June 2011

Double Duty Classic Clinic

Tuesday, June 29, 2011

Yesterday, the participants of today’s fourth annual Double Duty Classic hosted a clinic for 60 kids in the White Sox Inner City Youth Baseball program at UIC.

They worked on a variety of skills such as throwing mechanics and progression, hitting and base running.

As one of the coaches said, “When you teach others, you learn about yourself.” That’s the most important thing we hope this year’s participants take away from this experience.

The Double Duty Classic commemorates the 78th anniversary of the first East-West All-Star Game by celebrating the history of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players.


Here’s more info on today’s event, and this year’s rosters.  Looking forward to sharing the highlights of today’s game with you!

Sunday And The Nationals

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Streak On The Line

The White Sox enter today’s game having won 17 consecutive interleague series.  They have lost the first game in each of their four interleague series this season but have ralled to win the remaining games in all four series.  The Sox have won 24 of their last 32 at home and 13 of their last 15 on the road in interleague play.  The Sox are 18-5 in their last 23 interleague games overall and 25-7.  Since 2008, the Sox are 46-19 against NL foes.

.500

The White Sox are attempting to move within one game of .500 for the first time since they were 7-8 on April 17.

Humber

Starting pitcher Philip Humber has won four consecutive starts, posting a 3.00 ERA.  He is 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA in his last 10 starts and ranks among AL leaders in runners per 9.0 IP (5th, 9.1), opponents avg. (6th, .204), ERA (9th, 2.90) and fewest walks per 9.0 IP (9th, 2.0).

Saturday Postgame

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ozzie

Postgame today, Ozzie said he was very proud of his team and how his pitchers responded to the “short” bullpen from last night’s 14-inning loss, a situation that grew more dire when starter John Danks left after 1.2 IP due to a strained right oblique.  Guillen said three starting pitchers volunteered.

One was Jake Peavy, who struck out seven and played a key role in the two-hit shutout.

“Peavy came to my office before the game,” Guillen said, “And said, ‘I’m ready if you need me.'”

“I told him, ‘If we need you today, we are in trouble,” Guillen recounted.

Sometimes you have to be careful of what you say, you just might get it.  And Peavy responded it a big, big way.

The White Sox are 3.5 games back.

 

Saturday In The Park

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Kids Day

Kids Day snuck into U.S. Cellular Field early Saturday as little, uniformed Santos, Ohman, Thomas and Crains were all over the clubhouse and took their own version of early batting practice with Will Ohman tossing soft pitches to the kids.

After a tough, late-nite loss, nice to have the kids lighten the mood this afternoon.

Futures

OF Dayan Viciedo (Cuba) and RHP Gregory Infante (Venezuela), both at Class AAA Charlotte, have been selected to play for the International team in this year’s All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 10, at Pheonix’s Chase Field.

The 13th annual Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV and ESPN2, and can be followed live on MLB.com’s Gameday.  Game time is 5 pm CT.

Current Sox Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Edwin Jackson, Adam Dunn, Brent Lillibridge, Alex Rios and Ramon Castro appeared in the game.

Ozzie

Mentioning that Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton would likely be held out of today’s game because of last night’s workloads, Guille joked that he had warned catcher Ramon Castro to be ready in case he was needed out of the bullpen today.

Double Duty

While the team leaves for a six-game trip after tomorrow’s game, one of my favorite events occurs next week at US Cellular Field with the Double Duty Classic

Rosters for the fourth annual Double Duty Classic, presented by McDonald’s, have been announced.  Named in honor of Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe, the event commemorates the 78th anniversary of the first East-West All-Star Game by celebrating the history of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players.  An invitation-only forum will precede the game and feature a roster of speakers and prominent members of the baseball community.

The game — free to the public — will be played at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday, June 29 at 1:05 p.m. featuring the top high school players from across the country (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Washington D.C.).  The White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) high school travel team will represent the city of Chicago in the All-Star showcase.  Players will wear throwback uniforms honoring the Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star teams.  Each team will carry a roster of players from both the ACE team and players from across the country. 

