Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Sox Shoot For Four Straight Wins With “You Know Who” on the Mound Tonight

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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Today’s News

The #TargetSale Campaign: Behind the Scenes

It’s been a terrific week so far for all of us with the White Sox. We’ve won three in a row with Chris Sale on the mound tonight and we are immersed in the excitement of the #TargetSale campaign to get Chris on the American League All-Star squad via the Final Vote.

I’ve been asked numerous times about our strategy in the Final Vote since we have been successful three times in the past with Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Paul Konerko (2011). Like anything else, a lot of thought and planning is involved even though we don’t get any inside info until the day the All-Star rosters are announced.

Beyond the general planning and creating a strategy, here are three key factors:

1. First and foremost is that you have to have a great player with All-Star credentials. I think most baseball fans would agree that Chris absolutely fits that criteria. He is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in baseball, is already a two-time All-Star and is having an outstanding season.

2. You have to have a passionate and engaged fan base to get on board. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re social media savvy to boot. Well, I’m happy to say that the Sox have exactly those kinds of fans and it’s been proven in the past with our three winners and this year with Sale leading the voting up to this point. And the fact we’ve once again formed an alliance with a National League club–the Washington Nationals and Anthony Rendon (#Vote Rendon)–and others like Sale’s alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, extends our reach even further. It seems those strategies are working so far as Chris has great support in the Midwest, the greater D.C. area extending into Pennsylvania and other parts of the Northeast plus his home state of Florida.

3. You need an internal organization whose staff enjoys the challenge and is eager to display its creativity to make it happen. And if you’ve been following our social media you have to agree that it’s obvious that my Sox colleagues, about two dozen of them, have risen to the occasion with some outstanding work–and are having fun doing it. 

How did we come up with the slogan #TargetSale? It actually came from a brainstorming session among GM Rick Hahn, manager Robin Ventura and me shortly after we got the news from MLB on Sunday morning that Chris was in the Final Vote. With the All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, it just seemed like it would be something that would resonate. We then met with a larger group of Sox staffers and got more ideas, but none was better. I have to say that it really helped to have Rick and Robin as part of the process. Rick was responsible for coining the priceless “Punch A.J.” slogan in ’06 right after Pierzynski’s altercation with the Cubs’ Mike Barrett and Robin always has good ideas about these things.

Although Chris is in the lead, we can’t stop now. Voting continues until tomorrow’s 3:00 p.m., CT, deadline so give Chris your support at whitesox.com or mlb.com/vote or text A5 to 89269.

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16) for our Sox, RHP Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.51) for their Sox.

Sale is set to make his 14th start of the season and fifth on the road. He is 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA and two complete games over his last nine starts and 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 28 Ks over his last four. He earned the win in his last start, July 4 vs. the Mariners, as he allowed one run and six hits along wth 12 strikeouts over nine innings–his seventh career complete game. Chris is limiting left-handers to a .121 average with one extra-base hit in 2014.

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

Plays of the Day

Conor Gillaspie cranked a two-run homer (No. 2) in the sixth inning, breaking a 3-3 tie and giving the Sox the lead for good, and was a triple shy of the cycle as the White Sox won their third straight, 8-3, over the Red Sox…Jose Abreu went 3-4 with a pair of doubles and was on base for Gillaspie’s blast…Alejandro De Aza singled and tripled in a run…Ronald Belisario tossed 2.1 scoreless frames in relief of winning pitcher John Danks (8-6) and Eric Surkamp pitched a scoreless ninth. The Gillaspie round-tripper:

http://atmlb.com/1qTFfVU

Tonight’s Watch & Vote Parties

http://atmlb.com/1qVs4E7

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Sox Note of the Day

In addition to three victories in a row, The White Sox have won five of their last six games and eight of the last 11. Our .727 winning percentage since June 27 is the fourth-best in the major leagues.

Quotes of the Day

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park (3:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.20) for the Sox, Jon Lester (9-7, 2.73) for Boston.

Photo/Video of the Day

Tyler Flowers‘ Top 10 things batters say when facing Sale:

http://atmlb.com/1qW05Eh

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Sox Collecting Zeros and Tons of #TargetSale Votes

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Today’s News

#TargetSale

The fans are speaking loud and clear. Chris Sale is the American League leader after the first 36 hours of the Final Vote. Deadline for voting is Thursday at 3:00 p.m. CT.

