October 20, 2010
Alexei Ramirez was named the shortstop on The Sporting News American League All-Star Team, as voted on by a panel of 326 major-league players, 25 managers and 24 general managers. Here is a brief interview with and reaction from the shortstop:
Q: Alexei…three years in Majors, two at shortstop, now this special honor “Sporting News All-Star Shortstop/American League”- where baseball people (players, managers and general managers) voted you the best shortstop in the American League – what do you think of that honor? Your development at shortstop?
A: I’m super thankful to the people that voted for me; it really is special. Overall, I’ve learned they key to success is staying patient; that’s what I’ve tried to do.
Q: How does it make you feel that you were voted the best at position with so many great players, such as Derek Jeter, etc?
A: It makes me really happy knowing that this group (many of my peers) voted for me – with so many great players, as you mention, at the position. It’s recognition for the work I’ve tried putting in in the offseason and for my performance on the field. I’m just thankful for the recognition from the group.
Q: What are you doing right now? Working out, resting?
A: I’m not working out, training…just yet. I’ll start my program next month (November) and will follow my same offseason routine as the past two seasons.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Here is the link for the end of season video created as a Thank You to the fans: http://bit.ly/9TKrRL
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Pregame comments by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen today:
Reporter: Does it seem like not too long ago you were meeting in Glendale for the first time?
Ozzie: No. It’s a long time they way the summer was. I mean, it was a crazy, weird, odd season. I think it was a very unique, very different season, at least for me. Very tough, very, very hard one. A lot of issues on the field and off the field, but it was fun. It was fun. I think the best thing about any season, when the manager says he feels proud of his players and they didn’t win, that’s a compliment. I do feel proud of these players. I feel proud of my coaching staff, the way they worked with the players. The support of the fans once again, a lot of times in the beginning when we were very bad they still supported the ballclub, and then we made it interesting for them too, for them to have fun and feel proud of the ballclub. Unfortunately we didn’t’ do what we were supposed to do or what we would like to do. In the meanwhile every season is a long season if you’re not winning, you wish it could be longer because that means you’re in the playoffs and you did what you wanted to do, but in the meanwhile I’ll walk with my head up, I think every player in this room should walk with their head up because we didn’t give up. We didn’t lose. They beat us. When that happens, you can’t control that. They played all the way through the season the way I think they should be playing, and we’ll get it next year.
Reporter: Are you sad it’s over?
Ozzie: No. Well, sometimes you are. You can either say no or yes, but you get sensitive. It can be the last game for a lot of guys in this uniform. Every year you lose players, I wish it never happened, but that’s the way baseball is. You’ve got to flashback on the full season and I just think it’s going to be an interesting day. Especially this team, this team is pretty tight and they get along very well. It’s always hard to believe it’s the last game of the season, but at the same time it’s a release. All the stress, all the work all the negative things. Last night I was hugging Buehrle’s son and the first thing I said was I’m not going to see you until next spring training. That’s going to be a few months. When you’re in this business for that long you get used to it. You keep in touch with them but you’ve got your own life from tomorrow on, and that’s a good thing to have.
Reporter: Was there anything that surprised you this season? In a good way?
