Results tagged ‘ Opening Day ’

Split-Squad Saturday

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Today’s News

The Games

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

Giants          8  14  1

White Sox    5  13  0

At Peoria…the contest ended in a tie, the Sox’ fourth of the spring.

White Sox   3  9  0

Padres        3  9  0

Plays of the Day

Vs. Giants: Alejandro De Aza went 2-3 with his first Cactus League homer (click on link to top video below) and a double…Blake Tekotte was 2-4 with a double and an RBI and made a spectacular catch to rob the Giants’ Tim Hudson (click on link to bottom video below)…first baseman Dan Black, who spent last year at Class AA Birmingham, doubled, singled twice and drove in a run…outfielder Grant Buckner, who was at Class A Winston-Salem in 2013, doubled in a pair of runs…Matt Davidson singled twice.

Vs. Padres: Prospect Chris Beck pitched a solid five innings, allowing just one run, five hits and a walk while striking out five…Dayan Viciedo and Micah Johnson each went 2-4 with a double, Avi Garcia singled in a run and Conor Gillaspie collected two base hits…Adam Dunn drove in a run and walked twice.

Renaissance Men

More praise for the new-look White Sox…


Jose Abreu has been shut down for the next two days to get treatment on his sore ankle. Until he returns to action, here’s something to remind you of what Jose will bring to the Sox offense–a line-drive base hit off of Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers earlier this spring.

Quote of the Day

Catcher Hector Gimenez on what he learned most from from his big-league experience last season (via the Sun-TimesDaryl Van Schouwen):

“(It) was working with Don Cooper. I learned a lot from him. He’s an open person, he tries to help the pitchers and catchers and I took a lot from him that I can bring out this year.’’

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rockies at Salt River Fields, Scottsdale (3:10 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Jose Quintana, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Daniel Webb, RHP Ronald Belisario, RHP Matt Lindstrom. Colorado starter: RHP Tyler Chatwood.

Sox starting lineup: Eaton CF, Semien SS, Gillaspie 3B, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, De Aza LF, Jor. Danks RF, Nieto C, L. Garcia 2B.

Photo of the Day 


Abreu, Davidson, Danks Go Deep for Sox

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

Angels         14  18  0

White Sox    10  14  2

Plays of the Day

Jose Abreu went 3-4 with three RBI, including his second home run of the spring–a two-run blast in the third inning (click on link to top video below)…In the seventh, Matt Davidson cranked a three-run homer, his second round-tripper in Cactus League play (click on link to middle video below)…After slugging a pair of homers yesterday, Jordan Danks added another today, a solo shot in the eighth inning (clink on link to bottom video below). That gives him five this spring…Avi Garcia drove in a run with a single, walked and made a fine throw to second base in the fourth inning to prevent the Angels’ Howie Kendrick from stretching a single into a double…Adam Eaton collected a pair of doubles and drove in a run. Adam has reached base safely in 10 of his last 11 games (11 hits, three walks, one hit-by-pitch).

Sox Notes of Note

Prior to today’s game, the Sox made the following six roster moves: optioned C Josh Phegley, RHP Andre Rienzo and LHP Eric Surkamp to Class AAA Charlotte and reassigned RHP Chris Beck, INF Andy Wilkins and RHP Cody Winiarski to minor-league camp. With the moves, the White Sox have 38 players remaining in major-league camp: 17 pitchers, three catchers, 12 infielders and six outfielders…Entering today’s game, Jordan Danks was tied for the lead in home runs (4), ranked second in runs scored (12) and his .750 slugging percentage was third among American League hitters in Cactus League action. His homer this afternoon just adds to his superb spring stats…Conor Gillaspie has reached base safely in his last 10 CL games and has homered in two of his last three games (three total)…The Sox are honoring members of the Chicago Fire Department and Chicago Police Department for their bravery and service by offering each member two complimentary tickets to one of 15 games at U.S. Cellular Field this season.  This is the third consecutive year the team has provided tickets to police officers and the second the offer has been extended to Chicago firefighters. Since the program’s inception, the White Sox have provided department members over 40,000 game tickets.