The secret of Chris’ success on the mound? Here’s one of them…

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34373239/?partnerId=as_cws_20140708_27406396

…and here are a few of his closest friends pleading to correct a grave injustice:

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/50892696/v34401517

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Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park (6:10 p.m, CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP John Danks (7-6, 4.12) for the Sox, RHP Brandon Workman (1-2, 4.17) for Boston.

Danks is making his 18th start of 2014 and 10th on the road. He is 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA with 12 strikeouts in his last two starts and 4-2 with a 2.65 ERA over his last eight. Although he didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing on July 2 vs. the Angels, he went 7.2 innings–allowing just two runs on seven hits and a walk while recording a season-high 10 strikeouts in the Sox’ 3-2 win.

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

Plays of the Day

Scott Carroll, who obviously hasn’t let his hard work for #TargetSale get in the way of his pitching (see above photo), picked up where Hector Noesi left off. After Noesi and two relief pitchers shut out the Mariners, 1-0, on Sunday, Carroll and a pair of relievers did likewise last night in the 4-0 whitewash of the Red Sox…Carroll was outstanding in his 6.2 innings of scoreless work, giving up just one hit and two walks while striking out five…bullpen mates Javy Guerra (1.1 IP) and Zach Putnam (1.0) sealed the victory…Adam Dunn hit a solo homer (No. 13)  and Dayan Viciedo connected with a three-run shot (11) to support the outstanding pitching (click on links below to see the two homers): 

http://atmlb.com/1qPKiqt

http://atmlb.com/1r4pGZf

Sox Notes of Note

Dunn’s homer was career No. 453 and moved him past Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski into 35th place on the all-time list…White Sox starters own a 2.59 ERA in their last 14 games, the best mark in the AL and fourth-best in baseball during that span…the last time Sox hurlers posted consecutive shutouts in the same season was on September 5 and 6, 2011, at Minnesota. Furthermore, Carroll became the third Sox pitcher in the last 100 years to toss at least six scoreless innings while allowing one or no hits within his first eight career starts…Meanwhile, on the farm, Rangel Ravelo of the Sox’ Class AA affiliate Birmingham Barons has extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the second longest in the minor leagues this season. He has hit in 28 of his last 29 games.

A Special Reunion

A bittersweet element of Jose Abreu‘s rise to the major leagues is that he’s been separated from his parents. But for the past two months, Abreu’s mom and dad have been in Florida and a week from today both of them will be in Minneapolis watching their rookie sensation of a son play in the All-Star Game. Here are Abreu’s thoughts through interpreter Lino Diaz:

“There are no words to describe how I feel just to be able to have them be there for something that you work as hard as I have for this. There are some times when I’m talking to them and I’m telling them about these things that they don’t believe and sometimes I don’t believe that it’s happening. It is a great thing and we enjoy it.”

More All-Star Buzz

Abreu and Alexei Ramirez are only the eighth pair of Cuban teammates to be chosen for the All-Star Game in the same season. This has happened once before in Sox history, 60 years ago when Minnie Minoso and pitcher Sandy Consuegra were picked  for the American League squad in 1954. It’s interesting to note that Consuegra had a career year in ’54, going 16-3 with a 2.69 ERA.

Here is Minnie (center) and Consuegra (far right) among a group of teammates after a big win. Others, pictured left to right, are: Cuban-born pitcher Mike Fornieles, Sox legend Chico Carrasquel and “Jungle Jim” Rivera.

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Quotes of the Day

Even two of our top prospects have joined in…

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Sale (8-1, 2.16) for the Sox, TBA for Boston.

Photo of the Day

#TargetSale is everywhere.

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Sale Looking to Join All-Stars Abreu and Ramirez 

Monday, July 7, 2014

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Today’s News

Jose, Alexei In, Chris Needs Your Vote 

Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez, among the 25 first-time Major League All-Stars announced yesterday, are hoping to be joined by teammate Chris Sale, last year’s All-Star winning pitcher, at this year’s Midsummer Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15.

Sale is one of five pitchers nominated in the American League’s Final Vote. And if past if prologue, the Sox’ ace lefty has a great chance to win. The fans have sent three of our players to the All-Star Game through through the final phase of voting: Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Paul Konerko (2011).

And if you’re a Sox fan, you don’t need convincing that Chris, already a two-time All-Star, is deserving again this year.  If you need more proof, check this out: He is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA, 9.89 strikeouts per nine innings, has 96 Ks in 87.1 innings pitched and his WAR is at 2.9 in 13 starts.

