Results tagged ‘ paul konerko ’

Alexei, Sox Roll into Texas 

Friday, April 18, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Rangers at Globe Life Park, Arlington, Tex. (7:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series and seven-game road trip that concludes with four in Detroit. RHP Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98) for the Sox, LHP Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70) for Texas.

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

High-Powered Offense

The Sox rank among the American League leaders in average (2nd, .267), OPS (2nd, .338), home runs (2nd, 20), runs per game (3rd, 5.44) and slugging percentage (3rd, .423).

Hotter Than Hot

Alexei Ramirez‘s hitting streak from the start of the season reached 16 last night and it is now the longest in Sox history (he’s pictured above with the record-breaking ball). He surpassed Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, who had a 15-game streak at the start of the 1996 season. Alexei leads the American League in average (.381) and hits (24) and ranks among the leaders in multi-hit games (T1st, 8), OPS (2nd, 1.061), slugging percentage (3rd, .635), RBI (T3rd, 14), on-base percentage (5th, .426), stolen bases (T8th, 3) and doubles (T10th, 4).

Here’s Alexei’s record-breaking base hit:

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/8879206/v32168165/?c_id=cws

Sale in the K Zone

Chris Sale was outstanding last night, allowing just one hit–a homer–and had a season-high 10 strikeouts in seven innings while throwing a career-high 127 pitches in the 3-1 loss to Boston. It gives Chris 11 double-digit career strikeout efforts and ties him with Billy Pierce for fifth most in franchise history. Sale has held left-handed batters hitless this season (0-20) and has limited left-handers to a .173 average in two-plus seasons as a starting pitcher. He has struck out 446 batters through his first 63 starts, which is the most in club history and third-most among active players behind only Yu Darvish (513) and Tim Lincecum (461).

Other Sox Notes of Note

Tyler Flowers, with two hits last night, has hit safely in nine of his 13 games and has four multi-hit efforts. He’s hitting .395 overall and .667 against left-handed pitchers so far this season…Adam Eaton drove in the only Sox run last night with an infield hit and robbed David Ortiz of a home run with a spectacular catch. Here it is:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v32160213/?partnerId=social_20140418_22183774

Quote of the Day

Eaton commenting after last night’s game:

“We’ll continue in Texas and we’ll continue to do the same thing we do. That’s compete on every pitch and put our best foot forward.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at Globe Life Park, Arlington, Tex. (7:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.37) for the Sox, RHP Colby Lewis (0-1, 5.06) for Texas.

Photo of the Day

Flowers blooming.

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Sale Takes On Lester and Red Sox in Rubber Game of Series

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN+) in the rubber game of the three-game series and last one on the homestand. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66) for the Sox, LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57) for Boston. Chris is looking to become the first White Sox starting pitcher to begin a season 4-0 since Jose Contreras (8-0) in 2006 and first to win his first four starts since Jon Garland (8) in 2005.

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

Plays of the Game

Alexei Ramirez smashed a two-run homer last night in the Sox’ 14-inning, 6-4 loss to the Red Sox. By virtue of his home run, Alexei extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying Frank Thomas (1996) for the longest streak to begin a season in franchise history…Tyler Flowers entered the game in the 10th inning and collected a pair of singles, including the RBI base hit that knotted up the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the 11th…rookie Adrian Nieto, who started the game behind the plate, collected a pair of hits for his first multi-hit game…John Danks was outstanding, earning his third straight quality start. He went six innings, allowing just one run, three hits and four walks.

Watch Flowers tie the score:

http://atmlb.com/1irtEbo

Sox Notes of Note

Prior to tonight’s game, the White Sox purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Zach Putnam from Class AAA Charlotte and designated left-hander Donnie Veal for assignment. Putnam, 26, has gone 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (6.0 IP) and 11 strikeouts in four relief appearances with Charlotte in 2014.  He allowed just one walk and was holding opponents to a .182 (4-22) average. He pitched in 15 major-league games, all in relief, for Cleveland (2011), Colorado (2012) and the Cubs (2013). He was signed as a free agent last November...left-handers Sale, Jose Quintana and Danks are a combined 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 44 hits allowed in nine starts this season…Paul Konerko is in the starting lineup tonight as the Sox face only their third lefty of the season. Paulie needs just two hits for 2.300 in his career and four total bases to to tie Thomas (3.949) for the franchise record…Last night was the first time that two Sox catchers (Nieto and Flowers) had multi-hit efforts in the same game since John Romano and J.C. Martin did it in August of 1965…Following tonight’s game the Sox embark on a seven-game road trip to Texas (3 games) and Detroit (4).

