Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

Abreu on Abreu

Monday, February 23, 2015 blog post

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Today’s News

First Take

Entering his second big-league season after an historic rookie year, Jose Abreu met with the media today for the first time this spring. Here are some of the highlights via an interpreter:

* “I cannot say that I will put up the same numbers or better. I just can say that I will try to do the best of me every day and help the team win games. If the numbers are the same as last year, it’s good for me. But my main focus right now is to try to be the best player possible and help the team.” 

* “My goal every day is to try to be better in the position and try to be closer to the perfection. I know perfection is not possible, but I always work for that, to be as close to perfection as could be.”

* “I learned how to handle the long season that is the major league season. I’m working on it right now. I’m trying to be in the best shape possible for the season, but not just for the beginning, for the whole season long…I came (here) more fresh. I know that I have to save my bullets or save my energy for the long season and not just throw it out in the first weeks.”

Jose also expressed how happy he is to have Adam LaRoche as a teammate, having heard he is an outstanding player and good person.

Around the Horn

Watch and listen to Adam Eaton, John Danks, Chris SaleDavid Robertson and Don Cooper on high expectations, new faces in camp and top prospect Carlos Rodon.

http://m.mlb.com/video/v38366383/white-sox-hold-high-expectations-going-into-2015

http://m.mlb.com/video/v38166383/sale-on-new-white-sox-teammates-goals-for-15-season

http://m.mlb.com/video/v38163783/robertson-discusses-his-role-on-the-2015-white-sox

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper

Legendary

John Legend and the rapper Common, a native South Sider, both have spent time at U.S. Cellular Field. Last night they were awarded an Oscar for the song “Glory” from the movie Selma. Congratulations!

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Sox Note of Note

Because of the club’s bench flexibility, Robin has indicated that it’s possible that the Sox will start the season with eight relievers.

Quote of the Day

Food for thought from Jeff Samardzija:

“Listen, I can get (hitters) out without even throwing a pitch.”

Photo of the Day

Fan-friendly Sox.

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Enter Adam LaRoche

Sunday, February 22, 2015

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Today’s News

Adam’s Arrival

First baseman/DH Adam LaRoche (pictured above) checked into camp today, two days before the full squad reports on Tuesday. It’s interesting to note that LaRoche, one of the club’s key acquisitions in the offseason, will be occupying Paul Konerko‘s old locker. He’s also here with his brother Andy, a third baseman who is a non-roster invitee (photo compliments of CSN’s Chuck Garfien).

Top Prospect Carlos Rodon: “Stay in the Background and Keep Quiet”

Rodon talks to the Trib…and confers with pitching guru Don Cooper.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-carlos-rodon-white-sox-spring-spt-0222-20150221-story.html

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Scorpions Invade Sox Camp–Really

A group of honest-to-goodness scorpions were seen at Camelback Ranch on Saturday. The eight-legged predators caused a bit of a scare, but no harm was done. Some media members looked at it as a natural progression–a Shark (Jeff Samardzija) officially arrived on Friday followed the next day by a group of arthropods.

Mark Your Calendars

MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series, which gives “inside access” to every team’s training camp, begins March 3.

The Sox will be featured on Wednesday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m., CT.

Quotes of the Day

* Manager Robin Ventura on the addition of Vince Coleman, one of the best basestealers of his time, serving as a baserunning instructor in spring training:

“We’re very fortunate to have him out there, especially with the basestealing stuff. I wouldn’t know what that is, but there are guys, there is a certain mentality of doing it. Especially with Adam [Eaton] leading off, he has the speed to steal more bases, so you want him to have that mindset that a guy like Vince had.”

* @Chuck Garfien: Jose Abreu in Spanish to the pitcher during his long hitting session:

“You’re going to need some ice.”

* Gordon Beckham on his return to the Sox:

“I feel like I have a good chance to go out there and win a job, that’s all I really want.”

* Coop on his conversations with newcomers Zach Duke and David Robertson:

“I said to them, ‘You know what I think when I see you two guys? There’s the 8th and 9th inning.’” 

