Thursday, March 25, 2010
Here I was, worried that it had been a week since I’ve been able to post anything, and I come on to read your comments only to see that Donna has stepped in and filled the void! Well done. And it appears the Mr. Tucson, JK, might even prefer her reports to mine. Love it! (JK, sorry I won’t be coming to Tucson this weekend. My family loves that town … Sabino Canyon, Ventana Canyon, Old Pueblo Grille, all the great restaurants …)
I am disappointed that Donna (and maybe others on the site) were down in Glendale and did not look me up to say hello. Next time you are here, find me. I love seeing friendly faces.
Anyway, we are down to 32 players in camp with eight days left in Arizona (counting today). Unlike other springs, it does not appear that KW, Rick Hahn, Ozzie, et al will have too many roster decisions next week, but time will tell.
Good To See
Bobby Jenks throwing well his last time out and Mark Teahen starting to swing the bat well (he is hitting as I write this). You could see it coming with Teahen in recent days as he started to hit the ball hard for outs, then balls started to find holes and gaps. He put a charge into one yesterday in a big 10-run outburst.
The other terrific stories this spring have included pitcher Sergio Santos (live arm), Andruw Jones, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham’s quiet move to second base.
Twice this spring, we’ve held conference calls with White Sox personnel and the major blog sites who cover the White Sox. Today, Director of Player Development Buddy Bell spent 30 minutes on the phone talking about the White Sox system.
He mentioned that Juan Pierre had spent time with our minor leaguers this spring talking about base running and stealing bases, while Omar Vizquel is going to talk to middle infielders later this week. You can’t beat that kind of expertise.
The first call was a couple of weeks ago with Hahn.
I’ve Laughed at …
The recent personal criticism that I monitor media about the White Sox. Yes, we do. It’s part of our job. If something is said or written about the White Sox — positive or critical – in any form of trackable media, we want to know about it. We see it as our responsibility on behalf of the entire organization, and we’d be failing to do our jobs if we did not fulfill this responsibility.
The truly ironic point here is that we weren’t made aware of the recent twitter issues through any kind of monitoring service. Actually, it came to us, and ultimately became public, through traditional media following Social Media sites. But that is not as much fun.
But no one really cares how the sausage is made …
I walked by Ozzie Guillen’s office this week only to see his golf cart parked tight up against the doorway … and his doorway is in an interior hallway, pretty far from the nearest outside entrance.
Surprisingly, he was inside.
“Golf cart?” I asked?
“(blank) players,” he said, laughing.
Just another practical joke in Soxdom.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Happy St. Patrick’s Day
To all White Sox fans. The White Sox wore green hats today for their game against the Dodgers. The hats from today’s nine starters will be available in an on-line auction that begins on Saturday, March 20. Proceeds from the acution benefit Glendale’s “From The Heart” charity.
During batting practice each day, our strength and conditioning staff runs players through various agility drills. Yesterday, the drill consisted of each player shuffling to his right and left, picking up baseballs that were bounced in his direction. The hitch? Players wore a belt with a heavy rubber band extending off each side as a teammate held tight.
Different groups treated the drill differently.
Each member of Juan Pierre’s group pretended to be an NBA star.
“Practice,” Pierre shouted as he went through the drill. “You’re talking about practice?!”
In another group, AJ and Carlos Quentin were jousting, seeing who could make the fewest errors.
One of those classic moments in the Arizona sun. You gotta make practice fun.
To VP/Assistant GM Rick Hahn, who was ranked No. 1 by Baseball America as the top GM candidate in the game (although come to think of it, the last thing I want is for Rick to get a GM job elsewhere, so maybe I should have preferred he stay off the list!)
With today’s roster moves, the White Sox roster stands at 39.
Is our lone off day of the spring, so please, no emails, calls, tweets, direct messages …
Two celebs were in camp today, Country Western star Toby Keith and Israel del Toro, a White Sox fan and member of the Air Force injured in Afghanistan in 2005, who often comes by to visit the team. Keith was seeing his good friend Jake Peavy, while del Toro met with 30-some members of the staff and team to talk about his experiences and his recovery from his serious injuries.
Several players thanked del Toro for speaking to the team.
Glendale Ticket Offer
We are making a special ticket offer to fans who follow the Sox through Social Media. You can get 2 tickets for $22 (regularly $20 each) for either Saturday’s game with San Diego (March 20) or the game on March 28 against KC.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The White Sox scored seven times in the game’s first three innings — fueled by home runs off the bats of Gordon Beckham and Alex Rios — and held on for a 10-7 win over the Angels today in Tempe to improve to 4-3-2 on the spring season. Jake Peavy earned the win for the Sox, while closer Bobby Jenks struggled in his outing. Jared Mitchell, last year’s first round pick by the Sox, injured himself while making a great, over-the-fence catch. He was carted off the field, and I will update you as to his status when we have news.
