Results tagged ‘ Nate Jones ’

Keep an Eye on White Sox ACE product Ro Coleman and Vandy in College World Series

Friday, June 20, 2014 

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 Today’s News

 Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.37) for the Sox, RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-5, 5.66) for Minnesota.

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

 

Aces

The White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) program got a huge boost this season with two of its products, Vanderbilt’s Ro Coleman and Louisville’s Corey Ray (both pictured above), making it to the College World Series with their respective teams. What makes it an even better story is that freshman outfielders Coleman and Ray are also close friends and former teammates at Simeon Career Academy.

While Louisville has been eliminated, Vandy is still very much alive and undefeated in the double-elimination tournament going into their game today with the University of Texas.

“It’s kind of surreal, like I’m actually living a dream.” Coleman told MLB.com. “Just a wonderful experience and I’m blessed to be here.”

Since its inception in 2007, the ACE program for inner-city youngsters has had numerous alumni drafted by professional teams with 85 players receiving athletic aid to play collegiate baseball.  Last year’s graduating class included 13 players committed to collegiate institutions during the early signing period. 

Three ACE players were drafted during the 2014 First-Year Player Draft–Darius Day by the Rangers and Anthony Justiniano and James Davison by the Sox. Davison, a Morgan Park High School grad, has chosen to postpone his pro career and attend Howard College in Big Spring, Tex. on an athletic scholarship (see story below). 

Kevin Coe, the White Sox director of youth baseball initiatives who coached Coleman and Ray, traveled to Omaha with a group of about 50 current ACE players with the hope they could also make it some day to college baseball’s mecca.

“The kids really loved the trip. They were able to see in Ro and Corey, kids just like them, that if you dream and work toward a goal, you can make it happen,” Coe said. “During the trip, one of the 12-year-olds in our program came up to me, shook my hand and said, ‘Coach, I want to thank you for bringing us here. Now I know what all the work is for and what I’m working toward.’ And, of course, their parents were so grateful that their youngsters could experience all of it.”

Coe also talked about how Ray came by, spent time with the young players, talked to them individually and took pictures.

“This was what we set out to do at the beginning of the program–to teach them the fundamentals at a young age so when they get older, they’ll be prepared to do what Ro and Corey have done. This was just proof that we’re doing the right things.”

“We really could not be more proud of these two kids (Coleman and Ray),” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told MLB.com. “They’ve literally grown up as teammates in the White Sox ACE program, and to see them excel at the college level in their freshman seasons speaks to their skills, their work ethic and the baseball fundamentals taught to our ACE kids by our staff and coaches.”

 

More on James Davison

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140618/morgan-park/white-sox-draft-pick-james-davison-has-major-league-confidence

 

Plays of the Day

Jose Quintana rebounded from his subpar last start, allowing just two runs, six hits and a walk while striking out a half-dozen batters in last night’s loss to the Twins…Conor Gillaspie drove in a pair of runs with a single.

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Sale Punks Carroll

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140619/bridgeport/chris-sales-hat-pranks-rookie-teammate-scott-carroll

 

“Wild Pitches”

Chicago White Sox Charities and the White Sox Wives will host the second annual variety show event, “Wild Pitches,” on Sunday, July 20 at Bub City in Chicago.

The evening of comedy, music and entertainment will be hosted by Chicago standup comedian Pat McGann and feature live music by the Rendition Band. The event also includes both live and silent auction packages.

In addition to last year’s star performers, Paul and Jennifer Konerko, participants will include Brittany and Gordon Beckham, John Danks and his wife, country singer Ashley Monroe, Katie and Adam Eaton, Nancy and Tyler Flowers and Lacy and Nate Jones. Manager Robin Ventura and his wife Stephanie also are participating. Tickets are available at whitesoxcharities.org.

 

Quote of the Day 

Sox reliever Nate Jones has made enough progress in his rehab from micro discectomy surgery to correct back issues leading to hip pain that he’s traveling with the team on the current road trip. While there’s no timetable for his return, he feels optimistic. 