Quote of the Day

John Danks on last night’s pitching performance by infielder-outfielder Leury Garcia, who pitched the 14th inning in his initial mound appearance:

“He’s got good stuff. I want him to teach me a sinker like that. He’s got a pretty good sinker. Surely it’s weird to be out there for the first time. I can only imagine having to play second base for the first time. It’s like a fish out of water, but I felt like he held his own. And like I said, I want him to teach me that sinker.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rangers at Globe Life Park, Arlington, Tex. (7:05 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. RHP Felipe Paulino (0-1, 7.98) for the Sox, LHP Martin Perez (2-0, 2.70) for Texas.

Photo/Video of the Day

The man of the hour.

http://atmlb.com/1ird4Iq

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After a Superb Spring, John Danks Makes his First 2014 Start

Saturday, April 5, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN). Starters: LHP John Danks for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen for K.C.  Danks sports a 6-0 lifetime record with a 2.47 ERA in 13 starts against the Royals. He is 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA in eight starts at Kauffman Stadium.

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

Plays of the Day

After going 4-4 on Thursday, Tyler Flowers singled twice and doubled yesterday–extending his consecutive hit streak to seven in the Sox’s 7-5 loss to the Royals. The streak ended in the eighth inning when he reached on an error, making it eight straight times he’s been on base. He’s now hitting an impressive .571. ..Magglio Ordonez (2001) is the Sox last player to reach seven hits in a row and no catcher in franchise history had ever done it before. For the record, the White Sox consecutive hit record is 10, shared by Frank Thomas (1997), Rip Radcliff (1938) and Harry McCurdy (1926)…Adam Eaton collected a pair of singles yesterday and drove in two…Jose Abreu and Conor Gillaspie each had sac fly RBIs and Avi Garcia drove in a run on an infield groundout.

Sox Notes of Note

Paul Konerko is making his first start of the young season, Adrian Nieto will be in a major-league starting lineup for the first time in his career and Dayan Viciedo will be starting for the first time in 2014…if you’re on the fence in terms of your rooting interest in the Final Four, you might want to go with Wisconsin. Badgers’ star Frank Kaminsky is a Sox fan through and through. And while I’m at it, best of luck to two huge Badger fans, Sox Senior Executive Vice President Howard Pizer and Director of Media Relations Bob Beghtol. On Wisconsin!…there’s no question that our players simply love these fleece blankets that will be given out to the first 20,000 fans on Saturday, April 12, before the afternoon game with the Indians.

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Quotes of the Day

Robin on the “fight” in this year’s team through the first four games. For instance, yesterday, when the Sox got down 3-1 and 7-2 and kept on battling:

“You have an offense that feels like they can come back. You are one hit away or that one inning way. Guys are still getting on base and they are still battling. You like that kind of effort.’’

Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire commenting on Abreu, after watching the new Sox first baseman in the season-opening series:

“I’m glad I won’t see him for a while. The kid can really hit. We knew that coming in. We heard he was a really strong young man, and that’s why we were pitching around him. No disrespect to Mr. Dunn. The way the guy’s getting the barrel to the ball, you just try to limit the damage when he comes up in a lot of situations because he seems like he’s on. He hits pretty much everything. Even when he makes an out, he seems like he gets the barrel to it. He’s a strong young man. Looks like he really knows what he’s doing hitting.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (1-0, 3.68) for the Sox, RHP James Shields (0-0, 4.26) for K.C. Sale pitched 7.1 innings with eight strikeouts for the win on Opening Day.

