Friday, March 30, 2012
Here’s a transcript of Robin Ventura’s postgame meeting with the media following yesterday’s 3-1 White Sox win over the Dodgers:
Was taking out Rios just a precaution?
Yes. I wasn’t at the game yesterday when something happened with him and Lillibridge. He just said it was bothering him a little bit, so we’re just going to take him out of today’s game. He should be available tomorrow, but I don’t want to do anything right now to push it.
(Editor’s Note: Outfielder Alex Rios was scratched from Thursday’s lineup with a sprained left Achilles tendon suffered Wednesday when he and Brent Lillibridge stepped on one another pursuing a fly ball. Rios wanted to play Thursday, but Head Trainer Herm Schneider said, “No.”)
Regarding the last few innings…
Yeah, yesterday we kind of had it flipped around with Addison and Hector, and kind of flipped it around today. But for me it’s nice to see them go back-to-back days and still throw the way that they did. That was the most important thing for me. That’s good to see.
(Editor’s Note: Pitching Coach Don Cooper schedules relievers to throw back-to-back games once each spring to see how guys’ arms’ bounce back.)
About Santiago’s screwball against Ethier, a left-handed hitter…
We don’t know quite yet how we’re going to use all of that, but to see him go in and not have to really use the screwball, get ahead with fastballs and get that groundball; it’s good to see.
Are you still evaluating the eighth-ninth inning positions?
Yeah, we’re not making any decisions today off of that. I’m happy with all of them. We’re putting them in there to get their innings and get their work. But none of that could mean anything as far as where they exactly were today.
Do you think telling a guy his role is overrated?
Not overrated, no. Just at this point we haven’t totally concluded how we’re going to do it.
What has impressed you about Matt Thornton’s spring?
His velocity is up, and the location of his pitches. He’s just a good pitcher, and I’m glad he’s on our team. That’s about as simple as I can get. He has good stuff, he’s a good teammate and all of those things, a leader, so I’m happy we’re able to use him however we’re going to use him.
How impressed were you with the first few innings from Sale?
He was pretty good. He let a couple people put some in play, so I docked him a few points. But he was throwing hard and locating with it, his off-speed pitch was good too, keeping them off balance. But he’s capable of that. Again it’s just spring, so you bring him out before the innings or the pitches get up there. I’m very happy with his performance today.
Do you pay extra attention to Sale against really good hitters like Matt Kemp?
Yeah, I think today might not have been Matt’s best day. But you look at other guys with what they do, how they see it, and he was making a lot of people not have very good at-bats today. So that’s what you notice more than anything.
(Editor’s Note: Kemp, the National League MVP, had a Golden Sombrero. Not sure Kemp liked facing Sale much.)
Are his two walks this spring also impressive?
Yeah, he’s bounced back even when he gets deep in counts and it might be upside-down for him. But he comes back, and fights back and does the best he can not to walk guys.
Regarding Jesse Crain’s health…
Yeah, he was great. Just making sure he can come back and throw without any reservations. We made sure of that when he was throwing in the Minor League game before he came back up here. But he’s probably happier than I am that he got to go pitch in a regular game.
What is your take on Viciedo’s at-bats recently?
It’s gotten better. I think his frustration level has subsided somewhat. He got a couple hits the other day, and today. Even if it’s not the hardest hit ball, it’s still a relief to kind of be doing something. He’s getting closer and closer, so I’m happy with him.
Are you more comfortable in the ‘manager’s chair’ during the game now?
Yeah it’s one of those things where you’re thinking ahead. It’s still harder in spring training to think that way because you’re making sure guys get in certain innings. There are 25 guys, 25 players to use if you really wanted to. It’s nice to be able to look at it and in-between at-bats you can take guys out, like we did the last couple of days, just to make sure guys get in and face the guy we want them to face.
Larry Bowa said that the game moves a lot faster than guys think who are first-time managers. Thoughts…
Yeah, I know what he’s saying, but it is what it is. I’m not leaving. I’m staying here. (Robin shrug and smile).
Setting The Record Straight
Yesterday, the alleged intruder who broke into general manager Ken Williams’ house this winter was declared unfit for trial by a judge. In news stories yesterday that re-visited the event, it was again mentioned that the alleged intruder stole and was wearing a fur coat owned by Williams.
