Results tagged ‘ alex rios ’

Coming Home…Red Sox Up Next

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Today’s News
 
The Game
 
Final:  Angels 6, Sox 2
 
Beckham Ready for his Closeup?
 
In his first two games (yesterday and today) rehabbing with Class AAA Charlotte, Gordon Beckham went 5-9 with three runs scored and two runs batted in at Buffalo.
 
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Quote of the Day
 
Adam Dunn, who has had a hot bat in recent days, talked to the Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen about returning to the lineup today after leaving yesterday’s game with back spasms:
 
“Yesterday was pretty bad. Now it’s good, it’s fine. It’s nothing that I don’t think will be a long-term deal.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Today:  Alex Rios’s run-scoring double in the eighth inning that got the Sox on the board and extended his personal hitting streak to 14.
 
Yesterday: I posted before yesterday’s game so I didn’t get the chance to give props to Hector Gimenez, who went 4-5 with a three-run homer. 
 
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Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: Dylan Axelrod (1-3) for Sox, Jon Lester (6-0) for Boston.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that 34 of the White Sox’s 42 games this season have been decided by three runs or less.
 
Photo of the Day
 
Axelrod, who earned his first win last Wednesday with a gutty performance against the Twins, will challenge the undefeated Lester tomorrow night.
 
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Sox Look to Give Robin his 100th Victory as Skipper

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Angels at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: Jose Quintana (2-0) for the Sox, Jerome Williams (1-1) for L.A.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Konerko, DH; Dunn, 1B; Viciedo, LF; Keppinger, 3B; Flowers, C; Greene, 2B.

Robin

A victory tonight will give RV his 100th win as manager of the Sox.

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Kitty

Ron Kittle, the 1983 American League Rookie of the Year, will be the next member of the ’83 “Winning Ugly” Sox to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during our season-long Sunday tribute to the A.L. West championship team. Kitty will do the honors tomorrow night before the nationally televised game vs. the Angels on ESPN.

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Good Works

The White Sox Volunteer Corps along with Sox players Alex Rios and Matt Thornton, pitching coach Don Cooper and broadcaster Darrin Jackson were out in full force today at the Park Manor Elementary School in Chicago. Here’s Alex, Matt and two volunteers doing their part to beautify the school.

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Quote of the Day

Sox GM Rick Hahn on the club’s early season performance. The bottom line? Keep the faith:

“We did feel going into the season that starting pitching was going to be one of our strengths and thus far it’s been tested, but it’s also been proven to be one of the strengths, which is nice…We have been disappointed the way things have started from an offensive standpoint and even defensively has been a little bit erratic and not up to the standards we set last year. That being said, we do have a fair amount of guys with some substantial track records behind them which gives you reason to believe that there will be some improvement back toward those career norms. We are talking about a team that last year was fourth in the league in runs scored and there’s no reason to believe that this permutation of that team with some improvements in some areas and a lot of the same personnel in others is going to wind up at the bottom of the league in runs scored. So we expect there to be a correction fairly soon, but thus far it’s been disappointing and it’s time to get going.

“…You always want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to try to push that magic button and make that move that’s going to solve whatever problem may be in front of you, whether it’s a health standpoint, or depth or the bench or as we just talked about, our  offense. You do have to try to let things unfold and give guys the chance to show their true colors and their true performance levels over an extended period of time. Obviously you don’t wait for that indefinitely and you don’t spend the whole summer just waiting around and hoping that things are going to get better. But this early on there’s still the expectation that guys are going to return to their previous norms.”

Play of the Day

Dayan Viciedo’s two-run double in last night’s 7-5 loss to the Angels, his first game back since returning from the DL.

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Angels at U.S. Cellular Field (7:05 p.m., CT, ESPN). Chris Sale (3-2) for the Sox, C.J. Wilson (3-2) for the Halos.

Did You Know…

…that White Sox starters own a fine 2.78 ERA during the last 20 games?

