Sox Call 1-800-Flowers and Tyler Delivered

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHPJohn Danks (9-6, 4.50) for the Sox, RHP Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98) for Texas.

Danks will be making his 23rd start of the season and 11th at home. He is 6-2 with a 3.78 ERA over his last 13 outings and 3-0 with a 4.85 ERA over his last seven. John is 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA over 10 starts at home this season.

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

Plays of the Day

Because of last night’s rain-shortened game, in which the Sox prevailed 5-3, Tyler Flowers lost his chance to hit for the cycle, missing only a double.The Sox catcher, in consecutive at-bats, missed a home run by thismuch in the third inning and settled for a triple, connected with a long solo homer in the fifth (his eighth of the year) and with the scored tied 3-3 drove in the two go-ahead runs in the sixth just before the game was delayed, then called, after the top of the seventh…fresh off being named both the American League Player and Rookie of the Month, Jose Abreu singled twice and drove in two runs, extending his major-league leading RBI total to 86…Adam Eaton collected two singles and two walks, raising his batting average to .309. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games (.490). He has reached base safely in 21 games, hitting .429 during that span…Hector Noesi got credit for his sixth win and went seven innings for the complete game.

Flowers’ great night:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v35090875

Is it the Glasses?

Flowers recorded a season-high three RBI and has recorded two homers over his last four games. Since Tyler began wearing glasses instead of contact lenses, he has a .390/.438/.695 slash line.

Quote of the Day

Zilch,” was Flowers’ answer to how much his glasses have been the reason for his recent success. He added: “I don’t even notice them. I’m not an idiot–I’m going to keep wearing them. I’m doing well, so I’m going to stick with them.”

South Side Sox on Tyler’s Surge

http://sbnation.com/e/5733066

More Abreu Buzz

http://bit.ly/1kDxxxI

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox are 8-1 in their last nine home games against the Rangers…we are hitting .338 with 68 runs scored over our last 11 games and have recorded 10 or more hits in four of our last five games (we knocked out 10 last night)…the Sox have won four of the last five against the AL West…reliever Zach Putnam, on the disabled list since July 24, begins his rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte.

A New Addition to the Ballpark

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Special Visit

As part of White Sox Charities Week, skipper Robin Ventura, Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn paid a visit today to the Family Life Center and hematology/oncology floor at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The three Sox and Southpaw spent time with patients and distributed White Sox gift bags.

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True Hero

The White Sox honored Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts as last night’s Hero of the Game. Pitts received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Obama on July 21.

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (10-1, 2.09) for the Sox, RHP Ryan Tepesch (3-7, 4.84) for Texas.

Photo of the Day

Remember, Comcast SportsNet goes “In the K Zone with Hawk & Stone” for tomorrow afternoon’s game with Sale on the mound.

Sox announcers Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone will broadcast the matinee from the “K Zone” in Section 154.

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What Else is New? Abreu AL Player and Rookie of the Month—Again

Monday, August 4, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (5-8, 5.21) for the Sox, RHP Nick Martinez (1-7, 5.08) for Texas.

Noesi will be making start No. 18 for the White Sox against his former teammates. He has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 5.21 since joining the club from Texas.

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

Jose

The remarkable Jose Abreu has been named both the American League Player of the Month and AL Rookie of the Month for July. He becomes the first rookie in MLB history to be selected Player of the Month twice in a season (also April) and the fourth chosen as Rookie of the Month three times or more (also April and June).

The Sox first baseman batted .374 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 19 RBI, a .432 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage in 25 games during July. He led the AL in average, doubles, slugging percentage OPS (1.099), extra-base hits (17) and total bases (66), while hitting safely in 24 of 25 games during the month.

He joins Frank Thomas (1994 and 1996) and Albert Belle (1998) as the only White Sox players to win Player of the Month honors twice in a season and is the only player in franchise history to be chosen Rookie of the Month more than once.

Despite missing 14 games while on the DL, Abreu leads the major leagues in home runs (31), RBI (84), slugging percentage (.627), at-bats per RBI (4.54) and ranks among the leaders in OPS (2nd, .988), extra-base hits (2nd, 60) and total bases (239). He also has compiled hitting streaks of 18 and 21 games, becoming the first rookie since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 to accomplish the feat and the second player in Sox history (Eddie Collins, 1920).

Serendipitous Event of the Day

Tonight is Jose Abreu t-shirt night at the ballpark.

