Results tagged ‘ Chris Sale ’
Saturday, August 2, 2014
White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.29) for the Sox, RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.38) for Minnesota.
Carroll, making his 18th appearance and 12th start for the Sox, is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA over his last four starts.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Ramirez SS, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo RF, De Aza LF, Nieto C.
Plays of the Day
On a night when Chris Sale wasn’t at his All-Star best, the White Sox as a team were. On the way to the exciting 10-8 victory last night, we came back twice and pounded out 17 hits…Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 21 with an RBI single in the fourth inning (click on top link below) and added two more singles along with a walk and a HBP…Adam Eaton, who had three hits and reached base five times on Thursday vs. the Tigers, collected two more hits last night and walked, lifting his batting average to .299…In all, every Sox starter recorded at least one hit: Abreu (3), Eaton (2), Gordon Beckham (1), Paul Konerko (2), Alexei Ramirez (2), Conor Gillaspie (1), Tyler Flowers (2), Alejandro De Aza (2) and Moses Sierra (2) with seven of the nine knocking out two or more…Ramirez and Flowers led the way with two RBI apiece while Tyler went deep for his seventh homer, a solo shot (click on bottom link below)…Javy Guerra got credit for his first win and Jake Petricka pitched the ninth, registering his seventh save of the season.
The Abreu Report
During his 21-game streak, the longest in the American League this year and longest White Sox streak since Carlos Lee’s club record 28 in 2004, Jose is hitting .411 and he has also hit safely in 39 of his last 40 games (.377). He has reached base in 10 straight plate appearances dating back to Thursday in Detroit. It’s the longest streak by a Sox player since Frank Thomas set the club record with 15 in 1997. Abreu continues to lead the major leagues in homers (31), RBI (84), slugging percentage (.639), total bases (239), is tied for the lead in extra-base hits (60) and is second in OPS (1.003). He’s now hitting .310 on the season.
Sox Notes of Note
Eaton (top photo below) extended his hitting streak to eight games, drove in a run and scored twice. He also has reached base safely in 18 straight contests, batting .421 with a .476 on-base percentage during that span…Flowers (bottom photo below) is 19-42 with two homers, four doubles and five RBI over his last 12 games…Sierra now has a career-high seven-game hitting streak (.440) and has recorded an RBI in back-to-back games for the first time this season…Gillaspie is hitting .352 with six doubles, three homers, nine RBI and 13 runs scored in his last 20 games and is batting .319 on the season…Konerko has reached base safely in his last six games. He’s hitting .339 in 25 games since June 1…the Sox are hitting .349 with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 54 runs scored in winning six their last eight games. During that stretch, we have scored 10-plus runs twice and collected 14 or more hits five times…Tonight is Thomas replica Hall of Fame plaque night–on the 24th anniversary of The Big Hurt’s major-league debut…Avi Garcia and Matt Lindstrom began their rehab assignments at Class AAA Charlotte last night. Garcia started the regularly scheduled game vs. Durham, going 2-4 with a run scored as the DH. Lindstrom tossed one inning (giving up a run) in the completion of the suspended game.
Sox in the Community
Abreu took time out from his hitting streak today to give some tips to youngsters at a Special Olympics/Amateur City Elite baseball clinic (top photo) while White Sox catcher Adrian Nieto (center) and former Sox All-Star Carlos May (far right) joined our Volunteer Corps yesterday to help refresh the playground at Armour Square Park (bottom photo).
Quote of the Day
Ever the team player, Sale exhibited some tongue-in-cheek humor along with praise for his teammates after last night’s win (via Scott Merkin, mlb.com):
“Just how we drew it up. It was a little bit of everybody. Everybody in the lineup got a hit today, which is awesome. Scoring runs early, scoring runs late and in between. This team never quit fighting, especially when I put us in a pretty good hole right there. We never quit battling and put some good at-bats together and some runs on the board.”
White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (6-7, 3.15) for the Sox, RHP Kyle Gibson (9-8, 3.94) for Minnesota.
Photo/Video of the Day
Olympic gymnastics gold medalist McKayla Maroney “flipped out” before throwing last night’s ceremonial first pitch (click on link) and bonded with a group of Sox fans shown in the photo below. Plus, Elvis was in the building on his special night.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Cooperstown, NY — After months of anticipation, the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will begin today at 12:30 p.m., CT, at the Clark Sports Center, which is located just a mile south of the Hall.
