Results tagged ‘ Camelback Ranch ’

It’s Day 2 at Camelback Ranch-Glendale

Sunday, February 16, 2014

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Today’s News

A Silver Lining

Chris Sale, talking about what he learned from last season, via Colleen Kane’s story in today’s Trib:

“Any time you go through something like that or something negative you always try to bring some kind of positive from it,” Sale said. “Last year made me a better pitcher, a better teammate and a better person because anyone can start throwing stuff and swearing at people and pointing fingers, but that really made me kind of grow up in a sense of knowing that these guys are giving everything they have for me and it’s just not working out.

“It’s not any single person’s fault. It’s not going to do me any good to grab someone and shake ‘em, probably because they’re bigger than me too. But you have to work together, and last year made us work together and really be closer in terms of off the field and in the clubhouse.”

Robin on Derek Jeter

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120701&content_id=34292888&vkey=news_nyy&c_id=nyy

Quote of the Day

“Have you been there all night?”

Head Trainer Herm Schneider to Sox relief pitcher Nate Jones who was receiving treatment for his strained glute early this morning after being hooked up to the exact same machine all afternoon yesterday.

Sox Notes of Note

Coop:  Reliever Matt Lindstrom was impressive in his bullpen session today and newcomer Felipe Paulino is throwing without any restrictions and will throw in the bullpen tomorrow…More Coop: No clear cut candidate for the closer role at this point.

Photo of the Day

Newly acquired third baseman Matt Davidson meets with the media. Among other things, he said he’s working with hitting coach Todd Steverson to use the whole field. 

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Leaving Glendale

March 27, 2013

Today’s News

Getaway Day

As someone noted today, the last day of spring training is a lot like the last day of finals in college. You are exhausted and a little fuzzy. There’s still one more hurdle to get through and then you are excited about what comes next.

For us here, the last day involves cleaning up, checking out of the condo or hotel room, turning in the rental car at the ballpark, loading your luggage onto the right truck (the one heading to the airport), sneaking in a quick workout and then boxing up the office.

After today’s game, we bus to Sky Harbor Airport and then get to Midway as quickly as we can. I can’t speak for everyone, but what I miss most (other than my wife and kids, of course!) is my car, my TV and my bed. Forty-five days is a long time to be away.

But I would love to bring some of this Phoenix weather with us for Opening Day.

Thursday is an off day for everyone and then the team will bus to Milwaukee for Friday and Saturday’s exhibition games with the Brewers at Miller Park. Sunday, the White Sox will work out at 10:00 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Field. Robin will meet with the media at 9:45 a.m. and our players will be available post workout. Being Easter, I am sure everyone–staff, players and media–will try to make the day as short as possible. The Royals are scheduled to work out later that day at 1:00 p.m. and then all focus will be on Monday’s Opening Day at 3:00 p.m.

Thanks for the Memories

White Sox starters left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to cheers from the great Sox fans in Glendale. The faithful was rewarded as the Sox tied the game, 4-4, on an Angel Sanchez two-run homer in the eighth inning and won, 5-4, on a bases loaded walk to Steve Tolleson in the bottom of the ninth.

Life is Good 

It is certainly going to be a special few days for Chris Sale.

On Friday night, his alma mater, upstart Florida Gulf Coast University, plays Florida in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament with the chance of reaching the Elite Eight on Sunday.

On Saturday, Sale will celebrate his 24th birthday and on Monday he starts for the Sox on Opening Day.

Pretty cool.

Quote(s) of the Day

Skipper Ventura on his Troops

On Opening Day Being Only Five Days Away:

“I’m excited. I know the guys are excited to get out of here and get going. These games are nice, they’re meaningful, but they don’t count so everyone just uses these to get ready for the season. We’re ready to go.”

On the Difference Between Opening Day This Year and Last Year, his First as Manager:

“They’re all fun. Guys are excited for the season. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but even as a manager, it’s still exciting. You like seeing the smiles on the faces of not only the players, but the fans.”

