December 2009

Celebrating A Decade of Great White Sox Baseball

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What a Blast!

When I first came up with the idea of (unofficially) selecting a Top 10 White Sox moments from the last decade, I admittedly did it on the fly.  Some obvious moments jump at everyone, but it has been interesting to read some of the many nominations sent in by fans, White Sox staffers and others.  While many moments (mostly from October 2005) are consistently on every list, every so often someone offers up a moment that really makes you stop, remember, and smile.  It is interesting to see how different people, from different vantage points, perceived the same events.

I also want to thank everyone who submitted ideas.  It was apparent that Art Berke, not to name names, stopped his day in mid morning yesterday and spent considerable time on his Top 10.  Same is true for tc1980. Thanks guys.  It is interesting to s

My other takeaway was the intense sense of pride I felt — and I hope you experience — as I re-lived these moments in my mind.

Hopefully, those shared memories warm your week as we all celebrate the holidays and a New Year.

Finally, I ended up with way more than 10 moments, but thought they all deserved to be shared, so here is moment No. 10 (counting up), along with some other nominees from the audience (and remember, this is all in fun and is totally unofficial):

White Sox Moment No. 10 from the last decade!

The White Sox go 7-0 on a June road trip (6/12-18) in 2000, sweeping both the Indians and the Yankees to make believers out of many baseball fans nationwide and in Chicago.  They return from the roadtrip to a long-lasting standing ovation from Sox fans as the team took the field for the first game of the homestand.  Awesome moment.

Some Other Nominees not making the cut:

Mark Buehrle’s complete game in just 1:39 on 4/16/05 vs. Seattle …

July 2005 when Scotty Pods wins the Final Man Vote and learns of his victory as he takes his spot in left field …

7/9/06, a 19-inning White Sox victory over the Red Sox in the final game before the All-Star Break (I was just happy the game ended!)

President Barack Obama takes the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis proudly wearing his White Sox jacket.

More tomorrow …

 

 

Cold, Windy Night

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Connecticut

Escaped from Chicago this morning (not sure why it took us 1 1/2 hours to de-ice at Midway) and arrived in snowy, cold, windy Connecticut to celebrate Christmas.

Lo and behold, what did I see as the featured blog on mlblogs.com? None other than Art Berke’s masterpiece, artofthepalehose.  If you haven’t ever given Art a read, check him out. Well worth it.

Art’s latest entry comes as a response to my query yesterday asking Sox fans to vote for your favorite 10 moments from the last decade.

I’ve heard from a lot of you, and many of the moments are shared (think October 2005), but every so often, someone offers a thoughtful moment from off the radar.

I’ll start to post the Top 10 tomorrow, and right now, my thought is to also give you all of the moments nominated by fans and front office staff.

Stay tuned (and someone put another log on the fire. The wind is howling outside).

Twas the Week Before Christmas …

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all White Sox fans out there.  May your holiday season be joyous and safe.  For those of you who didn’t see the club’s online card, click here.

End of a Decade

Just for fun, shoot me your Top 10 White Sox moments from the past decade (either by posting here, sending me an email or a tweet (@InsideTheSox).  Between Xmas and New Year’s, I’ll do a fun countdown of sorts, and I’ll share so of your responses/lists with everyone.  Might be a nice way to usher in a new decade and warm your heart with a few great momories.

Speaking of Which

The MLB Network was replaying Game 5 of the 1983 ALCS this morning.  No thanks on those memories!

Vote Often

And check out the comment on my last post.  If you do want to help push White Sox items in the Tribune’s poll, click through and vote often.

 

 

Last Minute Holiday Gifts

Friday, December 18, 2009

Still have holiday shopping left to do? The White Sox have gift options available over at WhiteSox.com.

Kids Club: White Sox fans 12 years old and younger are eligible for the 2010 White Sox Kids Club, which features two membership levels – All-Star ($35) and Slugger (free). Memberships are available here and parents who register their children before December 23 will receive a link to download and print a special holiday card. Complete membership kits will be sent out separately at the start of the 2010 baseball season.

 

White Sox Historical Scorecards: Sox fans can own a piece of franchise history and commemorate their very own favorite White Sox memory with personalized copies of official scorecards. Fans can select scorecards from any White Sox home game from 1952 to the present day (based on availability) and receive a replica of the archived scorecard from that game. Proceeds from the sale of this unique memorabilia item benefit Chicago White Sox Charities. 

Order here.

 

SoxFest 2010: This holiday season, fans still have the opportunity to reserve their place at SoxFest 2010. A limited number of two-night hotel reservations at the Palmer House Hilton are still available for SoxFest. The special hotel rate for SoxFest is $259 (plus tax and applicable charges) for a two-night stay and fans can purchase up to two rooms with each reservation. Fans who purchase a two-night stay also are eligible to purchase up to four SoxFest weekend passes at $75 each. SoxFest hotel packages and weekend passes together are available for purchase online here. SoxFest will be held Friday, January 22, Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24, 2010.

 

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Juan Pierre Trade

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Lead-Off Hitter

Earlier this morning, the White Sox announced they had acquired OF Juan Pierre and cash considerations from the Dodgers in exchange for two players to be named later.

Comments from White Sox GM Ken Williams, Pierre and manager Ozzie Guillen about the trade:

Williams: “The offseason we set out, right off the bat, to get our bench as strong as it could be. Then we turned our attention to the bullpen because we wanted to be strong from the top of the rotation to the back of the bullpen.  Then, we had to address the leadoff situation, which we figured would take us about until this time, to get satisfied one way or the other. 

