April 2013

Flowers, Quintana Put Sox in Great Position to Win Series

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN) in the final game of the four-game series north of the border and the 10-game road trip. Starters: Chris Sale (1-1) for the Sox, R.A. Dickey (1-2) for the Jays.

Sox Starting Lineup: Wise, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Konerko, DH; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Flowers, C.

The White Sox will be looking for their third straight win against the Blue Jays and their eighth victory of the year. A “w” will put us back at the .500 mark after the long road trip that started with three losses in D.C.

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Sox Notes of Note

Alex Rios, who homered last night, ranks among the American League leaders in home runs (T3rd, 5), slugging percentage (4th, .684), OPS (6th, 1.097), batting average (8th, .351) and stolen bases (T8th, 3). He has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games dating back to last season and is a career .291 hitter with nine doubles, seven home runs and 16 RBI in 25 games vs Toronto, his former team…Dayan Viciedo is 6-12 with three doubles and two RBI in this series…The Sox bullpen leads the A.L. with a 1.77 ERA and a .181 opponents average.

Surprise

So I let Robin Ventura down.  Disappointed the skipper. 

All last season, I chided Ventura about the bare walls of his office.  No shelves.  No photos.  It didn’t look like the office of a major league manager, I told him.

So apparently, at some point, I was directed to solve this problem over the winter.  Robin swears it.  Mark Parent swears it (and when he says something to you, you REALLY pay attention). 

Arriving in U.S. Cellular Field for the workout before Opening Day, I took some abuse.

“Apparently, this whole thing is just temporary,” I was told.

“If you had signed that contract extension, there would be things hanging on the walls,” I answered back (in jest).

And so on this first road trip of the season, my staff and I contacted several sources for photos and images to decorate the manager’s office in time to surprise him when he arrives at the park tomorrow midday.

We called all around.  One call went to Sports Illustrated, where RV appeared on a September 1998 cover along with three other Mets in “The Best Infield Ever.”  Could we get a copy of the cover to frame?

Sure, they answered, we’ll get it right to you ASAP.

True to their word, a package arrived yesterday from Salt Lake City.  Inside was the cover, only it was the wrong cover …

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Somewhere in Bucharest, a young girl must have been really puzzled and disappointed to receive a shipment with a Mets cover in it!

SI enjoyed a laugh as much as we did and promised to send the correct cover overnight.

It was worth a chuckle, though. 

I was tempted to put the Nadia cover on Robin’s wall, right next to the framed Oklahoma Sooners football jersey …

Here’s the “real” Robin cover:

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Celebrating 1983

Mike Squires and Jerry Dybzinski, both members of the ’83 “Winning Ugly” White Sox who won the A.L. West, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday’s game vs. Minnesota. The Sox, of course, will don 1983 replica uniforms as they will for every Sunday home game this season.

All You Need to Know About Your Favorite Team

A new White Sox browser theme design is now available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. This easy download gives you direct access to Sox scores, breaking news and information plus exclusive offerings. http://atmlb.com/13hIZBD

Quote of the Day

The late Chicago TV critic Roger Ebert once said, “No good film is too long. No bad movie is short enough.” It seems that if you replaced “film” and “movie” with “baseball game” the line still works pretty well.

Play of the Day

Tyler Flowers’ three-run homer in the second inning last night off of J.A. Happ in the Sox’s 7-0 whitewash of the Jays. Take a look:  http://atmlb.com/11xM40r 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: Jake Peavy (2-1) for the Sox, Vance Worley (0-2) for Minnesota.

Did You Know…

…that last night’s win over the Jays was the first shutout by White Sox pitching in Toronto since June 1, 2007?

Photo/Video of the Day

Jose Quintana was outstanding last night, pitching 6 2/3 shutout innings while giving up only five hits and striking out seven for his first win of the season. Here’s Jose in action: atmlb.com/11yG1Zt 

 

 

White Sox Shooting for Second Straight Win

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox, J.A. Happ for the Jays.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 3B; Rios, RF; Konerko, DH; Dunn,1B; Viciedo,LF; Ramirez, SS; Flowers, C; Greene, 2B.
 