On Chris Sale as the Opening Day Starter:

“Oh, he’s definitely excited. Again, part of the joy in the position I’m in now is you get to enjoy it through them, see their excitement and how they go about it.”

On the Starting Rotation:

“I feel confident in it. You have a kid like Chris Sale who is young and talented and backed up by Peavy, Floyd, Quintana and right now, Axelrod. We feel like we have depth and we have guys that come to play. For me, that’s what you ask for.”

On the Bullpen:

“In our division you’re going to have to be able to pitch and you’re not going to get through it with just starters the entire time. We do feel like we have a quality bullpen and a lot of guys who can mix and match with a lot of different scenarios.”

On the Versatility of the Lineup:

“You look at the left/right scenarios that come up and that’s one thing we’re going to have to do is to move guys around and be able to play different positions to get them all in the lineup. It’s a nice problem to have.”

On Adding Jeff Keppinger to the Lineup:

“He can hit, he knows the angles and he’s a very smart hitter.”

On the Upcoming Season:

“It’s about effort all year long. You don’t get caught up looking towards the end because the effort has to be there every day for you to have a chance.”

GM Hahn on the State of the Sox

On Starting the Season: 

“We’re real excited, we’re ready to get going. It’s been a a nice camp, albeit a long one, that has some of us chomping at the bit to start playing games that matter. There’s been a lot of positives. We’ve had not only some of our young position players that are going to be in Chicago take a nice step forward in terms of development–guys such as Beckham and Flowers–but we also had some of our young players in the minor leagues step up and have nice Springs. Guys like Jared Mitchell, Simon Castro and Erik Johnson, who could conceivably contribute this year–and if not this year certainly as soon as 2014.”

On the Team’s Versatility:

That was important to us. We wanted to give Robin the opportunity to play matchups, whether it be based upon the opposing starting pitcher or even who we’re starting in trying to go with an even more defensive-oriented lineup based upon how our starter profiles…The more versatility you can have on that big league roster, the more insulated you are against injury or underperformance, which unfortunately happens over the course of the season. Frankly, from our standpoint, it’s not a finished product yet. It’s the kind of thing that we’re going to continue to look for upgrades over the course of the season…We’re going to be aggressive as we have in the past to go out and address those needs.”

On the Minor League System:

“The public and professional ratings don’t matter quite as much as our opinion. And our opinion of the minor leagues is based upon two things. One, are we providing impact guys for Chicago to help win us a championship? And, last year we saw Sale, Viciedo, Reed and Jones all come up through our system and contribute on what we felt was a very good team. The second part is: Is it providing assets for us that can allow us to go out and acquire players that help augment our roster? Last year we were able to do that with getting Youkilis, Myers and Liriano. From my talks with other clubs, I can assure you that we continue to have guys that other clubs covet. So, the farm system is working well. We think that next wave, although it’s certainly not going to hit on Opening Day in 2013, (has) some impact players near being ready for Chicago.”

On the Sox’s Positive Clubhouse Dynamics

“I think a lot of that credit goes to Robin and his staff. From the first day since they assembled 13 months ago, they’ve been able to keep the focus on winning that night’s game and the preparation, fundamentals, and focus on what needs to be done to make the team better. Any outside distractions have remained exactly that, outside of the clubhouse. It’s a very tightly bound group that fights for each other and is singularly focused on winning ball games. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

Play of the Day

Sanchez, whose second monster home run in as many days tied the game in the eighth inning. 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off Day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (7:05 p.m., CT). Hector Santiago will start for the Sox vs. the Brewers’ Wily Peralta.

Did You Know…

…that Sox minor leaguers Brandon Short, Josh Bell, Marcus Semien and Keenyn Walker combined to go 7-10 with two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored in yesterday’s 11-3 win vs. the Rangers? 

Photo of the Day

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The victorious Spring finale today in Glendale with Opening Day on the horizon.

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!

