Results tagged ‘ Robin Ventura ’
Friday, May 23, 2014
White Sox vs. Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (0-4, 7.31) for the Sox, RHP Hiroki Kuroda (3-3, 4.61) for New York. The Sox have won seven straight home games against the Yankees.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Beckham 2B, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo RF, Dunn 1B, Ramirez SS, Konerko DH, De Aza LF, Flowers C.
Plays of the Day
Adam Eaton, Alejandro De Aza and Adam Dunn drove in the Sox runs in last night’s 3-2 win over the Yankees. But in the end it was all about Chris Sale. He was simply brilliant in his first game back from more than a month on the disabled list. In six innings of work the only blemish was a lone single and he struck out 10. He’s now 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA…Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb pitched perfect baseball in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, and Ronald Belisario came on in the ninth and got credit for his second save.
Chris is the second pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to allow one hit with 10-plus strikeouts in consecutive starts. The Mets’ R.A. Dickey accomplished the feat in 2012. Last night’s performance was Sale’s 12th game of 10 strikeouts or more. He is now tied with Alex Fernandez for the fourth most in franchise history. It took Fernandez to accomplish the feat in 197 starts, Sale has done it in 64…he has yet to allow a hit to a left-handed hitter this season (0-23)…Sale is the first White Sox lefty starter to begin a season 4-0 since Mark Buehrle (5-0) in 2009…and as a result of his gem last night, he joins Gary Peters (1963) and Floyd Bannister (1987) as the only Sox pitchers since 1914 to have 10 Ks, no walks and no more than one hit allowed in a single game.
Former Teammates Reunited
Robin Ventura and Derek Jeter, who were Yankee teammates in 2002-03, greet each other warmly before last night’s game. The White Sox will honor the retiring Jeter on Sunday with a video and gifts. Fellow captain Paul Konerko will do the presenting on behalf of the Sox.
And While Sale was Clicking in Chicago…
High Class A Winston-Salem’s Francellis “Frank” Montas (pictured below), acquired by the White Sox from the Red Sox in last summer’s Jake Peavy trade, had a no-hitter into the seventh inning last night in the Dash’s 6-3 victory and series win over the Salem Red Sox.
Montas (2-0) was dominant throughout his start, striking out eight batters in his first six innings of work. Montas pitched eight innings, allowing one run, two hits and one walk while striking out 11.
As a result of his performance, he was named “Pitcher of the Day” today by Baseball America‘s Prospect Report.
Swoopes as in Hoops
Hoops legend Sheryl Swoopes will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game.
Quotes of the Day
Sale commenting on carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning while on a strict pitch count in his first start back from the DL:
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to give up a hit in my life. I knew I was done after that sixth, and Robin said the same thing. He goes, ‘You picked a bad night to do something like that.'”
Former MLB GM Jim Bowden, now with the MLB Radio Network, on Sale:
“He has to go into the category of Kershaw, Scherzer, Fernandez. When healthy he’s amazing.”
White Sox vs. Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP John Danks (3-4, 5.64) for the Sox, LHP Vidal Nuno (1-1, 5.82) for New York. And don’t forget, it’s Chris Sale bobblehead day.
Photo of the Day
Here’s how President Obama signed the guest book on his visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
White Sox vs. Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) as the Sox look to sweep the four-game Crosstown Cup series. Starters: RHP Scott Carroll (1-1, 0.68) for the Sox, RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 0.00) for the Cubs. Carroll makes this third start after two outstanding outings.
Sox Starting Lineup: Beckham 2B, Gillaspie 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo LF, Ramirez SS, De Aza CF, Sierra RF, Flowers C.
Plays of the Day
Gordon Beckham‘s second homer in as many nights–a three run shot–and Paul Konerko‘s bases-clearing three-run double, one of a pair of two-baggers he had on the night, were the key blows as the Sox won their season-high fourth in a row and third straight vs. the Cubs, 8-3. As a result, we claim the 2014 Crosstown Cup and go one game over the .500 mark at 18-17…Jose Abreu doubled twice, singled and scored a run while Alexei Ramirez and Marcus Semien each got credit for an RBI…John Danks earned his third win of the season, allowing three runs, four hits and a lone walk while striking out eight…The bullpen was once again solid. Jake Petricka came on in relief of Danks and pitched two perfect innings. Maikel Cleto closed it out in the ninth.
