March 2013

Getting Ready for Opening Day

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Today’s News

Workout Warriors

This morning’s workout at U.S. Cellular Field started with a clubhouse meeting followed by stretching, infield, pitcher fielding and then batting practice. It’s the day before Opening Day and Robin Ventura’s White Sox are still working on fundamentals.

Welcome to Chicago

New White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie got his first look at his new home  ballpark today. If that weren’t special enough, he’s basking in the glow of his Wichita State Shockers advancing to the Final Four.

PK

How dedicated is Paul Konerko? At the final Sox game in Glendale, most of the starters, including Paulie, came out early in the game to applause from the Sox fans in attendance. With the buses ready to roll to the airport and time to shower and pack for Chicago, where did PK go? Not to the showers, but out to the batting cages behind the Sox complex to get in a few more swings.

Win One for the Kids

Michigan grad and White Sox GM Rick Hahn couldn’t be happier about his Wolverines’ convincing win over Florida this afternoon and making it to the Final Four. “I have kids at the right age,” Hahn said. “If Michigan wins it all, they will be fans for life. I still remember those DePaul Blue Demons teams when I was a kid.”

Go Bulls!

Robin, Harold Baines, Mark Parent and several of the Sox staff and players are going to be taking in tonight’s 6:00 p.m. game between the Bulls and Pistons at the United Center as guests of Jerry Reinsdorf.

Quote(s) of the Day

Robin, commenting on the beginning of the season and many experts’ low expectations for the Sox: 

“I think you always have optimism, Opening Day has that. For us, all that matters is what we do as a team rather than what expectations are and what someone picks you to do…It matters how you play, how guys do, what they feel like, how they come together. That’s part of the fun going through the season. There are a lot of teams that weren’t expected to do a whole lot that actually did.”

Chris Sale on the experts’ preseason predictions: 

“I wouldn’t say we are trying to prove them wrong, but moreso prove ourselves right…We all believe in ourselves and each other. We are going to get this season going and get it going the right way.”

Play of the Day

As the White Sox took batting practice, Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur walked past on his way to the batting cages behind the White Sox dugout. He was wearing K.C. Royals shorts and a teal-colored t-shirt (I couldn’t make out what was on it).

Francoeur stopped to say hello to Adam Dunn. Some type of ribbing followed and Dunn proceeded to rip Francoeur’s t-shirt down the middle, leaving him bare-chested. The Royals’ outfielder trooped back to his clubhouse to change into his new t-shirt and then headed over to hit.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Opening Day

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (3:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starting pitchers will be Chris Sale for the Sox and James Shields for the Royals.

Starting Lineups 

SOX: De Aza, cf; Keppinger, 3b; Rios, rf; Dunn, dh; Konerko, 1b; Viciedo, lf; Ramirez, ss; Flowers, c; Beckham, 2b.

ROYALS: Gordon, lf; Escobar, ss; Butler, dh; Moustakas, 3b; Perez, c; Hosmer, lb; Cain, cf; Francoeur, rf; Getz, 2b.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox are 58-54 overall on Opening Day (3-3 vs. Kansas City) and 26-23 when opening at home (4-1 at U.S. Cellular Field)? Also, the Sox have won 10 of its last 16 openers and eight of its last 11 at home.

Photo of the Day

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White Sox put on the finishing touches at today’s workout.

Opening Day Roster Set, White Sox Ready For Games That Count

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today’s News

On to Chicago

The White Sox’s Opening Day roster was revealed after today’s game in Milwaukee. Here are the 25 players headed to Chicago for Monday’s opener:

Pitchers (12) — Dylan Axelrod, Jesse Crain, Gavin Floyd, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Jake Peavy, Jose Quintana, Addison Reed, Chris Sale, Hector Santiago, Matt Thornton, Donnie Veal.

Catchers (2) — Tyler Flowers, Hector Gimenez

Infielders (7) — Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn, Conor Gillaspie, Jeff Keppinger, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Angel Sanchez.

Outfielders (4) — Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Dayan Viciedo, Dewayne Wise.