2-TshirtAbreu_mockup

Plays of the Day

Dayan Viciedo hit his 13th homer of the season in the fourth inning, a two-run shot (click on link below), in yesterday’s loss to the Twins…Adam Eaton extended his hitting streak to 10 games (.468) and has reached base in 20 straight contests (.435)…Alexei Ramirez, who singled, doubled, collected an RBI and scored a run, has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games. He is batting .349 with three homers and 14 RBI during that span…Alejandro De Aza, with a pair of singles, recorded four consecutive multi-hit games for the first time this season. He’s hitting .571 with three runs scored during that period.

http://atmlb.com/WUZLt5

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Roster Moves 

The White Sox have purchased the contract of RHP Maikel Cleto from Class AAA Charlotte.  Cleto, 25, takes the roster spot of RHP Taylor Thompson, who was optioned to Charlotte following yesterday’s game.

Cleto, who made the Sox Opening Day roster, was 3-0 with a 5.91 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 22 relief appearances with the Knights this season.  He threw 7.2 scoreless innings over his last five outings, allowing just two hits with one walk and 13 strikeouts.

From the Farm

No. 1 draft pick Carlos Rodon tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and last year’s No. 2 draft choice Tyler Danish struck out eight over six scoreless frames yesterday for Class A Winston-Salem against Lynchburg…outfielder Jared Mitchell, the No. 1 pick in 2009, returns to Charlotte after an impressive stint at Class AA Birmingham…Avi Garcia, who went 5-8 in his first two rehab games with the Knights, left with a bruised triceps after being hit by a pitch. He’s listed day-to-day.

Sox in the Community

Here’s Sox reliever Jake Petricka distributing lunches today in Pilsen for Chicago’s Food Bank.

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Quotes of the Day

Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson on Abreus routine (via Scott Merkin, mlb.com):

“His whole world is wrapped up in a solid, good thought process. He comes out, he walks the field, I’ve watched him walk the field before he comes in. Sometimes I’ll come in, I’ll walk down to the cage and he’s already hitting off a tee, which is great — whatever your mind needs to get prepared to go to competition, I’m all in.

“You look at where he came from in Cuba, and they don’t play every day, but they practice a lot. You can get a pretty good regimen or develop a very good routine where you don’t particularly play 100 some odd games every year down there. I’m pretty sure that’s where the work ethic came from on the get-go, and as a hitting guy, you’re happy the guy’s got one, a good one that makes him be where he needs to be.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP John Danks (9-6, 4.50) for the Sox, RHP Colby Lewis (7-8, 5.98) for Texas.

Photo of the Day

On this date 29 years ago, future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver won his 300th game in a 4-1 White Sox victory over the Yankees in New York.

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Sox Right On “Q” For Another Series Win

Sunday, August 3, 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) in the rubber match of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15) for the Sox, RHP Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94) for Minnesota.

“Q” is set to make his 23rd start of the season and 10th at home. Seven of his last eight starts have been quality and he is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 51 Ks during that span.

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

Plays of the Day

Adam Eaton doubled three times, singled in a pair of runs and upped his batting average to .306 in last night’s loss to the Twins (click on top link below)…Gordon Beckham singled, doubled and drove in two runs and Alexei Ramirez smashed his 11th homer, a solo shot (click on bottom link below), singled and also drove in two…Jose Abreu walked twice, once intentionally, but his 21-game hitting streak was snapped…Scott Carroll rebounded from a tough start and went seven innings, getting a no decision.

http://m.mlb.com/video/v35043817

http://atmlb.com/1uaJdIs      

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Sox Notes of Note

Per @ckamka, the White Sox are hitting .347/.386/.515 as a team over their last nine games, with 118 hits (13.1 per game)…Eaton has now now hit safely in nine straight games, hitting .488 during that time. He also recorded his fifth consecutive multi-hit game and he’s reached base in 19 games in a row, hitting .444 in that span. And he collected three doubles in a game for the first time in his career and had four hits in a game for the second time this season…Ramirez has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games, hitting .333 with three homers and 13 RBI…Alejandro De Aza has registered three consecutive multi-hit games for the first time this season. He’s 6-10 in those games…playing for Class AAA Charlotte on a rehab assignment, Avi Garcia went 3-5 in the Knights’ win over Gwinnett last night and is 5-8 in his first two games…on Friday, Jordan Danks set the all-time Charlotte record for hits (440) with a home run.

Abreu Making an Impact–Off the Field

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-jose-abreu-gives-back-20140802-story.html

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Thome Feted With Statue

I was honored to be in Cleveland yesterday when the Indians unveiled a statue of Jim Thome, who spent 2006-2009 with the Sox and currently serves as a special assistant to GM Rick Hahn. Jim broke in with the Tribe in 1991 and spent 13 of his 22 major-league seasons with them.

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Quotes of the Day

Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire on pitching around Abreu (via @scottmerkin):

“Well, we’re thinking about trying to slip in a few more defenders in the outfield.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (5-8, 5.21) for the Sox, RHP Nick Martinez (1-7, 5.08) for Texas.

Photo of the Day

The Big Hurt‘s Hall of Fame plaque took center stage before last night’s game.