Enjoy the Beckham homer and Paulie’s three-run double…
…plus Ramirez’s dazzling ninth-inning catch that started a double play.
Even More From Last Night
Sox Notes of Note
Every White Sox batter reached base in last night’s game…Sox relievers own a 0.48 ERA over the last 11 games and a 1.47 mark and a .180 opponents average since April 20. Relievers have thrown 18.1 consecutive scoreless IP over the last five games…Petricka extended his scoreless streak to six appearances (10 IP). The streak includes five straight hitless outings and he owns a 0.68 ERA and .149 opponents average over his last nine appearances.
All-Time White Sox Team vs. Cubs (During Interleague Play)
(Qualifier: Minimum 20 plate appearances; Numbers entering tonight)
C: A.J. Pierzynski – 45 games (.296/.365/.478; 8 HR, 29 RBI)
1B: Paul Konerko – 73 games (.299/.362/.602; 20 HR, 58 RBI)
2B: Ray Durham – 30 games (.364/.454/.496; 1 HR, 9 RBI)
3B: Gordon Beckham – 26 games (.348/.398/.598; 6 HR, 16 RBI)
SS: Alexei Ramirez – 36 games (.275/.303/.449; 5 HR, 17 RBI)
OF: Scott Podsednik – 20 games (.333/.435/.462; 1 HR, 6 RBI)
OF: Carlos Lee – 36 games (.326/.382/.574; 9 HR, 31 RBI)
OF: Magglio Ordonez – 32 games (.317/.406/.545; 5 HR, 25 RBI)
DH: Jermaine Dye – 27 games (.324/.384/.706; 11 HR, 21 RBI)
Quote of the Day
Robin Ventura Talks Abreu:
On the slugger’s No. 79 jersey cracking the Top 10 in MLB sales:
“I got one. I got a real one, too, didn’t even have to buy it.”
Did he sign it?
On Jose’s Impact:
“…It’s fun for him, it’s fun for us to have a guy like him. Nobody knew about him last year and now all of a sudden he’s on our team. What makes it fun for us and being around him is that he’s just a good person. He’s a humble kid, he’s a great team person. I think that’s the thing for our guys–you root for him and you’re happy for all these accolades he’s getting and the attention. It’s not going to change him. Guys like to have fun with him because he’s such a good team person and you like to see stuff like this happen to people like him.”
White Sox vs. Diamondbacks at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN) in the first of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Andre Rienzo (2-0, 4.50) for the Sox, ex-Sox Brandon McCarthy (1-5, 4.67) for the D-backs.
Photo of the Day
Carroll takes on the Cubs in Cup finale.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: LHP John Danks (1-0, 4.15) for our Sox, RHP Clay Buchholz (0-1, 6.97) for Boston. Our Sox have won four of the last five games against their Sox at USCF.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Gillaspie 3B, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo RF, De Aza LF, Ramirez SS, Nieto C.
Plays of the Day
Erik Johnson pitched an outstanding 6.2 innings, allowing just one run, three hits and two walks while striking out nine in the Sox’ thrilling 2-1 victory over Boston last night–making it two straight walk-off wins…Johnson established career highs in strikeouts and IP…Daniel Webb got his first major league win by recording a key out in the ninth and received the traditional beer shower and game ball in the clubhouse after the game.
Enjoy watching Erik’s stellar performance:
And, of course, here’s the dramatic ending as Marcus Semien steps into the box with Adam Eaton on first and Alexei Ramirez on second:
Watch and Listen to Three of Last Night’s Heroes
Sox Notes of Note
With his base hit last night Ramirez is just one shy of Frank Thomas‘ Sox record of 15 consecutive games with a hit to start the season…Adam Dunn hit his 443rd homer, passing Dave Kingman for 38th place on the all-time list, and his walk in the sixth inning put him past Rusty Staub for 49th all-time. Dunn reached base in all four plate appearances last night with the homer and three walks…he has reached base safely in all of his 11 games played…RHP Chris Beck pitched a complete-game (seven innings) three-hit shutout for the Class AA Birmingham Barons last night in the opener of a doubleheader on the road against the Mobile BayBears. The Barons won that first game 2-0 and the second game 5-2 to sweep the twin bill and extend their winning streak to five games.
Thanks for the Kind Words
Jerry Reinsdorf and Ken Williams Talk About Jackie Robinson
Pink Out Night Set for May 10
Quote of the Day
Robin, talking about the Sox’ energy players (via@scott merkin):
“They have to be good players. I’ve seen a lot of energy players that couldn’t play. These guys can play.”
