Author Archive

“Q” Aims to Even Series With Rockies

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rockies at Coors Field in Denver (7:40 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (0-0, 3.00) for the Sox, LHP Franklin Morales (0-0, 5.06) for Colorado. Quintana is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six career interleague starts.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Abreu 1B, Viciedo LF, Gillaspie 3B, A. Garcia RF, Ramirez SS, Flowers C, Quintana P.

Plays of the Day

Alexei Ramirez, who has hit safely in all seven games this season, doubled in a run in the seventh inning in the Sox’ 8-1 loss last night to Colorado…Adam Eaton made another outstanding catch, robbing Charlie Blackmon of extra bases and prevented a run from scoring in the bottom of the second with this running grab:

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/8879206/v31905289/?c_id=cws

Charlotte honors Thome

Jim Thome, who played for the Sox from 2006-09 and is now a special assistant to GM Rick Hahn, will throw out the first pitch Friday night when the Sox Class AAA affiliate Charlotte Knights open BB&T Ballpark in the city’s uptown. Thome, who played in Charlotte in 1993 when it was an Indians affiliate, hit a league-best .332 with 25 home runs and 102 RBI on his way to winning the International League Most Valuable Player award. He helped the Knights win a franchise-record 86 games that year and win the first Governor’s Cup championship in team history. 

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Celebrating Chris Sale

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/in-celebration-of-chris-sale/

An All-Access Look at Opening Day

http://atmlb.com/1gIM2r3

Take Advantage of White Sox Family Sundays; The First One is April 13

http://atmlb.com/1hYgylH

Quote of the Day

Ramirez, a notorious slow starter, on his early season success (through interpreter Lino Diaz):

“It’s the confidence. It’s my seventh year in the league, and I feel like I’ve been around and I know how it goes. I’m able to have more fun and at the same time feel more comfortable.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rockies at Coors Field in the finale of the three-game series (2:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Erik Johnson (0-1, 13.50) for the Sox, Juan Nicasio (1-0, 1.29) for Colorado.

Photo of the Day

Alexei is now hitting .440 with three doubles, five RBI, four runs, three walks and two stolen bases.

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Sox Sale into Denver on a Winning Note

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rockies at Coors Field in Denver (7:40 p.m., CT, CSN) in the first of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Felipe Paulino (0-0, 1.69) for the Sox, RHP Jordan Lyles (1-0, 7.20) for Colorado.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Abreu 1B, Gillaspie 3B, A. Garcia RF, De Aza LF, Ramirez SS, Flowers C.

Plays of the Day

Chris Sale was at his All-Star best yesterday afternoon, improving his record to 2-0 in the White Sox’ 5-1 victory over the Royals. The Sox ace was masterful, shutting out the Royals for eight innings on four hits while walking just one and striking out six…Sale and K.C. starter James Shields were engaged in a good old-fashioned 0-0 pitchers duel through six innings before we broke through with a run in the seventh. Conor Gillaspie doubled, his second of the day, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Alexei Ramirez‘s single, the shortstop’s second hit of the game…the Sox added some much needed insurance in the ninth. Adam Dunn led off with a single and Dayan Viciedo walked. With one out and Avi Garcia batting, Leury Garcia (who ran for Dunn) stole third and scored on a bad throw by Royals’ catcher Salvador Perez.  Avi then walked and Alexei doubled, scoring Alejandro De Aza, who ran for Viciedo. Tyler Flowers’ single scored A. Garcia and Ramirez…Flowers is now hitting .500, Ramirez .455 and Gillaspie .429.

Here’s Chris talking about his outstanding performance:

http://atmlb.com/1hTEZ3H

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox will be playing their first night game of the season this evening…the Sox are 5-1 lifetime at Coors Field…they are 171-132 (.564) all-time in interleague play, the fourth best in the major leagues…Dunn is a career .289 hitter with 14 home runs and 36 RBI vs. the Rockies, including nine home runs in 30 games in Colorado…the Sox rank second in the American League in average (.278), are tied for second in runs per game (5.67), third in slugging percentage (.426) and OPS (.766) and fourth in on-base percentage…our pitchers have allowed just one home run so far this season, tied for the fewest in the majors.

Boston in Denver

Sox first base coach Daryl Boston played for Colorado in its inaugural season of 1993, hitting .261 with 14 homers and 40 RBI. He recorded a pair of multi-homer games and went 4-5 with three runs scored in the Rockies’ third home game vs. Montreal.

