Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

On to Chicago (With a Brief Stop in Birmingham)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

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Today’s News

The Game

At Mesa…in the Cactus League finale.

White Sox     3  8  0

Cubs             4  8  0

Plays of the Day

Adam Dunn and Alejandro De Aza hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth inning (click on link below for video of Dunn’s homer, his first of the spring)…Adam Eaton went 2-3 and finished Cactus League play with an outstanding .368 batting average. He also made a terrific diving catch in the fourth inning…Marcus Semien singled in a run in the eighth…Donnie VealDaniel Webb and Nate Jones each pitched a scoreless inning.

http://atmlb.com/1m8TX67

Sox Note of Note

For those of you who don’t recognize No. 4 in the above photo, that’s Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling, who played his entire 20-year career on the South Side from 1930-1950. He was a lifetime .310 hitter, who won two batting titles, was a seven-time All-Star and is one of nine Sox to have his number retired.

The 2014 White Sox Racers

From left to right: Darrin “DJ” JacksonEd “Farmio” FarmerSteve “Stoney” StoneKen “Hawk” Harrelson.

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The White Sox’ 12-Scoop Banana Split Sundae

Here is one of many local and national stories about the three-pound ice cream treat that is becoming a cause celebre:

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/10676917/chicago-white-sox-offer-3-pound-sundae-helmet

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Quotes of the Day

John Danks on completing a successful spring with his victory over the Reds yesterday:

“Its been a lot better spring than the last couple of years. I’m feeling good where I’m at. Feeling good, ready to get the season started. I’ve told Coop I’m feeling strong enough and healthy enough to go out and throw 120 (pitches) and be a guy who has a chance to save the bullpen.”

Danks on Rule 5 selection Adrian Nieto making the Opening Day roster as the backup catcher.

“He’s a great kid, works hard and deserves it, really. He has caught me a lot this spring, and he does a great job.”

More Danks

John Danks has joined the new “Advisory Board” of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which is made up exclusively of active players from throughout Major League Baseball. The Hooton Foundation is widely acknowledged as the leader in the advocacy against appearance and performance enhancing drug use by the youth of America.

Danks joins eight other charter members of the “Advisory Board,” which also includes Jay Bruce (Cincinnati Reds), David DeJesus (Tampa Bay Rays), Dillon Gee (New York Mets), Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Mark Melancon (Pittsburgh Pirates),  Max Scherzer (Detroit Tigers), C.J. Wilson (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks).

As members of the “Advisory Board,” the players will participate in the THF’s educational activities in their local communities, record radio public-service announcements and provide their input on the most-effective ways to educate North America’s young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. the Class AA Birmingham Barons at Birmingham’s sold-out Regions Field (6:00 p.m, CT). Sox starting pitching schedule: LHP Veal, LHP Scott Downs, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Maikel Cleto, LHP David Purcey, RHP Zach Putnam.

Photo of the Day

Here’s newly-elected Hall of Famer Frank Thomas on the Fox Sports 1 set with former major leaguer Gabe Kapler and Charissa Thompson. The Big Hurt will serve as an analyst for the network this season.

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Abreu Leads Potent Offense, Danks Continues Spring Success

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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Today News

The Game

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

Reds              5    9   1

White Sox      9  15   4

Plays of the Day

Jose Abreu went 2-4 with a three-run homer (click on link to video below), Adam Eaton was 4-5 with two runs scored, Leury Garcia was 3-3 and scored a pair, Adam Dunn doubled in a pair of runs, Marcus Semien drove in two, Adrian Nieto another and Avi Garcia had a pair of base hits and scored on a Alejandro De Aza sac fly after hitting a seventh inning triple…Finishing up an outstanding spring, John Danks pitched 6.1 innings, allowing just one earned run, four hits and a walk while striking out five. He got credit for the victory.

http://atmlb.com/1m6Pi4w

Sox Notes of Note

The White Sox have claimed right-handed relief pitcher Javy Guerra off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Guerra, 28, spent most of the 2013 season with Class AAA Albuquerque, going 0-4 with a 3.66 ERA (16 ER/39.1 IP), 12 saves and 36 strikeouts in 27 games (four starts).  He also made nine appearances with the Dodgers, recording a 6.75 ERA (8 ER/10.2 IP) with 12 strikeouts. His best season came as a rookie in 2011 when he posted a 2.31 ERA (12 ER/46.2 IP), with a team-high 21 saves and 38 strikeouts in 47 appearances.  Guerra followed with a 2.60 ERA (13 ER/45.0 IP) and eight saves in 2012…Robin said today that it is likely that Gordon Beckham (oblique) will begin the season on the DL and Semien and Leury Garcia will share duties at second base.

