PK on a Roll…to Say the Least

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Today’s News

Hotter than Hot

If you find a player anywhere hotter than Paulie, let me know. Before he lined out in the third inning of today’s 11-9 loss to the Diamondbacks, Konerko (who singled in his first plate appearance and scored) had a hit in seven straight at-bats. He was back at it again in the fifth by smashing a three-run homer and is now a blistering 9-12 with three home runs, seven RBI and six runs scored over his last four games. He’s hitting .409 overall this spring.

Rivera

Mariano Rivera’s announcement today that the 2013 will be his final season in the majors brought back my memory of his very first appearance against the Chicago White Sox on July 4, 1995 at then New Comiskey Park.

The 25-year-old Rivera had started three games for the Yankees earlier that season and had been sent down with a 10.25 ERA (imagine!) and was battling injuries.

He was called up to start that day against the Sox, and wow!

Rivera allowed just two hits and struck out 11 over 8.0 IP as the Yankees won, 4-1. Frank Thomas had both hits. Lance Johnson (0-4), Robin Ventura (0-4), Warren Newson (0-4, four strikeouts) and Ray Durham (0-4) were notables in the Sox lineup. Alex Fernandez, who went 8.2 IP, took the loss.

Always made me wonder what his career would have been like if he had remained a starter.

GM Insight

Friday morning, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn joined Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Jed Hoyer, GM of the Cubs, on a special panel hosted by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny at the SABR Analytics Conference at the downtown Phoenix Sheraton.

Among Hahn’s comments …

“We all need to find a way to enjoy the wins as much as the losses hurt,” he said of the pain and suffering often felt by baseball front offices. “If we can’t enjoy this unique opportunity, then we’re doing something wrong.”

Hahn expressed that the most important part of a GM’s job is to create the right environment for decision making, where everyone in an organization – scouts, analytic experts and manager/coaches/staff – can debate their own, and each other’s, perspectives in order to reach the correct decision. “It’s ultimately about communicating,” Hahn said.

All three GMs said one of their first habits each day is to search the web for news and information. They cited MLB.com, team websites, ESPN.com, Hardball Times, SI.com, CBS.com, Fangraphs, RotoWorld, Baseball Prospectus and fan blogs about other teams as their frequent sources on the news, injuries and needs for other teams. “It’s about looking for opportunities,” Daniels said.

Hahn added that he enjoyed visiting the popular SouthSideSox blog.

“I like to see how they approach our decisions,” he said. “It’s interesting to read analysis by people who really care about the organization and are interested in our success.”

I was disappointed no one mentioned this blog … (actually, I would be more worried if one of them did!).

Faster than a Speeding Bullet

Reliever Nate Jones hit 100 mph on the speed gun during his fourth inning stint this afternoon.

Quote of the Day

During the second inning of Friday’s rain-halted game, the literally red phone rang in the White Sox dugout.

“You’ve got about 20 minutes until it really starts raining,” manager Robin Ventura was told.

“So you really want us to put our foot down and try?” he wise-cracked back.

The Sox went on to score three times in the inning, so apparently Ventura was, indeed, holding back.

I’m thinking that we call Friday’s result a Sox victory …

Play of the Day

Konerko, of course, hands down. But let’s give kudos to non-roster invitee Josh Bell, the DH, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning this afternoon off of Brandon McCarthy. Bell is now batting .500 this spring with a pair of home runs and seven RBI. Alexei Ramirez singled, doubled and drove in two runs in the White Sox’s 13-hit attack.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

A split-squad Sunday, both games at 3:05 p.m., Chicago time: White Sox vs. Reds at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox vs. Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto. White Sox vs. Mariners at Peoria. Starters will be Dylan Axelrod for the Sox and Andrew Carraway for Seattle.

Sox Lineups: Against the Reds: Wise, lf, C. Sanchez, 2b, Dunn, lb, Konerko, DH, Bell, 3b, Ramirez,ss, Flowers, c, Tekotte, cf, Thompson, rf. Versus the Mariners: Mitchell, rf; Beckham, 2b, Keppinger, 3b, Gillaspie, 1b, Viciedo, lf, Morel, dh, Jordan Danks, cf, Phegley, c, A. Sanchez, ss.

Did You Know…

…that with his two singles today, newly-acquired infielder Jeff Keppinger is 7-14 in his last five games and batting .476 this spring?

Photo of the Day

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The Captain is Cruising.

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