To get down to 25, the Sox made the following six roster moves:

* Optioned RHP Brian Omogrosso to Class AAA Charlotte

* Reassigned C Bryan Anderson, INF Josh Bell, RHP Jeff Gray, RHP Ramon Troncoso and INF Steve Tolleson in minor-league camp.

Preseason is a Wrap

The Sox completed the preseason by splitting the two-game series with the Brewers at Miller Park.

This afternoon, the Sox dropped a 5-4 decision. Dunn smashed a solo homer and Beckham, Wise and Brandon Short each drove in a run.

The Sox won last night by a 7-2 score, highlighted by Dunn’s 3-3, one RBI night and Santiago’s three perfect innings that included five strikeouts. Crain, Veal, Jones, Thornton and Reed each pitched an inning of scoreless relief.

Happy 24th

Happy Birthday to our Opening Day starter. Sale is celebrating No. 24 today.

Quote of the Day

White Sox outfield prospect Keenyn Walker, the 47th overall pick in the June 2011 draft, on Twitter after Friday night’s game in Milwaukee: “Got an AB in a big league stadium #Miller Park definitely motivates me to get there sooner than later!…

Play of the Day

Dunn’s homer, his fourth of the spring.

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off day. Workout in the morning at U.S. Cellular Field. Opening Day on Monday: Royals at White Sox (3:10 p.m., CT). Sale starts for the Sox vs. James Shields.

Did You Know…

…that Paul Konerko will be making his 13th straight Opening Day start at first base, extending his club record? It is the second-longest active streak by any first baseman with a single team behind Colorado’s Todd Helton (15) and second overall at first base.

Photo of the Day

ImageSox GM Rick Hahn talking baseball with fans in Milwaukee.

Countdown to Monday

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (7:05 p.m., CT). Hector Santiago is the starter for the Sox vs. Wily Peralta. Also scheduled to pitch for the Sox are Nate Jones, Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal and Matt Thornton.

Sox Lineup: De Aza, cf; Keppinger, 3b; Rios, rf; Dunn, dh; Konerko, lb; Viciedo, lf; Ramirez, ss; Flowers, c; Beckham, 2b.

The Sox were 13-13-3 in the Cactus League, the Brewers, 12-17-2

Cactus League Standouts

Chris Sale, the White Sox’s Opening Day starter, paced the Sox pitching staff in Arizona with a 4-0 record and a 3.86 ERA. Paul Konerko led the Sox with five homers and Dayan Viciedo was the team leader with 14 RBI and was tied for the lead in runs (11) and doubles (five). Reliever Brian Omogrosso finished with 12.1 scoreless innings in Cactus League play.

Opening Day Recommendations

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130328&content_id=43449588&vkey=pr_cws&c_id=cws

On the Road with Southpaw

Southpaw was a big hit yesterday on his “getting ready for Opening Day” tour. The popular White Sox mascot and some of his Sox colleagues hopped on the Red Line near U.S. Cellular Field, rode north, got off at a few stops and passed out baseballs, key chains and shirts.

He had people on the train yelling “Go Sox,” asking about Opening Day, wondering how they could arrange for Southpaw to appear at birthday parties and the workers on the train were having a lot of fun with their celebrity rider. Twitter was also abuzz with Southpaw sightings.

And it’s important to note that Southpaw is not one of those high and mighty celebs. At one of the stops where workers were repainting garbage cans, our hero stopped and helped them out.

Take a look for yourself:Image

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (1:05 p.m., CT) in the final preseason game. Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox, Chris Narveson for the Brewers.There’s an off day on Sunday with the much-anticipated Opener on Monday.

Did You Know…

…that Robin Ventura made eight career Opening Day starts at third base for the Sox (1990-96, ’98)? His eight starts are the second most in team history behind Willie Kamm, who made nine straight from 1923-31.

Photo of the Day

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Leaving Glendale

March 27, 2013

Today’s News

Getaway Day

As someone noted today, the last day of spring training is a lot like the last day of finals in college. You are exhausted and a little fuzzy. There’s still one more hurdle to get through and then you are excited about what comes next.

