Friday, February 20, 2015
A Very Bright Outlook
As the official opening of White Sox spring training began today with pitchers and catchers reporting, there’s more excitement in Sox camp than at any time in recent memory due to a solid group of returnees and all of the key acquisitions in the offseason. We can pretty much assume that skipper Robin Ventura is thinking positive thoughts in the photo below.
As Robin said today, “I expect us to make the playoffs.”
The Rookie and the Comeback Kid
Rookie Micah Johnson is battling for the second base job and Brian Anderson is making a comeback. Listen to what they’ve got to say.
2015 Sox Regular Season Broadcast Schedule
New MLB Pace of Game Initiatives and Replay Modifications
Sox Note of Note
Sad news. Gary Woods, a current White Sox scout, passed away unexpectedly yesterday at his home in Solvang, California. Woods was a former Major League outfielder and began scouting with the Sox in 2008 covering the Southern California area north of Los Angeles.
Quotes of the Day
“We’ve got a team to fight back now…It’s a fun group of guys and there’s a big buzz, obviously. We’re ready to rock…My only goal is to win the World Series.”
“I like where I’m at. But I’m not content with where I’m at. There’s still room to grow.”
GM Rick Hahn:
“We happen to have very high hopes. There’s a great vibe around here. There’s a level of confidence and expectations and even some swagger in terms of how guys are going about their business.”
Photo of the Day
Sale (49) and Samardzija (29), one of the most potent 1-2 pitching combinations in Baseball, walking to work on Day One of Sox camp (photo compliments of Chuck Garfien, CSN).
Thursday, February 19, 2015
While tomorrow is the official arrival date for Sox pitchers and catchers and Tuesday is the report date for the full squad, as many as 25 major and minor league players have already arrived for spring training at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz.
Those on hand include Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Jeff Samardzija, Tyler Flowers, Avi Garcia, Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson, Carlos Rodon and Hector Noesi.
GM Hahn on Twitter
White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn has been answering fans’ questions on Twitter, with subjects ranging from the extraordinary offseason to expectations for 2015. Enjoy!
Thursday GIFs: That _ _ _ _ _
We’re having some fun featuring our favorite gif moments each week. If you’ve got something you’d like to see featured, tweet to us (@whitesox) using #ThatSoxMoment.
Quote of the Day
Avi Garcia, via CSN’s Chuck Garfien, talked about looking ahead after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury.
“It’s a lesson. You have to think of the future, not in the past. The past is the past. Now is the future. Now we have a new year. We’ve got the opportunity to have another day, to have another month, to have another year. You have to work hard. That’s it.”
Photos of the Day
Jose and Avi in the cage and all’s ready in the clubhouse.
Friday, February 13, 2015
While We Eagerly Await the Start of Spring Training…
A week from today, White Sox pitchers and catchers report to the Sox’ Camelback Ranch spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz. and four days later the full squad will go through their first workout. In the meantime, pass some of the time this weekend by enjoying and/or sharing these special Valentine’s Day cards from several of your favorite Sox. To send or to see more go to:
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
In just 10 days, on February 20, the highly anticipated 2015 White Sox season gets underway with pitchers and catchers reporting to the Sox’ Camelback Ranch spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz. Just four days later, on February 24, the full squad reports and will undergo physicals and participate in the first full-squad workout.
An Extraordinary Offseason
Baseball experts and fans alike are virtually unanimous that the Sox had one of the most productive offseasons with many declaring our winter haul as the best in baseball. Several pundits also have commented that the Sox were able to make it happen without sacrificing top prospects. Whatever order you place them, the newest additions on the South Side give us enormous hope for the upcoming season.
Just to review: the marquee acquisitions by the Sox front office were right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija, righty closer David Robertson, left-handed relievers Zach Duke and Dan Jennings, first baseman/DH Adam LaRoche, outfielder Melky Cabrera, the versatile infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and a familar face–infielder Gordon Beckham.
Other offseason additions now on the 40-man roster include right-handed pitcher Michael Ynoa (obtained in the Samardzija deal), catcher Rob Brantly, outfielder J.B. Shuck and left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia, who were selected on waivers from the Marlins, Indians and Dodgers, respectively.
