July 2014

Baseball’s Shrine Awaits Thomas and LaRussa

Friday, July 25, 2014

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Todays News                    

Cooperstown, NY — I’m here in the spiritual home of baseball, awaiting one of the landmark days in White Sox history as Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa will join the pantheon of the game’s greats on Sunday when they are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Thomas and LaRussa will be joined in the HOF Class of 2014 by pitching greats Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux and elite managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre. A huge throng of fans, perhaps in the neighborhood of 60,000 or more, will make their way to this upstate New York village to celebrate the newest enshrinees.

After being selected as the club’s No. 1 draft pick in 1989 (7th overall) out of Auburn University, The Big Hurt established himself as the greatest hitter in the history of the White Sox franchise and with 83.7 percent of the vote became the first Sox player to be elected to the Hall on the first ballot. LaRussa began his managerial career in a White Sox uniform and managed one of the club’s most memorable teams–the 1983 “Winning Ugly” Sox that won the American League West by 20 games.

For the next few days my goal is to share with you the sights and sounds of Induction Weekend, primarily as it relates to the Sox inductees. So, if you aren’t able to make the trip yourself, I’ll try to be your eyes and ears and provide you with an inside look at what promises to be a very special time.

In Good Company

There will be a couple dozen in the White Sox contingent this weekend. Among them will be Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Senior Executive Vice President Howard Pizer, fellow Senior Vice Presidents Tim Buzard and Brooks Boyer, Senior Director of Community Relations Christine O’Reilly and Director of Media Relations Bob Beghtol.

Also included in the Sox party will be former Sox manager Jeff Torborg, Frank’s first major-league skipper; Larry Himes and Al Goldis, the General Manager and Director of Scouting and Player Development when Frank was drafted; and the man who coined the nickname, “The Big Hurt,” Hawk Harrelson.

Others with Sox connections that will be here this weekend are former Sox GM Roland Hemond and ex-Sox stars Jermaine Dye, Aaron Rowand and A.J. Pierzynski, who all played with Thomas on the 2005 World Champions.

Additionally, The Hall of Fame has announced that 55 of the 66 living Hall of Famers will be in Cooperstown this weekend.

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How and Why Frank Reached Cooperstown 

* Career .301 hitter with 495 doubles, 521 home runs, 1,704 RBI, 1,667 walks, a .419 on-base percentage and .555 slugging percentage in 2,322 games over 19 seasons as a first baseman/designated hitter with the White Sox (1990-2005), Oakland (2006, ’08) and Toronto (2007-08).

* Won the 1997 American League batting title with a .347 average.

* One of four players in major-league history with a career .300 average, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBI, 1,000 runs scored and 1,500 walks. Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams are the others.

* One of 12 players in major-league history to win consecutive Most Valuable Player awards (1993-94). He was honored as an unanimous selection in ’93.

* Won four Silver Slugger Awards (1991, 1993-94 and 2000) and named American League Comeback Player of the Year in 2000 and 2006.

* One of four players to drive in at least 100 runs in each of his first eight full major-league seasons, joining Hall of Famers Al Simmons (1924-1934), Williams (1939-1949) and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols (2001-2010).

* Only player in major-league history to bat .300 or better with at least 20 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 walks and 100 runs scored in seven consecutive seasons (1991-97).

* One of seven AL right-handed hitters to top the league in average and on-base percentage in the same season (1997); Nap Lajoie (1901), Jimmie Foxx (1938), Luke Appling (1943), Frank Robinson (1966), Edgar Martinez (1995) and Miguel Cabrera (2011, 2013).

* Led the AL in average (1997), slugging percentage (1994), extra-base hits (1992, ’94), walks (1991, ’94-’95) and on-base percentage (1991-92, ’94, ’97). He also tied for the AL lead in doubles and walks (1992) and extra-base hits (1994).

* He was a five-time All-Star (1993-97) and won the Home Run Derby in 1995.

* Hit 11 grand slams and recorded 33 multi-homer games, including a career high three homers on September 15, 1996 at Boston.

