March 2011

Today’s Interview with Jake Peavy

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

“I felt okay, I really
did. Obviously there is some fatigue there, but that’s part of building your
arm up and getting it strong.  Like I
said, here we go again, we tried it before and hopefully it can sustain it this
time.”

On being pain-free
and throwing nice and easy

“Just being able to
put those wings on and come back tomorrow and feel a normal soreness, not
anything we would deem painful. We hope that’s the case and I certainly think
that having the medication in my system and all that treatments that have been
done should help.

On retiring all 13
batters

“It’s always good to
get people out, you know your pitches are sharp.  I feel fortunate not to lose a whole lot of
feel.  I tell people all the time, I’m
going to throw strikes and find out where we stand.  I faced Quentin a couple of times and other
guys that have been in major league camp. 
Any time you can get those guys out it’s always a plus.  Certainly I’m more concerned with how I feel
right now rather than the results.”

On being more
cautious this time around

“I’m just going to try
to do exactly what we did, I’ll start again here in five days and throw maybe
60 pitches instead of 45 and hopefully we can come out of that and my body and
shoulder will be more prepared to take that load and come out of it a lot more
pain-free than I was last time.  Last
time i got to the point where i made the start, was pretty sore, had some
discomfort, and got to where we thought we were good enough to go out there
again and after that one it was more than it was, and we were going in the
wrong direction.”

“We hope that with all
the medications we’ve used, and treatment I’m getting as well.  Hopefully that and the fact that the shoulder
already went through this one time, we hope it will taxi that load a little bit
better.  I will push to make it happen.”

On dealing with the
fact that he will be in Arizona for the season opener  

“It’s tough.  This is the first time I’ve never broken camp
with a team. Today is a tough day.  I had
my sights set on getting on this airplane with the boys today and making that
start in Kansas City and being one of the guys. 
It’s tough, but at the same time I think it would be tougher five or six
years ago when I was younger and less experienced.  I know what I need, what my body needs. I
truly want to take the mound, feeling the way i felt for a long time in my
career-and that’s healthy and able to go out there and do what I’m able to do
on a major-league field and that’s help this ballclub in a big way.  I know that I need a little more time to make
that happen.  I gave my word to Kenny and
the rest of the staff that I wouldn’t do that until I was ready and that’s
where we’re at. So, obviously a tough day, but a motivating day as well-to do
all I can do in the next few weeks to be on the mound as soon as I can in
Chicago.”

On having regular
starter intensity on the mound

“I want to get outs, I
want to make pitches.  I made a lot of
good ones today, made some bad ones. 
When I play baseball, I know one speed and one way to play.  Obviously that’s toned down a little bit
today, but that adredline and stuff from a big league stadium takes you over
that edge I was today.  I love to
compete. I don’t want to give up hits. I want to win, it’s just the way I
play.”

On having faith in
Buehrle, Danks, Jackson, and Floyd

“I have all the faith
in the world.  These guys are
experienced, veteran guys.  It’s not like
you’re asking any of these guys to go out and do anything (they can’t already
do).  And then there’s Phil, a lot of
talent there.  Phil has that experience,
just not a whole lot at the major league level, like the other guys do.  With his talent and ability to go out there
and make good things happen, along Buehrle and Danks and those guys-they’re
proven and established big league guys who have a track record-and I believe in
that track record that they’ll be able to go out there and do what they’ve
always done.  It does make it a little
bit easier to know that these guys are shouldering that load with you.  At the same time I want to be back as soon as
I can to be right at the front of the line pulling my share of the load.”

On progression of
next starts

“Just going to try to
start again in five days down here in an intrasquad game.  I will get to where I can throw 100 pitches
or so and can bounce back and do it again five days later.  Then, I’ll say I’m ready to pitch in the big
leagues.  I’m going to go out there and
give it all I can to get to Chicago and when I get to Chicago, I want to stay
there.”

 

Wrapping Up

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog Issues

Sorry to be quiet recently … actually, it isn’t that I haven’t been posting, it’s that my posts have been gobbled up as mlblogs has converted to a new “provider.”  So, I’ve kept posting even though I am not sure if anyone has been able to read it.  And talk about it happening at the worst possible time …

Roster

We should be able to announce final roster moves Wednesday after our exhibition game in Winston-Salem (weather permitting as we all cross our fingers).  Of course, there is always the chance for a late spring trade or a terrible injury, a la Brian Simmons.