Photo of the Day

There’s hot and then there’s HOT. Tyler has been HOT.

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Quintana, Sox Go For Sweep After Dramatic Extra-Inning Triumph

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, WGN) as the Sox go for a three-game sweep of the season-opening series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana  vs. RHP Phil Hughes for Minnesota.

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

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Plays of the Day

Leury Garcia (pictured above)who laid down a bunt for a single on an 0-2 count to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning, eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the White Sox the exciting 7-6 win yesterday afternoon…Down 6-4 heading into the ninth, the Sox tied it up at 6-6 as pinch-hitter Paul Konerko, on the first pitch of his first at bat of the season, singled off the third base bag. With one out, pinch-hitter Dayan Viciedo singled, moving Adrian Nieto, who ran for Paulie, to second. L. Garcia then singled, scoring Nieto. Viciedo moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Adam Eaton fielder’s choice…Adam Dunn slammed his first homer of the season and 441st of his career, a solo shot in the eighth…Alexei Ramirez doubled in a pair of runs and walked twice…Ronald Belisario pitched 1.1 innings of perfect ball and got credit for the win.

Here’s the game-winner:

http://atmlb.com/QGFF2F

PK Plays a Vital Role, Even Off the Bench

http://fw.to/WXkdAOL

Sox Notes of Note

According to a Christopher Kamka tweetintentional walks have been tracked in 1955. Jose Abreu is the first player during that span with a two intentional-walk game within his first two MLB games. It certainly shows how much respect Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire has for him already…Roger Bossard has had a very good week. First he works overtime for two-plus weeks to get the field in picture-perfect shape for Opening Day, and then his grooming of the foul lines aids Leury’s 0-2 bunt in its rolling battle to stay fair and starts the game-winning rally…the Sox have started the season 2-0 for the third time in the past four seasons…Maikel Cleto made his White Sox debut yesterday a successful one by retiring both batters he faced in a clutch situation and Daniel Webb threw a career-high 2.2 IP…Avi Garcia is hitting .315 with three homers and 18 RBI over his last 13 games…Dunn’s homer yesterday was the 11th home run of his career within his team’s first two games, joining Barry Bonds, Willie Mays and Eddie Mathews…Ramirez recorded his seventh career multi-steal game…Nieto made his major-league debut as a pinch-runner and scored his first career run.

It’s Never Too Late (or Early) to Celebrate Opening Day

http://www.chicagobaseballmuseum.org/files/CBM-Sox-Top-Openers-20140330.pdf

Who’s Autograph is That?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/sports/baseball/in-an-era-of-squiggles-you-cant-tell-baseball-the-players-without-a-handwriting-analyst.html?hp&_r=0&referrer=

Quotes of the Day

Robin on yesterday’s thriller:

http://atmlb.com/OehSVz

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City (3:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the first game of a three-game weekend series. Starters: RHP Erik Johnson for the Sox, RHP Jeremy Guthrie for K.C.

Photo/Video of the Day

Dunn’s homer:

http://atmlb.com/QGuQOd

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 Felipe Paulino Makes First Sox Start

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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Today’s News

This Afternoon’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Felipe Paulino (pictured above) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia for Minnesota. Paulino makes his first major-league start since June 6, 2012 when he started for the Royals against the Twins. He spent the majority of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Paulino went 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 39 strikeouts in seven starts for K.C. in ’12.

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

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox won their 60th Opening Day game in franchise history (60-54) and are now 28-23 in home openers. The Sox have won five of their last six season openers and 12 of their last 13 home openers…Our lineup on Monday included five players–Jose Abreu, Adam Eaton, Avi Garcia, Conor Gillaspie and Marcus Semien–who were making their first career Opening Day start, the highest total for the South Siders in 70 years…the Sox are looking to start 2-0 for the third time in the last four seasons…we have won six of our last seven games against the Twins dating back to 2013…Robin Ventura needs one victory for 150 as Sox manager…Adam Dunn needs two walks to tie Ty Cobb for 50th place all-time with 1,249…Gillaspie is out of the lineup today. He’s suffering from the flu…Beginning today the Sox will be wearing a DJR patch in memory of Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s son David, who passed away on March 3.