Make your voice heard at whitesox.com/vote. Or text A5 to 89269. #Target Sale.

Abreu is the first White Sox rookie to make the All-Star team since Ron Kittle in 1983. Other rookie Sox all-Stars include Carlos May (1969), Tommie Agee (1966) and Minnie Minoso (1951). Ramirez, in his seventh season with the Sox, joins Luke Appling, Chico Carrasquel, Luis Aparicio, Bucky Dent and Ozzie Guillen as Sox All-Star shortstops.

Both Abreu and Ramirez were selected by the players. Abreu is tied for the major-league lead in homers, is third in RBI, in the Top Ten in OPS and has been named the AL Rookie of the Month in both April and June. Ramirez is hitting .286 with eight homers and 41 RBI along with his stellar defense.

Abreu: ‘‘It’s really a gift from God to have the privilege to play in the All Star game. Alexei has helped me a lot, it makes me really happy to be going to the game with him.’’

Ramirez: ‘‘I’m still in shock. It’s a recognition of the hard work I’ve put in here and we’ve put in as a team. It’s a great honor. I’m extremely happy I’m going with Jose. His first year in the league and he’s setting records. But it’s not just the two of us, but everyone [from Cuba] whether it’s National League or American League. I’m happy our Cuban baseball, our level of baseball, is being recognized here.”

In addition to the Sox’ two Cuban stars, countrymen Yoenis Cespedes of the A’s made the AL team and Yasiel Puig from the Dodgers and Aroldis Chapman of the Reds were selected to the NL roster.

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston (6:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a four-game series and seven-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break that concludes in Cleveland. Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (2-5, 5.05) for the Sox, RHP Clay Buchholz (3-4, 6.22) for Boston.

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

Plays of the Day

With two out in the first inning, Conor Gillaspie walked, Jose Abreu singled, sending Gillaspie to third, and Adam Dunn walked on a wild pitch that scored Conor. That’s all the Sox needed yesterday afternoon as we came away with a 1-0 victory and a series win over the Mariners…Hector Noesi was outstanding, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings and allowing just five hits and a pair of walks while striking out five for his third win of the season…Eric Surkamp came on in relief of Noesi in the seventh and got the dangerous Robinson Cano to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning…with the help of three “web gems” by Adam EatonGordon Beckham and Abreu, Jake Petricka retired the side 1-2-3 in the eighth and did likewise in the ninth for his third save.

Enjoy the Sox’ outstanding eighth-inning defense through the links below. For the record, it was the third straight game Eaton registered an extraordinary catch.

http://atmlb.com/1qLRILo

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34346589

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34355143

Caught in the Middle

Whoops…Eaton got stuck right in the middle of yesterday’s announcer race.

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R.I.P. Jim Brosnan, Former Sox Pitcher and Noted Author

http://t.co/HHxX8htWHd

Quotes of the Day

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park (6:10 p.m, CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP John Danks (7-6, 4.12) for the Sox, Brandon Workman (1-2, 4.17) for Boston.

Photo of the Day

Guess who else will be voting for Sale in the Final Vote?

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Sox Eye Series Win Before Heading to Boston

Sunday, July 6, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the rubber match of the three-game series and finale of the six-game homestand. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.33) for the Sox, RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0, 4.50) for Seattle.

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

 

Plays of the Day

Jose Quintana was brilliant in his duel with Felix Hernandez yesterday afternoon, but neither pitcher was around at the end as the Mariners outlasted the Sox, 3-2, in 14 innings. It was 0-0 heading into the eighth as the Sox scored twice off of King Felix on the strength of a Conor Gillaspie triple, a Dayan Viciedo RBI double and a Tyler Flowers sac fly, but Seattle tied it in the top of the ninth…Quintana threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and a lone walk while striking out a season-high 10.

 

Of Special Note: Eaton’s Web Gem

For the second day in a row, Adam Eaton flashed some spectacular leather. This one is really special and deserves a separate shout-out.

http://atmlb.com/1qJn05A

 

All-Star Rosters to be Announced Tonight

Tune in to ESPN tonight at 6:00 p.m., CT, for the unveiling of the American and National League All-Star rosters. Good luck to Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez and Chris Sale. Here’s hoping they are all in Minneapolis for the Midsummer Classic on July 15.

