April 2010

A Note to our Fans from the White Sox

In case you didn’t receive the email or tweet, here are Opening Day well wishes from your White Sox.

Opening Day is here!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Today’s Lineup

Pierre 7, Beckham 4, Quentin 9, Konerko 3, Kotsay dh, Rios 8, Pierzynski 2, Teahen 5, Ramirez 6.  Buehrle pitching.

See previous posts for key Opening Day notes.

Thanks

Special thanks to White Sox ace Billy Pierce for coming in to the ballpark early today to take part in news coverage of Opening Day.  Always class.

Comcast Sports Net

Will be live at the ballpark today from noon to 1 pm with their pregame show.  Look for Frank Thomas and Kenny Williams on the hour-long show.

Wow

If you didn’t have a chance to watch WGN-TV’s “What it means to be a White Sox” last night, you have to find time to see it.  Great interviews.  Hard-to-find footage.  All credit goes to Bob Vorwald of WGN who spent two years collecting interviews and footage and creating the hour-long show and book (available from Triumph Books).

Good Morning

And happy Opening Day!  Early morning at USCF …

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Counting Down

Friday, April 2, 2010

Opening Day Preparations

Work continues here at the ballpark in preparation for Opening Day on Monday (and the weather forecast keeps getting better and better … but no jinxes)

Atlanta

The White Sox take on the Braves tonight and tomorrow before heading home for a 10 am workout on Sunday (closed to the public).  First pitch comes at 1:05 p.m. Monday.

Preseason Prognostications

The Sox have been picked everywhere from second to fourth in the AL Central, but How about this shout-out from Ken Rosenthal of FOX?

Two Great Left-handers

Mark Buehrle is scheduled to make his eighth career Opening Day start on 4/5 vs. Cleveland, breaking a tie with Billy Pierce for the most in club history.  Buehrle made five straight season-opening starts from 2002-06 and then again in 2008-09, while Pierce started the openers
in 1951-52, ’54, ’56-59 … Buehrle’s streak of five consecutive Opening Day assignments from 2002-06 was the longest by a Sox pitcher since Wilbur Wood made fi ve in a row from 1972-76.  Buehrle has gone 2-1 with a 3.99 ERA (17 ER/38.1 IP) and four quality starts on Opening Day, while Pierce was 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA (20 ER/54.1 IP) in season openers.

Mark Buehrle and Billy Pierce’s Opening Day starts:
BUEHRLE
Yr W-L IP H R ER BB SO
02 W 6.0 2 1 1 2 5
03 L 7.0 6 2 2 3 1
04 ND 6.2 8 3 2 1 1
05 W 9.0 2 0 0 1 5
06 ND 4.0 4 3 3 1 1
08 ND 1.2 7 7 7 1 1
09 ND 5.0 6 2 2 3 3

PIERCE
Yr W-L IP H R ER BB SO
51 W 9.0 10 3 2 2 6
52 L 8.0 6 3 3 4 4
54 L 6.1 11 5 4 3 5
56 W 9.0 5 1 1 3 5
57 W 11.0 8 2 2 3 9
58 L 6.0 9 4 4 1 6
59 W 5.0 7 4 4 1 1

Other Notes of Interest

Paul Konerko is expected to make a club-record 10th straight Opening Day start at first base for the White Sox … the Sox projected lineup features five players who will make their first Opening Day start with the club (Gordon Beckham, Andruw Jones/Mark Kotsay, Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Mark Teahen).

How the projected lineup has fared on Opening Day:

Pierre — .321-0-1

Quentin — .000-0-0

Konerko — .370-2-12

Jones — .200-3-4

Kotsay — .250-0-0

Rios — .467-2-4

Pierzynski — .300-1-4

Teahen — .235-0-1

Ramirez — .000-0-0

Historic Heroes

SOX OPENING DAY HEROES

1959 – Nellie Fox hit a game-winning, two-run home run in the
14th inning, to lead the Sox to a 9-7 victory at Detroit.
1960 – Minnie Minoso belted a pair of home runs, including the
Sox last Opening Day grand slam, vs. the K.C. Athletics.
1981 – Carlton Fisk, in his return to Fenway Park, hit a dramatic,
three-run home run in the eighth inning to lift the Sox to a 5-3 win
against Boston, his former team.
1996 – Frank Thomas hit the earliest home run in major-league
history when he connected on a fi rst-inning, two-run shot off
Seattle’s Randy Johnson on 3/31/96 at The Kingdome.
1999 – Darrin Jackson broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run home run
in the fi fth inning at Seattle, and Paul Konerko hit his fi rst home
run in a White Sox uniform, a two-run shot.
2002 – Mark Buehrle (23) becomes the youngest Sox pitcher
to make an Opening Day start since Britt Burns (22) in 1981.
2005 – Buehrle and Shingo Takatsu combine on a two-hitter in
the White Sox 1-0 victory over Cleveland.
2006 – Jim Thome, playing in his fi rst game with the White Sox,
hit a three-run homer vs. Cleveland, his former team, to lead the
Sox to a 10-3 victory.
2008 – In a 10-8 loss at Cleveland, Thome became the fi rst
White Sox player since Sammy Sosa in 1991 to hit two home runs
on Opening Day.
2009 – Thome hit a game-winning, three-run homer in the eighth
inning and Buehrle tied Billy Pierce’s franchise record with his
seventh Opening Day start in the Sox 4-2 win over Kansas City.

Not Really Celebrating

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter against the White Sox on April 16, 1940.  Feller will be at the ballpark Monday as a guest of The Chicago Baseball Museum, and will be appearing downtown on Tuesday to talk about his 70-year-old feat.

Feel Good

This from an email sent in by a fan:

My eight-year-old son and I recently attended spring training in AZ and were very pleased with the players from the White Sox organization. While we did not have the opportunity to attend a game, we did watch the White Sox practice before the Dodgers/Giants game at Camelback on 3/31/10. Several of the players were accomodating and encouraging towards the children, but I was especially impressed with relief pitcher Randy Williams. While most players get easily annoyed by ‘persistent’ children, Randy was very friendly and gave the kids ample attention. My son, who aspires to be a left-handed pitcher, especially enjoyed the interaction (as did I, since he handled my teasing back very well). I think it’s great that some players go out of their way to inspire kids, and this reflects well on the White Sox organization.  We look forward to seeing the White Sox play when we next have the opportunity. Thanks, Terra

Your Picks

Let me know who you think will lead the White Sox in the following statistical categories:

Batting Average

Runs Scored

Home Runs

RBI

Stolen Bases

Pitching Wins

Lowest ERA

Strikeouts

Saves

Save your answers and let’s compare them in September.

Sox Shots

Remember, we are asking every White Sox fan attending Monday’s game to take a photo of the first pitch from your seat and send it in to soxshots@mobilebullpen.com.  We will compile an online scrapbook of the moment (and really any other shots you want to take and send in to us that day) for all Sox fans to visit later Monday and in the week ahead.  Our goal is to create a virtual, 360-degree series of photos — all done by our fans — of Mark Buehrle’s first pitch.

Remember to send your photo in on Monday …

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away dugout.JPG
 

 

 

 

Opening Day Approaches

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sweet Home Chicago

Flew back to Chicago last night after six weeks in Glendale.  Nice to be home, see my family, sit on my own couch watching my own TV, sleep in my own bed and actually drive my own car this morning.

Thanks to all for making my transition back easier by arranging for these 80-degree temps in Chicago for today and tomorrow.  Forecast for Monday keeps getting better, too (65 degrees, 20 pct chance of rain).

Final Roster Moves

KW, Rick Hahn and Ozzie made the final roster moves on Wednesday to get us down to 25 guys (I’m sure by now you’ve seen them).  The final decisions really revolved around Sergio Santos making the team (what a story!) and Jayson Nix making the club over Brent Lillibridge.

The last seven guys were told Wednesday … never an easy morning, but the last two conversations were special.

With MLBNetwork cameras running, Santos was told he had made the club.  The crew followed him out to the field and then filmed as he passed the good news along to his friends and family.