Quotes of the Day

Three of the stars from Opening Day talked about what turned out to be a great day on the South Side:

Abreu:

“I wasn’t nervous at all. I was very happy. I felt like the fans supported me and opened their arms to me. As long as I give my best, that’s what I’m looking for. The results aren’t as important as (my) effort.”

Eaton:

“It’s a great atmosphere when you can get this type of weather and Sox fans come out of the woodwork. It’s great to see everybody out there. It’s an experience I’ve never had. It’s a good experience for sure.”

Chris Sale:

“Eaton (was) being as scrappy as he can. Even when he got out he still had 10-11 pitch at-bats, fighting stuff off. Abreu, I don’t think he hit the ball soft today. It was fun to watch that and we came out with a win.”

Play of Opening Day

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT) in the finale of the opening three-game series. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana for the Sox, RHP Phil Hughes for Minnesota.

Photo/Video of the Day

Enjoy this feature on Abreu by Jon Morosi of Fox:

http://foxs.pt/1fIZjR0

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For Openers…De Aza Homers Twice, Sale Shines, Eaton and Abreu Excel in Debuts as Sox Defeat Twins

Monday, March 31, 2014

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Opening Day News

The Game

At U.S. Cellular Field in front of a sellout crowd of 37,422 on a beautiful 65 degree (at game time) day.

Twins           3    7  0

White Sox    5  11  0

Plays of the Day

Alejandro De Aza blasted a pair of homers, a two-run shot in the second inning (click on link below to watch video), which put the Sox on the board, and a solo blast in the sixth–giving him his first career multi-homer game. He becomes the first White Sox player to hit two home runs on Opening Day since Jim Thome accomplished it in 2008 at Cleveland and is the first Sox player to hit two homers in a home opener since Minnie Minoso in 1960 vs. the Kansas City A’s…In their Sox debuts, Adam Eaton went 2-4 with a run scored and Jose Abreu was 2-4, including a double, with an RBI and run scored. Chris Sale got the winallowing three runs, five hits, and a lone walk while striking out seven in 7.1 IP.

Matt Lindstrom, named the closer earlier in the day, earned the save.

http://atmlb.com/QzZ1qh    

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Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox 25-man roster includes 12 pitchers (five lefties), two catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders…New to the organization are INF Abreu , RHP Belisario, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP Scott Downs, OF Eaton, C Adrian Nieto and RHP Felipe Paulino…the average age of the club is 27.8 down from 29.6 in 2013. INF Paul Konerko is the oldest player at 38, OF Avi Garcia is the youngest at 22…Abreu, Eaton, A. Garcia, Erik Johnson, Nieto, Marcus Semien and Daniel Webb open the season on a major-league roster for the first time…the Opening Day roster features six rookies–Abreu, Cleto, Johnson, Nieto, Semien and Webb–the most since 1999 (also six). By comparison, there were no rookies on the Sox season-opening roster in 2013…Konerko enters his 16th and final season with the Sox, tied with Frank Thomas (1990-2005) for the fifth longest tenure in club history. Only Hall of Famers RHP Ted Lyons (21 years), SS Luke Appling (20), RHP Red Faber (20) and C Ray Schalk (17) rank ahead of them in this category…Also, Paulie needs five total bases and 21 home runs to tie Thomas’ club records.

Paulie’s Final Opening Day Intro

https://vine.co/v/Me6HT3BVrQw

Opening Day Celebrations

First person I saw at the ballpark early this morning was Roger Bossard, who did a masterful job of getting the field ready. He is celebrating Opening Day #48. For Jeff Szynal, who is in charge of our scoreboard operations, it’s Opening Day #31.

Me, Opening Day #24 (23 with the White Sox).

Best Memories from Opening Day?

