Cooler by the Lake

Thursday, April 8, 2010


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.


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

And this on the White Sox starting rotation …


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.




well, here is my first game. I’ve been busy building a new set of stair banisters and rails for a client, and I’ve watched espn and then wgn the last two games, but all in all, I’m fine and looking forward to a good season…. Thanks for the well wishes in my seeming absence… Go Sox’10

Why did they even think about pitching to Quentin with a bag open?

I really hope the hitting picks up with RISP otherwise it is going to be a long season.

Well it’s early, do not like to lose the first series to Cleveland. After a couple of years of this no hitting, makes you wonder if they prepare for the pitching staffs they are going to face.

Let’s see, bases loaded-1 out, Beckam strikes out, Konerko strikes out. 2 innings later men on second and third, Ramirez strikes out. (Does this sound like deja vue all over again – didn’t the 2009 SOX (and the 2008 SOX for that matter) do this repeatedly?). Bullpen can’t hold a lead for the second game in a row. (Wasn’t this a HUGE problem in 2009?). 2 errors on defense (should have been three – the “hit” Hafner was given was really an error by Konerko. Ball was playable, just bounced off his glove. (Terrible defense – AGAIN!) Must be 2009, right?
Au contraire, it’s 2010. Different faces – SAME PROBLEMS!
Maybe, just maybe, the REAL problems are the guys running this team.

Considering Cleveland is the easiest team on the schedule in the first five weeks this is a very bad sign.

Buster has it pegged right…this year was supposed to be “different.” Ozzie preached “fundamentals” again in spring training.

So far it doesn’t look any different. Any different.

Starting pitching has been pretty good yet they only have one win to show for it because of the other issues.

Ozzie got the type of team he wanted, Kenny gave it to him. If it works, Ozzie gets the credit…it it falls apart, he’s going to get the blame.

Mark Liptak


These guys looked like they were trying to grind out a win from the Boston Red Sox. Yet we still look like the 2008 and 2009 sox far as getting hits and leaving guys on base. BUT on the bright side, Pierre is starting to wake up, still waiting on a few others.

BAD NEWs, we drop a series to Cleveland, yes, Cleveland. Got the Twins coming in and they have some real Sox killers on their team. These guys know how to manufacture runs as well as how to hit for power. It would be terrible to let what could be a tremendous pitching staff and new & improved bullpen go to waste this season if the offense bumbles around like it did the past two years.

I dunno, I don’t mind the idea of a rotating DH, but I feel they could have made some very different decisions as far as who to pick up. Heck, I’d have rather they’d have just picked up Damon and called it good. All i know is it would be a crime to let this pitching staff go to waste. But I don’t have high hopes for a good showing this weekend. Hope I’m wrong…..

I dunno, about the whole pin the rotating DH on Ozzie thing. I think Ozzie wanting a rotating DH was like rubberstamping the organization going cheap on it’s acquisitions. It only made KW and Rainy-day Reinsdorf too happy to agree. Wasting your time trying to figure out playing time between Nix, Jones, and Vizquel seems like a wash. They should have shelled out for a normal DH, just avoiding the sluggers like Thome. Yanks and Angels let a few good hitters/ballplayers go, we could have jumped on at least one to try to bolster this lineup with a guy that could hit and run the basepaths. Now we got a bunch of question marks and the problem of inconsistent playing time for them to get into a groove.

Ozzie I don’t want to watch the cubs. You are doin fine!

Well, it looks like Buster and Liptak are in mid-season form!! LOL

Three games into a 162-game season and they are already pointing the fingers.

Ahhhh, it’s good to have the season and the negativity started again. I missed it over the winter . . . . . .

Oh Mark, gloom and doom. I think it is a reach to say The Sox have none of what you have mentioned, being only 4 games in.

either I have esp or these comments and times are screwed up.

Right on TC: some things never change. We can’t win! Woe is us! I think I’ll slit my wrist! That’s our “Good Buddies for ya” I guess our win on Monday was a mistake….

I’ll be watching tomorrow as we BEAT the Twins and gain some ground on them, So after golf and bowling I’m a little beat, go I’ll just say go Sox’10……..

And after a couple of beers I can’t spell either… Make that “so” not “go”,,,,,,,,,, later all…j.k.

Ah ya can’t beat fun at the old ballpark friends.

Another day another pretty solid starting pitching performance wasted…another lead blown in the 7th inning or later…another loss by the bullpen…another game where the Sox score three runs or less and another extra inning loss.

I have no problems with the Sox going back to their roots and winning with pitching, speed and defense but if you are going to play that way you absolutely have to:

1. Have an unhittable, killer bullpen.
2. Win the close games
3. Make the most of your scoring chances with clutch hitting
4. Have a great defense that doesn’t give extra outs.

The Sox have none of the above.

I sincerely hope not, but it could be a long season.

Mark Liptak

Well that was dandy. I don’t know about an unhittable bullpen. Ours is pretty good, or better than the completely combustible bullpens of 2008 and bipolar bullpens of 2009. But at this point I’d settle for a couple wins. This was yet another outing where pitching kept us in it. Is Dye still available?

