Results tagged ‘ MLB ’
Saturday, February 15, 2014
A Good Start
For the first time of thousands this spring …
“Chief! (Bullpen catcher Mark Salas) I need some baseballs!”
Physicals moved quickly and we were out on the field way ahead of schedule.
What They’re Saying on Day 1
@CST_soxvan: Reliever Mitchell Boggs, who said his deal is contingent on making 25-man, is confident: ‘My expectations are as high as they’ve ever been.’
@scottmerkin: John Danks told Herm Schneider that he feels like he’s 18 again. Ball coming out of his hand different than last year, per Danks.
@ESPNChiSox: Long shot closer candidate Daniel Webb says he just wants to make the roster. He’ll be happy with whatever role he earns.
@ChuckGarfien: Chris Sale: “I’ve got 8.6 body fat.”
Robin Ventura: “I’ve got some if you want some.”
Skipper Ventura, GM Hahn Quotes of the Day
Robin on the possibility of an 11-man pitching staff: “It’s not always easy to do, but the way we’re structured, we have to go that way every once in a while.”
Rick on Jose Abreu: “He wants to earn that money and show it was a damn good deal for the White Sox.”
Sox Spring Training Broadcast Schedule
The White Sox, Comcast SportsNet, WGN-TV and WSCR-AM 670 The Score have announced the team’s 2014 spring training broadcast schedule.
The White Sox will have 10 Cactus League games televised from Arizona (nine on Comcast SportsNet and one on WGN), and seven additional webcasts of spring training games free on whitesox.com. WSCR-AM, the club’s flagship radio station, will air nine games (including three interactive broadcasts).
Comcast SportsNet’s first spring training broadcast is scheduled for Friday, March 14 at 3:05 p.m. CDT when the White Sox face Cleveland at Camelback Ranch – Glendale (CBR). CSN will air the Sox-Cubs game at CBR on Friday, March 21. Along with airing seven home games, CSN will broadcast games at Colorado (Scottsdale) on March 23 and at Seattle (Peoria) on March 24. WGN will close out the spring broadcast schedule on Thursday, March 27 when the White Sox play the Cubs in Mesa at 2:05 p.m. CDT.
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone will work all 10 television games in their sixth season together as the White Sox broadcast team. Harrelson is set to begin his 30th season as the television voice of the White Sox, while Stone enters his sixth year in the Sox television booth.
WSCR-AM broadcasts the first of its nine games on Friday, February 28 at 2:05 p.m. CST when the White Sox open Cactus League play vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale. WSCR-AM features the on-air tandem of Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson. Three of the nine game broadcasts (March 2, 8 and 16) feature an “interactive” format, allowing listeners to interact with Farmer, Jackson, and pre and post-game host Chris Rongey during the broadcast.
In addition to television and radio broadcasts, the White Sox will present webcasts of seven spring training games, in their entirety, at whitesox.com. The spring training webcasts begin on February 28 vs. the Dodgers and are available free to all fans with internet access. Russ Langer will serve as the play-by-play announcer for all seven webcasts.
Additional information regarding spring training broadcasts and tickets at CBR can be found at whitesox.com/spring.
Sox Notes of Note
Reliever Nate Jones has a mild to moderate glute strain. He’ll be evaluated in a few days…Bullpen mate Ron Belisario is having visa issues and is not yet in camp.
Photos of the Day
Robin and Rick meet the media.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Former Sox Skipper Passes Away at 71
Jim Fregosi, a six-time All-Star as a player who managed four different major league teams including the White Sox from 1986-88, died early this morning at 71 after suffering multiple strokes. Fregosi, who most recently was a special assistant with the Braves, suffered the strokes while on a Major League Baseball alumni cruise.
We issued the following statement this morning:
“All of Jim’s friends at the White Sox were stunned and saddened at the news of his stroke and death. Jim was your classic baseball lifer, with the experiences and stories to match a career devoted to the game. He will be missed at the ballpark this spring and our thoughts go out to all of his friends and family.”
A Good Omen
Pitchers and catchers don’t officially report until tomorrow, but 25 players are already in camp working out, including Jose Abreu, who was out in the cages hitting early this morning. “He lives in the batting cage,” someone noted.
Photo of the Day
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Sox Make the Grade
With White Sox pitchers and catchers set to report on Saturday, the Sports Illustrated website gives big props to the moves we made over the Winter.