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My Excellent Adventure in the DR

A few days ago I had the chance to do something everyone working in baseball should do. I zipped down to the Dominican for a day as White Sox general manager Rick Hahn held a July 2 signing day press conference at the Hotel Plaza Naco in Santo Domingo. Hahn, along with our head of international operations Marco Paddy, welcomed four young men to the Sox organization: catcher Jhoandro Alfaro and infielders Felix Mercedes, Ricky Mota and Amado Nunez. The photo above shows Paddy (with the microphone) at the presser with Hahn looking on.

Here are a few random observations from my short time there, which included a trip to the White Sox academy in Boca Chica.

·         Try to avoid boarding a plane at O’Hare airport just before a massive storm hits, grounding you for three hours.

·         Don’t plan on sleeping well in the Miami airport hotel.

·         It helps to have people like Marco and our scouts in the DR to drive and get you around.

·         Driving in Santo Domingo is an experience filled with u-turns, traffic and crazy moped/motorcycles zooming in, through and around you.

·         The kids at each team’s academy are so young.  It was like watching a very talented soph/jr. high school baseball team.

·         You have to try the yucca.

·         Even though we were a long way from home watching on a Spanish-language feed in a fairly quiet hotel bar, Tim Howard was still outstanding.

·         There are always a lot of ways to get to any one place and all of them generally include traffic.

·         The water is beautiful.

·         The people are incredibly hospitable.

·         Our coaches and staff at the academy really care about the kids.

·         It is steamy – meaning games start early – but there always seemed to be a sea breeze blowing.

·         I am told that Baseball people in the DR always eat at David Crockett’s steakhouse. I asked “why in the world would I go to the DR to eat at a steakhouse when I live in Chicago?”  It was explained to me that you had to eat there, that there was a big wooden horse outside (that info was wrong, so there was no need for a raised eyebrow about a horse being outside a steakhouse). It was a cow, long since removed.  One scout with us said he had been coming to the DR for 15 years and ALWAYS ate here.  Here and across the street at the brand-spanking new Applebee’s, proving scouts are scouts no matter where they are.

·         Reality set in at the press conference when I told Mercedes I would see him in Chicago. Wait, I thought.  Even if this kid comes very fast, it’s still going to be six or seven years before he’s playing in the big leagues at the early age of 22-23.  Talk about putting perspective on the development of young baseball talent from the Dominican.

·         All that said, it truly was worth it for me and for the organization to have Hahn take the time and show his (and our) commitment to enlarging our footprint in the Dominican and Latin American countries by showing up and welcoming these future stars into our organization.

·         Order the filet.  It’s outstanding.

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Barons in First Place, Ravelo Extends Hitting Streak to 22

The Birmingham Barons moved into first place in the North Division of the Southern League for the first time this year with a 13-3 win last night over the Tennessee Smokies. The Barons are now 10-6 in the season’s second-half race and lead the Smokies by a half-game. 1B/DH Rangel Ravelo, now batting .316, extended his hitting streak to a league-high 22 games with this two-run homer.

http://atmilb.com/1jbcVMr

 

It’s a “One Dog” Birthday

Happy Birthday No. 51 to former Sox outfielder Lance Johnson.

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Quotes of the Day

What’s behind Jose’s success? Here are some interesting answers:

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/448/article/p2p-80726535/

 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston (6:10 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a four-game series and seven-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break that concludes in Cleveland. Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (2-5, 5.05) for the Sox, RHP Clay Buchholz (3-4, 6.22) for Boston.

 

Photo of the Day

The Sox have certainly caught World Cup fever. Yes, that’s Alexei in the Lionel Messi jersey.

 

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Fireworks Before the Fireworks

Saturday, July 5, 2014

7.5 Sale

 

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHPJose Quintana (5-7, 3.44) for the Sox, RHP Felix Hernandez (10-2, 2.10) for Seattle.

“Q” is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts. He won his last outing on June 29 vs. Toronto, allowing three hits over seven scoreless innings of work.

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

Plays of the Day

The White Sox started the fireworks early last night with the long ball. Dayan Viciedo (No. 10), Jose Abreu (a major-league leading 27th) and Paul Konerko (No. 5) all homered behind the stellar complete-game, 12-strikeout effort of Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16) in the Sox’ 7-1 triumph in the series opener vs. Seattle…Viciedo’s blast was a solo shot while Abreu and Paulie both hit their home runs with a man on…It was the 439th of Konerko’s career as he moved past Andre Dawson for sole possession of 42nd place on the all-time list…Sale’s victory was his fourth start in 2014 with 10-plus strikeouts and one earned run or less allowed–the most in a season by a White Sox hurler in the last century. He also recorded his 14th career double-digit strikeout game, the third-most in Sox history. Ex-Sox lefty Juan Pizarro is second with 15.