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Winning

Saturday, August 2, 2014 

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.29) for the Sox, RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.38) for Minnesota.

Carroll, making his 18th appearance and 12th start for the Sox, is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA over his last four starts.

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

Plays of the Day

On a night when Chris Sale wasn’t at his All-Star best, the White Sox as a team were. On the way to the exciting 10-8 victory last night, we came back twice and pounded out 17 hits…Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 21 with an RBI single in the fourth inning (click on top link below) and added two more singles along with a walk and a HBP…Adam Eaton, who had three hits and reached base five times on Thursday vs. the Tigers, collected two more hits last night and walked, lifting his batting average to .299…In all, every Sox starter recorded at least one hit: Abreu (3), Eaton (2), Gordon Beckham (1), Paul Konerko (2), Alexei Ramirez (2), Conor Gillaspie (1), Tyler Flowers (2), Alejandro De Aza (2) and Moses Sierra (2) with seven of the nine knocking out two or more…Ramirez and Flowers led the way with two RBI apiece while Tyler went deep for his seventh homer, a solo shot (click on bottom link below)…Javy Guerra got credit for his first win and Jake Petricka pitched the ninth, registering his seventh save of the season.

http://atmlb.com/1u8iwUC

http://atmlb.com/1u8kGUd

The Abreu Report

During his 21-game streak, the longest in the American League this year and longest White Sox streak since Carlos Lee’s club record 28 in 2004, Jose is hitting .411 and he has also hit safely in 39 of his last 40 games (.377). He has reached base in 10 straight plate appearances dating back to Thursday in Detroit. It’s the longest streak by a Sox player since Frank Thomas set the club record with 15 in 1997. Abreu continues to lead the major leagues in homers (31), RBI (84), slugging percentage (.639), total bases (239), is tied for the lead in extra-base hits (60) and is second in OPS (1.003). He’s now hitting .310 on the season.

Sox Notes of Note

Eaton (top photo below) extended his hitting streak to eight games, drove in a run and scored twice. He also has reached base safely in 18 straight contests, batting .421 with a .476 on-base percentage during that span…Flowers (bottom photo below) is 19-42 with two homers, four doubles and five RBI over his last 12 games…Sierra now has a career-high seven-game hitting streak (.440) and has recorded an RBI in back-to-back games for the first time this season…Gillaspie is hitting .352 with six doubles, three homers, nine RBI and 13 runs scored in his last 20 games and is batting .319 on the season…Konerko has reached base safely in his last six games. He’s hitting .339 in 25 games since June 1…the Sox are hitting .349 with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 54 runs scored in winning six their last eight games. During that stretch, we have scored 10-plus runs twice and collected 14 or more hits five times…Tonight is Thomas replica Hall of Fame plaque night–on the 24th anniversary of The Big Hurt’s major-league debut…Avi Garcia and Matt Lindstrom began their rehab assignments at Class AAA Charlotte last night. Garcia started the regularly scheduled game vs. Durham, going 2-4 with a run scored as the DH. Lindstrom tossed one inning (giving up a run) in the completion of the suspended game.

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Sox in the Community

Abreu took time out from his hitting streak today to give some tips to youngsters at a Special Olympics/Amateur City Elite baseball clinic (top photo) while White Sox catcher Adrian Nieto (center) and former Sox All-Star Carlos May (far right) joined our Volunteer Corps yesterday to help refresh the playground at Armour Square Park (bottom photo).

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Quote of the Day

Ever the team player, Sale exhibited some tongue-in-cheek humor along with praise for his teammates after last night’s win (via Scott Merkin, mlb.com):

“Just how we drew it up. It was a little bit of everybody. Everybody in the lineup got a hit today, which is awesome. Scoring runs early, scoring runs late and in between. This team never quit fighting, especially when I put us in a pretty good hole right there. We never quit battling and put some good at-bats together and some runs on the board.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15) for the Sox, RHP Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94) for Minnesota.

Photo/Video of the Day

Olympic gymnastics gold medalist McKayla Maroney “flipped out” before throwing last night’s ceremonial first pitch (click on link) and bonded with a group of Sox fans shown in the photo below. Plus, Elvis was in the building on his special night.

http://m.mlb.com/video/v35003559

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Sale, K Zone Ready to Roll

Friday, August 1, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand that concludes with three against the Rangers. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (10-1, 1.88) for the Sox, LHP Logan Darnell (0-1, 7.88) for Minnesota.

Chris will be making his 17th start of the season and 11th at home. He is 5-0 with a 1.78 ERA and 54 strikeouts over his last seven starts and 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 70 strikeouts over his last eight home starts. He earned the win in his last outing on July 26 against these same Twins, allowing five hits and striking out 12 over eight scoreless innings. He is 6-1 with a 2.08 ERA lifetime against Minnesota and 2-0 with a 1.83 ERA at home. He is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in two starts this season.

