Results tagged ‘ Frank Thomas ’

A Sweep is in our Sights

Sunday, July 20, 2014

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Today’s News

 

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:

http://atmlb.com/1sAXGPP

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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.

 

Roster Moves

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.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2014/07/17/3205151/frank-thomas-family-looks-forward.html

 

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.

http://bit.ly/1u3PKIE

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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.”

 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

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.

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White Sox All-Stars Ready to Shine in Tonight’s Midsummer Classic

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

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Today’s News

Star-Studded Sox

Our guys–Chris SaleAlexei 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).

Video: Jose Abreu on joy of parents seeing him in All Star Game

…And His Parents’ Joy in Their Own Words

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/white-sox-jose-abreu-and-family-cant-wait-all-star-party

Here they are: Jose’s mom and dad, Jose and Daysi.

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White Sox a Major Player in MLB Cuban Pipeline

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2125637-inside-mlbs-cuban-pipeline-its-high-risk-high-reward?utm_campaign=tsipad&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=teamstream

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. 

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Photos of All-Stars and Abreu’s parents courtesy of Chuck Garfien.

 

 

 

Sox Seek Turnaround North of the Border

Thursday, June 26, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, Toronto (6:07 p.m., CT, WCIU) in the opener of a four-game series. Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (2-3, 4.30) for the Sox vs. LHP J.A. Happ (6-4, 4.87) for Toronto.

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

Plays of the Day

Adam Eaton reached base five times on a pair of singles, a double, triple and a walk and also stole a base while Jose Abreu smashed homer No. 23 (click top link below) in the White Sox’ 5-4, 12-inning loss to the O’s…Hector Noesi pitched his finest game in a Sox uniform, allowing just two runs in seven-plus innings work…Gordon Beckham made a brilliant, perhaps game-saving, play on the shortstop side of second base in the 10th inning (click on bottom link)

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/v34036559/?partnerId=as_mlb_20140626_26726896

http://m.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/video/v34047619/?partnerId=as_mlb_20140626_26733106

More Abreu

By virtue of his home run last night, Abreu has reached his 23rd career homer faster than anyone in baseball history. The fact that he did it in 65 games places him ahead of both the Mark McGwire of the A’s in 1987 and the Boston Braves’ Wally Berger in 1930, who both hit their 22nd through 65 games. If that weren’t enough, Abreu owns a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .357 with four home runs and 10 RBI during that span.

Sox Notes of Note

Eaton has now reached base safely in 20 straight games, including a current 12-game hitting streak…Alejandro De Aza is hitting .382 with six doubles in his last 18 games…Adam Dunn has four homers and 10 RBI in his last 17 contests…Conor Gillaspie is hitting .351 over his last 34 games…coach Harold Baines won’t be with the Sox in Toronto–for good reason. He’s attending the wedding of his daughter on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Roster Moves

LHP Scott Downs has been designated for assignment. Taking his spot on the active roster is LHP Eric Surkamp, named the International League Pitcher of the Week for Class AAA Charlotte after going 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 15 strikeouts in two starts from June 16-22.

Surkamp (pictured below) also leads the IL in strikeouts with 84 Ks in 14 games (11 starts) this year. He has averaged 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings over his last four starts, including a season-high of 12 on May 30 vs. Toledo. The newest Sox pitcher had seven starts in two big-league seasons with the Giants in 2011 and 2013.

Replacing Surkamp on the Charlotte roster is RHP Chris Beck, ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the White Sox system by Baseball America. Promoted from Class AA Birmingham, he makes his Class AAA debut tonight against the Louisville Bats.

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 Ro Coleman and Vandy Win College World Series

Congratulations to former White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) star Ro Coleman, a member of the Vanderbilt baseball team that defeated Virginia, 3-2, last night to win the College World Series for the first time in the school’s history. And a special tip of the cap to Sox Director of Youth Initiatives Kevin Coe and his dedicated group of talented coaches for mentoring young men like Ro and Corey Ray, who reached the 2014 CWS with Louisville.