During the ceremony, we will hear from our Sox-connected inductees Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa, pitching greats and former Braves teammates Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine and elite managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre as they are officially are inducted into baseball’s shrine. The newest inductees will be welcomed by 55 of the 66 living Hall of Famers, who have made the trip here to be part of the festivities.
Frank and Tony: The Day Before
The six inductees spoke to the media yesterday in advance of today’s ceremony. Here’s a sampling of comments from Frank and Tony.
On the Hall of Fame experience as a whole:
“It’s really very stressful. A lot goes into it. I’m overjoyed, but the nerves are there. It’s just a different feeling. This is bigger than any ball game that I’ve every played in. Tomorrow will be magical. Just seeing the stage today, the field and thinking about all those people out there, it will really be special.”
On thinking about entering the Hall during his playing days:
“You never think about the Hall of Fame. It’s something you can’t control. As a player you just go out and play ball.”
On his speech:
“I’ve been doing a lot of traveling with my TV work and each night when I get back to my hotel room I add a few lines and add some names. It’ll be from the heart, giving credit to the people who got me here.”
On his hitting style:
“I was a hitter, not just a home run hitter. I was about scoring runs, driving in runs. I knew I had to do something to help the team every night. (Sox hitting coach) Walt Hriniak had a whole lot to do with my approach in my first eight years in Chicago and me being here in Cooperstown. It was all about discipline. You knew you had to work hard every day.”
On his Dad, Frank Sr., who has passed away:
My Dad was my man. He saw something in me and it was push, push, push, all the time–he got me off that couch. Without him I wouldn’t be here. I keep thinking what a big smile he would have if he were still here. He’d be running around with No. 35 on his back, that’s the kind of person he was.”
The World According to Tony
On the role of a manager:
“I’ve been with coaches in other sports and we talk about how our first responsibility is to create a frame of mind for the players. Once you have their attention you can go from there. I think I had a feel for it, but I got better and better over the years.”
On his time with the Sox, notably 1983 when the club won the AL West by 20 games. It was also the team’s first playoff appearance since the AL pennant-winning year of 1959.
“1983 was a magical year. We had big personalities, great leaders like Bull (Greg Luzinski) and Kooz (Jerry Koosman) and a great coaching staff.”
“He was the type of hitter that you had to take out of the game. He hit for power, average, hit to all fields. He was a marked man.”
On Harold Baines and the Hall of Fame:
“My heart aches for him. If he had only been healthy enough to get 3,000 hits.”
On his managerial career with the Sox, A’s and Cardinals:
“Thirty years and three great places. How lucky I’ve been.”
Yesterday’s Award Presentations
Yesterday afternoon the Hall of Fame Awards presentation took place at Doubleday Field, for years the site of exhibition games between American and National League teams. Author Roger Angell received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Former player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola, who was not in attendance, won the Hall’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and Texas Rangers’ broadcaster Eric Nadel was honored with the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting.
The Parade of Legends
With thousands of fans lining the streets cheering them on, the Hall of Famers rode down Main Street last evening in trucks en route to the Museum. Here’s Frank and his wife Megan waving to the crowd.
Cooperstown’s main drag was again all abuzz yesterday with activity on another bright, sunny day. In addition to the thriving businesses we mentioned yesterday that were teeming with fans, other establishments enjoying the presence of the baseball faithful the past few days are the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, Mickey’s Place (as in Hall of Famer Mantle), Shoeless Joe’s and the Batter’s Up Restaurant. Again, where else can you find these places?
Among the former players signing yesterday were Pete Rose, Andre Dawson, Maury Wills, Denny McLain, Bert Campaneris, Frank Howard, John Rocker, Ryan Klesko and many of the players who signed earlier in the week that we mentioned yesterday.
Among the oddest sights yesterday on Main Street? Somebody I could swear was Babe Ruth and the craziest Harley you ever saw.
A Hall of a Party
The White Sox hosted a party for Frank and Tony last night at Cooperstown’s Templeton Hall with friends and family celebrating the occasion. The Big Hurt took to the microphone upon his arrival and expressed what an honor it is to be entering the Hall. He also admitted his “knees will be knocking,” but is looking forward to the big day. Tony talked emotionally about his days with the Sox and led the crowd in singing “Na, Na, Hey, Hey, Goodbye.”
A Sox Fan’s Delight
Museum exhibits I thought you’d like to see.
