Saturday, March 3, 2012
This Dayan Viciedo switch to left-field sure is paying dividends, isn’t it?
“He’s hot playing left field,” laughed manager Robin Ventura.
Viciedo’s first-inning grand slam to left field led Team Dunn to an 8-4 victory over Team Konerko In the first intrasquad game of the Robin Ventura era (although Ventura was quick to point out he did not manage either team, so his career record is not 1-1).
As part of its pregame preparation, Team Dunn circled new acquisition Kosuke Fokudome in short left field as he led a rousing pregame pep talk Japanese baseball style.
“That’s the stuff you look for,” Ventura said, “besides the on field stuff, the comraderie. It’s good to see already.”
Viciedo was one of the last players off the field after the game, and we all explained he could pick up his MVP Award inside the clubhouse. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski added to the 4-0 Dunn lead with a RBI single in the second inning before Team Konerko rallied for four runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by consecutive RBI hits from Jared Mitchell and Brandon Short (a bases loaded double). But Team Dunn added four more runs in the fifth to seal the 8-4 victory and bragging rights.
Postgame, captain Konerko could just shake his head at the defeat (Don’t worry, he won’t hear much about it over the next day or so). Prior to the game, Konerko was one of the final players to arrive in the dugout, and he was greeted with a smart-aleck: “All rise!” The captain immediately kicked a trash can in his dugout in jest to inspire his troops (didn’t work so well).
Chris Sale and Brian Omogrosso each worked 2.0 scoreless IP for Team Dunn. Team Konerko starter Gavin Floyd surrendered five runs over 2.0 IP.
“Sale looked great,” Ventura said.
After the game, Ventura broke a little lineup news, telling reporters that he hoped to bat A.J. second – like he did today – and PK fourth in the order, like Konerko will on Monday.
“Right now, I’d like to have AJ in there,” Ventura said. “He handles the bat great and is always a tough out. I like him there, and I’d like to bat Paulie fourth. It’s a good spot for him.”
Former White Sox closer and all-around good guy Shingo Takatsu visited camp today with a Japanese television crew. Shingo greeted general manager Ken Williams with a big hug and after saying hello headed into the White Sox clubhouse to find A.J. and PK. Shingo is still pitching for an independent league team in Japan, and in fact, serves as the team’s player/manager. Has to be interesting to see him bring himself in to close the ninth inning.
Williams also told Shingo to check out the signed poster Williams has hanging in his Glendale office.
Here it is …
Photo Day and FanFest
It was a beautiful day in the desert and more than one thousand White Sox and Dodgers fans came out for the first FanFest at CBR. After a 9 am workout on the stadium field, White Sox players – Team Dunn, actually – signed autographs for 30 minutes.
The day started at 7 am today with the annual Photo Day as White Sox players and staff posed for national and local rightsholders.
“This is the worst day of the year,” said reliever Will Ohman. “It’s when they prove you’re ugly.”
Quote of the Day
Pitcher Dylan Axelrod, who had already finished his work for the day, was banished from the Team Dunn dugout because he wasn’t wearing pinstriped white pants. Instead he sported road greys a la Team Konerko.
“Just go home,” Axelrod was told by several coaches. “But don’t let Dunn know.”
“He left to get white pants and never was seen again,” Axelrod laughed.
An unnamed pitching coach arrived early at camp yesterday, around 6 am, and immediately headed into the clubhouse. And I mean immediately. As in he left his car running.
About an hour later, someone noticed the vacant car, engine purring, in the parking lot.
“I knew I needed to leave in a hurry,” was the response.