Friday, July 31, 2009
Acquiring Jake Peavy
We’ll see your Washburn and Cabrera and raise you a Peavy.
How does: Buehrle, Peavy, Floyd and Danks sound for the next few years?
Crazy that the trade deadline once again came down to the final hour, heck the final minutes.
Once again, KW pulled it off. You have to give him credit.
With the clock ticking, we were able to have Peavy approve the trade, MLB arrange the paperwork and then agree with the Padres on players to involve in the deal. All in a matter of minutes …
Literally, at 2:15 p.m., not much was happening. The phone wasn’t ringing. Then BAM. The last time it was like that was Contreras (and we all know how that ultimately turned out).
Sorry for the jagged thoughts, but things are still racing …
Here are some quotes from KW after the deal was announced at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re happy and he’s happy.”
Peavy is going to begin throwing off a mound tomorrow to start his rehab. Our expectation is for a late August/early September return from the sprained tendon in his ankle.
“He’s chomping at the bit, but we are going to be conservative in our approach.”
“In our division, this is going to come down to winning in September. And we want to be as strong as we can be in September.
“We believe we have a chance to get to the playoffs. And if you get to the playoffs, you want to be able to dream of winning in the playoffs and winning the World Series.”
On Peavy turning down a deal in May:
“He never said, ‘No.’ Just not yet.”
On the cost we paid:
“To get a No. 1, you’ve got to pay a price. We paid that price. We’re here to dream and to dream big.”
“We have the ability to win this division. It will have more to do with how we come, on a daily basis, how we come to compete.”
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Mark Buehrle takes the mound again tonight in his first start since Perfect-0. Doesn’t Thursday seem like a long, long time ago? (or is it just me?)
Sports Illustrated hits the newsstands tomorrow with Mark Buehrle’s final pitch on the cover (courtesy of our team photographer, Ron Vesely). The story inside includes three shots of DeWayne’s catch and a great story. Make sure you pick it up (or 10 copies) ASAP.
SI told me that images of the cover and story will be available on Facebook tomorrow, so check back here for links.
A former SI employee/Sox fan also explained to me that if it existed, SI jinxes only go into effect once the magazine is on the street, meaning Mark will be unaffected tonight.
For a great piece on Buehrle and all the unique aspects of his perfect effort,
Were you able to stay awake?
If you didn’t get a chance to watch last night’s Top 10 list on the Late Show with David Letterman, click here.
Top 10 lists are often an acquired taste, so let’s see if the readers of my blog can top the writers from the Late Show! Post your best Top 10 lists (keep it clean), but if you can’t come up with 10, offer one, two, five, whatever …
We created a blog where fans can post comments to/for Mark Buehrle, write down their own experiences related to the day, or just share being a Sox fan. If you want to post something or read the blog, click here.
Not that the White Sox are counting, but only five games left in the Metrodome, ever …
A good friend (and great Sox fan), has started his own blog, “The Art of the PaleHose.” To read his musings, click here.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
One For The Record Books
So where do you begin?
I wonder how many other Sox fans are sitting on their couches this evening re-watching Mark Buehrle’s perfect game, feeling the same butterflies in the last inning? I am, and I am the guy who STILL hasn’t watched replays of the 2005 World Series games. I just can’t take it. As I type this, my fingers are sore from all of the tweets I sent today. I tried to think how best to summarize a truly unforgettable day. The best way seemed to to just offer a timeline of my day, where I found myself at key moments and thoughts that popped into my head. Indulge me on this one since this is, afterall, a web diary of sorts.
My morning started with a workout, a quick read of the newspapers/web sites and an early visit to the clubhouse to touch base with folks on the Parque story about his HGH use. Then came our weekly staff meeting. Next thing I knew it was noon. I thought I had a conference call with MLBAM at 1 pm, so hurried up to grab lunch, but I then realized that my call wasn’t until 2 pm (that matters later). So I spent from game time until 1:45 in a suite saying hello to people from the McCormick Foundation (they have been told that they now have to attend the final 31 home games of the year). Then I headed back to my office for the call.