White Sox vs. Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10, CT, CSN+) in the finale of the three-game series. Starters: LHP Chris Sale (3-0, 2.66) for the Sox, LHP Jon Lester (1-2, 2.57) for Boston.
Photo of the Day
The Sox showed their support last night on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings:
Thursday, April 3, 2014
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.
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:
PK Plays a Vital Role, Even Off the Bench
Sox Notes of Note
According to a Christopher Kamka tweet, intentional 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
Who’s Autograph is That?
Quotes of the Day
Adam Eaton (@AdamSpankyEaton) April 02, 2014
Robin on yesterday’s thriller:
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
Monday, March 10, 2014
White Sox 6 11 0
Brewers 3 7 2
Plays of the Day
OF Jordan Danks belted a two-run homer–his second of the spring–in the top of the seventh inning to break a 0-0 tie (click on link to top video below), scoring Jared Mitchell ahead of him. Mitchell came in to pinch-run for C Tyler Flowers, who doubled. 3B Marcus Semien added on a run in the seventh with a run-scoring single to make it 3-0…OF Mitchell, who led off the top of the ninth inning with a single and stole second, also scored the go-ahead run in the ninth with the game tied 3-3 on a Jeff Keppinger fielder’s choice. 1B Andy Wilkins singled in two more runs in the frame to give the Sox some insurance and the 6-3 lead…LHP Chris Sale was masterful today. The Sox ace tossed 4.1 scoreless innings while striking out three batters…2B Micah Johnson, playing on the shortstop side of second base, made a spectacular catch in short right field off the bat of Brewers’ 1B Mark Reynolds in the home half of the fourth inning (click on link to bottom video below)…With his inning of work today, RHP Zach Putnam has now tossed 4.0 scoreless IP over his four Cactus League appearances…LHP Eric Surkamp got the win and Charlie Leesman earned the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Sox Notes of Note
Wilkins is now 5-9 with a homer, five RBI, and four run scored in nine games…Happy Birthday to Dayan Viciedo, who is 25 today…The Sox have traded RHP Zach Stewart to Atlanta for cash considerations. Stewart, who was in minor-league camp, appeared in 28 games (nine starts) with the Sox from 2011-12.
A Tribute to Thome
Quote of the Day
Robin, officially announcing that Sale will be the Sox’s Opening Day starter on March 31 vs. the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field:
“He’s our best pitcher…he’s the logical choice. He deserves it.”
White Sox vs. Rangers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP John Danks, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Andre Rienzo, RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Cody Winiarski, LHP Donnie Veal.
White Sox vs. Indians, “B” game, at Goodyear (Noon, CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Scott Snodgress, RHP Omar Poveda, RHP Chris Beck. Among those making the trip to Goodyear will be 2B Micah Johnson, INF Carlos Sanchez and OF Trayce Thompson.
Photo of the Day
An excellent day’s work for Chris this afternoon as he prepares for Opening Day.
Monday, February 17, 2014
The Sox pitching coach was the center of attention today. Among his comments? Erik Johnson is “firmly” penciled into the starting rotation.
Flowers and Phegley: A Friendly Rivalry
Happy Presidents Day
Just for fun, we looked up all the former White Sox who shared last names with U.S. Presidents. I posted last year and now it just might be a Presidents Day tradition. The one addition this year is Erik Johnson.