There’s Nothing Like it

Nate Jones talks to @scottmerkin of mlb.com about his first Opening Day.

http://atmlb.com/1jsFXXE

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Snapchat

The Sox have expanded the team’s social media efforts to include Snapchat as a means of sharing a behind-the-scenes look at U.S. Cellular Field, as well as access to contests and promotions.  Fans can follow the club now under the username “whitesox” to see the unveiling of the first Snapchat Story this Monday on Opening Day.

Snapchat is a messaging application that allows users to share of photo or video messages to followers for specific time lengths.  The White Sox will use the Snapchat Stories function to share inside access with the team’s fans, which will be available for 24 hours. White Sox fans must first download the Snapchat application to their mobile device or tablet, then follow “whitesox” on Snapchat, in order to receive information and engage with the team account.

Snapchat joins a list of seven other social media platforms currently used by the White Sox: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr.  Fans are encouraged to share their game experiences throughout the season and visit the #SoxSocial Lounge at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox were the first team in Major League Baseball to open an in-park lounge dedicated solely to social media in 2013. More information on White Sox social media is available at whitesox.com/connect.

So How Busy Is Roger Bossard? 

Last week, my phone rang in the middle of the night, 3:50 am to be exact.

“Hello,” I mumbled, half awake.  (I had one kid in Costa Rica, one son alone in Chicago and another daughter across town at the Phoenician with friends, so of course I answered).

“Hey Scottie,” came the quick, familiar clipped reply.  “When you see Rick can you tell him …”

“Roger?” I asked, dazed.

“Yeah.”

“Do you know what time it is?”

“Sure, it’s 6 a.m. here and you’re two hours different …”

“Two hours BEHIND!” I respond.  “It’s 4 am here!”

“Oh … sorry.  But can you tell Rick …”

Payback, as they say, is a ….

A Lot of Buzz About New Food Items at U.S. Cellular Field

Here are a few examples:

Spring Training Dining Updates

I’ve fallen behind on my dining updates, but recently we hit The Salty Sow (great ambiance, great service, great appetizers, great drinks, average dinner), Richardson’s (for the third time this spring) and last night Chelsea’s Kitchen, where you are always certain to see baseball front office people … last night it was the Milwaukee Brewers and a certain, well-decorated White Sox veteran who claims it was his first trip to the terrific restaurant despite living in the Valley for 25 years.

Everything on the menu at Chelsea’s is terrific, with huge recommendations for the ceviche app, deviled eggs, brussel sprouts salad, spare rib tacos, swordfish tacos, poblano pepper burger, kale and quinoa salad, and the list goes on … it is my kids’ favorite restaurant in Phoenix and one we hit time and again each spring.  The only complaint is often the wait. And if you go, do not miss the often warm chocolate chip cookies at the exit.  

I’m hungry just writing this and sad I only have one more night to dine in the Valley.

Meet Connie Marrero, the Oldest Living Major Leaguer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/at-102-connie-marrero-the-oldest-living-former-major-leaguer-spends-days-in-cuba/2014/03/25/712cbe88-b2e2-11e3-bab2-b9602293021d_story.html

Quotes of the Day

Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons on Micah Johnson (pictured below):

“Incredible speed and athleticism, with a cornerback body.” 

One GM to Gammons about Johnson and the Sox future: 

“Think about an infield in 2016 with Jose Abreu, Johnson, Tim Anderson (last year’s No. 1 draft pick) and Matt Davidson. The White Sox will be back in a hurry.”

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Cubs at Mesa in the final Cactus League game of the spring (2:05 p.m., CT, WGN). Sox pitching schedule: RHP Felipe Paulino, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Daniel Webb. Cubs starter: LHP Travis Wood.