Here are the three Sox homers:

http://atmlb.com/1pPhEX5

http://atmlb.com/1o8UxQt

http://atmlb.com/1pPmP9o

In addition to his offense, which saw him go 4-4 with the homer, Viciedo made this great outfield assist (top link) and Adam Eaton made a terrific running catch (bottom link)  along with an RBI double.

http://atmlb.com/1pPfqqw

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34289723

Sox Note of the Day

Compliments of @ESPNStatsInfo:

7.5 Abreu

Quote of the Day

Veteran major-leaguer Willie Bloomquist on facing Sale last night:

“He’s as advertised, he’s got electric stuff. It doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed, right-handed or switch. He’s got a lot of stuff to get you out with. He’s very good.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series and six-game homestand. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (2-6, 5.33) for the Sox, RHP Taijuan Walker (1-0, 4.50) for Seattle.

Photo/Video of the Day

Viciedo, Abreu and Konerko did their part, then came the planned explosion:

7.5 Fireworks

http://atmlb.com/1qIBe6S

A 4th of July Sale-a-bration

Friday, July 4, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game holiday weekend series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30) for the Sox, LHP Roenis Elias (7-6, 3.96) for Seattle.

Chris, who is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA lifetime vs the Mariners, will be making his 13th start of the season and ninth at home. He is 5-1 with a 2.15 ERA at home this year with a 4-1 mark with a 2.29 ERA over his last eight starts. He was the winning pitcher in his last start on June 28 at Toronto, allowing just two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in seven innings of work. He has held left-handed hitters to a miniscule .089 average with zero extra-base hits in 2014.

Sale would rank among the American League leaders in virtually every category if he had the minimum innings pitched. The fact he doesn’t have the required innings is a result of his more than month-long stint on the disabled list.

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

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Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox have won 14 of the last 18 vs. Seattle and are 27-7 since 2010…Jose Abreu owns a 17-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the big leagues. The last Sox rookie to hit in 18 consecutive games was Pete Ward in 1963.

All-Stars to be Announced on Sunday

The 2014 AL and NL All-Star teams will be revealed on the Taco Bell All-Star Selection Show on Sunday, beginning at 6:00 p.m., CT, on ESPN. Here’s hoping all of your support for Jose and Alexei gets them to the Midsummer Classic in Minneapolis on July 15.

MLB First Basemen Pay Tribute to Lou Gehrig’s Legendary Speech

On this, the 75th anniversary of Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig’s legendary farewell speech, all of Major League Baseball’s first basemen (and Derek Jeter) pay tribute to the Iron Horse in this video. It will be shown at ballparks to help raise funds and bring awareness to ALS (also know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/v34196007/?tcid=mm_cws_vid&c_id=cws

Quote of the Day

Here’s Robin making the case for Sale to be named to the AL All-Star squad despite the ace’s time on the DL. It should be noted that he was the winning pitcher for the AL last year after tossing a pair of scoreless innings, which many thought was good enough to win the game’s MVP award.

“You are trying to win the game so you are trying to take the best guys. He has done it over not just this year, but the least couple of years…you are looking at a guy that’s at the top of his game, whether or not he missed a little bit of time. He’s still one of the better pitchers and his numbers prove it out.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.44) for the Sox, RHP Felix Hernandez (10-2, 2.10) for Seattle.

Photo of the Day

The July 4, 1960 Sports Illustrated cover: Fireworks at Comiskey Park:

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Sox News & Notes on an Off-Day Thursday

Thursday, July 3, 2014

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Today’s News

Off-Day today. It will be the White Sox vs. Mariners tomorrow night at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game holiday weekend series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30) for the Sox, LHP Roenis Elias (7-6, 3.96) for Seattle.