The last conversation was with Randy Williams.  After years of not making a Major League Opening Day roster — in fact, on several occasions being the last guy cut — Williams was told he had earned a spot.

Of course, this is the White Sox, so it is never that easy.  First, we had to scare the poor guy by calling him in and telling him that we had received an offer for him from another team and that he had been traded!  The joke was quickly over and everyone congratulated the veteran reliever.

Preparations

Back at the ballpark today in beautiful weather, it was great to see all the work underway getting ready for Opening Day.  Workmen were all over both dugouts, the grass looks amazingly green (Roger is the best), and the outside of the ballpark was getting sprayed down with power hoses.  Can’t wait for Monday.

Best Memories

This will be White Sox Opening Day No. 20 for me.  I’d love to hear all of your favorite moments (on the field or off).  Take a minute to share them with me, and with other fans, by posting on this entry.

Opening Day Details

Opening Day ceremonies at U.S. Cellular Field will feature a special tribute and ceremonial first pitch by the four members of the Chicago Blackhawks who competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, along with a pregame acoustic and National Anthem performance by The BoDeans, one of America’s premier rock bands.

Patrick Kane (United States), Duncan Keith (Canada), Brent Seabrook (Canada) and Jonathan Toews (Canada) all participated in the Winter Olympics. Keith, Seabrook and Toews won Gold for host Canada and Kane took home Silver as a member of America’s team. Toews also was voted best forward of the Games.

Prior to the first pitch Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas of the BoDeans will play a special acoustic set on the field. Hailing from Waukesha, Wis., the BoDeans are promoting the release of MR. SAD CLOWN, their debut collection of fifteen original songs, which will be released on Tuesday, April 6.

Opening Day Sox Shots

I think this could be pretty cool …

WHITE SOX CALL ON FANS TO CAPTURE THEIR ‘SOX SHOTS’ ON OPENING DAY
Fans Asked to Photograph Mark Buehrle’s Record-Setting First Pitch and Post on whitesox.com

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox are asking fans attending Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field to photograph Mark Buehrle’s record-setting first pitch and post their image on whitesox.com.  Fan images of the Buehrle’s first pitch will be posted in a special gallery, ‘Sox Shots:  Opening Day,’ on the White Sox website.

Mark Buehrle’s start vs. Cleveland on Monday, April 5 (1:05 p.m.) will be his eighth Opening Day start as a member of the team, breaking White Sox legend Billy Pierce’s club-record of seven starts on Opening Day.

The Sox Shots page will stream in real-time as fans send in their images.  White Sox fans should email or MMS their personal photo or video (up to 3MB in file size) of the first pitch to soxshots@mobilebullpen.com, along with their Opening Day message (150 characters or less) as the subject line.  After the first pitch, fans also are encouraged to submit other photos from their Opening Day experience at U.S. Cellular Field.

“We hope White Sox fans from all over the ballpark will capture the first pitch of the 2010 season on their mobile phones,” said Scott Reifert, White Sox vice president of communications.  “By immediately uploading the images to whitesox.com, fans can create a 360-degree virtual image of the historic first pitch.”

White Sox Opening Day also will feature a special tribute and ceremonial first pitch by four members of the Chicago Blackhawks who competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and a National Anthem performance by The BoDeans.

So basically, snap a photo of the first pitch on your phone and send it to us.  We’ll post them all on a gallery and when you get home that night, you can check them out.  Feel free to send any/all of your images from Monday.  But we really want as many different angles of the first pitch as we can get.

What It Means to Be A White Sox

White Sox fans of all ages must watch “What It Means to Be A White Sox” on Sunday night at 7 pm on WGN-TV.

I had the chance today to get a sneak peek at the show, and it features great footage and personal commentary from the greatest White Sox stars about the championship teams and moments that make this franchise so great.  The companion book is terrific as well.  I gave a copy to my dad in spring training and each day he would tell me about what he read the night before.

“The one thing that comes through on each interview with a former player,” he said, “is how much respect they have for Jerry Reinsdorf.”

“I know, dad, I know.”

To get more information about the show, expertly done by WGN’s Bob Vorwald, Click here.

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