Photo/Video of the Day

Robin on team leadership:

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-robin-ventura-on-white-sox-leaders-20150222-premiumvideo.html

Pitchers and Catchers Eve

Thursday, February 19, 2015

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Today’s News

Early Birds

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.

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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!

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/47150548/v37393383

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/v37393383

http://m.mlb.com/video/v37393283

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.

http://whitesox.mlb.com/cws/social/that.jsp?partnerId=as_cws_20150205_39986176&adbid=563362058939297794&adbpl=tw&adbpr=53197137

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.

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Happy Valentine’s Day From Your Chicago White Sox

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:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/fan_forum/soxlove.jsp

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10-Day Countdown to Pitchers and Catchers…

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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Today’s News

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 LaRocheoutfielder 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.

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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.

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/16463658/v37207153/?c_id=cws

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/16463658/v37207121/?c_id=cws

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/16463658/v37206481/?c_id=cws

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/16463658/v37206617

Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

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Quote of the Day

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Photo of the Day

Florida Gulf Coast University recently honored alum Chris Sale by retiring his No. 41 jersey.

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Sox Moves Create Wow Factor

Friday, December 19, 2014

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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

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/16/sports/baseball/ap-bba-revamped-white-sox.html?_r=1

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/dinner-may-have-changed-everything-white-sox

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/celebratory-mood-white-sox-introduce-new-trio-fans

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/ct-rick-hahn-white-sox-haugh-spt-1217-20141216-column.html

http://chicagosuntimes.com/sports/for-the-white-sox-it-was-a-great-week-after-haul/

http://www.shermanreport.com/chicago-news-harrelson-pumped-up-about-white-sox-moves-wont-cut-back-schedule/#sthash.QnHRgfUj.uxfs

http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/12/12/winter-meetings-winners-losers

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24827102/adam-laroches-lefty-power-a-great-fit-for-chisox-us-cellular-field

http://www.sportsmanias.com/tweets/article/548a34c4f7ed2f71200001d0

Home Boys

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.

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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.

(null)

One Era Ends, Another Begins 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

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Today’s News

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. SabathiaGordon Beckham, Jermaine Dye, Jose Uribe, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Uribe, Mark BuehrleA.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.

http://atmlb.com/YuYKYF

–And here’s the pregame ceremony in its entirety:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v36657651

A Photo Gallery

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MLB Tonight’s Tribute to Konerko

http://m.mlb.com/cws/video/topic/7417714/v36615913/?c_id=cws     

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):

http://atmlb.com/1vhi48B    

http://m.mlb.com/video/v36672611

http://atmlb.com/Yv8a6m

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 RamirezAvi Garcia and others who will be part of a winning White Sox future.

SoxFest 

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.

The Blog

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.

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Celebrating A Captain, All-Star, World Series Champion And The Face of Our Franchise 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Today’s News

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.

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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!”

konerko grand slam (original audio)

More Celebration of “The Paulie Moment”

http://voices.suntimes.com/sports/inside-the-white-sox/celebrating-paul-konerkos-world-series-grand-slam-with-videos-photos-and-gifs/

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Quotes of the Day 

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/96494528/white-sox-veteran-paul-konerkos-presence-will-be-felt-long-after-last-out

The Chairman on PK

http://m.mlb.com/video/v36637023

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:

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

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

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(Courtesy of John La Velle, @bportfish)

Weekend at Paulie’s

Friday, September 26, 2014

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Today’s News

The World According to PK

The Sox Captain shares 16 years of memories with Paul Konerko Day just a day away.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-paul-konerko-qa-spt-0926-20140926-story.html#page=2

Quote of the Day      

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.

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Tonight’s Game

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).

http://atmlb.com/1mwcJc3    

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Chris Bassitt’s Season: “Frustrating and then Awesome…”

http://www.bcsn.tv/news_article/show/423154

Big Bat

Many have said that Avi Garcia wields a big bat, but I’m not sure this is what they meant.

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

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

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Paulie Says Thanks and Goodbye 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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Today’s News

PK Memories

It was cold, almost crisp, in the batting cage at 8:30 a.m. on a recent September Saturday morning. With a doubleheader later that afternoon and evening, it was going to be a long, long day.