The Sox also agreed to terms on minor-league contracts with the following free agents: right-handed pitchers Jairo Asencio, Scott Carroll, Jesse Crain, Logan Kensing, Arcenio Leon, J.D. Martin and Brad Penny; left-handers Zach Phillips and Joe Savery; catchers George Kottaras and Geovany Soto; infielders Juan Diaz and Andy LaRoche (Adam’s brother) and outfielders Tony Campana and Michael Taylor.
All 15 players, in addition to nine players from within the organization, have received non-roster invitations to spring training.
Right-handers Chris Beck, Tyler Danish and Nolan Sanburn, left-hander Carlos Rodon, infielders Tim Anderson, Dan Black and Micah Johnson and outfielders Courtney Hawkins and Jared Mitchell received invites to major-league camp from within the organization.
Thirteen of the 24 invitees have major-league experience.
Enjoy These SoxFest Seminars
This year’s SoxFest was an enormous success with fan excitement off the charts. One of the most successful elements was the series of seminars. Here are four: a panel discussing the Sox’ young talent, some of the newest Sox talking about the ’15 season, a few of the Sox players and coaches talking about hitting and GM Rick Hahn and skipper Robin Ventura chatting about the Sox and taking questions from the fans.
Spring Training Broadcast Schedule
Quote of the Day
Photo of the Day
Florida Gulf Coast University recently honored alum Chris Sale by retiring his No. 41 jersey.
Friday, December 19, 2014
An Early Christmas for White Sox Fans
As Christmas Day approaches, many Chicagoans are asking, “Haven’t we already celebrated Christmas?”
It’s certainly understandable to feel that way after the White Sox’ three Santas–Jerry Reinsdorf, Rick Hahn and Ken Williams–have demonstrated their generous gift-giving to Sox fans this offseason. The extraordinary “presents” under the proverbial Sox Christmas tree are in the form of pitchers Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Zach Duke and Dan Jennings, 1B/DH Adam LaRoche and outfielder Melky Cabrera. And the impressive haul is being praised throughout baseball as one of the most successful of the Winter Meetings/offseason.
Other fall acquisitions now on the 40-man roster include pitcher Michael Ynoa (obtained in the Samardzija deal) plus catcher Rob Brantly, outfielder J.B. Shuck and pitcher Onelki Garcia, who were selected on waivers from the Marlins, Indians and Dodgers, respectively.
A Sampling of Positive Industry Reaction
The added bonus to the acquisitions of Samardzija and LaRoche is that they both grew up as White Sox fans. Jeff rooted for the Sox while growing up in Northwest Indiana and Adam patrolled the team’s clubhouse when his dad, Dave, was the club’s pitching coach. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
They Said It…
Sox pitching coach Don Cooper on the day the Sox acquired both Samardzija and Robertson:
“I’m as excited as I’ve been on December 9th that I can remember. It’s an early Christmas present for sure.”
Adam Eaton on that same day:
“I was really fooled. I found myself sitting next to my phone and refreshing my Twitter as quickly as I could. When (the Robertson signing) came over it was like, ‘Holy Cow!'”…“I definitely think I speak for all of us (players) when I say that this is very exciting.”
Photo of the Day
SoxFest and Spring Training will be here before you know it…and here’s wishing you and your families a Happy Hanukkah, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Exciting times ahead.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Late last week, The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced its final 10 candidates for the “Golden Era Ballot,” the results of which will be announced on December 8 at Baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego. Included among the finalists this year are five former White Sox players: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce.
Golden Era finalists were selected by the BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee. Eligible candidates included managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose significant career impact was realized during the 1947-72 time period. The Golden Era was last considered for induction in 2011.
A committee of 16 will vote on each of the five finalists, and any candidate receiving 12 or more votes will be enshrined in Cooperstown’s Class of 2015 next July.
