June 30, 2010
These pictures were taken at today’s Double Duty Classic forum and game at U.S. Cellular Field:
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Get Them While They Are Hot
We’ve landed on Sunday, August 1 for our fifth annual Blog Day (Blog Day V). Click here to order your tickets today (password is: blog).
Most of you are likely repeat attendees, which I will choose to take as a sign that you liked the first four! For first-timers, our annual blog event is a chance for folks to get together, we have some great guest speakers, a few door prizes and of course, the much coveted Blog Night T-Shirt!
For those coming out this year, who would you like to have visit as a special guest? I forget from one year to the next, but it seems like we’ve had just about everyone. Who do you want to see this year?
Monday, June 28, 2010
The Impact Major League Players Can Have …
This email arrived today from a “fan”:
I work at a non-profit called Families United. We are dedicated to the Blue Star and Gold Star families of our country and strive to Honor the Fallen, Support those who Fight, and Serve their Families. Though this story does not involve my company, I can tell you that every co-worker is a huge fan of the White Sox after this weekend.
I am a proud supporter of our military. I am the proud girlfriend of Sgt. Doyle, currently on his second tour of Afghanistan. Sgt. Doyle grew up in Chicago, still has family there, and is a rabid fan of all things Chicago, especially his Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox. Before his first deployment, I treated him to a White Sox game in the second row. Gavin Floyd was signing autographs pregame, and we were fortunate enough to get a ball signed!
Currently, I live in Washington, D.C., and prior to his deployment, he was on contract work in the D.C. area. We learned that the White Sox would be playing the Nationals, and immediately knew we had to go. Unfortunately, K. was deployed in late spring. I purchase tickets anyway and told him I would cheer on his Sox, but more importantly, would do everything in my power to catch him a ball at batting practice.
I arrived and waited through the Nationals’ batting practice, and cheered wildly when the Sox took the field. A few minutes after practice started, I realized our old hero Gavin Floyd was in front of me. I yelled his name, and when he turned, I yelled that I needed to get a ball for my boyfriend in Afghanistan, hoping that I’d get lucky and he’d throw one up.
Instead, Gavin walked close to the outfield wall where I stood and asked if I had a pen. Not knowing he was holding a ball, I asked if he would sign my hat, clipped a silver Sharpie to it, and dropped it down into his hands. I’m already incredibly happy, thinking Gavin would sign the hat and I’d have something amazing to mail to Afghanistan. Instead, Gavin looks up at me and says, “Be right back.”
He carried my hat and a ball he already had and walked over to a group of five other pitchers ( Matt Thornton, Scott Linebrink, Tony Pena, John Danks and Bobby Jenks). One by one, he got them to sign both the hat and ball. When he returned to the wall and threw the ball and hat back up to me, he didn’t just turn away. He took a moment, apologized that the pen had started to run out and said to me, “tell him thank you from all of us for serving, and to be safe.”
This already would have been a dream story, but a few minutes later, I saw A.J. Pierzynski headed to the bullpen. Knowing it was a long shot, I ran that direction, and as he walked back out, I called down to him, “A.J., will you please sign my ball for my boyfriend in Afghanistan?” A.J. walked a few additional steps and said, “I can’t right now, sorry, wait what?” I explained again that my boyfriend is in Afghanistan right now and absolutely “LOVES you guys!” At this, A.J. reached up to catch the ball and Sharpie, signed the ball, threw it back up to me and said, “Tell him thank you.”
When I finally was able to speak to Sgt. Doyle, he was in pure disbelief. The morale boost this provided is unbelievable. I can’t wait until I can mail the hat and ball to him soon. I earned the title of best girlfriend, but I truly believe the credit goes to these players, specifically Gavin Floyd and A.J. Pierzynski. Too often, people ignore the military. It’s easier to just ignore our guys who are serving rather than make any sacrifice for them. And it would be easy for athletes to ignore autograph requests because they are focusing on their game. But A.J. took time from his warm-up, a time when no one should really bother him, and did one tiny thing that means so much. And Gavin went out of his way to thank Sgt. Doyle. He could have simply thrown me a ball. He could have signed it himself only. He could have signed just my hat, not my hat and a ball. But instead, he took a short walk and added so much more, and still expressed his thanks!
I know this story went on forever, but this experience meant so much to me I can’t truly express it. These guys expressed their thanks and their support of our troops in a wonderful way, and there is one incredibly happy soldier in Afghanistan right now!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
All Good Things Must Come to an End
“We had a chance,” said Ozzie Guillen of the ninth inning of today’s 8-6 White Sox loss. “And made them suffer a little bit.
“We had our best hitter — our most consistent hitter this year — at the plate with PK on deck.”
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Pierre 7, Vizquel 5, Rios 8, PK 3, Q 9, Kotsay 3, AJ 2, Ram 6, Beckham 4. Danks pitching vs. Dempster.
Notes and Such
The White Sox 11-game winning streak is tied for the sixth-longest in franchise history and the longest since a 12-game run from 6/17-27/61.