Bobby Adams 3B 1955
Doug Adams C 1969
Herb Adams OF 1948-1950
Jeff Carter P 1991
Gene Ford P 1938
Jimmy Grant 3B 1942-1943
Frankie Hayes C 1946
Jackie Hayes 2B 1932-1940
Bo Jackson DH 1991-1993
Charlie Jackson PH 1915
Darrin Jackson LF 1994, 1999
Edwin Jackson P 2010-2011
Joe Jackson OF 1915-1920
Mike Jackson P 2004
Ron Jackson 1B 1954-1959
Jesse Jefferson P 1975-1976
Bart Johnson P 1969-1977
Charles Johnson C 2000
Connie Johnson P 1953-1956
Dan Johnson 1B 2012
Dane Johnson P 1994
Darrell Johnson C 1952
Deron Johnson DH 1975
Don Johnson P 1954
Erik Johnson P 2013
Ernie Johnson SS 1912, 1921-1923
Johnny Johnson P 1945
Lamar Johnson 1B 1974-1981
Lance Johnson OF 1988-1995
Larry Johnson C 1978
Mark Johnson C 1998-2002
Randy Johnson DH 1980
Stan Johnson OF 1960
Bob Kennedy OF 1939-1948
Vern Kennedy P 1934-1937
Larry Monroe P 1976
Billy Pierce P 1949-1961
Leo Taylor PR 1923
Wiley Taylor P 1912
Claudell Washington OF 1978-1980
George Washington OF 1935-1936
Bill Wilson OF 1950-1954
Craig Wilson 3B 1998-2000
George Wilson OF 1952
Jim Wilson P 1956-1958
Red Wilson C 1951-1954
Roy Wilson P 1928
Quote of the Day
Felipe Paulino, who is competing for a starting spot after shoulder and elbow injuries:
“I’m stronger, (my injuries) are in the past. I’m trying to do everything I can. I’m healthy and ready to compete and just enjoy the game.”
Sox Note of Note
Former White Sox infielder Jerry Royster is at Camelback Ranch as a baseball consultant on a three-day Nike commercial shoot in the Camelback Ranch-Glendale stadium. Royster, a 16-year major leaguer, played for the Sox in 1987.
Photo of the Day
The brain trust deep in thought.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
A Good Start
For the first time of thousands this spring …
“Chief! (Bullpen catcher Mark Salas) I need some baseballs!”
Physicals moved quickly and we were out on the field way ahead of schedule.
What They’re Saying on Day 1
@CST_soxvan: Reliever Mitchell Boggs, who said his deal is contingent on making 25-man, is confident: ‘My expectations are as high as they’ve ever been.’
@scottmerkin: John Danks told Herm Schneider that he feels like he’s 18 again. Ball coming out of his hand different than last year, per Danks.
@ESPNChiSox: Long shot closer candidate Daniel Webb says he just wants to make the roster. He’ll be happy with whatever role he earns.
@ChuckGarfien: Chris Sale: “I’ve got 8.6 body fat.”
Robin Ventura: “I’ve got some if you want some.”
Skipper Ventura, GM Hahn Quotes of the Day
Robin on the possibility of an 11-man pitching staff: “It’s not always easy to do, but the way we’re structured, we have to go that way every once in a while.”
Rick on Jose Abreu: “He wants to earn that money and show it was a damn good deal for the White Sox.”
Sox Spring Training Broadcast Schedule
The White Sox, Comcast SportsNet, WGN-TV and WSCR-AM 670 The Score have announced the team’s 2014 spring training broadcast schedule.
The White Sox will have 10 Cactus League games televised from Arizona (nine on Comcast SportsNet and one on WGN), and seven additional webcasts of spring training games free on whitesox.com. WSCR-AM, the club’s flagship radio station, will air nine games (including three interactive broadcasts).
Comcast SportsNet’s first spring training broadcast is scheduled for Friday, March 14 at 3:05 p.m. CDT when the White Sox face Cleveland at Camelback Ranch – Glendale (CBR). CSN will air the Sox-Cubs game at CBR on Friday, March 21. Along with airing seven home games, CSN will broadcast games at Colorado (Scottsdale) on March 23 and at Seattle (Peoria) on March 24. WGN will close out the spring broadcast schedule on Thursday, March 27 when the White Sox play the Cubs in Mesa at 2:05 p.m. CDT.
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone will work all 10 television games in their sixth season together as the White Sox broadcast team. Harrelson is set to begin his 30th season as the television voice of the White Sox, while Stone enters his sixth year in the Sox television booth.
WSCR-AM broadcasts the first of its nine games on Friday, February 28 at 2:05 p.m. CST when the White Sox open Cactus League play vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale. WSCR-AM features the on-air tandem of Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson. Three of the nine game broadcasts (March 2, 8 and 16) feature an “interactive” format, allowing listeners to interact with Farmer, Jackson, and pre and post-game host Chris Rongey during the broadcast.
In addition to television and radio broadcasts, the White Sox will present webcasts of seven spring training games, in their entirety, at whitesox.com. The spring training webcasts begin on February 28 vs. the Dodgers and are available free to all fans with internet access. Russ Langer will serve as the play-by-play announcer for all seven webcasts.
Additional information regarding spring training broadcasts and tickets at CBR can be found at whitesox.com/spring.