Photo/Video of the Day

In last night’s game, Alejandro De Aza gave the Sox an early lead with his second consecutive leadoff home run and his seventh homer of the season. 

http:/atmlb.com/18zNGL5 

Thanks Danks

Monday, May 6, 2013

Today’s News

The Game

Final: White Sox 2, Royals 1 (11 innnings)

Highlights: Jordan Danks’ long solo homer in the 11th proved to be the game-winner in a very sweet victory…The Sox loaded the bases in the ninth on singles by Jeff Keppinger, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn and with two outs tied the score at 1-1 on an Alexei Ramirez single…After giving up a run in the first inning and throwing 57 pitches through two, Chris Sale settled down and was superb, going 7.1 innings. He gave up just six hits, didn’t allow a walk and struck out five. His pitch count ended up at 119, tying a career high…Matt Lindstrom (0.2), Matt Thornton (1.0), Jesse Crain (1.0) and Addison Reed (1.0) pitched scoreless ball in the final 3.2 innings. Reed got credit for his 11th save.

Surgery for Gavin

Gavin Floyd will undergo season-ending surgery tomorrow in New York City to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his elbow. Expected recovery time for the 30-year-old Floyd is approximately 14-19 months. Surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek.

Viciedo Update

Dayan, on the DL with a strained oblique, starts his 4 or 5 game rehab stint tonight with Class AAA Charlotte in Columbus, OH.

Family Field Day

White Sox fans have the opportunity to experience U.S. Cellular Field like the pros on Saturday, May 18 at Family Field Day. Our annual event provides fans the chance to play catch on the outfield grass, warm-up in the bullpens and visit the dugouts. Tickets for the event are $30 per adult and $12 per child with all proceeds benefitting White Sox Charities.

Additionally, we will be holding the Garage Sale in the Patio area from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. with free admission. The Garage Sale allows fans to shop for game-worn items including jerseys, game-used equipment, such as bats and gloves, along with other memorabilia. All sales from the Garage Sale benefit White Sox Charities.

Today we had the chance to catch up with long-time White Sox fan and Tinley Park native Shane Mosely. Shane has been attending Family Field Day for the last six years with his wife and son. This year, the couple has a newborn son that will experience U .S. Cellular Field for the first time at Family Field Day.

Upon chatting with Shane, he provided some insight about what drew him to the event and what keeps them coming back.

“Family Field Day is an atmosphere unparalleled by game days or other events” said Shane. “At Family Field Day, you have the opportunity to relax and explore U.S. Cellular Field surrounded by other families that are also passionate Sox fans.”

The event also allows a White Sox fan to experience the field from a player’s perspective, something that even the best seats don’t allow. Shane’s oldest son, now six, loves exploring the field—from the dugouts to the bullpen.

“He pretends to manage the team from the dugout; phone in calls and make base running signs. In the bullpen, he imagines himself warming up as a reliever.”

Family Field Day isn’t only for kids, though. Last year, the Mosley’s brought Shane’s father-in-law who, according to Shane, had more fun than anyone else there.

“He loved playing catch on the grass” said Shane. “He was able to feel like a ballplayer, even at his age”. 

Family Field Day has become a tradition for the Mosley’s and part of that tradition means stopping by the Garage Sale to purchase a game-used bat. Each year, they purchase a cracked bat—Shane noted they’re surprisingly affordable—as a memento of their experience.

“We’ve purchased something each year we’ve attended Family Field Day. It’s a perfect way to remember the event.”

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Play of the Day

Mr. Danks’ extra-inning blast, which proved to be the difference. It was Jordan’s second career home run and second game-winner. Last season, on August 10 against the A’s, he became the second player in franchise history to hit his first major-league homer on a game-ending blast (Dave Gallagher did it in 1988).

Quote of the Day

Jake Peavy on his health status after missing a start due to back problems:

“I think we’re all on point to go on Wednesday night (against the Mets). I’m super excited about that. Can’t thank our training staff, Herm (Schneider) and A.T. (Allen Thomas), enough–please give them the due respect. A few days ago I didn’t feel good at all…For me to feel the way I did and only to miss one start, I can’t thank them enough getting me back out there…Hopefully we can help turn this thing around and start getting in the win column more often.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule 

White Sox vs. Mets at Citi Field, New York (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Hector Santiago (1-1) for the Sox, Matt Harvey (4-0) for the Mets.