This week, several media outlets and blogs offered their analysis of the candidates, and the links are included here:
Monday, October 20, 2014
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been named American League Rookie of the Year by Sporting News. Abreu, 27, received 149 votes to outdistance Los Angeles’ Matt Shoemaker (4), New York’s Dellin Betances and Masahiro Tanaka (three each) and teammate Marcus Semien (one).
On winning SN ROY:
On expectations he put on himself:
“I just want to be prepared for the season. When Spring Training starts I just want to be 100 percent for the season and be able to help the team win games. When the season was finished and I had the opportunity to check my numbers I felt very comfortable. I’m just very humbled for all the accomplishments I had throughout this year.”
On if the numbers he put up were the numbers he thought they would be and can he improve on them in the future:
“I really don’t follow the numbers and stats. I don’t like to talk about it, but I will prepare every year like this to get the numbers that I had this year better.”
On what he is most proud of from his first season:
“All the numbers and stats I earned this season mean a lot to me, my family and the White Sox. I don’t have words to describe how I feel about the stats and records from this year. I’m just humbled for all the [accomplishments].”
On the SN ROY award being voted by the players:
On what he needs to be working on to be better for next season:
“I prepare myself in the best way possible for everyday and every year. I don’t have to work on anything special, just to be more disciplined with my work ethic and just hit.”
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Paul Konerko Day
It was a momentous and bittersweet night on the South Side. We at the White Sox along with 38,160 of our loyal fans gathered at U.S. Cellular Field to pay tribute to our captain, Paul Konerko, who has meant so much to the franchise for the past 16 seasons. Today, Paulie plays the last game of his career in the season finale and there’s no doubt there will be more standing ovations, curtain calls and goose bumps.
Furthermore, with Jose Abreu breaking the club’s all-time rookie home run record in last night’s 5-4 victory over the Royals, along with so many other positive signs during the course of this season, it certainly feels like the torch is being passed on to a new era of White Sox Baseball.
Here are some of the sights and sounds from last evening’s festivities:
–An emotional introduction by Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was followed by the unveiling of a Konerko statue on the outfield concourse representing his grand slam pose from the 2005 World Series.
–The dramatic presentation of the World Series grand slam ball to Paulie from Sox fan Chris Claeys, who caught it during Game 2 of the ’05 Series. Believe it or not, he also caught a Konerko foul ball last night.
–Former teammates Sean Lowe, Chris Getz, Greg Norton, Jim Thome, Brian Anderson, Ross Gload and Cliff Politte were also on hand. Others such as Joe Crede and Scott Podsednik had planned to be there, but couldn’t make it because of the air traffic issue in Chicago.
–There were video tributes from the likes of Crede, Podsednik, Derek Jeter, Derrick Rose, Jonathan Toews, Torii Hunter, C.C. Sabathia, Gordon Beckham, Jermaine Dye, Jose Uribe, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Uribe, Mark Buehrle, A.J. Pierzynski, Aaron Rowand, Jon Garland and James Hetfield from Metallica. Paulie’s longtime walkup music was from the band’s song, “Harvester of Sorrow.”
–Paulie received a framing of baseballs in the shape of the number 14 signed by his 2005 World Champion teammates, a pair of vintage guitars (a 1976 Gibson, the year he was born, and a 1963 Fender Stratocaster), an oil painting of his swing and a bench made of bats, bases and balls from his 2014 mates with “Our Teammate” and “Our Captain” written on it. Governor Pat Quinn, a huge Sox fan also in attendance, proclaimed it Paul Konerko Day in the state of Illinois.
–The announcement that Paulie’s No. 14 will be retired next season.
–PK to the fans, calling them “friends”: “When you look at that statue and that number that is going up right there, your fingerprints are all over it.”
–Konerko was replaced by Andy Wilkins at first base in the top of the seventh. Take a look at what happened.