Sox Notes of Note
Reliever Nate Jones has a mild to moderate glute strain. He’ll be evaluated in a few days…Bullpen mate Ron Belisario is having visa issues and is not yet in camp.
Photos of the Day
Robin and Rick meet the media.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Manager Robin Ventura met with the media earlier today, prior to the White Sox trade. Here’s what he had to say in talking about last season and looking ahead to 2014.
As you sit here right now, is it hard for you to really know certain spots that are locked down? Is it fluid, a work‑in‑progress?
Yeah, you come down to these meetings, I think you leave the season, especially the way the season went, and you trade guys, have a deadline, get new guys, you kind of see how they play, and then you come down here, you know, there’s stuff kind of flying everywhere, a lot of it probably not true, but, you know, it’s stuff that’s flying around.
So you don’t necessarily know what you’re dealing with until probably you leave here and then have a better idea where you stand and what could happen, who you could be using.
Top of the order is something you guys wanted to address, lead‑off man. Was a centerfielder was on the list for you guys, right?
You know, again, I think stuff that’s being reported, that’s something that we would like. I think that’s an honest estimate of where we were last year, what you’re looking for. Again, we need to be a little more balanced left‑handed, too, throughout our lineup.
So there are things that we definitely need to improve and that’s where you start.
There’s been talk about going a little younger. Does that kind of suit you? You like that, younger, a little more energetic type of thing?
Again, you go through a season like you did last year, there are changes. When you make changes you would, for the most part, like to have a lot of young guys that are good and you have control over for a lot of years. I think that would be the plan for a lot of people.
However, you do want guys that are established and know what you’re going to get. So the combination is really perfect. I don’t think going all young is going to be the ideal situation.
When you go through a year like last year, what sort of motivation may it give you? Is there a sense of more determination?
Yeah, there’s all of that. There’s all of that. But, again, it starts in Spring Training. I think it’s good for everybody to get away, towards the end of the year you want everybody to refocus and come committed and prepared and ready to go. If you’re not showing up ready to prove last year wrong, then you shouldn’t be coming, because it was tough for everybody and it’s not fun to watch, either.
What’s fair to expect of young guys trying to come in and establish themselves?
Well, there are spots. Again, I think that’s what happens when we have a season like we did. You see guys at the trade deadline that get traded. But guys that come in and have an opportunity to play, I think even in Spring Training, you are going to see guys that we have that you are going to give them an opportunity to see what they can do. Pretty much everything is on the table for guys to make an impact and see what they can do.
If you look at a roster now, you can probably make a roster if you had to. Would you feel more comfortable if there were other pieces involved?
It’s hard, again, right now. I think once we leave here, and I think that’s part of being here is everybody is able to talk. Rick (Hahn), that’s basically what he’s been doing, he’s listening and seeing what makes sense. But I think once you get away from here you’re going to get a better idea of what makes sense and how it’s all going to fit.
What would you like to see for the starting catcher this season?
Well, I mean, I think both those guys would flow right now, they’ll improve, I think, offensively. I don’t see “Flow” having the same kind of year. Physically there were some things that happened. Phegley, it was his first time up. You want them to improve. I think Flow calls a great game. You see Pheg go through that part of the year where it was different for him being called up and being a part of the action, but you want them to improve offensively.
Have you talked to Adam about maybe how you’re going to handle the line-ups and at-bats?
No, that’s for later, we’ve got plenty of time to do that. Again, that’s a situation that you have to mix and match and find common ground for both guys to be able to play. At times I think it’s not necessarily on the left handed or right handed, it’s what makes sense that day for us to win.
The defense was probably as good as anyone in 2012 baseball, 2013 it was not. Do you get a sense it’s somewhere in the middle?
It needs to be a lot better than it was last year, that’s for sure. And I don’t think last year is more indicative of what we are. Again, whether it’s what it was in 2012, but we’re better than we were last year and it needs to get better. Anytime you put that much heat on the pitching staff. Defense can be contagious, too, as far as making errors, trying to do too much, and again, not being able to score.
Improving outfield defense, where would you say was that on your team’s priorities?
I’m not going to list it as one, two, three. But all the way around it needed to get better. And it’s not just on the outfield, base runs the same thing. We had a lot of things that needed to get better. And that’s stuff we take care of in Spring Training.
What needs to change defensively?
It needs to be better. That’s the bottom line. It just needs to be better.