Tommy Hanson

The White Sox have agreed to terms on a minor-league contract with 27-year-old RHP Tommy Hanson. Hanson will report to extended spring training in Glendale, Ariz. before joining Class AAA Charlotte. He has a 49-35 lifetime record with a 3.80 ERA over five big-league seasons with the Braves and Angels and won 10 or more games in each of his four seasons with Atlanta.

2014 #SoxSocial Media Days & Nights

http://atmlb.com/1gF2t7M

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Quotes of the Day

GM Rick Hahn on the Sox’ early season performance:

“We feel from an offensive standpoint that we’re going to grind out every at bat to the end. That we have the heart and grind to get back into games–things aren’t over when we’re down 3-1 in the sixth inning. It’s the same higher level of life and energy and competitiveness that we felt we saw in Glendale and it has carried over to the regular season.”

Hahn on Gordon Beckham‘s injury:

http://atmlb.com/1gDdLJL

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rockies at Coors Field (7:40 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (0-0, 3.00) for the Sox, LHP Franklin Morales (0-0, 5.06) for Colorado.

Photo of the Day

Sox head to Denver after yesterday’s win…photo compliments of an Adam Eaton tweet.

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Sale, Sox Look for Sunday Success

Sunday, April 6, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 3.68) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (0-0, 4.26) for K.C. Sale pitched 7.1 innings with eight strikeouts for the win on Opening Day.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo LF, Gillaspie 3B, A. Garcia RF, Ramirez SS, Flowers C.

Plays of the Day

Conor Gillaspie collected two hits and an RBI, Adam Eaton singled and drove in a run and another run scored on a Paul Konerko sac fly as the Sox comeback fell just short in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the Royals…Usually a slow starter, Alexei Ramirez‘s two hits elevated his season batting average to .444…John Danks, in his first start of the season, went seven solid innings, allowing three runs, five hits and four walks while striking out six. He wound up at 115 pitches…Adrian Nieto was impressive behind the plate as he threw out Jarrod Dyson at second in the eighth inning despite the Royal speedster’s big jump off of first.

Sox Notes of Note

Tyler Flowers has been on base eight straight times–with seven consecutive hits and in his last at-bat reached base on an error…Konerko needs four total bases to tie Frank Thomas for the franchise record of 3,949…All five of the White Sox games this season have been decided by two runs or less…Twenty of the last 27 games between the Sox and Royals, dating back to 2012, also have been decided by two runs or less…Class AA Birmingham 2B Micah Johnson went 2-4 with a walk, stolen base and two runs scored in last night’s game vs. Montgomery. Johnson, the Sox’ No. 6 prospect as ranked by Baseball America, led the minor leagues with 84 stolen bases in 2013.

Quote of the Day

Danks, remaining positive despite yesterday’s Sox loss:

“It’s going to be a fun summer. We are going to play hard, and this team has a lot of fight. The ball is going to bounce our way.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rockies at Coors Field in Denver (7:40 p.m., CT, CSN) in the first of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Felipe Paulino (0-0, 1.69) for the Sox, RHP Jordan Lyles (1-0, 7.20) for Colorado.

Photo of the Day

The Sox, with four Cuban-born starters in yesterday’s game (Nieto, Ramirez, Jose Abreu and Dayan Viciedo), became the first team to start that many Cuban natives in the same lineup since Cleveland did it on April 8, 1969 (Opening Day) at Detroit. The Indians started CF Jose Cardenal, C Joe Azcue, SS Zoilo Versalles and RHP Luis Tiant. Here are the Cuban-born Sox posing together before today’s game.

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After a Superb Spring, John Danks Makes his First 2014 Start

Saturday, April 5, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP John Danks for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen for K.C.  Danks sports a 6-0 lifetime record with a 2.47 ERA in 13 starts against the Royals. He is 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in eight starts at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Plays of the Day

After going 4-4 on Thursday, Tyler Flowers singled twice and doubled yesterday–extending his consecutive hit streak to seven in the Sox’s 7-5 loss to the Royals. The streak ended in the eighth inning when he reached on an error, making it eight straight times he’s been on base. He’s now hitting an impressive .571. ..Magglio Ordonez (2001) is the Sox last player to reach seven hits in a row and no catcher in franchise history had ever done it before. For the record, the White Sox consecutive hit record is 10, shared by Frank Thomas (1997), Rip Radcliff (1938) and Harry McCurdy (1926)…Adam Eaton collected a pair of singles yesterday and drove in two…Jose Abreu and Conor Gillaspie each had sac fly RBIs and Avi Garcia drove in a run on an infield groundout.