And While We’re in Cooperstown…
The Sox won their third straight last night with a 7-0 whitewash of the Twins. We go for the sweep of the four-game series today. Chris Sale was in vintage form. He won his 10th game of the season against a single loss via a brilliant five-hit shutout, which included a dozen strikeouts over eight innings–and he lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.88…Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run homer, Conor Gillaspie was 3-4 with a double two runs scored, Tyler Flowers singled and doubled and drove in a pair and Adam Eaton had two singles, two RBI and scored a run. Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a ninth-inning single. He has now recorded a hit in 34 of his last 35 games.
Photos of the Day
I guess you could say it was SoxFest East yesterday on Main Street.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (4-5, 4.19) for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen (1-2, 6.46) for KC.
Carroll is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over his last two starts. He tossed five scoreless innings on July 12 vs. Cleveland before leaving with lower back stiffness and allowed just one hit over 6.2 scoreless IP in his previous outing on July 7 at Boston.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo LF, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Beckham, 2B, Sierra RF, Nieto C.
Plays of the Day
Chris Sale was his usual brilliant self in his first start since the All-Star break in last night’s 3-1 win over the Royals. He allowed just a single run, seven hits and two walks along with eight strikeouts as he won his ninth game and lowered his ERA to 2.03…Chris is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in his last three starts and is 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA at home this season…the bullpen did its part as well as Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless eighth and Jake Petricka (shown below with Tyler Flowers after the final out) did likewise in the ninth while chalking up his fourth save…Adam Dunn drove in a pair of runs in the first innng with an opposite field single against the shift and Gordon Beckham brought home a run with a sixth inning sac fly…after getting on base four times on Sunday with two hits and two walks, Adam Eaton reached base three more times last night with two singles and a walk, lifting his batting average to .284…Jose Abreu‘s seventh-inning double extended his hitting streak to 11 games and he has now hit safely in 30 of his last 11 games.
For Starters, This is Pretty Impressive
White Sox starters own a 3.18 ERA since June 23, the best mark in the American League and fourth-best in the MLB during that span.
Look Who Was Signing Today at Brookfield Zoo
Quotes of the Day
Sale, who has always been a team-first guy, on his Cy Young Award candidacy:
“I don’t really pay too much attention to any of that. I have a job to do and I have to focus on doing that and winning games. We’re right in the hunt right now. These are the dog days, and you’ve got to bear down. Now is not the time to be thinking about yourself or some trophy or whatever.”
How great has Chris Sale been? He's 9-1, 2.03, with 2 blown saves. And his only loss is a 1-0 game where he K'd 10 and BB'd none.—
Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 22, 2014
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.26) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (9-5, 3.70) for Kansas City.
Photo of the Day
What could be better than watching the Sox win while wearing your Adam Eaton t-shirt on “Free T-Shirt Monday?”
The remaining dates of the new promotion will be August 4 vs. Texas, featuring an Abreu t-shirt, August 18 vs. Baltimore, highlighting Sale, and September 8 vs. Oakland featuring Paul Konerko.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
This Afternoon’s Game
White Sox vs. Astros at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP John Danks (8-6, 3.99) for the Sox, RHP Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) for Houston.
Danks is set to make his 20th start of the season and 10th at home. He is 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA over his last 10 starts and 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA wth 20 Ks over his last four. John is 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA over his nine starts at home in 2014. In his last outing, against Cleveland on July 13, Danks earned a no-decision. He went seven strong innings, allowing just one run, seven hits and two walks while striking out four.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo RF, Gillaspie 3B, De Aza LF, Beckham 2B, Nieto C.
Plays of the Day
Tyler Flowers went 3-3 with a pair of singles and a double and drove in two runs–including the go-ahead tally in the fifth inning–in the Sox’ 4-3 win over the Astros, our second straight one-run triumph vs. Houston…Alejandro De Aza singled and tripled with two runs scored, Conor Gillaspie added an RBI with a base hit and Adam Eaton collected three singles…Hector Noesi had a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings of work for his fourth win and was picked up nicely by the pen…Ronald Belisario pitched two scoreless innings, Jake Petricka got the first two outs in the ninth and Zach Putnam closed the door, getting the final out for his third save and second in as many nights.
Here is Flowers’ eventual game-winning RBI:
Sox Notes of Note
The Sox are 5-1 in their last six games at home…Jose Abreu has hit safely in 28 of his last 29 games (.348) and last night extended his hitting streak to 10 games (.400)…Flowers is 6-9 with three RBI over his last three games…Eaton now owns a six-game hitting streak (.400) and last night recorded his sixth three-hit game of the season…Gillaspie is hitting .423 with four doubles, three homers, six RBI and eight runs scored over the last eight games.