Again, our focus in Spring Training we’re going to get everybody ready, but they have to understand there needs to be a better level of play in what we’re doing.
There have been some changes in baseball with expanded replay and collisions. What are your thoughts on those two topics?
I think replay has probably become a natural progression as far as we have the technology to do it. In the end we want to get it right. And I think everybody is on board with that. You want to see it right. It will probably limit some of the going out and arguing and stuff like that. But in the end I think everybody is on board with just getting it right.
You guys probably aren’t as set at third base as maybe other positions. As a former third baseman, is that a project of yours to work with that?
Well, right now, if that’s what we’ve got, then, yeah, you sit there and it becomes part of your ‑‑ I think for me even with Joe doing our infield, I would say it’s more my spot to kind of jump in and help out with third base. With shortstop, Joe would do that. I think we’d both get over there.
And last year was Conor’s first year. So there is a bit of a learning curve going into the first year trying to make it. And I still see him as a good player for us.
As far as catcher, is it something you might add somebody else in order to take a little pressure off of Tyler?
I think right now we’re giving him more time. And if there’s a way to improve, I’m sure Rick will look to do that.
But, again, right now, where we sit, you’re improving with what you’ve got. For me what we have on paper right now is all I’m looking at. The pie in the sky of what could possibly happen, because down here there’s enough rumors. We could have a whole new roster by the time I have lunch.
Last year you were managing in a difficult situation, and even the previous year when you had a winning team. Do you assess yourself?
I think anytime you go through a season like we did, it’s harder. It’s harder as far as keeping guys motivated, just upbeat and going, because losing is not fun. I’ve been on teams as a player that were the same way. And winning, you don’t have to do much. You just let them play.
I don’t know personally which ‑‑ I know this one was harder, a lot harder. But this one coming up is going to be better.
Is there a natural energy to adding new ‑‑ assuming you’re going to be even adding some today?
Well, I think if it’s the right guy. And if they are good players and go about their business and play well, it helps.
How about hard‑nosed, kind of scrappy kind of guys, do you like that kind of feel?
I know this past year you guys had a fair number of injuries, but over I think the last six or seven years you’ve been among the lowest. What is the secret for you guys, not to jinx you or anything?
I don’t think ‑‑ last year we had plenty of it. Again, the medical staff does a good job and you have to be lucky, too. There’s a lot of it that ‑‑ I don’t know if you can explain it, of how it happens, because there are some freak injuries that happen you don’t foresee coming. But I hope it continues.
What are your thoughts on the home plate collisions?
Again, it’s part of the game. But I think more of it needs to come maybe from catchers at the plate. It’s always been part of the game. And for a lot of people it’s an exciting part of the game. But you see the injuries that have happened over the last few years and you also wonder if it’s really necessary. But it’s been part of the game.
What do you expect from Ramirez? If you look at the whole of his season he’s a real good player. What would you expect after some personal trauma was put behind him?
It was a tough year, personally for him just emotional stuff. It’s tough to separate it when you come to the ballpark. I thought he did the best he could of putting that aside. It’s not always that easy to do, especially when you start losing games. That becomes a harder issue to kind of separate and put it aside. But he still put up numbers offensively.
But defense is usually where that shows if your mind is wandering. So I expect him to be motivated. I think even with us signing Jose, for him to come in motivated and being a leader.
He hit a lot of ‑‑ he hit a lot of steals last year, was it primarily the function of you and the coaching staff picking spots for him?
He has a bit of freedom to be able to do that. And more of him hitting higher up in the lineup was a better spot for him to steal bases. But, again, that’s part of him improving and getting better and learning how to do it. But for me they need to have the ability to be motivated to do it and the freedom to do it. I think they were pretty aggressive in trying to do that.
Seems like every year we talk about Gordon Beckham. Does it seem like he’s finally becoming that guy people expect him to be?
I think so. Last year the way he went through spring and the way he started, you know, really expected a great offensive year for him. And then he broke his hand on our first road trip. And I don’t think at any point last year he was one hundred percent. That’s just unfortunate. That’s the way years go, something might happen and it derails that.
But knowing the kind of kid he is and how hard he works, you know, the way he started that spring, and how motivated he was, I expect that same thing this year from him.
One of the guys who you were sort of counting on for more last year was Viciedo. I know he was hurt for a while. Does he need to scale back on his swing a little bit, how does he get from where he’s at to where you want him to be?