Strikeouts for Sale
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Chris Sale has struck out 417 batters in his 59 career starts. That’s the most for any pitcher in White Sox history in their first 59 career starts for the team. And only two active pitchers had more career K’s in their first 59 career starts than Sale.
Most Strikeouts, first 59 starts for White Sox: Sale (417), Juan Pizarro (354), Javier Vazquez (345), Jake Peavy (333), Gary Peters (320).
Most Strikeouts, first 59 career starts, active pitchers: Yu Darvish (481), Tim Lincecum (421), Sale (417), Stephen Strasberg (399), Yovani Gallardo (373).
Nate Jones Chosen as “White Sox of the Year”
White Sox reliever Nate Jones was honored Monday as “White Sox of the Year” at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois benefiting the March of Dimes. Jones was honored for his outstanding work in the community as well as his play on the field.
White Sox, Birmingham Extend Agreement
The Sox and the Birmingham Barons, the club’s Class AA affliate, have agreed on a four-year extension that will run through the 2018 season, ensuring that the partnership will reach 32 consecutive seasons. The Barons won the Southern League championship in 2013.
Dream Comes True for White Sox Amateur City Elite Standout Darius Day
Having overcome early baseball struggles, Simeon’s Darius Day is headed to play for “the college of his dreams”–the University of Arizona.
Last August 24th during the 2013 Civil Rights Game festivities in Chicago, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon (pictured above), who grew up on the South Side, gave the keynote address at a luncheon the day of the game. He touched upon a variety of subjects including his youth, baseball in Chicago, the Negro Leagues and the Civil Rights movement. It seems appropriate, in light of Black History Month, to revisit his words with you here:
Good afternoon everybody…people always associate me with basketball because I cover a lot of basketball and talk about it a lot for ESPN. But baseball is my first love. I grew up here on the South Side. If nobody else knows that, my mother, who is here with me today, 87 years young and back in Chicago after a lot of years away, (does). I am thrilled she is here. She was my first catcher, so she knows my first love was baseball.
I am thrilled to be here. Anytime I am in a room with Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson, I get a little jittery and it just becomes a little bit overwhelming in addition to all the other great ballplayers, many of whom I have gotten to know over the years. I started out wanting to get in this business to be a baseball writer — that was the goal. Once I realized I wasn’t going to be Ferguson Jenkins, then I wanted to be a baseball writer and that’s how it started.
Memphis, Cincinnati, and Atlanta have given the Civil Rights Game a weekend, a wonderful foundation through six seasons for which I am sure Major League Baseball is thankful. But the event is now where it belongs, in Chicago. More specifically, on the South Side of Chicago, and even more specifically than that, 35th Street where Negro League Baseball thrived for decades–and just a few blocks from Bronzeville, which was the center of Chicago’s Civil Rights struggles.
It’s the South Side of Chicago and Comiskey Park that were home 27 times to what in my house was called the Negro League All-Star Game. I know that wasn’t the official name but that’s what it was called by my parents. It was home for most of his 102 years to Ted Double-Duty Radcliffe, who said his finest moment of a great many came in the 1944 game–and the White Sox honor Ted, of course, every year. It was even home to Rube Foster, the father of black baseball, who in 1920 finally got Negro League Baseball, essentially as we knew it, off the ground and really running. Before that began the league gave the South Side the Chicago American Giants. Just last week, the youngest player to ever play in the Negro Leagues, Marvin Price, passed away in Chicago. He was 14-years-old when he showed up for a tryout with the American Giants. The manager thought he was looking at the team’s new bat boy.
A lot of young men have played a lot of baseball in Chicago, but 99.9% of it nowhere near what Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson, Ferguson Jenkins, and so many other people that we associate with Chicago produced when they played here. I grew up playing baseball on the South Side. I was pretty unhittable at 14 or 15 years old, I thought. Until this tank of a kid, he was like 5’6, 200 pounds at 13,14-years-old. He crushed a pitch I threw about 370 feet. Again, he was like 14 and I asked after the inning, “Who the hell that kid was?” And somebody said, “You don’t know him? His name is Puckett, Kirby Puckett.” I said “So, okay let’s keep track of him.” When I was covering baseball for the Washington Post 10 years later, I walked into the Minnesota Twins locker room, and Puckett extends his hand and was like, “Don’t I know you? You look familiar.” And I was like, “Nah, that’s got to be somebody else. It can’t be me. We’ve never seen each other.”