Did You Know…

…that nine of the Sox’s last 24 games against the Royals have gone into extra innings (including the last two)?

Photo of the Day

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Hero of the Day!

That’s More Like It

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
The Game
 
Final: Sox 3, Indians 2
 
Highlights:  Alex Rios’s two-run homer in the fifth, his sixth of the season, proved to be the difference in the game…Jose Quintana, now 2-0, got credit for the victory. He worked 5+ innings, allowing two runs and four hits. His consecutive scoreless innings streak reached a career high of 18.2 IP before he gave up a run in the sixth…Jeff Keppinger collected a pair of hits and an RBI…Adam Dunn drew three walks.
 
Two Guys Talking About the Weather
 
WGN meterologist Tom Skilling, at the ballpark talking to fans on Weather Day, spent some time chatting with Conor Gillaspie before the game in the Sox dugout. The subject of the conversation? Conor’s interest in becoming a meterologist.
 
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Supporting the Community in a BIG way
 
I’m proud to say that today we announced the Sox will be awarding charitable donations of $1.64 million for 2013.
 
Donations include $660,000 in grants to 29 Chicagoland non-profit groups through the White Sox Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund. Additionally, Chicago White Sox Charities awarded grants totaling $119,500 to seven agencies providing services throughout the community.
 
White Sox Charities also made donations of nearly $861,000 to support the Sox’s urban baseball initiatives and to funding non-profit organizations such as City Year Chicago and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. 
 
This year’s grants, along with other charitable donations, moves the team’s total giving to more than $17 million since the inception of White Sox Charities in 1990.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin on his decision to start newly promoted Blake Tekotte today in centerfield:
 
“Just to get him out there. He’s been here, he hasn’t really played a whole lot. I don’t like guys just coming up, sitting here without getting in there, getting their feet wet…Once you get him out there you ease their feelings and nerves, or whatever it is, on the field. Just get him out there and see what he can do.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Rios delivered the big blow, but let’s give it to the bullpen–Nate Jones, Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Addison Reed–for holding off the Tribe in the final four innings to preserve the victory. Reed recorded his sixth save. 
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Rays at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN). Starters: Chris Sale (1-2) for the Sox, Jeremy Hellickson (1-1) for Tampa Bay.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Sale struck out 15 Rays last May 28? It was the second highest total in Sox history (Jack Harshman K’d 16 in 1954) and a Tropicana Field record.
 
Photo/Video of the Day
 
Check out Rios’s homer:

A Fresh Start in Cleveland

Friday, April 12, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (6:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox, Justin Masterson (2-0) for the Tribe.
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, 1B; Konerko, DH; Viciedo, LF; Gillaspie, 3B; Ramirez, SS; Gimenez, C.

Heath Joins Sox
 
RHP Deunte Heath has been recalled from Class AAA Charlotte to replace Gordon Beckham, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured left wrist and will have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday. In three innings pitched in two relief appearances at Charlotte, Heath had a 0.00 ERA with six strikeouts. He spent most of last season with the Knights, going 4-3 with a 1.48 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 36 games, which included four starts. In three appearances with the Sox in 2012 he allowed a run in two innings pitched over two games. Here’s the newest member of the Sox pitching staff.
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Honoring 42
 
Fifty members of the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) youth baseball program will attend a special screening of the movie “42” tomorrow afternoon in Country Club HIlls, IL. The Sox have arranged for the youngsters to view the film, which is based on the life of Jackie Robinson and his breaking of baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Through the ACE program, the Sox give rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play against other highly competitive groups on traveling teams. Athletes 13-18 years of age are challenged and given the unique chance to play among elite teams as well as prepare for success in life after baseball.

Sox Notes of Note
 
Alex Rios has hit safely in all nine games this season and owns a 15-game hitting streak dating back to 2012, hitting .456 with five home runs and 12 RBI…the White Sox bullpen leads the American League with a 1.84 ERA and is tied for second with a .200 opponents batting average.
 