* Hit 40-plus home runs five times, drove in 100-plus runs in 10 seasons and drew 100-plus walks 10 times.

* Holds numerous White Sox career records including home runs (448), RBI (1,465), walks (1,466), runs (1,327), doubles (447), extra-base hits (906), on-base percentage (.427), slugging percentage (.568) and OPS (.995).

* Announced his retirement from baseball on February 12, 2010 at U.S. Cellular Field.

* His No. 35 was retired by the White Sox on August 29, 2010. A bronze sculpture of his likeness was unveiled on July 31, 2011.

* Won a World Series ring with the 2005 World Champion White Sox.

How and Why Tony Reached Cooperstown

* As a major-league manager from 1979 to 2011, first with the White Sox (1979-86) and later with the A’s (1986-95) and Cardinals (1996-2011), LaRussa guided his teams to three World Series titles, six league championships and 12 division titles in 33 seasons. 

* Tony’s teams won 100 or more games four times and he was named the BBWAA’s Manager of the Year in his league four times. 

* LaRussa managed 5, 097 games in the big leagues, joining Connie Mack as the only other major-league manager at the 5,000 game level. 

* His 2,728 wins as a manager ranks third all-time in major-league history, behind only iconic skippers Mack and John McGraw.

* He is one of only two managers (along with Sparky Anderson) to win World Series titles in both leagues and the only skipper to win All-Star Games in both leagues.

And the Others Before Them

Here is a list of other Hall of Famers who played for the White Sox…

Roberto Alomar (2003-04)

Luis Aparicio (1956-62, ’68-70)

Luke Appling (1930-50)

Chief Bender (1953)

Steve Carlton (1986)

Eddie Collins (1915-26)

Jocko Conlan (1934-35)

George Davis (1902, ’04-09)

Larry Doby (1956-57, ’59)

Johnny Evers (1922)

Red Faber (1914-33)

Carlton Fisk (1981-93)

Nellie Fox (1950-63)

Goose Gossage (1972-76)

Clark Griffith (1901-02)

Harry Hooper (1921-25)

George Kell (1954-56)

Ted Lyons (1923-42, ’46)

Ed Roush (1913)

Red Ruffing (1947)

Ron Santo (1974)

Ray Schalk (1912-28)

Tom Seaver (1984-86)

Al Simmons (1933-35)

Ed Walsh (1904-16)

Hoyt Wilhelm (1963-68)

Early Wynn (1958-62)

…and those who managed the Sox.

Frank Chance (1924, did not manage due to illness)

Hugh Duffy (1910-11)

Bob Lemon (1977-78)

Al Lopez (1957-65, ’68-69)

An Epic Journey

Enjoy watching Frank’s trip to Cooperstown with Chuck Garfien earlier this year. 

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/frank-thomas-journey-hall-fame-comes-full-circle

Note of the Day

Thomas, who was born on May 27, 1968, is the youngest living Hall of Famer at 45 years of age.

Must-See TV, Etc.

MLB Network will broadcast the induction ceremony live on Sunday from 12:30-3:30 p.m., CT, and events throughout the weekend in Cooperstown. Sirius XM satellite radio will cover the ceremony nationwide and it will also be streamed live at www.baseballhall.org.

Quotes of the Day

Sox Skipper Robin Ventura on his long-time teammate Thomas:

“You are appreciative when you see his career and the numbers that go with it. But the fact that most of it was done in a White Sox uniform is special. There are not many of them that are in. For him to do it and have that productivity over that period of time, win MVPs and things like that, he was a dominant player in his era. That will stand the test of time as far as his place with the White Sox.”

