July 2013

That’s More Like It: Sox Take Series From Braves

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today’s News

The Game
Final — White Sox 3, Braves 1 as the Sox win the final two games of the three-game set against the National League East leaders.


It was great to see former White Sox closer Shingo Takatsu at the game yesterday.  He stopped in Chicago on his way home to Japan from Tuesday’s All-Star Game in NYC.  We talked about how few guys from 2005 were still around, and he shared hellos and hugs with Herm Schneider, Don Cooper and others.  His ceremonial first pitch sailed a bit outside, but he seemed to truly enjoy being back at U.S. Cellular Field.

On my way downstairs in the eighth inning, the elevator doors opened and there was Shingo, still wearing his No. 10 jersey.

“Now that’s not something you see every day,” someone laughed. 

Divided Loyalty?

Braves assistant hitting coach and former White Sox infielder Scott Fletcher took some smack on Saturday.  On his way back to the Braves dugout from the batting cages, he stopped in the Sox dugout to talk to a friend.

“Hey, Scott!” someone from the group of Braves players stretching called out to Fletcher. And then he pointed to the logo on his chest, laughing.


The ever-popular Art “Cave” Kusnyer, former Sox player and bullpen coach, threw out today’s ceremonial first pitch.


Play(s) of the Day
There were two spectacular defensive plays by the Sox in today’s win that saved runs–one by second baseman Jeff Keppinger with the bases loaded and two outs in the third and another by leftfielder Casper Wells who prevented a game-tying homer in the eighth…Alex Rios followed Saturday’s explosion (3-5, a grand slam and five RBI) with a pair of hits, a run scored and an RBI…Jose Quintana improved his record to 5-2 in 5.2 innings of work. Ramon Troncoso (0.2), Donnie Veal (0.2), Nate Jones (1.0) and Addison Reed (1.0) came on in relief to close it out without giving up a hit. Reed recorded his 25th save.
Quote of the Day
White Sox groundskeeper and British Open viewer Roger Bossard (pictured below):
“If my grass looked like that, I’d get fired.” 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
White Sox vs. Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a four-game series and a battle of All-Star pitchers: LHP Chris Sale (6-8, 2.85) for the Sox, RHP Max Scherzer (13-1, 3.19) for Detroit.
Roster Move
Following today’s game, the Sox optioned Brent Morel to Class AAA Charlotte.
Did You Know…
…that according to the Elias Sport Bureau, Rios and Raul Ibanez are the only players in baseball to hit a grand slam in 2011, 2012 and 2013?
Photo/Video of the Day
Keppinger and Wells save the day.

It’s Peavy Time

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Braves at U.S. Cellular Field (3:05 p.m., CT, FOX). Starters: Just reinstated from the disabled list, it’s RHP Jake Peavy (6-4, 4.30) for the Sox vs. LHP Paul Maholm (9-8, 3.98) for Atlanta. Jake is making his first start since June 4 at Seattle. He is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and .208 opponents average in four home starts this season and his 3.01 ERA during interleague play is the fourth-lowest all-time.

Sox Starting Lineup:  De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Viciedo, LF; Keppinger, 1B; Wells. DH; Beckham, 2B; Phegley, C; Morel, 3B.

Sox Remember…

Chicago-born Pitcher Marv Rotblatt, who appeared in 35 games and had four starts for the Sox over three seasons (1948,1950-51), passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 85.

Play of the Day

Alexei Ramirez doubled, singled twice, scored a pair of runs and drove in another in last night’s 6-4 loss to the Braves. Alexei extended his hitting streak to eight games and is batting .410 with six doubles and four multihit games during that streak.


Quote of the Day

Paulie, after experiencing some expected soreness following his first rehab game at Class AA Birmingham Thursday night (via Phil Rogers in theTribune):

“I knew I was going to wake up dragging because I hadn’t been doing much. The good thing is I feel like I’m getting better.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Braves at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.71) for the Sox, LHP Mike Minor (9-4, 3.02) for Atlanta,

Did You Know…

…that Dayan Viciedo and Alex Rios lead the Sox with eight outfield assists apiece and are tied for second in the American League behind only the Twins’ Aaron Hicks, who has nine?

Photo of the Day

Jake is back on the mound.