Sale ranks among the AL leaders in ERA (1st), opponents average (1st, 1.94), WHIP (1st, 0.86), complete games (T3rd, 2) and strikeouts per nine innngs (4th, 9.98).

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

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The Abreu Report

Jose Abreu leads the major leagues in home runs (31), RBI (83), slugging percentage (.636) and total bases (236) and currently has a 20-game hitting streak. Furthermore, he has hit safely in 38 of his last 39 games, hitting .365 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 32 RBI to raise his average from .260 to .305.

Tonight, as Abreu attempts to extend his hitting streak to 21 games and 39 out of his last 40, here’s an interesting note from @ckamka: Jose before his disabled list stint: 260/.312/.595, 15 HR, 42 RBI…And after: 343/.394/.672, 16 HR, 41 RBI.

Abreu also joins Nomar Garciaparra (1997) as the only players in MLB history to achieve a 20-game hit streak and 30 homers in their rookie season. And he’s only the third player in franchise history to accomplish the above feat in the same year (Carlos Lee and Albert Belle). Courtesy of ESPN.

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox return home after a fine 5-2 road trip. The Sox took three of four from the Twins and two of three from the Tigers. We have won five of our last seven, eight of 13 and 17 of 29…Adam Eaton has reached base safely in 17 straight games. He’s hitting .417 with a .468 on-base percentage and raised his average from .265 to .296. He also owns a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .451 in his last 12 games…pitching coach Don Cooper rejoined the club today after missing the past 11 games with vertigo…Class AAA Charlotte first baseman Andy Wilkins, who won International League Batter of the Week two weeks in a row last month, has been named the IL Player of the Month for July. He hit 12 home runs and drove in 31 in 26 games.

Quote of the Day

A big thank you to Tom Paciorek for sitting in for Hawk Harrelson on the road trip and doing such a stellar job. You could probably do a hilarious Top 10 from all the Wimpyisms, but here’s a classic from yesterday’s win in Detroit.

As Paulie, not known for his speed on the basepaths, scored from second base on a single, Wimpy commented:

“Was that in real time or slow motion?”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.29) for the Sox, RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.38) for Minnesota.

Photo of the Day

Grover “Deacon” Jones, who in 1956 hit .409 with 26 homers and a .758 slugging percentage with the White Sox’ Midwest League affiliate in Dubuque, played first base in the majors for the Sox in parts of five seasons (1962-66). If it weren’t for a shoulder injury, there’s no telling how good he might have been. Following his playing career, he served as a minor-league scout, coach and manager in the Sox organization and is currently a special assistant to the president of the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League of Professonal Baseball.

Here is Deacon with former Sox GM Roland Hemond at this week’s SABR event in Houston and a montage that includes a photo and baseball card showing him during his playing career.

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Sox Back Home After 5-2 Road Trip

Thursday, July 31, 2014 

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

The Sox ended their seven-game road trip on a winning note this afternoon, defeating the Tigers, 7-4, on 16 hits. We finished the trip with a 5-2 record, winning three of four in Minnesota and two of three in Detroit.

Plays of the Day

Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 20 games today and that wasn’t all. He singled in the first inning (see photo above and click on link below), had a pair of doubles and was intentionally walked twice. Remarkably, he’s now recorded a hit in 38 of his last 39 games…Adam Eaton was 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, Alexei Ramirez singled and doubled with a run batted in, Paul Konerko was 2-4, including a double, scored twice and got credit for an RBI when he was hit by a pitch…Moises Sierra pounded out three singles and a double, scored a run and drove in another.

Abreu, now hitting .305 with his league-leading 31 homers and and 83 RBI, and Eaton, who upped his average to .296, both reached base five times. The last time two Sox teammates accomplished the feat was in 2010 when Konerko and Alex Rios did it in an extra-inning game. The last time two White Sox did so in a nine-inning contest was May 1, 2006, when Scott Podsednik collected four hits and a walk and Rob Mackowiak had three hits and two walks.

Ronald Belisario (1.2 IP), Javy Guerra (1.1) and Jake Petricka (1.0) pitched scoreless baseball in relief starter John Danks, who went five innings. Petricka chalked up his sixth save.

http://atmlb.com/1u49VCv   

More Abreu

Abreu has nine three-hit games this season, including four during his 20-game streak (@ckamka)…Jose’s run is the first 20-or-more consecutive game streak for the White Sox in a single season since Carlos Lee hit safely 28 games in a row during the 2004 season (ESPN)…he is the first Sox player with multiple games with two intentional walks in a season since Frank Thomas in 2000 (@ckamka).