Harrelson on the The Big Hurt:

“Watching Frank hit was something I’ve never seen before and never seen since. When he first came up he was a big, imposing figure at the plate. But it wasn’t Frank’s strength that made him great. He was basically a line drive type hitter whose line drives went over the wall. It was his mindset. He was smart and he worked his rear end off. And he was at a 2-0, 3-1 count almost every time. Do the math, who’s going to hit the most, a guy who hits 2-0, 3-1 in his career or 0-2 or 1-2? The last time I saw someone do that was Yaz (Carl Yastrzemski) the year he won the Triple Crown in 1967. For an eight-year period Frank was the best righthanded hitter I’ve ever seen and he put up numbers that nobody else approached.

Reinsdorf on LaRussa:

“Tony is one of top two or three human beings I’ve ever known in my life, he’s just a wonderful, wonderful person. I’ve only known two people who would do something to help a friend even if it was bad for him. I’ve seen Tony do that. You can’t have a more loyal friend, you can’t have a guy that supports his friends more than Tony does. He’s a brilliant manager, a brilliant baseball guy, but he’s an even better human being in my opinion.

“What made Tony a great manager? Preparation. He calls it slowing down the game. He was always thinking ahead to possible situations that could arise. So when they did arise, he didn’t have to figure out what to do, he already made his decision. His teams were always fundamentally sound, they worked extremely hard during spring training and during the season. He also always surrounded himself with the best possible coaches evidenced by his staff with the White Sox, which probably was the best coaching staff ever put together. And most important for any manager, he got the guys to play hard for him.”

The Gang’s Back Together

And here’s Aaron, Jermaine, Frank and A.J. celebrating at a party honoring Thomas in Cooperstown last night.

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Photos of the Day

The Hall calls.

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First of Four in Minnesota

January 24, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a four-game series. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (4-6, 4.55) for the Sox, RHP Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05) for Minnesota.

Noesi will be making his 16th start since joining the White Sox. He has made seven quality starts and has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 5.21. He earned his fourth win in his last start on July 17 vs. the Astros, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings.

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

Play of the Day

Another no-decision yesterday can’t diminish the latest outstanding performance by Jose Quintana. Though the Royals scored the winning run in the top of the ninth for the 2-1 victory, “Q” was brilliant in his pitchers duel with James Shields. Jose yielded just a run, seven hits and a pair of walks along with three Ks in seven innings of work. He is now 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA with 49 strikeouts over his last seven starts (six quality) and has allowed only three earned runs or less in 18 of his 21 starts…Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double (he’s batting .377 during the streak) and has hit safely in 31 of his last 32 games…Tyler Flowers, who singled twice, is 9-15 (.600) with four doubles and three RBI over his last five games…Moises Sierra, who doubled yesterday, is 11-40 (.275) with four doubles in his last 12 starts.

Roster Moves

Before tonight’s game, the Sox placed reliever Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled Andre Rienzo from Class AAA Charlotte.

Paciorek in Booth This Weekend

With Hawk Harrelson heading to Cooperstown, NY, for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, Tom Paciorek with join Steve Stone in the TV booth for the series with the Twins.

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The Truth about Chris Sale

From Jonah Keri in Grantland.com:

If we’re going to spill thousands of words about Clayton Kershaw, it seems only fair to do the same for Chris Sale. Yes, Kershaw plays for a more glamorous and successful team, and yes, he’s been dominating a little longer than his fellow lefty. Still, compare the 2014 stat lines and it’s tough to ignore the similarities: Right now, Sale looks like the AL version of Kershaw.

To toast Sale’s excellence, here are some fun facts about one of the best and most underrated pitchers in the game:

• Sale leads all left-handed AL starters with as many or more innings pitched in ERA (2.08) and FIP (2.48).

• Opposing batters are hitting .190 against Sale, with a .237 on-base percentage. Both of those marks lead the AL. Opponents are slugging .271 against Sale, second only to the Angels’ Garrett Richards.

• Sale ranks second in the AL in strikeout rate (28.3 percent), trailing only Yu Darvish; second in swing-and-miss rate (12.5 percent), trailing only Masahiro Tanaka; and sixth in walk rate (4.4 percent).

• In 14 starts, Sale has allowed more than three runs only once: a seven-inning, five-run affair against the Angels, the top-scoring team in baseball.