Quote of the Day
 
Robin on the series in Washington and the Beckham injury: “It’s tough. You’ve got to be able to withstand all that and keep going. It’s still early.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Conor Gillaspie, inserted in the starting lineup in the wake of Beckham’s injury, singled and doubled in last night’s 7-4 loss to the Nationals to up his batting average to .438.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field (3:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Chris Sale (1-0) for the Sox, Zach McAllister (0-1) for the Indians.
 
Did You Know…

…that Paul Konerko leads all active players with 46 home runs and 171 RBI vs. the Indians?

Photo of the Day
 
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The White Sox ACE participants will view “42”  just a day after the movie opened today in theaters nationwide.

Final Day in D.C.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-0 for the Sox), Dan Haren (0-1) for the Nats.
 
Sox Starting LIneup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B; Rios, RF; Dunn, LF; Konerko, 1B; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Flowers, C; Axelrod, P.
 
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Beckham
 
A fractured hamate bone in his left wrist will keep Gordon out of action for an expected six weeks. He will have surgery in the next few days. A corresponding roster move will be made tomorrow.
 
Coop
 
He’ll miss the rest of the road trip to recover from diverticulitis. Minor league pitching coordinator Curt Hasler will join the team in Cleveland to help out in the bullpen. Bobby Thigpen will continue working with Robin in the dugout.
 
Hawkins Goes Deep–Twice
 
Top Sox prospect Courtney Hawkins (below) smashed a pair of two-run homers last night in Winston-Salem’s 5-2 victory over Frederick. The first one was hit in the first inning over the 400-foot marker in dead center field to give the Dash an early 2-0 lead.
 
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True Story

So it’s much harder than I thought to get into a cemetery.

This morning, I decided to walk over to Arlington National Cemetery and then walk around those hallowed grounds.  Our hotel’s concierge assured me that I could reach the cemetery easily on foot, so off I went.  Well, I technically reached the cemetery’s walls easily.  The getting in part was not so easy.

Walking along the wall, the first gate I came to was locked tight.  A little further along, I ran into a manned gate that marked the edge of the cemetery and a military installation (Fort Myer, which I didn’t know even existed).  Three guys manned the gate.

“Hey, can I get into the cemetery from here,” I asked.  “I just want to walk around.”

“Do you have an ID?”

“No,” I laughed.  “All I have is a hotel room key.  I don’t want to go onto the base, I just want to get into the cemetery.  I didn’t know it would be this hard.  Can I walk all the way around?”

“It’s a long way.”

“OK, well right down there, the stone wall to the cemetery is only waist high, can I just jump over it?”

At this point, one guard, an older guy, said, “You want to jump over the fence?”

“Well, I’m just trying to get inside the cemetery.”

A younger guard quickly added, “Only if I don’t see you …”  Now, he seemed to be smiling as he said this, but I also noticed that he was armed with an M-4 rile.

I could just imagine the headline.

“White Sox executive shot while breaking into Arlington National Cemetery.”

So I start walking.  And walking.  And I can now tell you there is no way into Arlington National Cemetery by foot from Arlington. 

Determined, at this point, not to be defeated, I went back to the nearest Metro Stop, hopped on the next train and entered Arlington Cemetery by the normal visitors route.

Stating the obvious, but a walk through Arlington is truly a moving and humbling experience, so many “Unknown” headstones from every war.

Today, I happened to pass the grave of Abner Doubleday (see photo below), long claimed as the “inventor” of baseball.

Yesterday, we had taken a tour of the Pentagon and one of our tour guides, Seaman Tom Williams of Oklahoma City, came to the game last night with several of his other guides.  Seaman Williams mentioned that he had spent a year as a member of the color guard at Arlington, serving in over 500 funerals.

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Braves Arrive

I ran into former White Sox hitting coach (and current Braves hitting coach) Greg Walker in the hotel lobby this morning.  The Braves are in town early before they begin a series with the Nationals tomorrow night.