Sox Enter Brave New World as Second Half Begins

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Braves at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series and 10-game homestand. Starters: LHP John Danks (2-6, 4.31) for the Sox, RHP Tim Hudson (6-7, 4.02) for Atlanta. Danks has a 2.22 ERA and a .196 opponents average at home this season with four quality starts.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, DH; Keppinger,1B; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Beckham, 2B; Phegley, C.

Paulie’s Rehab

Paul Konerko began his four-day rehab with the Class AA Birmingham Barons last night going 1-2 with a walk and a run-scoring single as the DH.

Walker to be Honored

Greg Walker will be the next member of the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox to be honored at a Sunday home game. In town as the hitting coach of the Braves, Walker will be feted this Sunday before the finale of the three-game series with Atlanta. He was a first baseman on the ’83 team as well, of course, as serving as the Sox hitting coach prior to joining the Braves.

Makeup Game

The White Sox-Blue Jays game, postponed on June 12, has been rescheduled for Monday, September 23 (7:10 p.m., CT) at U.S. Cellular Field.

Minor League News & Notes

The White Sox have signed left-handed hitting first baseman Travis Ishikawa to a minor league contract. Ishikawa, 29, who has played for San Francisco, Milwaukee, Baltimore and the Yankees, will report to Class AAA Charlotte…Middle infielder Toby Thomas, playing at Advanced Rookie Bristol, had quite a week from July 8-14 and as a result he was named the Appalachian League’s Player of the Week. Thomas batted .423 with two home runs, three doubles, eight runs batted in, six runs scored and a stolen base. He raised his slugging percentage to a hefty .769.


Sox icon Minnie Minoso will receive another prestigious award to add to his vast collection. On Tuesday in New Orleans, Minnie will receive the Roberto Clemente Award for Sports Excellence by the National Council of La Raza at the group’s annual conference awards gala.

The organization presents the award, named in honor of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, each year to an individual or organization in the sports industry.

First Lady Michelle Obama is the keynote speaker at the conference.

Fifth Annual Charities Week

Chicago White Sox Charities Week, our annual fundraising campaign, will be celebrated during the the upcoming homestand and runs from July 22-28. Charities Week engages fans attending games, as well as those following along from home. The first four Charities Weeks raised a combined total of more than $677,000. 

Fans attending games during the week can participate in a number of unique fundraising activities. 

Mr. Zero Returns

Shingo “Mr. Zero” Takatsu, the popular reliever who saved 19 games for the Sox in 2004 and eight more at the start of the 2005 championship season, will be at the ballpark tomorrow. He’ll throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.


Sale Profiled in ESPN The Magazine


Play of the Day

Chris’s brilliant performance in the All-Star Game is still fresh in our minds. Take another look:


Quote of the Day

Sale, a top candidate himself, modestly commenting Tuesday night on Mariano Rivera winning the All-Star Game MVP (via Dan Hayes, CSNChicago.com).

“There’s no other MVP in this clubhouse other than (Rivera). He stole the show.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Braves at U.S. Cellular Field (3:05 p.m., CT, FOX). Starters: Just reinstated from the disabled list, RHP Jake Peavy (6-4, 4.30) is scheduled for the Sox, Paul Maholm (9-8, 3.98 for Atlanta.

Did You Know…

…that Chris Sale became the seventh White Sox pitcher to earn the win in the All-Star Game and first since Mark Buehrle in 2005? The others were Eddie Smith (1941), Early Wynn (1958), Ray Herbert (1962), Jack McDowell (1993), James Baldwin (2000). The seven All-Star wins are second only to the Giants (8) in major league history.

Photo(s) of the Day

PK the Baron.



An All-Star Sale-a-bration

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Today’s News

@Areed43: Chris Sale dominating like usual!!

Chris made Sox fans proud last night at the All-Star Game in New York and our closer couldn’t have said it better on Twitter. Pitching the second and third innings against the National League’s best, Sale was indeed dominating. Six up, six down and the only American League pitcher to work as many as two innings. To top it off, he was the winning pitcher in the A.L.’s 3-0 victory.

The Sox’s two-time All-Star, who pitched a scoreless frame in last year’s Midsummer Classic, set down, in order, hometown hero David Wright, the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez and the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina in the second inning and Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer and Nationals’ phenom Bryce Harper in the third. Retiring the three Colorado players, Gonzalez and Tulowitzki via the strikeout, no doubt ensures that fans in Denver never want to see Chris pitch against their favorites again.