• Left-handed batters are hitting .118/.183/.132 against Sale. When Sale gets two strikes against lefties, he throws his slider away, and those hitters take a seat. 

The White Sox are headed in the right direction as GM Rick Hahn’s roster makeover continues behind Sale and the great Jose Abreu. Take the $68 million deal that binds Abreu to the team through 2019, and the $32.5 million pact that locks up Sale through 2017, and the White Sox boast the best pair of long-term contracts in all of baseball.

And Don’t Forget “Q”

From @ckamka: The most quality starts by a left-handed pitcher in 2014:

Jose Quintana, Sox   16

David Price, Rays       15

Jon Lester, Red Sox   15

Scott Kazmir, A’s        15

Ceremonial First Pitches

http://blog.richardroeper.com/?p=6402

Quote of the Day

The Weekend Schedule

I will be in Cooperstown this weekend celebrating the Hall of Fame inductions of Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa so I will be posting from there on all of the Hall of Fame festivities.

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the weekend series against the Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis: 

Friday:  LHP John Danks (8-6, 4.35) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76) for the Twins (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN).

Saturday: LHP Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) for the Sox, TBA for the Twins (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN).

Sunday: RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.52) for the Sox, RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.64) for the Twins (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN).

Photo of the Day

…And we know it won’t be his last!

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It’s “Quintana Time” in Rubber Match with KC

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) in the rubber match of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (9-5, 3.70) for Kansas City.

Quintana ranks among the American League leaders in quality starts (T5th, 15), HR/9.0 IP (5th, 0.43), opponent slugging percentage (8th, .334) and opponent OPS (8th, .625). He is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA, 48 strikeouts and a .169 opponents average in his last six starts. He is tied for second in the AL with eight no decisions this season and leads MLB with 35 no decisions since 2012.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Ramirez SS, Gillaspie 3B, De Aza LF, Flowers C, Sierra RF.

Play of the Day

Adam Dunn hit his 15th home run of the season and 455th of his career in last night’s loss to the Royals (click on link below for video). The Sox slugger is currently in 35th place on the all-time list.

http://atmlb.com/1txCurN

Sox Notes of Note

Congratulations to Tyler Flowers on the birth of his second child. Tyler left the ballpark right after Monday night’s game to be with his wife Nancy, who gave birth to son Brantley Cole…Hawk Harrelson will be in Cooperstown this weekend for the Hall of Fame inductions of Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa.

It’s Just the Beginning

No. 1 draft pick Carlos Rodon made his professional debut last night with the Sox’ Arizona Rookie League team. The lefty hurler was clocked at 96 mph in his one inning of work, allowing a run and two hits while striking out one. It was his first time on the mound since May 16.

Quote of the Day

Adam Eaton has been named the White Sox winner of the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award, it was announced yesterday by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

One player from each of the 30 major-league clubs was selected for “his passion for the game of baseball and who best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.” Former players do the voting and the overall winner will be announced on November 18.

Here’s Adam talking about the honor: 

“I’m pumped. My wife and  talked about it today, and it’s my first big-league trophy, which is kind of cool. I’m honored. If you’re playing the right way and healthy, and doing what you should be doing, you should definitely compete for that trophy every year. I’m very pleased…You’ve got to play hard every day, and I’m blessed to have the opportunity, and I’m excited.”

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a four-game series. Starters: RHPHector Noesi (4-6, 4.55) for the Sox, RHP Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05) for Minnesota.

Photo of the Day

Five years ago today, Mark Buehrle pitched the 18th perfect game in MLB history.

http://atmlb.com/1A5XWbI

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Carroll Looks to Continue Winning Ways

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19) for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) for KC.

Carroll is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over his last two starts. He tossed five scoreless innings on July 12 vs. Cleveland before leaving with lower back stiffness and allowed just one hit over 6.2 scoreless IP in his previous outing on July 7 at Boston.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo LF, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Beckham, 2B, Sierra RF, Nieto C.