High on my list is Bo Jackson’s dramatic return from hip replacement surgery to homer in his very first at-bat in 1993. Here’s that memorable moment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS-Az6n5tTc

Quote of the Day

GM Rick Hahn, in an interview this morning on the McNeil and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score, talked about what it will take for the Sox to contend:

“If that’s going to be the case for us, it’s going to be for two main reasons. First, the starting pitching is going to stay together — John Danks being 18 months post-op is going to return to form, being that guy he was before (and) Chris Sale and Jose Quintana continuing on the upswing that we’ve seen from them the first few years. Additionally, some of our young players are going to wind up immediately (reaching their) ceiling. Not obviously saying that’s going to happen, but in that best-case scenario, Adam Eaton’s going to show you that ability to get on base, run, play defense the way he’s shown throughout his minor league career. Avisail Garcia’s going to not only hit for power but also average and improve that plate discipline a little bit. Jose Abreu’s going to be the same player he was in Cuba. All those guys have that upside. We certainly believe they’re going to reach that upside. Whether that starts on March 31st or it starts midway through the year, that’s for us to play out here.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

Off Day. On Wednesday, White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Paulino for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia for Minnesota.

Photo of the Day

Chicago native Aja Evans, who won a bronze medal in bobsled at the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, threw out today’s ceremonial first pitch.

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Opening Day Preview and More

Sunday, March 30, 2014

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Tomorrow’s Activities

The Game

White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (3:10p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Chris Sale for the Sox, RHP Ricky Nolasco for Minnesota. Sale ranked among the American League leaders in virtually every category in 2013, including complete games (T1st, 4), SO/BB ratio (2nd, 4.91), WHIP (3rd, 1.07), strikeouts (3rd, 226), quality starts (T4th, 23), SO/9.0 IP (6th, 9.49), ERA (7th, 3.07) and opponents average (7th, .230).

There’s a great weather forecast for tomorrow and just under 3,000 tickets remaining.

Opening Day Roster:

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National Anthem

Gina Glocksen, former American Idol contestant. The Tinley Park native was the ninth-place finalist on the mega-hit TV show’s sixth season.

Presentation of the Flag:

Navy Recruiting District Chicago and the Naval Service Training Command Great Lakes.

Ceremonial First Pitch:

Aja Evans, a South Side native who was an Olympic bobsled bronze medalist this past February in Sochi, Russia. She is currently training to compete in the heptathlon for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Aja is a cousin of Del Matthews, White Sox assistant director of player development and scouting.

Promotional Giveaway

White Sox Magnetic Schedule presented by Miller Lite for all fans ages 21 and over.

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Facts & Figures

* The White Sox are 59-54 overall on Opening Day and 27-23 when opening at home. They are 5-1 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Sox’s 59 Opening Day wins are third most in the American League. Only the Orioles (65) and the Yankees (64) have won more season openers.

* The Sox have won 11 of their last 17 openers and 11 of their last 12 home openers.

* Sale, who is celebrating his 25th birthday today, will be making his second consecutive Opening Day start. He earned the victory last season with 7.2 scoreless innings against the Royals.

* This is the 14th time in the last 15 seasons that the Sox have started a left-hander on Opening Day. Jose Contreras in 2007 was the only righty during that span.

Quotes of the Day

* Paulie in his own words as told to Daryl Van Shouwen in the Sun-Times (top link) and Chris Rongey on White Sox Weekly.

http://bit.ly/1dCzPt4

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/audio/986-670-the-score-interviews/paul-konerko-with-white-sox-live-32614/#.Uzch7Yrw1K0.twitter

* Marcus Semien and Adrian Nieto (pictured below) on looking forward to their first Opening Day, via Scott Merkin at whitesox.com.

Marcus:

“I’m excited for it. It’s going to be way more people than Birmingham Opening Day or something like that. I’ve never been a part of one. I’ve never been to one as a kid, so I’m excited.”

Adrian:

“I can’t wait. I’m pumped to see all the great things I’ve heard [about Chicago]. “It’s probably the best city in America.”

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Sox Notes of Note

Cold Arrival

When the 2014 White Sox arrived at Midway Airport early Saturday morning, they faced a significant temperature drop from Arizona.