Quote of the Day

“My blood was pumping,” said Sale. “This is an experience I’ll never forget, for sure. It’s a good feeling!!”



Photo of the Day

Another highlight of the All-Star Game for me was to see my good friend, Israel Del Toro, honored before the game as the White Sox winner of the Tribute for Heroes campaign. Here he is with Chris during the pre-game ceremony.

From New Lenox, IL, and huge Sox fan, DT was given a 15 percent chance of survival after an IED explosion in Afghanistan left him with third-degree burns over 85 percent of his body. The burns have necessitated more than 120 surgeries.

He is one tough Son-of-a-Gun and I’m proud to call him my friend.


24 Innings, One Win, One Loss and the Chance for a Series Victory This Afternoon

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park (12:35 p.m., CT, WGN) in the rubber match of the series and the last game before the All-Star break. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.67) for the Sox, LHP Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.17) for the Phils.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Keppinger, 2B; Phegley, C; Morel, 3B; Quintana, P.

Play(s) of the Day

From yesterday’s doubleheader:

Game 1 (White Sox 5, Phillies 4, 11 innings) — Alexei Ramirez collected four hits on the afternoon and drove in Alejandro De Aza, who had legged out a two-out triple, in the top of the 11th inning to put the Sox ahead 4-3. Ramirez later scored on an error for a much-needed insurance run and the Sox went on to win, 5-4 in 11. Those offensive heroics would never have happened if Nate Jones didn’t stifle a Phillies’ rally in the ninth with the potential winning run on third and no outs and eventual winning pitcher Ramon Troncoso didn’t halt a 10th-inning uprising by stranding the winning run on third with one out. Addison Reed gave up a run in the bottom of the 11th, but recorded his 24th save. John Danks pitched a solid 6.1 innings as he allowed just three runs on eight hits while striking out four. Also on the plus side: Adam Dunn was on base five times with two singles and three walks and scored a run.

Game 2 (Phillies 2, White Sox 1, 13 innings) — For 12.2 innings, the exceptional Sox pitching kept us in the game. Starter Hector Santiago, who went 7.1 innings, gave up just one run and three hits with nine strikeouts. Matt Lindstrom (0.2), Donnie Veal (1.0), Troncoso (1.1) and David Purcey (0.2) followed and held the Phillies scoreless. So did Simon Castro for 1.2 innings until old nemesis Michael Young singled in the game-winner off of him in the bottom of the 13th to send the Sox to the 2-1 defeat.

Sox Notes of Note

Gordon Beckham, who drove in the Sox’s only run in Game 2 with a sac fly, left the game with a left quad contusion as a result of a collision with teammate Casper Wells on a foul pop in the bottom of the 12th inning (it doesn’t appear to be serious, but he’s out of the starting lineup today). He was replaced by Josh Phegley, the only position player left on the bench. It was the first time Josh has played the infield in his pro career. In fact, the first time he’s played second base since his sophomore year in high school…Quirk of the Day: Each of the two games last night lasted 3:53…Jake Peavy is scheduled for a rehab start today for Class AA Birmingham at Huntsville.

Quote of the Day

Here’s Robin talking about continuing successful comeback of John Danks after his performance in the first game of the doubleheader:

“We don’t look at him like he’s still got training wheels or you’re still careful of how he’s pitching. He was just as strong towards the end that he was in the beginning as far as velocity and location. We don’t put any parameters on as far as pitch count or not feeling confident in him late in the game. ..Even coming out of spring training, and he knew that too, it wasn’t quite there, and now it is. It’s nice that he’s just part of the rotation and you don’t think about it.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

The All-Star break is Monday through Thursday with the 84th MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York set for Tuesday. Chris Sale, Jesse Crain and Ventura will represent the Sox. Ventura was selected as a coach by A.L. manager Jim Leyland.

On Friday, the Sox will host the Braves at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series.

Did You Know…

…that today is the birthday of both Robin, who is 46, and Steve Stone, who is celebrating No. 66? Both, were All-Star performers–Robin in 1992 and 2002 and Steve in 1980, his Cy Young season with the Orioles, when he pitched three perfect innings as the starting pitcher for the A.L. Happy Birthday, Robin and Steve!