Another Team for Sox Fans to Root For…

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…And Yet Another

A group of Wounded Warriors made their way through U.S. Cellular Field today.

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Quote of the Day

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Blue Jays at Rogers Centre (6:07 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP John Danks (6-6, 4.34) for the Sox, RHP R.A. Dickey (6-6, 4.40) for the Jays.

Photo of the Day

The Big Hurt‘s high school in Columbus, Ga. is certainly getting into that Hall of Fame spirit as their notable alum will be inducted July 27 in Cooperstown.

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Chris Sale = Must-See Baseball

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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Today’s News

White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (7:05 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (4-0, 1.89) for the Sox, RHP Justin Masterson (2-3, 5.32) for Cleveland.

Chris was masterful against the Yankees last Thursday in his first start since returning from the disabled list. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowed just one hit and struck out 10. In his last two starts he owns a 0.69 ERA with 20 strikeouts and a .049 opponents average.

Tonight’s Game

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

Plays of the Day

Dayan Viciedo connected with a three-run homer, his fifth blast of the season (click link below), Conor Gillaspie went 4-4 with three doubles and an RBI and Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza each added an RBI in the Sox’ 6-2 victory over the Indians yesterday…Jose Quintana got credit for the win, his third of the year, allowing just two runs, five hits and a pair of walks while striking out five. Jake Petricka (1.0 IP), Zach Putnam (0.2) and Scott Downs (1.1) finished it off with three scoreless frames. Downs earned his first save.

http://atmlb.com/1mu3OnY

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Abreu Loses Boot and Resumes Baseball Activity

No longer in a walking boot, Jose Abreu took 25-30 ground balls, threw for 10 minutes and hit off a tee in the indoor batting cages before yesterday’s game and worked out again today. Barring any setbacks he should be back in the lineup the first day he’s eligible to come off of the DL–Monday, June 2 when the Sox will be in Los Angeles playing the Dodgers. 

More Abreu: Jose is third among first baseman, behind only Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols, in the first AL All-Star voting results.

All-Star Alexei?

Speaking of All-Star voting, Ramirez is a strong second behind Derek Jeter among AL shortstops. It’s no wonder he’s getting that kind of support. He ranks at the top of the league in the following key offensive categories: average (.320), homers (7), RBIs (36), slugging percentage (.483), OPS (.838) and hits (65).

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox have won seven of their last 12 games and now lead the season series against the Indians, five games to three…Sox starters own a 2.86 ERA with 41 strikeouts and a .200 average over the last seven games…Quintana has never lost to Cleveland (3-0 in nine appearances, seven starts). He has a 2.68 ERA against the Tribe…Gillaspie set a career high yesterday with his four hits. His previous high was three. He’s hitting .529 against Cleveland this season and .350 overall…Ramirez is hitting .376 with three doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 RBI at home this season.

Catch of the Day

It has to be this grab by Eileen Depesa as Tyler Flowers‘ bat flew into the stands during yesterday’s game. Take a look and give her a save for keeping it away from the baby in the row behind her.

http://whitesox.tumblr.com/

Bears in the House

The Bears will take center stage the next two nights for the ceremonial first pitch. Charles “Peanut” Tillman will do the honors tonight and Kyle Long tomorrow night.

Quote of the Day

Lino Diaz, the White Sox’ director of cultural development and interpreter, on Abreu’s workout yesterday:

“He got all the work he needed to do and felt no pain at all. He’s feeling really good.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (7:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.82) for the Sox, RHP T.J. House (0-1, 6.43) for the Tribe.

Photo of the Day

Happy 46th Birthday to The Big Hurt, HOF 2014. Here he is on top of the world (figuratively and almost literally) on the observation deck of the Empire State Building in New York a day after he experienced the thrill of being elected to the Hall of Fame.