Sox Notes of Note

Paul Konerko is making his first start of the young season, Adrian Nieto will be in a major-league starting lineup for the first time in his career and Dayan Viciedo will be starting for the first time in 2014…if you’re on the fence in terms of your rooting interest in the Final Four, you might want to go with Wisconsin. Badgers’ star Frank Kaminsky is a Sox fan through and through. And while I’m at it, best of luck to two huge Badger fans, Sox Senior Executive Vice President Howard Pizer and Director of Media Relations Bob Beghtol. On Wisconsin!…there’s no question that our players simply love these fleece blankets that will be given out to the first 20,000 fans on Saturday, April 12, before the afternoon game with the Indians.

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Quotes of the Day

Robin on the “fight” in this year’s team through the first four games. For instance, yesterday, when the Sox got down 3-1 and 7-2 and kept on battling:

“You have an offense that feels like they can come back. You are one hit away or that one inning way. Guys are still getting on base and they are still battling. You like that kind of effort.’’

Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire commenting on Abreu, after watching the new Sox first baseman in the season-opening series:

“I’m glad I won’t see him for a while. The kid can really hit. We knew that coming in. We heard he was a really strong young man, and that’s why we were pitching around him. No disrespect to Mr. Dunn. The way the guy’s getting the barrel to the ball, you just try to limit the damage when he comes up in a lot of situations because he seems like he’s on. He hits pretty much everything. Even when he makes an out, he seems like he gets the barrel to it. He’s a strong young man. Looks like he really knows what he’s doing hitting.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 3.68) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (0-0, 4.26) for K.C. Sale pitched 7.1 innings with eight strikeouts for the win on Opening Day.

Photo of the Day

There’s hot and then there’s HOT. Tyler has been HOT.

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With a Series Win Under Their Belts, the Sox Test the Royals in K.C.

Friday, April 4, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (3:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game weekend series. Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (pictured above) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie for K.C.

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

Plays of the Day

The Sox put together a nine run, 13-hit attack in yesterday’s tough 10-9 loss to the Twins…Jose Abreu went 2-4 with four RBI, including a double and a triple with the bases loaded (click on top link below for video)…Marcus Semien collected his first hit of the young season with an eighth inning homer that put the Sox ahead 9-8 (click on middle link)…Tyler Flowers pounded out four hits in as many at-bats, his career high…Adam Dunn smashed his second homer, a two-shot, and Alejandro De Aza hit a solo homer for his third of the young season…Adam Eaton tripled, scored a run and walked twice plus he made a spectacular catch in the sixth to prevent a run from scoring (click on bottom link).

http://atmlb.com/1jGnNiL

http://atmlb.com/1lsfIy7        

http://whitesox.tumblr.com/post/81617462809/well-look-at-that          

Sox Notes of Note

De Aza homered for the third time at U.S. Cellular Field after recording four home runs at home all last season. He became the first player to hit three homers in the first three games of the season in Sox history…Dunn’s homer was career No. 442, tying Dave Kingman for 38th place on the all-time home run list…Nate Jones has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip muscle strain. Jake Petricka has been recalled from Charlotte…three games in, the White Sox lead AL in OPS (.914), slugging (.549), are tied for lead in runs per game (7.0) and HRs (6) and rank second .311 average.

Farm Report

Top third-base prospect Matt Davidson went 3-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI and Jared Mitchell connected for a two-run home run in Class AAA Charlotte’s 3-0 season-opening victory last night in Norfolk…Class AA Birmingham clobbered host Montgomery, 9-2, in its opener last night. Second base prospect Micah Johnson went 2-4 with a two-run homer, a triple, a walk and two runs scored…Gordon Beckham (see below), on a rehab assignment, was the Barons’ DH.

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Quote of the Day

@CST_soxvan: Venezuelan Avi Garcia last played in cold like this in ’12 World Series in Detroit. What gets cold? ‘My hands, my nose, my eyes, everything’

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP John Danks for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen for Kansas City.

