March 2013

Sale on New Contract: “It Means the World to Me”

Friday, March 8, 2013

Today’s News

Change of Plans

On a chilly, rainy day in Glendale, today’s scheduled Cactus League starter for the Sox, Jake Peavy, threw on the back fields instead to make sure he got his work in. Adam Dunn was a healthy scratch and ended up hitting off Jake. Jeff Gray replaced Peavy and Seth Loman was in the starting lineup for Dunn against San Diego.

It’s a good thing Peavy and the Sox chose that option as the game with the Padres was postponed after three innings because of the inclement weather. Before the contest was called with the Sox leading 4-1, Loman drove in a run with a first inning sac fly, Carlos Sanchez delivered an RBI single in the second inning and Angel Sanchez singled in a pair in the second as well. Gray went two innings, giving up a lone run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts while Matt Lindstrom pitched a scoreless inning.

Quote of the Day

Chris Sale on what it means that the White Sox made this type of commitment so soon: “It means the world to me. I spoke to Rick (Hahn) about it and told him, ‘I appreciate this more than him getting me to the big leagues quick.’ Getting here means they wanted me, but now they want to keep me. This means they want me to stay around so it means the world to me, and like I said I couldn’t have been in a better situation. I have to thank Jerry (Reinsdorf) for everything he’s done. My dad sat me down when I was talking with him on the phone and said ‘You have to take a step back and look at it…what other team would you rather play for? What owner would you rather play for? What coaching staff would you rather play for?’ I have everything I want right here and I’m fortunate for this opportunity and very, very thankful for it.”

Play of the Day

Although the game was postponed, let’s give props to Angel Sanchez for his single and two RBIs.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Diamondbacks, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). John Danks, who will make his second start of the spring, faces former Sox pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Did You Know…

…that Danks was a top pitching prospect in the Texas organization when he was dealt to the White Sox before the 2007 season for McCarthy, who pitched for the Sox in 2005-06?

Photo of the Day

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Chris Sale meets the media this morning, the day after agreeing to a long-term contract with the Sox.

Here’s the entire transcript of Sale’s media session:

Q: Now that the contract is done is it a relief?

Sale: It’s definitely a big relief on my end. Everything going into the last couple of weeks, I really haven’t been myself because it kind of took over my mind a little bit. I tried to do everything I could to stay focused and not let it run my life or anything. It’s definitely a big relief.

Q: Was it tough to sit on the news until they officially released it?

Sale: Yea, obviously with people asking you can’t really tell. You don’t want to say anything; obviously I wanted the team to release it how they wanted to. I almost slipped up, but I think we went at it the right way.

Q: Peavy mentioned you don’t have to focus on salary anymore, what does this do in terms of a baseball perspective for you?

Sale: That’s probably the thing that makes me feel the best about it. The worst part about this game is the business side, for me anyways. Now I don’t have to worry about the business side for the next five, six years. I can be like a kid again; all I have to do is just prepare myself and play. There’s a lot to be said for that and I don’t think I could’ve been in a better situation. Being able to play in the city of Chicago with this team, this organization, coaching staff and the types of players we have in the clubhouse makes me feel very fortunate. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given.

Q: What does it mean to you that the White Sox made this type of commitment to you so soon?

Sale: It means the world to me. I spoke to Rick (Hahn) about it and told him, ‘I appreciate this more than him getting me to the big leagues quick.’ Getting here means they wanted me, but now they want to keep me. This means they want me to stay around so it means the world to me, and like I said I couldn’t have been in a better situation. I have to thank Jerry (Reinsdorf) for everything he’s done. My dad sat me down when I was talking with him on the phone and said ‘You have to take a step back and look at it…what other team would you rather play for? What owner would you rather play for? What coaching staff would you rather play for?’ I have everything I want right here and I’m fortunate for this opportunity and very, very thankful for it.

Q: Does it concern you that you traded away future dollars for the security now?

Sale: I was very well educated on the process not only for what I was getting, but for what I was giving up. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it and actually watched a YouTube video with a kid from Detroit going through some really tough times and he said one thing that stuck with me, ‘I’m not going to sit here and think about what’s happened to me in the past or what I could have or what I don’t have.’ I’m here to worry about what I do have and I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have. It’s a blessing for me and my family so I’m not going to look past this. I’m going to be able to lay my head down just fine every night knowing what I just did.