I should probably detour a little bit to explain. I grew up on the South Side with a father who rooted exclusively for the White Sox. He vowed he would never set foot in Wrigley Field after being shooed away from the box office on the occasion of Jackie Robinson’s very first game in Chicago. Fairly early on I rooted for both teams, and I became a Cubs fan. Uh, this growing up on the South Side but rooting for the Cubs isn’t nearly as complex as most Chicagoans want to make it. A good chunk of my Little League in West Chatham Park, which is still there, was sponsored by Ernie Banks Ford. That in and of itself was a reason enough for me to root for Ernie Banks which also meant rooting for the Cubs. We had Ernie Banks Ford on the back of a lot of our uniforms.
In the segregated Chicago that I grew up in, in the 60s and 70s, black ballplayers regardless which of the teams they played for, lived primarily on the South Side. They were my neighbors and they came to neighborhood Little League parades on Opening Day. I have home movies to prove it. They bought our uniforms. They told us to get the hell off the corner well after dark and go home when they were done driving to their own homes after day games at the ballpark.
Baseball, not basketball, not football, was the first choice for children then. Yes, black children. We didn’t need back then the RBI program, Amateur City Elite Program, or the Urban Youth Academies. Those have been so wisely and necessarily conceived, and efficiently executed programs by Major League Baseball, which connect urban kids to all kinds of marvelous baseball opportunities now. It was a different time. Before African-American boys fell in love with basketball to the exclusion of virtually everything else. It was a time when we wanted to be the next Henry Aaron, Frank Robinson or, in my case, Ferguson Jenkins. Baseball just a few miles south of here, in my case, was a daily escape from the very adult news of marches, riots, of clashes between protestors and police, or lynch mobs. It felt with most of it happening in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama to be somewhere else, but nothing was ever very far from the reach of Chicago, not ever. Certainly, not in any stew of sports, race, and conflict.
You could go all the way back to July 4th, 1910, to the great Jack Johnson, who lived in Chicago and was buried here in the Graceland Cemetery. He beat Jim Jeffries in the first and most important fight of the century. It was that important because it probably was the only time a prize fight caused race riots, which it did in approximately 50 cities, including this one, New York, Kansas City, Philly, Houston, and New Orleans.
Jeffries, the first real great white hope, had lost to Johnson and all hell broke loose. People were shooting and stabbing folks for walking down the street and being the wrong color. Johnson stalked then champion Tommy Burns around the world, literally, and down to Australia for two years; he wasn’t just ahead of his time, Johnson was in a time warp. This was 1908, when lynching a black man was so common. It helped drive 6.5 million black people out of the South over the next 60 years in a phenomenon called “The Great Migration” and into places like the South Side of Chicago. Jack Johnson, of course, couldn’t have cared less or feared any of it. He was ahead of his time.
Likewise, sports were almost always ahead of its time, too, when it came to race relations. As sad as it was that black ballplayers, talented men, had been driven from professional baseball and football early in the 20th century. The fact is that Jackie Robinson desegregated baseball a year before President Truman ordered the desegregation of U.S. Military as Commissioner Selig reminded us earlier. Five years before the first black character Louise Beavers as “Beulah” starred in a television series. Seven years before the Supreme Court declared the segregation in public school unconstitutional. Eight years before Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus. Ten years before nine black students, under the watch of Federal Troops, integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. Seventeen years before President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 24 years before the U.S. Supreme Court got rid of laws banning interracial marriages. That’s how ahead of its time Jackie Robinson’s desegregation of baseball was. Ballparks had turned out to be the first public places where blacks and whites could, without much effort, sit together and eat popcorn and root for the home team, whether it was the American League White Sox or the Negro League American Giants.
While finding out in the process that neither black ballplayers nor black fans were demons. Nobody would make that case aloud that desegregating baseball was as important as desegregating public schools. Except that athletic progress just about always preceded progress anywhere and everywhere else in our culture. And then, there was a matter of winning and losing that suddenly — as the former became lucrative — trumped everything else.
As a Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist wrote about then Redskins owner George Preston Marshall refusing to have a black player in the early 1960s, quote, “Drafting blacks is not an argument for social equality. It’s a matter of practical football policy. The Redskins were spotting their rivals the tremendous advantage of exclusive rights to a whole race containing excellent football players.” It’s impossible to argue with that. Still, the Redskins owner would not relent until the Kennedy Administration threatened to kick the Redskins out of their taxpayer supported stadium. Very, very fortunately that sort of inhumane thing never played out here in Chicago, though, plenty else did.