Some – like Alexei Ramirez – came prepared, whipping out stocking caps.  Robin sported a ski cap and down vest.  Others dealt as best they could as we waited on the tarmac for our luggage to come off the plane.  Imagine the immense Avisail Garcia wrapped in United Airlines blankets … it was brisk.

Kudos

To groundskeeper Roger Bossard and his crew for doing an amazing job on the field. Considering the photos and video we saw while in Arizona, it is amazing that the field is even ready for Opening Day.  But then Roger is the master.

When I arrived at the park this morning around 8:30, I stopped outside to see Roger.  There he stood, hose in hand.

“Watering?!?!” I yelled.  “After all that, you are watering?!?!?”

“First time in three weeks,” he laughed.  “I’m just happy we finally have some sunshine.”

The Bus

I jokingly had a saying when I traveled regularly that “The team bus never waits for the PR guy.”  How true.

After Friday’s exhibition game in Birmingham, Assistant GM Buddy Bell and I got to the bus right after the last out since neither of us needed to head down to the clubhouse (by the way, the Birmingham ballpark is terrific and if any fans have the chance, they should take in a Barons game or two this summer.)

We immediately sat down and started to watch Kentucky-Louisville on Buddy’s iPad. After about 25 minutes, something didn’t seem right.  No one else had gotten on the bus.

So I texted our traveling secretary … “Where are you?”

“On the bus.  We just left,” he replied.

What!!! (unbeknownst to us we were on a bus from the same company that was scheduled to take a group of minor leaguers back to the hotel).

“You are going to have to take a cab to the airport.”

Well, catching a cab in Birmingham after a game is no easy task.  And there is no Uber in Birmingham either (just so you know).

Thinking fast, Buddy called Julio Vinas, the Barons’ manager.  Julio was still at the park and was willing to give us a ride to the airport.

We got there just on the tail of the others going through screening.

“How do you miss the bus,” a kind TSA woman chided us as we walked up.

(You know your day is going badly when you are getting crap from a TSA agent, but anyway.)

You can imagine the reception we got when we arrived on the plane.

Didn’t miss the flight, though.

When in Birmingham…

Enjoyed lunch with Rick Hahn at Jim & Nick’s BBQ while in Birmingham.  While it is a chain, we really enjoyed the meal, especially the cheese biscuits, turkey and brisket.  Don’t miss it!

Boggs Signs Minor-League Deal

Right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs, who was released by the White Sox during spring training, has signed a minor-league contract with the Sox.

Spring Training Wrapup

Camelback Ranch-Glendale recorded its highest per-game attendance this season in its six-year history hosting the White Sox and Dodgers. The facility averaged 8.087 fans per game this spring, eclipsing the previous high of 7,635 in 2010. A total of 202, 164 fans visited “The Ranch” this spring training. A record six games were sellouts and there was a 15.4 percent increase in per-game attendance from 2013 to 2014.

Jose Abreu hit .341 with two home runs and eight RBI in his last 12 Cactus League (CL) games…Adam Eaton reached base base in 16 of his 19 CL games and finished the spring with a .368 average…Semien finished the CL schedule with a six-game hitting streak. He batted .318 with a double, homer and six RBI over that span. Donnie Veal allowed just six hits over 10 CL innings pitched…John Danks worked five innings in each of his last four spring starts…On Friday night, the Sox downed the Class AA affiliate Birmingham Barons, 5-2, in front of a Regions Field record crowd of 8.513. Conor Gillaspie had three hits and drove in a run.

Photo of the Day

With a right-hander on the mound for Minnesota, PK will not be in the Opening Day starting lineup for the first time since 1998. It was his decision. He didn’t want to go against the Sox’ plan of primarily DHing against him lefties and spelling Abreu at first base. A class act to be sure.

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Hahn on Quintana: “Jose Brings a Tremendous Work Ethic and Professionalism to his Approach”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

At Peoria…

White Sox    7  9  1

Mariners      6  8  1

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Plays of the Day

Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer in the second inning (click on top link below for video) and Paul Konerko connected for a two-run blast in the sixth (click on bottom link below for video). It was the first Cactus League home run for both and each of them added a single to the cause as well.

http://atmlb.com/1m2Oaie

http://atmlb.com/1jo1PmJ

White Sox, Quintana Agree to Long-Term Contract

The White Sox have agreed to terms on a five-year contract with Jose Quintana, which includes two club options.