No Fooling…Season Starts a Week from Today

Monday, March 25, 2013

Today’s News

Down to the Wire

After leaving Arizona on Wednesday following their final Cactus League game (vs.the Indians at Camelback Ranch), the White Sox have an off day on Thursday and will play Milwaukee in two exhibition games at Miller Park Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The Sox will hold their final preseason workout next Sunday morning at U.S. Cellular Field before opening the regular season a week from today on April 1.

Farm Aid

In addition to major-league players, the following Sox minor leaguers also will make the trip for the games in Milwaukee: INF Drew Garcia, OF Stefan Gartrell, INF Marcus Semien, OF Brandon Short, C Kevan Smith, OF Keenyn Walker and RHP Matt Zaleski.

You Never Know Who Answers the Phones

True story. A White Sox staffer located upstairs in our offices called the downstairs PR office this morning looking for two guest passes.

Only the person sitting at the desk in the PR office wasn’t Bob Beghtol or Ray Garcia. It was designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn.

“What do you need?” he answered the phone, semi anonymously. “Sure, no problem.”

So when the Sox staffer brought his two guests downstairs to pick up their day passes, there was Dunn to greet them and hand them their passes.

And in the spot on the pass where a signature was required, it read D-U-N-N-E-R.

Among the Leaders

Entering today’s game vs. the Angels, Paul Konerko was tied for second in the Cactus League in home runs (5), ranks seventh in total bases (37) and eighth in slugging percentage (.712). Chris Sale was tied for the CL lead with three wins, ranks second in ERA (4.19) and was tied for fourth in IP (19.1 IP). Ramon Troncoso was tied for the lead in appearances (11).

Quote of the Day

Jesse Crain, hampered all spring by an adductor strain, on his outing in today’s game: “The most important thing today was feeling good…and I felt fine. My leg felt good, it didn’t bother me one bit.”

Play(s) of the Day

In today’s 11-5 loss to L.A of Anaheim…Dayan Viciedo’s perfect throw to Gordon Beckham at second base in the sixth inning to nab Mike Trout, who tagged up in an attempt to reach second on a fly ball out. It resulted in an inning-ending double play. Also, Tyler Saladino smashed a two-run, ninth inning homer.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at Surprise (4:05 p.m., Chicago time). Chris Sale will start for the Sox vs. Matt Harrison.

Did You Know…

…that longtime major league pitcher Virgil Trucks, who died on Saturday at 95, went 47-26 with a fine 3.14 ERA for the Sox from 1953-55? A bit of trivia: Trucks’ nephew, Butch Trucks, was a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.

Photo of the Day

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Dunner: Sox slugger–and new PR man.

It’s Official: Chris Sale will be the Opening Day Starter

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Today’s News

Lefties Rule for Sox on Opening Day

After today’s game, Robin Ventura named Chris Sale as the Opening Day starter on April 1 vs. the Royals at the Cell. The decision means lefties will have started each of the past six Opening Days for the Sox (Danks, 2012, Buehrle 2008-11) and 14 of last 15 (the only righty was Jose Contreras in 2007).

“(Sale) will be the Opening Day starter. We feel very confident with him going forward and giving him the ball for the first game,” said Ventura, who then explained why the announcement wasn’t made earlier in the spring. “(We wanted) him to get his work in and get ready to go. (This is now) something for him to get motivated the last two weeks and get out there and go. He’s ready to do that.”

What a Difference Three Years Make

Just for fun, I looked up April 1, 2010 to see what Sale was doing then. Couldn’t tell you.

But on April 2, 2010, just three years ago, he started Game 1 of a doubleheader for Florida Gulf Coast University against Mercer. Sale earned the victory in the 9-1 FGC win, striking out 14 over 8.0 IP, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and one walk. With the win, he improved to 4-0 on the season.

Three years later, he starts Opening Day in a Major League ballpark. Here’s how Sale looked as a Florida Gulf Coast Eagle:

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More Sale and a Sox Victory

Sale got credit for today’s 11-5 win over the A’s at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, working six innings. He got strong offensive support from the likes of Hector Gimenez (2-3, three RBI); Conor Gillaspie (2-3, two RBI); Jordan Danks (2-4, two RBI); Steve Tolleson (Triple, RBI, two runs scored); Jim Gallagher (1-1, RBI); Bryan Anderson (2-2, RBI); and Tyler Saladino 1-1, RBI). The Sox pounded out 17 hits after collecting 15 against the Cubs on Friday and scored 26 runs in the two games.