 
Quote of the Day
 
Beckham on his injury: “It’s frustrating, but it is what it is. We’ll get the surgery done and I’ll work hard and get back. I’m not really worried about it.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Alex Rios went 2-4 with a double and RBI in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Nats. He owns an eight-game hitting streak, tied for the longest active streak in the American League, and has hit safely in his last 14 contests dating back to September 26, 2012. He ranks among the A.L. leaders in slugging percentage (3rd, .839), home runs (T3rd, 4), average (4th, .419), RBI (T8th, 8) and on-base percentage (T8th, .471).
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (6:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: Jose Quintana (0-0) for the Sox, Justin Masterton (2-0) for the Tribe.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that all eight Sox games this season have been decided by three runs or less?
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Happy Birthday! Alejandro De Aza celebrates No. 29 today.

 

Looking to Rebound

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
Tonight’s Game
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. (6:05 pm, CT, CSN). Starters: Gavin Floyd (0-1) for the Sox, Jordan Zimmermann (1-0) for Washington.
 
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Keppinger, 2B, Rios, RF; Dunn, LF; Konerko, 1B; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Flowers, C; Floyd, RHP.
 
Home Cooking
 
Tonight’s game bodes well for Gavin. He calls Annapolis, MD home and has had a good measure of success when he’s pitched in nearby Baltimore and Washington.
 
In his four starts in Baltimore he is 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 17 strikeouts.
In his two starts in Washington he is 0-1, but has posted a 2.57 ERA and 11 K’s.
 
Six starts, a 3-1 record, a 2.38 ERA and 28 strikeouts. Pretty impressive.
 
Beckham
 
Gordon injured his left wrist last night while fouling off a pitch in the third inning. X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day. He’ll test the wrist on Friday.
 
Coop
 
He’s improving and the hope is that he’ll travel to Cleveland with the team after Thursday night’s game.
 
Uni Change
 
I’m sure eagle-eyed White Sox fans noticed the subtle change in our road uniforms. The black and white piping on the uniform pants has been changed to one thinner black stripe.
 
Danks
 
According to RV, John Danks threw six innings yesterday in extended spring training: “There was more velocity and he said he felt great.”
 
When in D.C…
 
Several White Sox staff members woke up bright and early today and headed over for a private tour of The Pentagon, arranged by Assistant Trainer Brian Ball and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk.

The building is more than impressive, with memorabilia, photos, paintings and history exhibits lining its 17 miles of hallways (we only walked a little over one mile on our tour).

Among the sights:  tour guides (our two were from the Navy and Army) who walk backwards the entire way … a salute-free courtyard (“otherwise all everyone would do all day is salute one another,” according to our guide) … a moving memorial to the victims of 9/11 attack on the building and the nation … and a fly-by of the office of Naval Secretary Ron Maybus to say hello.  The Secretary – who threw out a first pitch at a White Sox game last year when he was in Chicago to commission the USS Illinois submarine – wasn’t around.

The resounding takeway for me was that while the 9/11 attacks seem, in some ways to be long ago, they are very real at The Pentagon where daily reminders line every hallway, where employees can worship in a chapel near where the plane hit the building, and where a look outside shows a memorial arbor of small trees and sculptures.  It was very moving and made you appreciate the cost and sacrifice of the past 12 years.

Of course, like any good tour, we concluded in The Pentagon gift shop where a few challenge coins were purchased and where Head Trainer Herm Schneider then “briefed the media.” (See photo below).

Don’t worry folks, The Pentagon was in good hands. And the other question is, how in the world did these guys get into The Pentagon?)

 

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South Side Sox
 
It was good to see Jim Margalus of the popular website, South Side Sox, at the ballpark in D.C. last night. @southsidesox
 
Rave Review
 
Check out this story from mediapost.com, which applauds the Sox’s success in reaching families.
 
 
Quote(s) of the Day
 
Robin on…
 
The silver lining in last night’s 8-7 loss to the Nats in the series opener: “When you lose, you always look at the fact that you lose, but we kept battling back and getting close…”
 
On managing a National League game: “I think it’s good team-wise. Players get more action.”
 
Play(s) of the Day
 
Paul Konerko’s three-run homer in the seventh inning and Alex Rios’s two-run blast in the ninth, his fourth in as many games, in last night’s defeat. 
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Nationals at Nationals Park (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Dylan Axelrod (0-0) for the Sox, Dan Haren (0-1) for the Nats.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that despite the Sox being on the road in D.C., chants of Paul-ie, Paul-ie reverberated throughout the ballpark after Konerko’s home run?
 