Not sure that our bullpen is “pretty good” or “better than 2008 or 2009”. So far it looks as bad or worse to me. 3 games in a row, 3 blown leads, 3 losses. Same old story last night, good starting pitching, terrible defense (Alexi – AGAIN!), no situational hitting (Teahen 0 for 2010). Nice to see that TC is still with us and keeping us all upbeat about our SOX play and “glass is half full” point of view – NOT! Reminds me of a financial guy I knew in 2007 telling me that “this subprime mortgage thing is no big deal”. LOL

Well, I think it is. Believe me, I’m not thrilled with signings like Vizquel, Jones and even signing Teahen and moving Beckham to 2nd left me scratching my head. And I still don’t like Pena, BUT when the Bullpen would blow up in 2008 they did it spectacularly and would give up a bunch of runs. Sooo, ours has coughed up a key run in the last couple games, but for the most part they keep us in it. My biggest gripe is the lack of hitting as you said. We make teams with pitching inferior to ours like the twins and Cleveland look like teams with pitching like Boston, KC or NYC. And that was a big problem in 2009. It didn’t matter who we played, we couldn’t generate offense, so aside from the occasional bullpen explosion, the bullpen giving up a run or two was fatal. I like that they keep us in it. These guys have to hit. And having a black hole for a DH and a slow start by Teahen and Ramirez ain’t helping. Then, that small ball only helps so much. You need a guy whose a gap hitter. I just am not so sure we have a lot of that. The strikeouts and popouts are killing us. And the walks ain’t helping either. Just my two cents… By the way, anyone know how to make spaces? I’m on a macbook so maybe that’s why it ain’t working…

Ah, that’s better, I had to change my screen name, I don’t know why it was alcentralfan and it took me a minute to figure out how to fix it. Anywho, well, I see TC, Liptak and benchwarmers. Where the heck is everyone at?

And I don’t mind Liptak’s stuff so much. I think he’s right. But I do think it’s early and that some things are suffering worse than others right now. And as long as we’re not alternating between Dotel, Linebrink and MacDougal, Logan and whoever screwing the pooch, I’ll give Thornton, Williams, Putz and even Jenks a pass… for now. and if the offense comes alive than that gives the team some breathing room. I just have to say I have more faith in Cooper than Walker….

Nice job by Linebrink!…. Been a long time since I’ve said that. Now let’s score a couple of runs and win this game…. go Sox’10…j.k.

Well shut my mouth wide open. Linebrink looked like a pro today. Wow, left another guy on base…

well that sucked. Least Grady sizemore got hit by a pitch and kept my streak alive….

You can say what you want , but no matter how good pitching is we can’t throw a shutout every game to win. I am happy with pitching, Garcia looked better than anyone expected and linebrink today…. let’s hope that is not a fluke.
Windy I am with you, Walker has never impressed me. The hitting has to come around, sooner rather than later.

What are our options on the infield? Just curious. Can Vizquel play anything besides short? It would be nice to know we could juggle things up if this lack of offense keeps up. Maybe Vizquel can wrangle up some hits if we can get ramirez or teahen out of the lineup every so often. Just an idea.

Great outing by sweaty Freddie. He looks to be in terrific shape. His FB was hitting 93-94, and his curve made a number of twinkees look like minor leagers.
One mistake? It happens.
Offense, what offense?
Maybe KC will swap us Scotty Pods for this bum Pierre!

Ok we are only a few games in so I’m not giving up for the year, but this is exactly what my fears were. Our pitching is stud, no question, but you still have to score runs to win. Right now all the concerns everyone has expressed are happening. I fear it may be a long, long summer if we don’t find a way to start scoring runs. Gotta hope that guys start hitting. Great outing by Freddy today and surprise, surprise Mr. Linebrink! The season isn’t even a week old gang, hang in there!

I’m not trying to be the Kool-Aid drinking, glass half full kind of guy with my comments. I’ve been busy with work and have only seen parts of the second and third games with Cleveland to date.

And I am just as disappointed with our start as anyone else. But we have to be realistic and realize that there are 157 games left. A four-game winning streak in July would not bring this kind of gloom and doom so we can’t overreact to one in April.

Offense was and is my biggest concern with this club. And defense on the left side of the infield. Teahen has to step up in both categories. I did not like the trade for him and wish that Beckham had been left at third and another option found at second. Mainly because I am not comfortable with Teahen’s defense at third. If he were that good a defensive player, the Royals would not have moved him to make room for Alex Gordon. And Alexei has to come out of his funk and show us that he is the shortstop that Ozzie believes he can be. The Sox cannot contend if the left side of the infield does not improve.

As far as the hitting goes, it will be interesting to see how much patience Ozzie and Kenny have with the current lineup. There is an awful lotof pressure on a second-year player — Beckham — to produce in the critical two-hole. The lineup as it stands right now is not good enough to win 85-90 games. The pitching certainly is, even the bullpen. The bullpen has not been at its best but it has not had any meltdowns and has kept us in games. Two extra-inning losses and a 2-1 loss are no reason to cause panic about the pitching staff.

Obviously, I have had a busy few days . . . . I meant to make reference to a four-game “losing” streak above and not a winning skein.

Baseball seasons are a long, bumpy grind. The bumps just happened to start in the fist week this year . . . . .

Well, they have nowhere to go but up, but this does look eerily reminiscent of last year. And I do remember last year Ozzie repeatedly saying they just needed one good run. Aaaand, we’re still waiting.

Let’s avoid that sweep today!

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