Quote of the Day

Robin, commenting on Dayan Viciedo’s monster day on Friday, highlighted by a grand slam homer to right-center: “He’s special when he’s hitting the ball (to the opposite field)…he’s strong enough to take it over there and put up some big numbers.”

Play of the Day

Back-to-back triples by Gimenez and Tolleson in the Sox’s four-run third inning.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

St. Patrick’s Day in Surprise: White Sox vs. Royals (3:05 p.m., Chicago time). It’ll be Zach Stewart starting for the Sox vs. the Royals’ Luis Mendoza. Jose Quintana, Hector Santiago and Jesse Crain are scheduled to pitch in a B-game at Camelback Ranch (Noon, Chicago time).

Did You Know…

…that as a result of his outstanding game at the plate today Gimenez has reached base safely in seven of his last nine games, going 11-20 (.550) with six RBI. He’s batting .500 overall this spring.

Photo of the Day

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Red-hot Sox catcher Hector Gimenez.

Close, But…

Thursday, February 28, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
No Victory This Time
 
The White Sox (3-1-2) dropped a close 4-3 decision to the Brewers today at Maryvale, their first loss of the spring. Gordon Beckham and Tyler Saladino each singled in a run, Josh Bell smashed a ninth inning solo homer and Alejandro De Aza collected two singles. Starter Scott Snodgress gave up a pair of runs, including a homer, on a pair of hits in three innings–in an outing that pleased Robin Ventura. Dylan Axelrod gave up a lone hit in two scoreless frames and Zach Stewart and Matt Lindstrom each blanked the Brewers in their one-inning stints.
 
Did My Eyes Deceive Me?
 
No, that was indeed Brent Morel who came in to play shortstop in the fifth inning.
 
“I grew up playing shortstop all my life, high school, college and played about 25 games at Charlotte, it’s fun to be out there again,” Morel said after the game. “My goal is still to play third base everyday, that has to be your mindset, but if they want me to play other positions in order for me to break camp on the 25-man roster, I’ll do anything for that.”
 
Not Bad, Not Bad at All
 
Heading into today’s game with the Brewers, the White Sox led the Cactus League in triples (six) and on-base percentage (.399), were second in average (.317 and slugging percentage (.532), third in runs scored (42) and RBI (40) and fourth in home runs (seven)…Sox pitchers ranked second in the CL opponents average (.238) and fourth in ERA (4.20)…Seth Loman was tied for second in the CL with six RBI, ranked third with a 1.000 slugging percentage and is tied for third with two homers.
 
Everybody Loves Minnie
 
White Sox legend Minnie Minoso was honored today by the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, receiving its Lifetime Achievement Award. The students honored Minnie’s legacy by preparing an array of presentations exploring the African-American roots in Latino heritage, including the discrimination Afro-Latinos sometimes faced by being Black and speaking Spanish.
 
Quote of the Day
 
New bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen, who once held the single-season major league record for saves (57) as a member of the Sox, on the makeup of the bullpen: “Potentially we could have one of the best in baseball. I really believe that. We’ve got power arms and we’ve got a good mix of veterans and young guys.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Sox rightfielder Keenyn Walker nailed the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy at the plate for the third out of the fourth inning after Lucroy attempted to score from second on Caleb Gindl’s single.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Cleveland at Goodyear (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Chris Sale makes his first spring training start vs. the Indians’ Justin Masterson. 
 
Starting lineup: De Aza, cf; Beckham, 2b; Rios, rf; Dunn, 1b; Viciedo, rf; Gimenez, c; Morel, 3b; Jordan Danks, dh; Marcus Semien, ss.  
 