“I feel part of the team again, getting to watch the team on the field instead of on TV. So that’s pretty awesome. I’m glad to get to this point because it means I’m throwing.

“We’re getting closer, that’s for sure. I’m still increasing my workload and the amount of new things I’m doing. So it’s really day to day. Increasing my exercises and see how I react the next day. If all goes good, we’re going to increase the workload.”

 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Andre Rienzo (4-4, 5.67) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia (3-8, 5.29) for Minny.

 

Photo of the Day

Eaton has reached base safely in 14 consecutive games, hitting .327 with a .413 on-base percentage during that stretch. Over his last 11 games, he is batting .372 with six walks and a .449 on-base percentage.

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SI.com’s Final A.L. Winter Report Card: Sox at the Head of the Class

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today’s News

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.

http://mlb.si.com/2014/02/10/final-al-winter-report-card-grades-white-sox-royals-stay-at-head-of-the-class/

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.

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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.

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140210/chatham/simeon-baseball-standout-darius-days-path-scholarship-began-with-snub

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Rienzo Goes for Second Straight Victory; Birmingham Can Win Southern League Crown Tonight

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

Happy Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day: White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: RHP Andre Rienzo (2-1, 4.50) for the Sox, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 3.62) for the Tribe. In his last start, against the Orioles, Andre (pictured below) collected his second career victory, allowing just one run and four hits in 6.2 IP.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Beckham, 2B; Ramirez, SS; Konerko, 1B; A. Garcia, RF; Gillaspie, DH; Viciedo, LF; Phegley, C; Semien, 3B.

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Barons Look to Clinch Title

The Birmingham Barons, the Sox’s Class AA affiliate, still hold a two games to one lead in the best-of-five Southern League Championship Series despite a 6-0 home loss last night to the two-time defending champion Mobile BayBears, a Diamondbacks farm club. Game 4 is tonight in Birmingham with LHP Scott Snodgress (below), the club leader with 11 wins, getting the starting nod for the Barons. A victory will give Birmingham its first Southern League title since 2002.

More Barons: Birmingham yesterday was named the Southern League Organization of the Year, presented to the club that exemplifies the most complete franchise in the SL, and GM Jonathan Nelson was chosen as the league’s Executive of the Year for the second time (2009). In addition to their excellence on the field, the Barons led the league in total attendance (396,820) and average per game (5,669) at brand new Regions Field.

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Play(s) of the Day

Paulie singled and drove in the lone Sox run in yesterday’s 3-1 loss to Cleveland…Marcus Semien, playing second base, had his second straight two-hit game, stole his first big-league base and made a beautiful play behind the second-base bag, flipping the ball backhanded from his glove to Alexei Ramirez for a force out to end an Indians threat in the fourth inning (see Photo/Video of the Day)…Alexei had a three-hit game, Dayan Viciedo added a pair of singles and Jordan Danks singled and walked twice…Jake Petricka (1.1 IP), David Purcey (2.2) and Nate Jones (1.0) worked five scoreless innings in relief of Hector Santiago.

Quote(s) of the Day

An Inside Look at Marcus Semien: From a piece in the Sun-Times by Daryl Van Schouwen

Semien on his introduction to the major leagues:

“I’m starting to see the pace of the big-league game is a little faster. I’ve been working hard every day in early work, trying to adjust as fast as I can here. They’ve put me in different situations just to see how I react to it.’’

Gordon Beckham on Marcus:

“He’s quiet. Goes about his business. He doesn’t strike me as a person that is going out of his lane, so to speak. It looks like he’s learning and listening.’’

Assistant General Manager Buddy Bell’s assessment of Semien:

“I think he’s going to hit, and he also has the ability to play all three positions. He has a legitimate chance to help us next year. Whether or not it’s out of spring training, I don’t know. I think he’s capable.’’

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the four-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (11-12, 2.90) for the Sox, RHP Zach McAllister (7-9, 4.11) for the Tribe.

Did You Know…

that Petricka extended his scoreless streak to five games (7.2 IP) in yesterday’s contest?