For us here, the last day involves cleaning up, checking out of the condo or hotel room, turning in the rental car at the ballpark, loading your luggage onto the right truck (the one heading to the airport), sneaking in a quick workout and then boxing up the office.

After today’s game, we bus to Sky Harbor Airport and then get to Midway as quickly as we can. I can’t speak for everyone, but what I miss most (other than my wife and kids, of course!) is my car, my TV and my bed. Forty-five days is a long time to be away.

But I would love to bring some of this Phoenix weather with us for Opening Day.

Thursday is an off day for everyone and then the team will bus to Milwaukee for Friday and Saturday’s exhibition games with the Brewers at Miller Park. Sunday, the White Sox will work out at 10:00 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Field. Robin will meet with the media at 9:45 a.m. and our players will be available post workout. Being Easter, I am sure everyone–staff, players and media–will try to make the day as short as possible. The Royals are scheduled to work out later that day at 1:00 p.m. and then all focus will be on Monday’s Opening Day at 3:00 p.m.

Thanks for the Memories

White Sox starters left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to cheers from the great Sox fans in Glendale. The faithful was rewarded as the Sox tied the game, 4-4, on an Angel Sanchez two-run homer in the eighth inning and won, 5-4, on a bases loaded walk to Steve Tolleson in the bottom of the ninth.

Life is Good 

It is certainly going to be a special few days for Chris Sale.

On Friday night, his alma mater, upstart Florida Gulf Coast University, plays Florida in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament with the chance of reaching the Elite Eight on Sunday.

On Saturday, Sale will celebrate his 24th birthday and on Monday he starts for the Sox on Opening Day.

Pretty cool.

Quote(s) of the Day

Skipper Ventura on his Troops

On Opening Day Being Only Five Days Away:

“I’m excited. I know the guys are excited to get out of here and get going. These games are nice, they’re meaningful, but they don’t count so everyone just uses these to get ready for the season. We’re ready to go.”

On the Difference Between Opening Day This Year and Last Year, his First as Manager:

“They’re all fun. Guys are excited for the season. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but even as a manager, it’s still exciting. You like seeing the smiles on the faces of not only the players, but the fans.”

On Chris Sale as the Opening Day Starter:

“Oh, he’s definitely excited. Again, part of the joy in the position I’m in now is you get to enjoy it through them, see their excitement and how they go about it.”

On the Starting Rotation:

“I feel confident in it. You have a kid like Chris Sale who is young and talented and backed up by Peavy, Floyd, Quintana and right now, Axelrod. We feel like we have depth and we have guys that come to play. For me, that’s what you ask for.”

On the Bullpen:

“In our division you’re going to have to be able to pitch and you’re not going to get through it with just starters the entire time. We do feel like we have a quality bullpen and a lot of guys who can mix and match with a lot of different scenarios.”

On the Versatility of the Lineup:

“You look at the left/right scenarios that come up and that’s one thing we’re going to have to do is to move guys around and be able to play different positions to get them all in the lineup. It’s a nice problem to have.”

On Adding Jeff Keppinger to the Lineup:

“He can hit, he knows the angles and he’s a very smart hitter.”

On the Upcoming Season:

“It’s about effort all year long. You don’t get caught up looking towards the end because the effort has to be there every day for you to have a chance.”

GM Hahn on the State of the Sox

On Starting the Season: 

“We’re real excited, we’re ready to get going. It’s been a a nice camp, albeit a long one, that has some of us chomping at the bit to start playing games that matter. There’s been a lot of positives. We’ve had not only some of our young position players that are going to be in Chicago take a nice step forward in terms of development–guys such as Beckham and Flowers–but we also had some of our young players in the minor leagues step up and have nice Springs. Guys like Jared Mitchell, Simon Castro and Erik Johnson, who could conceivably contribute this year–and if not this year certainly as soon as 2014.”