Following last night’s game the Sox optioned infielder Carlos Sanchez to Class AAA Charlotte. Prior to today’s game, we filled the roster spot by purchasing the contract of RHP Taylor Thompson from the Knights. Thompson is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA with six saves, 53 strikeouts and a .214 opponents average over 31 relief appearances with Charlotte this season. He will be making his big-league debut.
The Big Hurt’s Mom Proudly Heading to Cooperstown
With Frank Thomas‘ Hall of Fame induction a week from today, enjoy this piece about Frank, his mom and other family members.
A Hero’s Return
Geoff Blum‘s home run in the 14th inning of Game 3 in the 2005 World Series, which gave the White Sox a victory in the longest World Series game ever played, certainly ranks among the most memorable moments in club history and is even memorialized on the “Championship Moments” monument outside of the ballpark. Geoff returned to Chicago this weekend as a member of the Houston TV announcing team. He talks about that moment in ’05 and what it has meant to him.
Quote of the Day
Robin on why he chose Putnam to close out last night’s game:
“I like Put’s swing-and-missability with some lefties and that’s the reason.”
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 2.08) for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-8, 4.56) for KC.
Photo of the Day
Saving Grace: Two straight saves for Putnam.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
American League 5, National League 3, in the 85th All-Star Game
Chris Sale pitched the fourth inning for the AL, making his third straight All-Star appearance…Alexei Ramirez entered the game in the fourth as well, replacing Derek Jeter at shortstop in one of the game’s most emotional moments (pictured above). He collected a fifth-inning single in his first at bat and scored on a sac fly for the AL’s fifth run. Prior to the scoring play he also exhibited some alert baserunning by getting back safely to third base when a wild pitch bounced off the backstop and ricocheted back to the catcher. Alexei reached base again on an error in the seventh and stole second base…Jose Abreu took over at first base in the sixth inning, made a fine pickup of a ball in the dirt on his first chance and flied out in the eighth in his only plate appearance.
The Sox All-Stars pose together before game time–the first Midsummer Classic for both Alexei and Jose.
Caps and jerseys are ready for action.
Chris and his son Rylan enjoy Monday night’s Home Run Derby.
Jose and Alexei serve as the “corner men” for fellow Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes at the Home Run Derby and they backed the winner as the A’s slugger won the event for the second straight year.
A “Red Carpet Sale” during yesterday’s All-Star pre-game parade.
Jose and Alexei enjoy the red carpet and greet the fans during the parade.
Jose and Alexei during BP.
The Cuban All-Star contingent: Ramirez, Abreu, Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman of the Reds and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers.
Abreu celebrates with his victorious AL teammates.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Our guys–Chris Sale, Alexei Ramirez and Jose Abreu–met the media yesterday along with the other American and National League All-Stars in advance of tonight’s Midsummer Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis, which will be televised on FOX beginning at 6:30 p.m., CT.
Abreu on His Parents Attending the All-Star Game…
Listen to Jose talk about the excitement around his parents being in Minneapolis to see him play in the major leagues for the first time (with expert translation by my PR colleague Lou Hernandez).
…And His Parents’ Joy in Their Own Words
Here they are: Jose’s mom and dad, Jose and Daysi.
White Sox a Major Player in MLB Cuban Pipeline
Quote of the Day
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer of the Tigers on Abreu, the MLB home-run leader at the break (via Dan Hayes, CSN Chicago):
“He’s a difference-maker. He’s such a quality at-bat. His power is unbelievable. He can take so many different pitches and just take you yard. You obviously respect what he can do. He’s changed the complexion of their lineup and allows some of their other players to do other things as well. When you have a guy like that in your lineup, anchoring it, in a way it’s kind of like what we have in Detroit with Miggy anchoring our lineup. He’s only getting better and unfortunately that’s a detriment to us.”
“Welcome to Cooperstown: Frank Thomas” Debuts Thursday
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will present a special one-hour documentary, “Welcome to Cooperstown: Frank Thomas,” a little more than a week before the Sox legend is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 27. The special will be narrated by media personality and author Richard Roeper and will premiere Thursday at 6:30 p.m., CT, exclusively on CSN Chicago. The special will re-air at 10:00 p.m. the same night.