Photo/Video of the Day

Semien’s “flip.”

http://wapc.mlb.com/cws/play/?content_id=30568229&topic_id=8878818&c_id=cws

Twin Bill

Friday, August 9, 2013

Today’s News

The Games

White Sox vs. Twins in a split doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field. The extra game is a makeup contest that was originally scheduled for April 19, but postponed due to inclement weather.

Game 1 (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN)–Starters: LHP John Danks (2-9, 4.52) for the Sox, RHP Kyle Gibson (2-3, 6.69) for the Twins.

Sox Lineup (first game): De Aza, LF; Beckham 2B; Ramirez, SS; Dunn DH, Konerko 1B; Gillaspie, 3B; Jor. Danks, RF; Flowers C; Tekotte, CF.

This is the first major-league game with both Danks brothers in the Sox starting lineup.

Game 2 (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN)–Starters: LHP Charlie Leesman will be making his big-league debut for the Sox, RHP Liam Hendriks (0-1, 4.66) for Minnesota.

Sox Trade Rios

The Sox have traded outfielder Alex Rios and cash considerations to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Avisail Garcia, acquired from the Tigers in the Jake Peavy deal, is on his way to Chicago to replace Rios on the active roster.

Who is Avisail Garcia?

Looking for some insight into the young outfielder who hopefully will make his Sox debut in Game 2 of the doubleheader? Here’s an interesting take from the Trib‘s David Haugh, which appeared in today’s paper before the Rios trade.

http://trib.in/13nCU5K

Play(s) of the Day

While the big club was taking a break from the rigors of their 162-game schedule, Charlotte’s Erik Johnson and Marcus Semien continued their outstanding seasons in a 3-2 victory over Lehigh Valley. Johnson, the White Sox’s highly-regarded pitching prospect, went seven strong innings, allowing just one run and four hits along with five strikeouts. Semien, the leadoff hitter and shortstop who was recently promoted from Class AA Birmingham and also is on the Sox’s top prospect list, blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the Knights over the top.

Quote of the Day

Robin on Sox reliever Nate Jones:

“Jonesy’s come a long way from where the season started. I think he got off to a rough stretch confidence-wise, and he’s just come back. I don’t know if there’s anybody as confident in the league right now coming out of the bullpen and locking down an inning. Left, right, anything, it doesn’t matter. You want him in the game.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (3:05 p.m., CT, FOX). Starters: RHP Andre Rienzo (0-0, 1.38) for the Sox, RHP Mike Pelfrey (4-9, 5.23) for Minnesota.

Did You Know…

…that Leesman was an 11th-round pick in the 2008 June draft, had an impressive 2.47 ERA in 26 starts last year and was rehabbing from ACL surgery this past spring? Robin has gotten “good reports” on Charlie and his current 3-1 record and 3.47 ERA in 13 starts, which is the reason he’s getting the nod tonight.

Sox Note of Note

Casper Wells was claimed on waivers by the Phillies. Outfielder Blake Tekotte has been recalled from Charlotte to replace him on the active roster.

Photo of the Day

We are looking for more of this vs. the Twins in the upcoming four-game weekend series:

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Friday Twin Bill Kicks Off Weekend Series with Tribe

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tomorrow’s Schedule

It’s the White Sox vs. Indians in a doubleheader at U.S. Cellular Field (1st game, 4:10, CT, 2nd game will follow, both on CSN). Probable starters: LHP Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.03) and LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.83) for the Sox, TBA for Cleveland. The twin bill is a result of the April 23 postponement.

Today’s News

Peavy’s Progress

Per trainer Herm Schneider, Jake played catch yesterday for roughly 10 minutes, at the three-week mark of his rib injury. He will continue to build up strength with the plan of having a side day at the four-week mark. According to Peavy it’s realistic to think he’ll be back around the All-Star break.

Congrats, Axe and Kash

Two members of the White Sox family, Dylan Axelrod and Mike Kashirsky, will have their uniform numbers retired tonight–by the Windy City ThunderBolts of the independent Frontier League. The ceremony will take place at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood before the Bolts’ regularly scheduled game vs. the Normal CornBelters.