Did You Know…
 
that White Sox non-roster invitee Steve Tolleson, an infielder, is the son of former major league infielder Wayne, who played for the Sox (1986) during his10-year major league career.
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Minnie and Principal Leandra Khan of the Bronzeville Scholastic Institute.

Sox Still Unbeaten, Danks Takes a Step Forward and A.J. Sure Looks Different in Ranger Red, White and Blue

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today’s News

Sox 14, Rangers 8

The White Sox scored six runs in the third inning, assisted by five walks from Texas pitcher Cody Buckel, a Rangers error and a passed ball. Conor Gillaspie singled home two runs in the inning and Hector Gimenez drove in another with a single.  The Sox added five in the fourth highlighted by Gillaspie’s two-run triple, giving him four ribbies for the day, and RBI singles by Alex Rios and Andy Wilkins. Wilkins also singled in run No. 12 in the fifth. In the eighth inning Josh Phegley hit the lone Sox homer and Marcus Semien singled in the 14th and final run in the ninth. Starter Nestor Molina, who got credit for the win, and Brian Omogrosso each pitched two scoreless innings. Zach Stewart held Texas scoreless in 1 2/3 innings while striking out three.

Sox now stand at 2-0-2.

A Bit Surreal

As strange as it was to see A.J. Pierzynski in a Rangers uniform, batting cleanup against the White Sox today (he lined out and singled in his two plate appearances), it must have been equally as disorienting for A.J. to see Conor Gillaspie wearing No. 12  for the Sox.

In their first at bats, Dewayne Wise, Gordon Beckham, Rios and Adam Dunn were among those Sox who exchanged pleasantries with their former teammate, who was in his usual spot behind the plate.

Danks on Track

John Danks threw 50 pitches today in live BP–two groups of 25. Hitters included his younger brother Jordan, Gillaspie, Stefan Gartrell and Trayce Thompson. John seemed happy with his progress and said he has reached the point where he can focus on the pitching side of things instead of worrying about being healthy.

Danks is scheduled for a bullpen session on Friday and will make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Giants at Camelback Ranch. Here he is talking to the media after today’s outing:

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A Good Sign

Brent Morel, attempting to come back after missing most of last season with a back injury, made a nice diving stop down the third base line in the bottom of the seventh inning to throw out the runner–alleviating some concerns about his health.

Also Healing

Two Sox who suffered minor injuries in the last few days, Leyson Septimo (leg) and Dayan Viciedo (arm), are good to go.

Quote of the Day

Asked if brother Jordan gives input on his progress, John replied, “Yeah, (we) talk. I think more of our conversations are me talking to him (about) what I would do if I were facing him. But certainly I’ll ask him today. I threw him a couple of front door cutters and change-ups and I want to know what he saw. (We) will talk.”

Play of the Day

Let’s give it to newcomer Gillaspie, who singled, tripled and drove in four. Wearing No. 12 with Pierzynski in the house turned out to be a good omen.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Simon Castro will start for the Sox vs. Alexi Ogando.

Did You Know…

that Omogrosso is from Beaver Falls, PA, the same hometown as Broadway Joe Namath?

Photo of the Day

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Does he look familiar?

A Tie That Almost Feels Like A Win

Monday, February 25, 2013
 
Today’s News
 
A Classic Comeback
 
In the end the White Sox played their second tie game in two days, 9-9, but it feels much more satisfying than it might sound. Down 9-2 to the Giants heading into the eighth inning, the White Sox staged a remarkable seven-run rally, highlighted by lefthanded-hitting first baseman Seth Loman’s three-run monster shot that tied the score at nine. Among the other highlights in the inning were Josh Phegley’s run-scoring double and Josh Bell’s ground-rule double that scored a pair, The Sox were behind 9-0 when Jared Mitchell tripled in two runs in the sixth to get on the scoreboard. They finished with 12 hits.
 
Envious
 
While in Scottsdale for today’s game against the Giants, I took this photo of the World Series trophy that was front and center for San Francisco fans to enjoy. I want that feeling again.
 
