Thursday, April 18, 2013
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.
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.
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 …
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:
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
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
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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.
Here is the No. 42 jersey Adam Dunn is wearing tonight to honor Jackie Robinson.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
Heath Joins Sox
Sox Notes of Note
Photo of the Day
Thursday, April 11, 2013
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.
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.
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?)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013