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Abreu Homers Lift Sox, Sale Goes for Third Win Tonight

Friday, April 11, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP Chris Sale (2-0, 1.76) for the Sox, RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-1, 6.35) for Cleveland. Chris will make his third start of the season, his second at home. In his last start, against the Royals, Sale allowed just four singles and struck out six over eight scoreless innings. He is 17-10 with a 2.71 ERA over 31 career starts at USCF.

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

Plays of the Day

Jose Abreu hit two homers and drove in three and Alexei Ramirez also went deep with three ribbies in the Sox’ 7-3 victory last night…Adam Eaton went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI…John Danks got credit for the win, his first of the season, going six innings and allowing three runs with two walks and four strikeouts…Daniel Webb made his first scoreless appearance with two perfect innings and now leads all Sox relievers with 6.1 IP.

Enjoy Abreu’s two long ones, Ramirez’s tie-breaking double and Eaton’s RBI single:

http://atmlb.com/1gRGxqj

http://atmlb.com/1i6N19l

http://atmlb.com/1hERjAi

http://atmlb.com/1i6FTtE

How About This?

Entering tonight’s game, the White Sox lead the major leagues in runs per game (6.10) and home runs (15) and rank second in average (.287), OPS (.820), slugging (.472) and on-base percentage (.348). Our six homers and 15 runs against the Rockies on Tuesday are both single-game highs in the majors this season.

Sox Notes of Note

The Sox broke a 14-game losing streak against the Indians with last night’s victory…Sox lefty starters have made quality starts in all six of their starts this season…John Danks earned his first career home win against Cleveland…Abreu hit his first career homer at U.S. Cellular Field and his second multi-homer game of the young season. He has four homers in his past three games and is the first Sox player to have two multi-homer games within his first 10 career games. The last major leaguer to do it was the Royals’ Mark Quinn in 1999. Jose has also driven in 14 runs in his first 10 games of the season, the most for the Sox since Ron Kittle in 1983 (14)…Ramirez hit homer No. 2 and recorded his ninth RBI after his two-run double in the fourth inning. His current hitting streak is at 10, collecting a hit in every game this year…Eaton had his third consecutive multi-hit game. He’s hitting .500 (6-12) over that span and .310 this season…Happy Birthday to Alejandro De Aza. The Sox outfielder is 30 today…the Sox have acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez from the Royals for cash considerations and assigned him to Class AAA Charlotte. Hernandez is 26 and has played 70 games in the major leagues for the Pirates and Marlins…Below, Abreu shows his support for friend and teammate Avi Garcia, who is unfortunately out for the season with an injured left shoulder.

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Thome and “Opening Knight”

I’m in Charlotte today with Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Jim Thome, who has the honor of throwing out the first pitch before tonight’s home opener between the Knights and the Norfolk Tides as our Class AAA affiliate opens up brand new BB&T ballpark in the city’s uptown. As I posted on Tuesday, Jim, who is now a special assistant to Rick Hahn, played in Charlotte in 1993 when it was an Indians affiliate, hit a league-best .332 with 25 home runs and 102 RBI on his way to winning the International League Most Valuable Player award. He helped the Knights win a franchise-record 86 games that year and win the first Governor’s Cup championship in team history. Here’s something that very few of us will ever experience–stepping on an elevator and discovering a life-sized photo of ourself. Maybe it doesn’t happen to most people, but it did happen to Jim today upon our arrival in Charlotte. And what did he do? He autographed the photo.

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Getting in Shape

Sox reliever Donnie Veal gets the students at Langford Community Academy moving today. Veal, Sox Director of Conditioning Allen Thomas and Southpaw were there to talk about the importance of nutrition and being active.

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The Big Hurt on “Jimmy Kimmel”…and a Tribute to the Hall of Famer at the Ballpark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzUCrjN8X6I

 

Quotes of the Day

From John Danks…

On last night’s win and the ’14 White Sox:

“Those guys did a great job. I put us in an early hole. They have no quit. This is a fun team to be on. The guys are gonna play until the last out. We saw that today. They didn’t hang their heads. They went to work.”