Sox Notes of Note

With his fourth-inning double, Paulie reached the 4,000 mark in total bases, extending his franchise record (click on link below)…after undergoing back surgery earlier this season, Sox reliever Nate Jones had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow…OF Avi Garcia and reliever Matt Lindstrom begin rehab stints tomorrow at Class AAA Charlotte…before A.J. Pierzynski left Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, he and HOF inductee The Big Hurt talked about how St. Louis would be a good place for the catcher to land. Well, it came true just as Frank said and A.J. took a bit of Frank with him as he’s now wearing No. 35 in tribute to his ex-Sox teammate…Thomas’ Hall of Fame plaque will be removed temporarily from the Cooperstown shrine and displayed at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday and Sunday. Tony LaRussa‘s plaque will be available for viewing at the ballpark August 30-September 1…Jordan Danks tied Joe Borchard‘s Class AAA Charlotte’s all-time hit record last night with his 439th base hit…LHP Scott Snodgress was promoted to Charlotte from Class AA Birmingham.

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/v34964915/?partnerId=as_mlb_20140731_28857896

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White Sox Charities Week Begins Tomorrow

https://m.facebook.com/notes/chicago-white-sox/white-sox-host-sixth-annual-charities-week/10153045681473047

Quote of the Day

Sox GM Rick Hahn on Garcia and Lindstrom:

“Certainly Matt has the ability to help solidify the back end of the bullpen, and Avi would be a big piece in the lineup and as part of our future plans. We’ve missed them both throughout this stretch, and if and when they return to the active roster, we certainly think it’s going to be a nice shot in the arm.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series and six-game homestand that concludes with three against the Rangers. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (10-1, 1.88) for the Sox, LHP Logan Darnell (0-1, 7.88) for Minnesota.

Photo/Videos of the Day

Here are No. 1 draft pick Carlos Rodon‘s three strikeouts in his one-inning debut with Class A Winston-Salem yesterday afternoon.

http://atmilb.com/1u1qqPB

http://atmilb.com/1u1qhf8

http://atmilb.com/1u1q8IE

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The Hits (and Homers) Keep On Coming For No. 79

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit (6:08 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (5-6, 4.37) for the Sox, RHP Max Scherzer (12-3, 3.37) for the Tigers.

Noesi has made eight quality starts since joining the White Sox and has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 4.99. He earned his second straight win on July 24 at Minnesota, allowing two earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.

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

Plays of the Day

Highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Alexei Ramirez that cleared the bases and back-to-back homers by Jose Abreu (No. 31, with a man on ) and Adam Dunn (16, solo), the Sox scored seven runs on eight hits in the seventh inning last night to coast to an 11-4 win over the Tigers…Abreu added a single and a double and drove in four to raise his batting average to .299. He now leads the major leagues in homers, RBI (83) and slugging percentage (.632) and is tied in total bases (230)…he is hitting .351 with 14 homers, 36 RBI and a 1.075 OPS in his last 42 games… Adam Eaton and Conor Gillaspie both had three-hit nights and Tyler Flowers collected a pair of hits with two runs scored…Dunn’s homer was the 456th of his career, tying him for 35th place all-time with David Ortiz of the Red Sox…Jose Quintana claimed his sixth victory with another fine performance, allowing just two runs in six innings.

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The Streak

Abreu extended his hitting streak to 18 and has now hit in 36 of 37 games. He is the second player in club history to amass two hitting streaks of 18 or more games in the same season. The other? Second baseman Eddie Collins (21 and 22) in 1920. By the way, Collins (pictured below) was in the very first Hall of Fame induction class with the likes of Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and Cy Young. Since 1949, the only other rookie to record two such hitting streaks in a season is Ichiro Suzuki in 2001 (21 and 23).

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Rookie of the Year Race: One Man’s Opinion

http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/07/24/awards-watch-rookie-year-jose-abreu-billy-hamilton

Sox Notes of Note

No. 1 draft pick Carlos Rodon (shown below warming up today) made his Class A Winston-Salem debut this afternoon. He pitched one inning in relief, allowing two runs, a hit and two walks with three strikeouts. He threw 33 pitches, 19 of which were strikes…White Sox starters are 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA and .224 average in the last 19 road games…the Sox and Comcast SportsNet will host the “In the Zone with Hawk and Stone” game broadcast on Wednesday, August 6 as Chris Sale is scheduled to be on the mound vs. Texas at 1:10 p.m. Sox announcers Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone will broadcast the game from the “K Zone” in Section 154 (date is subject to change if there are any adjustments in the Sox rotation).