Not talked about nearly enough was the role sports columnist Wendell Smith played in baseball desegregation. His agitation in favor of Jackie Robinson and his subsequent move to the Chicago Herald American, then the Chicago Sun-Times, and ultimately WGN-TV, as one of, if not the first black sports anchor in America. I didn’t realize it at the time when I was watching him on Channel 9 every night, but he would impact my professional life more than that of anybody I grew up idolizing. Smith was on the front line of civil rights movements in sports. More than a half dozen years before Jackie Robinson was allowed to join the Dodgers, it was Wendell Smith who was agitating behind the scenes, whenever possible, for Jackie to lead the “great experiment” as it was called at one point.
I had the privilege during a recent trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, of seeing the letters he and Jackie wrote each other at the end of that historic, dramatic, stressful season of 1947. I wish Wendell Smith had lived long enough to cover not just Jerry Reinsdorf’s selecting Kenny Williams to be general manager of the White Sox without any outside agitation, but Kenny Williams doing exactly what Jackie Robinson did when given the opportunity – win. The only baseball winner in this town that’s been seen in nearly a 100 years was built by a man, for who the first 120 years of this game’s existence would never been given a chance, and ultimately that is what the Civil Rights movement is about.
My five-year-old son, Matthew, asked me the other night, “Dad, what’s Civil Rights?” He’s too young at this point to understand it’s the long, non-violent struggle to achieve cultural and racial equality under the law. So, I told him the struggle for Civil Rights is about inclusion. That’s all it’s really about. Inclusion on fields, in dugouts, front offices, sidelines, press boxes, training rooms, and roles that are large and small in any and all areas of our national life. It’s appropriate also that we are commemorating Dr. King’s speech here in Chicago, which is one of several cities where he used the “I Have a Dream” theme in a speech. Dr. King actually used it here, two weeks before he arrived in DC for the march on Washington. During the first decade of his public life, he visited Chicago all the time, seeking support for his agendas, which thankfully turned into national priorities. To annually celebrate that effort, to which so many people devoted their lives, is one of the noblest things Major League Baseball, the City of Chicago, and all of us could possibly do.
And for that, again, and for having me, I’d like to thank you, Commissioner Selig, and I want to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams. It’s an honor and really a prideful day no matter where you’re from, but I think particularly if you’re from Chicago and you know the struggles of both Civil Rights and how far baseball has come, as (the Commissioner) reminds us all the time as a social institution.
Here’s Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Sox President Ken Williams at the 2013 Civil Rights Game celebration.
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.
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.
Something For Everybody at SoxFest
Here’s a mini-tour of the Exhibitor Hall/Gift Shop/Garage Sale:
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.”
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.
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.
Wednesday, December 18. 2013
Earlier Wednesday, Paul Konerko took part in a special conference call exclusively for White Sox season ticket holders. Here are a few of his answers to questions directly from Sox fans:
On adjusting to late-game pinch hitting: “I will learn on the job as I go. I’ve had a lot of situations to draw from over my career. Your energy is there and your bat speed is there so you will try to use that to your advantage.”
On his role with Robin Ventura: “I want to be ready at all moments for what Robin wants me to do. I want to be on call for Robin for whatever he needs and not have to worry about what I am thinking.”
On whether he would ever consider coming back in 2015: “This is going to be it. Hopefully this goes well and would love nothing more than to do well when I play and whatever is asked of me. I would love to help some of these younger guys that have talent and be there for those guys. I’m hoping that with the lack of playing this year, there are moments where I have the energy to teach guys things they don’t know.”
On young Sox players Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia: “Eaton is the guy that can make things go if he hits his stride. A guy like Eaton can be a someone who is a complete steal because of the tools he has. He can be a real mainstay. Garcia has as much power as anyone I’ve seen in the last 10 years. If he really gets it, he can be a monster. He could be a big-time threat.”
On celebrating the Christmas season: “When you have three kids, you have to get into Christmas. Being in Arizona, I wish we could have cold weather for one week to feel more like Christmas.”