Q: Are you worried about trying to do too much to justify this contract?

Sale: That’s the biggest part, just trying to stay myself and stay the course. I don’t feel like I need to do anything differently than I have in the past and I don’t think I will. I have too many great people surrounding me with family, friends and this clubhouse. The guys here will keep me in check to stay on the road I need to stay on. I’m grateful for that too. No one in here is going to let me slip up and they’ll keep pushing me to the max. That’s what it’s going to take and that’s what I’m prepared for.

Q: Is the conditioning program you began in the last year a turning point for you?

Sale: It’s been a big part of my regimen. I stay on top of that to maintain strength and flexibility. I lean on the (training staff) here, these guys are here for a reason and they’ve been great for a long time. I see no other reason than to keep putting my trust in these guys because they’re going to keep helping me as long as I want to be helped and I want as much as I can.

Q: In your wildest imagination have you ever pictured getting a contract like this?

Sale: No, it’s kind of surreal. It’s still crazy to me. The last couple of weeks I’ve been going back and thinking about what it’s been like growing up and where I came from … a kid from Lakeland (Fla.) not really thinking anything too much, going to a smaller college and getting drafted. You never think about it until it’s here and it came. It still blows my mind.

Q: Do you feel any added responsibilities because of the contract, such as a leadership role into the future?

Sale: Absolutely. They’re putting a lot of trust in me and I need to do everything I can to be the guy they want me to be. With the contract not only comes on the field responsibilities, but off the field responsibilities too. I just have to be the best person I can be and stay the course and not think too much of it.

Q: How would you describe your journey from last year at this time to now?

Sale: It’s a whirlwind. It’s kind of like a dream. You go through it and it’s the offseason where it kind of sinks in. When you’re going through the mental and physical grind everyday it’s the down time when you sit back and think about all of the stuff that happened. I’m very grateful for last year and I’m very thankful for the people that I was surrounded by. I know its very cliché, but I 100% believe I wouldn’t be here without the people in this clubhouse and organization.

Sox Double Their Pleasure: Sign Sale to Long-Term Deal, Defeat Cubs

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Today’s News

From the Official Sox Press Release…

The White Sox have agreed to terms on a five-year, $32.5-million contract with left-handed pitcher Chris Sale, which includes club options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Under terms of the contract, Sale, who turns 24 on March 30, will receive $850,000 in 2013, $3.5 million in 2014, $6.0 million in 2015, $9.15 million in 2016 and $12 million in 2017. The White Sox hold options for 2018 at $12.5 million and for 2019 at $13.5 million. If either option is declined, Sale will receive a $1.0-million buyout.

Sale went 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA (65 ER/192.0 IP) and 192 strikeouts in 2012, his first professional season as a starting pitcher, was selected to his first American League All-Star Team and finished sixth in Cy Young Award voting.

His 192 strikeouts were the most by a White Sox left-hander since Floyd Bannister fanned 198 in 1985, and his 17 victories were the most by a Sox lefty since Mark Buehrle won 19 in 2002.

The 6-foot-6, 180-pounder ranked among the AL leaders last season in numerous categories, including ERA (4th), strikeouts per 9.0 IP (4th, 9.0), wins (T4th), winning percentage (T5th, .680), opponents average (6th, .235), opponents on-base percentage (6th, .291), strikeout-to-walk ratio (8th, 3.76) and strikeouts (9th).

Sale recorded 11 or more strikeouts four times in 2012, joining Ed Walsh (four in 1910) and Javier Vazquez (four in 2006) as the only pitchers in White Sox history to accomplish the feat. He became the fifth White Sox pitcher to strike out 13-plus batters twice in one season (15 on May 28 at Tampa Bay and 13 on August 22 vs. New York-AL)

In two-plus seasons with Chicago, Sale has gone 21-11 with a 2.89 ERA (92 ER/286.1 IP) and 303 strikeouts in 109 games (29 starts), holding opponents to a .223 (234-1,048) average.

Sale was selected by the White Sox in the first round (13th overall) in 2010 and was the only member of that draft class to play in the major leagues that season. He had been on pace to be arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2013 season and a free agent following the 2016 season.