Photo of the Day

Jose has gone 7-16 with two doubles, a triple, two runs scored and has hit safely in his first three big-league games.

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Quintana, Sox Go For Sweep After Dramatic Extra-Inning Triumph

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) as the Sox go for a three-game sweep of the season-opening series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana  vs. RHP Phil Hughes for Minnesota.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, A. Garcia RF, De Aza LF, Ramirez SS, Flowers C, L. Garcia 2B.

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Plays of the Day

Leury Garcia (pictured above)who laid down a bunt for a single on an 0-2 count to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning, eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the White Sox the exciting 7-6 win yesterday afternoon…Down 6-4 heading into the ninth, the Sox tied it up at 6-6 as pinch-hitter Paul Konerko, on the first pitch of his first at bat of the season, singled off the third base bag. With one out, pinch-hitter Dayan Viciedo singled, moving Adrian Nieto, who ran for Paulie, to second. L. Garcia then singled, scoring Nieto. Viciedo moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Adam Eaton fielder’s choice…Adam Dunn slammed his first homer of the season and 441st of his career, a solo shot in the eighth…Alexei Ramirez doubled in a pair of runs and walked twice…Ronald Belisario pitched 1.1 innings of perfect ball and got credit for the win.

Here’s the game-winner:

http://atmlb.com/QGFF2F

PK Plays a Vital Role, Even Off the Bench

http://fw.to/WXkdAOL

Sox Notes of Note

According to a Christopher Kamka tweetintentional walks have been tracked in 1955. Jose Abreu is the first player during that span with a two intentional-walk game within his first two MLB games. It certainly shows how much respect Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire has for him already…Roger Bossard has had a very good week. First he works overtime for two-plus weeks to get the field in picture-perfect shape for Opening Day, and then his grooming of the foul lines aids Leury’s 0-2 bunt in its rolling battle to stay fair and starts the game-winning rally…the Sox have started the season 2-0 for the third time in the past four seasons…Maikel Cleto made his White Sox debut yesterday a successful one by retiring both batters he faced in a clutch situation and Daniel Webb threw a career-high 2.2 IP…Avi Garcia is hitting .315 with three homers and 18 RBI over his last 13 games…Dunn’s homer yesterday was the 11th home run of his career within his team’s first two games, joining Barry Bonds, Willie Mays and Eddie Mathews…Ramirez recorded his seventh career multi-steal game…Nieto made his major-league debut as a pinch-runner and scored his first career run.

It’s Never Too Late (or Early) to Celebrate Opening Day

http://www.chicagobaseballmuseum.org/files/CBM-Sox-Top-Openers-20140330.pdf

Who’s Autograph is That?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/sports/baseball/in-an-era-of-squiggles-you-cant-tell-baseball-the-players-without-a-handwriting-analyst.html?hp&_r=0&referrer=

Quotes of the Day

Robin on yesterday’s thriller:

http://atmlb.com/OehSVz

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (3:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the first game of a three-game weekend series. Starters: RHP Erik Johnson for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie for K.C.

Photo/Video of the Day

Dunn’s homer:

http://atmlb.com/QGuQOd

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 Felipe Paulino Makes First Sox Start

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Felipe Paulino (pictured above) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia for Minnesota. Paulino makes his first major-league start since June 6, 2012 when he started for the Royals against the Twins. He spent the majority of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Paulino went 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 39 strikeouts in seven starts for K.C. in ’12.

Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, A. Garcia RF, De Aza LF, Ramirez SS, Flowers C, L. Garcia 2B.

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox won their 60th Opening Day game in franchise history (60-54) and are now 28-23 in home openers. The Sox have won five of their last six season openers and 12 of their last 13 home openers…Our lineup on Monday included five players–Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Avi Garcia, Conor Gillaspie and Marcus Semien–who were making their first career Opening Day start, the highest total for the South Siders in 70 years…the Sox are looking to start 2-0 for the third time in the last four seasons…we have won six of our last seven games against the Twins dating back to 2013…Robin Ventura needs one victory for 150 as Sox manager…Adam Dunn needs two walks to tie Ty Cobb for 50th place all-time with 1,249…Gillaspie is out of the lineup today. He’s suffering from the flu…Beginning today the Sox will be wearing a DJR patch in memory of Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s son David, who passed away on March 3.