In addition, CSN Chicago currently has encore showings scheduled for Saturday, July 26 at 7:00 p.m., and on the day of the induction ceremony at 4:30 p.m.
“Welcome to Cooperstown: Frank Thomas” covers everything from the slugger’s childhood as a three-sport star in Columbus, Georgia, to his historic, record-breaking career with the White Sox. The documentary will feature exclusive, candid interviews with those who played major roles in his life and career, photos and video including exclusive, behind-the-scenes access of when Thomas received the official phone call telling him he was elected as well as Thomas’ exclusive tour of the Hall of Fame with CSN Chicago’s White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien.
Photos of All-Stars and Abreu’s parents courtesy of Chuck Garfien.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Thanks to the best fan base in baseball, Chris Sale has won the American League’s Final Vote and will join White Sox teammates Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez on the American League All-Star squad next Tuesday night in Minneapolis.
Chris is the fourth White Sox player to win the AL Final Vote, the most of any team, following in the footsteps of Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Paul Konerko (2011).
And a big congratulations and thank you to all my extraordinary colleagues in the White Sox organization who have been working 24/7 since Sunday to make sure Chris was an All-Star for the third straight year.
This Afternoon’s Game
White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston (3:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.20) for the Sox, Jon Lester (9-7, 2.73) for Boston.
Quintana is 2-0 with a 0.94 ERA, 31 strikeouts and .188 opponent average in his last four starts, all of the quality variety. Jose currently owns a 15.2 scoreless innings streak and has allowed just one earned run over the last 25.2 innings. He is one of 13 American League pitchers since 2012 to work seven-plus scoreless innings at least eight times.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Abreu 1B, Viciedo LF, Ramirez SS, Konerko DH, Sierra RF, Flowers C, L. Garcia 3B.
Plays of the Day
Sale was brilliant last night, allowing a run and four hits along with six strikeouts in 7.2 innings, but the bullpen couldn’t protect the Sox’ late lead in the 5-4 loss to the Red Sox…Abreu and Conor Gillaspie each went 2-4 with a homer–it was Jose’s major-league high 28th (tied) and Gillaspie’s third of the year and second in as many nights (click on links below)…Alejandro De Aza was a homer shy of the cycle.
Sox Notes of Note
Abreu’s 28 homers, 48 extra-base hits and 192 total bases are the most by a first-year player before the All-Star break since the first All-Star Game was played in 1933. He also has 70 RBI, is slugging .627 with a .961 OPS…Sox starting pitchers own a 2.61 ERA in the last 16 games (since June 23). It’s the best mark in the AL and third-best in the majors…Sox first-base prospect Rangel Ravelo now owns a 25-game hitting streak for Class AA Birmingham, second longest streak in the minor leagues this season…Class AAA Charlotte catcher Josh Phegley has been named to the 2014 International League All-Star team. Phegley, who spent part of the 2013 season with the Sox, leads all IL catchers with 13 home runs this season. He joins teammate Tyler Saladino, previously elected as the IL’s starting shortstop, as the Charlotte representatives for the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 16 in Durham, NC.
Quotes of the Day
Everything (almost) you ever wanted to know about Chris Sale via @danhayesCSN:
* Most ice cream cones consumed in one day: 5 (twice).
* Number of tattoos: 2.
* Most calories consumed in a day (estimate from John Danks with help from trainer Allen Thomas: 5,000-6,000.
* Healthy foods he eats: “I’ve never seen him dig into a salad or eat broccoli,” said Tyler Flowers.
* Favorite movie: “I’m not really a movie guy.”
* Favorite saying: (with help from Flowers): “Was that a good pitch?” said after hanging a slider.
* Favorite baseball venues to visit: Yankee Stadium, Target Field.
* Go-to karaoke song (with assist from Flowers): “Man in the Mirror,” Michael Jackson.
* Most random fact about him (assist from Danks): “He’s really good at ping pong.”
* Favorite vacation spot (assist from Danks): “He always talks about Jamaica.”
* Number of remote-controlled cars owned: One because he gave the second to Daniel Webb.
* Favorite video game: “Putting me on the spot. Three-way tie between NHL, FIFA and Call of Duty (Zombie mode).”
* Favorite snack food: “Pretty much anything. Whatever I can get my hands on.” Said he “goes off” at Wendy’s.
* Sport he’s good at besides baseball (with an assist from Danks): “He’s a pretty good golfer.”