There were points of that last year that he got to. He went through stretches where he looked as good as anybody. And he also swings as hard as anybody.
When he did get hurt I think some of it helped him because he couldn’t swing as hard as he had before. But that’s part of him being a player and learning how to do it. He has the tools to do it. Again, we’re looking at a kid that’s continuing to grow and get better. We just want it ‑‑ I think everybody just wants it now. And everybody has their growing pains and being able to get there. But he does have the tools to do it.
You just punch him in the ribs then? (laughing)
There were occasions where you wanted to bump him into somebody. But again, he’s a good kid and you look for good things. He’s continuing to grow and the potential is there. I think everybody has seen his power and his ability. When he goes on his little terrors, he carries the team.
You personally stepped out and thought he was going to have a big year last year. You said that. And that’s not really your MO to make statements like that. Do you think it was ‑‑ that prediction was impacted by the injury most?
Yeah, I think for a lot of guys that you look at them in Spring Training and you see how they’re doing. Haven’t seen other guys throughout my playing career, you see guys in Spring Training and you can tell something is different as far as just the way they’re swinging, the way they’re seeing the ball.
He had that last year in Spring Training. Injuries will do that. I think anytime you have that kind of ‑‑ sets them off in a different direction. It’s hard to get it back of what you had.
He came back from that injury driving the ball to right center and all of a sudden it disappeared?
Yeah, and that’s part of the evolution of him becoming a better player. And again, we’re just continuing to be patient with him.
You go to Spring Training with the same plan or do you have to change things because of the way last season went?
I think you change it a bit. It’s hard to just sit there and change the whole thing. But, again, I think the emphasis, last year we had an emphasis on defense and doing everything. But when you have a season like you did last year, it’s pretty obvious to everybody it needs to improve. So everything needs to be sharper. It’s pretty simple to explain to them.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (6:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (2-2, 2.82) for the Sox, RHP Yordano Ventura (0-0, 1.59) for K.C. Johnson owns a 2.82 ERA with 14 strikeouts over his first four career starts (three quality starts).
Sox Starting Lineup: L. Garcia, CF; Beckham, 2B; Gillaspie, 3B; Konerko, 1B; Dunn, DH; A. Garcia, RF; Semien, SS; Jor. Danks, LF; Gonzalez, C.
Paulie on Paulie
From yesterday’s session with the media:
On the impending processing of deciding his baseball future…
“One of the things I wanted to do coming into this season, regardless of the result, was that no matter what happened, I wanted to go home and take maybe a month to get away from baseball. That was my plan coming into this season which I decided on — along with the help of talking to other players, athletes and friends who have faced a similar decision.
“However, my decision is based on the premise that there is a choice given to me by the organization and they want me to come back. Right now, I don’t know that. I haven’t spoken to the White Sox formally about the decision, but this is all set to the backdrop of them wanting me to come back. Ultimately my mind could be made up for me because right now I don’t know what my choices or options are from their end.”
On his physical and mental state affecting his decision…
“Right now, the physical end is probably a bigger factor. Mentally, I think you can always rebound. This isn’t the first rough season I’ve had. But, the older you get it’s easier to let things go quicker. You do get beat up a little more mentally each year, but ultimately you get better at handling it. But, physically you just have to know your body. When you talk about the offseason and Spring Training, those are big commitments that you have to want to do. The season doesn’t start on April 1. For me, it starts mid-November. So, you have to know that you’re willing to go through that. It’s a long year and you have to know if you’re up for it physically.
“You can never totally know with certain injuries. There are some things that are isolated and once you get past it, you know that will never bother you again. But, other things you just know that’s never going away and it may hang around as a nagging injury. Again, that’s something over the next month or so todetermine. It’s not just games, but it can take a toll traveling, during Spring Training, the offseason and all of those things.”
On finishing his career with the White Sox…
“That’s always been my goal. Again, I don’t know the options that will be made available to me. But, when I signed back here in ’05 I felt like that could be it, and after 2010 it has brought us to this point now. That’s always what I have envisioned, finishing my career with the White Sox.”