Quotes of the Day

Three of the stars from Opening Day talked about what turned out to be a great day on the South Side:

Abreu:

“I wasn’t nervous at all. I was very happy. I felt like the fans supported me and opened their arms to me. As long as I give my best, that’s what I’m looking for. The results aren’t as important as (my) effort.”

Eaton:

“It’s a great atmosphere when you can get this type of weather and Sox fans come out of the woodwork. It’s great to see everybody out there. It’s an experience I’ve never had. It’s a good experience for sure.”

Chris Sale:

“Eaton (was) being as scrappy as he can. Even when he got out he still had 10-11 pitch at-bats, fighting stuff off. Abreu, I don’t think he hit the ball soft today. It was fun to watch that and we came out with a win.”

Play of Opening Day

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT) in the finale of the opening three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana for the Sox, RHP Phil Hughes for Minnesota.

Photo/Video of the Day

Enjoy this feature on Abreu by Jon Morosi of Fox:

http://foxs.pt/1fIZjR0

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For Openers…De Aza Homers Twice, Sale Shines, Eaton and Abreu Excel in Debuts as Sox Defeat Twins

Monday, March 31, 2014

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Opening Day News

The Game

At U.S. Cellular Field in front of a sellout crowd of 37,422 on a beautiful 65 degree (at game time) day.

Twins           3    7  0

White Sox    5  11  0

Plays of the Day

Alejandro De Aza blasted a pair of homers, a two-run shot in the second inning (click on link below to watch video), which put the Sox on the board, and a solo blast in the sixth–giving him his first career multi-homer game. He becomes the first White Sox player to hit two home runs on Opening Day since Jim Thome accomplished it in 2008 at Cleveland and is the first Sox player to hit two homers in a home opener since Minnie Minoso in 1960 vs. the Kansas City A’s…In their Sox debuts, Adam Eaton went 2-4 with a run scored and Jose Abreu was 2-4, including a double, with an RBI and run scored. Chris Sale got the winallowing three runs, five hits, and a lone walk while striking out seven in 7.1 IP.

Matt Lindstrom, named the closer earlier in the day, earned the save.

http://atmlb.com/QzZ1qh    

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Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox 25-man roster includes 12 pitchers (five lefties), two catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders…New to the organization are INF Abreu , RHP Belisario, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP Scott Downs, OF Eaton, C Adrian Nieto and RHP Felipe Paulino…the average age of the club is 27.8 down from 29.6 in 2013. INF Paul Konerko is the oldest player at 38, OF Avi Garcia is the youngest at 22…Abreu, Eaton, A. Garcia, Erik Johnson, Nieto, Marcus Semien and Daniel Webb open the season on a major-league roster for the first time…the Opening Day roster features six rookies–Abreu, Cleto, Johnson, Nieto, Semien and Webb–the most since 1999 (also six). By comparison, there were no rookies on the Sox season-opening roster in 2013…Konerko enters his 16th and final season with the Sox, tied with Frank Thomas (1990-2005) for the fifth longest tenure in club history. Only Hall of Famers RHP Ted Lyons (21 years), SS Luke Appling (20), RHP Red Faber (20) and C Ray Schalk (17) rank ahead of them in this category…Also, Paulie needs five total bases and 21 home runs to tie Thomas’ club records.

Paulie’s Final Opening Day Intro

https://vine.co/v/Me6HT3BVrQw

Opening Day Celebrations

First person I saw at the ballpark early this morning was Roger Bossard, who did a masterful job of getting the field ready. He is celebrating Opening Day #48. For Jeff Szynal, who is in charge of our scoreboard operations, it’s Opening Day #31.

Me, Opening Day #24 (23 with the White Sox).

Best Memories from Opening Day?

High on my list is Bo Jackson’s dramatic return from hip replacement surgery to homer in his very first at-bat in 1993. Here’s that memorable moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS-Az6n5tTc

Quote of the Day

GM Rick Hahn, in an interview this morning on the McNeil and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score, talked about what it will take for the Sox to contend:

“If that’s going to be the case for us, it’s going to be for two main reasons. First, the starting pitching is going to stay together — John Danks being 18 months post-op is going to return to form, being that guy he was before (and) Chris Sale and Jose Quintana continuing on the upswing that we’ve seen from them the first few years. Additionally, some of our young players are going to wind up immediately (reaching their) ceiling. Not obviously saying that’s going to happen, but in that best-case scenario, Adam Eaton’s going to show you that ability to get on base, run, play defense the way he’s shown throughout his minor league career. Avisail Garcia’s going to not only hit for power but also average and improve that plate discipline a little bit. Jose Abreu’s going to be the same player he was in Cuba. All those guys have that upside. We certainly believe they’re going to reach that upside. Whether that starts on March 31st or it starts midway through the year, that’s for us to play out here.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off Day. On Wednesday, White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Paulino for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia for Minnesota.