Williams asked me – again — to set the record straight. So for the record, Ken Williams does not own a fur coat. Repeat: Ken Williams does not own a fur coat.
We’re not really sure how this report first came about – Williams might admit to having a winter coat with lining inside but no boots with the fur, or, repeat, A FUR COAT.
No word yet on the culinary choice of frozen lobster.
Se Habla Béisbol
Earlier this week, the White Sox announced that all regular season games will be broadcast on radio in Spanish on 97.5 FM ESPN Deportes by veteran play-by-play announcer Hector Molina, with respected Venezuelan baseball writer Billy Russo serving as color analyst.
Molina has previously broadcast White Sox games in Spanish, as well as Bears and Bulls, in a broadcast career that spans nearly 30 years. He once partnered with White Sox legend Chico Carrasquel in the White Sox Spanish radio booth. In 2005, Molina covered the Major League Baseball playoffs and the White Sox World Series.
Russo, a national baseball writer who contributes to the Associated Press and ESPN Deportes, has broadcast games for the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP) and covered the White Sox for the team’s Spanish website (orgullosox.com) for the past two years.
We spoke with Hector and Billy this morning about their new roles, the upcoming season and what our Latino/Spanish-speaking fans should expect from their broadcasts:
Hector, how does it feel to be returning to the White Sox Spanish radio booth? Billy, joining the booth?
Hector: It really feels like coming back home. I broadcast White Sox games from ’92-’99 and then in 2005 I covered the World Series. This is a heck of an opportunity; it just feels great!
Billy: This is an amazing opportunity that comes with great responsibility. A responsibility to work hard for the organization, with a deep history and a passionate fan base, and represent the greatest city in the world. I am thrilled to be a part of it all and look forward to helping the Sox further connect with the Latino/Spanish-speaking community.
Hector, you spent time with Chico in the broadcast booth, you have done basketball and football games, tell us about your past experience broadcasting Chicago sports?
Hector: When I started with the White Sox in 1992, I had the pleasure and the honor of working with Chico Carrasquel, which was amazing. Across my career I have spent nine years with the White Sox, which included the World Series, and eight years with the Bulls during the Michael Jordan era, to name a few. You can imagine how exciting it all has been.
Billy, what are your thoughts on this 2012 White Sox team?
Billy: I feel like this is going to be a very interesting season, with a lot of surprises. Robin Ventura is now manager and guys have reacted extremely well and are behind him. There is a great sense of hope and high expectations among the team. I’m really excited to see how this season plays out.
Hector, what is your favorite memory of broadcasting for the White Sox?
Hector, there’s so many of them. You meet so many people and every game is a different experience. If I had to pick a favorite memory, it has to be the 2005 World Series!
Billy, how do you feel about partnering with Hector Molina in the radio booth?
Billy: Hector has had an incredible career. I have so much respect for him and his experience in sports in Chicago. Getting the opportunity to work with Hector, who worked with a national hero of ours in Venezuela (Chico Carrasquel) is tremendous and it really motivates me to do the very best job I possibly can do.
Running For A Cause
The White Sox are teaming up with the Blackhawks and the Bulls to host the second annual “Home Team Charity Run” (HTCR) on Sunday, April 22. This event includes a 5K and 10K race, both of which will start and finish at U.S. Cellular Field. The 10k race will finish near home plate inside U.S. Cellular Field. Most importantly, a portion proceeds from the race will be shared equally among the respective charities of the three participating teams.
All runners will receive a long-sleeved moisture-wicking jersey customized with one of the three teams they choose to represent. The top three male and female runners in each age bracket in the 10K race will win a pair of tickets to a game for each Chicago team (a total of six tickets for three games). The top five male and female runners in the 5K run/walk will receive a HTCR plaque recognizing their accomplishment.
After the race, former players from all three teams will sign autographs, and 500 lucky runners selected at random will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the White Sox and Bulls championship trophies. Also, there will be a post-run festival with food, beverages, and performances from local bands, including singer and songwriter Michael McDermott.
Last year, more than 2,000 runners participated in the race. So for all of you runners/”weekend warriors” come out and get a run in for a good cause.