The other half of the White Sox, with manager Ozzie Guillen, take on the Chicago Cubs in Las Vegas. Tune into WSCR 670 AM or CSN (a Cubs telecast) to hear/see the game (9:05 p,m. CT).
A great mix of musicians, baseball players, friends, family and fans took part in Woodjock 2010 last night at The Venue in Scottsdale. Not only can Jake Peavy pitch. The guy can sing and play the guitar, too. Teammates Scott Linebrink and Gordon Beckham joined the lineup of talent.
“At least I didn’t forget any of the words,” Beckham said.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
It has reached the point where I’m no longer sure what day of spring training it is … soon, we will be able to count down days until Opening Day and a return to home (own bed, TV, car, wife, kids, etc).
Nice to hear from my 12-year-old today that it was warmer in Chicago this morning than outside my condo in Scottsdale. Wonderful! At least it is supposed to warm up today and then get warmer over the next week to 10 days … maybe we are through the cool part of the spring.
Great to win yesterday at Oakland behind the seven-run inning. Things got a little sketchy in the ninth inning, but we held on. Too many times over the past few years, it seems games go like Tuesday in Scottsdale against the Giants. We hold a lead through six or seven innings only to have our AAA players lose to their AAA players at the end. Winning and losing don’t really matter much in the spring, but I do think it helps morale, it helps everyone’s outlook and maybe even does sell some tickets in Chicago. From a baseball point of view, it’s always best to play your strongest baseball later in March (when rosters are smaller and your regulars play more often and more innings).
We’ve played very well, and there is a buzz of excitement about the club, so I hope that excitement is being transmitted to our fans in Chicago and around the country.
Cameras from the MLB Network were here this week shooting even more footage for “The Club,” the behind-the-scenes reality show airing in July.
We were joking with the production crew about the atmosphere in White Sox camp.
“You guys must think, ‘How do things get done around here? This is Major League Baseball?” someone joked.
“Well, yeah,” an MLB staffer admitted, “We do think that, but we also want to know if you guys are hiring.”
“Well, you have to have a pretty thick skin to work around here,” he was warned.
At Monday’s game, an 80-plus year old fan was all over White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, yelling at him (loudly) that he was “overrated.”
The dugout erupted as the fan hammered Coop and the MLB cameras ran.
“You guys set that up for the cameras, didn’t you,” Coop challenged after the game.
“No, way.” (And we didn’t, although I wish we’d thought about it).
Anyway, yesterday at Oakland, a White Sox fan was sporting a Don Cooper “21″ jersey.
Hate ya one day, luv ya the next.
Jake Peavy’s Woodjocj concert is tonight in Scottsdale at 7 p.m. I am looking forward to the event. For details …
Went to the Phoenix Coyotes vs. Vancouver Canucks game last night. Great game. It was my first hockey game in The Valley and I was amazed at how many Canadians were in attendance, all wearing Canuck jerseys. First time I’ve ever heard Oh, Canada sung louder than the National Anthem (and not been in Toronto).
Remember, for breaking news, lineups, etc. check out @InsideTheSox on Twitter or follow our offical White Sox facebook account.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sox Drop a Close One
Losing 5-4 to the Mariners Monday in Glendale. Highlight was Alex Rios’ home run to center field in the fifth inning.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Rain washed out today’s game vs. the Cubs here in Glendale. Too bad, but a lot of rain fell.
Tentatively, we’ve planned a B Game for tomorrow morning against the Dodgers (start time roughly 9:30 a.m.) but that is weather dependent as well.
Today’s starting pitcher, Jake Peavy, threw in the batting cages today to get his work in and to stay on schedule.
Classic Ozzie. This is what he said about Lou Piniella not going to Las Vegas next weekend and Ozzie planning to go:
“Lou said he wasn’t going to go because his wife was coming to town. I said I was going to go to Las Vegas because my wife was coming to town.”
This from a follower and blog reader:
Scott – I just walked out of a difficult rehab session. The shoulder replacement surgery was almost 6 months ago (9/8) and the rehab is the hardest I have ever worked in my life. I did not believe them when they said 15-18 months. No conception that it could/would take that long. Every time I think I am seeing improvement, they introduce some new movement and my muscles rebel. Today was one of those days. I had been tracing the alphabet with my arm while laying on my back. Today they had me try to do it standing up and holding my arm out in front of me. I felt like I had no muscle control and was going backwards. Obviously I am making progress and it will come easier.
But, as I walked out, I got a tweet with the starting lineup for today’s game. One of the guys I share season tickets with called and wants to grab lunch and talk about the lineup. The sun is shining, the weather is a little warmer, the snow is melting and ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD BECAUSE THE WHITE SOX HAVE STARTED SPRING TRAINING GAMES.
thanks for sharing the lineup, the blogs and keeping the fans part of the process and the team. It really helps make the winter go by.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Of course, the day we win two split-squad games, my computer runs out of juice (maybe because I was sittting in Mesa watching that game live while watching our game with the Dodgers on MLB.tv) and I can’t post a summary.