On the Team’s Versatility:

That was important to us. We wanted to give Robin the opportunity to play matchups, whether it be based upon the opposing starting pitcher or even who we’re starting in trying to go with an even more defensive-oriented lineup based upon how our starter profiles…The more versatility you can have on that big league roster, the more insulated you are against injury or underperformance, which unfortunately happens over the course of the season. Frankly, from our standpoint, it’s not a finished product yet. It’s the kind of thing that we’re going to continue to look for upgrades over the course of the season…We’re going to be aggressive as we have in the past to go out and address those needs.”

On the Minor League System:

“The public and professional ratings don’t matter quite as much as our opinion. And our opinion of the minor leagues is based upon two things. One, are we providing impact guys for Chicago to help win us a championship? And, last year we saw Sale, Viciedo, Reed and Jones all come up through our system and contribute on what we felt was a very good team. The second part is: Is it providing assets for us that can allow us to go out and acquire players that help augment our roster? Last year we were able to do that with getting Youkilis, Myers and Liriano. From my talks with other clubs, I can assure you that we continue to have guys that other clubs covet. So, the farm system is working well. We think that next wave, although it’s certainly not going to hit on Opening Day in 2013, (has) some impact players near being ready for Chicago.”

On the Sox’s Positive Clubhouse Dynamics

“I think a lot of that credit goes to Robin and his staff. From the first day since they assembled 13 months ago, they’ve been able to keep the focus on winning that night’s game and the preparation, fundamentals, and focus on what needs to be done to make the team better. Any outside distractions have remained exactly that, outside of the clubhouse. It’s a very tightly bound group that fights for each other and is singularly focused on winning ball games. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

Play of the Day

Sanchez, whose second monster home run in as many days tied the game in the eighth inning. 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off Day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (7:05 p.m., CT). Hector Santiago will start for the Sox vs. the Brewers’ Wily Peralta.

Did You Know…

…that Sox minor leaguers Brandon Short, Josh Bell, Marcus Semien and Keenyn Walker combined to go 7-10 with two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored in yesterday’s 11-3 win vs. the Rangers? 

Photo of the Day

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The victorious Spring finale today in Glendale with Opening Day on the horizon.

Sale Sharp, Short Goes Long (Twice)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today’s News

Avoiding Sale is a Good Idea for Any Opponent

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, now with the Rangers, stopped in the visitor’s clubhouse this afternoon in Surprise to say hello to former teammates, coaches and staff. Among his first targets were visiting clubhouse manager Gabe Morell, strength coach Dale Torborg and today’s starting pitcher Chris Sale.

When asked by coach Harold Baines why he wasn’t playing against his former team, Pierzynski said “I have to pack. Plus Sale’s pitching, I don’t want to face that in March.”

A.J.’s teammates undoubtedly wish they hadn’t seen Chris today as the Sox’s Opening Day starter allowed just one hit (a solo home run to Geovany Soto) with no walks and five strikeouts in four innings as the Sox defeated Texas, 11-3, on 18 hits. Sale finished the spring with a perfect 4-0 record and a 3.86 ERA.

Two Decades Later…

Twenty years ago on Opening Day at then-New Comiskey Park, Bo Jackson dramatically returned from hip replacement surgery with a homer in his first at-bat against the Yankees in an 11-6 White Sox victory. He then proceeded to be a significant contributor for the Sox’s 1993 division champions and even hit a three-run homer in the 4-2 win over the Mariners in the division-clinching game in Chicago.

Next Monday during Opening Day fesitivities at U.S. Cellular Field, Bo will have the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Sox and Royals get down to business. Game time is 3:10 p.m., CT.

The Ponce family–Chicago Tonight‘s Phil and his sons Anthony (NBC Chicago) and Dan (WGN-TV and the popular vocal group Straight No Chaser)–will sing the national anthem.

Opening Day Seats No Longer Available

Seats for next Monday’s opener have been sold out. A very limited number of standing-room only tickets to the game are available at the U.S. Cellular Field Ticket Office. Tickets do remain available for the remainder of the homestand (vs. Kansas City and Seattle, April 3-7).

