February 2014

White Sox Host Tribe Tomorrow

Friday, February 28, 2014

Today’s News

Sox Cactus League Opener

Dodgers  5   6   0

Sox         0   5   0

Cover Boy

This is the 12th time in 16 seasons that Paul Konerko has been included on the media guide cover.

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Meet the New Sox Hitting Guru

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79467562/

Our Condolences

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Baltimore Orioles and the family of O’s PR director Monica Barlow, who passed away today at 36 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Play(s) of the Day

Matt Davidson doubled while Adam Eaton, Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks each got a base knock…on the pitching side, LHP Chris Sale (2.2 innings), RHP Parker Frazier (0.1), LHP Donnie Veal (1.0), RHP Mitchell Boggs (1.0) and LHP Charlie Leesman combined for six shutout innings.

Quote of the Day

White Sox radio broadcaster Darrin Jackson got his first view of new first baseman Jose Abreu during batting practice prior to today’s game.

“Oh, my God,” DJ said as Abreu hit a ball more than halfway up the batter’s eye on one of the back fields.  “And he didn’t really even hit that one.”

Yep.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m. CT). Scheduled Sox pitchers are John Danks, Chris Beck, Scott Downs and others.

Photo of the Day

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It’s Sox vs. Dodgers in Tomorrow’s Cactus League Opener

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today’s News

The Calm Before the Storm

With tomorrow’s Cactus League opener looming and a full schedule of games to follow, the Sox had a short day today. There was a brief meeting in the morning, a batting practice session that took about an hour and then the troops were free to go.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time) in the first game of spring training. Scheduled pitchers for the Sox are Chris Sale, Eric Surkamp, Donnie Veal, Jake Petricka, Matt Lindstrom and a host of others. Here’s the lineup card:

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Quote of the Day

It’s official. Adam Dunn will attend the Academy Awards on Sunday night. He was not only an investor in the Best Picture-nominated Dallas Buyers Club, but had a cameo as a bartender as well. His thoughts?

“I know people have parties for this kind of thing so it must be pretty cool.”

Sox Note of Note

More Dunn: Robin, tongue in cheek, said that a condition of Adam going to the Oscars is that he goes on stage if his movie wins for Best Picture…the White Sox have traded infielder Jake Elmore to the Oakland A’s in exchange for cash considerations. Elmore, 26, was designated for assignment on Wednesday after being claimed off waivers from Houston on November 13, 2013.

Did You Know … 

…that on this date in 1973 White Sox first baseman Dick Allen signed a three-year deal estimated at $250,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in MLB history?

Photo/Video of the Day

Here’s Paulie commenting to Jose Abreu after the Sox rookie beat out an infield hit in his first at-bat in Tuesday’s intrasquad game.

http://t.co/W9ER6XHhiy

Abreu, Garcia and New-Look Sox are Creating a Buzz

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today’s News

Drawing Attention

Here are two good examples of how the media is showing interest in the 2014 White Sox:

http://espn.go.com/blog/spring-training/post/_/id/1547/imposing-figures-in-white-soxs-lineup

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140226&content_id=68349776&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb&tcid=tw_article_68349776

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Friday and Saturday Pitching Schedule

The Sox open their Cactus League season on Friday at Camelback Ranch-Glendale against the Dodgers and host the Indians on Saturday. Here’s how the pitching will be set up.

Friday: Chris Sale, Eric Surkamp, Donnie Veal, Jake Petricka, Matt Lindstrom and a host of others.

Saturday: John Danks, Chris Beck, Omar Poveda, Scott Downs and others.

Brought Back by Popular Demand

Those 1983 “Winning Ugly” uniforms that were such a big hit with the Sox players and fans last year will be worn this season as alternate uniforms with a new “batterman” cap. They won’t be worn only on Sundays at home as they were for the most part in 2013, but rather anytime the players decide they want to wear them. See Photos of the Day.

Quote of the Day

Matt Davidson on the Sox wearing the ’83 throwback unis: “Awesome.”

Sox Note of Note

The Sox have claimed right-handed pitcher Maikel Cleto (Michael CLAY-toh) off waivers from the Kansas City Royals and have designated infielder Jake Elmore for assignment. Cleto, 24, split time last season between Class AAA Memphis in the Cardinals organization and Class AAA Omaha in the Royals system.

Photos of the Day

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Intrasquad Game Takes Center Stage

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Today’s News

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Dunns 4, Konerkos 2

In today’s intrasquad game, the first of the spring, Adam Dunn’s team defeated Paul Konerko’s squad, 4-2. Avi Garcia hit a two-run homer for the Dunns. There was a big crowd on hand, in fact a White Sox Cactus League record for an intrasquad contest.