Photo of the Day

The birthday boys:


A Double Dip with a Trade Mixed in for Good Measure

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Today’s News


White Sox vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, in a split twin bill due to last night’s postponement.

Game 1 (2:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP John Danks (2-5, 4.31) for the Sox, RHP Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84) for Philadelphia.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Phegley, C; Beckham, 2B; Danks, P.

Game 2 (6:15 p.m., CT): Starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.49) for the Sox, LHP John Lannan (2-3, 4.23) for the Phillies.

Sox Starting Lineup: (TBA)

Play of the Day

Late last night, The Sox acquired outfielder Brandon Jacobs from the Red Sox for Matt Thornton and cash considerations.

Jacobs, 22, is hitting .247 with 25 doubles, 11 homers, 44 RBI, 46 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 84 games between Class A Salem (81 games) and Class AA Portland (3). He hit .421 with six doubles, two homers and 12 RBI in his last 11 games with Salem before being promoted. He is a career .265 hitter with 47 homers, 216 RBI and 61 stolen bases in five seasons in the Boston organization.

Jacobs (pictured below) is 6-foot-1, 225-pounds and was a 10th round pick in the 2009 June draft. He bats and throws right-handed and entered the season as the 11th-best prospect in the Red Sox system. He was drafted out of Parkview, Ga. high school.

Quote(s) of the Day

GM Rick Hahn on Jacobs:
“An athletic kid who projects to be a potential power bat and everyday corner outfielder down the road if everything clicks. He was the most impactful player available to us.”

Hahn on the 37-year-old Thornton, who ranks among the Sox’s all-time relief leaders in appearances (1st), holds (1st), strikeouts (2nd), wins (T3rd) and strikeouts (5th):

“I told him we appreciate everything he has done for the organization on and off the field.
Matt was the team’s most valuable reliever in our bullpen at times and provided excellence over an extended period of time.”

Rick on other moves:

“We remain active on a number of fronts, and we’re going to keep talking and see where it leads over the coming weeks.”

According to Hahn, LHP Donnie Veal has joined the Sox for today’s doubleheader, replacing Thornton on the active roster.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park (12:35 p.m., CT, WGN) in the finale of the series and the last game before the All-Star break. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.67) for the Sox, LHP Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.17) for the Phils.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox are hitting .291 with runners in scoring position since June 1? It is the second-highest mark in the American League and third-highest in baseball during that span.

Photo of the Day

To commemorate the 2013 All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday night at Citi Field, there are 35 six-foot tall apple statues around New York City–inspired by the Mets’ iconic home run apple.

The White Sox version is located at Toys R Us in Times Square.


Sox Riding High into Philly on the Strength of Phegley’s Slam

Friday, July 12, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia has been postponed and will be be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader tomorrow. Game 1 will be at 2:05 p.m., CT, and Game 2 at 7:15 p.m., CT. John Danks will start the first game for the Sox, Hector Santiago the nightcap.

Sizing Up Jose Quintana



Play of the Day

Josh Phegley’s grand slam in the sixth inning yesterday gave the Sox a lead we never relinquished in the 6-3 victory, which gave us a series win over the Tigers. Josh has hit three home runs with eight RBI in his first five games. He is the first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam within his first five games and is the first Sox hitter to drive in eight runs in his initial five contests. And Phegley is the third White Sox to smash three homers in his first five career games, joining Magglio Ordonez (1997) and Zeke Bonura (1934).

Quote(s) of the Day

All-Star Chris Sale, who got credit for his first win since May 17 and sixth of the season yesterday, was the chief beneficiary of Phegley’s blast. Here Chris talks about the slam and his new battery mate in general:

“That (the grand slam) was awesome. Being in that situation, watching the ball go over the fence was very satisfying to say the least,” he said with chuckle. “What a game. We didn’t put our heads down and quit–and Phegs ended up winning the game for us. He’s hit three home runs against three very good pitchers. He’s just grinding it out, coming up here bringing energy, ready to play every day. He’s a hell of a guy, too. All things considered, it makes for a pretty good ballplayer and fun to be around.”

@JoshPhegley: Proud to be with the White Sox! What a fan base! Feeling all the love from everyone! #SoxNation

Did You Know…

…that Darin Erstad, who played for the Sox in 2007, has just been elected into the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame? A 14-year major leaguer who is now the head baseball coach at the University of Nebraska, his alma mater, Erstad played with the 1995 Tempe Rafters in the AFL.