On how the decision has weighed on him throughout the year…
“Every season, since I was seven years old, I’ve know I would continue to play the next year. If I do play next year however, that would probably be my final year. There are just so many factors, like traveling to different cities and then thinking ‘Am I going to see this person again or ever be back here?’ Looking back, I didn’t like going through that and not knowing the answer. I wasn’t sure enough coming out of Spring Training to decide one way or the other if this would be my final season. If I had made that decision, I probably would have had a better year personally for me either way the decision went. However, that doesn’t excuse the season we have had as a team. There’s just so much that is in your control as well as out of your control.”
On how the results of 2013 will factor into his decision…
“That’s a huge determining factor, it may be the biggest. You only go through this sort of thing once, so you seek the advice of other people who have been through it. It would be nice to go out on top with a winner or having your best season, but looking at the other side of it, this is how careers are supposed to end. Not everybody gets to do it exactly how they want. When things aren’t at their best, that is what closes you out, when you’ve decided you’ve had enough if things aren’t going the way you want them to. I can see it both ways. You’re always taught to fight throughout your career to overcome the bumps in the road, no matter what happens, you get up and fight again. It’s a matter of whether or not I’m in the mode of wanting to get up and fight.
“I just think taking a month off and away from the game will help. The more you don’t play, I think the needle will always move towards wanting to play. I just have to determine how much of that feeling is real come November.”
On the possibility returning to play as a part-time player…
“The only place I could do that is in Chicago. My family likes it here, my kids love it here and it’s a great place to be in the summer. I’ve always held myself to a high standard, production-wise. If I do come back in any capacity, I may have to lessen those standards somewhat. Production can be done in a variety of ways, it’s not just hitting home runs and driving in runs. If I’m going to come back, I have to be better working with the young guys and helping them out, instead of being so consumed with myself and following my own routine.
“Again, that role has to exist for me here though. I don’t know what the roster will look like yet, that will be determined by Rick and the front office. I’m very conscious of earning my way onto the playing field, and not having to have a favor done for me. Since I was a little kid, I feel like I’ve earned my way, and right now, I’m not sure I can say that for next year. That’s a concern for me. I don’t want to put anybody in a tough spot. I want to be back here because it makes sense for me and the White Sox, because this organization has always been honest with me and treated me well. I’m not looking to power play somebody into a job, because that’s not who I am.”
On the possibility of Sunday being his final game…
“It’s crossed my mind. But regardless of knowing whether or not it will be my last game going into it, I’m going to go about it the same way as every game. I’m still going to come in, hit off the tee, take batting practice, get ready and go play. I don’t know how else I would go about it or how much more I would do. I don’t get too caught up in those sorts of things. I could play Sunday and look back a month from now and find out that was my last game. That’s possible, but I don’t know what other way to go about it right now.”
On the possibility of playing for another team next season…
“I’d have to weigh my options if I decided I wanted to play again but the opportunity of playing for the White Sox wasn’t there. It would be tough to go somewhere else to play for just one year. It would come down to how much I really just want to still play the game of baseball. There are a lot of factors that will go into it. But, right now I don’t know what options will be presented to me.”
On his future in baseball after retiring as a player…
“Right now, I can’t see myself doing anything in the game. It would be a while. Because of the age my kids are, I wouldn’t want to miss something with them that I couldn’t do because I took a job in baseball. I have some other interests and things I could do from or around home to keep me busy for a while.”
Fan Appreciation Day
Tomorrow is Fan Appreciation Day at U.S. Cellular Field. In addition to Family Sunday events, select players plus Sox coach Harold Baines and Ron KIttle, both stars on the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox, will sign autographs for kids before the game. Additionally, 1,300 prizes will be given away and youngsters can run the bases post-game.
Play(s) of the Day
Gordon Beckham hit a solo homer, his fifth of the season, and Alexei Ramirez tripled and singled in last night’s loss to the Royals.
Quote(s) of the Day
GM Rick Hahn announcing yesterday that Robin will be back as Sox skipper in 2014:
“Robin has met the challenge this team has put in front of him over the last two years, both the good and the bad, extremely well.’’
Ventura on returning next year:
“I am motivated to be back and happy to come back and turn this around.”
White Sox vs. Royals at U.S. Cellular Field (1:05 p.m., CT, WGN) in the final game of the four-game series and last game of the 2013 season. Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (9-6, 3.45) for the Sox, LHP Bruce Chen (8-4, 3.31) for Kansas City.
Did You Know…
…that Dayan Viciedo is hitting .333 with seven doubles, four homers, 19 RBI and 16 runs scored over his last 29 games?
Photo of the Day
Gordon puts in on the board.