–And here’s the pregame ceremony in its entirety:
A Photo Gallery
MLB Tonight’s Tribute to Konerko
Plays of the Day
Abreu broke Ron Kittle‘s Sox rookie record with his 36th homer, a two-run shot, in the first inning of last night’s victory (click on top link below). Jose now has 107 RBI on the season with a game to go…Josh Phegley hit a pair of solo homers, his second and third long ones of the year and first career multi-homer game (click on middle link below)…John Danks continued his success against the Royals (7-0, 2.43 lifetime). He allowed just a pair of runs, five hits and a couple of walks in seven innings of work, finishing the season with 11 wins…Javy Guerra came on for Jake Petricka in the ninth and earned his first save…and take a look at the dazzling Alexei Ramirez to Carlos Sanchez to Wilkins double play in the eighth (click on bottom link below):
Quote of the Day
Respected baseball writer Jayson Stark on his choice for American League Rookie of the Year, written prior to last night’s game:
“Have we talked enough this season about how great Jose Abreu has been? Of course we haven’t. I recognize that he’s 27, and he’s played a lot more baseball than, say, Rougned Odor. But the rules still say the guy is a “rookie.” And since he is, he’s had one of the greatest rookie seasons in the history of rookies. Here’s his slash line: .315/.379/.576/.956. Over the past 75 years, exactly two rookies have matched or beaten it — Ted Williams in 1939 and Albert Pujols in 2001. Now add Abreu’s 35 home runs and 72 extra-base hits to that slash line, and you know how many rookies have ever had this season? Two — Pujols and Hal Trosky (in 1934). And here’s the money ball: Abreu’s Adjusted OPS-Plus is an incredible 167. Which, according to baseball-reference.com ranks No. 3 among all rookies in modern history. The only rookies who ever topped it? How ’bout Shoeless Joe Jackson (193) — over a century ago (in 1911) — and Mike Trout (168) two years ago. So I’d like to thank Jose Abreu for his help in writing this column. Even in a year when a half-dozen rookies in this league have had a better season than any rookie in the other league, he made this easy.”
This Afternoon’s Game
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series, the final game of the 2014 season and Konerko’s last game in a Sox uniform as we aim for the split. Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65) for the Sox, RHP Yordany Ventura (14-10, 3.07) for Kansas City.
Excited About the Future
While No. 14 will be missing when spring training commences in February, we’ll turn the page with a lot of optimism as a new era of White Sox Baseball begins. Want some thoughts to keep you warm (and positive) during the cold winter months? Think about Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Alexei Ramirez, Avi Garcia and others who will be part of a winning White Sox future.
Look forward to seeing you at SoxFest, January 23-25 at the Hilton Chicago. Check whitesox.com for details.
Opening Day 2015
The Sox open the 2015 season in Kansas City against the Royals on Monday, April 6. The home opener is Friday, April 10, vs. the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field–see you then and there.
With the regular season ending, this is my last daily post. Keep in mind that I’ll be in touch during what promises to be an active and exciting offseason.
Photos of the Day
Expecting more of this in 2015.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Tonight’s Game: Honoring PK
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (6:40 p.m., CT, CSN) on Paul Konerko Day. Starters: LHP John Danks (10-11, 4.82) for the Sox, LHP Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32) for Kansas City.
The White Sox will honor Paul Konerko tonight with a special pregame tribute, scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. The ceremony will be a memorable presentation with special guests and video tributes that celebrate Konerko’s career as a member of the White Sox, as well as his legacy off the field. Fans are encouraged to arrive early. The ceremony will be available online through a live stream at MLB.com.
The White Sox and Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Chicago will host “Hawk & Stone Live from Club Konerko” beginning at 5:30 p.m., CT. Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone will broadcast the game from “Club Konerko” in Section 159.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Abreu DH, A. Garcia RF, Konerko 1B, Viciedo LF, Semien 3B, Phegley C, Sanchez 2B.
Remembering “The Paulie Moment”
How am I going to remember Paul Konerko?
Now, that’s a tough question for me to answer in one simple entry. How do you capture 16 seasons with a player in a single anecdote or series of memories?
For me, this season has been remarkable due to two men — Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko.
Frank was the very last White Sox player in uniform with the club when I began in July 1991. As his career ended, and then with his induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, I realized I had outlasted so many great players.
Now with PK retiring, I am watching another great person and player leave the Sox, having enjoyed a career that will long be remembered by our fans and by me. And I was here for every game of his White Sox career.