Photo and Video of the Day

Phegley delivers.



All-Star Sale, Sox Go For The Series Win

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (12:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale and rubber match of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (5-8, 2.78) for the Sox, RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-5, 2.70) for Detroit. Chris ranks among the American League leaders in the following categories: He’s first in opponents slugging percentage (.301), third in opponents on-base percentage (.260), baserunners per nine innings pitched (9.29), opponents average (.202) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (9.77), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.92) and ERA and fifth in strikeouts (123).

Sox Starting Lineup:  De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn, DH; Keppinger, 1B; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Beckham, 2B; Phegley, C.

Peavy in Sunday Rehab Start

Taking his next step toward returning to the Sox rotation, Jake Peavy is scheduled to make a rehab start on Sunday with Class AA Birmingham at Huntsville.

Play(s) of the Day

Gordon Beckham continued his hot hitting with his second homer of the season, a solo shot, in last night’s loss to the Tigers. Now sporting a .340 average on the year, Gordon is hitting .400 in his last 16 games with four doubles, two homers and eight RBI…After exploding for a pair of homers and four RBI on Tuesday night, Dayan Viciedo singled, doubled, walked and drove in a run…Conor Gillaspie (below) smashed his seventh homer to get the Sox on the board with a run in the second inning, singled and scored twice.


Quote of the Day

Sox GM Rick Hahn, talking to reporters about the Sox’s strong suit:

“We do feel that you have to start with the pitching. You are going to compete in this league with the pitching, and we do feel we have the nucleus under control for a while going forward that is going to help us compete. The bulk of our struggles this year have been on the offensive side. That’s something we are going to have to improve.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (2-5, 4.31) for the Sox, RHP Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84) for Philly.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox are hitting .296 with runners in scoring position since June 1? It’s the second highest mark in the American League and third highest in the majors during that period.  

Photo/Video of the Day

Watch Beckham go deep:


Bats Go Boom!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-5, 4.97) for the Sox, RHP Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.82) for Detroit.

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

Huge Honor for Sox’s No. 1 draft pick Anderson 

Shortstop Tim Anderson, the White Sox’s No. 1 selection in the 2013 June draft, has won the National Junior College Athletic Association’s David Rowlands Award, given each year to the nation’s top male student-athlete. Anderson, now at Class A Kannapolis, earned the honor after an outstanding season at East Central Community College in Mississippi. Anderson is hitting .320 with a .395 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases in his first 19 professional games with the Intimidators.

Hawk is Centerpiece of MLB Network Documentary



Play(s) of the Day

I’m happy to say that there is a plethora of plays to highlight from last night’s 11-4 rout of the Tigers. 

* The White Sox had season highs of 11 runs and 23 hits while defeating former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander for the first time in almost two years.  

* Alex Rios tied a White Sox and American League mark with six hits in a nine-inning game, joining 31 others. Other Sox to do it were Lance Johnson (1995), Floyd Robinson (1962), Hank Steinbacher (1938) and Rip Radcliff (1936)…Alex became the fourth player ever to collect six hits and steal two bases and the third to go 6 for 6 with a pair of thefts…Rios, who drove in two runs, claimed the distinction of being the first player to pound out four hits in a game against Verlander…He also is the first player since at least 1900 to have five singles and one triple in a nine-inning game.

* Dayan Viciedo hit two homers. He tied the game with a solo shot off of Verlander in the sixth and clubbed a three-run blast in the eighth.

* Jose Quintana, who got credit for his first win since May 21 despite pitching well during that period, was outstanding last night against the Tigers, going eight innings and allowing three runs and six hits with seven strikeouts. He’s now 4-2.

* Adam Dunn had a 3-5 night with three RBI, including a two-run blast, his 24th of the season.

* And for good measure: Alejandro De Aza and Alexei Ramirez had three hits apiece while Jeff Keppinger and Gordon Beckham each had a pair.



Quote of the Day

Dunn on Rios’s six-hit performance, via Scott Merkin of whitesox.com:

“That takes people like me two, maybe three weeks to get six.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (12:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (5-8, 2.78) for the Sox, Anibal Sanchez (7-5, 2.70) for Detroit.

Did You Know…

…that last night’s offensive outburst by the Sox was the first time Verlander ever gave up as many as 12 hits in a game in his home park?