The Wisdom of Bo

Tuesday Night Dinner Review: Rokerij/Richardson’s

Sometimes it’s not about dinner but your dining companions, and sometimes, it’s both.  Last night I was able to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in Phoenix, Rokerij/Richardson’s, with three great “dates,” Paul Jensen (a former White Sox PR Director), Art Berke (professor and consultant extraordinaire) and Herm Schneider, the best trainer in the business.  In my time in Phoenix for spring training, I’ve been lucky to find a lot of great restaurants, but Rokerij/Richardson’s has not been beaten with its mix of New Mexican cooking, steaks and seafood (I ordered the Chimayo Chicken, pictured below). It’s rare to dine there in March and not see table after table of baseball folks, and I make sure to recommend it to any and all.  It’s not to be missed on your spring training visit to the Valley.


Quote of the Day

“Every day is a good day; some are just better.” – Herm, the world’s greatest trainer.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off Day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Cubs at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP John Danks, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Ronald Belisario, LHP David Purcey, LHP Donnie Veal, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Matt Lindstrom. Cubs starter: LHP Chris Rusin.

Photo of the Day


Gillaspie, Phegley Go Back-to-Back

Friday, March 14, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…the game ended in a tie after nine innings–the Sox’ third Cactus League tie.

Indians        2  7  0

White Sox   2  9  0

Plays of the Day

Conor Gillaspie and Josh Phegley hit back-to back home runs with two out in the fifth inning, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead (click on the links below to watch both homers). It was the second this spring for Gillaspie and the first for Phegley…Conor has reached base safely in his last eight games (seven hits, two walks), including a team-best six-game hitting streak from March 3-10…Dylan Axelrod (3.0), Eric Surkamp (1.0), Zach Putnam (1.0), Cody Winiarski (1.0)  and Ryan Kussmaul (1.0) all pitched scoreless ball.

Sox Notes of Note

Prior to today’s game the Sox optioned LHP Frank De Los Santos, RHP Nestor Molina and INF Carlos Sanchez to Class AAA Charlotte. With those moves, we have 44 players remaining in camp–21 P, 4 C, 13 INF and 6 outfielders…Aaron Rowand, he of the 2005 World Champion White Sox, watched as his son McKay threw out the ceremonial first pitch before today’s game (see photo below)…Erik Johnson threw 78 pitches in a Class AAA game today. Adrian Nieto went 2-3 with a double and Jared Mitchell smashed a long home run.

Change of Plans

Due to yesterday’s time of game and Phoenix-area traffic, Herm Schneider and I scrapped our plans for dinner last night at the Barrio Cafe and opted for closer-to-home Gordon Biersch, where the Kale and Quinoa salad rule.


Quote of the Day

GM Rick Hahn, talking to season-ticket holders on a conference call, talked about reliever Nate Jones who is recovering from a glute issue.

“Nate’s issues seem to be behind him. Pun intended.” 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (9:05 p.m., CT). Starters: LHP Chris Sale for the Sox, LHP Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.

Photo of the Day

The Sodfather, Roger Bossard, shown here snow-blowing the field in preparation for Opening Day.


White Sox Host Tribe Tomorrow

Friday, February 28, 2014

Today’s News

Sox Cactus League Opener

Dodgers  5   6   0

Sox         0   5   0

Cover Boy

This is the 12th time in 16 seasons that Paul Konerko has been included on the media guide cover.


Meet the New Sox Hitting Guru

Our Condolences

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Baltimore Orioles and the family of O’s PR director Monica Barlow, who passed away today at 36 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Play(s) of the Day

Matt Davidson doubled while Adam Eaton, Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks each got a base knock…on the pitching side, LHP Chris Sale (2.2 innings), RHP Parker Frazier (0.1), LHP Donnie Veal (1.0), RHP Mitchell Boggs (1.0) and LHP Charlie Leesman combined for six shutout innings.

