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.

14 Comments

Scott, any update on Moose Skowron? Also, is there an address we can send a card to?

Here we go Boys and Girls. Game one of a big series. I think we have the best man on the hill for this first game: Go Gavin and go Sox’11…..j.k.

Hi JK and all! Apologies for the long absence, I’ve been swamped with work (that’s actually a good thing, right?) and headaches (not so good).

JK, I’m with you – I’ve decided our players are as good as it gets, they have to be to be in the Majors, and they know what to do. Their success depends partly on skill, partly on confidence, and a bit on luck (see the endings of the last two games). I’m happy to watch them succeed when the do, and to still cheer them on when they fall short. And, of course, I always hope for another World Series, because that was just too much fun!

All that said, I’ve pondered the idea of Lillibridge as a leadoff hitter, when JP is in a slump. Lilli has speed, and he has shown flashes of clutch hitting. Maybe Walker could groom him to be a genuine leadoff hitter? Just a thought from a non-expert.

I guess one of the hazards of no dome is rain, so hopefully we can play and win this game!

Go Sox!!!
Peggy

No game today. But I’m watching Verlander throw a No-no through 7 so far. Manana all and go Sox’11……(hey Peggy, good to hear from you again)…j.k.

Is it too early to say go Gavin and go Sox’11? I haven’t heard of any more inclement weather, so I guess it’s not too early. I’m sorry about last night though, as I was looking forward to seeing JohnnyD and Humber pitching on Fri and Sat in Phoenix. I guess I’ll have to do my very “Peggy” best on those days (and root for Jackson and Danks). I’ll be wearing my ’17 gear Friday night and will be in sec. 122. Sorry for getting ahead of todays game, but I’ve been looking forward to this weekend since the start of the season. Go Sox’11….j.k.

There’s a bummer! I thought Gavin would win the sole game from the Twins this series, but I was wrong. Up to Mark now, since there is only one more left. Go Buehrle and go Sox’11…..j.k.

Well, now I can leave my self-imposed exile since the guys lost without me posting. I still have to commend JK for his efforts. He’s definitely leading the “blogger of the year” category. All I can say now is go #56 and Go White Sox!

Another trip to Minnesota, another loss. Thanx for not showing up again Sox. Sheesh!

“Minnesota showdown” should have been labeled Minnesota meltdown: Oh well, we simply can not beat the Twins right now. The good news is we only lost two games and that’s what I figured we’d lose against them. Now we need to win two of three against the D-backs for that hope /prediction to come true. That would give us a 2-3 road trip heading back to play the Cubs. Keep plugging Boys. It’s still possible to get back to .500 sometime around 40-40. (That is if we can win 7 before we lose 3). Come on Edwin and go Sox’11…..j.k.

1 run (in total) against an over the hill right hander and a lifetime .500 pitcher in Minnesota. Are you kidding me?
There is something seriously wrong with this club and/or it’s leasdership. The Sox play clubs over .500 (Boston, NY, Angels, Texas & yes even Detroit very well.). They play teams below .500 and simply don’t bother to show up, hence our crumby season so far (2010 deja vue all over again) . Somebody please tell me how a team with the most talent (by far) in the AL Central can’t beat (yet again) the two teams in the AL Central (Detroit & Minn.) that they MUST BEAT to win the division. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep repeating it: THIS TEAM NEEDS A SERIOUS SHAKEUP! Like what? Firing Ozzie would be a start. Sorry, but when your the captain, you go down with the ship. Ozzies’ antics, the annual increase in season ticket prices, parking, concessions, etc., and the Sox awful play now 4 out of the last 5 years are very tiresome! I can’t speak for anybody else, but I am sick of watching the uninspired play from this team!

Buster,

Don’t discount Detroit’s talent. Tigers have the most dominant pitcher in the A.L. (and, right now, probably in all of baseball) in Verlander. Plus, a solid rotation behind him. Their bullpen is very good. And they have one of the top — if not the best — hitters in the A.L. in Cabrera. They were my pick to win the A.L. Central back in the spring and, sadly, they are making my pick look good so far.

I agree that the Sox have been a disappointment, especially against the teams with losing records. Can’t really explain why. If anyone could explain it, then they would be able to fix it.

Shake it up all you want but this team is not the best in the A.L. Central. Sure, they can still win the division with a nice run and a good second half but they will need Detroit to underachieve. And the Twins have always been a great second-half team. While a management change is always a possibility it seldom leads to big turnarounds.

Everyone is counting on another big run through the NL teams. Of course, it is just our luck that the D’backs are playing very well right now and so are the Nationals. It will not be as easy in interleague play as it has been in the past.

I’m certainly not giving up hope. It’s a long season and a lot can happen. And, regardless of what happens, baseball season is still the best season of any year . . . . .

TC,
I don’t share your high regard for the tigers. I don’t discount Verlander (he’s only one guy-and all of their other starters are career .500 pitchers), Cabrera (a great hitter but a drunk) and the Detroit pen (although I do not share your view that they are very good, average at best). Go position by position through the AL Central and no one has an edge on the Sox overall. Frankly I think the Sox have 4 or 5 of the best position players in the division and a solid rotation (when they feel like it), and yet? Here we are, for the second season in a row starting off the season not only under .500 but unable to beat other teams under .500. Normally when a team can’t beat inferior teams (repeatedly) it’s a lack of focus and preparation. Sure sounds like the 2011 Sox to me!

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Okay, Buster, we agree to disagree. My feeling is that the Sox only have two players that I would consider the best at their position — Konerko and Ramirez. And the Sox rotation has good pitchers, but no great ones unless Peavy gets healthy and gets back to his Cy Young form from a few years ago.

Biggest problem I see with the team as it is structured is the lack of consistency. Only Konerko seems to avoid longer than average slumps.

Twins will catch us soon but we will still be within reach of the Tigers if we can find that consistency and put a few wins together.

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