Photo of the Day

Chicago native Aja Evans, who won a bronze medal in bobsled at the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, threw out today’s ceremonial first pitch.

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Opening Day Preview and More

Sunday, March 30, 2014

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Tomorrow’s Activities

The Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (3:10p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Chris Sale for the Sox, RHP Ricky Nolasco for Minnesota. Sale ranked among the American League leaders in virtually every category in 2013, including complete games (T1st, 4), SO/BB ratio (2nd, 4.91), WHIP (3rd, 1.07), strikeouts (3rd, 226), quality starts (T4th, 23), SO/9.0 IP (6th, 9.49), ERA (7th, 3.07) and opponents average (7th, .230).

There’s a great weather forecast for tomorrow and just under 3,000 tickets remaining.

Opening Day Roster:

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National Anthem

Gina Glocksen, former American Idol contestant. The Tinley Park native was the ninth-place finalist on the mega-hit TV show’s sixth season.

Presentation of the Flag:

Navy Recruiting District Chicago and the Naval Service Training Command Great Lakes.

Ceremonial First Pitch:

Aja Evans, a South Side native who was an Olympic bobsled bronze medalist this past February in Sochi, Russia. She is currently training to compete in the heptathlon for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Aja is a cousin of Del Matthews, White Sox assistant director of player development and scouting.

Promotional Giveaway

White Sox Magnetic Schedule presented by Miller Lite for all fans ages 21 and over.

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Facts & Figures

* The White Sox are 59-54 overall on Opening Day and 27-23 when opening at home. They are 5-1 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox’s 59 Opening Day wins are third most in the American League. Only the Orioles (65) and the Yankees (64) have won more season openers.

* The Sox have won 11 of their last 17 openers and 11 of their last 12 home openers.

* Sale, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today, will be making his second consecutive Opening Day start. He earned the victory last season with 7.2 scoreless innings against the Royals.

* This is the 14th time in the last 15 seasons that the Sox have started a left-hander on Opening Day. Jose Contreras in 2007 was the only righty during that span.

Quotes of the Day

* Paulie in his own words as told to Daryl Van Shouwen in the Sun-Times (top link) and Chris Rongey on White Sox Weekly.

http://bit.ly/1dCzPt4

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/audio/986-670-the-score-interviews/paul-konerko-with-white-sox-live-32614/#.Uzch7Yrw1K0.twitter

* Marcus Semien and Adrian Nieto (pictured below) on looking forward to their first Opening Day, via Scott Merkin at whitesox.com.

Marcus:

“I’m excited for it. It’s going to be way more people than Birmingham Opening Day or something like that. I’ve never been a part of one. I’ve never been to one as a kid, so I’m excited.”

Adrian:

“I can’t wait. I’m pumped to see all the great things I’ve heard [about Chicago]. “It’s probably the best city in America.”

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Sox Notes of Note

Cold Arrival

When the 2014 White Sox arrived at Midway Airport early Saturday morning, they faced a significant temperature drop from Arizona.

Some – like Alexei Ramirez – came prepared, whipping out stocking caps.  Robin sported a ski cap and down vest.  Others dealt as best they could as we waited on the tarmac for our luggage to come off the plane.  Imagine the immense Avisail Garcia wrapped in United Airlines blankets … it was brisk.

Kudos

To groundskeeper Roger Bossard and his crew for doing an amazing job on the field. Considering the photos and video we saw while in Arizona, it is amazing that the field is even ready for Opening Day.  But then Roger is the master.

When I arrived at the park this morning around 8:30, I stopped outside to see Roger.  There he stood, hose in hand.

“Watering?!?!” I yelled.  “After all that, you are watering?!?!?”

“First time in three weeks,” he laughed.  “I’m just happy we finally have some sunshine.”

The Bus

I jokingly had a saying when I traveled regularly that “The team bus never waits for the PR guy.”  How true.