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A Familiar Visitor
 
Chris Singleton, who patrolled the outfield for the Sox from 1999-2001 and was Ed Farmer’s radio partner in 2006-7, dropped by the dugout prior to today’s game. Singleton, who has been at ESPN since leaving the Sox booth, is the lead baseball analyst for the network’s radio coverage.
 
All Eyes on Rienzo
 
The press box in Scottsdale was full of Japanese media today to scout Sox righthander Andre Rienzo, who starts for Brazil against Japan in the WBC opener for both clubs this weekend.

 
Birthday Celebration
 
In what became a fun White Sox tradition, Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and the Sox’s Kevin Hickey celebrated their mutual February 25th birthday each year by going out to dinner and invited Harold Baines and trainer Herm Schneider to join them. The popular Hickey, who passed away last season at 56, will not be forgotten. The group is planning to get together again this year and they’ll leave an empty chair for Hick.
 
It Has to Be Some Kind of Record
 
Because of the unusual circumstances, readers of the White Sox Media Guide will find recently departed infielder Lars Anderson’s bio while newly acquired Conor Gillaspie is nowhere to be found. Anderson, if you’ll recall, was picked up on waivers from Arizona on February 1 and designated for assignment last Friday to make room for Gillaspie without ever seeing any game action. Bad timing, the guide had already been printed. The story doesn’t end there. Anderson is now a Blue Jay, though the Toronto media might be well-advised to get a copy of the Sox guide for info on Lars. The Blue Jays guide is printed as well. 
 
Speaking of the Sox media guide, here’s the cover:
 
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Quote of the Day
 
Promising pitcher Erik Johnson, yesterday’s starter, on pitching with the big club: “I look at it as an opportunity every day to go out and play with the best guys out there–especially in this clubhouse. They’re very welcoming and they want to make sure all the younger guys feel welcome in the clubhouse and on the field.”
 
Play of the Day
 
Loman’s three-run blast, his second bomb in three spring games.
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs. Texas at Surprise (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Nestor Molina starts for the Sox vs.Yu Darvish.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Molina, tomorrow’s starting pitcher, began his professional career in the Blue Jays organization as an infielder-outfielder before becoming a full-time pitcher in 2009?
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Happy Birthday Mr. Chairman!

Sox, Dodgers Tie as Dunn Goes Deep

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today’s News


All knotted up after 9
While the White Sox enjoyed a blowout win yesterday, they engaged in a pitchers’ duel this afternoon as the game was called after nine innings with the score tied 2-2. Adam Dunn accounted for the pair of Sox runs with a two-run, opposite field homer off of the Dodgers’ Peter Moylan. Dewayne Wise and Alex Rios both tripled. Erik Johnson started for the Sox and gave up one run on four hits in three innings and struck out two.

Sox notes of note
How welcome was yesterday’s 9-0 whitewash of the Dodgers? It was the first victory for the Sox in a spring opener since 2004….Matt Thornton threw a 35-pitch bullpen session this morning under tough conditions (cold and windy) and reported no pain…Many clubhouse eyes were focused on the Daytona 500 before today’s game…As a result of the chilly weather Harold Baines said he was wearing everything in his locker except one light jacket–and he was considering putting that on.
Danks confident he’ll be ready and Peavy’s passion for the game
A couple of must-reads from Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times and Scott Merkin of whitesox.com.

A brush with greatness
So it’s 35 minutes before our spring training opener on Saturday, and I am sitting in the White Sox dugout on the first base line waiting for pregame festivities to start.  Literally, I am the only one there and I am minding my own business.  The reason I am there, if you ask, is to help organize our team for on-field introductions at 12:52 p.m. … you know, simple stuff like Robin first, coaches and then starting lineup.

Out of the corner of my eye, I sense someone in a Dodgers uniform walking into the dugout.

“Is Robin here yet?’ he asks.

I turn an immediately recognize that it is Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.  Behind him, I see lots of autograph seekers and hear people calling his name.

“Not yet,” I say.  “He’ll be here is a couple minutes.”

