Sale Sharp, Short Goes Long (Twice)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
Brandon Short: What a Day!