Ozzie: I think (Chris) Sale, he was really nice. Mo, (Brent) Morel. He played pretty well. I think the SS (Alexei Ramirez) should be a Gold Glove. There is no doubt about it; there is no better SS out there than him. I don’t care what people say. No disrespect, because there are a few SS out there I’m really high on. The kid in Texas is very good, but this kid is playing very well. If he doesn’t win a gold glove this year…he should be a silver slugger, but pretty soon he will. I think Matty was the same guy, (Serio) Santos, we didn’t know what Santos would be. The only thing negative was we just didn’t win. A lot of great things happened though, PK has a shot for the MVP, Rios, we told people what he was going to be. Juan Pierre, best worker I ever had to prepare himself for the game. I hope not, but I hope that Joey gets a managing job, but I also don’t want to lose him. Even all the tough days we had, we enjoyed it.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
White Sox General Manager Ken Williams spoke to the media prior to today’s final game of the season:
“I’ve sat in this seat quite a bit this year and never once have I dreaded it as much as I do right this second because we have to go home. We have to go home because we weren’t consistent all year. Earlier in the year when we were pitching, we weren’t hitting very well for the first couple of months in the season, and it took some guys a long time to get going. You all wonder why I have such an intense demeanor in April and May and people always say ‘There’s 100 games left, there’s 100 games left.’ Well that’s the reason why, because every game counts. When you piss away as many games as we did early in the season and you rally in the fashion we did, it makes you that much more cognitive early in the season of what you need to do to be a survivor in the end.”
On the bond that has aspired over the course of the year with Ozzie …
“I would definitely say that and I’m glad he said it. We had a strong bond before March of 2010 and I don’t expect anything other than a great working relationship on the field and off the field. I guess I disagree with the ‘going through it’ part, that wasn’t much fun. But to be on the other side of some things and to have a greater understanding of things is a positive.”
Offseason plans for the team …
“I need to give myself a break here over the next couple of weeks because over the last month, I have been literally going through a countless amount of permutations every day, every night. Believe me, I can put down on paper, one hell of a team, but can you afford that team, can you acquire those players? We’ll see.”
How tough is the Konerko decision?
“Under my tenure, he is the classiest player to put on a uniform. I’m not just talking about on the field and in this clubhouse, I’m talking about outside the game as well. You’ll never hear me say a disparaging word against Paul Konerko. We don’t know how it’s going to play out. There are variables that we have to go through, we have to see where we are, project our revenues and see how the team fits as a whole. He’s got some things he’s got to work through in his mind as well. Whatever it is, if at the end of the day, even if we are the ones that choose him and he doesn’t choose us, you will never hear anything in the White Sox halls, a disrespectful word against Paul Konerko. He has been that good of a player but that classy of a man.”
Realism rather than optimism about bring Konerko back?
“Let me be clear on something. I think Jerry Reinsdorf, Ozzie Guillen and myself would like to have him back. Let’s be completely clear on that. Now, whether we can do that and whether than happens or not because of all the variables, I have no clue right now. But we’re clear with our desires as we sit here today.”
Do you think you might make more changes this year with the roster and such?
“I don’t think the volume of players is going to change simply because we have young guys that were able to come up and show that they can be the special players. The way Brent Morel has played third base, moving to his left, moving to his right, coming in on balls and hitting the ball to right field, pulling some balls inside, he has shown that he is ready to play here. When you look at the infield with guys like Morel, Ramirez, Beckham and not knowing where Paul is going to go, if you had to go with Viciedo, those are pretty good fits for a defensive unit out there that has offensive capabilities. There’s not a great gap of where we think we are and where we have to be. It’s a nice blend of veterans and youth. The problem is, I think we need, which I’ve always said from way back, we need some balance from the left side. Whether that’s A.J. coming back or going out on the free agent market or making a trade, we have to have some left-handed balance in the middle part of our lineup, or at least around the fifth or sixth spot.”
How much do you think the economy and attendance affect your payroll?
“How much? I don’t know. I’ll get the initial number in the latter part of October and then there will be another projection in November and then again when we head to winter meetings in December. When we start opening it up for season tickets yet another number. It’s kind of an evolving number. I just have to figure out what it is.”
Bobby Jenks …
“As I sit here right now, this is something we have to really evaluate strongly. I’m not going to talk about it right now but what I will say is that Bobby Jenks has been good here for a long time. That banner up there, he’s one of the reasons we have that banner. “
The importance of Jake Peavy coming back completely healthy …
“That hurt a little bit, losing one of the best pitchers in the game. That might affect you. It’d have been very nice to have him.”