By now you know we pounded out a 15-3 win over the Cubs in Mesa (thanks to Carlos Quentin and his two home runs) and we beat the Dodgers, 8-4. The best tweet from a fan yesterday said it all in Mesa : Qx2
With the two split squads, fans saw a few players running around with no names on their backs and fairly high numbers … in the 80s and 90s.
I’ll try to explain.
When Major League camp opens in February, each team has 40 roster players and how ever many non-roster invitees (from their minor league system). At the same time, we also hold a special early instructional league for a select number of minor league players. They work out opposite of the big league camp (if we work on in the morning and then play in the afternoon, the take over our practice fields later in the day). So from a staff perspective (managers, coaches, trainers, strength, etc., most everyone is here, either working in big league camp, instructional or both).
Right now, if you see a player join the big league team to help us fill out numbers on a roster, he was pulled for that group of early instructional players. Some of it is determined by position and need on a given day, some of it is to reward someone who has worked hard over the offseason or in early camp.
Official minor league camp starts on Wednesday, so all of our other players will arrive, the early instructional players will join them, and then as we make cuts at the big league level, they will move to the minor league clubhouse and join their appropriate team/work group.
Fans tend to focus on the big league side of spring training, but once minor league games begin, you can go to our back fields on any given day and see two of our minor league teams playing minor league teams from other organizations (games generally at 1 pm). That’s what it means when we say a big league player played in a minor league spring game. Often we would do that so that a hitter gets a lot of at-bats, or a pitcher gets work on a certain day, or even to hide a pitcher from a team (we used to do that with Keith Foulke so that AL teams didn’t get too familiar with his changeup).
Hope that explains somewhat.
They say it only rains 40 days a year in The Valley of the Sun. We just seem to be here for eight of them.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Down in Defeat
The Good Guys took one on the chin Friday as the Dodgers handed the White Sox an 8-3 setback in the Cactus League home opener for the Sox, who fell to 0-1-1.
As is often the case in spring games, the important moment came in the third inning when J.J. Putz (prounounced “Puts”) tossed a scoreless frame, striking out two.
“He threw his fastball very well,” said manager Ozzie Guillen. “I didn’t even know he threw a forkball. When I saw it, I thought at first it was a changeup.”
Starter Mark Buehrle allowed one unearned run in 2.0 to suffer the loss.
“Buehrle looked sharp,” Guillen added. “To me, Buehrle’s looking Buehrle.”
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Kissing Your Sister, 0-0-1
Two eighth-inning Angels runs knotted the score at 4-4 and it ended there Thursday as the White Sox and Angels tied their Cactus League opener in Tempe.
The Sox had taken a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning when A.J. Pierzynski — still consistently booed at all Angels games — connected on a three-run homer to right center field.
RHP Sergio Santos was impressive in his one inning or work for the Sox.
A lack of extra pitchers caused managers Ozzie Guillen and Mike Sciosica to call the game after nine complete innings.
Today’s game (game time temp was 70 degrees), featured a fairly stiff wind out to right. In fact, my committment to keeping score literally went out the window in the second inning when my scorecard blew out into the fans below. If anyone caught it, I hope they completed innings 2-9.
If You Missed It
We tweeted (@InsideTheSox) video today of John Danks having his head scalped to gain attention for St. Baldrick’s Day. Check it out here and watch FOX32 tomorrow for the story.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The White Sox open Cactus League play today in a 3:05 pm game (4:05 p.m. in Chicago) at the Angels of Tempe. The game can be heard live on WSCR Radio 670 AM, and fans can watch the replay tonight at 10 pm CT on MLB Network.
Pierre 7, Beckham 4, AJ 2, Jones 8, Teahen 5, Ramirez 6, Kotsay dh, Viciedo 3, Jor, Danks 9. John Danks pitching.
White Sox ace Jake Peavy, along with many of his friends, other athletes and celebrities, will pick up their instruments and showcase their talents on a different stage on Thursday, March 11 at Woodjock, a musical jam fest.
Over 1,400 fans and teammates are expected to attend the event, which begins at 7 p.m. at The Venue in Scottsdale, Ariz. (7117 E. 3rd Avenue).
Scheduled to participate along with Jake are Barry Zito, Bernie Williams, Bronson Arroyom Ben Broussard, Tim Flannery, Scott Linebrink, Aubrey Huff, Brandon Medders and Peter Gammons. Others are expected to join the showlist over the next week.
Woodjock benefits the Jake Peavy Foundation, which raises money for Chicago White Sox Charities, Autism Speaks, Strikeouts for Troops and Team Focus.