Here was today’s lineup card:

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Steverson Unplugged

Hitting coach Todd Steverson is mic’d up as he goes about his business in camp. More to come next month on CSN.  http://atmlb.com/1fC45Tl

Join the #SoxTixTour

We’re kicking off the season with a #SoxTixTour! Join us Thursday for fun, prizes & more. http://t.co/NagTBygTbv http://t.co/A2oGnSqJmV

2014 Promotional Schedule

http://atmlb.com/1fClUSf

Kids Clinic

Camelback Ranch-Glendale will host its second annual Kids Clinic at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 28 following the 1:05 p.m. Cactus League game between the White Sox and Dodgers, who share the facility.

Youngsters from the Glendale Youth Project and Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix will get instruction from White Sox and Dodger players and coaches in the stadium. The children also will have the opportunity to take photos and receive autographs.

Play of the Day

Jose Abreu beat out an infeld hit in his first at bat in today’s intrasquad game.

Quote of the Day

“I got it!”  Abreu yelled out on a popup yesterday during defensive drills.

“Bueno English,” replied coach Joe McEwing.

Photo of the Day

Happy Birthday to the Chairman!

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On the Red Carpet: Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio and…Adam Dunn?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Today’s News

The Envelope Please…

A big story in camp today centered on Adam Dunn and whether or not he will decide to attend Sunday’s Academy Awards in L.A. You see, Adam is an investor in the Best Picture-nominated Dallas Buyers Club and had a cameo as a bartender. 

Here’s Robin’s reaction:

“I’m telling him to go. I don’t know how many opportunities people in baseball would have to do that. You’re looking first at how many people get a chance to actually be part of it–and not to go just to go, but to be part of something that has a chance to do something special.”

Ventura kidded that it’s not something he’ll have to worry about very often: “I’m not worried about setting precedence. The next time somebody has something to do with the Oscars we’ll deal with it. It’s a cool thing and he should be able to go and enjoy it.”

This “screen grab” is a little dark, but that’s Adam behind the bar on the right in one of his two scenes. The movie’s stars, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (in a blonde wig), are on the left of the picture. McConaughey is nominated for Best Actor, Leto for Best Supporting Actor.

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Prospect Rankings

Baseball America has ranked the game’s top prospects, position-by-position.  Here’s how the Sox fared:

First base — Jose Abreu, No. 1, Keon Barnum, No. 15.

Second base — Micah Johnson, No. 7, Carlos Sanchez, No. 17

Shortstop — Tim Anderson, No. 11

Third base — Matt Davidson, No. 8, Marcus Semien, No. 10

Corner Outfield — Courtney Hawkins, No. 23, Trayce Thompson, No. 26, Jared Mitchell, No. 40

Right-handed pitchers — Erik Johnson, No. 26

Something to Look Forward to

Sox PA announcer Gene Honda is getting ready for the season with this intro of Jose Abreu at an empty and frozen U.S. Cellular Field.

http://Instagram.com/p/kztISYFseG/

Sox Announce ’14 Broadcast Schedule

The White Sox, Comcast SportsNet, WGN-TV, WCIU-TV, WSCR-AM 670 The Score and 97.5 FM ESPN Deportes have announced the team’s television and radio broadcast schedule for the 2014 season.

Comcast SportsNet (CSN) will televise 107 regular-season games, beginning with Opening Day on Monday, March 31 vs. Minnesota at 3:10 p.m. CDT.  CSN also will air the White Sox first road contest of the season on Friday, April 4 at Kansas City (3:10 p.m.)

WGN-TV is scheduled to broadcast 30 Sox games again this season, beginning with the club’s third game of 2014 on Thursday, April 3 vs. Minnesota (1:10 p.m.).  WCIU begins its 25-game schedule on Tuesday, April 8 at Colorado (7:40 p.m.).

All CSN, WGN-TV and WCIU-TV telecasts will be available in high definition.  Game times and television networks are subject to change.

The eight games scheduled for Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) will be available on CLTV in the Chicagoland area.  Viewers in other areas should visit CSNChicago.com for specific channel locations.  The first CSN+ telecast is scheduled for Friday, May 9 vs. Arizona (7:10 p.m.).

WCIU will air the first game of the crosstown series vs. Cubs on Monday, May 5 at Wrigley Field at 7:05 p.m.  CSN will broadcast the second game on Tuesday, May 6 at 7:05 p.m.  When the series moves to U.S. Cellular Field, WCIU will broadcast the contest on Wednesday, May 7 (7:10 p.m.), while CSN will air the series finale on Thursday, May 8 (7:10 p.m.).