Rios Not Concerned

Alex Rios said tests revealed no structural back issues, just muscular. He said he still feels a little pinch, but is much better today and he anticipates playing in the Milwaukee exhibition games Friday and Saturday and being ready for Opening Day. He stressed several times that there is nothing to worry about and that he’s not concerned.

Roster Moves

The White Sox made the following moves prior to today’s game against the Rangers:

* Placed LHP John Danks on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) to continue his recovery from left shoulder surgery.

* Placed LHP Leyson Septimo on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) with a left shoulder strain.

* Reassigned LHP David Purcey to minor-league camp.

Bring Gifts

Thoughtful pitcher Gavin Floyd certainly brightened the mood in the coaches’ locker room this morning when he popped in the door with a box of a dozen donuts.

No one was hurt in the ensuing melee, and one unnamed bench coach happily ate two Boston Crème-filled donuts.

“Boy, that’s an easy group to buy for,” I said to Gavin as we walked out of the room.

“He’s a Sports Star, But He’s Also Your Friend”

A look at the remarkable impact being made by Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWnSfkZ95gg

Quote of the Day

Rick Hahn on Jeff Keppinger’s ability to fall out of bed and hit: “As he puts it, his favorite position is the batter’s box.”

Play(s) of the Day

Right fielder Brandon Short had to corral a blown-away umbrella in the third inning of today’s game. The umbrella flew down onto the field from the main concourse, interrupting play before Short grabbed the invader to loud cheers from the crowd. The very next inning, Short got more applause from the Sox fans in the stands when he hit a three-run homer to give the Sox a lead they never relinquished–and in the ninth Angel Sanchez and Short hit back-to-back roundtrippers. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run shot of his own in the Sox’s five-run sixth.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in the Sox’s final Cactus League game of the Spring (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Matt Zaleski will start for the Sox, Carlos Carrasco for the Tribe.

Did You Know…

…that ESPN’s Sport Science named Jackson, who was a Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn and an All-Pro with the NFL’s Los Angeles Raiders in addition being an MLB All-Star, the Greatest Athlete of All Time.

Photo of the Day

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Brandon Short: What a Day!

No Fooling…Season Starts a Week from Today

Monday, March 25, 2013

Today’s News

Down to the Wire

After leaving Arizona on Wednesday following their final Cactus League game (vs.the Indians at Camelback Ranch), the White Sox have an off day on Thursday and will play Milwaukee in two exhibition games at Miller Park Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The Sox will hold their final preseason workout next Sunday morning at U.S. Cellular Field before opening the regular season a week from today on April 1.

Farm Aid

In addition to major-league players, the following Sox minor leaguers also will make the trip for the games in Milwaukee: INF Drew Garcia, OF Stefan Gartrell, INF Marcus Semien, OF Brandon Short, C Kevan Smith, OF Keenyn Walker and RHP Matt Zaleski.

You Never Know Who Answers the Phones

True story. A White Sox staffer located upstairs in our offices called the downstairs PR office this morning looking for two guest passes.

Only the person sitting at the desk in the PR office wasn’t Bob Beghtol or Ray Garcia. It was designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn.

“What do you need?” he answered the phone, semi anonymously. “Sure, no problem.”

So when the Sox staffer brought his two guests downstairs to pick up their day passes, there was Dunn to greet them and hand them their passes.

And in the spot on the pass where a signature was required, it read D-U-N-N-E-R.

Among the Leaders

Entering today’s game vs. the Angels, Paul Konerko was tied for second in the Cactus League in home runs (5), ranks seventh in total bases (37) and eighth in slugging percentage (.712). Chris Sale was tied for the CL lead with three wins, ranks second in ERA (4.19) and was tied for fourth in IP (19.1 IP). Ramon Troncoso was tied for the lead in appearances (11).

Quote of the Day

Jesse Crain, hampered all spring by an adductor strain, on his outing in today’s game: “The most important thing today was feeling good…and I felt fine. My leg felt good, it didn’t bother me one bit.”