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Late yesterday afternoon, newly acquired third baseman Matt Davidson spent some time talking to Chicago media about his reaction to Monday’s trade. Here are some of Matt’s comments …
On being traded for Addison Reed:
“It’s pretty unreal. It would have been awesome if we were working out at the same time when we both got the call. I haven’t touched base with him yet, but I’m sure we will touch base soon.”
On being in the White Sox long-term plans:
“I’m just extremely glad and blessed to have the opportunity to actually be in the plans like that. That’s what any player wants and just to know that the White Sox organization wanted me so much that they made the trade. I mean Addison is a great closer, he had 40 saves last year. It helps a lot with confidence as they believe in me.”
On the White Sox and Chicago:
“Well, I’ve never been there and the closest I’ve been I played in South Bend. I really don’t know too much. I’ve picked up a Sox hat last night and been wearing in all day. I like the colors and the uniforms are cool. I’ve just been trying to check everything out. I’ve played in high school with Trayce Thompson and actually went to the same high school with Scott Snodgress, who’s in the organization as well. Mark Teahen went to the same high school, he played for the Sox for a couple of years. One of my mom’s good friends is Aaron Rowand’s brother. I’m excited to give them a call and see want the vibe is.”
On changing anything in his game this offseason because of the trade:
“No, not at all. The bottom line is that I just want to become the most complete player I can be. Whatever that entails I always work on everything and trying to get better. There’s definitely a lot more excitement going it spring training with a new team, to a new facility and new city. It’s the first time I’ve been traded so it’s a new feeling, but definitely excited to get going and start a good year with the Sox.”
On being blocked by players in Arizona:
“It’s awesome, just the mindset where you are just waiting for an injury or whenever you get in you are trying to put a little too much pressure on yourself when you are trying to prove too much with the handful of at-bats you have.“
On the goal of being the starting third baseman:
“Yea definitely, that’s the goal. I just got to take care of what I need to take care of and hopefully everything goes well. Whether is staring in Triple A, I trust whatever decision they make. The long term goal is obviously to be there starting Opening Day or June or even if it takes a whole year. I just know that when I get there I want to stick in the big leagues. I don’t want to be just up and down. Whenever that timetable is just as long the long term is sticking there.”
On U.S. Cellular Field:
“What I’ve learned as a hitter over my career is that where I do have the power, where I do start focusing on that, that’s when I start getting those strikeouts and my approach changes. When I have that nice line drive approach that’s when the all the home runs start getting out. That’s just the part of developing as a young hitter and just maturing. If I can just stay in that positive approach then those home runs start coming, but when I try to do too much just like any other hitter your swing gets long and you start to strikeout. The fact that it is a hitter’s park you get more relaxed and just know that when you hit one good it will go.”
On Adam Eaton being on the team:
“We played together in High A and Double A. Obviously it’s going to be a brand new experience and brand new guys, which hopefully is an easy transition. It’s really cool to have a guy that I was with a couple months ago. That will definitely ease the transition a bit.”
On his defense:
“I don’t think any type of player with any type of tool is going to be happy with where they are at. I think nobody wants to quit working. I feel confidence with my defensive game. Obviously is always a work in process, you can always get better. Even Gold Gloves are always working on something to get better. Obviously having Robin there is going to be a huge help. I had a lot of people over at the Diamondbacks once I got called up teach me a lot of things in that month with Chavez and Prado and Matt Williams. I have improved every single year. When I was coming out of the draft I barely knew how to dive because I was kind of just a pitcher. Maybe I was totally gifted right away and haven’t been playing shortstop or third base growing up because I was a pitcher. I had to learn all that at the pro level. So it has been hard and it has been something that I’ve been working out and I take pride in working on it. I will never stop working on that. I know that I have to get better and that I need to get better and that is my goal.”
Tuesday, December 17, 2014
After yesterday’s trade announcement (3B Matt Davidson in exchange for Addison Reed), Rick talked a little bit about the move, how it came about and what it means for the pitching staff.
On Davidson being Major League ready:
“We were able to acquire in Davidson, another young position player with a chance to be part of our new core. While it’s never easy to give up homegrown players, we did feel it was imperative to start addressing some of the position player issues we have. You know some of that remains to be seen. We feel that he has the potential to be a middle of the order run producer for a long time, whether that starts on Opening Day 2014 or soon thereafter. We’ll have to figure out over the coming weeks and months as we get to know him and see him ourselves. He was young for the Triple A level last year at age 22. Although he has a good approach at the plate and the ball jumps off the bat there’s still a little bit of refinement that can take place. We’ll decide if that’s better to take place at Triple A or at the big league level. I do feel that when he does get here he’s going to be here for a long time. We just need to pick the right time to start that.”