Play-by-play announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson begins his 30th season in the White Sox television booth in 2014 alongside analyst Steve Stone, who is set to begin his seventh season as a White Sox broadcaster.  Harrelson and Stone have worked together since 2009.

WSCR-AM 670 The Score, the White Sox flagship radio station, will broadcast all 162 games. The on-air duo of former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer (play-by-play) and former outfielder Darrin Jackson (analyst) returns for its sixth season together.

For the third consecutive year, 97.5 FM ESPN Deportes, Chicago’s first commercial FM radio station devoted to continuous Spanish language sports coverage, will broadcast all 162 games.  All home games will air live from U.S. Cellular Field.  Hector Molina (play-by-play) and Billy Russo (analyst) return as the broadcast team. 

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

There will be an intrasquad game tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.  

Photo/Video of the Day

WGN’s Pat Tomasolu takes Photo Day to a whole new level.

http://morningnews.wgntv.com/2014/02/24/pats-twist-on-white-sox-picture-day/

In the Spotlight: Chris Sale and the Hairy Battle Between Beckham and Davidson

Sunday, February 23, 2014

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Today’s News

Sale Featured in The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/sports/baseball/white-sox-sale-stands-tall-and-thin-and-throws-strikes.html?_r=0

You Choose

Who’s got the best hair on the White Sox? http://atmlb.com/1ei1edE

Outfield Drills

https://vine.co/v/MmvxLpYPnuD

The Big Hurt’s Hall of Fame Tour

While he’s awaiting his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27, Frank Thomas made a stop in Macon last night and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Here’s Frank with his Columbus, GA high school coach Bobby Howard at the ceremony.

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Quote of the Day

@CST_soxvan: #whitesox coach Joe McEwing loves calling (Leury) Garcia “Leury Legend.”

Photo of the Day

New Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson.

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A Photo Day Saturday

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Today’s News

Brotherly Love

White Sox outfielder Jordan Danks drew some chuckles at Sox Photo Day by flipping his name card around and scribbling, “John Danks Brother.”

“They mix up our photos on scoreboards across the American League,” Jordan laughed.  “Maybe this will help.”

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Hey Jose, “Say Cheese”!

Cuban free agent Jose Abreu went through the photo stations for the very first time.  After a stop at the Comcast SportsNet tent where he announced “Jose Abreu, first base,” and gave a try to “South Side,” he was pleased to make this last stop at the mlb.com twitter mirror.  When told all he had to do was pose for a simple twitter photo, Jose broke into a big smile.

A Matt Lindstrom Selfie

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Adam Eaton and Photo Day Fun

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And There’s More…

To see all of our #SoxSpringTraining @TwitterMirror photos, click here: http://t.co/dZpuBjVXTX

Sox Notes of Note

Robin indicated today that Chris Sale will start in the Cactus League opener against the Dodgers on Friday, followed by John Danks…Tyler Flowers will start out behind the plate…Righthanders Andre Rienzo and Chris Beck are scheduled to be the starters in an intrasquad game on Tuesday.

Photo of the Day

That’s a wrap. The final Photo Day for Paulie.

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Four White Sox Among Top MLB Prospects

Friday, February 21, 2014

Today’s News

Young and Talented

There are four Sox players on Baseball America‘s 2014 Top 100 Prospects list. Here they are with the publication’s ranking and comments:

No. 29:  Jose Abreu, 1B/DH – Signed to a major league contract, Abreu has higher expectations than most on this list. The White Sox are counting on him to make the majors and hit in the middle of the lineup.

No. 63:  Erik Johnson, RHP — Listen to Don Cooper. Chicago’s major league pitching coach knows his stuff and should bring the most out of Johnson and his premium slider.

No. 72:  Matt Davidson, 3B (pictured below) — Davidson’s new organization gives him a shot at a big league job. 

No 91:   Marcus Semien, SS/2B/3B – Semien will battle Matt Davidson and Conor Gillaspie for the third-base job in Chicago, but he likely is headed to Triple-A to play all three infield spots and continue to show he has the bat to be more than a utilityman.

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Twig

White Sox advance scout Bryan Little (aka Twig) was the target of some good-natured ribbing recently.  One of the reasons Twig is in camp each spring is to work with our hitters on bunting (and was seen today working with Alejandro De Aza and Adam Eaton) a skill at which he excelled during his time in the big leagues. 

But while his bunting prowess was well-known and well-respected, Little wasn’t exactly a feared hitter overall. And the other day, the topic of Billy Martin and his riding of Twig many years ago came up in our clubhouse.

“Be careful,” Martin use to yell, teasingly, from the Yankee dugout.  “He might swing.”