Photo/Video of the Day

Watch Rios’s record sixth hit, Viciedo’s three-run clout and Dunn’s two-run homer:




Meeting in Motown and the Double Duty Classic

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit (6:05 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.69) for the Sox, Justin Verlander (9-5, 3.54) for Detroit.

Sox Starting Lineup:  De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Dunn,1B; Keppinger, DH; Gillaspie, 3B; Viciedo, LF; Beckham 2B; Phegley, C.

Jake Update

Jake Peavy threw 76 pitches today in a simulated game at Comerica Park. He reported that he felt fine afterward and has made some progress since his last bullpen (in St. Petersburg). If all goes well, a rehab start is next on the agenda.


The Future

One of the best days each year – especially in  a year like this – is our annual Double Duty Classic event, which celebrates and commemorates the old Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game.  Amateur minority players from our ACE youth baseball program and a few standouts from across the country (Sox 2012 first round draft pick Courtney Hawkins played in the game) play an exhibition game wearing replica Negro Leagues uniforms.  Today’s game, the sixth annual, drew upwards of 4,000 fans, mostly Chicago youth groups on outings from their day camps. The atmosphere is always fun.

Prior to the game, we hold a forum for the players and their families that centers on the history of the Negro Leagues, explains who Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe was and his importance to baseball in Chicago, and offers advice to the kids on their future, whether in baseball or not.

“Double Duty,” of course, was a star in the Negro Leagues as both a pitcher and a catcher and a baseball legend in Chicago, his adopted hometown. Word is that Radcliffe, who lived to be 103, got his nickname from the famed writer Damon Runyon because he caught and pitched in successive games in the 1932 Negro League World Series.

This year, WBEZ and NPR correspondent Richard Steele was the emcee.  Steele was joined by 94-year-old Dr. Timuel Black, a former advisor to both Dr. King and President Obama, and by Ken Williams, Sox executive vice president and former GM.

“You have to protect your history,” Williams told the 35-or so players.  “You have to keep it alive.”

Dr. Black explained his own history – his grandparents were slaves – and how important faith and optimism have for people.

“It is about survival, progress and a belief,” he said. “Impossible … we can get that done this week.  Miraculous? … that might take us a little longer.  But one of the best examples is baseball.  Jackie Robinson.  He was not just a great baseball player.  He was chosen by Branch Rickey because he also was best equipped to succeed in all the other areas that were important at that moment.”

Robinson, Black and Williams stressed, didn’t just have athletic ability.  He also had intellect.

“Baseball is the best sport to prepare you for life, in my opinion, because it is built on failure,” Williams said.  “You need discipline and you need to show up.  A lot of people are afraid to show up because it is too risky.”

“You may lose today’s game,” Black told the kids. “but you will win tomorrow.”

He stressed the importance of using role models and adults as guides.

“What do you want to be?” he challenged the athletes.  “Not just today, this week or this year, but in your future and in your life.

“What do you want to be?  What do you want your neighborhood to be?  Your city?  You cannot do it alone.”

Here is a link to Phil Rogers’ column in today’s Trib about the Double Duty Classic and the impact that the Sox, spearheaded by Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, have made in the community.


Quote of the Day

I think the following excerpt from Rogers’ column is worthy enough to underscore here:

“Chicago never has had a baseball owner who has done as much public good as Reinsdorf,” Rogers wrote. “And, unless Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg buys a team, probably never will.”

Play of the Day

Josh Phegley’s homer in the third inning of last night’s game was his second in two days. He joined Magglio Ordonez (second and third career games in 1997) as the only players in franchise history to homer in consecutive games within their first three career contests. Josh also joined Brent Morel (2010 vs. Royals), Josh Fields (2011 vs. Tigers) and Carlos Lee (1999) as the only White Sox players to homer in his first at-bat at U.S. Cellular Field. And Phegley is the first rookie in franchise history to drive in a run in each of his first three career games (RBI became an official stat in 1920).

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Dylan Axelrod (3-5, 4.97) for the Sox, RHP Rick Porcello (5-6, 4.82) for Detroit.

Did You Know…

…that Gordon Beckham, in the sixth inning of last night’s loss to the Cubs, became the first Sox player to steal home since Juan Pierre did it on October 2, 2010? 

Photo of the Day

Phegley heads for home.