Relating a conversation he had with Sale about Abreu:

“We want to go thank Rick (Hahn) right now for signing him. He’s fun to watch, and it’s scary but he’s only going to get better.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CDT, WGN). Starters: RHP Felipe Paulino (0-1, 6.52) for the Sox, RHP Justin Masterson (0-0, 4.22) for Cleveland.

Photo of the Day

A lot of baseball people are taking notice of No. 79:  

And click on this link–it’s the stuff of legends and shades of Roy Hobbs in The Natural.

http://msn.foxsports.com/ohio/story/photo-jose-abreu-literally-destroyed-a-baseball-041114?cmpid=tsm:fscom:foxsports

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Countdown to the Games That Matter

Friday, March 28, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. the Class AA Birmingham Barons at Birmingham’s sold-out Regions Field (6:00 p.m, CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Donnie Veal, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP David Purcey, RHP Zach Putnam

The Barons will hold a special Championship Ring ceremony behind home plate prior to the game.  White Sox manager and former Baron Robin Ventura will present 2013 Southern League (SL) Championship rings to players who were part of the team last season, including last year’s SL MVP Marcus Semien.

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Sox Note of Note

Prior to tonight’s game, the White Sox outrighted right-handed pitcher Javy Guerra to Class AAA Charlotte. Guerra, 28, was claimed off waivers by the White Sox on Wednesday from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Guerra will report to our spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz. today and join the Charlotte roster. With the move, the Sox 40-man roster is at 39.

Quotes of the Day

Rick Hahn on the 2014 White Sox:

http://atmlb.com/1maTLDm

Ken Williams also offers his keen insight:

“I think this is the type of team that could be really dangerous if we get off to a good start because then they start to believe. Right now we are better than outsiders think we are. And I think we are better than [the players] believe we are.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

The Sox will have a full off day tomorrow, followed by a  10:30 a.m., CT, workout on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox open the season on Monday vs. the Twins at 3:10 p.m., CT.

Photo Day

Be sure you get your 2014 White Sox Yearbook, celebrating the Hall of Fame career of Frank Thomas.

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On to Chicago (With a Brief Stop in Birmingham)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

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Today’s News

The Game

At Mesa…in the Cactus League finale.

White Sox     3  8  0

Cubs             4  8  0

Plays of the Day

Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning (click on link below for video of Dunn’s homer, his first of the spring)…Adam Eaton went 2-3 and finished Cactus League play with an outstanding .368 batting average. He also made a terrific diving catch in the fourth inning…Marcus Semien singled in a run in the eighth…Donnie VealDaniel Webb and Nate Jones each pitched a scoreless inning.

http://atmlb.com/1m8TX67

Sox Note of Note

For those of you who don’t recognize No. 4 in the above photo, that’s Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling, who played his entire 20-year career on the South Side from 1930-1950. He was a lifetime .310 hitter, who won two batting titles, was a seven-time All-Star and is one of nine Sox to have his number retired.

The 2014 White Sox Racers

From left to right: Darrin “DJ” JacksonEd “Farmio” FarmerSteve “Stoney” StoneKen “Hawk” Harrelson.

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The White Sox’ 12-Scoop Banana Split Sundae

Here is one of many local and national stories about the three-pound ice cream treat that is becoming a cause celebre:

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/10676917/chicago-white-sox-offer-3-pound-sundae-helmet

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Quotes of the Day

John Danks on completing a successful spring with his victory over the Reds yesterday:

“Its been a lot better spring than the last couple of years. I’m feeling good where I’m at. Feeling good, ready to get the season started. I’ve told Coop I’m feeling strong enough and healthy enough to go out and throw 120 (pitches) and be a guy who has a chance to save the bullpen.”

Danks on Rule 5 selection Adrian Nieto making the Opening Day roster as the backup catcher.

