Blue Jays Next as Sox Continue to Climb
Monday, June 10, 2013
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field (7:05 p.m., CT, CSN+). Starters: RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 3.73) for the Sox, RHP R.A. Dickey (5-7, 4.66) for the Jays.
Sox Starting Lineup: DeAza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Konerko,1B; Dunn, DH; Viciedo, LF; Keppinger, 3B; Beckham, 2B; Gimenez, C.
Tribute for Heroes
Voting has started for this year’s “People Magazine/MLB Tribute for Heroes” (click on promo below). Each major league team features three eligible finalists submitted by fans. By voting, you can send one of the three well-deserving military veterans to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City.
Officially, the White Sox cannot advocate for one candidate over the others, BUT one is my personal friend, a guy I’ve known now for many years.
So in that case, please allow me to stump for Israel del Toro (“DT”), a proud member of the U.S. Air Force.
A little background …
I met DT through the wounded warrior program several spring trainings ago. A Sox fan, DT’s choice was to receive a free trip out to Glendale to meet with White Sox, take in a game, tour, etc. I believe his trip was one of the first times he was out of the hospital in San Antonio, maybe the first.
DT, who grew up in New Lenox and went to Providence, was serving as a forward observer in Afghanistan when his Humvee was hit by an IED. Luckily for him, a small creek ran beside the road where the bomb exploded. Seriously hurt, his mates rolled him into the creek to douse the fires. The next thing DT remembers, doctors were cutting off his watch at a hospital in Germany. The next thing he remembers after that, it was months later and he was in San Antonio at the military’s special burn unit.
This is one tough Son-of-A-Gun. DT was burned over 90-some percent of his body (I think only three of four other guys at the time had been burned over more of their body and survived). He has endured over 120 surgeries (and counting) to repair the damage to his body and to rebuild his face and hands,
You will not find a stronger will to live. You will not find a better sense of humor about himself. You will not find a more proud soldier or White Sox fan. He’s thrown out first pitches in spring training and at U.S. Cellular Field. He’s spoken to our players in spring training about his experiences and his challenges. He competes in Warrior Games, winning medals for throwing, biking and shooting. He wants nothing more than to make the U.S. Paralympic Team. And he will. I know it.
I’m so proud to call him my friend.
Two moments will be with me forever.
DT became the first seriously burned soldier to be allowed to re-enlist. I was honored to attend that ceremony in San Antonio a couple of years ago with Scott Linebrink (who lived not that far away and joined me for the ceremony).
And DT invited my wife and I to his wedding a couple of summers ago. He wanted to give his wife the fancy wedding she deserved, surrounded by family and friends in Chicago, along with many from Mexico. The man looked sharp in his dress uniform, bride at his side.
So please vote for whomever you like, but as for me, my vote goes to my friend, DT. These videos give you more insight into how special he is.
Quote of the Day
Robin on the return of Gordon Beckham, who is hitting .308 in the seven games he’s played since returning to the lineup from the DL:
“I wouldn’t look at Gordon as a normal eight-hole hitter. He’s better. He’s grown up a lot. He’s a better hitter than that, it’s just where he needs to be right now. Valuable as far as his approach and everything else it’s been big for us to get him back, offensively and defensively. Everybody talks about his defense, but for me what he brings offensively is big.”
Play of the Day
When PK steps on the field tonight he will pass Hall of Famer Nellie Fox and move into second place on the White Sox all-time games played list (2,116). Only Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling, who played his entire 20-year major-league career on the South Side, played more games (2,422) in a Sox uniform.
White Sox vs. Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.95) for the Sox, RHP Chein Ming Wang (0-0) for Toronto.
Did You Know…
…that Alejandro De Aza is hitting .386 in his last 11 games with a pair of doubles, seven RBI and eight runs scored? He has raised his average from .239 to .267 during that period.
Photo of the Day
Addison Reed, who notched save No. 19 yesterday, spent some time in the #SoxSocial Lounge last week talking to fans on the phone. Apparently he needed to have some moral support from a facsimile of one of his teammates.