More Sale

On Wednesday’s off-day, Sale threw 4.0 IP/65 pitches in a simulated game facing minor league hitters. Coop said it was a “great day of work and whatever other adjectives you want to use.”

Sox 8, Cubs 3

The Sox, who pounded out 14 hits, improved their Spring record to 6-3-2 with today’s 8-3 victory over the Cubs in Mesa…Paulie, who smashed two solo homers, enjoyed his second consecutive 3 for 3 day…Adam Dunn (two-run homer) and PK went back-to-back in the five-run sixth inning…Gordon Beckham (double), Blake Tekotte (sac fly), Seth Loman (groundout) and Tyler Flowers (double) also drove in runs…Starter Jose Quintana went 3 2/3 innings, allowing a run, two hits, a walk and struck out four. Relievers Ramon Troncoso (1.0), Donnie Veal (0.1), Brian Omogrosso (1.0), Deunte Heath (1.0) Santos Rodriguez (1.0) and Jhan Marinez (0.1) all pitched scoreless ball.

Quote of the Day

Sox GM Rick Hahn on the Sale signing: “It’s nice to be able to, on one hand, reward Chris for not only his accomplishments on the field, but how hard he works off the field to prepare himself to achieve at the high level he did last year. As importantly to us, obviously, is to have the ability to control what we feel is one of the premier young starters in the American League for potentially up to the next seven years.”

Play of the Day

The back-to-back home runs by Dunn and Konerko.

Sox Notes of Note

Hahn addressed the media today in the back of the HoHoKam Ballpark press box wearing a Blackhawks cap…DeBo, new White Sox first base coach Daryl Boston, does many things “in style.” Today was no different. While most Sox players and coaches walked onto the field from the bus parked beyond right field corner, not DeBo. Smiling broadly, he was driven to the White Sox dugout on an eight passenger golf cart. Alone.

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Padres at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). The Sox’s Jake Peavy and the Padres’ Clayton Richard are the scheduled starters. Peavy and Richard also were the mound opponents last Sunday in Peoria.

Did You Know…

…that Sox catcher Hector Gimenez is 6 for 10 this spring in four Cactus League games?

Photo of the Day

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What a difference three years make. Here’s Chris Sale throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a Sox-Braves game at U.S. Cellular Field shortly after he was drafted in June of 2010.

Sox and Team USA Battle to 4-4 Tie as Paulie has Quite a Birthday

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Today’s News

It’s a Draw

The White Sox and Team USA played to a 4-4 tie this afternoon with the game called after nine innings. The Sox pounded out 13 hits. Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham each collected three singles and an RBI, Alexei Ramirez singled twice with a run batted in, Dewayne Wise doubled and singled and Conor Gillaspie doubled and drove in a run.

Pitching-wise, Gavin Floyd, in his first spring start, went 2 2/3 scoreless innings giving up a pair of hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Hector Santiago (1 1/3), Matt Thornton (1.0), Nate Jones (1.0) and Dylan Axelrod (1.0) were also unscored upon.

The Morning After

In the category of “that’s what I wanted to hear”: John Danks, who looked good in his first Cactus League appearance yesterday, felt normal soreness today but otherwise felt fine.

#MAKEANIMPACT

The Sox’s 2013 #MAKEANIMPACT campaign began today. Here are behind-the scenes photos from the TV commercial that debuts tonight during the Blackhawks game on Comcast SportsNet and a look at how the campaign launched in the Trib and Sun-Times.

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Sox Moves

Before today’s game vs. Team USA, the Sox made the following six roster moves:

* Optioned LHP Charlie Leesman to Class AAA Charlotte.
* Reassigned C Michael Blanke, RHP Jacob Petricka, INF Tyler Saladino, C Kevan Smith and INF Andy Wilkins to minor-league camp.

With the moves, the White Sox have 55 players remaining in major-league camp: 28 pitchers, four catchers, 13 infielders and 10 outfielders.

World’s Best Bullpen Session

This morning, I had the chance to watch closer Addison Reed throw his bullpen session in front of pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen (pictured below).

Reed, to say the least, was dealing.

“Best ever?” Coop asked Reed when he was done.