“He’s a great kid, works hard and deserves it, really. He has caught me a lot this spring, and he does a great job.”

More Danks

John Danks has joined the new “Advisory Board” of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which is made up exclusively of active players from throughout Major League Baseball. The Hooton Foundation is widely acknowledged as the leader in the advocacy against appearance and performance enhancing drug use by the youth of America.

Danks joins eight other charter members of the “Advisory Board,” which also includes Jay Bruce (Cincinnati Reds), David DeJesus (Tampa Bay Rays), Dillon Gee (New York Mets), Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates),  Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers), C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks).

As members of the “Advisory Board,” the players will participate in the THF’s educational activities in their local communities, record radio public-service announcements and provide their input on the most-effective ways to educate North America’s young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. the Class AA Birmingham Barons at Birmingham’s sold-out Regions Field (6:00 p.m, CT). Sox starting pitching schedule: LHP Veal, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP David Purcey, RHP Zach Putnam.

Photo of the Day

Here’s newly-elected Hall of Famer Frank Thomas on the Fox Sports 1 set with former major leaguer Gabe Kapler and Charissa Thompson. The Big Hurt will serve as an analyst for the network this season.

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SoxFest Day 2

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January 25, 2014

Talk About Dedication

You can’t make this up. Every year a family of Sox fans from Nebraska–a Dad, daughter and son–fly in for SoxFest. This year, however, they went above and beyond. They got in line at 2:00 a.m. this morning to make sure they were among the first to get Bobby Jenks’ autograph. Here’s Bobby during today’s autograph session, which began at 9:00 a.m.

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A Must-See For Sox Fans

The SoxSocial Lounge is a “must” destination while at SoxFest. Even GM Rick Hahn got into spirit by playing a game of Heads Up with a Sox fan.

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Something For Everybody at SoxFest

Here’s a mini-tour of the Exhibitor Hall/Gift Shop/Garage Sale:

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Count Hawk In

It’s been many years now since Hawk Harrelson anointed Frank Thomas with the nickname, The Big Hurt, after witnessing Frank’s prodigious talents on a daily basis. You could say that Hawk will be coming full circle with his connection with the new Hall of Fame electee this Summer when Harrelson will likely be part of the Sox traveling party to Cooperstown to witness Hurt’s induction first-hand.

“I tried to be there for Cal Ripken, George Brett and Robin Yount, guys I really respected,” Hawk said at SoxFest. ‘But I think I’m going to make it this time.”

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SoxFest Notes of Note

During this morning’s seminar featuring Rick and Robin, a fan asked about newly acquired third baseman Matt Davidson. Robin gave an answer that pleased the packed ballroom: “Joe Crede is a good comparison. That’s exciting. (You’re impressed) by (Matt’s) sheer size and how the ball comes off his bat.”

The Cuban Connection seminar featured Sox icon Minnie Minoso and current Sox stars Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo and Jose Abreu. The fans showed their love for Minnie with a lengthy standing ovation and some heartfelt comments. Alexei made a point of thanking Minoso for paving the way for Cuban players to play in the major leagues…One fan certainly did his homework and wished Jose a Happy Birthday (this Wednesday). Abreu, who said he has high expectations and wants to be thought of as a player who leaves everything on the field to help his team win, was asked if he had a nickname. He said he’s known in Cuba as Pito. What about dealing with cold weather, Jose was asked. He said this is the third time he’s been to Chicago and it’s very different this time–referring to the frigid temperatures. “I’ll have to talk to my teammates to get mentally prepared for the cold,” he added.