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In :60… Learn More About Adam Eaton

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/12427112/v34373237/?partnerId=as_cws_20140730_28783386

Quote of the Day

Robin on Abreu:

“For everyone who thought they’d pound him in and he wouldn’t pull anything, he’s using the right-field line and hitting homers to right. That’s the biggest thing he’s done from the start of the season. We’re over the fact it’s his first year. He comes every day, prepared, ready to work and it’s a very mature approach.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (12:08 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP John Danks (9-6, 4.40) for the Sox, LHP Drew Smyly (6-9, 3.77) for Detroit

Photos of the Day

Here’s a couple of Abreu heat maps that show that his hot zones are getting bigger and deeper all the time. (Thanks to @msimonespn, @ckamka and @darenw).

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Catch a Tiger by the Tail

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park, Detroit (6:08 p.m., CT, CSN) as the Sox try to gain some ground in the AL Central in the opener of a three-game series with the division leaders. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.15) for the Sox, RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-4, 3.45) for the Tigers.

“Q” will be making his 22nd start of the season and 13th on the road. Six of his last seven starts have been quality and he is 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA, 49 strikeouts and a .188 opponents average during that period. He had a no decision in his last start on July 23 vs. the Royals, allowing just one run on seven hits while striking out three in seven innings. 

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

Tomorrow is Today

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Sox Notes of Note

Over the span of his hitting streak, Jose Abreu has the following slash line: .345/.389/.648 with 11 doubles, 11 home runs and 28 RBI…Tyler Flowers began wearing glasses on July 9. Since then he’s .395/.439/.658 with seven doubles, a homer and seven RBI…Sox starters own a 3.11 ERA since June 23, the third-best mark in the American League and fifth-best in baseball…Class AAA Charlotte first baseman Andy Wilkins has been named the International League Batter of the Week for the second straight time. He is hitting .483 with eight doubles, 12 homers. 30 RBI and 24 runs scored in his last 21 games. Wilkins leads the IL in homers (26), RBI (70), extra-base hits (53), total bases (217) and home run ratio (14.69) and ranks second in slugging percentage (.568)…I was in Cooperstown Sunday and didn’t post Adrian Nieto‘s first major-league homer. He deserves a mention here, so here it is:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v34859563

Quote of the Day

During the Legends of the Game Roundtable in Cooperstown yesterday, Frank Thomas was asked who among the Hall of Famers he most enjoyed spending time with over Induction Weekend. He answered without hesitation, “Hank Aaron,” and added that Aaron was Frank Sr.’s favorite player. “My Dad used to say to me, ‘You’re pretty good, but you’re no Hank Aaron.'”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Tigers at Comerica Park (6:08 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (5-6, 4.37) for the Sox, RHP Max Scherzer (12-3, 3.37) for Detroit.

Photo of the Day

One of our special guests in Cooperstown for Induction Weekend was Jeff Torborg, who was the manager of the White Sox when The Big Hurt made his debut.

Baseball fans will remember that Torborg was a fine major league catcher who caught two no-hitters (Nolan Ryan’s first of seven and the one by Bill Singer) and a perfect game (Sandy Koufax). Thanks to diehard Sox fan Jacqueline Buzard, here’s a photo of the catcher’s mitt Torborg used in all three games. It is prominently displayed in the Hall of Fame Museum.

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A Monumental Day for White Sox Fans

Monday, July 28, 2014

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The Big Hurt From the Heart

Cooperstown, NY — On a day when six baseball legends were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Frank Thomas distinguished himself by addressing the estimated crowd of 48,000 with a heartfelt and tearful acceptance speech that focused on his family, his teammates and many of the people who helped him along the way.

Thomas was greeted loudly and enthusiastically by the large throng of loyal White Sox fans who made the trip here for yesterday’s ceremony. Choruses of “Let’s Go White Sox” and the repetitive refrain of “Big Hurt, Big Hurt, Big Hurt” could be heard everywhere on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center.

An emotional Thomas thanked his mother, his siblings, his wife Megan, his five children, and gave a poignant tribute to his late father Frank Sr., who he said meant everything to him. “My Dad always said, ‘You can be something special if you really work at it. I took it to heart pops. Look at us today.”

Frank gave thanks to his Columbus, Ga. high school coach Bobby Howard for setting his foundation for life. He acknowledged his college coach at Auburn, Hal Baird, who treated him like a professional before he was one and former Tigers’ football coach Pat Dye who saw Frank’s talent on the diamond and encouraged him to play baseball exclusively. He talked movingly about how important his former agent, the late Robert Fraley, was to him and mentioned several others who have been instrumental in his life.

Thomas described his special relationship with White Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak who told him that anyone can be good, it’s the special ones who want to be great. Frank said he really missed Hriniak when he left the Sox, but admitted he continued to hear his words: “Keep your effing head down and finish, Frank.”

