Sunday, March 6, 2011
Matt Buys Dinner
The White Sox and Matt Thornton agreed today on a two-year contract extension (through 2013) with a club option for 2014.
“Both sides are satisfied and I am very satisfied,” Thornton said of the deal. “It is a really exciting situation. It’s a substantial amount of money for my family and for the future of my children and hopefully their children.
“It was an easy choice with an organization like this, especially over the past five months or so, bringing in some pieces and maintaining the core guys,” Thornton said.
“They gave me a lot of security, and they put trust in me to be a part of their organization for the next three years. My goal is to make it at least four (referring to the club option for a 4th), and hopefully, I can finish my career in Chicago. I want to be in Chicago the rest of the way.
“I expect to go out and perform the same way I always have,” the lefty said. “It means a lot that I wanted to stay here and be a part of this. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the game of baseball. I love being in Chicago- the city, the fans, the organization.”
Reliever Sergio Santos didn’t want to miss his son’s first Little League game so what did he do? Drive home to SoCal and then back this morning because the moment was too important to miss.
Manager Ozzie Guillen and infielder Omar Vizquel sat talking in the White Sox clubhouse this morning. As I walked past, I thought, ‘How many thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of ground balls have those two guys fielded in their lives?’
Heading to Tucson tomorrow for our Charity Game matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’m looking forward to being back in the Old Pueblo and am debating where to eat dinner. Klein, if you are coming to the game, let me know …
Edwin Jackson, Josh Kinney, Sergio Santos, Chris Sale and Charlie Leesman throw in Tucson tomorrow, while Jeff Marquez, Lucas Harrell, Nate Jones, Freddy Dolsi, Anthony Carter, Kyle Cofield and Gregory Infante hurl vs. Cleveland in the other split squad matchup.
Friday, March 5, 2011
Apparently, all it took for us to win a spring training game was for me to return to Chicago, as Alex Rios hit a two-run homer to help lead the White Sox to a 6-1 win over the Mariners yesterday in Glendale. At least, that was all the friendly emails and text messages from “friends” in Glendale told me.
No pressure on Jake Peavy today as he makes his first Cactus League start vs. the Angels in Tempe. The other four Sox starting pitchers — Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson and John Danks — have combined to allow NO hits in 8.0 IP with four walks and four strikeouts in the first four games of this spring.
Pierre 7, Ramirez6, Dunn dh, Quentin9, AJ2, Morel5, McPherson3, Lillibridge4, De Aza8.
How tough is Darrin Jackson? He broadcast Monday’s Cactus League opener against the Dodgers after being in the hospital the night before with a kidney stone. DJ did the game and then passed the stone. Gamer.
Watch Jake Peavy’s first start of the spring on MLB Network at 2 pm (Chicago time).
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
For the second straight day, my blog post has been eaten by gremlins and so you get a second, shorter draft … sorry
I left today’s game at Cincinnati (sunny, 75 degrees) to return to Chicago. On my way out the door, I told KW, “Try to win one before I get back, would ya?”
Leave it to AJ Pierzynski to get a speeding ticket while driving to the game … in uniform. Joke in the clubhouse was that the officer wasn’t going to ticket him until he saw the name on the back of the jersey. Ozzie could hardly stop laughing.
Day started at breakfast (after a workout) with Mark Buehrle looking out the windows at the batting cages in amazement. There was Alexei Ramirez hitting left-handed. And doing it well.
Spring Training BP
I’ve heard from fans who are coming down to Glendale asking for the best way to see batting practice. For home games and games close to us (Surprise, Peoria, Maryvale, Goodyear), we take batting practice at 10:30 am to 11:30 on the fields behind our complex, not on the game field. Fans can still get close and watch the players — the area is open to the public — but you should come around behind our complex, not to the ballpark.
Sergio Santos, Chris Sale, Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton finished their workouts early today and were headed out to do battle on the links, playing two-man teams. Thornton’s expectations were low. “105 would be a good score,” the All-Star non-golfer said. Sale meanwhile, was actually giddy with the thought of winning the duel.
Chris is making a special appearance tomorrow, along with AJ Ellis of the Dodgers, at the Glendale Public Library. The duo will read to kids in support of MLB’s literacy program and Dr. Seuss’ birthday.
I remember a few years ago in Tucson when one of our former players (who will remain nameless) was a bit overmatched by Green Eggs and Ham. Awkward moment for all.
For those of you who follow me currently on @insidethesox, we are moving our Twitter account to @whitesox. Hopefully, this will be easier to find for folks, I will continue to send tweets and behind-the-scenes info and we plan to offer you even more info and feedback while basically consolidating our Twitter efforts. And if you aren’t following us on Twitter, DO IT NOW … @whitesox
Thanks to Dan Berstein and Terry Boers of WSCR Radio for bringing their show down to Glendale for three days this week. Eddie Einhorn stopped in on Monday and I dropped off a nearby foul ball on Tuesday. Busy three days! Next week, it’s Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel in town. Appreciate the support and tune in to WSCR for baseball talk in March.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Brewers handed the White Sox a 3-1 loss in our official spring training “home opener” today.
The game’s highlight came in the sixth inning when right fielder Dayan Viciedo fired a strike to third base to cut down a Milwaukee runner. It was the second good play of the day for Viciedo, who is moving from third base to the outfield this spring.
“Two good plays out there today,” said manager Ozzie Guillen. “He hit the cutoff man, and he threw the guy out. I’ve got to give credit to DeBo (Daryl Boston), Harold Baines and Devo (Devon White).
“He’s in shape,” Guillen continued. “It’s tough to play in spring training when you are trying to lose weight.”
Today included the usual pregame fun and laughter during batting practice.
Ozzie described his conversation with NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip.
“We were in the clubhouse talking to each other and I said, ‘Hold on. Let’s save each other a bunch of time. You don’t understand me and I can’t understand you.’ We laughed and went our ways.”
Chris Rose and Don Bui of FOX Sports were in camp to tape pieces with several players and Guillen, who knows both well from his stints at FOX during the World Series.
Guillen laughed that it’s just like the regular season. Yesterday, we faced Matt Guerrier and today we’ve got Greincke.
As part of pregame stretching, strength and conditioning coach Allen Thomas led players through some yoga moves, including lunging prayer twist and triangle poses.
Judging from Alexei Ramirez’s form, they don’t do a lot of yoga in Cuba.