Since the Double Duty Classic’s inception in 2008, 10 participants have been drafted by Major League clubs.  Alex Santana (Los Angeles Dodgers), Lance Jefferies (St. Louis Cardinals), Nick Burdi (Minnesota Twins) and Dontrell Rush (Chicago White Sox) were all selected in this year’s MLB draft.  Darrell Miller, Jr., who also played in last year’s Classic on the West squad, is the son of former MLB player Darrell Miller.  Blake Hickman and Devin Pickett, both on the East squad, have committed to the University of Iowa on athletic scholarships. 

Below are the final rosters for the game:

East West
Tyler Johnson, Harlan (Chicago) Ronelle Coleman, De La Salle (Chicago)
Jabari Brown, De La Salle (Chicago) Errol Robinson, (Washington, D.C.)
Marshawn Taylor, Simeon (Chicago) Miguel Hermosillo, Ottawa Township (Ottawa, Ill.)
Shane Brown, Simeon (Chicago) Robert Fletcher, Simeon (Chicago)
Brandon Fowler, Rich Central (Olympia Fields, Ill.) Chris Bland, Harlan (Chicago)
Dontrell Rush, Harlan (Chicago) Darius Day, Simeon (Chicago)
Jerry Houston, Mt. Carmel (Chicago) Sanford Hunt, Kenwood (Chicago)
Corey Ray, Simeon (Chicago) Toni Jones (Tampa, Fla.)
Darvon Slyvain, Harlan (Chicago) Jabari Roberts, Harlan (Chicago)
Devin Pickett, Marion Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) Jalen Purchase, Rich Central (Olympia Fields, Ill.)
Dejohn Suber, Morgan Park (Chicago) Troy Lewis (Geismar, Louis.)
Jordan Smith, Rich Central (Olympia Fields, Ill.) Victor Cole, (Memphis, Tenn.)
Ryan Perez, Westminister (Elgin, Ill.) Solomon Prince (Tulsa Okla.)
Brett Lilek, Marion Catholic (Chicago HeightsIll.) Chuckie Robinson, Danville (Danville, Ill.)
Joshua Galvan, Walther Lutheran (Melrose Park, Ill.) Darrell Miller, (Anaheim, Calif.)
Blake Hickman, Simeon (Chicago) Kevin Ross, Niles West (Skokie, Ill.)
Chris Stevens, Walther Lutheran (Melrose Park, Ill.) Kevin Phillips (University City, Mo.)
Henry Gigeous, Jacobs (Algonquin, Ill.) Clinton Hollon (Versailles, Ken.)
Marcellus Sneed, Morgan Park (Chicago) Courtney Hawkins, (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Eddie De La Riva, St. Rita (Chicago) Rock Rucker (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Shaquille Cockrell, Walther Lutheran (Melrose Park, Ill.)  
   

Series Decider

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Round Finale

Right-hander Jake Peavy, who will activated prior to today’s game in order to start, is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA lifetime against the Cubs.

One of tonight’s ceremonial first pitches will be thrown by 10-year-old Jacob Peavy, who is celebrating a birthday.

The Sox are 25-17 since 5/7, the second-best record in the American League behind Boston.

PK

Pregame Monday, I passed Paul Konerko in the clubhouse and said with a smile, “You must really like sleeping in your own bed” after his three-game, three-homer weekend in Arizona.

Apparently, it wasn’t just that as PK now has homered in five straight games to tie a franchise record.

He is the fifth player (sixth time) in White Sox history to accomplish the feat.  The last major leaguer to homer in six straight games was Carlos Pena for Tampa (6/6-12/10).

Konerko has hit in 19 of his last 20 games (.446, 33-74) with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 22 RBI.

With 54 homers in interleague play, PK trails only Jim Thome (57) and Ken Griffey Jr. (55) all-time.

Mr. Mayor and The Coach

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will attend tonight’s game and Chicago Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau, NBA Coach of the Year, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

City Showdown

Monday, June 2o, 2011

Cubs vs. White Sox

It’s that time of the year again as the White Sox and Cubs square off in the first of two intra-city series this month.  It seems that the first series always sneaks up on everyone, so here we are!

This morning, for fun, I checked out the boxscores from the very first time these two teams met in regular season contests … 1997.  I found just one player from those rosters still active … Mike Cameron.  And of course, Ozzie Guillen (2-11 in the series) and Harold Baines (0-7) were playing for the White Sox at the time.