Quote of the Day

White Sox radio broadcaster Darrin Jackson got his first view of new first baseman Jose Abreu during batting practice prior to today’s game.

“Oh, my God,” DJ said as Abreu hit a ball more than halfway up the batter’s eye on one of the back fields.  “And he didn’t really even hit that one.”


Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m. CT). Scheduled Sox pitchers are John Danks, Chris Beck, Scott Downs and others.

Photo of the Day



Monday, April 1, 2013

Today’s News

Opening Day Highlights: Cause for Celebration

It was an exciting 1-0 victory over the Royals in front of a sellout crowd of 39,012…Chris Sale, who outdueled James Shields for the win, was sensational in 7 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out seven…Tyler Flowers fifth-inning solo homer was the difference…Gordon Beckham made a terrific stab in the seventh to quiet a K.C. rally…Matt Thornton struck out Mike Moustakas with two outs in the eighth with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first…Addison Reed came on in the ninth and got the save…Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios each had a pair of hits.

And this is only the second time ever that the Sox have won 1-0 on Opening Day. The last time it happened was 2005.

I’m just saying…

Robin’s Postgame comments:

RV said Sale did a good job keeping his emotions in check and was efficient with his pitches. He commented on Flowers special day–catching a shutout and hitting a game-winning homer. The skipper added that it’s Flowers’ time.


Bo Jackson, who on Opening Day 20 years ago hit a home run in his first at bat since his hip surgery, threw out the ceremonial first pitch today. His catcher? Former teammate Ventura, who insisted on catching Bo’s first pitch: “The last time we did this (2005 World Series) it worked out pretty well,” Robin said.

When told that Bo threatened to bounce one in on him, Ventura replied: “He won’t. I know him better than that. But I did bring my good glove.”

Bo was quite proud of his “92-mph cheese” first pitch, saying that Jerry Reinsdorf should sign him to pitch. But when he came off the field he called out to trainer Herm Schneider, “Hermie, I need some ice.” Herm, of course, was instrumental in Bo’s recovery.

Bo also had an interesting exchange with the Chairman. Jerry teasingly said, “Who can forget Opening Day 1993?” Bo, with tongue firmly in cheek, said, “What happened…”

Take a look at the “first pitch” video. 

More Bo

Bo was asked by the media if he had seen the recent ESPN 30-30 show focusing on him. 

“I didn’t have to see it. I lived it.”

Bo later admitted ESPN sent him an advanced copy and he did watch it. “The only thing in there that wasn’t true was they said I jumped over a ditch 40 feet wide. It was more like 20-22 feet. Now, in more than 10 years, it might be 50 feet wide.”

Other Scenes from Opening Day

Here’s video of the White Sox pregame intros and photos of batting practice from the view in centerfield and the new addition honoring the club’s retired numbers.



Lars Redux

The Sox have reacquired non-roster first baseman Lars Anderson from Toronto. Anderson is headed to Class AAA Charlotte.

Quote(s) of the Day

Robin on his expectations for this year’s White Sox: 

“I want to get to the playoffs. (Beyond that) we’ll figure it out when we get there. That’s the first thing that has to happen.”

Rick Hahn on the fact the Sox were in first place 117 days last season and his outlook for 2013: 

“This team’s focus right now is being in first place only one day and that’s at the end of the season.”

Play of the Day

With apologies to Chris and Tyler, who certainly deserve kudos as well, let’s go with Beckham’s brilliant rally-killing catch.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off day. On Wednesday, White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Probable starters are Jake Peavy for the Sox vs. Ervin Santana for the Royals.

Did You Know…

…that Paul Konerko needs one hit to tie Frank Thomas for third in White Sox history with 2,136…14 doubles for 400…54 games to tie Hall of Famer Nellie Fox for second in Sox annals with 2,115…and 33 homers to tie Thomas for first in Sox history with 448?

Photo of the Day




 Sale and Flowers: Opening Day Heroes

Getting Ready for Opening Day

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Today’s News

Workout Warriors

This morning’s workout at U.S. Cellular Field started with a clubhouse meeting followed by stretching, infield, pitcher fielding and then batting practice. It’s the day before Opening Day and Robin Ventura’s White Sox are still working on fundamentals.

