Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tonight’s ballgame concludes our four-game stay in Boston.
In recent months I have been sending our daily lineup via Twitter, which means it shows up atop this blog. I have assumed everyone could find it, but if that isn’t the case, and if you miss it, I certainly can go back to also placing it here. It was just since I often send the lineup early in the afternoon, by the time I sit down to post here, it often seems old news.
Let me know your preferences.
Anyway, tonight’s Sox lineup is:
Pods 8, Beckham 5, AJ 2, PK 3, Thome dh, quentin 7, kotsay 9, ramirez 6, nix 4. Danks pitching.
Happy 39th birthday to Jim Thome!
Every TV in Boston this afternoon showed live coverage of Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral procession into downtown where he will lay in state through tomorrow.
There are concerns that the weather might be an issue this weekend in NYC. Stay tuned.
Hate that song now.
The tradition of Red Sox fans singing the Neil Diamond ballad in the middle of the eighth inning is pretty cool, certainly something on baseball’s list of Top 10 things to do at an MLB park, but I gotta admit I am sick and tired of hearing that song this week.
Speaking of Top 10 things to do at a ballpark, what are yours? What are your must-do’s at USCF and what are the cool things you appreciate at all of the other MLB parks?
Owns the fourth-best ERA in the AL since June 10. The Top 4:
Felix Hernandez, SEA 2.34
Jon Lester, BOS 2.41
Gavin Floyd, SOX 2.88
John Danks, SOX 2.99
The White Sox have lost 32 games this season after holding a lead, including our last four road contests and nine of our last 11 … 17 of our 39 games in the second half have been decided by one run (Sox are 7-10)
Sox first base coach Harold Baines will not be with the team this weekend in NYC. Instead, Harold will be in Baltimore to be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame by the Oriole Advocates. Congratulations, Harold!
Harold was kind enough to offer me the honor of working on his acceptance speech with him for this weekend. I figure if you can write a speech for HB, you can write for anyone.
His one request … keep it short
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Rookie Gordon Beckham was on WSCR 670 AM early this afternoon when he was joined on the air with a surprise visit from The Outfield, who performs the ballad, “Your Love,” the song Beckham has played before each at-bat in Chicago.
“That was cool,” Beckham said afterward. “But I had a hard time understanding what they were saying (because of the thick accents).
“One guy asked me if I got nervous in the on deck circle.”
Manager Ozzie Guillen said prior to the game that the decision on when RHP Jake Peavy would debut with the Sox is up to GM Ken Williams and Peavy.
“When he says he’s ready, I’ll pencil his name in,” Guillen said.
Guillen did say Jose Contreras would not start on Saturday in New York, so call it TBA for now.
Players were commenting on how when you walk onto an infield built by Roger Bossard — and it doesn’t matter where in the big leagues — you always can tell. Especially in Boston, where the infield used to be one of the worst in the leagues for years (I remember us playing in Boston in April one year and Robin Ventura making several errors on the hard infield).
Monday, August 24, 2009
Tonight opens a big four-game series at Fenway Park for both teams. During the usual pre-series meeting with the team today, Ozzie told the team it needed to stick together, believe in themselves and one another and have fun. The talent is here, he said before the game, this team has been through it before, we just need to not panic. He continues to believe in this team and that this team can win a World Series.
We launched a special “microsite” on whitesox.com today, called Rookie Watch. You can find it at whitesox.com/rookies. The site — designed and built by MLBAM — features video interviews with Gordon Beckham, Jayson Nix and Chris Getz, interviews with teammates and staff about the players, video highlights, bio info and even the ability to sort the top AL rookies by stats. Check it out. We thought it was the best way to promote our three rookie position players to the general public and to the writers who choose the Rookie of the Year.
Funny to see Mark Buehrle sitting innoculously alone in a Starbucks in Boston. No one even noticed he was there.
Nothing like the visiting clubhouse at Fenway after an afternoon shower, well, except maybe Wrigley’s visiting clubhouse (but we’ll leave that to Ozzie to comment).
As one person noted, “With the millions of dollars they make around here (one parking sign was for $40 just across from the ballpark), you’d think they’d spend something to fix up the visiting clubhouse. Major League Baseball should do something about this.”