On a projected closer:
“I don’t feel the urgency to anoint anyone the closer. We have some internal candidates such as Nate Jones or Matt Lindstrom or even Daniel Webb, who can potentially fill that role. We still have some acquisitions which some of them haven’t been announced or at least one of them hasn’t been announced, despite being widely reported, that’s going to help supply some depth for the bullpen. Frankly our scouts and player development people have done a really nice job over the years providing us with options and I’m confident that’s going to continue. Just like we entered the 2012 season without anyone specifically anointed the closer, in fact it was Hector who won that job and Addison took it over, we were able to be in first place for a large stretch of that season despite entering spring training without having anyone written in stone in that role. I just don’t see it’s that essential to do in mid December.”
On Matt’s defense:
“Solid actions, strong arm, good hands, the question that you will hear from time to time with scouts and has been written about publicly is about his lateral movement. We think it’s going to improve, it’s going to continue to improve, we see him over there for the long term once the development is finished.”
On how the trade came about:
“The end game was probably quick. Kevin and I have been talking and we made no secret about going back for several weeks primarily about Adam Eaton, but there were other players in the Diamondback organization that we talked about at times including Matt. No one probably noticed but right when our press conference ended in Orlando where the three of us were sitting up there talking about the three-way trade I wondered over and said to Kevin we still have interest in Davidson by the way if you see a fit, I think that was Tuesday when we announced that deal. We started exchanging names on Wednesday and closed the deal off on Friday night. The end game was quick but the run up took a few weeks.”
On valuing the closer role:
“I don’t think its fair characterization to say that we don’t value it. I think isn’t more about having confidence in our ability, scouts and coaches to develop someone capable of filling that role. Look, going back to 2005 we had three different guys close out games in 2005 between Shingo and Hermanson and ultimately Bobby Jenks. It’s an important role and it’s not an easy job, it’s one where, knock on wood, we have a pretty decent track record in terms of finding the right guy when the need arrives. It just felt at this time, give where we’ve been from a position side of things, we had to take the opportunity to get what we feel to be a potential long term core position player piece.”
On excitement about Davidson, Aberu, Garcia and Eaton:
“We’re very excited but at the same time we’re optimistic about their future. We do realize that it’s a process and there’s going to be some growing pains along the way, whether it’s from playing in a new country or playing in a new league or getting your really first extended taste of a big league opportunity, the development path is not going to be linear. When this thing gets right, when the development is complete and we have these players coming along on the same path it’s really want we’ve been striving for awhile here. We really want to have a young core not just from a position player standpoint, but from a pitching standpoint with guys like Chris Sale and Jose Quintana and Nate Jones and others that play the game we want it played, that have been ideally developed by guys or least have had the finishing touches put on by our guys and our able to grow together in to a championship group. These four players that we have acquired since July we feel each have the ability to be an important part of it. Some of the players we have had at the big league level before could very well be a part of it, as well as some of the players we have coming in the system that are near ready. When we set out to try and cure some of the things that ailed us last season it was with the intent to do this on a quicker time frame and primarily by adding pieces that were major league ready or near major league ready that could grow together, and over the last few months we feel that we were able to do that.”
On potential moves to come:
“Nothing is just one phone call away just yet. There are a few other items that we have on our wish list. All of us here have tried to be realistic as we go through this process and realize that we may not be able to address all of the things on our hit list in one offseason, that it may take us into next season or potentially into the following offseason. There’s still some things we want to do and frankly I’m not sure if we will ever be able to exhale until we get to win the last game of the postseason, whenever that happens in the future. We feel good about this start but we know that it’s only a start and we still have a few more items that we hopefully can check off our list in the coming weeks before we get to Glendale.”
On trading Addison:
“I can understand some surprise in that and it’s not like we were out shopping Addison. He’s certainly a quality big league closer and that has value to us as well as to others. It was just a matter of continuing the process that we started in July that we felt was a little more pressing and that we had some alternatives to potential step in to Addison’s role. I certainly get the surprise but hopefully at the same time we have done a decent enough job over the months to try to accomplish what we been doing and where we hope to go.”
