May 2009

Cooler By The Lake

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tonight’s Lineup

Getz 4, Lillibridge 8, Quentin 7, Dye 9, Thome dh, Konerko 3, Pierzynski 2, Fields 5, Ramirez 6.  Floyd pitching.

Springtime?

The four worst words in Chicago weather … cooler by the lake.  I wonder if Lake Erie is any better.  Will find out at  6 p.m.

Rotate

Jose Contreras was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte earlier today and Jimmy Gobble was brought up to join the Sox in Cleveland.  With Conteras’ departure, Clayton Richard will now start tomorrow’s ballgame and Mark Buehrle will pitch Wednesday.

Gavin

Tonight’s starter, Gavin Floyd, was one of the guys who stuck around to work for several hours Saturday as our Volunteer Corps rehabbed two Boys & Girls Clubs.

At one point he came up to a staffer and admitted that he had painted outside the lines.

Re-assured that any messy paint job could be fixed, he went back to work.

Conscientious, isn’t he?

More Photos

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A Very Special White Sox Service Day

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Day Well Spent

So today was our very first Service Day for the White Sox Volunteer Corps (see whitesox.com for more information on the Corps and how to sign up).

Over 400 volunteers, members of the Sox front office, staff and players were joined by Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Richard Daley and other dignitaries at the 10 am kickoff in Lot C at U.S. Cellular Field.

After introductions, a pep talk and a group photo, everyone boarded yellow school buses for the short trips to Valentine Boys & Girls Club and the B&G Club in the basement of Holy Angels School (yes, those were your White Sox players jumping on the buses with the volunteers).

Broken down into work “teams,” once at the site each team started working on their task.  My family and I were in the Art Room at Valentine along with the other members of Team 4.  Our charge was to paint benches with famous quotes by notables and then work on other art to brighten the Art Room.  Other teams were charged with things like painting and decorating the Game Room, the locker rooms and the Gym.  Others built benches and cubbies (although we try not to refer to them by tha name) for the kids.  Still others painted hand rails, doors and colorful motifs on the walls of the Dance Room and Gym.

I focused, along my new friend Juan, on painting an image of President Obama (fitting given his motivation for us creating this Corps in the first place) and the word “Progress” on a six foot-long bench back.  A one-time art student (left-handed, what can you say), I was pretty proud of the final product.  Then it was on to another sign, this one for the Club itself.

For those who have never spent a day or an afternoon volunteering, the reward is amazing.  Thanks to all the hard advance work of City Year and Care Force, we walked in today to basically finish all of their prep work.  With each team working independently, you don’t have a sense of what the entire project has accomplished until the very end when you have a chance to see everything come together as you walk around the facility.  The sense of accomplishment, the sense of pride in what you hve done, and the thought of seeing those kids’ faces on Monday when they enter the Club after school just leaves you with a warm feeling of making a difference.

So many volunteers stopped me to introduce themselves and thank the organization for creating the Corps and today’s project.  It really made me proud of the White Sox and proud of Sox fans.

Just in my team, we had a family of three who came in large part because the son was a devoted fan.  We had Juan, a 30-something who proudly said his room at home looks like a 12 year olds because of all of his Sox stuff.

Another family worked on benches of Nelson Mandela (showing his prisoner number) and a quote from Dr. King.  My wife and daughter finished a quote from Miles Davis reading, “Don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there.”

I heard that many of our players stayed and helped.  Bullpen catcher Mark Salas, an accomplished plumber and electrician, stayed and worked hard for two hours.  Others, like Mark Buehrle, A.J. Pierzynski and Gavin Floyd, sat down and painted with fans.

If I can pull it off, I will add a few photos from the day at the end of this post …

Needless to say, it was a great day to be a Sox fan — even before a pitch was ever thrown.  People already were asking about the next project, and plans are underway.  Stay tuned and we will announce as soon as it is finalized.  In the meantime, if you’d like to sign up for the Volunteer Corps, visit whitesox.com or click here.

Special thanks to Christine O’Reilly, our Sr. Director of Community Relations, and her staff for pulling this tremendous event together.  Thanks, as well, to City Year and Care Force for their expertise and preparations.  And thanks to our sponsors.  Without their support, the food, drink, buses and supplies would not have been available.

So here is my attempt to paste images of the day …

 
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First Fireworks of the Season

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tonight’s Lineup

Pods 8, Getz 4, Quentin 7, Dye 9, Thome dh, PK 3, AJ 2, Fields 5, Alexei 6.  Danks pitching.

Working on a blog about today’s White Sox Service Day.  Will post it later.

Ozzie Postgame

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ozzie Guillen’s Postgame Comments:

On Jose Contreras …

“We are going to start somebody elese against Cleveland.  We’ve got give days to figure that out (who).

“Jose feels bad, disappointed like everybody else.  It’s not fair to the club — or to him — to keep sending him out there,” Guillen said, indicating the team will make a decision in the coming days once everyone has had a chance to discuss what’s best for Contreras.  “He’s not happy with himself.  He feels like he let the team down.

“We need to figure out how to get him back on track.”