I will never forget seeing him go down with a torn Achilles tendon on the final game of the spring.  Brian, a great guy, had made our club.  I was on the way to the team shop on the main concourse in Tucson when he hit a ball to the wall.  Rounding second base, he went down in a heap.  Man, talk about feeling badly for someone.  He was never the same player after that.

Two players were bothered today by small injuries.  Alexei Ramirez was scratched with an aggravated lower back and is day-to-day (won’t play tomorrow, I am told), while Chris Sale woke up with a stiff neck and looked like Lerch walking around today.

Travel Plans

Following tomorrow’s noon start at Kansas City, the White Sox will board their United charter for Winston-Salem and the game Wednesday.  The team will work out on Thursday in Cleveland before strapping it on for real on Friday.

Forecast

Friday’s forecast for Cleveland isn’t great … high of 35, 30 percent chance of rain/snow showers.  Alexei weather.

Pitching Matchups

For the season’s first two series:

AT CLEVELAND INDIANS
Friday: 2:05 p.m. CDT, CSN
LHP Mark Buehrle (13-13, 4.28) vs.
RHP Fausto Carmona (13-14, 3.77)

Saturday: 12:05 p.m. CDT, WGN
RHP Edwin Jackson (4-2, 3.24) vs.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 3.83)

Sunday: 12:05 p.m. CDT, CSN
LHP John Danks (15-11, 3.72) vs.
RHP Justin Masterson (6-13, 4.70)

AT KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Tuesday: 7:10 p.m. CDT, CSN+
RHP Gavin Floyd (10-13, 4.08) vs.
LHP Bruce Chen (12-7, 4.17)

Wednesday: 1:10 p.m. CDT, CSN
Undecided vs. Jeff Francis (4-6, 5.00)

Classic Buehrle

After striking out five batters all spring, Mark Buehrle fanned seven yesterday in the team’s 2-1 victory over Milwaukee.  Five Sox hurlers combined for 15 on the day.

Buehrle described feeling “scary good” and hoped to bottle this up and save it for Opening Day.

The lefty joked that he had set a goal for 200 strikeouts this season.

“I lead the league in 0-2 counts,” he offered.  “I just need to find an ‘out pitch.'”

Hitting Stride

Edwin Jackson, Chicago’s starter in game two of the season against the Indians, allowed three hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out six in 7.0 IP of work against the Royals Class AAA club on Sunday in his final tune-up before his start Saturday.

Thanks Fans

With a final spring training attendance total of 91, 749, the fifth-highest total in Sox history.  Thanks to all of those fans who travelled to Glendale or who live in the Valley and made their way to a Sox game this spring.

Sox Appeal

MLB released info on the top-selling jerseys from 2010, and your White Sox rank third in the American League (seventh overall).  What is impressive is that we ranked that high without a single player in MLB’s Top 20.  That speaks to how diverse and popular all of our players are …

Final Saturday

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

This morning, folks were still talking about last night’s White Sox victory which featured what amounted to a mano-a-mano battle between Lastings Milledge and Brent Lillibridge.

Lillibridge started his game with a home run.  Milledge countered with a two-run double.  Milledge made an unbelieveable throw to the plate to nail a runner.  Lillibridge added his own defensive gem.

Sometimes, when you come to a spring training baseball game, you even get to see a game within a game as players fight down to the wire for those coveted roster spots.

Remember When

Talk this morning tilted toward memories of the old Payne Park complex in Sarasota, Fla., and how our facilities today make those appear so very primative.  Ask anyone who worked/played at Payne Park about the conditions, and you will hear a different funny story.

The clubhouse at Payne Park was built on wooden stilts so that you could literally climb underneath it … in Florida, with moisture, cockroaches, rats, mice, snakes, etc. running/slithering around.

“It was nasty,” one former coach admitted. 

The building had no electrical wiring so you got electricity by running drop cords across the ceiling.

One day, former Sox player Rich Coggins received the surprise of his life.

“Help! Help!” people in the clubhouse heard.

Everyone came running to find Rich.  He had been sitting on the comode in what counted as the bathroom only to have the toilet, plumbing and Rich fall right through the floor to the sandy ground underneath.

Nice.

MVP, MVP

Fun to watch our players and staff oohh and ahhh over the highlights of Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls … and there happens to be a Bulls home game the night of our home opener.  Bet you’ll see a few White Sox players in attendance.

Congratulations

To Nicole and Patrick O’Connell, our terrific assistant director of media relations, on their marriage last night in Scottsdale.

Comments from Jake Peavy

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Comments Today By Jake Peavy

“I felt good. I felt quite a bit better than I did a few days ago. I was excited that things are certainly calming down. The biggest thing was we were doing things au natural, just trying to do everything by the book and certainly taking anti-inflammatories is not anything huge, it doesn’t happen on a daily basis.

“It’s just one of those blips on the radar. We have been treating the heck out of it, and it’s something we need to stay on top of, because, like you said, the little things are going to pop up here and there because things are a little bit different in there now. Anytime you go in, it’s never quite the same.  Today was very encouraging, though.

“I’m trying to progress and continue to play some catch and stretch it out with some long toss and push it as much as we can without pushing it. We just need to make sure we are making smart decisions so that I’m healthy, so I’ll probably do a little bit more tomorrow and not take too much away from where we are at. 83 pitches the other day, so we are taking a small step back, try and regroup and hope everything looks good.

“My body was needing a little bit more time to bounce back, and we pushed it and tried to make it respond, and it responded in a way we weren’t happy with.  Hopefully, it’s just a small step backwards from where we were at.

“You just don’t know how your body is going to react. We are leaving nothing to chance here.”

 

AJ at Center Ice

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Video of A.J. Pierzynski at Sunday’s Blackhawks vs. Coyotes game. Let’s go White Sox!

Night/Day

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tough Waking Up

Gotta love day games after night games in spring training …

Roster Moves

The camp roster dropped to 29 this morning (13 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders) with nine roster moves — DeAza, Flowers and Infante were optioned to Class AAA Charlotte, while Bruney, John Danks, Gray, Kinney, Lindsay and McPherson were re-assigned to minor league camp.

Gallagher

If you are wondering who this is, minor leaguer James Gallagher is having an unbelievable spring in major league camp.  In 11 games, he is hitting .545 (6-11) with four RBI when pulled over to play late in big league games.

Caps for Charity

The White Sox will auction autographed, game-worn caps from the starting lineup from last Wednesday’s game vs. San Francisco, with proceeds from the sale benefiting “From The Heart,” a Glendale, Ariz.-based agency.  Fans can bid on the caps by clicking here.

The starting lineup for the White Sox against the Giants included: Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez, Brent Morel and pitcher Mark Buehrle.

To hear Sox players explain why you should bit on THEIR cap, click here. 

“From The Heart” assists social service agencies that promote the positive development of youth, strengthen families and assist Glendale residents of all ages in addressing urgent needs.  This is the second consecutive year the White Sox have held the cap auction to benefit “From the Heart.”
 
The auction will conclude on Thursday, March 31 at 12:59 p.m. CT.

Gloves

Sometime in April, we are going to run a great story on our players and how they feel about their gloves.  Shortstop Alexei Ramirez treats his like “a fourth child,” and Mark Buehrle has a secret weaponn when it comes to winning Gold Gloves (you’ll need to watch the video in our newsletter to understand my clues).

But before that runs, I would like to hear from fans.  Let me know about some of your favorite glove stories … your first glove, favorite glove, a lost glove, funny glove care stories, you name it.  Send them in by posting or to my email (sreifert@chisox.com) and we’ll recognize the very best in some way.

 

 

AJ and the Coyotes

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rain

Despite rain washing away most of the Cactus League schedule, the White Sox and Padres will play (at least as of 4 pm MT) tonight in Peoria on a wet, cold, damp evening.  Mark Buehrle was scratched from the start due to the inclement weather and will throw tomorrow in a Class AAA game at Cincinnati.  Jeff Marquez starts tonight in Mark’s place.

Only AJ

Catcher AJ Pierzynski received both cheers and boo’s (what new) last night as he took center ice to drop the puck before the Blackhawks 2-1 win over the Coyotes.

Wearing an inconspicuous Nike hat, AJ dropped the puck and then quickly (a la Obama) pulled out his Blackhawks hat.  On the way off the ice, he has to pass the Coyotes bench and one player doused him with water from his water bottle.  Game on!

Camelback Ranch (Photos)

Monday, March 21, 2011

The mood and atmosphere at Camelback Ranch has been great this season. White Sox fans have been flocking to Glendale from all over to show their support for the team. Take a look at some recent shots of Camelback Ranch to get an idea of what it’s been like.

CBR6.jpg
cbr23.jpg
CBR3.jpg
CBR4.JPG
CBR7.JPG
CBR8.jpg
CBR9.jpg
Catchers and Pitchers 3.jpg

Double Dipping

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today marked about the fourth time this spring that I have written a blog post and hit save only to have it disappear.  So as I sat down to yet again re-write a post, my wife suggested, “Why don’t you just type it in word first.”  Good advice.