Reed tossed his glove to the ground in triumph.

“Best bullpen of my life!”

No joke: Reed ended his session by having catcher Adam Ricks cover his eyes with his right hand. Reed then threw a 95-mph strike right to Ricks’ glove hand (thankfully, for Ricks). It was stunning to watch.

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Quote of the Day

There’s in shape and then there is the sculpted physique of OF Jared Mitchell.

White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams walked past a shirtless Mitchell in the training room and wisecracked: “Next year, come to spring training in shape!”

Play of the Day

White Sox minor league pitcher Matt Zaleski, who pitched for both Class AA Birmingham and AAA Charlotte in 2012, was one of a group of Sox players who were “borrowed” by Team USA for today’s game. Little did Zaleski know when he showed up to camp this morning that he would be playing with the USA team and throwing to none other than All-Star catcher Joe Mauer.

Zaleski couldn’t have done better. He faced one batter and induced Hector Gimenez to ground into a double play to end the fifth inning.

As he entered the game, the press box phone rang. “Who is this guy?” a member of the Sox video crew asked.

“Zaleski,” was the reply.

“Oh, our guy.” Click.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

It’s an off-day for the White Sox. On Thursday, the Sox travel to Mesa to meet the Cubs (2:05 p.m. Chicago Time). Jose Quintana, who was so impressive in his first appearance this spring, will be the Sox starter vs. the Cubs’ Carlos Villanueva.

Did You Know…

…that Robin is the only manager in major league history who has won an Olympic Gold Medal in baseball? He batted .409 to help Team USA emerge victorious in 1988 at Seoul, Korea.

Happy Birthday to You

Wished Paul Konerko a Happy Birthday this morning (No. 37 for the Captain if anyone is counting) and got a smile and a fist bump in return. And how is Paulie going to celebrate his birthday? Big plans. He is heading to a North Scottsdale Little League game to watch his sons. Sounds like any father’s idea of a perfect birthday.

Photo of the Day

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PK celebrates his birthday with a 3 for 3 day–three singles, an RBI and a run scored.

Danks Happy With First Cactus League Start and “Couldn’t Really Have Asked For More”

Monday, March 4, 2013

Today’s News

A Good Start…

All eyes were on John Danks today in his first Cactus League appearance of the spring. And after his two-plus inning, 35-pitch outing–allowing just one run without giving up a walk–he was happy with his performance and to be back on the mound in game action after shoulder surgery. Danks retired six of the eight batters he faced and 27 of his 35 pitches were strikes. He reached 89 mph.

“All good,” Danks told reporters after his outing. “Glad to get the first one out of the way. I couldn’t really have asked for more…my main focus was throwing strikes and I was able to do that…I feel good right now. The test will be tomorrow and the next day.”

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…And a Good Win

Dewayne Wise smashed a three-run opposite field homer, Alexei Ramirez doubled in a run and Paul Konerko collected a run-scoring single as the Sox defeated the World Champion Giants this afternoon, 6-2 on 11 hits, at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. On the mound, Donnie Veal (1.0), Simon Castro (2.0), Jhan Marinez (1.0) and Brian Omogrosso (1.0) all were unscored upon…Castro has been especially superb this spring, striking out eight and allowing only two hits in five innings.

Crain Withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Unfortunately, White Sox reliever Jesse Crain had to be scratched from the Team Canada WBC roster due to a sprained left adductor muscle. The injury is not considered serious, but it did keep Crain from his last scheduled Cactus League appearance. After consulting with doctors, Crain contacted Team Canada officials to inform them of his having to withdraw.

More White Sox WBC News

Other Sox players participating in the WBC include pitcher Andre Rienzo (Brazil) outfielders Alejandro De Aza (Dominican Republic) and Alex Rios (Puerto Rico) and infielder Andy Gonzalez (PR). While Brazil has already been eliminated, Rienzo was impressive against a very good Cuba team. Though he was the losing pitcher, he held the Cubans hitless over the first four innings and at one point retired nine consecutive batters.