Jordan Returns
 
After last night’s game, the White Sox optioned RHP Deunte Heath to Class AAA Charlotte. Replacing Heath on the 25-man roster is OF Jordan Danks, who was hitting .333 with a pair of homers, five RBI and a .433 on-base percentage in 13 games at Charlotte.
 
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Calling All Fans
 
Saturday, May 18 is Family Field Day and Garage Sale at U.S. Cellular Field. Enjoy an hour on the field where you can shop for game-worn White Sox gear. http://atmlb.com/10ag7i5
 
The Sox will be hosting Teacher Appreciation Games at U.S. Cellular Field. On these special game dates we offer discounted tickets for all teachers, faculty, students and their families. http://atmlb.com/Yqdzpn
 
Sox Notes of Note
 
Paul Konerko has an eight-game hitting streak, going 10-28 (.357) with three homers and 10 RBI. Paulie also has an RBI in four straight games (five total)…Pitching coach Don Cooper, who was hospitalized with diverticulitis while the Sox were in D.C., will return to the team on Friday for the start of a 10-game homestand against the Twins, Indians and Rays.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin on the value of Hector Santiago, whose ERA remains at 0.00 after pitching 1.2 innings in last night’s 4-3 victory:
 
“He’s kind of like a Swiss Army knife. He’s a little bit of everything–he’s closed, he’s been in-between, been a lefty guy, been a long guy, been a starter. There’s a lot of different ways you can use him. The biggest thing is that he’s effective and he gets the job done. How we use him from this point forward, he’s probably forcing your hand to use him a little more. He’s got good stuff, he throws strikes and he gets a lot of swings and misses for a guy who throws a fastball… Personality-wise, the way he views himself, he can do a lot of different things. He has a lot of energy when he comes in the game, which is great…”
 
Play of the Day
 
Dayan Viciedo’s line drive double to left-center in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Sox a 3-2 lead.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN) in the series finale and last game of the 10-day road trip. Starters: Chris Sale (1-1) for the Sox, R.A. Dickey (1-2) for the Jays.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Dylan Axelrod, who pitched six strong innings last night to keep the Sox in the ballgame, has an excellent 2.49 ERA in his last four starts against the tough A.L. East?
 
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Photo/Video of the Day
 
Enjoy Paul Konerko’s seventh inning, game-tying homer in last night’s victory. It was his third of the season and 425th of his career. PK is in 46th place on the all-time home run list.
 

Sox Aim to Even Series…and Thinking of Boston

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-1) for the Sox vs. Josh Johnson (0-1) for the Jays.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Konerko, DH; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Ramirez, SS; Gimenez, C.

Boston

As I sat and watched the terrible footage from Boston yesterday – probably just like every other American – one thought kept returning to my mind.

It was October 2005, and the White Sox had just swept the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox in three games.  The moment was amazing for us and our fans as we celebrated at Fenway Park.  I will never forget the number of Red Sox fans, staff and workers at the park, who came up to us and repeatedly said:

“Good luck! “ or “Beat the Yankees!” (many people assumed New York would beat the Angels) and “Enjoy the ride!”

To a person, Red Sox fans were so gracious, and while disappointed that their team lost, wished the White Sox nothing but the best.  Pure class.

And I remembered that yesterday as I watched the scenes from Boylston Street (I love to eat at the Atlantic Fish Company for lunch whenever we are in town).  So here’s best wishes to a great city with strong citizens and fanatic sports fans.  You remain in our thoughts and our prayers. And U.S. Cellular Field, along with all MLB parks, followed President Obama’s request to lower our flag to half mast.

 
Today’s Chicago Tribune featured a keeper of a front page in its sports section today:
 
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Good News
 
Gordon Beckham’s wrist surgery went “splendidly” today, according to Sox trainer Herm Schneider. Recovery time is still estimated at six weeks…John Danks threw six innings and 71 pitches yesterday in extended spring training. He felt good and his next start is Saturday.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin, on the Sox bullpen (which ranks second in the A.L. in ERA and opponents average) thriving in close games:
 
“They do a good job. For us, even last year, this is the kind of baseball that we play…They’re used to coming in with it being a close game. I don’t think that becomes an issue. They’re  just going out to pitch to give us a chance. They’ve been able to do that. Adding (Matt) Lindstrom this year helps with that, he can do a lot of different things. He’s been great so far to mix in there.”
 
Play(s) of the Day
 
In last night’s tough 4-3 loss, Dayan Viciedo went 3-4 with a double and RBI and Tyler Greene singled twice in his Sox debut.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox and J.A. Happ (2-0) for the Jays.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that the White Sox are tied for third in the American League with 16 homers?
 
Photo of the Day
 
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The Sox pay tribute to Jackie Robinson last night in Toronto.

It’s Floyd vs. Buehrle in Toronto on Jackie Robinson Day

Monday, April 15, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: Gavin Floyd (0-2) for the Sox, former teammate Mark Buehrle (0-0) for the Jays.
 
Sox Starting LIneup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 3B; Rios, RF; Konerko, DH; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Ramirez, SS; Flowers, C; Greene, 2B.
 
Buehrle’s Sox Legacy by the Numbers
 
He ranks fourth in club history with 365 starts and 1, 346 strikeouts and sixth with 161 wins…threw a perfect game in 2009  vs. Tampa Bay and a no-hitter in 2007 vs. Texas…earned the save in Game 3 of the 2005 World Series…was a four-time A.L. All-Star (2002, 2005-6, 2009).
 
Facing Buehrle
 
A few White Sox players talk about going up against ex-teammate Buehrle tonight for the first time.  
 
 
Celebrating Jackie Robinson Day
 
On the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier, MLB once again celebrates the occasion by having all players in the nine ballparks where games are being played today wear Robinson’s No. 42.
 
Listen to some of today’s players discuss the impact Robinson has had on lives and careers:
 
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin, on the Sox not having faced many lefties this season:
 
“That is odd. One, not facing that many lefties, and finally when you see one it’s going to be somebody (Buehrle) that’s going to look weird in another uniform…It’s different with Mark having spent so much time being a White Sox. For me, I understand his place in our organization. It’ll probably be harder for Paul (Konerko) than anybody else.”
 
Play of the Day
 
The Sox bullpen ranks second in the American League with a 1.96 ERA and a .190 opponents average.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-1) for the Sox, Josh Johnson (0-1) for the Jays.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that today is John Danks’ 27th birthday? Happy Birthday, John. 
 
Photo of the Day

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Here is the No. 42 jersey Adam Dunn is wearing tonight to honor Jackie Robinson.

In Peavy and Paulie We Trust

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Today’s News
 
The Game
 
Final:  White Sox 3, Indians 1
 
Highlights: The Sox snapped their five-game losing streak on the strength of Jake Peavy’s dominant seven-inning, 11-strikeout performance and Paul Konerko’s clutch two-out, two-run sixth-inning homer, his second home run of the season…Alejandro De Aza added some insurance in the eighth inning with a solo blast, his third of the year…Addison Reed recorded his fourth save…Jeff Keppinger and Conor Gillaspie each knocked out a pair of singles…It was the first road win of 2013 for the Sox.
 
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Welcome, Tyler Greene
 
Prior to today’s game, the White Sox placed infielder Angel Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and purchased the contract of infielder Tyler Greene from Class AAA Charlotte. Also, pitcher Charlie Leesman was designated for assignment.
 
Greene, who came to terms with the Sox on a minor league contract on April 4, was hitting .265 at Charlotte with four RBI in eight games. He has played in the major leagues with the Cardinals (2009-12) and the Astros (2012) and has appeared at all four infield and all three outfield positions during his big-league career.
 
“I’m fortunate and thankful to get hooked up with the White Sox,” Greene said once he arrived in the Sox clubhouse in Cleveland. “I’m real excited to be up here.” Here’s the newest Sox utility man:
 
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Quote of the Day
 
The Indians’ Michael Bourn on Peavy (compliments of @scottmerkin): “He’s one of the best competitors that the league has seen. He’s going to bring it every time.”
 
Play of the Day
 
In a game that the Sox needed to have, Peavy rose to the occasion and collected his second win of the season.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: It will be a matchup of former White Sox teammates–Gavin Floyd (0-2) for the Sox and Mark Buehrle (0-0) for the Jays. 
 
Did You Know…
 
that with today’s outstanding outing, Peavy pitched his 32nd game with 10-plus strikeouts and the third game with no walks and 10 or more strikeouts?
 
Photo of the Day
 
Today it’s video of PK’s two-run shot.
 

Peavy Looks to Turn the Tide in Tomorrow’s Series Finale

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Today’s News
 
The Game
 
Final: Indians 9, White Sox 4
 
Last Night
 
While the Sox lost a 1-0 heartbreaker, Jose Quintana was masterful. He pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while striking out seven.
 
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All it Takes is a Tweet
 
Help “Make An Impact” and join us in a campaign to raise money for the White Sox RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program. It’s as easy as sending a tweet!
 
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Quote of the Day
 
Robin on the Sox’s veteran presence taking the current losing streak in stride: 
 
“Nobody likes losing a game, they’re tough games. But they’ve been through the long season before and you can’t start heading down that road looking at the negative…that’s part of the discipline in baseball, to be able to put stuff behind you and keep grinding every day and thinking about today instead of down the road or three days ago.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Alejandro De Aza’s two-run homer in the seventh inning today off of reliever Bryan Shaw. It was his second home run of the young season.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (12:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Jake Peavy (1-1) for the Sox, Brett Myers (0-1) for the Tribe.
 
Did You Know…
 
that Paul Konerko (423) and Adam Dunn (408) rank fourth and fifth in home runs among active players? Only Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees (647), Albert Pujols of the Angels (477) and Jason Giambi of the Indians (429) have more.
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Jake will be aiming for his second win of the season tomorrow afternoon against the Tribe.

 

A Fresh Start in Cleveland

Friday, April 12, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (6:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox, Justin Masterson (2-0) for the Tribe.
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Konerko, DH; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Ramirez, SS; Gimenez, C.

Heath Joins Sox
 
RHP Deunte Heath has been recalled from Class AAA Charlotte to replace Gordon Beckham, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured left wrist and will have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday. In three innings pitched in two relief appearances at Charlotte, Heath had a 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts. He spent most of last season with the Knights, going 4-3 with a 1.48 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 36 games, which included four starts. In three appearances with the Sox in 2012 he allowed a run in two innings pitched over two games. Here’s the newest member of the Sox pitching staff.
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Honoring 42
 
Fifty members of the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) youth baseball program will attend a special screening of the movie “42” tomorrow afternoon in Country Club HIlls, IL. The Sox have arranged for the youngsters to view the film, which is based on the life of Jackie Robinson and his breaking of baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Through the ACE program, the Sox give rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play against other highly competitive groups on traveling teams. Athletes 13-18 years of age are challenged and given the unique chance to play among elite teams as well as prepare for success in life after baseball.

Sox Notes of Note
 
Alex Rios has hit safely in all nine games this season and owns a 15-game hitting streak dating back to 2012, hitting .456 with five home runs and 12 RBI…the White Sox bullpen leads the American League with a 1.84 ERA and is tied for second with a .200 opponents batting average.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin on the series in Washington and the Beckham injury: “It’s tough. You’ve got to be able to withstand all that and keep going. It’s still early.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Conor Gillaspie, inserted in the starting lineup in the wake of Beckham’s injury, singled and doubled in last night’s 7-4 loss to the Nationals to up his batting average to .438.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field (3:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Chris Sale (1-0) for the Sox, Zach McAllister (0-1) for the Indians.
 
Did You Know…

…that Paul Konerko leads all active players with 46 home runs and 171 RBI vs. the Indians?

Photo of the Day
 
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The White Sox ACE participants will view “42”  just a day after the movie opened today in theaters nationwide.

Final Day in D.C.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-0 for the Sox), Dan Haren (0-1) for the Nats.
 
Sox Starting LIneup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, LF; Konerko, 1B; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Flowers, C; Axelrod, P.
 
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Beckham
 
A fractured hamate bone in his left wrist will keep Gordon out of action for an expected six weeks. He will have surgery in the next few days. A corresponding roster move will be made tomorrow.
 
Coop
 
He’ll miss the rest of the road trip to recover from diverticulitis. Minor league pitching coordinator Curt Hasler will join the team in Cleveland to help out in the bullpen. Bobby Thigpen will continue working with Robin in the dugout.
 
Hawkins Goes Deep–Twice
 
Top Sox prospect Courtney Hawkins (below) smashed a pair of two-run homers last night in Winston-Salem’s 5-2 victory over Frederick. The first one was hit in the first inning over the 400-foot marker in dead center field to give the Dash an early 2-0 lead.
 
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True Story

So it’s much harder than I thought to get into a cemetery.

This morning, I decided to walk over to Arlington National Cemetery and then walk around those hallowed grounds.  Our hotel’s concierge assured me that I could reach the cemetery easily on foot, so off I went.  Well, I technically reached the cemetery’s walls easily.  The getting in part was not so easy.

Walking along the wall, the first gate I came to was locked tight.  A little further along, I ran into a manned gate that marked the edge of the cemetery and a military installation (Fort Myer, which I didn’t know even existed).  Three guys manned the gate.

“Hey, can I get into the cemetery from here,” I asked.  “I just want to walk around.”

“Do you have an ID?”

“No,” I laughed.  “All I have is a hotel room key.  I don’t want to go onto the base, I just want to get into the cemetery.  I didn’t know it would be this hard.  Can I walk all the way around?”

“It’s a long way.”

“OK, well right down there, the stone wall to the cemetery is only waist high, can I just jump over it?”

At this point, one guard, an older guy, said, “You want to jump over the fence?”

“Well, I’m just trying to get inside the cemetery.”

A younger guard quickly added, “Only if I don’t see you …”  Now, he seemed to be smiling as he said this, but I also noticed that he was armed with an M-4 rile.

I could just imagine the headline.

“White Sox executive shot while breaking into Arlington National Cemetery.”

So I start walking.  And walking.  And I can now tell you there is no way into Arlington National Cemetery by foot from Arlington. 

Determined, at this point, not to be defeated, I went back to the nearest Metro Stop, hopped on the next train and entered Arlington Cemetery by the normal visitors route.

Stating the obvious, but a walk through Arlington is truly a moving and humbling experience, so many “Unknown” headstones from every war.

Today, I happened to pass the grave of Abner Doubleday (see photo below), long claimed as the “inventor” of baseball.

Yesterday, we had taken a tour of the Pentagon and one of our tour guides, Seaman Tom Williams of Oklahoma City, came to the game last night with several of his other guides.  Seaman Williams mentioned that he had spent a year as a member of the color guard at Arlington, serving in over 500 funerals.

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Braves Arrive

I ran into former White Sox hitting coach (and current Braves hitting coach) Greg Walker in the hotel lobby this morning.  The Braves are in town early before they begin a series with the Nationals tomorrow night.

 
Quote of the Day
 
Beckham on his injury: “It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. We’ll get the surgery done and I’ll work hard and get back. I’m not really worried about it.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Alex Rios went 2-4 with a double and RBI in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Nats. He owns an eight-game hitting streak, tied for the longest active streak in the American League, and has hit safely in his last 14 contests dating back to September 26, 2012. He ranks among the A.L. leaders in slugging percentage (3rd, .839), home runs (T3rd, 4), average (4th, .419), RBI (T8th, 8) and on-base percentage (T8th, .471).
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (6:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox, Justin Masterton (2-0) for the Tribe.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that all eight Sox games this season have been decided by three runs or less?
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Happy Birthday! Alejandro De Aza celebrates No. 29 today.