I started to spread baseballs, dozens and dozens, out around the floor of the cage. The cameramen began to set up the shots, checking their angles.

My phone buzzed with a text.

“I’m out in player parking lot, think door is locked. PK.”

Great, Paul Konerko is getting to the ballpark hours early to shoot a video to say thanks and goodbye and he’s locked out!

A quick call to security later, Paul is in the clubhouse getting dressed, a steaming coffee in his hand.

For the next four hours, Paul served as creator, writer, director, you-name-it, as we taped his message to Chicago and to White Sox fans.

Several times during the taping, I thought to myself how perfect the symbolism was. Empty ballpark. No one around. No sound. Just Paul Konerko thinking and working in a space he has lived in — dominated, really — for the past 16 seasons. Here’s a six-time All-Star, a World Series Champion, picking up baseballs, again and again, over and over. Each baseball, a memory.

And Paul was particular about which memories to include. Sure, the World Series grand slam was in, and the parade, with a shot of his family. Home runs, too. But he also wanted some of the painful moments. The twist of his knee. The fastballs to the face. That time he just missed a pitch with the potential winning runs on base. He knew the exact situation. Opposing pitcher, count, the location of the pitch.

“That was more than a decade ago,” I told him. “I’m not sure we can even find the footage.”

But for him it was yesterday. How quickly a season goes. How quickly a career starts, blossoms and then fades.

Paul felt like the batting cage was the right place to film this because this is where the work gets done. Where the effort and sweat here leads to a key base hit outside, under the lights, with cameras and fans screaming.

But picking up those baseballs, time after time, also reminded me of something more personal. Probably like any kid who grew up playing baseball, you remember the times you hit in the cage with your dad. As I picked up those balls with Paul that day, I thought of the countless times I did the same thing as a boy with my dad. You hit a round of BP, then picked up the balls. Another 20 swings, more balls. There was a rhythm to it. There was a routine. There was shared labor, effort and sweat. There was improvement, day after day. Every day.

And then, one day it ends.

“You guys have watched Paul play for 16 years,” Paul’s dad Hank told me Tuesday. “I’ve watched him for something like 32 years. It’s going to be hard.”

I bet Paul and his dad picked up quite a few baseballs over the years. And now it’s time for Paul to begin throwing batting practice to his sons.

One ball and one line drive at a time. The way a career is built and celebrated.

Here is Paulie’s goodbye:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v36552901

Screenshot 2014-09-25 09.11.07

Konerko Day

Just a couple of days until the Sox honor the captain. The pregame tribute on Saturday 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.

Where the Action is

Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone will broadcast Saturday’s game from Club Konerko (sections 158,159).

Appreciating Paulie

http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/09/24/paul-konerko-retiring-chicago-white-sox

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Quote of the Day

Paulie (with a smile) on what’s next after baseball (via Scott Merkin, whitesox.com):

“I’d really like to be good enough that I could play rhythm guitar in a bar band. If I could do that, it might trump everything that I’ve ever done in baseball.”

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a four-game series and the final games of the 2014 season. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.22) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (14-8, 3.18) for KC.

Plays of the Day

In his final start of 2014, Chris Sale was his usual Cy Young Award-caliber self, allowing just a run and four hits while striking out 10 in six innings of work in yesterday’s loss to the Tigers. Getting a no-decision, he ended the season with a 12-4 record and a 2.17 earned run average, which will likely earn him the American League ERA title…Dayan Viciedo belted an RBI triple (click on link below).

http://atmlb.com/Y4sVpl

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Sale’s Figures

With a pair of Ks in the first inning yesterday, Sale became only the fourth pitcher in White Sox history to compile 200 or more strikeouts for two straight seasons. His 10 strikeouts, which gave Chris 208 for the season, earned him the franchise record of 18 career double-digit strikeout games surpassing Hall of Famer Ed Walsh. According to @ckamka, Sale’s 434 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons is the most by a Sox pitcher since Walsh (509) in 1911-12.

Sale’s 10-strikeout afternoon:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v36558879

Tomorrow’s Schedule

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.

Photos of the Day

Behind the scenes at Paulie’s video shoot:

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