Lineup plans …
“We’re going to try to get the best hitters on the market, from an offensive perspective. Like I said, we’ve got to get a left-handed hitter in here that can do some damage. Do you need power in the middle of the order in the American League? I have always believed that. One thing that you have to keep in perspective is, we have a team or are evolving into a team that has power throughout the lineup and it will be spread out because Morel, as you’ve seen, is going to grow into a little power. Alexei has his share. Beckham has his share. Flowers is going to be a guy. Viciedo, Rios, you’re got it throughout the whole lineup. I think we just need somebody to balance us out in the middle of it. It isn’t easy to get.”
How do Manny and Jones fit into next year?
“I don’t know yet. It’s too earlier to tell. I don’t know what their expectations are and I don’t know what we’re able to do.”
Disappointed that Manny wasn’t able to help more?
“As soon as Manny walked in the door, I noticed a little more life in the team. That was one thing we wanted to give to the team, a little bit of life, a little bit of backing front office to tell them we still believe in those guys. I think that eventually he did help. Did it manifest itself in terms of him actually doing things on the field? No, but his presence helped other guys in the lineup, especially those guys in front of him. It was a matter of him not having enough of at-bats before he got over to us. But I don’t regret it. He came in and worked hard and helped out a lot of the other guys with some of their approaches and hitting and talking through some thinking with them. He was a good citizen so, listen, if the criticism comes my way for going out and getting a guy who we thought would make an impact, I’ll take that. We want out and tried and did what we do. We gave it a shot.”
Sunday, October 3, 2010
A 2010 Parting Laugh From Ozzie Guillen:
Guillen, explaining that he saw a fan in the stands with a handwritten sign that read: “Keep Ozzie Until The Day I Die.”
Guillen said he told the guy, “Hey, get down, someone may shoot you!”
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The 2010 White Sox Season
What a crazy, bizarre year! This was easily — in my 20 seasons of White Sox baseball — the most bizarre season I’ve experienced. 2010 was really three campaigns smushed into six months. We fought through the first two months — which would normally be enough to kill most teams and most seasons — enjoyed an extraordinary, record-setting mid summer hot streak, then stumbled in August before righting the ship somewhat (albeit too late) in September.
The roller coaster of on field rsults created a very unique emotional season. Out of it. Back in it. We might not lose again to a sense of finality as our bullpen health and struggles seemed to doom us (along with the Twins stunning success) well before the season closed.
Strange, in a sense, because if you look at all of the phases of the game — offense, defense, starting pitching, bullpen — we had periods of time, sometimes lengthy, when we just dominated. Then there were other times when we really struggled. I can’t ever recall that type of dramatic swing in performances in these areas during a single season.
A few of the story lines as I think back (feel free to comment with your own):
Ultimately outperformed expectations
Still a sense of falling short
Amazing Paul Konerko. Class. Flair for the dramatic. Clutch. Definition of MVP.
Future excitement about Chris Sale, Brent Morel and Dayan Vicideo
Awe at Omar Vizquel’s durability and flair
How good our defense was in mid summer with three shortstops on the infield
Fun watching our starting rotation click during our hot streak
Winning four of six against Chicago’s NL team
Dominant bullpen when all available
Alex Rios patrolling centerfield and hitting line drives
Andruw Jones’ 400th HR
Juan Pierre on the base paths
Four World Champion trophies in one place
Frank Thomas Day
Nancy Faust’s Goodbye
A Few Notes to Remember
25-33 over the first 58 games, 9.5 games out
26-5 run and a division lead of as much as 3.5 games
11 straight wins (June 15-26)
First place as late as 8/11
Eighth above .500 finish in the last 11 seasons
Buehrle winning at least 10 games with 30 starts and 200 IP for 10 straight years
Pierre becoming the first Sox to lead the AL in steals since Luis Aparicio (1961)
As another season ends, thank you to all the White Sox fans who followed this blog in 2010. I wasn’t always the most consistent of correspondents — my day job seemed to get in the way a lot this summer — but I so appreciate your coming back here time and again, your feedback, questions and comments and most importantly, your passion for the White Sox. It’s what keeps all of us coming back …
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Final Saturday of the Regular Season
WHITE SOX SINCE JUNE 9
Even with the streaky summer, the White Sox are an American-League best 62-41 since 6/9, hitting .281 (995-3,541) with a 3.69 ERA (379 ER/924.1 IP) and a 503-411 edge in runs scored. During that span, the Sox are hitting a major-league best .301 (268-890) with RISP to raise their average to .277, third best in the American League behind Minnesota (.285) and Texas (.277).