Sox VP Buddy Bell, Director of Amateur Scouting Doug Laumann and Director of Player Development Nick Capra had some interesting insights in today’s From the Draft to the Big Leagues seminar…Laumann on the Sox having the third pick in this June’s amateur draft: “There’s a certain degree of pressure and a challenge to get an impact type of player. It allows us to narrow the field to five or six potential candidates. It’s a very important pick for us. We’d like to think we’ll get it right. We’ve already talked to four of six potential candidates already. Our philosophy is to take the most impactful player available”…Bell on Sox prospect Micah Johnson: He’s a real interesting kid–a very good baseball mind and a real catalyst. He has the best range of any second baseman I’ve ever seen, but he can play just about anywhere but shortstop. He’s a very good player”…Capra acknowledged that outfield prospect Trayce Thompson may have taken a step back offensively last season, but still has the potential to be a superstar because he does so many things.

Laurence Holmes sat down with with Matt Lindstrom, Adam Eaton and Erik Johnson in the Movies, Music and More! seminar. Hilarity ensued. Among the tidbits we learned: The two main things Eaton takes on the road are his wife and his iPad, his favorite movies are Tommy Boy and Happy Gilmore and the player in history he’d most like to room with is Yogi Berra–”or just spend 10 minutes with him”…Matt Lindstrom loves to play Zombies Xbox 360, Forrest Gump is his favorite movie and his celebrity crush is Kate Beckinsale because she looks like his wife…Movie-wise, Erik Johnson is partial to Indiana Jones and Star Wars and is a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. And according to Lindstrom, Chris Sale is by far the best video game player on the Sox and excels in everything he does. Perhaps the funniest line of the seminar came when Eaton was asked about his celebrity crush. He answered, “Paul Konerko.”

Two of the greatest lefthanded pitchers in Sox history, Billy Pierce and Gary Peters, were the focus of the final seminar of Day 2. Billy talked about getting his first glove and ball as a prize for getting his tonsils out and the day he met Babe Ruth and had him sign a baseball that he still holds dear…Peters recalled having lunch with his father before making a start against the Yankees on a Saturday. He asked his dad, an avid Yankee fan, who he would be rooting for. After hesitating a moment, the elder Peters said he’d root for his son, but the Yankees on Sunday.

Tomorrow’s Schedule: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Autographs and photos will continue on the final day of SoxFest. Here are the scheduled seminars: Prized Prospects (10:00-11:00 a.m.) with Erik Johnson, Marcus Semien, Josh Phegley and Micah Johnson; A Sluggers Roundtable (11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) with Adam Dunn, Bo Jackson, Jim Thome and Harold Baines; A View from the Dugout (12:00-1:00 p.m.) with Robin Ventura, Don Cooper and Todd Steverson; From the Draft to the Big Leagues (1:00-2:00 p.m.) with Nick Capra, Buddy Bell, Doug Laumann and Dan Fabian; and Big League Laughs (2:00-3:00 p.m.) with Pat McGann, Adam Eaton, Nate Jones, Gordon Beckham and Tom Paciorek.

Photo of the Day

Bo Jackson’s in the house.

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Big Hurt to the Hall

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It was an exciting day in White Sox history yesterday as Frank Thomas was elected into the Hall of Fame. After the announcement, he stopped by U.S. Cellular Field to make his rounds and hold a press conference. Below are some of the pictures from the day.

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All photos Copyright 2014 Ron Vesely/Chicago White Sox

Dreaming of Cooperstown

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in Cooperstown, NY announced its 2014 ballot today, and one very important White Sox star is front and center – Frank Thomas.

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The Big Hurt, who won consecutive American League MVP Awards in 1993 and ’94 and placed in the top three in the voting five times overall, finished his 19-year career with 2,468 hits, including 521 home runs. He drove in 1,704 runs, scored 1,494 and had more walks (1,667) than strikeouts (1,397).  Thomas ranks as the White Sox all-time leader in home runs (448), walks (1,466), runs (1,327), RBI (1,465), SLG (.568), total bases (3,949), doubles (447), extra-base hits (906) and OBP (.427).

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The ballot is being mailed this week to more than 600 voting members of the BBWAA.

Pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Eric Gagne, Thomas and second baseman Jeff Kent join 17 holdovers from the 2013 balloting that failed to produce a winning candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for the first time since 1996.

Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the 2013 ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 required for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage.

Players must be named on 75 percent of the ballots cast to earn election. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines (52.2). Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. This is the 15th and final year of eligibility for Morris.

Maddux won four consecutive National League Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Glove Awards in a 23-season career in which he compiled a 355-227 record with a 3.16 earned run average and 3,371 strikeouts in 5,008 1/3 innings combined for the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The righthander led the NL in ERA four times and won at least 15 games for 17 straight seasons, another record.

Glavine, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner (1991 and ’98) and 10-time All-Star, was 305-203 with a 3.54 ERA over 22 seasons combined with the Braves and New York Mets. The lefthander was a five-time 20-game winner and won four Silver Slugger Awards. Gagne had 55 saves and a 1.20 ERA in 77 appearances with the Dodgers in his Cy Young Award season.

Jeff Kent, the NL MVP in 2000 with the San Francisco Giants, also played for the Mets, Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros in a 17-season career during which he slammed 377 home runs, 351 of which were as a second baseman, a major league record. The five-time All-Star had at least 20 homers and 100 RBI in eight seasons, the most by any second baseman in major-league history.

Hideo Nomo, the 1995 NL Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year winner and the owner of two no-hitters; and two World Series heroes, outfielders Moises Alou (1997 Florida Marlins) and Luis Gonzalez (2001 Arizona Diamondbacks), are also on the ballot for the first time. Joining them are righthander Mike Mussina, who had a .638 winning percentage (270-153) over 18 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees; lefthander Kenny Rogers, whose perfect game for the Texas Rangers in 1994 was the highlight of a 20-year career; reliever Armando Benitez, the 2001 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year and first baseman J.T. Snow, a six-time Gold Glove Award winner. Other newcomers are relievers Todd Jones and Mike Timlin, first basemen Sean Casey and Richie Sexson, second baseman Ray Durham, catcher Paul Lo Duca and outfielder Jacque Jones.

Among others returning to the ballot are first basemen Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro; outfielders Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Larry Walker; pitchers Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and Lee Smith; shortstop Alan Trammell and third baseman-DH Edgar Martinez.

Writers must return ballots by a Dec. 31 postmark. Votes are counted jointly by BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O’Connell and Ernst & Young partner Michael DiLecce. Results will be announced at 2 p.m., EST, Wednesday, January 8, 2014, on MLB Network and the web sites of the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.

Offseason Banter

The White Sox held a conference call today with Season Ticket Holders and coaches Don Cooper and Todd Steverson.  Below are a few quotes from the call you may enjoy:

DON COOPER:

On Thanksgiving plans: “Eat some turkey. Sit back, relax and enjoy my family and friends.”

On the mentality needed to be a closer: “You have to have something, either good stuff, or an individual pitch that people swing and miss at or not center up. Like Mariano Rivera’s cutter. You have to have a thick skin and you have to be tough.”

On White Sox left-handed starters: “I feel really good about our left-handed pitchers. I feel very good about the arsenal and equipment our left-handers have and I believe they will all have good seasons.”

TODD STEVERSON:

On Thanksgiving plans: “Get the family together, watch my brother make a fried turkey and sit and watch some football games.”

On using his hitting philosophy throughout the organization: “We are in the process of speaking with our minor league staff. We will be from top to bottom, throughout the system, implementing a process [of being aggressive in the strike zone].”

On Jose Abreu: “There is a lot of positive feedback on Abreu. The fact that he can use the whole field and is not just a home run hitter is a plus. He is a strong man. He has a good idea at the plate.”

On his baseball influences: “I loved to watch Andre Dawson. Dave Winfield was one of my baseball heroes as well. I’ve been able to meet and talk baseball with both of them.”

Happy Thanksgiving

Here’s to a wonderful Thanksgiving for White Sox fans everywhere.  May you be surrounded by family and friends with many reasons to be thankful …

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