Results tagged ‘ Glendale ’
March 27, 2013
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.
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.
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
The victorious Spring finale today in Glendale with Opening Day on the horizon.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Here are the highlights from today’s first Sox intrasquad game at Camelback Ranch: Team 1 (major league starters) nipped Team 2 (mostly minor leaguers), 4-3, in a 5 1/2 inning contest. Team 1 was paced by Brent Morel (double, RBI, run scored) and Blake Tekotte (triple, RBI). Simon Castro gave up a lone run in two innings of work. Josh Bell (single, RBI) and Jared Mitchell (RBI, HBP) collected RBIs for Team 2, while Leyson Septimo pitched one scoreless inning. Here was the scene at today’s game:
Assistant GM Buddy Bell Reviews Sox Prospects
On 2012 No. 1 draft pick Courtney Hawkins: “One of the reasons we sent Courtney up to (Class A) Kannapolis is that we wanted to get him in an environment that was faster than (Advanced Rookie) Bristol. The (high Class A) Winston-Salem thing tricked us because he did so well. As it turns out, no matter what level we sent him to he actually kept getting better and better and that’s a testament to how talented he is. It also showed us the kind of makeup he has and that he’s a tough kid who gets better as the lights get brighter, which is great for moving up the ladder and eventually getting to Chicago. We’d like to get him to Double A (Birmingham) by the end of the year. In saying that, if he doesn’t get to Double-A it’s not that big of a deal.”
On 2009 No. 1 pick Jared Mitchell: “As (last) season went on, he got healthier…He, for me, probably looks better than anybody in camp right now in terms of body and progress. We had him in the instructional league last year for about 10 days and he kind of tweaked his hitting approach a little bit. His balance is really good right now and I’m really anxious to see what he does in a game. He’s probably one of our top five guys in the organization when it comes to competing. This kid competes like crazy, right now he’s as impressive as anyone we have in camp. He’ll start the season at (AAA) Charlotte.”
On who is the one prospect to have the kind of year Carlos Sanchez had in 2012: ” (Infielder) Joey DeMichele. “We drafted him out of Arizona State and he’s a really interesting guy. We’d like to think of him kind of like (Jason) Kipnis of Cleveland, because he can run a little bit, has some pop in his bat and is a high-energy kid…We’re kind of on the fence whether he starts at (A) Winston-Salem or (AA) Birmingham. We’re also looking for (Tyler) Saladino to have a (good) year as well. He’ll start at Birmingham.”
On promising prospect Trayce Thompson: ”He’s going to start in (AA) Birmingham. We expect really good things from him. He’s another guy who looks really good, he’s always had a terrific body but he’s starting to get his man strength in his shoulders and legs. Obviously, he’s had two really good years and we want to be careful with him because kids with power, they seem to come a little later, especially outfielders.”
Kenny Williams on CNBC
Kenny, who was named to the annual list of 100 influential African-American leaders by thegrio.com, appeared on CNBC discussing the business of Major League Baseball and building a championship team. Click on the link to see the interview.
Behind the Scenes with Coop and Herm
Here’s an interesting conversation among CSN’s Dan Hayes, Sox pitching coach Don Cooper and head trainer Herm Schneider. Click the link below.
Sox Notes of Note
Dan Plesac and Ken Rosenthal from the MLB Network are onsite today as part of the net’s tour through team spring training sites. Check out the coverage tonight on MLBN.
Jake Peavy, the Padres’ Chase Headley, the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier took part in a photo shoot for GQ Magazine last night at the Camelback Ranch – Glendale ballpark. The photo spread is scheduled to run in the May issue of GQ. “At least I wasn’t alone,” Peavy joked this morning. I told him it would be a little tough in May to run all around the state of Alabama buying all the copies of GQ … then again, maybe not!
Chris Sale Q&A Conference Call With Sox Fans, Part II (First Part Appeared in Wednesday’s Post)
Would you ever want to learn how to throw a knuckleball ”I don’t think I quite have an arm slot to throw a knuckleball. I’ve always messed around with it growing up. It’s funny you mention this because I play catch in the off-season with my dad who can throw a pretty good one, and he always gives me crap about it because he has a better pitch than I do. I don’t see it in my future, but if it comes down to it I wouldn’t be opposed to learning it.”
Going into next season, is there added pressure in the American League Central Division with the recent additions among teams? ”I wouldn’t say it’s added pressure. I think it’s added motivation to be honest with you. It motivates us to live up to who we are and what we do. This is a team effort, but it takes a group of 25 individuals putting everything they have into one collective group. We have guys in here that put it on the line and we all play for each other. That’s the main thing and that’s what we did last year and it worked well. I don’t think we’re going to sit here and say we have more pressure on ourselves, I think we have more determination going into this year. It’s not going to get any easier from this day forward. We all know that and we expected that. We’re ready for it.”