Axe starred for the Thunderbolts in 2009 where he made the All-Star team and led the club to the playoffs. His No. 23 will be retired.

Kashirsky, a pre-game instructor and batting practice pitcher for the Sox, was a longtime player, coach and manager for the Cook County/Windy City franchise and is the all-time winningest skipper in the team’s history. The Bolts are retiring his No. 1.

Great Deal

Attention Blackhawk fans: Here’s an offer that’s pretty hard to pass up. The Sox are offering specially-priced $15 tickets to all fans who are wearing Blackhawks apparel at tomorrow night’s doubleheader with the Indians.

Tickets are available only at U.S. Cellular Field ticket windows and can be purchased only on Friday. Fans who will be attending the Hawks celebratory parade and rally and will return to U.S. Cellular Field for the twin bill, you can park in one of the ballpark lots for $20 and take the CTA. Lot A will be open at 6:00 a.m. and is accessible from Wentworth Avenue between 33rd and 35th Streets.

Quote of the Day

Robin, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, commented on the now infamous dropped pop-up in Tuesday night’s game with the Mets when Gordon Beckham collided with Conor Gillaspie.

“Gordon didn’t really drive through him. It was more like he wrapped him up. We need to work on Gordon’s tackling technique.”

You would think that Gordon, a product of the University of Georgia and the SEC, would have his technique down pat.

Play(s) of the Day

Nate Jones has recorded a 0.69 ERA over his last 10 appearances…Alexei Ramirez, with two hits last night, is hitting .361 with five doubles, four RBI, seven runs scored and five stolen bases over this last 14 games. He also ranks fourth in the American League with 18 stolen bases…John Danks retired the first nine batters he faced last night, extending his streak to 30 consecutive batters at home dating back to his last start on June 8 vs. Oakland. It’s the longest such streak by a Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle retired 32 in a row in July/August of 2009. It’s the longest home streak in the majors since Felix Hernandez of the Mariners retired 36 in a row last July/August…Brent Morel, just recalled from Class AAA Charlotte, last night collected his first hit with the Sox since May of 2012.

Did You Know…

…that Chris Sale is already among the all-time best strikeout artists in White Sox history? With five 12+ strikeout games, Chris trails only Hall of Famer Ed Walsh and lefthander Juan Pizarro, who had six in their careers in Chicago. Sale also is tied with Walsh and righty Javier Vazquez with the most dozen or more strikeout games in a single season (3).

Photo of the Day

Nate is excelling in the ‘pen.

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A Win to Savor

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Today’s News
 
King Felix Dethroned
 
Facing “King Felix” Hernandez is never an easy task. But with a revamped lineup featuring five lefthanded hitters against the tough righty, the Sox rose to the occasion and defeated the 2010 Cy Young Award winner and the Mariners this afternoon, 4-3. Alex Rios delivered the big blow with a two-run homer in the sixth inning, his second blast in as many games. Conor Gillaspie, in his first start in a Sox uniform, tripled and scored on a Hector Gimenez sacrifice fly in the fifth. The fourth Sox run scored in the seventh on a Alejandro De Aza sac fly that scored Gillaspie, who followed up his key triple with a single and moved to third on an Alexei Ramirez double. 
 
Pitching-wise, starter Dylan Axelrod was outstanding in 5.2 innings of work, allowing only one unearned run on three hits. Donnie Veal (who got credit for the victory), Nate Jones and Jesse Crain ended the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively, by inducing key outs. Addison Reed recorded his third save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
 
Take a look at the Rios homer:
 
 
The Windy City
 
While Spring arrived in the third inning today with temperatures reaching 65 degrees, the windy conditions were the closest you can get to San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
 
A Cold Night
 
It was very cold last night, but not necessarily the coldest day anyone could remember around here.
 
“When I went out to the mound to get (Matt) Lindstrom last night,” Sox manager Robin Ventura laughed this morning, “I got out there and thought, “Man, it’s really cold out here.'”
 
But Ventura recalls a night game when the Sox faced Roger Clemens.
 