On trading young players for other team’s young players:
“Ideally it comes from within and that’s where we are trying to get to and I think we are close to being able to do that. Someone earlier on the call mentioned Marcus Semien, Micah Johnson, Trayce Thompson and others are getting close to being able to help us in Chicago and we certainly over the years have had many home grown pitchers able to contribute to first place division clubs in Chicago for us. So until we get to that point we are going to have to continue to acquire good, young potential impact position players from other organizations, but I do feel that day of us being able to self efficient in that regard is not too far off.”
On confidence to develop pitching:
“Our scouts have been able to find and sign big league quality pitching talent and it’s a nice luxury for someone in the GM seat to have, but you never feel good about trading young pitching because it’s extremely difficult to acquire in this game. It does give me some level of confidence knowing that we got those same scouts and PD guys in place, that have developed guys over a decade plus, to find replacements going forward.”
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Adam Eaton talked a bit about the trade, what it means for his future and what he’s going to bring to the White Sox.
On being traded:
“Well, I mean it was very shocking. This past spring training I thought I was going to be around for five to 10 years, that’s what they told me. They went into a new direction and so have I. I’m excited for the opportunity and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back in the Midwest and in the AL Central. As shocked as I was it was more excitement to a new beginning, new club and new city, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
On what type of player he views himself as:
“I perceive myself as whatever you want me to do I’ll do. I don’t care if you throw me behind the plate, I’m going to make the best of it. I’d love to be at the top of the lineup, but if that’s not where I’m needed than that’s not where I’m needed. I’ll play anywhere at any time. I would like to think I’m a Lenny Dykstra, Kenny Lofton kind of a guy that’s going to be a scrappy dirt bag kind of guy that’s going to get after it day in and day out, but hopefully bring in a little finesse too and a little speed and quickness and score some runs. I think if I can hang my hat on a .300 average and score 100 runs with an on-base percentage around .400 I think I had a heck of a year. I think it’s definitely doable and that’s what I’m shooting for this coming year.”
On his injury from last year:
“It was a very difficult time in my life and I learned a lot about myself and my wife, we were newlyweds at the time. It was about week prior to breaking camp, I think I hit around .383-90, I was ready to go. I was a rookie out of camp but I felt that I earned my job. I was pumped to start the year and it comes as it did and it’s tough. The three months that I was out we had a little bit of a setback. I was two to three days out from actually returning and made a hard throw in Ground Rock, Texas and it kind of blew up on me again so we restarted the process of it again. I came back fairly healthy I would say. I don’t think I came back too soon by any stretch of the imagination. As I heard before with these injuries every throw, especially with the outfield you don’t throw for four innings and all of a sudden you let one loose. Throughout the rest of the season the confidence grew back in it and the strength of it came back. It hasn’t been an issue this offseason, I haven’t thrown at all, but you can kind of feel it here and there during the injury and throughout the injury. It’s been a lot better and I don’t think it’s going to be an issue at all during spring training.”
On the mentality of a leadoff hitter:
“To get on base at all costs. I don’t care if I get hit in the head, hit in the ankle. Try to see 10-12 pitches and to get on base in any, doesn’t matter, because I know with the guys we have behind us like Konerko, Dunn and Beckham and all those guys am one pitch away from scoring. I feel like I’m in scoring position when I’m on first when there’s a ball hit in to the gap.”
On bring energy and an edge to the White Sox:
Yea definitely I think that my 5-8 stature I think a lot of people relate to it. I definitely think I can do that and being a young guy I have to have that type of energy, I need that type of spark. I’m excited to bring that energy to the team and whatever they need me to do I’ll do it.
On what he needs to work on:
“I think consistency, I think all of us deal with that word all the way to Miguel Cabrera to Albert Pujols to me. Especially last year I found it more in the minor leagues, but when you get to the big league level everyone else in more consistent. So, you need to raise that level of play and I think if I can be consistent day in and day out with my approach hitting I think my defense will always be there because you can control that energy you bring in the outfield.”
On favorite team growing up and coming to Chicago being a hockey fan:
“I was a Cleveland Indians fan growing up. I was a big mid 90s early 90s guy with Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel, I was huge fan of those guys. I’m a huge hockey fan, grew up in Ohio never really got much into the Columbus team, but when we moved out to Arizona we never missed a game with the Coyotes. It’s going to be a tough transition to say the least but we were willing to make it. We heard nothing but good things about the Blackhawks and we are excited to hopefully see a few games this winter.”