If Quintana, 25, is eligible for arbitration following the 2014 season, the total guaranteed dollars would be $26.5 million.  He would receive $850,000 in 2014, $3.4 million in 2015, $5.4 million in 2016, $7 million in 2017 and $8.85 million in 2018.  The White Sox would hold options for 2019 at $10.5 million and for 2020 at $11.5 million.  If either option is declined, Quintana would receive a $1.0-million buyout.

If Quintana is not eligible for arbitration after the 2014 season, the total guaranteed dollars would be $21.0 million.  He would receive $850,000 in 2014, $1.0 million in 2015, $3.8 million in 2016, $6.0 million in 2017 and $8.35 million in 2018.  The Sox would hold options for 2019 at $10.5 million and for 2020 at $11.5 million with a $1.0-million buyout. Quintana would have been eligible for free agency following the 2018 season.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Quintana went 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA (78 ER/200.0 IP), 164 strikeouts and a major-league leading 17 no decisions over 33 starts in 2013, his first full season in the majors.  He tied for first among American League left-handers in starts, ranked third in runners per 9.0 IP (11.21), fifth in ERA, sixth in strikeouts and seventh in IP.  Quintana also set an AL record with 17 no decisions, three of which came when he threw 7.0-plus scoreless IP.

A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, Quintana last season became the youngest pitcher to lead the White Sox in starts since Mark Buehrle in 2002 (23) and joined Sale (214.1) as the only left-handed teammates in franchise history under the age of 25 to throw 200.0-plus IP in the same season.  Sale (6.9) and Quintana (5.4) combined to record a 12.3 bWAR, the second-highest total by a duo in the major leagues behind Detroit’s Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez (13.0).

Quintana has gone 15-13 with a 3.61 ERA (135 ER/336.1 IP) and 245 strikeouts in 58 games (55 starts) over two seasons with the White Sox after signing as a free agent on November 21, 2011.  He has thrown at least 7.0 scoreless IP without receiving a decision six times in his 55 career starts, which is tied with Joel Horlen for the club record.

On the Road

I grabbed a ride to the game today with bullpen catcher Mark Salas and special coach Art Kusyner.

When it came time to leave, Kusyner took off like a shot.

“Hey, no fast walking,” Salas said.

“Yeah, I move at a PR pace,” I added.

“So do we,” laughed Salas.

And after riding in the back seat of their car, you gotta ask “how many empty Red Bull cans are too many?”

“Be careful,” Salas warned. “Super Joe (McEwing) was back there.”

The Good Old Days?

Our computer network was down for much of the day today.

“Welcome to spring training in the 1990s,” quipped colleague Ray Garcia.

Bees

A small swarm of bees interrupted batting practice for a minute today and sent a few Sox scampering or dropping to the ground (imagine Avisail Garcia sprawled across home plate).

“Now we know what Robin doesn’t like,” someone joked.

Special Visitor

NHL star Chris Pronger visited Sox camp and connected with a few friends, including McEwing and Paul Konerko.

Quote of the Day

GM Rick Hahn on Quintana contract:

Jose quickly has established himself as a quality major-league starting pitcher, and along with Chris Sale, we expect him to be an important piece of our rotation for the foreseeable future. Jose brings a tremendous work ethic and professionalism to his approach, and he is well respected by his teammates, so we are excited to be able to reward him for what he has accomplished thus far in his career and possibly keep him in a White Sox uniform for the next seven seasons.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Rockies at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Chris Sale, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Matt Lindstrom. Colorado starter: RHP Juan Nicasio.

Photo of the Day

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Late Heroics Give Sox a 7-6 Victory Over the Rangers

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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Today’s News

The Games

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…the Sox are now 5-5-2 in Cactus League play.