Those 1997 White Sox dropped the first game ever, 8-3, before coming back to win the next two, 6-3 and 3-0 (behind Wilson Alvarez).

The White Sox own a 41-37 edge all-time in regular season play and have won seven of the last nine and 11 of the last 15.  For all kinds of White Sox vs. Cubs info … read on.

2011 STORYLINES

Since interleague play began in 1997, the White Sox lead the all-time series, 41-37, and have outscored the Cubs, 382-358 … the Sox are 23-16 at home and 18-21 at Wrigley Field.

The Sox have won seven of the last nine games and 11 of 15 after the Cubs had won six in a row and nine of the previous 10 dating back to 2006.

The White Sox won four of the six games in 2010 (two wins at U.S. Cellular Field and two at Wrigley Field) … Jake Peavy (7.0 IP), Sergio Santo and Tony Pena (1.0 IP each) combined for a three-hitter on 6/25 as the Sox shutout the Cubs, 6-0 … the Sox fell to the Cubs on 6/13, 1-0, after Gavin Floyd and Ted Lilly each took no-hitters into the seventh inning.

The Sox won four of the six meetings in 2009, including the final three (6/27-28/09 at U.S. Cellular Field and 9/3/09 at Wrigley Field) … recorded the first back-to-back shutouts in series history on 6/28/09 at home and 9/3/09 at Wrigley Field.

WINS AND LOSSES

The Sox have won 11 of the last 15 games and are 11-4-1 in the last 16 series.  The Sox are 7-3-4 in season series, with their only losses coming in 1998 (0-3 at Wrigley Field), 2004 (2-4) and 2007 (1-5) … the Sox best records have come when they were 4-2 in 2010, 2009, 2006, 2003, 2001 and 1999.

The Sox have won 10 of the 13 series at U.S. Cellular Field, with the only losses coming in 1999, 2005 and 2007… the Sox are 7-6-1 in the 14 series at Wrigley Field (their victory on 9/3/09 is considered a series win).

Each club has recorded three-game sweeps at Wrigley Field, with the Cubs accomplishing the feat in 1998, 2004 and 2008, and the Sox in 1999 … each team has recorded one sweep at U.S. Cellular Field: the Cubs in 2007 and the Sox in 2008 … the Sox have been in position to sweep the Cubs at home seven times but have won only one of the finales.

The Sox five-game winning streak from 6/27/09-6/12/10 is their longest in the series … the Cubs sixgame winning streak from 2007-08 was the longest by either team.

The Sox posted a four-game winning streak at home from 6/27/09-6/26/10, their longest in the series … they have recorded three, three-game winning streaks at Wrigley Field, most recently on 9/3/09-6/12/10 … the Cubs own three, three-game winning streaks at Wrigley Field, most recently on 6/20-22/08, and posted a series-best, four-game winning streak at U.S. Cellular Field spanning 2006-07.

STATISTICS

The Sox are hitting .259 (677-2,615) with 110 home runs and 382 runs scored (4.9 per game) alltime … they own a 4.24 ERA (324 ER/688.0 IP) … the Sox have outscored the Cubs, 382-358.

At U.S. Cellular Field, the Sox are hitting .250 (319-1,275) with a 3.65 ERA (145 ER/358.0 IP) and have outscored the Cubs, 186-160 … they have scored 10-plus runs three times, a 10-3 win on 6/27/08, a 13-9 win on 6/28/02 and 12-2 on 6/24/05.

At Wrigley Field, the White Sox are hitting .267 (358-1,340) with a 4.88 ERA (179 ER/330.0 IP) and have been outscored by a 198-196 margin … they scored 10-plus runs in back-to-back games on 6/16/02 (10) and 6/20/03 (12).

Sox starters own a 4.24 ERA (111 ER/235.2 IP) all-time at U.S. Cellular Field and a 4.69 mark (118ER/226.2 IP) at Wrigley Field.

Paul Konerko is hitting .309 (51-165) with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in his last 45 games … his 16 home runs lead the Sox, and three of his 29 career multihomer games have come vs. the Cubs

Alexei Ramirez is hitting .313 (21-67) with four homers and nine RBI in 17 career games and Gordon Beckham is batting .359 (14-39) with five RBI in 12 career games (has a hit in 11 of the 12 contests).

Carlos Lee hit a pair of grand slams, including a game-ending shot on 6/8/01.

Mark Buehrle (5-4) is the Sox all-time wins leader, while Freddy Garcia (3-0) and Jon Garland (3-4) are the only other Sox pitchers with more than two victories in the crosstown series … Garcia is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA (3 ER/29.0 IP) in three starts.

 

CLOSE CALLS

Forty-four of the 78 games (56.4 percent) have been decided by three runs or less (Sox are 22-21) … the breakdown:

􀂉The Sox are 11-12 in one-run games overall and 9-4 at U.S. Cellular Field … they have won eight of the 11 games between the teams decided by two runs, going 6-1 at Wrigley Field and 2-2 at home.

􀂉The Sox are 3-7 in three-run games, losing the most recent decision on 6/24/07 at home.

 

 

􀂄In addition, five of the games have gone into extra innings, with the Sox winning three:

Date Site Result Inn.

6/5/98 Wrigley: Cubs 6, Sox 5, 12

6/9/00 Wrigley: Sox 6, Cubs 5, 14

7/7/00 Wrigley: Sox 4, Cubs 2, 12

6/8/01 Comiskey: Sox 7, Cubs 3, 10

6/9/01 Comiskey Cubs 4, Sox 3, 10

FANTASTIC FINISHES

17 of the 78 games have been decided in the final at-bat, most recently the Sox 3-2 win on 6/26/10 (Paul Konerko’s eighth-inning homer off Andrew Cashner) … seven of the Sox nine last at-bat wins have come at home … the Sox six walk-off wins vs. the Cubs:

July 9, 1999: Carlos Lee hits a sacrifice fly off Terry Adams with one out in the ninth inning, scoring Ray Durham to give the Sox a 3-2 win at home.

June 9, 2000: Ray Durham’s single off Daniel Garibay with one out in the 14th inning scores Herbert Perry in the 6-5 Sox win … Sammy Sosa forces extra innings with a two-out, two-run homer off Keith Foulke in the ninth inning.

June 8, 2001: Lee hits a grand slam off Courtney Duncan with two outs in the 10th inning, leading the Sox to a 7-3 win … it was the first-ever walkoff grand slam in interleague history.

June 27, 2003: Jose Valentin hits a solo home run off Antonio Alfonseca with one out in the ninth to give the Sox a 4-3 win … Valentin’s dramatics are set up when the Cubs scored twice in the top of the ninth to tie the game, 3-3.

June 28, 2003: D’Angelo Jimenez’s two-out single off Mike Remlinger scored Magglio Ordonez in a 7-6 victory … Aaron Rowand’s two-run homer off Alfonseca in the eighth tied the game, 6-6.

June 27, 2009: Gordon Beckham doubles off Jose Ascanio in the ninth inning for his first game-ending hit as the Sox defeated the Cubs, 8-7.

 

THE COMEBACK

The White Sox recorded the biggest comeback in the series on 6/28/02 at home when they rallied from an 8-0 deficit to defeat the Cubs, 13-9 … the Cubs built an 8-0 lead after three innings … the Sox began their comeback with one in the fourth and three more in the fifth, including Paul Konerko’s two-run homer off Kerry Wood, to close to within 8-4 … they added six more runs in the sixth, capped by Konerko’s second home run, a two-run shot off Joe Borowski to give the Sox a 10-8 lead … the Sox put the game away with three runs in the eighth … it was the Sox largest comeback in a victory since 6/13/78 vs. Cleveland when they rallied from a 9-0, third-inning hole for a 10-9 win.

RANDOM NUMBERS

The White Sox have scored 10-plus runs on eight occasions (all since 2002) and have recorded 10 or more hits 31 times (two times in 2010) … the Sox highs in the series are 13 runs on 6/28/02 at home and 18 hits on 6/12/99 at Wrigley Field.

The White Sox have hit .250 or below in nine of the 14 season series, including seven of the last 10 … their best average was a .315 mark in 2009, while the lowest was .218 in 2007.

The Sox hit five solo home runs in a 6-5 loss at home on 6/11/00, tied for most by either team in the series (also Cubs on 7/2/06 at Wrigley).