Blackhawks

Several White Sox players and staff, not to mention many, many fans, headed over to watch the Blackhawks 2-1 win over the Coyotes just an hour or so after our Cactus League game ended.  A.J. Pierzynski dropped the ceremonial first puck, and he spent time looking for a BHawks jersey to wear to taunt the Coyotes.  “I did wear my Blackhawks cap today,” Pierzynski offered, admitting he doubted the Coyotes would allow him to done the sweater of the opposing team.  Also scheduled to attend the game were Gordon Beckham, Giant Aaron Rowand, Sergio Santos and both Danks brothers, among others.

Peavy

Today’s news focused on Jake Peavy.  The Sox pitcher has been shut down for a day or so because of soreness (described as excessive discomfort) in his right rotator cuff.  He has been given medicine help to fight the tendinitis and will be re-evaluated in 24-48 hours.  Peavy said he might play catch tomorrow and was not ready to rule out his start on Thursday, but manager Ozzie Guillen said postgame that Peavy was unlikely to make the start.

Lookout

Several years ago in Tucson my family ventured to a spring training game.  Sitting in the outfield, I watched on television from the press box as Carl Everett’s home run soared right toward my wife and three small children.  Being a soccer player, my wife’s reaction was to kick out her leg and deflect the ball with her foot – all of which was caught on TV by the WGN cameras.  She limped for days.

Well, history does repeat itself.  Today, my daughter, son and two friends headed out from the safety of the net behind home plate to right field late in the game.  My daughter lives in fear of getting hit by a foul ball. Once again, with WGN cameras running, a home run sped right toward them.  They ducked and scattered and the ball bounded off the rocks right back to where they were sitting.

Upcoming Pitching

Buehrle Monday night at SD, Jackson on Tuesday at Sea and Danks Wednesday vs. LAD.

Yesterday

I took in Saturday’s game at Oakland as a fan, sitting above our dugout with my dad.
A few random observations …

Neat how A’s 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff played catch with a young fan from the stands during pregame.

Always love the fan reaction – no matter where we are – to Omar Vizquel (cheers) and A.J. Pierzynski (boo’s).

“What’s the matter with AJ,” A’s fans shouted, “he’s a bum,” others answered in a call and response.  Soon the many Sox fans in attendance had enough.  “He may be a bum, but he’s OUR bum,” one challenged.

At Salt River Field on Thursday, I exited the ballpark with a thousand other fans to see Vizquel quietly sitting on a bench outside the ballpark.  “Waiting for your ride?” I asked the future Hall of Famer.  “Yes,” he smiled and laughed, shades on, unnoticed.

Great to see Bert Campaneris and Ferguson Jenkins but am I really that old?

Sox fans joked with third base coach Jeff Cox about Paul Konerko’s nifty base running on Friday night.

“Yeah, and you all are telling me, ‘Don’t send Konerko,'” Cox laughed in reply.

Funniest thing that happened on Saturday involved coach Mike Gellinger.

Two strikes into the first inning, umpires realized the White Sox didn’t have a first base coach (Harold had the game off).  Always the good soldier, Gelly headed out of the dugout.  But as he headed out, he caught his toe on the dugout step and went down in a heap to a collective gasp (and then laughter) from the crowd.

“I just hoped nothing would show up on You Tube,” Gelly said this morning, adding that if it did, he had an explanation handy.  “I was just doing it to keep guys loose.

“The guys in the bullpen thought somebody pushed me out of the dugout.”

They say when you go to a baseball game, you always will see something you never saw before.  True for me on Saturday.  I have never seen an umpire hurt himself by making too aggressive of an “out” call at first base.  He almost punched himself out, but luckily was able to remain in the game and is day-to-day, like us all.

Everyone should sit close to the diamond at least once to hear Jake Peavy grunt and talk to himself on the mound.  Worth the price of admission.

The toughest three outs of any Cactus League game are ALWAYS the last three.

Out With A Bang

As pans and trays loudly crashed to the cement floor of the White Sox kitchen at lunchtime, a smart aleck offered:

“Hey, did someone drop their glove?”

Boom!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sox Win!

In a rare 4:05 pm start, the White Sox pounded out (literally) an 18-1 win over the Oakland A’s.

“Now that batting practice is over, when does the game start,” one fan offered.

Paul Konerko enjoyed a bit of a day, going 2-3 with a home run, three RBI, a sacrifice fly and a STOLEN BASE.  Yes, a stolen base … standing up.

PK’s steal in the first inning led to a run, as he then scored on a two-out single as the White Sox bench gave Konerko’s Go-Go Sox routine a standing ovation.

 

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