Mr. Koufax started to talk.  Fine by me. (editor’s note: I did meet Mr. Koufax one spring in Vero Beach, Florida, when I was a kid.  My dad and I were walking down a sidewalk in Dodgertown when here came Mr. Koufax walking toward us.  He was very pleasant but, of course, he doesn’t remember me.)

So of course I start small talk with Sandy Koufax.  I ask him how he’s doing (fine), where he’s staying down here (West Valley), where he lives (up and down the East Coast depending on the weather) and why in the world are “you guys” throwing Kershaw and Greinke at us this early in the spring … since there is a long way to go.

He laughed a little and then explained that he liked to go nine innings once or twice each spring so that he had dealt with the soreness issue before the season had even begun.  “I didn’t care about the first start,” he said.  “I was concerned with how I’d feel going into the second.  Back then, we didn’t have playoffs.”

You either won the pennant or you went home, he explained, so every start mattered.

After about 10 minutes, Robin showed up to a big smile and hug from Koufax.

“Back when I was with the Dodgers,” RV said, “we used to sneak off and play basketball with Sandy.”

(Sandy, by the way, went to the Universithy of Cincinnati on a hoops scholarship).

Basketball?  With Sandy Koufax?  That would have made him about 65 back then (Sandy, not Robin).

“Guy could play.”

Truth.

Another true story … maybe

Former White Sox pitcher Grady Hall was in camp on Saturday to say hello and he re-connected with former teammate Mark Parent.

“We played together in the Dominican one winter,” Hall said of the Sox bench coach.  “His nickname down there was ‘Grande Lama.’”

“Grande Lama,” I laughed, almost choking on my lunch.

“Nothing to do with the Dali Lama,” Hall corrected.  “It had to do with a sponsor and of course, he’s the Grande Lama.”

Quote of the Day

Coop on pitching: “Anytime you shut someone out, you’ve done something,” he said referring to yesterday’s win. “Every game no matter spring training or regular season, there are always going to be 10 balls hit hard. It’s what happens to those 10.”

Play of the Day

Dunn’s first homer of the spring.

Tomorrow’s Schedule
White Sox vs. Giants in Scottsdale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Starters are Hector Santiago for the Sox and Madison Bumgarner for San Francisco. Also scheduled to pitch for the South Siders are Addison Reed, Nate Jones, Donnie Veal, Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Andre Rienzo and Zach Stewart.
Starting lineup: Alejandro De Aza, cf; Brent Morel, 3b; Jeff Keppinger, dh; Paul Konerko, 1b; Dayan Viciedo, lf; Alexei Ramirez, ss; Jared Mitchell, rf; Tyler Flowers, c; Carlos Sanchez, 2b.

Did You Know…
…that Dewayne Wise, he of The Catch, celebrates No. 35 today? Happy Birthday!
Photo of the Day
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White Sox Legends Day was celebrated this afternoon at Camelback Ranch.  Pictured from l to rt. Rudy Law, Jerry Hairston, Sr., Steve Stone, Rich Dotson, Harold Baines, Ron Kittle, Floyd Bannister, Daryl Boston, Ron Karkovice, Bobby Thigpen and Robin Ventura

For Starters, It Was A Very Good Day

Saturday, February 23, 2013 

Today’s News

White Sox 9, Dodgers 0 In Spring Opener As Sox Pound Out 14 Hits

The Sox got on the board early and often in today’s victory over the Dodgers, scoring five times in the first four innings including a pair of runs off of L.A. starter and 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single and scored on a two-base hit by Alex Rios, who went 2 for 2 with a pair of doubles. Tyler Flowers smashed a solo homer (Gordon Beckham called it the hardest hit ball he’s ever seen), minor leaguer Seth Loman hit a two-run shot, Dayan Viciedo drove in a pair of runs, Gordon Beckham doubled in a run and Andy Wilkins and Angel Sanchez added RBI singles. On the pitching side, starter and winning pitcher Dylan Axelrod hurled three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Axelrod, Leyson Septimo (1.0 IP),  Zach Stewart (2.0), Santos Rodriguez (1.0), Brian Omogrosso (1.0) and Deunte Heath (1.0) blanked the Dodgers on three hits.

