the Dominicans, 3-0, in WBC play this morning as I type this.  Can you imagine the clubhouse angst if the mighty Dominicans lose to the Dutch?  It interesting how the attention of players, staff, etc. is glued to these games.  Americans may take a cavalier attitude toward the WBC, but for players from other countries, and for people in the game, this matters.
  • WSCR’s morning show of Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley were down for two days this week, and lucky me got to meet them here on Thursday at 3:45 a.m.  But the good side of that was that I got to watch China and Japan kick off the WBC.
  • Congratulations to Mark Buehrle and his wife Jamie on the birth of their daughter, Brooklyn Jaden. 
  • I wandered out the back of the clubhouse on Thursday to find John Danks armed with a crossbow, aiming at a target set on a box.  Behind him was a garage area for the clubhouse.  “Are you a hunter?” I asked.  “This is the first time I’ve ever shot a bow,” John answered.  “I’m not very good at it.”  He let the arrow fly, just missing the target and sticking into the box.”  I thought to myself, “I hope there’s no propane tank stuck back in there.”
  • This story from Hawk Harrelson:  Dick Allen used to need just a week to 10 days to get ready for the season.  Before that, he would just go to the plate and watch pitches go by until he had two strikes.  He just wanted to see (track) pitches.  The last week to 10 days, then he swung the bat to prepare for the season.
  • The White Sox and Dodgers play a B Game on Monday, March 9, at 9:30 am on the White Sox replica field (the game is open to fans).  Pitching for the Sox will be Lance Broadway, Link, Jimenez, Russell, Wassermann and German.
  • Pitching for the White Sox this week:  Sunday vs. LAD, Floyd, Linebrink, Jenks, Dotel, Carrasco, Salmon; Mon vs. Cle, Danks, MacDougal, Poreda, Van Benschoten, Williams and Egbert; Tues is off; Wed. at Mil. Buehrle, Linebrink, Jenks, Dotel, Carrasco, Salmon; Thu at KC, Richard, MacDougal, Williams, Wassermann, Jimenez and German.

 

Opening A Ballpark

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Opening Day

Beautiful day.  Great ballpark.  Nice come-from-behind victory for the White Sox.

Credit for the ballpark goes to Terry Savarise, our Sr. VP of Ballpark Operations, Greg Gesicki for the City of Glendale and the 700 plus construction workers who worked double shifts to get 19 months of work done on this ballpark in 11 months.  Of course, there are others who made today possible, too many to list here, but guys like Roger Bossard and Mike Spidale literally worked second jobs to make this happen.

For anyone who attended today’s game, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the ballpark, good or bad (because maybe we can make adjustments after day one).

For those of you who watched the game on CSN, what’d you think?

Let me hear your thoughts …

 

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