Plays of the Day

Chris Sale was his usual brilliant self in his first start since the All-Star break in last night’s 3-1 win over the Royals. He allowed just a single run, seven hits and two walks along with eight strikeouts as he won his ninth game and lowered his ERA to 2.03…Chris is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last three starts and is 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA at home this season…the bullpen did its part as well as Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless eighth and Jake Petricka (shown below with Tyler Flowers after the final out) did likewise in the ninth while chalking up his fourth save…Adam Dunn drove in a pair of runs in the first innng with an opposite field single against the shift and Gordon Beckham brought home a run with a sixth inning sac fly…after getting on base four times on Sunday with two hits and two walks, Adam Eaton reached base three more times last night with two singles and a walk, lifting his batting average to .284…Jose Abreu‘s seventh-inning double extended his hitting streak to 11 games and he has now hit safely in 30 of his last 11 games.

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For Starters, This is Pretty Impressive

White Sox starters own a 3.18 ERA since June 23, the best mark in the American League and fourth-best in the MLB during that span.

Look Who Was Signing Today at Brookfield Zoo

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Quotes of the Day

Sale, who has always been a team-first guy, on his Cy Young Award candidacy:

“I don’t really pay too much attention to any of that. I have a job to do and I have to focus on doing that and winning games. We’re right in the hunt right now. These are the dog days, and you’ve got to bear down. Now is not the time to be thinking about yourself or some trophy or whatever.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (9-5, 3.70) for Kansas City.

Photo of the Day

What could be better than watching the Sox win while wearing your Adam Eaton t-shirt on “Free T-Shirt Monday?”

The remaining dates of the new promotion will be August 4 vs. Texas, featuring an Abreu t-shirt, August 18 vs. Baltimore, highlighting Sale, and September 8 vs. Oakland featuring Paul Konerko.

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All-Star Sale Takes On Royals

Monday, July 21, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-8, 4.56) for KC.

Sale would rank among the American League leaders in virtually every category with the necessary innings pitched. He will be making his 15th start and 10th at home. He is 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA, 83 strikeouts and a .186 average over his last 11 starts. This is his first outing since his one-inning stint in last Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Left-handed hitters are hitting just .118 against Chris this season, the lowest mark in the major leagues. Furthermore, lefties have connected on just one extra-base hit. That was Robinson Cano‘s double on July 4.

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

Plays of the Day

Adam Eaton reached base four times with two singles and a pair of walks, Jose Abreu singled twice and drove in his 74th run and Alexei Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Adrian Nieto and Alejandro De Aza each collected an RBI in yesterday’s loss to Houston…Taylor Thompson, just called up from Class AAA Charlotte, made his major-league debut a successful one. He tossed a scoreless 1.2 innings in relief, giving up just one hit and striking out two.

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The Abreu Report

Jose leads MLB with 29 homers and a .621 slugging percentage, ranks second in total bases (208), is tied for second in RBI (74) and is third in extra-base hits (51).

Wilkins is the International League’s Player of the Week

Charlotte first baseman Andy Wilkins has been named the International League’s Player of the Week for the period of July 14-20. Wilkins hit .647 with seven runs scored, one double, five home runs and eight RBI. He leads the league with 21 homers, total bases (182) and extra-base hits (45) on the season.

Class A Winston-Salem: An Inside Look

Winston-Salem is the White Sox’ High-Class A affiliate. Enjoy this piece, which includes observations from top Sox prospects Courtney Hawkins, Jacob May, Tim Anderson and Tyler Danish.

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34676047/?partnerId=as_cws_20140721_28176756

Wild Pitches

A great time was had by all last night at the second annual “Wild Pitches” event, held to raise money for Chicago White Sox Charities and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

One of the Good Guys

The Sun-Times‘ Rick Morrissey writes about long-time Chicago baseball writer Joe Goddard, one of the really good guys in the business.

http://bit.ly/1mwWZ1P

The Sox and Social Media

Thanks to Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business for this nice piece on our Social Media efforts.