Wilson Alvarez threw the Sox only complete-game shutout in a 3-0 Sox win on 6/18/97 at Comiskey Park … Mark Buehrle threw a complete-game, two-hitter on 5/19/06, while Terry Mulholland, Jon Lieber (twice) and Mark Prior have gone the distance for the Cubs.

There has been one rainout (6/16/09 at Wrigley Field) and a pair of rain-shortened contests, both at Wrigley Field … the Sox won, 5-3, in six innings on 6/11/99 … the game was called following a delay of 2:33 … the Cubs won, 4-2, on 7/3/04 in a game that was delayed three times for 3:02 before finally being called.

 

ROSTER FACTS

A total of 155 players in major-league history have played for both the White Sox and Cubs … two current Sox players, outfielder Juan Pierre and pitcher Will Ohman, have played on both the North and South Side … Sox television analyst Steve Stone and radio analyst Darrin Jackson also played for the Sox and Cubs.

Let’s Go.

 

White Sox vs. Cubs Preparations

Friday, June 17, 2011

Information for next week’s Cubs vs. Sox series at U.S. Cellular Field

The Chicago White Sox are making the following recommendations to fans attending next week’s BP Crosstown Cup games vs. the Chicago Cubs:

  • Fans should arrive at the ballpark early to minimize delays.  Gates to the ballpark will open two hours prior to each 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 just two blocks further east.
  • New this year is a Metra stop at 35th Street, just east of the Dan Ryan Expressway, along the Rock Island line.  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
  • Also new at U.S. Cellular Field this season is the Bacardi at the Park restaurant near Gate 5.  Bacardi at the Park will open at 11 a.m. each day of the series.
  • 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.
  • Limited overflow parking with free shuttle service will be available all three days at IIT.  Remote lots will open two and a half hours before game time and tailgating is prohibited.
  • Tailgating is permitted all three days in Lots A-L.  Parking lots open two and half hours before the start of each game. 
  • 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 until three hours before the start of the game, when the rest of the parking lots open.
  • Fans holding tickets for the upper level will not be able to access other levels of the ballpark.  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.
  • A portion of Lot B at Gate 5 of the ballpark, north of 35th Street, is designated for cars displaying state-issued disability placards or license plates.
  • 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.

 

Minnesota Showdown

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vs. The Twins

The White Sox have won nine of their last 13 games and 22 of 35 as they open this six-game trip with three games in Minnesota.  The Sox are 22-13 since 5/7, the third-best record in the AL.  During the run, the Sox have gone from 11 games back in the AL Central race to four games entering tonight.

The Sox have lost 12 of their last 14 games vs. Minnesota and 26 of 33 dating to 5/21/09, so it’s time for something to change.

Paulie

PK enters tonight on a 13-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the major leagues.  Konerko is hitting .460 (23-50) with six doubles, six homer sna d15 RBI in the 13 games.

Sox Pride

Our Amateur City Elite (ACE) youth baseball program has been up and running for several years now, and it is one of my personal points of pride.  Created to provide baseball opportunities to inner city youth who typically miss out on chances to be seen and scouted by professional scouts and college recruiters, this program is making a difference.

Two White Sox ACE players were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft, six since 2007 and of course several alumni of the annual Double Duty Classic have been drafted since that event started in 2008.

Last week, Jonathon Clark of Lee University and Harlan High School (class of 2008), was selected in the 17th round by the New York Mets, while Dontrell Rush, also from Harlan, was taken in the 48th round by the White Sox. 

Through the ACE program, the Chicago White Sox offer rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team. ACE team member youth, 13-18 years of age, are engaged through an elite practice and competition schedule while receiving academic direction to prepare them for success both on and off the field.  The ACE program seeks to reverse and correct the downward trend of participation by African-Americans in the sport of baseball, which often occurs because of an overall lack of exposure to college recruiters and professional scouts.

“When we started our inner city youth baseball initiatives, specifically the ACE program, my feeling was as long as we develop players academically and athletically, and give them proper coaching, coaches and scouts will have interest in them,” said White Sox crosschecking scout Nathan Durst.  “The recent drafts show that the program is gaining traction and it is exciting to see these young men get opportunities they might not have received in years past.”