 

Looking to Rebound

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. (6:05 pm, CT, CSN). Starters: Gavin Floyd (0-1) for the Sox, Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) for Washington.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B, Rios, RF; Dunn, LF; Konerko, 1B; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Flowers, C; Floyd, RHP.
 
Home Cooking
 
Tonight’s game bodes well for Gavin. He calls Annapolis, MD home and has had a good measure of success when he’s pitched in nearby Baltimore and Washington.
 
In his four starts in Baltimore he is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 17 strikeouts.
In his two starts in Washington he is 0-1, but has posted a 2.57 ERA and 11 K’s.
 
Six starts, a 3-1 record, a 2.38 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Pretty impressive.
 
Beckham
 
Gordon injured his left wrist last night while fouling off a pitch in the third inning. X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day. He’ll test the wrist on Friday.
 
Coop
 
He’s improving and the hope is that he’ll travel to Cleveland with the team after Thursday night’s game.
 
Uni Change
 
I’m sure eagle-eyed White Sox fans noticed the subtle change in our road uniforms. The black and white piping on the uniform pants has been changed to one thinner black stripe.
 
Danks
 
According to RV, John Danks threw six innings yesterday in extended spring training: “There was more velocity and he said he felt great.”
 
When in D.C…
 
Several White Sox staff members woke up bright and early today and headed over for a private tour of The Pentagon, arranged by Assistant Trainer Brian Ball and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

The building is more than impressive, with memorabilia, photos, paintings and history exhibits lining its 17 miles of hallways (we only walked a little over one mile on our tour).

Among the sights:  tour guides (our two were from the Navy and Army) who walk backwards the entire way … a salute-free courtyard (“otherwise all everyone would do all day is salute one another,” according to our guide) … a moving memorial to the victims of 9/11 attack on the building and the nation … and a fly-by of the office of Naval Secretary Ron Maybus to say hello.  The Secretary – who threw out a first pitch at a White Sox game last year when he was in Chicago to commission the USS Illinois submarine – wasn’t around.

The resounding takeway for me was that while the 9/11 attacks seem, in some ways to be long ago, they are very real at The Pentagon where daily reminders line every hallway, where employees can worship in a chapel near where the plane hit the building, and where a look outside shows a memorial arbor of small trees and sculptures.  It was very moving and made you appreciate the cost and sacrifice of the past 12 years.

Of course, like any good tour, we concluded in The Pentagon gift shop where a few challenge coins were purchased and where Head Trainer Herm Schneider then “briefed the media.” (See photo below).

Don’t worry folks, The Pentagon was in good hands. And the other question is, how in the world did these guys get into The Pentagon?)

 

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South Side Sox
 
It was good to see Jim Margalus of the popular website, South Side Sox, at the ballpark in D.C. last night. @southsidesox
 
Rave Review
 
Check out this story from mediapost.com, which applauds the Sox’s success in reaching families.
 
 
Quote(s) of the Day
 
Robin on…
 
The silver lining in last night’s 8-7 loss to the Nats in the series opener: “When you lose, you always look at the fact that you lose, but we kept battling back and getting close…”
 
On managing a National League game: “I think it’s good team-wise. Players get more action.”
 
Play(s) of the Day
 
Paul Konerko’s three-run homer in the seventh inning and Alex Rios’s two-run blast in the ninth, his fourth in as many games, in last night’s defeat. 
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-0) for the Sox, Dan Haren (0-1) for the Nats.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that despite the Sox being on the road in D.C., chants of Paul-ie, Paul-ie reverberated throughout the ballpark after Konerko’s home run?
 