Chicago is 2-11 in its last 13 games vs. American League Central opponents and 8-17 in its last 25 … the Sox, who are 30-40 against the AL Central this season, have gone 7-9 vs. Cleveland, 8-10 vs. Detroit, 10-8 vs. Kansas City and 5-13 vs. Minnesota.
CHICAGO’S MAN OF STEAL
Juan Pierre is attempting to become the second player in major-league history to lead both the American and National Leagues in stolen bases, joining Ron LeFlore (1978 with Detroit and 1980 with Montreal) … Pierre led the NL with 65 stolen bases in 2003 (Florida) and tied for the lead with Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins with 46 in 2001 (Colorado). Pierre is also looking to be the first White Sox player since Luis Aparicio (1961) to lead the majors in stolen bases.
Pierre, who ranks 30th all-time with 525 stolen bases, leads all of baseball with a career-high 66 steals in 2010, 14 more than Houston’s Michael Bourn (52).
WHAT A STEAL!
The White Sox rank second in the American League with 156 stolen bases, the most by the club since 1992 (160). Chicago stole 113 bases in 2009 and 67 in 2008.
SOX PEN SET CLUB STRIKEOUT MARK
Chicago relievers established a single-season club record last night vs. Cleveland with 439 strikeouts, breaking a tie with the 2009 bullpen (435). The Sox pen leads the American League this season in strikeouts and strikeouts per 9.0 IP (9.01).
Paul Konerko needs just one home run to record his third season with 40 home runs and 100 RBI … Konerko, who accomplished the feat in 2004-05, trails only Frank Thomas (5; 1993, ’95-96, 2000 and ’03) for the most 40/100 campaigns in club history.
KONERKO IN THE TRIPLE CROWN RACE
Paul Konerko ranks among the American League leaders in home runs (2nd, 39), RBI (T5th, 111) and average (8th, .312). The last White Sox player to rank in the Top 5 in the AL in
home runs, RBI and average in a single season was Albert Belle in 1998 … Belle finished second in both homers (49) and RBI (152) and was third in average (.328).
Chicago’s last player to finish among the fi ve best in each of the AL’s Triple Crown categories: home runs (2nd, 36 by Carlos Quentin in 2008), RBI (5th, 120 by Jermaine Dye in 2005) and average (5th, .317 by Magglio Ordonez in 2003).
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK
The White Sox have come from behind in each of their last 11 victories and rank second in the American League with 44 comeback wins … only New York (47) has recorded more comefrom-behind victories in the AL this season.
SOX SS MAKES CASE FOR THE SILVER
Alexei Ramirez ranks among American League shortstops in average (1st, .281), home runs (T1st, 17) and RBI (2nd, 66) … he is tied with former Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez (now with Atlanta) for the AL lead in home runs as a shortstop. Ramirez also leads all AL shortstops with 763 total chances. No Sox shortstop has ever won a Silver Slugger Award.
LOOK AT ME, I CAN BE CENTER FIELD
Alex Rios ranks second in club history with 21 home runs asa center fielder, tied for second with 86 RBI and fourth with 89 runs scored … he needs two home runs to tie Aaron Rowand (23 in 2004) for the franchise record for center fielders.