April 2010

White Sox on Television Today

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tonight’s Telecast

With a very busy sports schedule on tap for Chicago tonight, we want to make certain you know where to find your White Sox at 7 p.m.

WHITE SOX vs. TAMPA BAY will air LIVE on CSN+2 (featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone on the call)

? This special “CSN+2″ game can found on the Total Living Network on Comcast Cable systems throughout the Chicago area on ch. 138…in addition, this CSN+2 White Sox telecast can be found on RCN ch. 371; AT&T U-verse ch. 692, DIRECTV ch. 667 and Dish Network ch. 451…for all other providers, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com to find the exact channel location of this game in their area.

? “U.S. Cellular White Sox Post Game Live” with hosts Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton and Frank Thomas airs immediately following the game on CSN+2. 

And of course, there is always whitesox.com …

Ozzie Being Ozzie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Advice

Saying don’t worry, “you throw harder than Buehrle,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen offered ceremonial first pitch advice to a nervous youngster before last night’s game.

Click here to see the short video

The young player was a member of the Junior White Sox City Elite, a team of the top local inner city players. He was throwing out the first pitch as part of the White Sox celebration of Jackie Robinson Day.

Wednesday Thoughts

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baseball

What a difference a victory makes!  Tampa comes in on a seven-game roll, the hottest team in baseball, while the White Sox have lost four straight, but John Danks dominates on the mound, and Paul Konerko leads the offense.  In baseball, youneverknow (which I think is a long-ago quote from Joaquin Andujar, anyway …).

This Morning

Gordon Beckham was up early and at the ballpark to annouce a community program he feels passionately about … the “Out of the Park” campaign to fight Parkinson’s.

Here are the details …

GORDON BECKHAM ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF PARTNERSHIP WITH 
NATIONAL PARKINSON FOUNDATION
Second Baseman Officially Launches “Out of Park” Campaign

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham is making a donation to the National Parkinson Foundation for every home run that he hits during the 2010 season and is asking his fans to join him. “Out of the Park for Parkinson’s” is an awareness campaign the second baseman officially launched today in partnership with the National Parkinson Foundation, to help end Parkinson’s disease. 

Beckham and his family understand the challenges of Parkinson’s firsthand:  his grandfather has been living with the disease for nearly a decade.

“Living and helping my grandfather cope with Parkinson’s has given me an up-close look at the suffering it causes,” said Beckham. “I want to do something to raise awareness and funds to help eradicate the disease so future generations do not have to go through what our family countless others have been through with Parkinson’s.”

Gordon Beckham fans can visit www.outofthepark.org to make a donation and help the cause:
? Per Home Run Pledge Superstar: Make a pledge per home run.
? World Series Champion: $1000 donation guarantees a ticket to attend a post-season bash with Gordon.
? All Star: $500 donation.
? Gordon’s #1 Fan: $250 donation.
? Major League Fan: $100 donation.
? Team Player: $50 donation.

All proceeds benefit the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF), a national, non-profit organization that funds research, education and outreach programs to improve the lives of people with Parkinson’s disease.  NPF has a strong presence in Chicago, Illinois, supporting the work of Northwestern University’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center, NPF Center of Excellence, as well as the local NPF chapter, the Parkinson Association of Illinois (PAIL).

 About the National Parkinson Foundation
The National Parkinson Foundation supports a strong network of 43 Centers of Excellence dedicated to excellence in research and providing comprehensive, interdisciplinary care to more than 50,000 Parkinson’s patients and their families worldwide. Founded in 1957, the National Parkinson Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education, and outreach. Since 1982, NPF has funded more than $150 million in care, research and support services.

About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s with an estimated one million people with the disease in the U.S. and four to six million worldwide. At present, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.

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Homestand Ahead

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Relax.  Don’t Panic.

This research from Bob Beghtol, White Sox director of media relations:

As for slow starts, there is pretty much one every season for teams that had success when all the dust settled:

1. 2009 Yankees were 13-15 on May 7
2. 2009 Twins were six games under (56-62) on August 17 and won the division
3. 2008 Phillies were 4-6 and then 8-10
4. 2007 Rockies were 5-8 and then 18-27 and went to the series
5. 2007 Yankees lost 7 straight from April 20-27 to fall to 18-23 and were 26-31 in early June but rebounded to make the playoffs.
6. 2006 A’s were 23-29 at one point and reached the ALCS
7. 2005 Astros started 15-30 and went to the series. 
8. 2003 Twins started 9-12 and won the AL Central
9. 2002 Angels started 6-14 and won the WS. 
10. 2002 A’s started 19-25 and won 103 games

That’s just 10 recent ones, but you get the point.  Even the Winning Ugly Sox on 1983 were 27-32 at one point but went on to win 99 games and the division title.  And don’t forget that the 2005 Sox had a few rough spots as well. Everything is magnified early on in the season.

Throwing Up Zeros

Friday, April 16, 2010

Early-Season Bullpen Heroics

?  The White Sox bullpen leads the major leagues with a 1.89 ERA and an average of 12.96 strikeouts per 9.0 IP.