Sox Win in “B” Game Action vs. Padres

Nothing like morning baseball to get the blood pumping. The White Sox travelled to Peoria to face the Padres in a “B” Game at 10:00 a.m. today and left with a 4-1 win behind a two-run triple by Kevan Smith and a double off the center field wall by Andy Wilkins. Zach Stewart and Jacob Petricka had scoreless outings for the Sox. Former Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin was working through some running drills on an adjacent field and stopped by the dugout to say hello to coach Gary Ward and others.

Paulie Talks Blackhawks

Dan Hayes of CSN took some video in the clubhouse this morning of Captain Konerko waxing poetic about his beloved Blackhawks. Seems Paulie is hoping the Hawks hit a bump in the road at some point to alleviate the pressure when the Stanley Cup playoffs come around.

Play of the Day

Sox reliever Ramon Troncoso played Houdini in the third inning today, escaping a bases loaded, no out situation by striking out the Giants’ Joaquin Arias and inducing Cole Gillespie to hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Props also to Gordon Beckham for making a terrific stab to start the DP.

Sox Note of Note

Keon Barnum, selected in the 2012 draft as a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds (48th overall), suffered a fractured hamate bone (right wrist) during BP in minor league mini-camp. Barnum had surgery today and normal recovery time is six weeks.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Team USA at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Starter Gavin Floyd makes his first spring start vs. Derek Holland of the Texas Rangers. This is a warmup for Team USA as WBC play begins Friday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Did You Know…

…that Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod has pitched 5.0 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in two appearances (one start) this spring?

Photo of the Day

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Danks back in action.

Sox News and Notes on a Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Today’s News

Wardrobe Malfunction

You can’t make this stuff up. Every player is responsible for bringing his jersey to away games. Today, starting pitcher Jake Peavy’s travel bag didn’t have a jersey when he arrived at Peoria’s ballpark just a few miles north of Glendale. So the former Cy Young Award winner tried to make do by using athletic tape to spell P-e-a-v-y on the back of a blank “54” jersey. All turned out OK by first pitch, though, as Jake’s No. 44 arrived at the ballpark in Peoria by the time he took the mound.

Robin quipped, “Jake had an Alabama jersey with him, but we didn’t think it would be appropriate.”

Alexei Returns

Alexei Ramirez is back in camp and was in the starting lineup today after being away for a few days dealing with a personal matter.

Sizzling Spring Stats

Some outstanding offensive performances entering today’s game: Hector Gimenez was 5-7 (.714) with two RBI in three Cactus League games … Josh Bell was batting .556 (5-9) with a double, triple, home run, five RBI and four runs scored in six games … Jared Mitchell was hitting .417 (5-12) with a double, triple, home run and four RBI in five games … Alex Rios, who has left the team to play for Team Puerto Rico in the WBC, was hitting .456 (5-11) with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and two runs scored in four games.

Go Blackhawks!

The Blackhawks game (a 10:30 a.m. start here in the desert) was on television throughout the Sox complex (Nancy Nesnidal, assistant to GM Rick Hahn, is one of the biggest fans. Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa are two of her favorites). Nancy, of course, is now very happy as the Hawks beat the Red Wings in a shootout as they extended their unprecedented streak to 22 straight games with a point to open a season.

Friendly Fire

So one of the ways Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly runs camp is with an air horn to tell players when to rotate fields and drills. The thing blows throughout the morning and since our fields are so close to their practice fields, we can hear the horn all the time.

You can guess what comes next.

A couple of days ago, Robin Ventura and his coaching staff began to use their own air horn at completely random times simply to confuse the Dodger players and disrupt their practice.

I can’t divulge more, but stay tuned later this spring for the second wave …
Quote of the Day

Robin on the newly-acquired Conor Gillaspie, who has already hit two Cactus League homers: “He’s a very aggressive kid at the plate who wants to play hard.” Gillaspie collected an infield hit today in his only plate appearance and is now sporting a .357 average.

Play of the Day

In today’s 4-0 loss to the Padres, the Sox enjoyed some excellent pitching. Addison Reed and Matt Lindstrom each pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout and Nestor Molina gave up only a pair of hits in two innings of work…Peavy gave up three runs in three innings, but finished strong by retiring the last five batters he faced.