“Juan is certainly someone who fits the bill. Love the guy’s work ethic, love his intensity. He adds a lot to a club other than what he does on the field, but what he does on the field is pretty special.”

On acquiring another bat:
“Ozzie and I have been speaking on that a while.  He would like to sit where we are right now because he likes flexibility with the DH position, whether it’s a guy needing a break, or keeping bench players fresh. Guys like Jones and Kotsay, Vizquel needing at-bats. I’ve given him some names, but he likes the flexibility, and this is a very critical last thing on our list here, because I don’t want to do anything from my seat that conflicts with what my manager wants.”
 

From newly acquired OF Juan Pierre:
 

“I’m excited. They already have a good team in place. They’ve been accustomed to winning over the last four or five years. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the field on a regular basis.

“I got an opportunity to play when Manny went down, and I made the most of it. I think that put me back on the radar of being able to still play.

“If I’m healthy, I want to be out there. I’ve had two years of storage. My legs have been saved up these last couple years. I’m ready for whatever. If they ask me if I want to play, the answer is going to be yes. If it’s up to me, I would like to be out there 162 games.”

And from manager Ozzie Guillen, who was the third base coach in Florida on a team with Pierre that captured a World Series title:

“He’s a special kid, he brings a lot to the table, on and off the field.  He knows how to go about his business. He’s the type of player we were looking for, and is ready to play every day.

“I don’t know how Kenny did it, it’s a miracle.  Nobody was more excited than me.”

“We have a more athletic ballclub now.  If the guys in the lineup have even a decent year, not a spectacular one, we should be in good shape.

“We had to make the top of our lineup strong, and we did that.”

December 8, 2009

A few pieces of news for this week:

Thursday, December 10th, the White Sox will host the team’s annual Kids Holiday Party for more than 550 children from local Boys & Girls Clubs and the Chicago Housing Authority.  Kids will receive snacks, gifts and meet current and former Sox players –  such as infielder Jayson Nix, senior vice president/general manager Kenny Williams, and former players Minnie Minoso, Ron Kittle and Bill “Moose” Skowron. White Sox mascot Southpaw and Santa Claus also will visit with the kids during the party. It will be a really fun event for the kids and for us. I’ll post pictures here after we have the party.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this weekend (11th, 12th and 13th) is the third annual White Sox Holiday Clubhouse Sale here at U.S. Cellular Field. Fans get a rare peek into the stadium and can take pictures of the home and visitors’ clubhouses, all while browsing official White Sox merchandise. More information is here.

 

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Random Thoughts

December 3, 2009

Lessons

As most of you know, KW’s son, Kyle, is a wide receiver on the Arizona State football team.  Last Saturday, in the final college game of his career, Kyle had a game to remember — catch after amazing catch — only to come up short in the fourth quarter as the Sun Devils lost to rival Arizona.  Barry Rozner of the Daily Herald spoke to KW about his son, the play and the game, and as always, I really appreciated KW’s perspective.  You might enjoy it as well. (although I am going to give KW a tough time about his favorite sport comment)

SoxFest and Arbitration

Easy on the conspiracy theories. One reporter and a poster here commented on the fact that Bobby Jenks was not on the early list of Sox players attending SoxFest Jan. 22-24 at the Palmer House Hilton even though he lives in Chicago in the offseason.  There was speculation it has something to do with offseason comments by our closer.

The fact is we never invite arbitration-eligible players to SoxFest, at least not until we reach a contract agreement with the player.  It’s been that way for years.  We just don’t want to put players in that position during an offseason in which there is a chance they could go to arbitration.  As soon as we reach an agreement with any player — and obviously we always want to work out a deal — that guy will be invited to SoxFest.

It’s nothing personal with Bobby or any of our other guys in that situation. Don’t read too much into it.

 

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December 1

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How can it already be December?  Amazing how the offseason flies, but then again, what offseason?

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I was working my way through the mountains of Tennessee when we annouced the Andruw Jones deal, so I was slow to post anything here or on Twitter.

I love the Jones and Omar Vizquel signings in that it gives us a very strong, very veteran bench.  With Jones, Vizquel and Mark Kotsay as potential late-inning subs/pinch hitters, Ozzie has to like his options.  And with Jones and Vizquel, you have two guys Ozzie knows very, very well.

When was the last time a team acquired 21 Gold Gloves in the offseason and when was the last time the White Sox featured 22 Gold Gloves on their roster?

As I drove up 35th Street today, work was underway on the new Metra stop just east of the Ryan Expressway.  Hopes are it will be open by August.

We announced today that the club will not offer salary arbitration to any of our four free agents, JD, Pods, Dotel and Castro.  Deadline for the decision is midnight tonight.

Watching the 1988 All-Star Game on MLBTV this afternoon with a very young looking Ozzie Guillen in the AL dugout. Check out these pictures from our photo archive:

 

guillen01.jpg
Ozzie Guillen 01 8x10-V.jpgHappy belated birthday to Minnie Minoso (your guess at Minnie’s age is as good as mine)!

We announced the first batch of players attending SoxFest ’10 on Jan 22-24 at the Palmer House Hilton.  More will come as schedules are finalized.

To read the first list of players, click here.

And to purchase your SoxFest tickets (what a great Christmas gift for that special Sox fan in your life) …

click here.

Looking forward to next week’s winter meetings in beautiful, scenic Indianapolis.  I’ll be there Monday through Thursday, hopefully blogging and twittering along the way.

 

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