Welcome to Chicago

New White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie got his first look at his new home  ballpark today. If that weren’t special enough, he’s basking in the glow of his Wichita State Shockers advancing to the Final Four.


How dedicated is Paul Konerko? At the final Sox game in Glendale, most of the starters, including Paulie, came out early in the game to applause from the Sox fans in attendance. With the buses ready to roll to the airport and time to shower and pack for Chicago, where did PK go? Not to the showers, but out to the batting cages behind the Sox complex to get in a few more swings.

Win One for the Kids

Michigan grad and White Sox GM Rick Hahn couldn’t be happier about his Wolverines’ convincing win over Florida this afternoon and making it to the Final Four. “I have kids at the right age,” Hahn said. “If Michigan wins it all, they will be fans for life. I still remember those DePaul Blue Demons teams when I was a kid.”

Go Bulls!

Robin, Harold Baines, Mark Parent and several of the Sox staff and players are going to be taking in tonight’s 6:00 p.m. game between the Bulls and Pistons at the United Center as guests of Jerry Reinsdorf.

Quote(s) of the Day

Robin, commenting on the beginning of the season and many experts’ low expectations for the Sox: 

“I think you always have optimism, Opening Day has that. For us, all that matters is what we do as a team rather than what expectations are and what someone picks you to do…It matters how you play, how guys do, what they feel like, how they come together. That’s part of the fun going through the season. There are a lot of teams that weren’t expected to do a whole lot that actually did.”

Chris Sale on the experts’ preseason predictions: 

“I wouldn’t say we are trying to prove them wrong, but moreso prove ourselves right…We all believe in ourselves and each other. We are going to get this season going and get it going the right way.”

Play of the Day

As the White Sox took batting practice, Kansas City’s Jeff Francoeur walked past on his way to the batting cages behind the White Sox dugout. He was wearing K.C. Royals shorts and a teal-colored t-shirt (I couldn’t make out what was on it).

Francoeur stopped to say hello to Adam Dunn. Some type of ribbing followed and Dunn proceeded to rip Francoeur’s t-shirt down the middle, leaving him bare-chested. The Royals’ outfielder trooped back to his clubhouse to change into his new t-shirt and then headed over to hit.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Opening Day

White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (3:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starting pitchers will be Chris Sale for the Sox and James Shields for the Royals.

Starting Lineups 

SOX: De Aza, cf; Keppinger, 3b; Rios, rf; Dunn, dh; Konerko, 1b; Viciedo, lf; Ramirez, ss; Flowers, c; Beckham, 2b.

ROYALS: Gordon, lf; Escobar, ss; Butler, dh; Moustakas, 3b; Perez, c; Hosmer, lb; Cain, cf; Francoeur, rf; Getz, 2b.

Did You Know…

…that the Sox are 58-54 overall on Opening Day (3-3 vs. Kansas City) and 26-23 when opening at home (4-1 at U.S. Cellular Field)? Also, the Sox have won 10 of its last 16 openers and eight of its last 11 at home.

Photo of the Day


White Sox put on the finishing touches at today’s workout.

Opening Day Roster Set, White Sox Ready For Games That Count

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today’s News

On to Chicago

The White Sox’s Opening Day roster was revealed after today’s game in Milwaukee. Here are the 25 players headed to Chicago for Monday’s opener:

Pitchers (12) — Dylan Axelrod, Jesse Crain, Gavin Floyd, Nate Jones, Matt Lindstrom, Jake Peavy, Jose Quintana, Addison Reed, Chris Sale, Hector Santiago, Matt Thornton, Donnie Veal.

Catchers (2) — Tyler Flowers, Hector Gimenez

Infielders (7) — Gordon Beckham, Adam Dunn, Conor Gillaspie, Jeff Keppinger, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Angel Sanchez.

Outfielders (4) — Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Dayan Viciedo, Dewayne Wise.