“It was like last night but even colder,” he said. “We sent the batboys out to buy tennis racquet grips for the bats.”
 
PK Climbing the Ladder
 
With his base hit last night, Paul Konerko moved past Frank Thomas into sole possession of third place on the all-time White Sox hit list with 2,137. Only Hall of Famers Luke Appling (2,749) and Nellie Fox (2,470) rank above Paulie.
 
The Third Man
 
Since most teams don’t carry a third catcher on their roster, one lucky position player is always designated as the team’s “third catcher” and spends time in spring training and during the season honing his emergency skills behind the plate. For the Sox this year, it is Gillaspie.
 
At one point in the 1990s, it was Robin…”for about 20 minutes,” the skipper joked.
 
Ventura described a game where the Sox started a man down. Ron Karkovice was on the DL and Mike “Spanky” LaValliere gave it a go but a few innings into the game, warned he might not make it nine innings.
 
A quick look up and down the bench showed few candidates. RV volunteered.
 
“A lefty was pitching, so I wasn’t playing that day,” he recounts. “I put on the gear and they drove me around the tunnel to the bullpen in a golf cart. I went out and Mark Salas gave me a quick tutorial on how to catch. So I’m down in the bullpen catching and apparently (Sox GM) Ron Schueler saw me. He called down and said, ‘Get him out of there.'”
 
And that’s how Robin’s career as an emergency catcher lasted 20 minutes.
 
I told him he should have put the equipment on and then make a dramatic run out to the bullpen.
 
1983
 
Beginning tomorrow, the White Sox will commemorate their 1983 American League West division championship by wearing ’83 replica uniforms for every Sunday home game. Those “Winning Ugly” Sox, managed by Tony LaRussa, won 99 games and finished the season 20 games ahead of the second-place Kansas City Royals.
 
Here are Reed and coach Harold Baines, one of the stars of that ’83 team, modeling the vintage unis along this year’s retro racers. They are “Racing Pudge” (Carlton Fisk), “Racing Harold” and “Racing Kitty” (Ron Kittle). Fisk and Kittle, of course, were also key cogs on the ’83 team with Gary, IN native Kittle winning the A.L. Rookie of the Year award.
 
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Familiar Voice
 
When you sit down tonight to watch the NCAA Final Four semifinal games, you might hear the familiar voice of White Sox PA announcer Gene Honda, who once again will miss a few Sox games this homestand to call another NCAA championship.
 
A Day to Remember
 
Today was pretty special for Sox backup catcher Hector Gimenez, a switch-hitter who was in the lineup today against Hernandez. His Dad was here from Venezuela and it was the first time the senior Gimenez saw his son play in the major leagues. Hector delivered with a key sac fly.

 

Happy Birthday
 
A happy 49th birthday to Ken Williams. A piece of the famous Levy carrot cake was delivered in the second inning to help him celebrate the occasion.
 
Quote(s) of the Day
 
Robin on Axelrod’s performance:
 
“Ax was great. He did what he needed to do to get us to that point, then Rios with a big homer. He showed he could pitch with anybody.”
 
RV on Gillaspie’s day:
 
“He looked good today. For Conor, he wants to be a storm chaser, it’s a perfect day for him…He’s a tough kid, plays hard and has a compact swing that has a lot of pop with it, too.”
 
Play of the Day
 
The Rios homer, but honorable mention goes to Gillaspie and Axelrod
 
Tomorrow’s Schedule
 
White Sox vs Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) in the rubber game of the series. Probable starters: Chris Sale for the Sox, Hisashi Iwakuma for Seattle.
 
Did You Know…
 
…that Jake Peavy, who will officially be presented with his 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award” before tomorrow’s series finale vs. the Mariners, is the third pitcher (sixth time) in White Sox history to win the award, joining lefthanders Jim Kaat (1974-75) and Mark Buehrle (2009-11).
 
Photo of the Day
 
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Dylan excels while “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Sox, Dodgers Tie as Dunn Goes Deep

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today’s News


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

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

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

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

“Is Robin here yet?’ he asks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Guy could play.”