When talking about the White Sox, among those Frank saluted were Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf (“you did a lot for me and you still mean a lot to me”), Eddie Einhorn, Kenny Williams and some folks who were responsible for drafting him like Larry Himes and Al Goldis and his first manager, Jeff Torborg. He credited those managers who followed and thanked Ozzie Guillen for getting him his only World Series ring. He gave special thanks to Hawk Harrelson for giving him The Big Hurt nickname, which Frank said changed his life forever. He also was kind enough to give a couple dozen or more shout-outs to former coaches and other Sox personnel who have worked behind the scenes–people like trainer Herm Schneider, who Thomas said always gave him the best possible care, as well as Vinnie Fresso, the current Sox clubhouse manager, and even a certain PR man.

The most unique part of Frank’s speech was his verbal montage that included a long list teammates through the years, estimated anywhere from 138 to 166. As many as Frank named, because of limited time he had to delete about 50 for the final version. 

Thomas also thanked the city of Chicago and said they made The Big Hurt who he was, adding that he enjoyed every moment he played with the Sox.

Frank began his speech thanking the Hall of Famers on the dais for letting him into the club and gave a bit of advice that he repeated at the conclusion of his talk:

“There are no shortcuts to success. Hard work, dedication, commitment and staying true to who you are.”

Below is the transcript of Frank’s speech (top link), which may have changed a bit during the actual delivery, and a video clip of his talk:

http://bit.ly/1AneOuT

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/6003532/v34858697/?c_id=mlb

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A Thoughtful LaRussa

It came as no surprise that Tony LaRussa had some thought-provoking observations, including some about his time with the Sox:

–Talking about his years in Chicago, Tony said: “It was a wonderful experience. With the White Sox, we had this unique opportunity. The best example was a game in New York against the Yakees. Tom Seaver is going for his 300th win. Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk is catching him. To be part of that and to watch him pitch a complete game…” He also talked about the 1983 Sox who went to the postseason for the first time since 1959 and the leadership of Greg Luzinski and Jerry Koosman.

–He talked about the presence of hitting coach Charley Lau and preaching the three T’s–Team, Tenacity and Toughness.

–He said that highly respected baseball man George Kissel, also acknowledged in Joe Torre‘s acceptance speech, advised him how to approach a career in baseball: Love the game and learn it. “And for the next 35 or 36 years, it was always about loving the game and learning it, ” Tony said. “And it’s incredible. The more you learn, the more you love it. And the more you love it, the more you want to learn.” 

–LaRussa on managing: “Preparing is like studying for a test, the players take the test.”

–He said, “…I’ve been very, very fortunate. And the more I think about it, I’ve never put my arms around the fact that being really lucky is a Hall of Fame credential.”

–And: “I am personally uncomfortable on this stage. But I believe I finally came to a resolution. I was in three great situations. Great. And I believe the way to accept this tremendous honor is as a representative of all those mentors, coaches and members of the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals.”

Here’s a video clip of Tony’s speech:

http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/video/v34857179/?partnerId=as_mlb_20140727_28578556

The 2014 Hall of Fame Class of Six

Here they are: Bobby Cox, La Russa, Tom Glavine, Thomas, Greg Maddux and Torre, the largest class since 1971.

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An Enormous Crowd Witnessed History

Yesterday’s crowd was the third largest crowd in Hall of Fame history (photo courtesy of South Side Sox).

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Sox Fans Everywhere Took Pride in Frank’s Induction

Here’s one of them. This is Stanten Jones, the White Sox rep in the MLB Fan Cave, watching his hero.

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Hall of Fame Notes

Hank Aaron got the biggest applause of all the Hall of Famers, receiving a standing ovation…a tribute and moment of silence honored two Hall of Famers, Tony Gwynn and Ralph Kiner, who passed away in the last year…The final count of Hall of Famers in attendance was 50, out of the 66 still alive …Chairman Jane Forbes Clark mentioned that there are now 306 members of the Hall of Fame out of all of those who have been involved in the game over 138 years.

From Columbus, Georgia to Cooperstown

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/42160142/v34711467?partnerId=ed-8479843-728460313

Sox Win Series in Minny, Abreu Extends Hitting Streak

While we were focused on Cooperstown the past few days, our eyes, of course, were also on the Sox in Minnesota where we took three of four from the Twins. Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 17 yesterday and has now hit in 34 of his last 35 games. The Sox are in Detroit beginning Tuesday for a three-game series. 

Photos of the Day

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A Day For The Ages

Sunday, July 27, 2014

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Induction Sunday

Cooperstown, NY — After months of anticipation, the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will begin today at 12:30 p.m., CT, at the Clark Sports Center, which is located just a mile south of the Hall.

During the ceremony, we will hear from our Sox-connected inductees Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa, pitching greats and former Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and elite managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre as they are officially are inducted into baseball’s shrine. The newest inductees will be welcomed by 55 of the 66 living Hall of Famers, who have made the trip here to be part of the festivities.