?  The Sox pen struck out 12 batters in just 5.0 IP last night, which according to the Elias Sports Bureau tied the franchise record set previously on 7/9/06 vs. Boston (13.0 IP), 5/8/84 vs. Milwaukee (19.0 IP) and 6/5/74 vs. New York-AL (13.0 IP).

?  Randy Williams (2.0 IP), Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz, and Scott Linebrink (1.0 IP apiece) each struck out three batters as the bullpen needed 8.0 IP less to match the existing club mark.

?  The Sox pen has thrown 17.1 scoreless IP over the last six games, allowing just nine hits with 26 strikeouts, an average of 13.50 per 9.0 IP.

?  The bullpen line over the last six games:

W-L    ERA     SV-OPP    HLD         IP         H     R    ER      HR      BB    SO    ,AVG
1-0        0.00         2-2           0         17.1      9      0       0        0        7      26     .150

Jackie Robinson Day

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy 25th birthday to last night’s winning pitcher John Danks.  Remember where you were when you turned 25?

Snafu

I wrote a great entry on Tuesday — believe me — but just noticed today that it never posted and somehow is lost.  It’s too bad, because it was full of vim and vigor.  Hah.

Actually, I wrote about how I was amazed that when we unveiled our World Series Championship monument and plaza in April 2007, the Chicago Tribune failed to run a photo of the multimillion dollar plaza that has become so popular with White Sox fans (an editor did apologize to me, saying it incorrectly fell through the cracks).  But when the other team in town renovates a bathroom, a photo runs on the second page of the same newspaper’s sports section.

Generally, I don’t put much credence in the Sox vs. Cubs media battle (I’ll never forget that Bill Veeck’s PR guy told me that in the 1950s — when the Sox were dominating the won-loss standings — Veeck had his folks keep track of column inches because of perceived disparities in coverage), but little things like this stick in my craw and make me shake my head. 

Anyway, it was a great entry (at least it made me feel better) but alas, it’s lost in the cyber world forever.

Significance of Today

It’s important for baseballs fans of all races and generations to remember the importance April 15, 1947 had for this game and this country.

Although the White Sox are not home for the exact day, we will be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day here on April 20.

A few facts about White Sox efforts to continue to grow baseball in Chicago’s African-American community and some details about JR Day celebrations here next homestand:

As you may or may not know, the Chicago White Sox and Chicago White Sox Charities sponsor amateur baseball teams at many levels each summer, everything from Inner City Youth Baseball (at the youngest levels) up to our Amatuer City Elite (ACE) program for kids who hope to play baseball at the college or even professional level.

The idea behind our elite program is that many city kids just don’t get the exposure of elite suburban travel baseball programs, so we sponsor teams, provide coaching and make sure these kids get to play in all the best tournaments and against the best competition in the nation.  Because of all of their hard work, the results have been impressive.

Here are some of the highlights …

March 27, 2010 – Sun-Times top 100 baseball players to watch (By Sean Duncan) named three ACE players:
? Ronzelle Fort (Sr) – Harlan
? Kendall Radcliffe  (Sr)- Morgan Park
? Kyle Huber (Sr) – Lane Tech

Perfect Game USA Preseason High School All American – (High Honorable Mention)
? Dontrell Rush (Jr) – Harlan.  Dontrell was the 2009 MVP of the Double Duty Classic

Through the ACE program, the White Sox offer rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team.  ACE team members (youth 13-17 years of age) are engaged through an elite practice and competition schedule while receiving academic direction to prepare them for success both on and off the field.

Since the inception of the Amateur City Elite program in 2007, two alumni have been drafted by professional teams, including Steve Florence of Simeon, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 50th round of the 2008 draft, while fourteen alumni have gone on to play collegiate baseball, including nine at the Division I level.

The highlight each season for the ACE program is the Double Duty Classic played at U.S. Cellular Field.  The Double Duty Classic recreates the historic Negro League East-West All-Star game played in Chicago at Comiskey Park and serves as an instrument to educate youth on the Negro Leagues and to provide exposure to professional and collegiate scouts.  The 2010 Double Duty Classic will take place on June 30, game-time 1:05 p.m.  For more information please visit:  www.whitesox.com/ddc

On April 20, members of the Chicago White Sox Charities sponsored Amateur City Elite (ACE) baseball program will take part in various on-field ceremonies as the White Sox celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at U.S. Cellular Field.

13U ACE team member Jeremiah Anderson will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.  In addition, ACE youth will “take the field ” with the White Sox prior to the game’s first pitch.  All youth will wear #42 jerseys to commemorate the legacy and spirit of Jackie Robinson.

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Sunday Thoughts

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hang In There Folks

It’s early, there’s a lot of baseball still to play, but in some way I think that is part of the problem.

Play well in the first week of the season, and it is magnified.  Play poorly, and it is magnified.  I was saying to someone this morning, that if we had this week in the middle of June, it might have been met with a tough-luck shrug … great starting pitching, a lot of hard-hit balls right at people (see Konerko and Rios), but no clutch hits. 

Of course, given that the offense enters 2010 as a question for everyone, we all are hypersensitive to its performance.  But baseball is about the long run, not short bursts, so let’s allow this to play out a little more before we become too convinced we know the personality of the 2010 White Sox or our offense.