So as we discuss Social Media — blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc — I watch Buehrle mow down Rays. BAM is watching as well, and as the call moves along, someone offers, “Scott, if you need to leave, we understand.”
After the seventh, I bolt. It’s time to work. I tweet that Sox fans may want to turn on a TV, listen to WSCR Radio or visit mlb.com to watch. Something special is happening.
First, I head into the stands for the eighth inning because I want to feel the excitement.
From a seat, I tweet the situation, the mood of the fans and the 1-2-3 inning. I head to the press box to check in with Bob Beghtol and Pat O’Connell, our crack media relations guys. They are all over the information and everyone is prepared, should this happen. Pat heads down to the photo pit to handle the immediate postgame rush. Bob organizes the staff for the final out.
I watch the ninth inning from the press box.
Dewayne Wise’s catch is truly amazing, perhaps the greatest in baseball history given the situation. Baseball is terrific in this way. Ozzie made the defensive change to Wise, a left-hander, and sure enough the next ball is hit his way … and I doubt a right-hander makes the play.
Then comes the final out and you watch our team spill from the dugout surrounding Buehrle.
You can’t imagine a better, more humble hero. I bet by the end of the the game, even the Rays were rooting for him. (In fact, in a very classy move, Joe Maddon and several players watch the celebration and tip their caps toward Buehrle).
Mark hugs his wife and baby and then begins doing interviews, first with our rightsholders and then with the scores of media surrounding him.
Ozzie Guillen, Ken Williams and others wait in the dugout to congratulate him and the crowd roars. Mark salutes the fans and acknowledges their support.
I fire off a couple of tweets from the dugout and congratulate Mark.
I head into the Interview Room to await Mark.
He makes his way down and fields questions from the media about the day.
In the middle of the press conference, my phone rings, “Caller Unknown.”
I don’t answer given where I am. 10 seconds later, Jerry Reinsdorf walks into the room. “OK, I thought, that was the unknown caller wondering where we were.”
“Wasn’t me,” Jerry says.
We both sit down. A minute later, Jerry’s phone rings. He speaks for a few seconds and then leans over to me, “The President wants to congratulate Mark.”
I head down to the stage, tell Pat and then interrupt to say “one more question, we just heard from the White House and the President would like to call and congratulate Mark.”
Mark said that when he heard that, he got goosebumps. Me too.
We all headed into Jerry’s office, Mark, his wife, Jamie, holding their little girl, our photographer and security.
As we walk through the office, Mark sees that his dad is being interviewed on Comcast Sports Net. He laughed and pointed it out to Jamie.
On the way, I run into Marty Maloney and tell him, “Go get the Flip camera. Let’s record this.”
After some small talk, the phone rings.
Marty hits record and Ron Vesely, our photog, shoots away. If you want to watch the video, you can find it on whitesox.com or at my Twitter account @InsideTheSox.
Mark headed back into the clubhouse to change and we shifted gears to begin getting info out to the media. The phones were going crazy with interview requests for Mark.
As we answered phones I heard Marty call out, “Hey, my video was just on the CBS Evening News! I might need to change careers.”
We started to tweet out information, photos and links as they became live, hoping to get information out to the public as quickly as we could. I kept checking Facebook and twitter to stay up to date. We laughed that Mark Buehrle was tracking as the fifth-highest Twitter trend, and if people could spell his name correctly (including me), he would have been No. 1 in the world. In fact, a little later in the evening, the White Sox, Mark and Dewayne had six of the Top 10 trends! Who would have thought that Dewayne Wise would be a global twitter trend!
And back to that Social Media call I was on with BAM. Twitter was the perfect way to capture a perfect day and to share it with millions in real time.
Vesley captured all of the action of the day and remarked, “I was shaking just trying to get the shot focused and timed despite my nerves and how quickly Mark was working. How in the world was he able to stand on the mound and pitch like that.”