Martin used to threaten to bunch all of his fielders around the mound when Twig came to the plate.

Long Walks

Pitching coach Don Cooper goes for long walks each morning in camp.  And what motivates him?

“I imagine having to take 10 trips to the mound during a game in Oakland,” Coop laughs.  “Because that’s the longest walk in the league.”

It can’t get tougher than that!

A Little Too Much Information

According to Robin, Avi Garcia was sidelined today and likely out tomorrow with an in-grown toenail. A relieved Garcia was showing off the sliver of nail (removed by a podiatrist) to anyone in camp who has the stomach to look. Most people thought it was gross.

Back in Action

Having been sidelined with a strained glute, a happy Nate Jones returned to the mound –albeit briefly — today and took part in several drills.

On the Rebound

John Danks drew attention today.

Johnny looked good today,” Ventura said, noting that both his velocity and strength were impressive. “Last year, I’m sure he came in here not as strong as he’d like to be. He’s in a better spot this year compared with last.”

Good Sports

White Sox pitchers and catchers began the process of signing baseballs, photos and jerseys for the club’s community relations efforts throughout the year. By getting the signings done in spring training, the club has a stockpile of items to donate to charity and for good causes while the players don’t need to worry about signing too much stuff once the season begins.

Quote of the Day

@CST_soxvan: Hit coach Steverson on Abreu’s swing: “He has a good path, ability to move barrel around zone. Inside, outside, down the middle…It has a nice shape to it. Pretty compact & he stays through ball pretty well. It’s all about approach to use swing & he has good approach”

Photo of the Day

No. 29 prospect Abreu taking BP.

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The Gang’s All Here

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Today’s News

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Captain Konerko

Paulie met with the media this morning before the first day of his final spring training as the full squad reported to camp. As he walked under a tunnel on his way into the clubhouse after practice, a Chicago sports reporter began his taped report with, “As Paul Konerko walks into the sunset …”  Tough love.

Words of wisdom from PK:

On Avi Garcia: “He has the potential to be a monster in this league.”

His advice to the young players on the Sox: “You only get one stab at this.”

Robin Addresses the Troops

Ventura’s message to his players today:

“It was more about being ready, getting your mind ready. It’s a long season, and if you don’t have your mind made up going in that you’re preparing for a season, in the right frame of mind as an organization and team, you’re going in the wrong direction. So when you’re doing drills you have to make sure your mind is ready and you’re doing the right things to get better.”

Quote of the Day

Pitcher Felipe Paulino had a long conversation before today’s team meeting with two Chicago front office staffers about the winter weather and driving.

“Because when we get even a little snow or ice in Houston, no one drives,” Paulino explained.

Play of the Day

During his final swing of BP today, Konerko blooped a pitch from Matt Lindstrom down the right field line. “Triple!” pitching coach Don Cooper immediately called out.

Konerko tipped his cap.

Photo of the Day

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A Sight for Sore Eyes: Sale and Quintana on the Mound, Abreu and Garcia in the Cage

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

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Today’s News

Now Pitching for the White Sox…

That’s Robin in the above photo throwing BP today, while coach Joe McEwing takes charge of infield practice.

Nice Welcome

Hitters in camp early experienced the joy of facing live pitching today, with Jose Abreu and Avi Garcia drawing Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, among others. How’s that for a welcome to the big leagues for Abreu?

“How’s “take” practice going?” a coach asked as he walked up to the cage to see most hitters just tracking pitches.

“No one likes it,” said another about that first time in the cage against live pitching, “But you have to do it.”

Winter Woes

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham spent most of the winter in Chicago and a little time back home in Atlanta.

“I’m just happy to get outside and move around,” he said.

Beckham’s timing this winter was horrible. After surviving a brutal Chicago winter, he escaped in time to land in Atlanta for the ice storm that shut down the city.

Big Men

Garcia stood next to Abreu at the batting cage today and made an impression.

“Avi Garcia managed to make Abreu look small and that’s not easy,” an observer noted. Here are the new teammates.

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Quote of the Day

@ESPNChiSox: (Andre) Rienzo got Abreu to fly out twice during last spring’s WBC. Said Rienzo: “I told him we’re on the same team now and friends so forget it.”

Play of the Day

Garcia may have made Abreu look small, but when Sale saw the size of Jose as the slugger stepped into the batter’s box he kiddingly asked for someone to come out and relieve him.

Sox Note of Note

Adam Dunn will be wearing uniform number 44 this season (instead of 32), the number he wore with the Reds and Nationals.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

First day of full-squad workouts. 

Photo of the Day

Chris is a happy camper.

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