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140721/BLOGS04/140729996?template=mobile&X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

The White Sox Participate in the PLAY Campaign

The PLAY campaign made its annual stop at U.S. Cellular Field today as children with intellectual and developmental disabilities participated without segregation or restriction.

Created in 2004 by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) program was formed to raise awareness about children’s health issues and the obesity epidemic in the United States. PLAY has conducted over 150 events inside all 30 major-league ballparks, reaching tens of thousands of America’s young people with positive messages about making healthy decisions and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.

White Sox Head Athletic Trainer Herm Schneider was joined by Assistant Athletic Trainer Brian Ball as they educated youngsters from the Chicago area about the importance of activity and healthy nutrition. Sox pitcher Nate Jones and hitting coach Todd Steverson helped put the group of kids through a series of stations which emphasize a healthy and active lifestyle as well as conducting a discussion about the dangers associated with steroids.

Also teaming up with PLAY and the Sox was Don Hooton Jr. of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, an organization that educates children of all ages about the dangers associated with steroid abuse.

Quote of the Day

Sox fan Evelyn Berg celebrated her 104th birthday at the ballpark yesterday and made sure everyone knew it. God bless her!

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19) for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) for KC.

Photo of the Day      

A pair of American League All-Star Joses, Abreu and the Astros’ Jose Altuve, demonstrate that major leaguers come in all shapes and sizes.

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A Sweep is in our Sights

Sunday, July 20, 2014

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Today’s News

 

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (8-6, 3.99) for the Sox, RHP Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) for Houston.

Danks is set to make his 20th start of the season and 10th at home. He is 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA over his last 10 starts and 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA wth 20 Ks over his last four. John is 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA over his nine starts at home in 2014. In his last outing, against Cleveland on July 13, Danks earned a no-decision. He went seven strong innings, allowing just one run, seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

 

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo RF, Gillaspie 3B, De Aza LF, Beckham 2B, Nieto C.

 

Plays of the Day

Tyler Flowers went 3-3 with a pair of singles and a double and drove in two runs–including the go-ahead tally in the fifth inning–in the Sox’ 4-3 win over the Astros, our second straight one-run triumph vs. Houston…Alejandro De Aza singled and tripled with two runs scored, Conor Gillaspie added an RBI with a base hit and Adam Eaton collected three singles…Hector Noesi had a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings of work for his fourth win and was picked up nicely by the pen…Ronald Belisario pitched two scoreless innings, Jake Petricka got the first two outs in the ninth and Zach Putnam closed the door, getting the final out for his third save and second in as many nights.

Here is Flowers’ eventual game-winning RBI:

http://atmlb.com/1sAXGPP

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Sox Notes of Note

The Sox are 5-1 in their last six games at home…Jose Abreu has hit safely in 28 of his last 29 games (.348) and last night extended his hitting streak to 10 games (.400)…Flowers is 6-9 with three RBI over his last three games…Eaton now owns a six-game hitting streak (.400) and last night recorded his sixth three-hit game of the season…Gillaspie is hitting .423 with four doubles, three homers, six RBI and eight runs scored over the last eight games.

 

Roster Moves

Following last night’s game the Sox optioned infielder Carlos Sanchez to Class AAA Charlotte. Prior to today’s game, we filled the roster spot by purchasing the contract of RHP Taylor Thompson from the Knights. Thompson is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA with six saves, 53 strikeouts and a .214 opponents average over 31 relief appearances with Charlotte this season. He will be making his big-league debut.

 

The Big Hurt’s Mom Proudly Heading to Cooperstown

With Frank Thomas‘ Hall of Fame induction a week from today, enjoy this piece about Frank, his mom and other family members.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/07/17/3205151/frank-thomas-family-looks-forward.html

 

A Hero’s Return

Geoff Blum‘s home run in the 14th inning of Game 3 in the 2005 World Series, which gave the White Sox a victory in the longest World Series game ever played, certainly ranks among the most memorable moments in club history and is even memorialized on the “Championship Moments” monument outside of the ballpark. Geoff returned to Chicago this weekend as a member of the Houston TV announcing team. He talks about that moment in ’05 and what it has meant to him.

http://bit.ly/1u3PKIE

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Quote of the Day

Robin on why he chose Putnam to close out last night’s game:

“I like Put’s swing-and-missability with some lefties and that’s the reason.”