The Sox are 15-1 since 6/9, the best record in the major leagues and their best 16-game stretch in one season since also winning 15 of 16 in 1961.
Chicago is in position to complete the sixth perfect homestand in franchise history.
The White Sox are a major-league best 15-2 in interleague play, including 11 straight wins, which is tied for the sixth-longest streak in major-league history.
With a win today, the Sox will tie the 2006 Boston Red Sox, 2006 Minnesota Twins and 2002 Oakland A’s for the best interleague record in history at 16-2.
The Sox are in position to record their third ever three-game sweep of the Cubs and finish with their best ever record against the Cubs at 5-1.
Chicago has swept three straight series of three games or more for the first time in franchise history and can extend that streak to four with a win today.
The Sox are attempting to move six games above .500 for the first time since they ended 2008 with a 89-74 mark.
Paul Konerko’s solo home run off Andrew Cashner in the eighth inning last night lifted the Sox to a 3-2 win. Nine of Konerko’s 19 home runs have tied the score or given the Sox the lead, and 10 have been hit in the eighth inning or later, most in the major leagues.
Prior to today’s game, the White Sox placed Bobby Jenks on the MLB Bereavement/Family Medical Emergency List and purchased the contract of LHP Erick Threets from Class AAA Charlotte. Jenks must remain on the list for a minimum of three days. Threets, 28, is 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA and two saves in 14 games with Charlotte this season.
Our condolences to Liz Brown and members of Lorn Brown’s family at the passing of the former White Sox broadcaster, who passed away Thursday and whose funeral will be held tomorrow in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Brown, a native of Northwest Indiana, worked in the Sox TV booth from 1976-79 and again in 1983, while he also handled radio duties for the Sox from 1976-79 and again from 1983-88. Brown had the call in 1983 as the White Sox clinched the American League West title. Any great fan memories of this “Voice of the White Sox?”
To Harlan High School, White Sox Amateur City Elite baseball coach and Chicago Police officer Kenny Fullman on winning the voting for MLB and People Magazine’s “All-Stars Among Us” competition. Kenny is going to Disneyland! and this year’s All-Star Game in Anaheim. A well deserved reward for a man who shaped the lives of all of his players and volunteers countless hours each summer. Congrats (and thanks to all who voted in this on-line competition).
I like to say, the White Sox don’t lose on-line voting challenges! (Thanks to you all)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Paulie and Fastballs
As Paul Konerko walked to the plate in the eighth inning, Dan Fabian, White Sox director of baseball operations, turned to me and said: “This is a good matchup.”
Konerko then deposited Andrew Cashner’s 97-mph fastball into the left center field bleachers for a 3-2 White Sox victory.
“Tip your hat to him,” said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. “He hit a good fastball out of the ballpark.”
Think of all the hard throwers Konerko has homered against over the years: Billy Koch, Matt Anderson, Joel Zumaya, Kyle Farnsworth. You cannot throw a fastball past Paul Konerko.
“Paul is a quiet leader,” said Ozzie Guillen after the game. “He doesn’t get panicked in crucial situations. He seems to get more relaxed.”
Cashner is just the latest major league pitcher to learn the fact.
How many times in the past three weeks have the White Sox benefited from having three natural shortstops on the infield at one time. You saw it again in the ninth inning when a Vizquel to Beckham to Konerko double play sealed the deal. How about that turn by Beckham at second base.
Following tonight’s victory, the White Sox were presented with the inaugural BP Cup, which goes to the head-to-head series winner in the annual White Sox vs. Cubs showdown.
Tonight’s victory extends the White Sox winning streak to 11 games, their longest since 6/17-27/61. The 11 straight victories are tied with the 1915 team for fifth-most in franchise history. The club record of 19 straight was set in 1906.
Sox starting pitchers are 12-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 16 quality starts in their last 17 games … Sox have won 15 of last 16 and improved to 15-8 in one-run games … are 15-2 in interleague play, having won 11 straight … eighth win in last at-bat … have won 11 of 14 vs. the Cubs … have now won seven consecutive home games and are 5-0 on this homestand, which concludes tomorrow.
Quote of the Day
I heard this somewhere about five years ago …
“Winning is fun and fun is winning.”
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Pierre7, Vizquel5, Rios8, PK3, Q9, Kotsay dh, Ram6, Castro2, Beckham4. Garcia pitching.
After being asked if yesterday’s Carlos Zambrano’s off-field news overshadowed the White Sox 1oth straight victory …
“God. I hope they fight again,” Guillen said to laughter.
“When you lose it’s a distraction,” Guillen said of public and media perception of incidents like Zambrano’s. “When you win, you were hanging tough.”
Guillen said he gave Zambrano advice as a friend that he should face it like a man and admit he was wrong.
Guillen also explained that his comments about being able to manage Zambrano or any other major league player weren’t meant as a criticism of Lou Piniella.
A little Andruw Jones, Alexei Ramirez and Allen Thomas running around the field during batting practice in full White Sox uniforms like their father.
Little Ramirez even wore his dad’s shin guard on his right leg.