Truth.

Another true story … maybe

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

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

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

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

Quote of the Day

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

Play of the Day

Dunn’s first homer of the spring.

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

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

Captain Konerko Speaks as Full Squad Reports to Sox Camp

Today’s News
 
Paul Konerko met with the media today as the full Sox squad reported to camp for the first time. He talked about a variety of subjects.
 
On the prospect of this being his last season: “Nowadays in your 30s in the major leagues, let alone mid-30s or late-30s, it’s always on the table that your last year could be coming just because everything is going so much younger. The rosters show that and I’m aware of that, but it’s something that will be talked about after the season.”
 
On if the high expectations he has for himself will factor into the decision:Probably yeah, that’s part of it. There are so many moving parts to it. It’s not just about performance on one level or the other. Poor performance is definitely one way to get yourself out of this game, because someone might not invite you back. Doing well also doesn’t mean you’re going to keep playing even if someone wants you to play. You’re dealing with families, your own mind, what you want to do. There’s a lot of different things to it, different variables and trying to predict where all those variables are going to be 10 months from now, nine months from now, whatever it is, it’s impossible to do. One affects the other, that one affects another and it’s tough to project. The main thing is and it’s hard to do, especially when people are going to be asking abot it, is to break it down as simple as I can and that’s the day in front of me. Today is the first day coming here and it’s about getting the kinks out, get sore and move on to tomorrow and do that as the season goes the best I can.”
 
On being the only remaining member of the 2005 World Series champions on the Sox roster: “Not too many (thoughts) because its been a gradual thing over the last handful of years where guys are moving on. I think it’s pretty normal, you probably find a lot of turnover in a five, six, seven-year period. Guys get older and usually to win a World Series it takes some older guys to begin with. Guys move on so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Hopefully we can make a run here and challenge for for another one before I’m done playing here, but I don’t really think about it too much unless someone brings it up to me.”
 
On his motivation this year to catch Frank Thomas in some statistical categories: “I got to where I’m at right now statistically as a by-product of going out and playing and trying to do it as right as I can. The numbers just kind of happen when you’re doing that, whether it’s for a week, a month, a season, or multiple seasons and it just adds up. It’s definitely not a goal that would make me play the game.”
 
On imagining not playing: “No question I could. I mean you have to, what’s the other option? All my tight friends who I played with coming up are all out of the game so I see what the other side is. There are pluses and minuses to that. I pick their brains on it. You have to prepare because it’s going to happen at some point as it does for every player. I’m not afraid of that, I’m not scared of it, and I just want to go as hard as I can until it happens.”
 
On playing for another team: “As you get older in the game, especially nowadays, you have to be more flexible if you want to continue to play. If you want that, you have to be more flexible to move around and it might be a place where you don’t want to go. Like I said in spring training two and three years ago, the whole exercise of going through the last year with the White Sox, the last year of your career and all that, I’ve already kind of done that before. This is just dusting off those feelings and those thoughts and getting back to thinking what I was thinking. Three years ago I was prepared for anything–the end of my career, the end of the White Sox, me playing for the White Sox. I was prepared for that three years ago so to do that again, to re-up, is not that big of deal the way I see it.”
 
On being the “old man” in the clubhouse: “I don’t feel like it, but I’m told I am.”
  
While the sports world celebrates Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday today, Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has a compelling take on MJ’s baseball career:

 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/18262953-419/reinsdorf-michael-jordans-baseball-stint-was-no-strikeout.html 

Quote of the Day
 
“I got Paul Konerko!”– Shouted by a young fan today after securing PK’s autograph on a baseball.
 
Play of the Day
 
“I’d hate to be paired with Nate Jones today,” an observer said of the hard-throwing reliever during live BP sessions, “because it looks like he’s throwing 115 mph.”


Click Here to take a look for yourself.
  
Did you know…
 
…that Paulie was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ minor league player of the year in 1996? 
 
Photo of the Day
 
The gang’s all here: Manager Ventura chats with Dunn,
Beckham and Konerko during Day 1 of full-squad workouts.
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