 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-8, 4.56) for KC.

 

Photo of the Day

Saving Grace: Two straight saves for Putnam.

7.20.4

A Happy Return 

Sunday, July 19, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (3-6, 4.56) for the Sox, LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-5, 3.20) for Houston.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Abreu 1B, Viciedo RF, Konerko DH, Gillaspie 3B, Beckham 2B, De Aza LF, Flowers C.

 

Plays of the Day

Dayan Viciedo tied it up at 2-2 with a two-run homer in the sixth inning (click on top link below) and Tyler Flowers doubled in the eventual game-winner in the seventh (click on bottom link) as the Sox came away with a 3-2 victory last night in our first game back from the All-Star break…starter Jose Quintana tossed five innings, allowing just the two runs on three hits and a pair of walks with eight strikeouts…the bullpen held up well as Daniel Webb (2.0), Ronald Belisaro (1.0) and Zach Putnam (1.0) closed it out with four scoreless innings. Putnam put the Astros down 1-2-3 with two Ks in the ninth for his second save and the four Sox hurlers retired the final 22 Houston batters.

http://atmlb.com/1rojf5U

http://atmlb.com/1rolOVB

7.19.4

 

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox are 10-7 in their last 17 games…the Sox have hit 21 homers over the last 17 and homered in 13 of those games. We are 38-21 when hitting at least one home run this season…the Sox are 25-13 at home vs. the American League West since 2012…our starters own a 2.13 ERA, 68 Ks and a .187 opponents average over the last 11 games while the bullpen owns a 2.43 ERA over its last nine games at home…Jose Abreu is hitting .429 with four doubles, two homers and four RBI during his current nine-game hitting streak. He’s hit safely in 27 of his last 28 games overall. Entering today’s action, Jose was the major-league leader in both homers (29) and slugging percentage (.631) as well…Alejandro De Aza is hitting .346 since June 4. He’s a career .383 hitter vs. Houston…Adam Eaton has hit in five straight games and has reached base safely in 32 of his last 35 contests including 20 in a row from June 3-25. He leads the team and is tied for second in the AL with seven triples.

 

Quote of the Day

Robin on the Sox starting play after the All-Star break:

“Players feel refreshed and energized. You are looking for good things to happen.”

 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (8-6, 3.99) for the Sox, RHP Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) for Houston.

 

Photo of the Day

Everybody loves Paulie.

7.19.6

Back to Work

Friday, July 18, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand that continues against the Royals. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.24) for the Sox, RHP Scott Feldman (4-6, 4.33) for Houston.

Quintana ranks among the American League leaders in quality starts (T4th, 15), opponent slugging percentage (7th, .341) and opponent OPS (7th, .633). “Q” owns a 1.51 ERA since June 19, the third-lowest mark in the AL during that span, and has worked at least seven innings and allowed three earned runs or less in each of his last five starts.

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

Sox Notes of Note

White Sox starters own a 2.01 ERA, 60 strikeouts and a .189 opponents average over the last 10 games…Carlos Rodon, the Sox’ No. 1 draft pick in June, will make his professional debut next week in the Arizona Rookie League…the Sox have signed former major-league starter Chien-Ming Wang and assigned him to Class AAA Charlotte…RHP Dylan Axelrod has been traded to the Reds organization and RHP Deunte Heath was released and will play in Japan…in another move, the Sox claimed RHP Raul Fernandez off of waivers from the Rockies and assigned him to Class A Winston-Salem.

2014 Midseason Highlights

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/8878818/v34581299/?c_id=cws

Get Your Paulie “Final Season” Bobblehead

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/fan_forum/konerko_bobblehead.jsp?partnerId=as_cws_20140718_28062336

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Happy Birthday

It’s No. 27 for Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie.

