SOXFEST SATURDAY

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feels like Opening Day is right around the corner with so many Sox fans geared up and talking about the team and the season at SoxFest.  Nothing better than seeing the excitement in fans’ eyes when they get an autograph or a game-worn jersey or get to ask a player a question during a seminar.  Can’t beat SoxFest Saturday.

And speaking of seminars…

Batting leadoff today – 2012 White Sox with Robin, Coop, hitting coach Jeff Manto and bench coach Mark Parent.  Some quotes of note:

-COOP:

> “Still haven’t decided on the order of the starting rotation, but we expect them to do the bulk of the work.”

> “I like not being picked to win – like in ’05 – but we’re not coming in with low expectations.”

> On Peavy: “He’s been hampered by injuries, really, since we got him – and he’s still won some big games for us.  He’s past those injuries now, so we expect big things from him, like all our guys.”

-MANTO:

> “It’s a honor to follow “Walk” (Greg Walker).  He treated me great, have a lot of respect for him.”

> “The big thing is, each at-bat, have a plan.”

> “I may be the hitting coach, but fortunately, I’ll be surrounded by great hitting coaches too, like Robin and Bainesy.”

-PARENT:

> On his role: “Make sure what Robin wants to get done gets done.”

> “It’s important that the minor-league guys are on the same page with how we’re operating at the major-league level, doing the same things.”

Photo: Ron Vesely

-MORE ROBIN:

> “We need to prove that last year was an abherration.”

> On how the game has changed: “Video. In ’93, I think we were still using cassettes. Now you can see your whole career on one video.”

> On bringing in Parent as bench coach: “I know what I don’t know.  As a catcher, he saw the game from a different perspective.  He’ll make up for what I can’t do.”

> “I won’t treat everyone the same – you’re just not going to treat Paul Konerko the same way you would a rookie – but I will treat everyone fairly.”

Photo: Ron Vesely

> When a fan addressed him as “Coach Ventura,” he joked “That’s MANAGER Ventura!”

> Hawk mentioned that when Robin came up, he was a “shaky” 3B. Robin: “VERY shaky.” Hawk: “OK, he was bad.” Robin: “Not bad…shaky.”

> On the Nolan Ryan altercation: “It’s not like he derailed a promising UFC career.”

That and Pablo’s champagne quote from earlier are competing for best of the weekend so far…

2nd Saturday seminar: Arms Race w/Stone, Danks, Sale, Humber and Ohman.

ADVICE FOR KIDS

> Humber: Like my dad told me, ‘Never let anyone out-work you.'”

> Danks: I always remember what Nolan Ryan told me: ‘If you want to be good, throw a lot.  Practice.'”

> Sale: “Dude, have fun.  If you’re not having fun, why do it?”

> Ohman: “I’m so far removed from being a kid. Chris could be my son.”

-SALE ON CONVERTING TO A STARTER: “I’ve been doing more long toss, more long-distance running. And I actually started swimming this offseason…like Michael Phelps.”

-DANKS ON HOW TO AVOID A SLOW START: “If I knew, I wouldn’t have started 0-8 last season.”

-MORE FROM DANKS: “We were as surprised as anyone” about last season’s struggles. “I think Adam (Dunn) and Alex (Rios) are going to have huge years.”

-SALE ON HIS FIRST THOUGHT WHEN HE GOT TO THE MAJORS: “These guys hit the ball hard!”

-When a fan mentions that Stone won the Cy Young Award, Ohman deadpanned: “Let’s talk about current players.  Leave the past in the past!”

-When a little girl asked each guy about the toughest hitter they face, Danks said Michael Cuddyer. When someone said he moved from Minnesota to Colorado, Danks pumped his fist.

-Ohman’s answer: Kosuke Fukudome, “and I got a bruise on my forehead to prove it!”

-Sale couldn’t think of anyone – so Ohman grabbed the mic and answered for him: “No one can hit him.”

Next up: From Draft to MLB…

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