Photo(s) of the Day
 
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Some sightseeing in the nation’s capital after The Pentagon visit. Here’s the Mall with the Washington Monument and Capitol building in the background and the awe-inspiring tribute to a great Illinoisian at the Lincoln Memorial.

 

A Win to Savor

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Today’s News
 
King Felix Dethroned
 
Facing “King Felix” Hernandez is never an easy task. But with a revamped lineup featuring five lefthanded hitters against the tough righty, the Sox rose to the occasion and defeated the 2010 Cy Young Award winner and the Mariners this afternoon, 4-3. Alex Rios delivered the big blow with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, his second blast in as many games. Conor Gillaspie, in his first start in a Sox uniform, tripled and scored on a Hector Gimenez sacrifice fly in the fifth. The fourth Sox run scored in the seventh on a Alejandro De Aza sac fly that scored Gillaspie, who followed up his key triple with a single and moved to third on an Alexei Ramirez double. 
 
Pitching-wise, starter Dylan Axelrod was outstanding in 5.2 innings of work, allowing only one unearned run on three hits. Donnie Veal (who got credit for the victory), Nate Jones and Jesse Crain ended the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively, by inducing key outs. Addison Reed recorded his third save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
 
Take a look at the Rios homer:
 
 
The Windy City
 
While Spring arrived in the third inning today with temperatures reaching 65 degrees, the windy conditions were the closest you can get to San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
 
A Cold Night
 
It was very cold last night, but not necessarily the coldest day anyone could remember around here.
 
“When I went out to the mound to get (Matt) Lindstrom last night,” Sox manager Robin Ventura laughed this morning, “I got out there and thought, “Man, it’s really cold out here.'”
 
But Ventura recalls a night game when the Sox faced Roger Clemens.
 
“It was like last night but even colder,” he said. “We sent the batboys out to buy tennis racquet grips for the bats.”
 
PK Climbing the Ladder
 
With his base hit last night, Paul Konerko moved past Frank Thomas into sole possession of third place on the all-time White Sox hit list with 2,137. Only Hall of Famers Luke Appling (2,749) and Nellie Fox (2,470) rank above Paulie.
 
The Third Man
 
Since most teams don’t carry a third catcher on their roster, one lucky position player is always designated as the team’s “third catcher” and spends time in spring training and during the season honing his emergency skills behind the plate. For the Sox this year, it is Gillaspie.
 
At one point in the 1990s, it was Robin…”for about 20 minutes,” the skipper joked.
 
Ventura described a game where the Sox started a man down. Ron Karkovice was on the DL and Mike “Spanky” LaValliere gave it a go but a few innings into the game, warned he might not make it nine innings.
 
A quick look up and down the bench showed few candidates. RV volunteered.
 
“A lefty was pitching, so I wasn’t playing that day,” he recounts. “I put on the gear and they drove me around the tunnel to the bullpen in a golf cart. I went out and Mark Salas gave me a quick tutorial on how to catch. So I’m down in the bullpen catching and apparently (Sox GM) Ron Schueler saw me. He called down and said, ‘Get him out of there.'”
 
And that’s how Robin’s career as an emergency catcher lasted 20 minutes.
 
I told him he should have put the equipment on and then make a dramatic run out to the bullpen.
 
1983
 
Beginning tomorrow, the White Sox will commemorate their 1983 American League West division championship by wearing ’83 replica uniforms for every Sunday home game. Those “Winning Ugly” Sox, managed by Tony LaRussa, won 99 games and finished the season 20 games ahead of the second-place Kansas City Royals.
 
Here are Reed and coach Harold Baines, one of the stars of that ’83 team, modeling the vintage unis along this year’s retro racers. They are “Racing Pudge” (Carlton Fisk), “Racing Harold” and “Racing Kitty” (Ron Kittle). Fisk and Kittle, of course, were also key cogs on the ’83 team with Gary, IN native Kittle winning the A.L. Rookie of the Year award.
 