Frank and Tony: The Day Before

The six inductees spoke to the media yesterday in advance of today’s ceremony. Here’s a sampling of comments from Frank and Tony.

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Frank-ly Speaking

On the Hall of Fame experience as a whole:

“It’s really very stressful. A lot goes into it. I’m overjoyed, but the nerves are there. It’s just a different feeling. This is bigger than any ball game that I’ve every played in. Tomorrow will be magical. Just seeing the stage today, the field and thinking about all those people out there, it will really be special.”

On thinking about entering the Hall during his playing days:

“You never think about the Hall of Fame. It’s something you can’t control. As a player you just go out and play ball.”

On his speech:

“I’ve been doing a lot of traveling with my TV work and each night when I get back to my hotel room I add a few lines and add some names. It’ll be from the heart, giving credit to the people who got me here.”

On his hitting style:

“I was a hitter, not just a home run hitter. I was about scoring runs, driving in runs. I knew I had to do something to help the team every night. (Sox hitting coach) Walt Hriniak had a whole lot to do with my approach in my first eight years in Chicago and me being here in Cooperstown. It was all about discipline. You knew you had to work hard every day.”

On his Dad, Frank Sr., who has passed away:

My Dad was my man. He saw something in me and it was push, push, push, all the time–he got me off that couch. Without him I wouldn’t be here. I keep thinking what a big smile he would have if he were still here. He’d be running around with No. 35 on his back, that’s the kind of person he was.”

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The World According to Tony

On the role of a manager:

“I’ve been with coaches in other sports and we talk about how our first responsibility is to create a frame of mind for the players. Once you have their attention you can go from there. I think I had a feel for it, but I got better and better over the years.”

On his time with the Sox, notably 1983 when the club won the AL West by 20 games. It was also the team’s first playoff appearance since the AL pennant-winning year of 1959.

“1983 was a magical year. We had big personalities, great leaders like Bull (Greg Luzinski) and Kooz (Jerry Koosman) and a great coaching staff.”

On Frank:

“He was the type of hitter that you had to take out of the game. He hit for power, average, hit to all fields. He was a marked man.”

On Harold Baines and the Hall of Fame:

“My heart aches for him. If he had only been healthy enough to get 3,000 hits.”

On his managerial career with the Sox, A’s and Cardinals:

“Thirty years and three great places. How lucky I’ve been.”

Yesterday’s Award Presentations

Yesterday afternoon the Hall of Fame Awards presentation took place at Doubleday Field, for years the site of exhibition games between American and National League teams. Author Roger Angell received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Former player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola, who was not in attendance, won the Hall’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and Texas Rangers’ broadcaster Eric Nadel was honored with the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.

The Parade of Legends

With thousands of fans lining the streets cheering them on, the Hall of Famers rode down Main Street last evening in trucks en route to the Museum. Here’s Frank and his wife Megan waving to the crowd.

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Main Street

Cooperstown’s main drag was again all abuzz yesterday with activity on another bright, sunny day. In addition to the thriving businesses we mentioned yesterday that were teeming with fans, other establishments enjoying the presence of the baseball faithful the past few days are the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, Mickey’s Place (as in Hall of Famer Mantle), Shoeless Joe’s and the Batter’s Up Restaurant. Again, where else can you find these places?

Among the former players signing yesterday were Pete RoseAndre DawsonMaury WillsDenny McLain, Bert Campaneris, Frank Howard, John RockerRyan Klesko and many of the players who signed earlier in the week that we mentioned yesterday.

Among the oddest sights yesterday on Main Street? Somebody I could swear was Babe Ruth and the craziest Harley you ever saw.

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A Hall of a Party

The White Sox hosted a party for Frank and Tony last night at Cooperstown’s Templeton Hall with friends and family celebrating the occasion. The Big Hurt took to the microphone upon his arrival and expressed what an honor it is to be entering the Hall. He also admitted his “knees will be knocking,” but is looking forward to the big day. Tony talked emotionally about his days with the Sox and led the crowd in singing “Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye.”

Frank

A Sox Fan’s Delight

Museum exhibits I thought you’d like to see.

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And While We’re in Cooperstown…

The Sox won their third straight last night with a 7-0 whitewash of the Twins. We go for the sweep of the four-game series today. Chris Sale was in vintage form. He won his 10th game of the season against a single loss via a brilliant five-hit shutout, which included a dozen strikeouts over eight innings–and he lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.88…Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer, Conor Gillaspie was 3-4 with a double two runs scored, Tyler Flowers singled and doubled and drove in a pair and Adam Eaton had two singles, two RBI and scored a run. Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a ninth-inning single. He has now recorded a hit in 34 of his last 35 games.

Photos of the Day

I guess you could say it was SoxFest East yesterday on Main Street.

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