To get down to 25, the Sox made the following six roster moves:

* Optioned RHP Brian Omogrosso to Class AAA Charlotte

* Reassigned C Bryan Anderson, INF Josh Bell, RHP Jeff Gray, RHP Ramon Troncoso and INF Steve Tolleson in minor-league camp.

Preseason is a Wrap

The Sox completed the preseason by splitting the two-game series with the Brewers at Miller Park.

This afternoon, the Sox dropped a 5-4 decision. Dunn smashed a solo homer and Beckham, Wise and Brandon Short each drove in a run.

The Sox won last night by a 7-2 score, highlighted by Dunn’s 3-3, one RBI night and Santiago’s three perfect innings that included five strikeouts. Crain, Veal, Jones, Thornton and Reed each pitched an inning of scoreless relief.

Happy 24th

Happy Birthday to our Opening Day starter. Sale is celebrating No. 24 today.

Quote of the Day

White Sox outfield prospect Keenyn Walker, the 47th overall pick in the June 2011 draft, on Twitter after Friday night’s game in Milwaukee: “Got an AB in a big league stadium #Miller Park definitely motivates me to get there sooner than later!…

Play of the Day

Dunn’s homer, his fourth of the spring.


Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off day. Workout in the morning at U.S. Cellular Field. Opening Day on Monday: Royals at White Sox (3:10 p.m., CT). Sale starts for the Sox vs. James Shields.

Did You Know…

…that Paul Konerko will be making his 13th straight Opening Day start at first base, extending his club record? It is the second-longest active streak by any first baseman with a single team behind Colorado’s Todd Helton (15) and second overall at first base.

Photo of the Day

ImageSox GM Rick Hahn talking baseball with fans in Milwaukee.

Countdown to Monday

Friday, March 29, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (7:05 p.m., CT). Hector Santiago is the starter for the Sox vs. Wily Peralta. Also scheduled to pitch for the Sox are Nate Jones, Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal and Matt Thornton.

Sox Lineup: De Aza, cf; Keppinger, 3b; Rios, rf; Dunn, dh; Konerko, lb; Viciedo, lf; Ramirez, ss; Flowers, c; Beckham, 2b.

The Sox were 13-13-3 in the Cactus League, the Brewers, 12-17-2

Cactus League Standouts

Chris Sale, the White Sox’s Opening Day starter, paced the Sox pitching staff in Arizona with a 4-0 record and a 3.86 ERA. Paul Konerko led the Sox with five homers and Dayan Viciedo was the team leader with 14 RBI and was tied for the lead in runs (11) and doubles (five). Reliever Brian Omogrosso finished with 12.1 scoreless innings in Cactus League play.

Opening Day Recommendations

On the Road with Southpaw

Southpaw was a big hit yesterday on his “getting ready for Opening Day” tour. The popular White Sox mascot and some of his Sox colleagues hopped on the Red Line near U.S. Cellular Field, rode north, got off at a few stops and passed out baseballs, key chains and shirts.

He had people on the train yelling “Go Sox,” asking about Opening Day, wondering how they could arrange for Southpaw to appear at birthday parties and the workers on the train were having a lot of fun with their celebrity rider. Twitter was also abuzz with Southpaw sightings.

And it’s important to note that Southpaw is not one of those high and mighty celebs. At one of the stops where workers were repainting garbage cans, our hero stopped and helped them out.

Take a look for yourself:Image


Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (1:05 p.m., CT) in the final preseason game. Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox, Chris Narveson for the Brewers.There’s an off day on Sunday with the much-anticipated Opener on Monday.

Did You Know…

…that Robin Ventura made eight career Opening Day starts at third base for the Sox (1990-96, ’98)? His eight starts are the second most in team history behind Willie Kamm, who made nine straight from 1923-31.

Photo of the Day



Leaving Glendale

March 27, 2013

Today’s News

Getaway Day

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.

Pretty cool.

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. 

Tomorrow’s Schedule

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.