On the offense:

“Our offense has been on and off.  We’ve got a lot of guys struggling right now.  We’re not swinging the bats like we are capable of swinging the bats.”

Entertaining Texas

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tonight’s Lineup

Getz 4, Fields 5, Quentin 7, Thome, JD 9, PK 3, AJ 2, Nix 6, Lillibridge 8.  Contreras pitching.

Buehrle Being Buehrle

2:30 this afternoon Mark was in the weight room riding an exercise bike.

Service Day

Tomorrow is White Sox Service Day with front office (including my family), staff (Ozzie, Coxsie) and players joining 500 members of the new White Sox Volunteer Corps for our first Service Day of the season. 

Teams of volunteers are heading to two Boys & Girls Clubs near the ballpark to paint, build and clean the facilities.

This will be the first of many Service Days during the summer, so if you are interested, join the almost 3,000 Sox fans who have signed up for the Corps at whitesox.com.

 

Second Try

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tonight’s Lineup

Getz 4, Fields 5, Quentin 7, Thome dh, Dye 9, Konerko 3, Pierzynski 2, Nix 6, Pods 8.  Buehrle pitching.

Weather

Since I am batting .000 after last night, I don’t have a clue on tonight …

Switch

Scott Podsednik is moving to uniform No. 22, while Josh Fields moves again, this time to No. 7.

Make Up

No word yet on when we are going to make up last night’s rain out.  Hang onto your tickets/parking coupons until it is re-scheduled.

 

Rained Out … Again

Tonight’s game with the Tigers has been postponed by rain.  A makeup day and time are yet to be determined (will not be tomorrow).  Keep your tickets and parking coupons until a makeup is announced.

Rain is Falling

The start of tonight’s game will be delayed by rain.  Forecasts have rain remaining in the vicinity of U.S. Cellular Field for another hour or so.  We remain optimistic that we will get tonight’s game against the Tigers in, so be patient with the Chicago weather.

Homestand Start

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tonight’s Lineup

Getz 4, Fields 5, Quentin 7, Thome dh, Dye 9, Konerko 3, Pierzynski 2, Nix 6, Pods 8.  Buehrle pitching.

Going for 5-0

Mark Buehrle is looking to start 5-0 for the first time in his career.  The lefty won his first four starts in 2002 before dropping a decision.  Jose Contreras (9-0 in 2006), Jon Garland (8-0 in 2005), Esteban Loiaza (5-0 in 2003) and James Baldwin (7-0 in 2000) are the most recent Sox pitchers to start a season at least 5-0.  Wilson Alvarez (8-0 in 1994) is the last Sox left-hander to accomplish the feat.

Random Notes

Chicago has won three straight games vs. Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field, seven of the last eight and 12 of 16.

JD has a 10-game hitting streak vs. the Tigers, going 14-41 (.341) with four doubles, four home runs, nine RBI and 10 runs scored during that span.

Jim Thome needs three home runs to tie Mike Schmidt for 13th all-time (548).

Memories

Ozzie mentioned that Zach Greincke’s stuff the other night reminded him of Bret Saberhagen’s gem against us on August 26, 1991.  It goes without saying that I hate to lose, but I was at that contest in KC, just over one month into a job that has now lasted 19 seasons.  (How about the fact that I saw two no-hitters within five weeks of starting work … first by Wilson Alvarez and then Saberhagen’s).

Once or twice a season, a pitcher starts a game with explosive stuff, magical stuff.  Invariably, something happens, he has to pitch out of the stretch and gives up a hit.  Something fluky happens to spoil the night, etc.

That night with Saberhagen was special.  His stuff sizzled.  I remember knee-high pitch and knee-high pitch with the ball darting downward.  You knew within an inning or so that we had almost no chance.  It was a matter of if his dominance could overcome the baseball gods.

He did, striking out five and walking only two.

The Sox lineup that night: Raines, LF; Cora, 2B; Thome 1B; Ventura 3B; Fisk DH; Pasqua RF; Johnson CF; Karkovice C and Guillen SS.  Charlie Hough started and lost. Pasqua and Karko were the two Sox who walked in the 7-0 loss.

The lineup for KC:  McRae CF; Gibson LF; Brett DH; Eisenreich RF; Benzinger 1B; Pecota 2B; Mayne C; Howard SS; Shumpert 2B.

It was one of the most dominating pitching performances I’ve ever had the honor to watch, even though we lost.

Traditions

I’m sure you’ve all seen our advertising campaign this year.  It’s all about the unique traditions our players, staff and fans have related to the game.

What are your traditions?  I’d love to hear about superstitiions or “must-do’s” that you, your friends or your family have surrounding a White Sox game, whether watching/listening at home or here at the ballpark.

Weather

We’re back in town, so you know there is a threat of rain.  Should be fine, though.

Welcome Back

It will be nice to see Scotty Pods tonight and say hello.  What do you think fan reaction will be to one of the 2005 World Series heroes?

Twitter

Remember, if you are into Twitter at all, I can be found at InsideTheSox.  I try to post news and updates as often as I can.

Win

Let’s win one tonight.  Go Sox!

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