Play(s) of the Day

In today’s 11-5 loss to L.A of Anaheim…Dayan Viciedo’s perfect throw to Gordon Beckham at second base in the sixth inning to nab Mike Trout, who tagged up in an attempt to reach second on a fly ball out. It resulted in an inning-ending double play. Also, Tyler Saladino smashed a two-run, ninth inning homer.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at Surprise (4:05 p.m., Chicago time). Chris Sale will start for the Sox vs. Matt Harrison.

Did You Know…

…that longtime major league pitcher Virgil Trucks, who died on Saturday at 95, went 47-26 with a fine 3.14 ERA for the Sox from 1953-55? A bit of trivia: Trucks’ nephew, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.

Photo of the Day

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Dunner: Sox slugger–and new PR man.

News and Notes on the Last Sunday of Spring Training

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today’s News

Record Crowd/Peavy Ready to Go

The Sox and Dodgers played in front of the largest crowd in Cactus League history last night, drawing 13,721 fans. Camelback Ranch-Glendale now boasts the CL’s top three crowds, five of the top six and six of the top 10.

In the Sox’s loss to L.A., Jake Peavy worked five innings and after the game proclaimed himself ready to go for the start of the season. Nate Jones pitched a scoreless frame, striking out a pair and averaging 97 mph on the gun with a high of 100.

Sox AFL Prospects to Play for Glendale

The Arizona Fall League has announced the relocation of its Desert Dogs franchise to Camelback Ranch-Glendale. All White Sox prospects assigned to the league will now play for the new Glendale Desert Dogs.

“Green Cap” Auction Begins Tomorrow

The White Sox tomorrow will begin auctioning autographed green caps worn by the team on St. Patrick’s Day at Kansas City. Bids can be submitted on whitesox.com. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago.

Quote of the Day

“It’s nice…I wish it added a couple more wins.”– Robin, kidding about Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s visit to camp and the fact he’s a huge Sox supporter.

Play of the Day

Alejandro De Aza’s first homer of the spring off of Royals’ Jeremy Guthrie in the 8-2 Kansas City victory.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Angels at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., Chicago time). Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox, Tommy Hanson for L.A.

Did You Know…

…that Chris Sale leads the Cactus League in ERA (4.19) and is tied for the lead in IP (19.1 IP) and wins (3)?

Photo of the Day

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Jeff Keppinger singled and drove in a run this afternoon–and is now hitting .472 in Cactus League play.

Five More Games, Then Sox Head North

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight

Jake Peavy and the Sox face Hyun-Jim Ryu and the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (9:05 p.m., Chicago time, live on MLB.TV, CSC or listen on WSCR).

Starting lineup: De Aza, cf; Sanchez, ss; Keppinger, 3b; Dunn, 1b; Flowers, c; Short, rf; Wise, lf; Tolleson, 2b; Peavy, p.

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Last Night

The Sox and A’s played to a 4-4 tie. Jose Quintana had a terrific outing, striking out nine in 5.2 IP.

On the Back Fields…

Today’s night game gave me a chance to watch some minor league baseball on the back fields this afternoon.

“You lost?” Asst GM/VP Buddy Bell asked when he saw me out at the cloverleaf.

Ignoring him as best I could, I focused on the two games going on at one time.

The big news was the 2.0 scoreless IP by Jesse Crain, who has been slowed all spring with a strained adductor. He faced a minimum six batters, striking out two and throwing 17 of 20 pitches for strikes.

On the other diamond, Addison Reed and Donnie Veal each got their work in early.

Reed threw 36 pitches (29 strikes), allowing two runs (one earned) over 2.0 IP (four strikeouts). Veal faced seven batters, allowing a two-run homer and striking out one.

On Fire

Jeff Keppinger is 6-7 (.857) with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored over his last three games … Paul Konerko owns a nine-game hitting streak, going 11-27 (.407) with a homer and four RBI … Dewayne Wise has hit safely in seven straight games (.391, 9-23).

Sale vs. Reed

With apologies to GM Rick Hahn’s Harvard Crimson (he went to law school there), which upset New Mexico on Thursday, the biggest shock of the NCAA tournament so far has been No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast University’s victory over No. 2 seed Georgetown last night. FGCU is Chris Sale’s alma mater and it was certainly cause for him to celebrate. So, who’s next for Florida Gulf Coast? San Diego State, alma mater of Chris’s teammate Addison Reed, tomorrow.