Sale Sharp, Short Goes Long (Twice)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today’s News

Avoiding Sale is a Good Idea for Any Opponent

Former White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, now with the Rangers, stopped in the visitor’s clubhouse this afternoon in Surprise to say hello to former teammates, coaches and staff. Among his first targets were visiting clubhouse manager Gabe Morell, strength coach Dale Torborg and today’s starting pitcher Chris Sale.

When asked by coach Harold Baines why he wasn’t playing against his former team, Pierzynski said “I have to pack. Plus Sale’s pitching, I don’t want to face that in March.”

A.J.’s teammates undoubtedly wish they hadn’t seen Chris today as the Sox’s Opening Day starter allowed just one hit (a solo home run to Geovany Soto) with no walks and five strikeouts in four innings as the Sox defeated Texas, 11-3, on 18 hits. Sale finished the spring with a perfect 4-0 record and a 3.86 ERA.

Two Decades Later…

Twenty years ago on Opening Day at then-New Comiskey Park, Bo Jackson dramatically returned from hip replacement surgery with a homer in his first at-bat against the Yankees in an 11-6 White Sox victory. He then proceeded to be a significant contributor for the Sox’s 1993 division champions and even hit a three-run homer in the 4-2 win over the Mariners in the division-clinching game in Chicago.

Next Monday during Opening Day fesitivities at U.S. Cellular Field, Bo will have the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Sox and Royals get down to business. Game time is 3:10 p.m., CT.

The Ponce family–Chicago Tonight‘s Phil and his sons Anthony (NBC Chicago) and Dan (WGN-TV and the popular vocal group Straight No Chaser)–will sing the national anthem.

Opening Day Seats No Longer Available

Seats for next Monday’s opener have been sold out. A very limited number of standing-room only tickets to the game are available at the U.S. Cellular Field Ticket Office. Tickets do remain available for the remainder of the homestand (vs. Kansas City and Seattle, April 3-7).

Rios Not Concerned

Alex Rios said tests revealed no structural back issues, just muscular. He said he still feels a little pinch, but is much better today and he anticipates playing in the Milwaukee exhibition games Friday and Saturday and being ready for Opening Day. He stressed several times that there is nothing to worry about and that he’s not concerned.

Roster Moves

The White Sox made the following moves prior to today’s game against the Rangers:

* Placed LHP John Danks on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) to continue his recovery from left shoulder surgery.

* Placed LHP Leyson Septimo on the 15-day disabled list (retro to March 22) with a left shoulder strain.

* Reassigned LHP David Purcey to minor-league camp.

Bring Gifts

Thoughtful pitcher Gavin Floyd certainly brightened the mood in the coaches’ locker room this morning when he popped in the door with a box of a dozen donuts.

No one was hurt in the ensuing melee, and one unnamed bench coach happily ate two Boston Crème-filled donuts.

“Boy, that’s an easy group to buy for,” I said to Gavin as we walked out of the room.

“He’s a Sports Star, But He’s Also Your Friend”

A look at the remarkable impact being made by Sox pitcher Dylan Axelrod:

Quote of the Day

Rick Hahn on Jeff Keppinger’s ability to fall out of bed and hit: “As he puts it, his favorite position is the batter’s box.”

Play(s) of the Day

Right fielder Brandon Short had to corral a blown-away umbrella in the third inning of today’s game. The umbrella flew down onto the field from the main concourse, interrupting play before Short grabbed the invader to loud cheers from the crowd. The very next inning, Short got more applause from the Sox fans in the stands when he hit a three-run homer to give the Sox a lead they never relinquished–and in the ninth Angel Sanchez and Short hit back-to-back roundtrippers. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run shot of his own in the Sox’s five-run sixth.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Indians at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in the Sox’s final Cactus League game of the Spring (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Matt Zaleski will start for the Sox, Carlos Carrasco for the Tribe.

Did You Know…

…that ESPN’s Sport Science named Jackson, who was a Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn and an All-Pro with the NFL’s Los Angeles Raiders in addition being an MLB All-Star, the Greatest Athlete of All Time.

Photo of the Day


Brandon Short: What a Day!