Just my opinion.

Along the way, a few things worth noting …

Unbelieveable performances by our starting pitchers …

A few yeoman outings from the bullpen (Santos, Pena the other night, Linebrink yesterday) …

Rios continues to hit a great many balls right on the nose …

Konerko’s early form in the batter’s box …

Beckham’s defense at second …

Our early ability to draw walks and work counts (better than I think anyone expected) …

Yet we are frustrated by the lack of the big hit or of a sustained offensive attack (hit after hit after hit).

So, I would argue it is a typical week, some good trends, some worrisome trends, our record deserves to be better than 1-4, but let’s see how the next few weeks play out.  There is still plenty of time left in the season to worry.

Autographs

Today’s Tribune includes a story about Chicago athletes and their willingness to sign autographs.

I thought it was ironic in that the story runs on our first Kids Day of the year, when a good portion of our roster signs autographs for fans for 30 minutes before our game.  We do this four more times this year (April 25, May 23, July 11 and August 1), and we do it for a very good reason … we want youngsters to be able to come to White Sox games (admission for kids on these days is $1 with a paying adult) and connect with our players through a one-on-one interaction (an autograph).  The Trib story doesn’t mention it, but I believe we are the only sports team in town that has its players sign autographs before games on a scheduled basis, and certainly no other team does it as often as we do.

While I am at it, I should mention a great kids offer we make each season, The White Sox Kids Club. Our club, which features tens of thousands of young Sox fans, has two levels, a paid level and a free level.  In the free level, each young fan receives two tickets to a Sox game.  Again, our goal is to build fans for the future by making sure Chicago kids can always get to a White Sox game.

 

Cooler by the Lake

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Classic

So I walk out to stand next to coaches Harold Baines and Jeff Cox during batting practice (yes, in foul territory).  Don Cooper and Joey Cora also walk up.

A song starts to play over the ballpark’s sound system, the first of the night …

“Cream,” Cox shouts out.

“Sunshine of your love,” Cooper adds.

“Yes!  1-0 Coxie,” Cox declares.

Nah, these guys aren’t competitive.  And they’re not having fun.

Strange Night

How must it feel to be Jerry Reinsdorf tonight?  Your baseball team takes the field against the Indians while your basketball team takes to the United Center court to try and earn the eighth spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoffs.

MLB Network will be with Reinsdorf to show what it’s like for an owner of professional sports teams when he watches both teams play at the same time.

Chicago Tough

You know it’s baseball season when the guy driving the mini zamboni cleaning the sidewalks in the morning outside the ballpark is wearing a parka like it’s the south pole.

Coop

Dare you to tell me this doesn’t get you fired up …

And this on the White Sox starting rotation …

Congrats

To Freddy Couples, good friend of Ed Farmer’s, for a great first day at the Masters.

Fun Shots

This from White Sox team photographer extraordinaire, Ron Vesely.

First Volunteer Corps Date Set

If you are a member of the White Sox Volunteer Corps (thanks) or if you want to become a member, please click here for details on the very first volunteer date of 2010 (May 8) when our Corps heads to a Chicago elementary school and local Boys & Girls Club to put in some work.

I can’t wait to see all those great Sox fans making a difference in the community through our own hard work.

This winter, we created a special Volunteer Corps book specially for President Obama and other select community leaders.  Soon, we will have a video of Christine O’Reilly, our fantastic Senior Director of Community Relations/Executive Director of Chicago White Sox Charities, as she shows off the book and highlights the accomplishments of our Corps in its first season of existence.  Keep checking back for that video.

 

 

Day After

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This honor seems fitting after Mark Buehrle’s amazing play yesterday.

A couple of White Sox players are planning to take in the Chicago Bulls game tonight at the United Center. 

Opening Day Postgame

Monday, April 5, 2010

Very nice 6-0 win by the White Sox over the Indians today, led by Mark Buehrle’s 7.0 shutout IP and home runs by Paul Konerko and Alex Rios.

Rios and Buehrle each turned in magnificant defensive plays.  Buehrle’s will be talked about all season long, while Rios capped a wonderful afternoon for Sox fans.

Here’s Buehrle’s terrific play.

As someone noted, “He just won his second Gold Glove right there.”  Buehrle is scheduled to be presented with his 2009 Gold Glove before Saturday’s game.

He came into the postgame interview room with ice on his shoulder (usual) and on his shin.

“It’s broken.  Out 6-8 weeks,” he joked.

“I’ve always taken pride in my ability to field my position,” Buehrle noted.  “See why we do all the PFP (pitcher fielding practice) work in spring training?  It pays off.”

Good Day

Anytime you have a curtain call in the first inning (PK’s opposite field HR), you know it’s a good day.  After getting robbed of a hit in one at-bat, Rios drove a fastball over the center field fence for his first home run.  He then sped into the left-center field gap to snag the final out of the game with a diving catch.

Other Highlights

J.J. Putz striking out two in his one inning of work … Matt Thornton blowing away Indian hitters in the ninth inning … Carlos Quentin taking two HBP for the team.

 

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