It was fun to read fan reaction to the game. One sent an image of his scorecard to a friend who copied me. You could feel the excitement and energy in people’s posts and how much everyone loves Mark and what he has meant for this organization and our fans.
I want to hear from you all. I want anyone who was at the park to post your thoughts and emotions. If you were watching at home or work, what was it like? Who did you call? When did you tune in? And for those of you who followed online, on Twitter or through other ways, how was that experience.
Let me know how you experienced the day …
We are going to try and come up with some neat ways for you all to congratulate Mark, so check back tomorrow and see what we’ve been able to create.
Here are some photos of the day (courtesy of Ron Vesely):
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
A special thank you — sorry it’s taken me this long in the day to get to a computer — to all who attended Blog Night IV last night. Everyone seemed to have a great time, particularly related to margaritas in the outfield, and I know all enjoy the chance to put faces with screen names.
Special thanks as well to Ron Kittle, Rick Hahn and Jerry Reinsdorf (and Tim Clodjeaux) for joining us during our event.
Shoot me any ideas for Blog Night V and we’ll get planning for 2010.
Was perturbed about reaction to Bobby Jenks’ outing last night. Ozzie points were these:
Don’t forget what Bobby has done for us and how good he’s been over the years. He’s out closer. He’s human. No one feels worse about last night than Bobby, but he’s been great and will continue to be great. He just needs to turn the corner.
Tonight’s starter, Carlos Torres, has impressed at every level in our system. He features a good fastball, a cutter and a curve. Torres was named to the IL’s midseason All-Star Team, was 8-4 with a 2.20 ERA, one save and 96 strikeouts in 17 games (16 starts) for the Knights. He will wear uniform No. 60.
John continues to receive treatment for his blister/circulation issue and is on track to pitch Monday. Plans now are for him to throw a sideline in Detroit on Saturday and then start Monday, assuming he continues to progress and feel better.
Name the last Sox starting pitcher to earn a victory in his major league debut?
Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye will receive specially-commissioned Tiffany trophies before tonight’s game to commemorate their 300th career home runs. Several years ago, Jerry Reinsdorf started a tradition of honoring major accomplishments/milestones with rings, watches, trophies, etc. Tonight’s pregame ceremony continues that tradition.
Kip Wells, August 2, 1999 at Detroit (1 ER/5.1 IP)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Freddy Garcia threw a 45-pitch bullpen session today and impressed both manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper. In addition to showing good stuff, Garcia turned some heads with his physical appearance, too. Who knows and stay tuned.
Thanks to all White Sox players, coaches and their families who stayed after last night’s game for our annual Picnic In The Park for Chicago White Sox Charities. Here are a couple of images from the evening …
Monday, July 20, 2009
Question for Sox/Hawks Fans
For those of you who have attended both SoxFest and Hawks Fest, what are some things the Hawks do that you would like to see us add to SoxFest? Shoot me your thoughts. I’d love to hear any of your ideas on how we can make SoxFest even better …
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Same as yesterday: Pods 7, Alexei 6, JD 9, Thome dh, PK 3, AJ 2, Getz 4, Beckham 5, Wise 8. Buehrle pitching.
When asked about Carlos Quentin again today, Ozzie said he is not really thinking about his this weekend, that it depends on when people think Carlos is ready to come back and contribute and on how he feels and if he can play with the soreness. Ozzie stressed that he didn’t want to rush Carlos back, like we had to do with Dewayne Wise, and that he didn’t want to have to protect him when he returned.
When asked what his team needs over the season’s second half, Ozzie answered, “health and pitching.”
“If we stay healthy and get good pitching, we’re going to have a chance.” He then added that he would love more production out of the centerfield position. “If we get that, we can be a good offensive team.”
This from Ozzie yesterday …
On the way back from a spring training game in Winter Haven (this is back in the mid 1990s), the team bus ran out of refreshments. Some of the guys came up with the idea of pulling off at the next gas station to re-fuel the ice chests. The bus did, and the team sent three rookies in to buy provisions. The three rookies: Ray Durham, Mike Cameron and … Michael Jordan.