Like so many others, the Paulie moment for me is his grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series.
But I remember it because of the fans.
My family — my wife, three kids, my parents — we’re in a suite for the World Series. I chose that moment to stop in and say hello. The crowd was just too loud for my then 8-year-old son, who was in the fetal position on the couch. In another corner was Steve Perry of Journey, who the team had connected with on our route through the postseason.
Just as I checked on my son, CRACK! Paulie struck.
I stepped to the front of the suite and looked down. This is the moment I will always remember.
45,000 White Sox fans reacting and celebrating as one. The roar. The surging, rolling crowd, resembling an angry winter sea in the North Atlantic (click link below for a fan’s perspective) Waves swept around the park. Fans hugged and celebrated, even with people they did not know. A light rain fell.
And there, in the middle of this storm, Paul Konerko rounded second base. Alone in a roaring mass. Jogging along as generations of White Sox fans screamed themselves hoarse.
“Paulie! Paulie! Paulie!”
More Celebration of “The Paulie Moment”
Quotes of the Day
The Chairman on PK
Plays of the Day
Despite a quality start (three runs in six innings), Hector Noesi suffered the loss last night to the Royals, who clinched a playoff spot with their 3-1 victory. Noesi gave up all three of the runs in the first inning and blanked KC for the next five frames…In the eighth inning, Adam Eaton pounded out his 10th triple of the season, tying him for the American League lead, and scored on Alexei Ramirez‘s single.
I walked past the Royals clubhouse last night and the sweet/sour smell of sprayed champagne filled the tunnel. It is a smell like any other, and though almost 10 years old, it immediately brought memories flooding back to me … Detroit, Anaheim and then Houston.
Great to see Cliff Politte at the ballpark in advance of today’s festivities.
Sox Notes of Note
Prior to last night’s game, Konerko was honored for being chosen the White Sox nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award…with his 7.1 innings on Thursday, Jose Quintana reached the 200-inning mark for the second straight year. He joins Mark Buehrle (11), John Danks (twice), Mike Sirotka (twice) and Wilson Alvarez as the only White Sox lefties since 1991 to make 30-plus starts and work 200 innings or more in multiple seasons…reliever Nate Jones, whose presence this season was sorely missed, said he feels great after surgery and that his back and hip also feel good. Jones hopes to begin throwing the week before Thanksgiving….Chris Sale got a pizza delivery at the ballpark yesterday from Beggars Pizza and was kind enough to share it with some fans. What a guy:
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series and the final game of the 2014 season. Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65) for the Sox, RHP Yordany Ventura (14-10, 3.07) for Kansas City.
Photo of the Day
(Courtesy of John La Velle, @bportfish)
Friday, September 26, 2014
The World According to PK
The Sox Captain shares 16 years of memories with Paul Konerko Day just a day away.
Quote of the Day
Paul's oldest son told him that Paul needed to get back in the game soon because he was going to miss the chicken fingers at the park. #PK14—
Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 25, 2014
Gifts All Around
Children Home + Aid presented Paul & Jen Konerko with a home plate and DVD for their support of the Bring Me Home Campaign. And the White Sox gave the organization a $25,000 check from the sales of the PK Final Season Bobblehead.
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (8-10, 4.39) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie (12-11, 4.28) for KC.
Plays of the Day
Jose Quintana pitched well enough to win in his 7.1 innings of work, but unfortunately he absorbed the loss in last night’s defeat at the hands of the Royals…Josh Phegley belted a two-run homer, his first of the year, off of KC starter James Shields (click on link below).
Chris Bassitt’s Season: “Frustrating and then Awesome…”
Many have said that Avi Garcia wields a big bat, but I’m not sure this is what they meant.
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN) on Paul Konerko Day. Starters: LHP John Danks (10-11, 4.82) for the Sox, LHP Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32) for Kansas City.
The pregame tribute to Konerko tomorrow will include a memorable presentation with special guests, celebratory team-issued gifts and videos. First pitch is scheduled at 6:10 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early. The ceremony will be available online through a live stream at MLB.com.
Photo of the Day