Sox Notes of Note

Vice Chairman Eddie Einhorn and Special Assistant to the Chairman Dennis Gilbert are in camp this week. Good to see them both…Today’s team meeting was one of the shortest in baseball history. Can’t really share the details.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Giants at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). John Danks makes his first Cactus League appearance for the Sox vs. San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong…There’s also a “B” game against the Padres in Peoria (10:00 a.m.).

Did You Know…

…that Alex Rios was the only player in the American League and one of two in the major leagues (Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun) to hit .300 with 30 doubles, 25 homers, 90 RBI, 20 stolen bases and 300 total bases in 2012?

Photo of the Day

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John Danks, with Coop by his side, prepares for his first start.

Quintana is Perfect, Danks Set to Go and the Legends of “Cave” and Man Soo Lee

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Today’s News

4-0

Highlights from today’s 4-0 Sox win: A masterful Jose Quintana and five relievers combined to shut out the Reds on just four hits at Camelback Ranch on a perfect weather day for baseball…Quintana pitched three perfect innings with two strikeouts and Hector Santiago (2.0 innings), Nate Jones (1.0), Donnie Veal (1.0), Jhan Marinez (1.0) and Ramon Troncoso (1.0) all followed without giving up a run…Jones averaged 97 mph this afternoon and hit 99…Offensively, Jared Mitchell hit a solo homer, his first of the spring, doubled and drove in a pair. Conor Gillaspie smashed his second homer in Cactus League play and Carlos Sanchez singled in a run.

Jose

After his outstanding outing, Quintana said he feels really good about his performance. He added that he’s working hard and it’s nice to see results from his work, which focused on strength and durability with cardio, weights and then throwing.

He commented that he is preparing mentally for a long season and said his arm felt good last year, but it was the longest season he’s ever experienced.

Danks Meets the Media, Ready for First Spring Start Monday vs. Giants at Camelback Ranch

“I’m excited to get back in a game situation. Monday’s going to be about trying to get guys out. Coop always says velocity is the third most important thing to pitching behind getting the ball to go where you want and getting it to do what you want.”

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Looking for Options

It was an interesting day on the field this afternoon as Robin explores all his options for the 25-man roster that will break camp. Third basemen Brent Morel and Conor Gillaspie were at shortstop and first base, respectively, in today’s starting lineup. Who was the third base starter? Jeff Keppinger.

Welcomed Guest

For the past two springs, Manager Robin Ventura has invited former bullpen coach Art Kusnyer to camp to offer his experience and to lighten the mood.

Today, RV spoke to the team about remembering final at-bats (for Robin, a dribbler back to the mound that didn’t clear the dirt. “I was thrown out by 15 feet. Not exactly a Hollywood ending”). RV asked “Cave” if he remembered his final at-bat.

Talk about setting the ball on a tee! Cave has a classic story about his final career at-bat, one that came in a pinch-hit appearance for Class AAA Evansville. Instead of Kusnyer facing the expected soft-tossing left-hander, the opposing manager – one Jim Leyland – brought in a hard-throwing right-hander.

The clubhouse was in stitches as Cave describes his final at-bat, a futile effort that led to a weak strikeout.

When he returned to the dugout, Cave ordered his pitcher and catcher to hit the first batter in the next inning. Not because he struck out, but so that Cave could go after Leyland for setting Cave up (note: Leyland and Cave are fast friends now).

This re-counting doesn’t do justice to Cave’s story, which had everyone laughing, and a lot of the tale cannot be printed without inducing some blushing, but trust me when I say this is one of those you have to hear at some point in your life.

The Rubdown

Bullpen catcher Mark Salas (left), Cave and their staff prepare for today’s workout and game by rubbing down baseballs.

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Man Soo Lee

Watching this morning’s WBC game between Korea and The Netherlands on MLB Network made me think of the great Man Soo Lee. Man Soo served as our bullpen catcher from 2000-2006 before heading back to Korea after the 2006 season to coach and then manage in his country’s professional league.

A fan favorite in both countries, Man Soo is known as the “Hulk” and “The Babe Ruth of Korea” (a player from 1982-97, he held their home run record until 1999).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Soo_Lee

I still remember when he first arrived in Tucson for spring training.