Free T-Shirt Mondays

https://m.facebook.com/notes/chicago-white-sox/white-sox-expand-promotional-schedule-with-free-t-shirt-mondays/10153008842568047?partnerId=as_cws_20140717_28010696

Brand New White Sox Magazine Available at Ballpark

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Bullseye

The newest Chicago Bulls, Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, will throw out the ceremonial first pitches at tonight’s game.

Robert Cotter: Unsung Hero

http://phillysportshistory.com/2011/05/12/every-kids-hero-robert-cotter/

Quote of the Day

In just a little more than a week, Sunday, July 27, Frank Thomas will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, a landmark day for Sox fans. Here’s part of what The Big Hurt said today on a conference call with reporters:

“I’m looking forward to the 27th. For me, it’s still a dream and I don’t think it will hit me until I get there next week…We’re going to have a great celebration, my family is ecstatic. I’m (expecting) a big crowd with three great players and three great managers being inducted. When I look out at that field, it will be very special and very touching.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (3-6, 4.56) for the Sox, LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-5, 3.20) for Houston.

Photo of the Day

What happens when you’re a rookie and have a record-setting April? Your bat goes to Cooperstown.

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Coming Up ACEs

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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Today’s News

White Sox ACE Program Gets Its Due

ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine columnist Scoop Jackson extols the virtues of the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) Program in the story below. The photo above shows White Sox Director of Youth Baseball Initiatives Kevin Coe and ACE products Corey Ray (Louisville) and Ro Coleman (Vanderbilt), who both played in this year’s College World Series. 

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/11223109/chicago-white-sox-ace-program-providing-division-baseball-opportunities-inner-city-kids?ex_cid=espnapi_public&partnerId=as_cws_20140716_27952466

#SocialSeries Correspondent

You have until Sunday to let us know why you should be the #White Sox #SocialSeries correspondent during our games vs. the Giants in San Francisco. Here are the details:

http://atmlb.com/1rowzoj

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Quote of the Day

Alexei Ramirez on replacing Derek Jeter at shortstop for the American League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game (through interpreter and Sox Director of PR Lou Hernandez):

“I was nervous when I was first told it was going to happen. To go out there and to take the place of someone who has been a baseball legend, I just took off my hat and showed him respect. It was a great moment.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule: The Season’s Second Half Begins

White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand that continues against the Royals. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.24) for the Sox, RHP Scott Feldman (4-6, 4.33) for Houston.

Photo of the Day

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Starry, Starry Night

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Today’s News

American League 5, National League 3, in the 85th All-Star Game

Chris Sale pitched the fourth inning for the AL, making his third straight All-Star appearance…Alexei Ramirez entered the game in the fourth as well, replacing Derek Jeter at shortstop in one of the game’s most emotional moments (pictured above). He collected a fifth-inning single in his first at bat and scored on a sac fly for the AL’s fifth run. Prior to the scoring play he also exhibited some alert baserunning by getting back safely to third base when a wild pitch bounced off the backstop and ricocheted back to the catcher. Alexei reached base again on an error in the seventh and stole second base…Jose Abreu took over at first base in the sixth inning, made a fine pickup of a ball in the dirt on his first chance and flied out in the eighth in his only plate appearance.

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The Sox All-Stars pose together before game time–the first Midsummer Classic for both Alexei and Jose.

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Caps and jerseys are ready for action. 

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Chris and his son Rylan enjoy Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

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Jose and Alexei serve as the “corner men” for fellow Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes at the Home Run Derby and they backed the winner as the A’s slugger won the event for the second straight year.

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A “Red Carpet Sale” during yesterday’s All-Star pre-game parade.

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Jose and Alexei enjoy the red carpet and greet the fans during the parade.

20140715_155017_resized

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Jose and Alexei during BP.

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The Cuban All-Star contingent: Ramirez, Abreu, Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman of the Reds and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers.

7_16_9

Abreu celebrates with his victorious AL teammates.

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