Ozzie gave little Alexei a hug in the dugout.
“That’s Guillen,” the little guy said.
Ghana scored it’s second goal in overtime as the White Sox played catch during warm-ups. The long ball was met with groans and shouts from the team.
The White Sox 10-game winning streak is their longest since 5/18-26/76 and are looking for their first 11-game streak since 7/7-18/56.
The Sox are 14-1 since 6/9, the best record in the majors and our best 15-game stretch since also winning 14 of 15 from 6/4-19/00 (remember that!?)
With a 14-2 record and 10 straight wins in interleague play, the Sox own the best mark in the majors.
Chicago has swept three straight series of three games or more for the first time ever.
The Sox are trying to move five games above .500 for the first time since they were 50-45 on 7/23/09 (remember what happened that day?)
Of the last six White Sox teams to record a 10-game winning streak, five finished at least 16 games above .500.
On The Farm
Class AA Birmingham shortstop Fernandeo Cortez had his 19-game hitting streak snapped.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Today in photos, thanks to White Sox team photographer Ron Vesely:
Friday, June 25, 2010
From White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen:
“Our ballclub is better when Gordon (Beckham) is on the field. He has to know that.”
“We went through the tough times and took it like men. We suffered together. When we were down, we helped each other up. That’s the way you do it in baseball.”
From Jake Peavy:
“Today was a complete team effort. Starting pitching, I think, is where everything starts. You don’t pitch, you don’t win.”
Today’s victory gives the White Sox a 10-game winning streak, the club’s longest since also winning 10 straight in 1976. This marks the 12th time in franchise history that the team has won 10-or-more games.
So does that mean your team is any good?
Well, we asked ourselves. Of the other 11 times a White Sox team has won 10 or more games in a season, only one team — ta da 1976 — didn’t post a winning record.
Here’s the breakdown:
1906 — 93 wins
1951 — 81
1908 — 88
1961 — 86
1915 — 93
1976 — 64
1967 — 89
1965 — 95
1937 — 86
1919 — 88
1901 — 83
Good omens …
Friday, June 25, 2010
Pierre7, Vizquel5, Rios8, PK3, Quentin9, Kotsay dh, AJ2, Ram6, Beckham4. Peavy pitching vs. Zambrano.
The White Sox have won nine straight interleague games and are 13-2 vs. the NL in 2010, the best record in baseball.
Their nine-game winning streak is their longest since 6/15-24/06. The Sox are looking for their first 10-game winning streak since 5/18-26/76. The franchise has had 11 winning streaks of 10 games or more in history, including a club record 19 straight in 1906.
The White Sox have swept three straight series of three games or more for the first time in franchise history.
Chicago is 13-1 since 6/9, tied with Texas for the best record in the majors and are attempting to move four games above .500 for the first time since we were 56-52 on 8/5/09.
A few comments from manager Ozzie Guillen before the game:
“I told Jerry — he’s close to Commissioner Selig — why don’t we move to the National League,” he said laughingly. “Baseball needs change.”
When asked if he scoreboard watches, Guillen said it was too early.
“People ask me, ‘Do you watch the scoreboard?’” he said. “Of course I do. Look how big it is.”
When talking about the team’s turnaround …
“Our goal was … how do we make Kenny and Jerry change their minds about this ballclub? They (the players) did it!”
Do you think Ozzie could have added White Sox fans as well?
“With the talent we have,” Guillen said, “We should play the game we have (the past two weeks).”
Out to dinner with my 15-year-old daughter last night at Cafe Ba-ba-re-ba (she has good taste), and she asks me, “So do people really read your blog?”
For those of you who voted for MLB’s and People’s All-Stars Among Us competition, thanks, and the White Sox winner will be announced live during Saturday’s telecast on FOX TV.
Blog Night V
Thanks for your patience for those who care and were waiting, but Blog Night V will be on August 1 when the White Sox play Oakland at 1 p.m.
Those of you who attended White Sox games this season have seen that during each home game, we honor a serviceman or woman as our Hero of the Game. Our fans and players love the promotion and always do a terrrific job of thanking the veteran with applause and a standing ovation. How does the soldier feel? Here’s a note from one …
Last night was the greatest honor ever bestowed upon me. I am deeply humbled, as who can ever be truly deserving of such an outpouring. Aside from the birth of my daughters, it was the best single moment of my life, and short of winning American Idol or being elected President, a unique life experience.
Last night, from a personal standpoint, was very important to my two daughters (K. 11, and C. 7) in helping them replace sad memories of me being deployed to Iraq for two years of each of their lives with good ones of cheering crowds and autographed baseballs.
On a much grander scale, I was struck last night with how great the American people, and Chicagoans in particular, are. While I may have been the guy in uniform on the field, they were really cheering for all the 200,000-odd soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast guardsmen currently serving in harm’s way on our behalf. I was honored to be able to receive such an honor on their collective behalf.
Please pass on my sincere thanks, as well of that of my family, to all who made last night possible.
Thank you for your support of the troops.
That should make all of you fee good. Go Sox!