After Friday’s exhibition game in Birmingham, Assistant GM Buddy Bell and I got to the bus right after the last out since neither of us needed to head down to the clubhouse (by the way, the Birmingham ballpark is terrific and if any fans have the chance, they should take in a Barons game or two this summer.)

We immediately sat down and started to watch Kentucky-Louisville on Buddy’s iPad. After about 25 minutes, something didn’t seem right.  No one else had gotten on the bus.

So I texted our traveling secretary … “Where are you?”

“On the bus.  We just left,” he replied.

What!!! (unbeknownst to us we were on a bus from the same company that was scheduled to take a group of minor leaguers back to the hotel).

“You are going to have to take a cab to the airport.”

Well, catching a cab in Birmingham after a game is no easy task.  And there is no Uber in Birmingham either (just so you know).

Thinking fast, Buddy called Julio Vinas, the Barons’ manager.  Julio was still at the park and was willing to give us a ride to the airport.

We got there just on the tail of the others going through screening.

“How do you miss the bus,” a kind TSA woman chided us as we walked up.

(You know your day is going badly when you are getting crap from a TSA agent, but anyway.)

You can imagine the reception we got when we arrived on the plane.

Didn’t miss the flight, though.

When in Birmingham…

Enjoyed lunch with Rick Hahn at Jim & Nick’s BBQ while in Birmingham.  While it is a chain, we really enjoyed the meal, especially the cheese biscuits, turkey and brisket.  Don’t miss it!

Boggs Signs Minor-League Deal

Right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs, who was released by the White Sox during spring training, has signed a minor-league contract with the Sox.

Spring Training Wrapup

Camelback Ranch-Glendale recorded its highest per-game attendance this season in its six-year history hosting the White Sox and Dodgers. The facility averaged 8.087 fans per game this spring, eclipsing the previous high of 7,635 in 2010. A total of 202, 164 fans visited “The Ranch” this spring training. A record six games were sellouts and there was a 15.4 percent increase in per-game attendance from 2013 to 2014.

Jose Abreu hit .341 with two home runs and eight RBI in his last 12 Cactus League (CL) games…Adam Eaton reached base base in 16 of his 19 CL games and finished the spring with a .368 average…Semien finished the CL schedule with a six-game hitting streak. He batted .318 with a double, homer and six RBI over that span. Donnie Veal allowed just six hits over 10 CL innings pitched…John Danks worked five innings in each of his last four spring starts…On Friday night, the Sox downed the Class AA affiliate Birmingham Barons, 5-2, in front of a Regions Field record crowd of 8.513. Conor Gillaspie had three hits and drove in a run.

Photo of the Day

With a right-hander on the mound for Minnesota, PK will not be in the Opening Day starting lineup for the first time since 1998. It was his decision. He didn’t want to go against the Sox’ plan of primarily DHing against him lefties and spelling Abreu at first base. A class act to be sure.

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Countdown to the Games That Matter

Friday, March 28, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. the Class AA Birmingham Barons at Birmingham’s sold-out Regions Field (6:00 p.m, CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Donnie Veal, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP David Purcey, RHP Zach Putnam

The Barons will hold a special Championship Ring ceremony behind home plate prior to the game.  White Sox manager and former Baron Robin Ventura will present 2013 Southern League (SL) Championship rings to players who were part of the team last season, including last year’s SL MVP Marcus Semien.

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Sox Note of Note

Prior to tonight’s game, the White Sox outrighted right-handed pitcher Javy Guerra to Class AAA Charlotte. Guerra, 28, was claimed off waivers by the White Sox on Wednesday from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Guerra will report to our spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz. today and join the Charlotte roster. With the move, the Sox 40-man roster is at 39.

Quotes of the Day

Rick Hahn on the 2014 White Sox:

http://atmlb.com/1maTLDm

Ken Williams also offers his keen insight:

“I think this is the type of team that could be really dangerous if we get off to a good start because then they start to believe. Right now we are better than outsiders think we are. And I think we are better than [the players] believe we are.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

The Sox will have a full off day tomorrow, followed by a  10:30 a.m., CT, workout on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox open the season on Monday vs. the Twins at 3:10 p.m., CT.

Photo Day

Be sure you get your 2014 White Sox Yearbook, celebrating the Hall of Fame career of Frank Thomas.

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