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Familiar Voice
 
When you sit down tonight to watch the NCAA Final Four semifinal games, you might hear the familiar voice of White Sox PA announcer Gene Honda, who once again will miss a few Sox games this homestand to call another NCAA championship.
 
A Day to Remember
 
Today was pretty special for Sox backup catcher Hector Gimenez, a switch-hitter who was in the lineup today against Hernandez. His Dad was here from Venezuela and it was the first time the senior Gimenez saw his son play in the major leagues. Hector delivered with a key sac fly.

 

Happy Birthday
 
A happy 49th birthday to Ken Williams. A piece of the famous Levy carrot cake was delivered in the second inning to help him celebrate the occasion.
 
Quote(s) of the Day
 
Robin on Axelrod’s performance:
 
“Ax was great. He did what he needed to do to get us to that point, then Rios with a big homer. He showed he could pitch with anybody.”
 
RV on Gillaspie’s day:
 
“He looked good today. For Conor, he wants to be a storm chaser, it’s a perfect day for him…He’s a tough kid, plays hard and has a compact swing that has a lot of pop with it, too.”
 
Play of the Day
 
The Rios homer, but honorable mention goes to Gillaspie and Axelrod
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) in the rubber game of the series. Probable starters: Chris Sale for the Sox, Hisashi Iwakuma for Seattle.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Jake Peavy, who will officially be presented with his 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award” before tomorrow’s series finale vs. the Mariners, is the third pitcher (sixth time) in White Sox history to win the award, joining lefthanders Jim Kaat (1974-75) and Mark Buehrle (2009-11).
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Dylan excels while “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Sale Sharp, Short Goes Long (Twice)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today’s News

Avoiding Sale is a Good Idea for Any Opponent

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, now with the Rangers, stopped in the visitor’s clubhouse this afternoon in Surprise to say hello to former teammates, coaches and staff. Among his first targets were visiting clubhouse manager Gabe Morell, strength coach Dale Torborg and today’s starting pitcher Chris Sale.

When asked by coach Harold Baines why he wasn’t playing against his former team, Pierzynski said “I have to pack. Plus Sale’s pitching, I don’t want to face that in March.”

A.J.’s teammates undoubtedly wish they hadn’t seen Chris today as the Sox’s Opening Day starter allowed just one hit (a solo home run to Geovany Soto) with no walks and five strikeouts in four innings as the Sox defeated Texas, 11-3, on 18 hits. Sale finished the spring with a perfect 4-0 record and a 3.86 ERA.

Two Decades Later…

Twenty years ago on Opening Day at then-New Comiskey Park, Bo Jackson dramatically returned from hip replacement surgery with a homer in his first at-bat against the Yankees in an 11-6 White Sox victory. He then proceeded to be a significant contributor for the Sox’s 1993 division champions and even hit a three-run homer in the 4-2 win over the Mariners in the division-clinching game in Chicago.

Next Monday during Opening Day fesitivities at U.S. Cellular Field, Bo will have the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Sox and Royals get down to business. Game time is 3:10 p.m., CT.

The Ponce family–Chicago Tonight‘s Phil and his sons Anthony (NBC Chicago) and Dan (WGN-TV and the popular vocal group Straight No Chaser)–will sing the national anthem.

Opening Day Seats No Longer Available

Seats for next Monday’s opener have been sold out. A very limited number of standing-room only tickets to the game are available at the U.S. Cellular Field Ticket Office. Tickets do remain available for the remainder of the homestand (vs. Kansas City and Seattle, April 3-7).

Rios Not Concerned

Alex Rios said tests revealed no structural back issues, just muscular. He said he still feels a little pinch, but is much better today and he anticipates playing in the Milwaukee exhibition games Friday and Saturday and being ready for Opening Day. He stressed several times that there is nothing to worry about and that he’s not concerned.

Roster Moves

The White Sox made the following moves prior to today’s game against the Rangers:

* Placed LHP John Danks on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) to continue his recovery from left shoulder surgery.

* Placed LHP Leyson Septimo on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) with a left shoulder strain.