Coming and Going

The White Sox have acquired minor-league INF Cody Puckett from Cincinnati for cash considerations…Puckett hit .257 (504-1,959) with 77 home runs and 288 RBI over 538 games (five seasons) in the Reds organization … he was selected in the eighth round of the 2008 draft.
The Sox also traded minor-league OF Justin Green to Arizona for cash considerations.

Quote of the Day

Robin said yesterday that he expects to start the season with Keppinger hitting second, Rios third, Dunn fourth and Konerko fifth. He added that he will not hesitate to move guys around based on matchups and how they’re performing. He added that the rotation should line up this way to start the season: Sale, Peavy, Floyd, Quintana with the fifth spot likely Axelrod.

Play of the Day

When finished with his 2.0 IP of work, Crain was driven back in a golf cart to the major league clubhouse by guest coach Art “Cave” Kusyner. Only concern was that Cave doesn’t see all that well.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., Chicago time). It’s TBA for the Sox vs. Jeremy Guthrie. John Danks and Axelrod will appear in a minor league game.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox have now played to four ties this spring?

Photo of the Day

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Packing up to leave for Chicago. Opening Day approaching…

Sox-A’s Under the Lights in Phoenix, Opening Day Just 10 Days Away

Friday, March 22, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game/Lineup

Sox vs. A’s in Phoenix (9:05 p.m., Chicago time. Game can be seen live on MLB.TV). Jose Quintana (below), who is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in Cactus League play this spring, will start vs. Oakland’s Jarrod Parker. Also seeing action on the mound for the Sox will be Hector Santiago, David Purcey, Jeff Gray, Brian Omogrosso and Ramon Troncoso.

Starting Lineup: De Aza, cf; Ramirez, ss; Rios, rf; Gillaspie, 3b; Konerko, lb; Viciedo, lf; Gimenez, c; Flowers, dh; Beckham, 2b.

Quintana

Sox Among Cactus League Leaders

Paul Konerko is tied for second in home runs (5), ranks sixth in total bases (34) and seventh in slugging percentage (.694) … Adam Dunn is tied for fourth in the Cactus League in walks (9). Dylan Axelrod ranks second in opponent batting average (.231) and fifth in ERA (3.21) … Gavin Floyd is tied for sixth in the Cactus League in strikeouts (15) … Chris Sale is tied for third in IP (19.1) … Ramon Troncoso is tied for the CL lead in appearances (10).

Lindstrom Talks to Fans

New Sox reliever Matt LIndstrom was available to fans via #SoxPhone today. He certainly looks engaged.

SONY DSC

Opening Day Aces

Sale’s mound opponent on Opening Day (April 1) vs. the Royals will be James Shields, acquired by K.C. from the Rays in the offseason.

Sandy Hook Victims to be Honored by MLB

Major League Baseball will honor the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School during the opening games (3/31-4/2) of the 2013 regular season. All players, managers, coaches, umpires and on-field personnel will wear a symbolic ribbon patch and join fans in observing a pre-game moment of silence. The patch features Newtown’s official seal, a black memorial ribbon and 26 stars.

Poor Badger Bob

Bob Beghtol, longtime White Sox director of media relations, is a die-hard Wisconsin Badgers fan. Today was not a good day for Bob with Wisconsin getting upset by Ole Miss. His cell phone reportedly buzzed for 15 consecutive minutes following the Badger defeat with “friends” passing along their thoughts.

Quote of the Day

Robin on the return of De Aza and Rios from the WBC: “They’re ready to go, it’s nice to just have them back. You get a little more of the flow of how the lineup would go. They had a good time, but got enough work and they look fine.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (9:05 p.m., Chicago time). Jake Peavy vs. TBA for L.A.