Still Checking

It is believed that the White Sox scoring a run today in the top of the first inning is the first time the Sox have led a spring training game that early since moving to Arizona in the mid 1990s (not really, but it just seems that way).

Sox Notes of Note

Here are a few notes of interest as the Sox began Cactus League play today:

* The White Sox play 16 games as the home team in Glendale and 17 as the road team this spring, including two exhibition games vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park from 3/29-30.

* Chicago currently has 61 players in camp: 30 pitchers, six catchers, 15 infielders and 10 outfielders … the oldest player in camp is Paul Konerko (36), and the youngest is 20-year old infielder Carlos Sanchez.

* The spring roster features 22 draftees, 22 players acquired as free agents or through the Rule 5 draft, 12 acquired via trade and five claimed off waivers.

Jesse Crain (Canada), Alejandro De Aza (Dominican Republic), Andre Rienzo (Brazil) and Alex Rios (Puerto Rico) will represent the White Sox in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

* Eight players on the White Sox spring roster have made it to the majors after being drafted or signed by the club since 2007 … the players are: Nate Jones (2007), Gordon Beckham (2008), Jordan Danks (2008), Brent Morel (2008), Alexei Ramirez (2008), Dayan Viciedo (2008), Addison Reed (2010) and Chris Sale (2010).

* Twenty-two of the 61 players invited to spring training are products of the White Sox farm system, including five first-round draft picks (Beckham – 2008, Jared Mitchell – 2009, Josh Phegley – 2009, Chris Sale – 2010 and Keenyn Walker – 2011). 

* Courtney Hawkins enters the season ranked by Baseball America as the No.1 Prospect in the organization … since 2009, three of Chicago’s top-rated prospects have reached the majors and are on the current roster (Gordon Beckham, Chris Sale and Addison Reed).

Mr. Koufax and The Chairman

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax visited with Robin today (See the Photo of the Day). 

Koufax asked if Jerry Reinsdorf was here, and I told him yes. 

“I want to say hello,” Mr. Koufax said.

 “If you want, I can call him and ask him to walk in on the field to see you,” I said.

 “Oh, no.  I don’t want to bother him.  Just tell him I said hello.”

 I told Mr. Koufax that Jerry has a signed jersey of his hanging in his office in Chicago.

 “Brooklyn kid,” he said, smiling.

 Later I told Jerry that Koufax said hello but that he didn’t want to bother him by asking him to come down to the dugout.

 “For Sandy!?!?” Jerry responded.    You got the sense he would have gone anywhere to say hi.

Welcome

The White Sox didn’t waste any time welcoming third baseman Conor Gillaspie to camp.

 Gillaspie, who was acquired yesterday, actually drove over to Glendale from Scottsdale Friday afternoon to check in and set up his locker.

 This morning, he took part in live batting practice before the game.  And which pitchers did the left-handed hitting Gillaspie get to face?

 Just John Danks and Chris Sale.

 “Maybe we can find a way to get him a couple of at-bats against Kershaw,” someone quipped.

Quote of the Day

“As a player, I don’t have superstar tools…I’ll definitely work for you. I’ll definitely play hard, I’ll practice hard, I’ll run everything out and try to play the game the right way.” — Conor Gillaspie, who went 0-1 today in his Sox debut.

Play of the Day

There are many candidates, but let’s give it to Axelrod for his stellar performance.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Starters are the Sox’s Erik Johnson and the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke. Also scheduled to pitch for the Sox are: Scott Snodgress, Jhan Marinez, Daniel Moskos, Jacob Petricka, Ramon Troncoso and Simon Castro.

Did You Know…

 …that new Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom served on a Mormon misson in Sweden? 

 Photo of the Day

Image

Robin shares a laugh with Dodgers’ Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax in the dugout before today’s game. That’s bench coach Mark Parent on the right.

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