As the three returned to the bus loaded down for the rest of the trip to Sarasota, the station’s patrons all were seen looking out the windows, asking themselves, “Did we just see what we thought we saw?”
Meanwhile, the bus was howling.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Pods 7, Missile 6, JD 9, Thome dh, PK 3, AJ 2, Getz 4, Beckham 5, Wise 8. Danks pitching.
As I drove up to the ballpark around 1 pm … Jose Contreras at the ATM machine just outside the ballpark’s front door …
Scotty Pods’ dad dropping him off at the ballpark for work …
I checked in with Mark Buehrle about his All-Star Game experience and chance to talk with President Obama. He was laughing about how the President told him he was going to wear his Sox jacket to throw the first pitch.
I had heard — from a very good source — that the President was planning to show his Sox Pride in St. Louis, but figured there was always a chance something could get in the way. So on Thursday — the last time I saw Mark — I told him that when he saw the President in the clubhouse before the game, he should offer him anything and everything … hat, jersey, glove, pants, anything “White Sox.”
“Maybe I could wait until he got to the mound and then run it out there,” Buehrle joked, and we both laughed that he wouldn’t even make it to the foul line.
And in the end, the President came through big time, showing his Sox Pride. I can’t speak for you all, but there was a house in Connecticut with a bunch of kids screaming about the White Sox. Pretty cool.
This from ESPN.com’s Gene Wojciechowski today:
“If I were the Sox, I’d have that Obama All-Star appearance on Chicago billboards as soon as possible. The slogan: ‘The Most Powerful Man In The World Wears Sox Gear. Why Not You?’”
Thanks to the many who bought tickets to Blog Night IV on Tuesday. For those of you attending, go to the Conference & Learning Center Entrance at Gate 3. Gates open at 5:30 and the pregame event will begin at 6 pm (ish).
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Pods 8, Missile 6, Dye 9, Thome dh, PK 3, AJ 2, Nix 7, Getz 4, Beckham 5. Richard pitching.
You probably have all read about Ozzie’s love for kids, particularly children of our players, and in turn, their love for him.
After games, win or lose, as Ozzie walks back from meeting with the media, he is rushed by children, waiting to give him a hug. People can talk about our sense of family all they want. Moments like that show it.
Today was the same.
I walked into Ozzie’s office to ask him a question only to find a short, pudgy kid all decked out in a Sox uniform. Ozzie was bantering away with him in Spanish. As the three-year-old or four-year-old turned around, I read across the back of his mini White Sox uniform, “Ramirez” and “10.” It was Alexei’s son and he was excited because Ozzie Guillen was heading out onto the field to watch him hit.
Swinging an oversized plastic bat and hitting from the left side, the youngster shot ball after ball around the infield.
“Mirra, Ozzie, mirra,” he’d call out, making sure Ozzie was watching him as his dad fed him pitch after pitch.
“He swings at everything,” a press observor noted jokingly (I know, even on a Thursday morning, a big league dugout can be a tough, tough place).
With one line drive toward second, the little Ramirez took off for first base, his legs spinning underneath him. On to second he ran, and Ozzie headed down to third to be a coach. Around second and onto third the kid “sprinted”, smiling all the way. Ozzie gave him the stop sign and pointed to third base. Running right through it, the kid turned and headed for home. But he was running …. out ……..of …………steam ……..and his sprint came to a hault about 10 feet from home.
Alexei pointed to home plate and his now-tired son walked over and touched it, scoring a run. Ozzie applauded.
In Mark Buehrle’s locker hangs a 2009 American League All-Star jersey. Next to it, a miniature version for his son.
You can tell how excited Mark is to be going to the ASG in his hometown. Should be a blast.
You gotta give this a read. Classic Ozzie Guillen on Bartolo Colon. Make sure you read all of Ozzie’s quotes …