White Sox vs. Indians at Progressive Field, Cleveland (6:05 p.m., CT, CSN+) in the opener of a three-game series and the finale of the seven-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (3-6, 4.90) for the Sox, RHP Corey Kluber (8-6, 2.86) for the Tribe.
Photo of the Day
Your 2014 White Sox All-Stars:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The #TargetSale Campaign: Behind the Scenes
It’s been a terrific week so far for all of us with the White Sox. We’ve won three in a row with Chris Sale on the mound tonight and we are immersed in the excitement of the #TargetSale campaign to get Chris on the American League All-Star squad via the Final Vote.
I’ve been asked numerous times about our strategy in the Final Vote since we have been successful three times in the past with Scott Podsednik (2005), A.J. Pierzynski (2006) and Paul Konerko (2011). Like anything else, a lot of thought and planning is involved even though we don’t get any inside info until the day the All-Star rosters are announced.
Beyond the general planning and creating a strategy, here are three key factors:
1. First and foremost is that you have to have a great player with All-Star credentials. I think most baseball fans would agree that Chris absolutely fits that criteria. He is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in baseball, is already a two-time All-Star and is having an outstanding season.
2. You have to have a passionate and engaged fan base to get on board. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re social media savvy to boot. Well, I’m happy to say that the Sox have exactly those kinds of fans and it’s been proven in the past with our three winners and this year with Sale leading the voting up to this point. And the fact we’ve once again formed an alliance with a National League club–the Washington Nationals and Anthony Rendon (#Vote Rendon)–and others like Sale’s alma mater, Florida Gulf Coast University, extends our reach even further. It seems those strategies are working so far as Chris has great support in the Midwest, the greater D.C. area extending into Pennsylvania and other parts of the Northeast plus his home state of Florida.
3. You need an internal organization whose staff enjoys the challenge and is eager to display its creativity to make it happen. And if you’ve been following our social media you have to agree that it’s obvious that my Sox colleagues, about two dozen of them, have risen to the occasion with some outstanding work–and are having fun doing it.
How did we come up with the slogan #TargetSale? It actually came from a brainstorming session among GM Rick Hahn, manager Robin Ventura and me shortly after we got the news from MLB on Sunday morning that Chris was in the Final Vote. With the All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, it just seemed like it would be something that would resonate. We then met with a larger group of Sox staffers and got more ideas, but none was better. I have to say that it really helped to have Rick and Robin as part of the process. Rick was responsible for coining the priceless “Punch A.J.” slogan in ’06 right after Pierzynski’s altercation with the Cubs’ Mike Barrett and Robin always has good ideas about these things.
White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park, Boston (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (8-1, 2.16) for our Sox, RHP Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.51) for their Sox.
Sale is set to make his 14th start of the season and fifth on the road. He is 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA and two complete games over his last nine starts and 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 28 Ks over his last four. He earned the win in his last start, July 4 vs. the Mariners, as he allowed one run and six hits along wth 12 strikeouts over nine innings–his seventh career complete game. Chris is limiting left-handers to a .121 average with one extra-base hit in 2014.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Ramirez SS, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo RF, De Aza LF, Flowers C.
Plays of the Day
Conor Gillaspie cranked a two-run homer (No. 2) in the sixth inning, breaking a 3-3 tie and giving the Sox the lead for good, and was a triple shy of the cycle as the White Sox won their third straight, 8-3, over the Red Sox…Jose Abreu went 3-4 with a pair of doubles and was on base for Gillaspie’s blast…Alejandro De Aza singled and tripled in a run…Ronald Belisario tossed 2.1 scoreless frames in relief of winning pitcher John Danks (8-6) and Eric Surkamp pitched a scoreless ninth. The Gillaspie round-tripper:
Tonight’s Watch & Vote Parties
Sox Note of the Day
In addition to three victories in a row, The White Sox have won five of their last six games and eight of the last 11. Our .727 winning percentage since June 27 is the fourth-best in the major leagues.
Quotes of the Day
Paul Konerko on Jose Abreu:"He has such instincts, such a work ethic, that when he gets more used to our game he can hit .320, .330."—
Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 09, 2014
Quit crying, Brazil fans. It's not like this is a @WhiteSox game or something—
(@SoxNerd) July 08, 2014
White Sox vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park (3:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (5-7, 3.20) for the Sox, Jon Lester (9-7, 2.73) for Boston.
Photo/Video of the Day
Tyler Flowers‘ Top 10 things batters say when facing Sale: