Picking Up Pieces
Thursday, January 28, 2009
Saw a couple of blog questions about the absence of Andruw Jones and Billy Pierce from SoxFest.
Andruw orginally committed but then called us back a week or so ago to explain that he had run into a scheduling conflict and could not attend.
SoxFest can be a long weekend for everyone and so we try to avoid using veteran guys like Bill Pierce and Minnie Minoso too much during the three days. In Bill’s specific case, he joined Gary Peters and headed to NYC on Sunday night for the BAT (Baseball Assistance Team) dinner. We didn’t want to tax No. 19 too much knowing he had the upcoming trip planned with Gloria.
A friendly reader notified me of some important news from last weekend … according to obrn, frequent poster Kenwo (ya know, the happy guy) welcomed a beautiful little girl, Maggie Nicole, into White Sox Nation. Unfortunately, Maggie’s arrival forced Kenwo to miss the final day of SoxFest.
And because he is now way too busy to post, I am going to take the liberty of quoting obrn quoting kenwo about his SoxFest experience:
It was fun…. got Peavy, Kotsay, Nix, Alexei, Beckham, Floyd Bannister and the 1 Dogg Lance Johnson. I was traveling back and forth this year (due to xxxxx being pregnant obviously)…. so I missed hanging out at the hotel bar and everything. I was drinking the white sox kool aid a little too much… I went into it very unhappy but after … Seeing Jenks and Garcia (they each look to be in way better shape) I feel a bit better about our chances…. I think we are going to the hospital today- xxxxx is having contractions about every 20 minutes…. but the only things I really wanted to do were get Freddy Garcia’s autograph, listen to Beckhams seminar and spend money at the stands…
Tell you what Kenwo, as a birthday present for Maggie, give me a call/email and I think I can take care of that Freddy Garcia autograph for you.
SoxFest always gets me fired up for the start of spring training (OK, I’ll admit my anticipation for the spring is also due to the 7 degree temps).
If you didn’t see it, here was a Q&A video Ken Williams did just before SoxFest opened:
One of the best parts of SoxFest for me is the chance to sit up in our Team Suite during the weekend and catch up with guys and reconnect with former players.
On Saturday, Ozzie was in rare form, especially when talking about how tough Joe Crede was at third base,
“When I played third base, man, they hit shots at me,” Guillen recounted, hopping up from his seat to illustrate his matador approach to the ball. “I’d spin and get out of the way.
“But Joe Crede, wow, he was tough. I remember one time in Baltimore (I think it was), he took a shot off his chest. It was like BAM! And Joe, he never complained. This time he called me and Hermie out.
“I was like, ‘I don’t wanna look, I don’t wanna look.
“Hermie opened Joe’s shirt and the ballmark was already there. Swollen, purple, ugly and right in the middle you could read a signature, Bud Selig.”
I also chuckled when Scott Linebrink and Jake Peavy described their past offseason throwing programs.
For Linebrink, his target out in the field was a fake deer like the ones used to practice bow hunting.
After a while, the baseball’s obliterated the deer, so Linebrink switched to a hay bale. Now, after years of offseason pounding, the hale bale is starting to come apart and the baseballs sometimes stick inside.
And for Peavy? He just needed a bucket of balls and a fence.
Can you picture a Cy Young Award winner slinging a bucket of balls at a fence and then walking up to pick up the two dozen, put them back into the bucket and then walk back and do it all over again?
That’s what makes these guys so good at what they do …