April 2011

Finally, The White Sox Home Opener


Dunn The Optimist

Adam Dunn told reporters today that he doesn’t want to miss the team’s home opener Thursday at US Cellular Field.

 

“One thing I definitely don’t want to do is miss Opening Day at home. I’m going home tonight and planning on playing tomorrow and we’ll go from there. If it’s really sore and if I’m feeling like this tomorrow, we might have some problems. I’m anticipating it getting better. I’m a quick healer, like Wolverine. I asked the doctor yesterday how long these things take and he gave me a general answer for the public. I’m subtracting 15 days off it. If I can tolerate [the pain], then I want to play. I don’t mind playing when I’m not 100 percent.”

A Day of Dunn

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What?

Awoke this morning to a 3 a.m. email from GM Kenny Williams giving us a medical update on White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, who ended up having his appendix removed in a laproscopic procedure at a Kansas City hospital during the middle of the night.

By mid game, Dunn was back in the Sox clubhouse, scheduled to return to Chicago with the team following today’s game.

Apparently, Dunn felt discomfort in his abdomen during the White Sox extra-inning loss last night.  Head Trainer Herm Schneider drove Dunn to the hospital after the game, and things moved on from there.

Estimates are that Dunn’s recovery will be quick and that the slugger should miss up to five games.

So I wake up at 6:30 am and check emails to find KW’s update.  “What?  Wow?” is my reaction.  I shoot an email to Bob Beghtol and Pat O’Connell on my staff to make sure they are aware (Bob is with the team in KC).  Bob was up working on game notes for today’s game.  As we talked, the first media question came in at around 7:15 am.  Just how does information like this get out?  In the middle of the night?  In KC?

So by 8 am, we’ve informed the media traveling with our team, answered other media questions via email and text, informed our radio rightsholder and sent a note around to all Sox employees, informing them of the “painful” news.

That’s a quick start to the day …

Busy Ballpark

Tuesday, Paril 5, 2011

Dual TVs

How many White Sox/Bulls fans are going to be flipping from one game to the other tonight?

AJ on Rome

White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski appeared on the Jim Rome show today.  In addition to talking about his offseason, potential free agency and then return to the White Sox, AJ was asked about his cheering for the NBA’s Orlando Magic.

“I need to be careful,” he laughed, “because our owner also owns the Chicago Bulls and they could come out of the east.”

But he admitted to giving Jerry a hard time via text messages.

“If the Magic keep getting the ball to Howard, they’ll be OK,” Aj offered.

Maybe the catcher just lost his tickets to Thursday night’s Bulls?Celtics game.

Bacardi At The Park

Media had the chance to walk through the ballpark this morning, stopping by the organist booth as Lori Moreland played, stopping in the Stadium Club to see the new Artisan Bar and sample great Levy fare, and finally stopping in the brand new Bacardi at the Park restaurant and bar, located on the north side of 35th street.  This is a must stop for Sox fans, featuring a full bar and terrific menu by Gibsons (we’ve eaten lunch there each of the last two days).  The space is comfortable and filled with televisions.  It’s a perfect place to meet friends before a game.  Definitely check it out.

On Thursday, the restaurant opens at 5 am with WGN-TV and WSCR 670 AM broadcasting from the space.  Stop by, cheer early and often, grab some food and prepare for Opening Day on the South Side.

Not A Quiet Off Day

Monday, April 4, 2011

Carlos

Congrats to Carlos Quentin on being named the American League’s Player of the Week after hitting .545 (6-11) with three doubles, a home run and seven RBI (five coming on Opening Day).  The honor is the second of Quentin’s career (also 6/27/10).

Opening Day Honors

The great Minnie Minoso will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Thursday, and Country & Western recording artist Chris Young (not the Dbacks OF) will sing the National Anthem for the home opener.  The 2011 season marks the 60th anniversary of Minoso’s debut with the White Sox in 1951.

Opening Day Details

For fans attending Thursday’s home opener should give this a read …

CHICAGO WHITE SOX OPENING HOME SERIES MEDIA ADVISORY

 The Chicago White Sox are making the following recommendations to fans attending Opening Series games against the Tampa Bay Rays:

  • First pitch of Opening Day, presented by U.S. Cellular, is Thursday, April 7 at 1:10 p.m.; the second game of the series is Friday, April 8 at 7:10 p.m.; the third game of the series in Saturday, April 9 at 3:10 p.m.; and the series finale is Sunday, April 10 at 1:10 p.m. 
  • Thursday’s home opener is sold out.  Tickets for the remainder of the weekend are available at the White Sox ticket office at U.S. Cellular Field, online at whitesox.com, through Ticketmaster phone lines at (866) SOX-GAME.
  • The White Sox strongly recommend that fans utilize public transportation.  The CTA Red Line stops near the ballpark at 35th Street, and the Green Line is two blocks further east at 35th Street.
  • New this year is a Metra stop at 35th Street, just east of the Dan Ryan Expressway, along the Rock Island line.  Metra will increase its service on game days to accommodate White Sox fans. For weekday afternoon games, an extra outbound train will leave the station after the final out.  For weekday evening games, Train 531 (departing LaSalle St. at 11:15 p.m.) will have more cars, and an extra outbound all-stop train will operate about 30 minutes after the last out.  For weekend games, an inbound extra train will arrive at the station about an hour before the first pitch, and an outbound extra will operate about 30 minutes after the final out.  For more information about the new Metra stop, its schedule and all public transportation options, please visit the “Getting to U.S. Cellular Field” page of whitesox.com
  • Gates to the ballpark open two hours before the start time of the Opening Day game and one and one half hours before the rest of the weekend games.  
  • Also new at U.S. Cellular Field this season is the Bacardi at the Park restaurant near Gate 5 of U.S. Cellular Field.  The restaurant will be open to the public on Opening Day at 5 a.m., with media outlets broadcasting live from the venue. A breakfast buffet, coffee and soft drinks will be served until 9 a.m. when regular food and beverage service will commence.  Fans wishing to attend the broadcasts should park in Lot A.  Bacardi at the Park will open at 11 a.m. on the day of all home games the remainder of the season.
  • Parking lots open three hours before the start time of the Opening Day game and two hours before the Friday-Sunday games.  Fans holding reserved parking coupons should display the coupons prominently as they approach the ballpark. 
  • Prepaid red coupons are accepted in Lots A, B, C and G, and prepaid green coupons are accepted in Lots F and L only.  Cash parking will be very limited when lots open (Lots G, F and L; Lot A in the early morning only).  Fans seeking cash parking should follow directional signs to available lots.  Cash parking is $23.
  • Fans planning to park and take the CTA downtown to work in the morning can park in Lot A (cash parking) starting at 5 a.m.  This option is for fans returning to the ballpark for the game.  Lot A is accessible from Wentworth Avenue between 33rd and 35th Streets.  Tailgating will not be allowed in Lot A on Opening Day until three hours before the start of the game, when the rest of the parking lots open.
  • Free shuttle service will be available on Opening Day from parking lots at 31st Street and Moe Drive (ONLY if all cash lots are filled at the ballpark).
  • Fans holding tickets for the upper level will not be able to access other levels of the ballpark this season.  This policy ensures fans safely and comfortably enjoy the game with access to the areas of the ballpark where they bought tickets.
  • In accordance with the Illinois law, smoking is prohibited in all areas of U.S. Cellular Field.  There is a designated smoking area outside of Gate 2 and Gate 5.  Those fans wishing to smoke must proceed to the ground level at the base of the ramps at Gate 2 and Gate 5.
  • White Sox car flags will be given to all fans at Thursday’s game, courtesy of U.S. Cellular.  Magnetic White Sox season schedules from Pepsi will be given to all fans at each of the next three home games.
  • Lot B at Gate 5 of the ballpark is designated for cars displaying state-issued disability placards or license plates.  In addition, any guests in need of assistance will be allowed by ballpark personnel to be dropped off and/or picked up in Lot B.  Fans will have access to Lot B and Gate 5 (located north of the ballpark; across 35th Street) via 33rd Street.
  • Alcohol cannot be taken from the park or consumed on public ways, in observation of city regulations.
  • Finally, the White Sox ask fans to be respectful of the neighborhood and homes surrounding the ballpark before and after games.

Sunday Sweep?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Home Team Charity Run

Congrats to all the thousands of runners who took part in this morning’s 10K Home Team Charity Run from the United Center to U.S. Cellular Field.

I am proud to say that White Sox fans showed the most pride as we led the Bulls and Blackhawks in runners, but the fan bases of all three franchises turned out in strong numbers.  Proceeds of today’s run will be split among the three teams, so thank you on behalf of Chicago White Sox Charities.

I saw several White Sox front office staff running, including Matt Peterson, who clocked in at an impressive 39 minutes, I am told.  Congrats, as well, to Rocco, Greg, Lindsay, Brian and Mike on impressive runs (sorry if I missed anyone else).

Congrats as well to my wife, who covered the six miles with her good friend Carol.  Both had a blast.

Today’s Storylines

 
The White Sox are looking to start 3-0 for the 15th time in franchise history and first since 1992, when they opened the season with three straight road victories over California.
Chicago has won eight of its last nine games vs. Cleveland and six in a row at Progressive Field, its longest streak since taking eight straight from 7/14/05-5/1/06.
The Sox are looking for their second straight three-game sweep at Progressive Field (also 8/30-9/1/10).
A.J. Pierzynski needs 2.0 IC to tie Thurman Munson for 25th all-time with 1,108.1.  Pretty impressive feat.
 
Early Returns

 
The White Sox have scored 23 runs, tied with the 1915 club for the second-highest total after two games in franchise history (30 in 1951) … the Sox have scored 19 of their 23 runs in the first four innings.
Carlos Quentin’s seven RBI are the most by a Sox player after two games since Minnie Minoso also drove in seven in 1960.
Alex Rios (0-7) is the only Sox starter who has not hit safely in each of the first two games.  I am sure no one in the clubhouse has reminded him of this!

 
No RISP, No Reward

Chicago is 15-27 (.556) with RISP through the first two games of this series … by comparison, the Sox had one hit with with RSIP in their first two games of 2010 and did not record their 15th hit until 4/14 at Toronto, the ninth game of the season.

Opening Day Fireworks

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Finally

Thanks to special work by Jake at MLBAM, we’ve found a way for me to post again to this blog. I apologize for going missing over the past week, but please know it was technical. It drove me crazy to not be able to update during a crucial week leading up to the season. But now, all is good …

Yesterday

And what a day we enjoyed yesterday with a 15-10 Opening Day victory. Adam Dunn (HR, 4 RBI) and Carlos Quentin (HR, 5 RBI) led the way offensively, while Mark Buehrle improved to 3-0 lifetime in Opening Day starts against the Indians. Dunn’s homer, the seventh Opening Day blast of his career, moved him into some heady company.

Most career opening day HR:

Griffey, Ken Jr. 8

Robinson, Frank 8

Mathews, Eddie 7

Mays, Willie 7

Ruth, Babe 7

Dunn, Adam 7

Quite the list of names.

Storylines for Saturday’s Game

The White Sox are looking for their first 2-0 start since 2005 and first 2-0 start on the road since 2005.

The Sox have won seven of their last eight games vs. Cleveland and five in a row at Progressive Field.

Edwin Jackson is 7-1 with a 2.67 ERA (21 ER/70.2 IP) lifetime vs. Cleveland and 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA (6 ER/35.1 IP) in six career starts at Progressive Field.

More Opening Day Recap

The White Sox improved to 58-53 all-time on Opening Day and 14-15 vs. Cleveland … the Sox have won six of their last seven season openers. The White Sox 15 runs scored were their second-most on Opening Day (17 in 1951), and the 18 hits were their third-highest total behind 1919 (21) and 1951 (19) … the Sox eight-run inning (fourth) is a club record for Opening Day (Elias). The 25 combined runs were the most on Opening Day since 1983 when San Diego won at San Francisco, 16-13 (Elias). The Sox scored 14 runs in the first four innings, a major-league record for Opening Day (Elias). Carlos Quentin’s five RBI tied Sammy Sosa (1991) for second-most by a White Sox player on Opening Day behind Minnie Minoso’s six in 1951 (Elias). Adam Dunn hit his seventh Opening Day home run, tied for second-most all-time (see box at right) … Dunn’s four RBI tied Al Zarilla (1951) and George Metkovich (1949) for most by a player in his White Sox debut (Elias.) Quentin and Dunn became the first pair of Sox teammates with four-plus RBI on Opening Day since Al Zarilla and Gus Zernial (four apiece) in 1951 (Elias).

Rooting Interest

As a Dr. Phillips girls high school basketball game played on the White Sox clubhouse televisions before Friday’s game, only one Sox player rooted for Dr. Phillips. Can you guess who? The rest cheered for whoever Dr. Phillips was playing …

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