Did You Know…

…that the White Sox will break camp at Camelback Ranch-Glendale after their game vs. the Tribe next Wednesday and fly back to Chicago? The Sox will play a pair of games at Miller Park vs. the Brewers on March 29 and 30 before Opening Day at at the Cell.

Photo of the Day

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Keppinger, Beckham Homer; Rios, De Aza Make Triumphant Return from WBC in Victory Over Brewers

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today’s News

Sox 8, Brewers 3

The White Sox brought their bats to the ballpark this afternoon in an 8-3 victory over the Brewers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. In a starting lineup that could be very close to the one that opens the season on April 1, the Sox pounded out 13 hits, highlighted by a pair of home runs–a solo homer by Jeff Keppinger, his first of the spring, and a two-run shot by Gordon Beckham, his third. Keppinger, who also singled in a run and walked, raised his spring batting average to .516.

Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza made the most of their return in their first game back from the WBC. Rios doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs along with two runs scored. De Aza singled, doubled and scored two runs.

Chris Sale got credit for the win, giving up three runs and four hits along with three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Addison Reed and Matt Thornton each pitched a scoreless inning.

Roster Moves

After today’s game, the White Sox optioned outfielders Jordan Danks and Blake Tekotte to Class AAA Charlotte. The Sox now have 34 players in major league camp: 18 pitchers, three catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders.

#MAKEANIMPACT: The Latest Commercial

Check out the fun: http://atmlb.com/11hj249 and watch what happens next at whitesox.com/pie.

Following the daily meeting with RV and Bernie (Mark Parent), we slipped a DVD of the new commercial into the clubhouse video system. Players gathered around–including PK, Dunner, Flowers and Alexei–to watch their Oscar-worthy work. The biggest laughs came when Alexei delivered his lines…”C’mon, Man” and “And that’s the way you do it” while there were a few “wows” at the images of guys getting drilled in the face with a pie (or in the case of Nate Jones, getting hit by pie remnants meant for Reed). Here are actors Jones, Reed and Sale during the shoot:

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PK

Paul Konerko’s outstanding career and reputation as the consummate professional is well known throughout baseball circles. As Sox fans know, Paulie has also done exemplary work in the community. Here, in a byline story in the Sun-Times, PK talks about the importance of giving back.

http://www.suntimes.com/18984710-761/paul-konerko-on-how-hes-helping-support-chicagos-children-and-families-in-need.html

March Madness

Compare your brackets with those of John Danks, Adam Dunn, Nate Jones, Robin Ventura and Jerry Reinsdorf.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151846411948298.1073741826.45484098297&type=1

Bullpen Aces

Matt Lindstrom and Nate Jones both appeared in minor-league games today at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Lindstrom went 2.0 IP and Jones went an extended 1.0 (no specific pitch counts).

Coop said they both had very good workouts, worked on a variety of pitches and are on track to be ready for Opening Day

Quote of the Day

A group of 40-50 White Sox executives, players and staff attended a private screening last night of the new Jackie Robinson movie, “42.” Those on hand included Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Kenny Williams, Harold Baines, Donnie Veal and several minor league players including Deunte Heath and Trayce Thompson. The Chairman, who grew up in Brooklyn as a Dodger fan at the time Robinson broke the color line, raved about the realism of actor Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Ebbets Field “even down to the signs on the building and outfield walls and the hot dog stand just outside the front gate.”

Here’s more on Reinsdorf’s review of “42”: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-video-jerry-reinsdorf-on-jackie-robinson-after-watching-42-20130320,0,4654500.story

Play of the Day

Welcome back! Let’s give it to Rios and De Aza, who both excelled in their return to the Sox lineup.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. A’s at Phoenix (9:05 p.m., Chicago time). Jose Quintana will start for the Sox. Jarrod Parker, who grew up as a Sox fan while growing up in the Fort Wayne, IN area, will be the starter for Oakland.

Did You Know…

…that Gavin Floyd is tied for the Cactus League lead in strikeouts (15) and ranks fourth in ERA (4.61)?

Photo of the Day

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A look at the new ballpark in Birmingham, AL–Regions Field–home to the White Sox’s Class AA affiliate.

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