Plays of the Day

Pinch-hitter Leury Garcia delivered the clutch walk-off hit last night with an opposite field single in the bottom on of the ninth to give the Sox a dramatic 3-2 win over the Angels in the finale of the three game series…Alexei Ramirez, playing in his 1,000th game for the Sox, singled home the first two Sox runs with a fourth-inning single…while he was denied his eighth win, John Danks was superb as he allowed just two runs, seven hits and a walk while tying a career high of 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work. He is 4-1 with a 3.20 ERA in his last six starts…Zach Putnam, who came on in relief of Danks, tossed a scoreless 1.1 IP with a pair of strikeouts for his third win of the season.

The Streak Continues

Jose Abreu, the newly-crowned American League Rookie of the Month for June, extended his hitting streak to 17 last night with his eighth-inning single, matching Ramirez for the club high this season. During the streak he’s batting .343 with seven home runs.

All-Star Voting: The Final Day

Voting ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. Think Jose and Alexei.

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Quite A Night

Outfielder Jared Mitchell had a career night for the Class AA Birmingham in last night’s 7-6 Barons victory over Chattanooga. Mitchell went 4-5, slamming two homers and two triples for a whopping 14 total bases.

Daniel Webb’s Bittersweet Rookie Season

http://bit.ly/1s3eYBX

Dominican Trip

I’ll share more about my trip to the DR in tomorrow’s post.

Quote of the Day

Why have Garcia pinch-hit in the ninth? Robin answers…

“I think he was surprised in that spot to be pinch-hitting, but he’s going to make some contact. … That’s a part of the game where you’re really looking at contact, the way the field was, the conditions and everything.”

Photo of the Day

Past, Present and Future

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Sox, Danks Look to Halt Halos

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Angels at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (7-6, 4.26) for the Sox, RHP Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.34) for the Halos.

Danks is set to make his 17th start of the season. He is 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight home starts this season and 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA over his last five starts. John earned the win in his last start on June 27 at Toronto, tossing six innings and giving up just two runs on five hits while striking out two without walking a batter.

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

Plays of the Day

Last night’s doubleheader…

Game 1:  Jose Abreu smashed his 26th homer, a three-run shot in the first inning, reached 67 RBI and extended his hitting streak to 15 in the 8-4 loss to the Angels. As a result he become the only player in MLB history to hit 26 home runs in his first 71 games and through last night was tied for the major-league lead with the Orioles’ Nelson Cruz in both HRs and RBI. Here’s No. 26:

http://atmlb.com/1pHO2L4

Game 2:  Conor Gillaspie, hitting well above .300 all season, hit his first homer of the year–a two-run blast–and collected three RBI in the 7-5 defeat. Dayan Viciedo added a two-run shot, his ninth, and Abreu ran his hitting streak to 16 on a first-inning single.

The Gillaspie and Viciedo homers and a spectacular Adam Eaton-being-Adam Eaton catch in the eighth inning:

http://atmlb.com/1o0tfLO

http://atmlb.com/1o0AhAq

http://atmlb.com/1o0FQ1y

Jose Rookie of the Month–Again

Abreu has been named the American League Rookie of the Month for June. He batted .313 with 10 home runs, 22 RBI and a .677 slugging percentage in 25 game to become the first player in Sox history to win the award twice in one season. He also became the third player in club annals to hit 10 or more homers in a month twice in one season, joining Jim Thome (twice in 2006) and Frank Thomas (twice in 1993).

Despite missing 14 games this season while on the disabled list, Abreu leads the major leagues in slugging percentage (.627) and at-bats per home run (10.73), is tied for the lead in home runs (26) and RBI (67) and ranks among the leaders in extra-base hits (3rd, 44), total bases (5th, 175) and OPS (7th, .956).

Abreu is on pace to hit 50 home runs, which would break the White Sox franchise record of 49 set by Albert Belle in 1998 and the major-league rookie record of 49 set by Mark McGwire in 1987.  In addition to the major-league record for homers in his first 71 career games, his 67 RBI are tied with Wally Berger (1930) and Joe DiMaggio (1936) for the sixth-highest total in history by a player in his first 71.

Abreu owns a 16-game hitting streak (.344, 22-64), the longest active streak in the major leagues and tied for the ninth-longest by a rookie in White Sox history.

He was named AL Player and Rookie of the Month for April after recording 10 home runs and 32 RBI, joining former Cuban teammate Yasiel Puig (June 2013) as the only players to win both awards in their first month in the major leagues.