Early one morning there was a Korean man in the lobby who couldn’t speak English. Our offices happened to be right off the lobby, so we joined in trying to figure out who he was, what he was doing there and who he was supposed to meet. Man Soo sat patiently in the lobby. And he sat. And he sat. I think he ended up spending all day waiting (now, in retrospect, how embarrassing to us to have Korea’s Babe Ruth sitting and waiting in our lobby).

Eventually, he found the person he was looking for (I don’t recall who), and the next thing we know, he is heading to Class AAA Charlotte to serve as a coach for the year.

By the next spring, he was in big league camp, with his infectious enthusiasm, energy and constant smile. He went from knowing no English to fitting right into a major league bullpen, which, come to think of it, might not be that big a leap after all!

I can still remember him taking part in a home run derby at our exhibition game in Cooperstown, NY, and I still laugh about the time I went out to eat sushi with Man Soo, Hermie, Harold and others. Turns out many of the chefs at Japanese sushi restaurants are Korean. They all came out to visit with the celebrity in the house. Service was not a problem.

Quote of the Day

For the record, here’s the Don Cooper mantra Danks was referring to: “It’s location, movement, velocity, in that order. Look at Buehrle.”

Play of the Day

Since props have already been given to Quintana, let’s give it to Mitchell.

Tomorrow’s schedule

White Sox vs. Padres at Peoria (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Jake Peavy will start for the Sox vs. former Sox Clayton Richard for San Diego. Ironically, Peavy came to Chicago in a trade that included Richard and others.

Sox Notes of Note:

Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza leave tomorrow to join PR and DR teams, respectively, in San Juan. Sox PR gurus Ray Garcia and Lou Hernandez are also headed that way to help MLB with media relations around the event…A “B” game has been scheduled against the Padres for 10:00 a.m. Monday in Peoria.

Did You Know…

…that former Sox closer and current bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen was a college teammate of former major leaguers Jeff Brantley, Will Clark and Rafael Palmiero at Mississippi State?

Photo of the Day

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White Sox in the World Baseball Classic (Clockwise from upper left): Andre Rienzo (Brazil), Alex Rios (Puerto Rico), Alejandro De Aza (Dominican Republic) and Jesse Crain (Canada).

Power Aplenty for Sox vs. Tribe

Friday, March 1, 2013

Today’s News

Home Run Derby

The Sox brought the lumber to Goodyear today, smashing three home runs–a mammoth solo blast by Dayan Viciedo, a two-run homer by Brent Morel and a three-run job by shortstop Marcus Semien–in the 9-7 loss to the Indians…Catcher Hector Gimenez had a 3 for 3 day with an RBI and two runs scored…In his first start of the spring, Chris Sale went 2 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and a walk along with three strikeouts.

Quite a Compliment

Heard in the Sox clubhouse: Adam Dunn talking about how ridiculously good Viciedo is.

Sox Fans Congregate in Goodyear

Although it was a road game for the Sox today, you wouldn’t know it by the crowd. There seemed to be as many White Sox fans as Indians rooters. That’s unofficial, of course.

Sox Notes of Note

Entering today’s game the White Sox led the Cactus League in triples (six), ranked second in average (.307) and slugging percentage (.509), third in RBI (45) and on-base percentage (.385) and were tied for third in runs scored (45) and home runs (eight)…Sox pitchers were tied for first in the CL in hits allowed (47), ranked second in opponents average (.234), third in runs allowed (27) and fourth in ERA (4.25)…Seth Loman was tied for first in the CL with six RBI and tied for second with two homers…White Sox starting pitchers were 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA (6 ER/16.0 IP) over six starts … Sox starters had allowed just two earned runs over the last three games (8.0 IP).

Prospects Impressive

From Dan Hayes at CSN:

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/white-sox-talk/white-sox-prospects-continue-shine

Quote of the Day

Cleveland starter Justin Masterson’s reaction to giving up Viciedo’s long homer in the second inning: “He swings hard.”

Play of the Day

A tie. Viciedo’s bomb to left that had ‘em oohing and aahing in the press box and Semien’s three-run homer in the sixth.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Reds at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Jose Quintana will start for the Sox against Bronson Arroyo.

Did You Know…

…Vance Law, who was the third baseman on the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox and now a special assistant to player development for the Sox, is the son of 1960 National League Cy Young Award winner Vernon Law?

Photo of the Day

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