* Reassigned LHP David Purcey to minor-league camp.

Bring Gifts

Thoughtful pitcher Gavin Floyd certainly brightened the mood in the coaches’ locker room this morning when he popped in the door with a box of a dozen donuts.

No one was hurt in the ensuing melee, and one unnamed bench coach happily ate two Boston Crème-filled donuts.

“Boy, that’s an easy group to buy for,” I said to Gavin as we walked out of the room.

“He’s a Sports Star, But He’s Also Your Friend”

A look at the remarkable impact being made by Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWnSfkZ95gg

Quote of the Day

Rick Hahn on Jeff Keppinger’s ability to fall out of bed and hit: “As he puts it, his favorite position is the batter’s box.”

Play(s) of the Day

Right fielder Brandon Short had to corral a blown-away umbrella in the third inning of today’s game. The umbrella flew down onto the field from the main concourse, interrupting play before Short grabbed the invader to loud cheers from the crowd. The very next inning, Short got more applause from the Sox fans in the stands when he hit a three-run homer to give the Sox a lead they never relinquished–and in the ninth Angel Sanchez and Short hit back-to-back roundtrippers. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run shot of his own in the Sox’s five-run sixth.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in the Sox’s final Cactus League game of the Spring (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Matt Zaleski will start for the Sox, Carlos Carrasco for the Tribe.

Did You Know…

…that ESPN’s Sport Science named Jackson, who was a Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn and an All-Pro with the NFL’s Los Angeles Raiders in addition being an MLB All-Star, the Greatest Athlete of All Time.

Photo of the Day

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Brandon Short: What a Day!

Alex Delivers, Alexei Laughs and “Off-Day” Fun on the Golf Course

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today’s News

Rios to the Rescue

In Wednesday night’s WBC elimination game between Puerto Rico and Italy, Alex Rios was a key factor in PR’s 4-3 win. He singled in the eighth inning and scored the go-ahead run on Sox minor leaguer Andy Gonzalez’s infield single. Let’s hope Alex celebrates like this frequently in 2013.

Rios WBC

Alexei’s Passion

Apparently, a certain White Sox shortstop from Cuba has a certain passion for more than just baseball.

Try the canned air horn.

A grinning Alexei Ramirez can often be heard well before he’s seen in camp over the past few days, sneaking up on unsuspecting teammates and startling them with a burst of an air phone.

Then he laughs.

In the shower.

Alexei laughs.

In the clubhouse.

Alexei laughs.

Echoing down the hallway.

Alexei’s laughter following right behind.

Where Can You Find the Sox on an Off-Day?

For many players and coaches, it’s on the golf course. Two White Sox foursomes tackled TPC Scottsdale on the off-day Tuesday. Here manager Robin Ventura lines up a putt, while director of team travel Ed Cassin, an unidentified golfer in a white floppy hat, coach Daryl Boston and caddie look on. “Unidentified” was latter pegged as bench coach Mark Parent. For more off-day action, see Photo(s) of the Day.

AZ golf

Congratulations are in Order

Darius Day (below on the left) and Rahman Williams (right), both Chicago White Sox ACE participants, have verbally committed to  play baseball in college. Day, who attends Simeon Career Academy, will be heading to the University of Arizona. Williams, who attends Morgan Park Academy, will attend the University of Michigan. Both will enroll in the fall of 2014.

Ace commitments

Quote of the Day

Bobby Thigpen: “You took a photo of me golfing? Worst round of my life.” The photo in question is below.

Play of the Day

Dewayne Wise homered, his second of the spring, Blake Tekotte tripled and drove in two runs and Jordan Danks went 2-2 with an RBI in the Sox’s 12-4 loss to the Angels in Tempe.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Cubs at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox while the Cubs starter is TBA.

Did You Know…

…that while the College of Cardinals selected the first Pope Francis, the first Francis to play for the White Sox was Chicagoan Francis (Frank) Roth in 1906 (compliments of @soxnerd on Twitter)

Photo(s) of the Day

Thiggy golf

McEwing golf

Here are bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen (top) and third base coach Joe McEwing on the famous Par 3 at the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. Can you hear the roar?

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