Friday, March 2, 2012

It was so windy today in Glendale that I swear at one point I saw piglet fly past holding an umbrella.  And the wind meant cut-through-you cold that had staff and players heading back to the clubhouse for more layers (it also cancelled rounds of afternoon golf for some, but sadly, that is a story to be told another day).

Today was also a very busy day around camp with two early-morning advertising shoots for Major League Baseball featuring Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez, several meetings and a visit to camp by an ESPN television crew.

The weather impacted practice, a practice that featured focus on fundamentals.

“It’s a good day to do it when it’s windy like that,” said manager Robin Ventura.  “April will be like that for us.  It wasn’t quite as cold as it would be in April, but you get more done when it’s breezy and not just nice and easy.

“That’s just the right way to play baseball,” Ventura said of the team’s continual focus on fundamentals.  “It’s just what we believe, and that’s how we’re going to play this year. We want guys to understand their responsibilities and what we expect. Every team goes over it, so we’ll revisit at certain times, too.”

Ventura did confirm to the media after practice that the White Sox would open the season with 12 pitchers on the 25-man roster.  Tomorrow, the White Sox open the day with the annual Photo Day from 7-9 a.m. before some of the team works out inside CB-R in an open workout for fans from 9-10:30.  At 10:30, Sox players will sign autographs until 11 am, when the Dodgers will take over.  The Sox then split into two teams – Team Konerko and Team Dunn – for an 11:30 a.m. game on the back fields.  Chris Sale will start for one team in the game, which likely will go six or seven innings depending on pitching.

“Everybody is antsy,” Ventura said with spring training games on the horizon.  “Tomorrow will be fun having an intra-squad game. Those are usually kind of fun for guys to let loose and play a game and really get ready for when you start playing some other teams. It could be fun for us.”

The White Sox open official 2012 Cactus League play on Monday vs. the Dodgers in a 1:05 mt game with Philip Humber on the mound.  They also play a B Game Monday morning at 10 am at Cleveland’s camp in Goodyear.

On Tuesday, the Sox head to Tempe for an early spring visit to the Angels.

MLB on the Ranch

Our friends from Major League Baseball’s marketing department were at Camelback Ranch early this morning to film Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez for baseball’s 2012 advertising campaign.  As always, PK was flawless in his delivery, and The Missile had fun delivering lines in both English and Spanish.

The campaign provides a glimpse into the passion players have for the game and their commitment to their teams and fans.

Keep an eye out for the spots that will run early this summer.

On the Mound
Alexei has been in a fun mood the past couple of days…as he has provided his best Jose Contreras impersonation in between infield drills. Although our starting shortstop has a great arm, there is probably no chance he will be tossing it from the mound during a game any time soon, but here is some video of Alexei Ramirez, Spring Training Pitcher.

Cool Story

Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago provides an interesting angle to the Ventura vs. Ryan fight in 1993.  Check it out, here.

I actually was at that game … although I didn’t pay for a ticket!  I had left the press box that day to take a signed baseball to a kid in the crowd (not something that happened very often but in this case I think the young man was ill and somehow we became aware).  About 12 rows up from the field, I find the kid just as this incredible roar went up in the stadium.  I see Ventura charge the mound.

“Uh-oh,” was my reaction, vivid to this day, and I sprinted back up to the press box (which for anyone who ever road on the one story elevator at that old ballpark … the one that seemed to take five minutes each ride) which seemed to take forever.

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