Photo(s) of the Day
 
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Some sightseeing in the nation’s capital after The Pentagon visit. Here’s the Mall with the Washington Monument and Capitol building in the background and the awe-inspiring tribute to a great Illinoisian at the Lincoln Memorial.

 

A National Challenge

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (6:05 p.m., CT, WCIU). Probable starters: Jake Peavy (1-0) for the Sox, Gio Gonzalez (1-0) for Washington. It is the first game of a 10-game road trip for the Sox, who also will travel to Cleveland and Toronto.
 
The White Sox, 4-2, lead the A.L. Central by 0.5 game over Kansas City and MInnesota.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 3B; Rios, RF; Konerko, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Ramirez, SS; Flowers, C; Beckham, 2B; Peavy, RHP.
 
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Interleague Excellence
 
The White Sox are 4-2 all-time against the Nationals, including a three-game sweep in Washington in 2010…the Sox are 164-120 (.577) all-time in interleague play, the second-best winning percentage in the major leagues behind the Yankees (.603) and have gone 59-31 since 2008…Peavy is 6-2 with a 1.63 ERA in nine interleague games (eight starts) since coming to Chicago.
 
Harold’s Commute
 
It’s an hour and a half from Harold Baines’ front door on Maryland’s Eastern Shorre to the ballpark. “Same distance as Baltimore and I did that for five years,” Baines said, agreeing that the drive was worth the payoff of sleeping in his own bed.
 
Road Unis
 
Astute White Sox fans will notice a slight difference in our road uniforms tonight. Do you?
 
Get Well, Coop
 
Pitching coach Don Cooper is in the hospital with diverticulitis and is day-to-day. Bobby Thigpen moves into the dugout and Mark Salas will head the bullpen. “He’s not feeling real good, but he can still talk. I know that,” Robin joked. The skipper also kidded that the ailment might have been caused by too much “Funk 49″ from the Bob Seger-Joe Walsh concert that they both attended Saturday night.
 
Gellinger to Manage Bristol
 
Mike “Gelly” Gellinger, who was on the White Sox’s major-league staff from 1997-2012, will manage Advanced Rookie Bristol in 2013, replacing Bobby Magallanes, who will be a roving minor league instructor.
 
PK: “You’re Always Working Hard. There’s No Real In Between.”
 
Click the link and see why Paulie is the extraordinary player and leader he has become.
 
 
Sox Offer Tickets to Chicago Firefighters and Police 
 
The White Sox are offering complimentary tickets to select games for all members of the Chicago Fire and Police Departments. Here Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf presents symbolic tickets to members of the two departments. 
 
 
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A Good Cause
 
Join White Sox Executive VP Ken Williams for a night of dinner, dancing, live and silent auctions and more at the Jack and Jill 30th Anniversary Gala! The event will take place on Saturday, May 4, and all proceeds will benefit Chicago White Sox Charities and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation. Purchase tickets here: http://atmlb.com/10LlKyy
 
Quote(s) of the Day
 
RV on last night’s team NCAA Basketball Final viewing party: “Moments you can just hang out. Everyone is interested in a game like that. I think everyone had fun.”
 
Robin on Peavy: “He’s just excited to swing the bat tonight.”
 
Play(s) of the Day
 
The Sox lead the American League with a 2.41 ERA…The bullpen tops the league with a 1.83 mark and the starting rotation ranks second at 2.72…The Sox are tied for second in the A.L. in home runs….Alex Rios has homered in three straight games for the first time in his career.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Probable starters: Gavin Floyd (0-1) for the Sox, Jordan Zimmerman for the Nats (1-0).
 
Did You Know…
 
…that in his two seasons with the Nationals, Sox slugger Adam Dunn had virtually identical seasons? He hit 38 homers and drove in 105 runs in 2009 and 38 and 103 in 2010.
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Today will be the first April game since 1972 that Sox pitchers will bat. The last Sox hurler to step to the plate in April was Terry Forster, who not only led the team in saves that year with 29, but batted .526 (10-19). Thanks to @soxnerd for the tip.

 

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