What do you believe you or the team can do to improve upon last year’s performance? ”You set out every year to be the best you can be. For myself, personally, I don’t like to set goals or a bar for myself because sometimes you don’t reach that bar and you get down on yourself and get disappointed. Also, say you reach that bar, you kind of give up. You say ‘I’ve met my goal so I can cruise in from here on out’. For me, I want to be as consistent as I possibly can and do everything I can to help the team win. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m going to rattle out this many wins and this is going to be my ERA, but obviously I’m going to take into account what happened last year and work on things I didn’t do so well and sharpen the things that I did do well and see where it takes me.”
Who is the toughest challenge you had in the batter’s box last season? ”I have to go with Billy Butler from Kansas City. It seemed like every time I faced that team, if I gave up five runs, he had three RBIs. He, for the most part last year, owned me. I’m very disappointed to say that. He’s just a good hitter and he hits the fast ball well, and it seemed like he had a little bit better eye than he had in the past. He took me deep a few times last year and in previous years. He seems to be the one guy that gives me the most trouble at the plate.”
As White Sox fans, are we ready to say that we have one of the best starting rotations? “Well, I’m hoping you guys are saying that. We’re all definitely excited to see where this goes and how it plays out. Not only do we have an unbelievable group of guys, but we have some great talented athletes. I think getting Johnny (John Danks) back and having him healthy is huge. I was throwing in the cage next to him today and I’ve been throwing bullpens next to him for the last couple times and he’s looking really good. He’s very confident. You can tell he’s got that step back and is happy to be here. He’s working hard and he’s doing everything he can. That’s going to be fun to see. As a group, we’re all excited. We all pull for each other and we push each other; we have friendly rivalries. We all sit down and talk about pitching. We might be good on paper, but we’re a tight knit group as well, both in the clubhouse and off the field. We’re all pulling for each other and that’s the best part. We don’t get jealous. We’re all rooting for each other and have each other’s back. There’s an open line of communication between us and we’re bouncing ideas off of each other. I hope you’re as excited as we are because we’re thrilled to get this year started.”
Do you know when your first live appearance will be on the mound in Spring Training? ”Our first game is coming up on Saturday, but I’m not 100 percent what day I’ll be throwing. I’m still talking with Coop about that. I don’t think I’m going to throw in February or start a game in February. We’re bouncing ideas off each other and we’ll see where it goes.”
Quote of the Day
From the Sox clubhouse: “If I tell you it’s Christmas in July, hang the stocking.”
Play of the Day
GM Rick Hahn interrupted a conversation today by saying, “wait until (Blake Tekotte) triples.”
On the very next pitch, you guessed it, Tekotte tripled to right field.
I told him to save them for when they count.
White Sox players will go through a media session tomorrow morning with Kevin Sullivan, former White House Communications Director (and huge Sox fan, by the way).
Did You Know…
…Jeff Keppinger led his University of Georgia team to the College World Series in his junior season with a .389 BA, 18 homers and 73 RBIs? He hit .444 in the CWS, including a triple and a two-run homer off of former major leaguer Mark Prior, then pitching at USC.
Photo of the Day
Sox GM Rick Hahn is shown here taping a segment with CSN’s Dave Kaplan for tonight’s “Chicago Tribune Live.”
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Annual Rite of Spring
Today was Photo Day at White Sox camp, the one day each spring when photographers from Major League Baseball, the team and all the various licensees (think baseball cards, products, etc.) snap early morning photos of our staff and players.
Setup begins the day before and folks, including many from my staff, arrive veeeerrry early in the morning. We have an early-to-rise camp, so while we say Photo Day starts at 7:00 a.m., guys started going through our line closer to 6:20 a.m. By 8:40 a.m., the dust had settled.
Here is an image from the day …
While we maybe had 8-10 different stations today, you can imagine what Photo Day was like when Michael Jordan was in camp, something like 40 stops by my recollection. And Jordan’s response to photographers was always classic: “If I only get two free throws, then you only get two shots too.” And after two clicks of the camera, he moved on …
Robin on Matt Thornton Being Slowed Down by Elbow Soreness
“He just said it (the elbow) didn’t feel right. We have so much time down here, I think it’s safer to slow him down and get him out of drills and make sure he’s comfortable with it before he continues on…You’re concerned every time a guy has that. I don’t know what level it’s at right now. Again, the beauty of being down here so early is you can give him this time off and he can catch back up if there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Rain, wind and cold weather predicted for Glendale.
Did You Know…
…that Sox reliever Donnie Veal is a cousin of former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento, CA mayor, Kevin Johnson?
Photo of the Day
The Sodfather: Only with the White Sox would our world famous groundskeeper Roger Bossard sneak into line on Photo Day with his trusty rake. I told him he needed a new pullover.