With the selection of Clark and Rush, there have been a total of six White Sox ACE team members drafted since the program’s inception in 2007.  In the 2008 draft, Troy White of Whitney Young was selected in the 48th round  and Steve Florence of Simeon was selected in the 50th round.  Last year, Kendall Radcliffe of Morgan Park became the first ACE player to sign a professional baseball contract when he was taken in the 25th round to the Texas Rangers. Also drafted in 2010 was Ronzelle Fort of Harlan, who was selected in the 46th round by the White Sox.

Click here to read comments by Ronzelle’s mom to Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell.

Kendall Radcliffe’s great uncle is Ted “Double Duty” Radcliff, a Negro League legend.  Every summer since 2008, the White Sox host the Double Duty Classic, an event celebrating the history and tradition of Negro League baseball in Chicago and promoting the next generation of inner-city baseball players.  The game features the best inner-city high school players from across the country and members of the White Sox ACE Team.  Since the game’s inception in 2008, seven non-ACE team Double Duty participants have been drafted, including three players in the 2011 draft. 

 The 2011 Double Duty Classic will take place on Wednesday, June 29 at 1:05 p.m. at U.S. Cellular Field.

Picking Up Pieces

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ozzie Pregame

“We need to be patient,” manager Ozzie Guillen said of closer Sergio Santos.  “He’s a young pitcher and there are going to be games like that.  The question is, ‘How will he bounce back.'”

Guillen added that a game like last night is a test for the entire team, not just Santos.

“We need to remember that we just have to play good enough,” he said.  “We don’t have to put pressure on ourselves to play great.  Just good enough to win.”

70s Night Aftermath

It was unanimous in the clubhouse that Comcast Sports Net’s reporter Sarah Kustok sported the best 70s outfit last night.  She’s the one on the right.  Not sure who the other guy is …

 

Early BP

White Sox pitchers again took batting practice early before today’s regular hitting session.

“What a waste,” Guillen said.  “10,000 swings leading up to interleague play so that they can strike out twice and maybe bunt once before I pinch hit for them.”

“But what about Buehrle and Garland and their homers,” I counter.

“You think this matters,” Guillen answered with a sweep of his hand at the batting cage.

Soon after, Edwin Jackson launches a home run half way up the stands in left field.

“Wow,” Guillen calls out.  “You should have been a hitter, not a pitcher!”

“I was an outfielder,” Jackson answers.  “They made me into a pitcher.”

Sox Tidbits

Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Leaguer

Manchester United soccer star was on site last night to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.  Before the game, they tried to convince the defender to kick a ball to White Sox pitcher-turned first pitch catcher John Danks.  Neville declined, opting to throw instead.  Check it out here.

Not only did he airmail Danks, Neville called for the ball back and tried again.  Once again, he almost drilled the innocent people standing back near the screen.  Classic!

The star did bring a little hardware with him.

Moose

Frequent readers know what I think of Moose and I am sure you also know he his battling (and winning) against cancer.

Yesterday, Moose made it down to the park to visit and say hello.  He also grabbed a moment with Adam Dunn before the game, telling the Sox hitter to keep his head up.  Moose also talked about slumps during his own career.

Moose had left for home by the time Dunn homered last night, but those who gave him a call in the car on his way home to tell him about Dunn’s home run said you could hear him hollering in joy over the phone.

Dunn deserves the credit, but I’m giving it to Moose.

Something Special

Paul Konerko has recorded an extra-base hit in a career-high eight straight games, tying Hall of Famer Al Simmons (August 1935) for the longest streak in White Sox history.  He goes for the record tonight.

Konerko also recorded an RBI in eight straight games from 5/28-6/7, the second-longest streak of his career behind a nine-game stretch in July 2000.  Konerko compiled a franchise-record, seven-game streak with a RBI to open the season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other players in Sox history with two RBI streaks of seven-plus games in one season are Albert Belle (1998), George Bell (1992) and Zeke Bonura (1937).

Trivia

This question came up before today’s game …

Eight pitchers have struck out 1,000 batters in their first five seasons.  Only one — still active — reached 1,000 strikeouts in 2002 but has not recorded 100 career victories.  Can you name him?

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