Time’s Running Out

All-Star voting ends tomorrow night at 11:59 p.m. So, it’s not too late to vote for Abreu and Alexei Ramirez to make sure they both are in Minneapolis for the July 15 Midsummer Classic.

http://atmlb.com/1pJlQaF

Boston Boosts Jose

Sox coach Daryl Boston makes it clear that he thinks Abreu is a bonafide All-Star.

http://atmlb.com/1pJDon5

Sox Notes of Note

After a slow start, prized third base prospect Matt Davidson (pictured below) had an impressive month of June for Class AAA Charlotte. He hit a team-high nine home runs, including two on Monday night, and drove in 14. He has 15 long ones on the season… Tyler Saladino, leading Charlotte with a .304 average, was elected to the 2014 International League All-Star squad as the team’s starting shortstop. Saladino will represent the Knights at the 27th annual Triple-A All-Star Game on July 16 in Durham, N.C… Jacob May, a 2013 third-round draft pick now playing with Class A Winston-Salem, has been named the Carolina League Player of the Week after hitting .533 with four doubles, two triples, 12 runs scored and nine stolen bases in seven games…the Sox have released Charlotte reliever Mitchell Boggs. He’s been replaced on the Knights roster by reliever Henry Rodriguez…also, we have claimed RHP Angel Sanchez, listed as the No. 16 prospect for Miami this season, off of waivers from Tampa Bay. He’s been assigned to Class A Winston-Salem.

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Quote of the Day

Angels’ manager Mike Sciosia on Abreu:

“His power plays in the Grand Canyon.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game holiday weekend series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (7-1, 2.30) for the Sox, LHP Roenis Elias (7-6, 3.96) for Seattle.

Photo of the Day

Conor rounds the bases after home run No. 1.

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News from the Dominican: Sox Sign Four International Free Agents

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Today’s News From the DR

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I joined White Sox Senior Vice President/General Manager Rick Hahn and Special Assistant to the General Manager, International Operations Marco Paddy today at a press conference at The Hotel Plaza Naco in the Dominican Republic as the Sox Sox signed four international free agents.

“Today’s signing ceremony is another step in a process that began two and a half years ago when Marco joined our organization with the goal of increasing our profile in Latin America, “ Hahn said. “Each of these young men here today is another talented addition to the Chicago White Sox organization.”

“I am very excited about the potential of these four players and our entire 2014 class,” Paddy said. “I have gotten to know each of these players and their families very well over the last year, and I have been very impressed by their abilities on the baseball diamond and their character as young men. Their futures are exciting.”

The White Sox expect additional Latin American signings in the coming months.

The Newest Members of the White Sox Organization

Jhoandro Alfaro, C: Alfaro, 16, is rated the No. 28 international prospect by MLB.com. He is the younger brother of Jorge Alfaro, a catcher in the Rangers’ organization. The native of Sincelejo, Colombia is 6-foot-1, 180-pounds and a switch-hitter.

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Felix Mercedes, INF:  Mercedes is a native of Moca, Dominican Republic. He’s 17 and 6-foot-2, 185 pounds.

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Ricky Mota, SS: Mota is a 5-11, 170-pound 16-year-old from Nigua, Dominican Republic.

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Amado Nunez, SS: Nunez, also 16, is rated by Baseball America and MLB.com as the No. 26 international prospect. The native of Santiago, Dominican Republic is 6-foot-2, 178 pounds and has already competed in international tournaments in Mexico and Venezuela.

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More to Come Tomorrow

I will have more observations about our trip to the Dominican in tomorrow’s post. Ready to fly home after a couple of fun and productive days.

Photos of the Day

Here are four members of the Sox braintrust during our visit to the Dominican: Hahn, Assistant Director of Scouting Nick Hostetler, Director of Amateur Scouting Doug Laumann and Paddy.

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The Sox’ Dominican Academy headquarters.

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Noesi, Carroll Aim to Extend Sox Winning Streak in Today’s Twin Bill

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

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Today’s News

Due to last night’s postponement, the Sox and Angels will play a straight doubleheader today at U.S. Cellular Field.

The first game is scheduled at 4:10 p.m., CT, and the nightcap at 7:10 p.m., or 30 minutes after the end of Game 1.

RHP Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.07) will start in the opener for the White Sox vs. RHP Garrett Richards (8-2, 2.76) for the Halos. Scott Carroll (2-4, 4.76) will do likewise for the Sox in Game 2 vs. RHP Jered Weaver (8-6, 3.33) for LA.

Heading into the twin bill, the Sox are riding the wave of a three-game winning streak.

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

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