Rangers        6  12  3

White Sox     7  12  1

At Goodyear (“B” game)…

White Sox    7

Indians         7

Plays of the Day

Vs. Rangers:  Alex Liddi’s walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth inning proved to be the difference for the Sox. Liddi also homered with two RBI in today’s “B” game. Carlos Sanchez led off the ninth with a single and was replaced on the bases by Micah Johnson (he also starred in the “B” game), who promptly stole second and scored on Liddi’s game-winner…Matt Davidson (pictured above) tied the game at 6-6 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth with a solo homer, his first in Cactus League play…John Danks, a day after his brother Jordan was one of the heroes in the Sox’s 6-3 victory over the Brewers, pitched five innings of shutout baseball. He gave up just four hits, walked three and struck out a batter...Gordon Beckham hit a solo homer, his first of the spring…Jose Abreu went 3-4 with a pair of RBI, Dayan Viciedo doubled in a run and Paul Konerko added an RBI…Nate Jones pitched a perfect inning…Cody Winiarski earned the win.

Vs. Indians:  Liddi was 2-3 along with the homer and two runs batted in...Micah Johnson went 3-4 with a run scored…Andy Wilkins, continuing his hot spring, was 2-2 with a homer, three RBI and a walk…Miguel Gonzalez was 3-3 with a run scored…Omar Poveda gave up only two hits and struck out five in three innings pitched.

Sox Notes of Note

Conor Gillaspie has a six-game hitting streak (.353)…Alejandro De Aza is batting .412 for the spring and is 5-7 in away games…Jeff Keppinger has three RBI in his last four games.

Roommates

Visit the spring training home of Sox prospects Micah Johnson, Marcus Semien and Jared Mitchell with CSN’s Chuck Garfien serving as your tour guide.

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/cribs-white-sox-spring-training-edition

Quote of the Day

An in-game tweet during today’s Sox-Rangers game from CSN’s Dan Hayes:

“Have heard several times scouts surprised at how strong Adam Eaton’s arm is — just doubled off a runner from CF.”  #WhiteSox

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Giants at Scottsdale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: RHP Felipe Paulino, RHP Daniel Webb, RHP Jake Petricka, RHP Zach Putnam, LHP Frank De Los Santos, RHP Nestor Molina. Starter for San Francisco: RHP Tim LIncecum.

Photo of the Day

Konerko, Beckham and Adam Eaton during today’s game with Texas.

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Split-Squad Thursday

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Today’s News

The Games

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

White Sox    4  10  1

Mariners      7  10  1

At Surprise…

White Sox    6  16  0

Royals         6  15  1

Plays of the Day

Vs. Mariners:  OF Adam Eaton went 3-3 with a stolen base, SS-2B Carlos Sanchez 2-4 with two RBI and a stolen base and LHP John Danks gave up one hit, a pair of walks and struck out two in three scoreless innings of work.

Vs. Royals: With the Sox down 6-4 heading into the top of the ninth, OF Jordan Danks led off the inning with a homer. 2B Micah Johnson singled for the third time, stole second and advanced to third on an error. He scored on a groundout to tie the score at 6-6…1B Jose Abreu (pictured below) smashed his first homer of the spring, a two-run shot, with OF Avi Garcia aboard…Garcia went 2-3 with a double and an RBI, SS Alexei Ramirez was 3-3, OF Alejandro De Aza 2-2 with a double and DH Jeff Keppinger 2-4 with an RBI.

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Sox Notes of Note

RHP Nate Jones, who has been dealing with a strained glute, is scheduled to pitch on Saturday vs. the Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch-Glendale…if you look close enough at the photo below you can spot Paulie taking practice swings in the bullpen while the Sox battled the Mariners. And this was after he played in the game, delivering a single in three at-bats.

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Quote of the Day

Former major-league pitcher Brian Bannister, son of ex-White Sox lefty Floyd Bannister, on “Mr. Nice Guy” Jim Thome, who is currently working in the Sox front office:

“Thome is my favorite. He’d hit a bomb off you and then tell you after the game it was a “tough pitch” #gentlegiant

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Reds’ split squad at Goodyear (2:05 p.m., CT). 

Photo of the Day

Now this is something we can look forward to:

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