What teams around the league should do is make their own visiting clubhouses as miserable as possible for the Red Sox (old, dirty carpet, no room, stale air) and then put them back together once they leave town. Call it home field advantage.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Big Game Today
How many times have we felt that way this summer?
I’ll be with the team in Boston and New York (can’t stomach the Metrodome, sorry, but 19-plus years of that place are enough). I’ll try to blog frequently on the trip to give you all a sense of travel with the team and how everyone is doing on this important trip (not sure we have to WIN the division on an end of August trip, but we can’t LOSE it).
But let’s start by winning today.
Photos from tonight, courtesy of Ron Vesely:
Here is some of the action from yesterday’s Field of Greens …
Friday, August 21, 2009
I really don’t get it, but it certainly has become a White Sox tradition. Tonight is our annual Elvis Night at US Cellular Field, which means impersonators, bands, flying Elvii and great scoreboard features.
Before the game, someone asked Ozzie if he listened to Elvis growing up in Venezuela …
“Nope, Michael Jackson,” Guillen answered. “Now, if they had a Michael Jackson Night, then I’d wear ‘The Glove’.”
Congrats to Matt Thornton’s fivesome on their triumph at yesterday’s annual Field of Dreams Golf Outing, sponsored by Miller, to benefit Chicago White Sox Charities.
A few lighter moments from the outing at Harborside Golf Course:
Jeff Cox, proud winner of Closest to the Pin, didn’t think anyone in the clubhouse would believe him, so we made up a sign he could post in the coaches locker room. His prize: a signed Jermaine Dye jersey (which Jeff promptly passed off to a member of his group).
Ozzie Guillen playing with Marty Henegan of the Hilton Corp. During the round, Marty got to sample Venezuelan rum for the very first time and boasted to Ozzie that he would be at the Sox game on Friday night and owned an Elvis jump suit. Now some things that happen in Vegas should stay in Vegas, so Marty, all 200-and-something pounds of him, showed up to today’s batting practice and showed off his white Elvis jump suit, size 42-not-big-enough.
Mid-interview, Ozzie broke up laughing as he saw his golf partner.
“That guy has (guts),” Ozzie laughed.
We just wished that Marty had worn the white boxers and not the blue ones.
Amazingly, Marty was soon the subject of interviews with several local TV outlets.
What a country!
Speaking of what a country …
I sit down next to Moose and Jerry Reinsdorf in the Scout Seats and hear Moose yelling at Jim Palmer.
“Hey, Palmer,” he calls. The HOF pitcher doesn’t hear him.
“Jerry doesn’t believe me,” Moose explains to me. “I hit the very first home run off Palmer when he was just a rookie. He remembers.
“And when I rounded the bases, Orioles manager Hank Bauer (a former teammate of Moose’s who was a lifelong friend) was standing on the top step of the dugout applauding. Pissed Palmer off,” Moose said with a big, big smile.
Ozzie wanted to give him tonight off so that Carlos had two full days of rest. He’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow.
Since 5/22, Gavin Floyd is 8-3 with a 2.46 ERA (fourth in AL) and 99 strikeouts over 16 starts.
Jake’s next scheduled start in Sunday at Gwinnett for Class AAA Charlotte.
I posted this as a twitpic last night, but thought everyone on the blog might also enjoy:
Monday, August 17
Our weather experts are telling Roger that the rain should soon move out of here and we hope to start this game around 7:45 p.m. Heavy stuff will stay south of us.
My guess is that Buehrle will take it as a personal challenge to finish before 10 a.m. (who cares, as long as we win).
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Alex Rios, wearing uniform No. 51, debuts for the Sox tonight, batting third, in right field.
Yesterday: Sox win, Tigers lose, Twins lose, Cubs lose. Pretty good day.
I disappeared the last few days … Sunday, flew to Cleveland to drive home to Chicago with my family. Monday, spent the day at the 40th Annual Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities golf outing at Twin Orchards (great job by Billy Pierce, Gene Hisler and Howard Kaplan) and then spent Tuesday with my kids and my spouse (that in-season anniversary can be tough). So anyway, been awhile since I could post.