Sox starting lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Abreu 1B, A. Garcia RF, Dunn DH, Viciedo LF, Ramirez SS,Gillaspie 3B, Flowers C.

Photo of the Day

The countdown is on…

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Robin Announces Starting Rotation

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

Rockies         4  11  0

White Sox     1    3  0

Plays of the Day

Adam Eaton broke up a no-hitter in the sixth inning with a bunt single. Conor Gillaspie drove in a run later in the frame with a sac fly…Matt Lindstrom pitched a perfect sixth and Daniel Webb did likewise in the seventh. Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless eighth and Maikel Cleto set down the Rockies 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Sox Notes of Note

Following the Sox’ final Cactus League game in Mesa against the Cubs on Thursday, we will fly to Birmingham, Ala. prior to playing an exhibition game on Friday vs. the Class AA Barons. The Sox will fly to Chicago following the game. The team will have a full off day on Saturday, followed by a  10:30 a.m., CT workout on Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. The White Sox open the season the following day vs. the Twins at 3:10 p.m., CT…here’s the expanded menu at our ballpark this season: 

http://t.co/nGx7tOVGgC

Quote of the Day


Tomorrow’s Schedule 

White Sox vs. Reds at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP John Danks, LHP Scott Downs, LHP Donnie Veal, LHP David Purcey, RHP Zach Putnam. Cincinnati starter: RHP Brett Marshall.

Photo of the Day

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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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Quintana Baffles Rockies

Sunday, March 23, 2014

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Today’s News

The Game

At Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale…the contest ended in a tie after nine innings, the fifth tie this spring for the Sox in Cactus League action.

White Sox    5  11   2

Rockies        5    6   3

Plays of the Day

Jose Quintana was back to his own self today, allowing just one hit while striking out a pair in five scoreless innings…Maikel Cleto finished the game with 1.2 IP of scoreless ball…Conor Gillaspie doubled twice, Blake Tekotte doubled and singled and Alejandro De Aza joined them in the two-hit club with a pair of singles. De Aza is now hitting .410 this spring…Tekotte, Adam Eaton, Paul Konerko, Tyler Flowers and Leury Garcia each drove in a run.

Roster Moves

Prior to today’s game, the Sox made the following five roster moves: optioned OF Jordan Danks, 3B Matt Davidson and RHP Jake Petricka to Class AAA Charlotte; reassigned RHP Dylan Axelrod to minor-league camp; and requested waivers on RHP Mitchell Boggs for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. With the moves, the White Sox have 33 players remaining in major-league camp: 14 pitchers, three catchers, 11 infielders and five outfielders.  The Sox 40-man roster is at 39.

GM, Player Reactions to Roster Decisions

http://voices.suntimes.com/sports/white-sox-send-third-base-prosect-matt-davidson-to-charlotte/

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79703308/

Sox Notes of Note

Though neither played today, Jose Abreu is hitting .393 with a home run and seven RBI in his last eight games and Avi Garcia owns an eight-game hitting streak. Garcia is hitting .317 with a double, triple, homer, seven RBI and six runs scored in his last 12 games.

Tommy Thompson: A White Sox Feel-Good Story

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article/cws/six-years-sober-tommy-thompson-making-the-most-of-a-precious-second-chance?ymd=20140323&content_id=69931852&vkey=news_cws

Quote of the Day

Robin on Eaton, who has reached base safely in 13 of his 16 games and is hitting .311 in Cactus League play:

You like the way he plays — he’s very aggressive. He has had a very good spring coming in and playing the outfield. Good arm, smart baseball player.”

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Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Mariners at Peoria (3:05 p.m., CT). Starters: RHP Erik Johnson for the Sox,  RHP Blake Beavan for Seattle.

Photo of the Day

Sox begin the move north. Just eight days until Opening Day.

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Baseball America, Fangraphs Laud White Sox Game Plan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

Cubs            7  9  0

White Sox    0  3  1

Plays of the Day

Matt Lindstrom made his first Cactus League appearance this afternoon after recovering from an oblique injury and pitched a scoreless inning…With 0.2 IP today, Donnie Veal has now allowed just one run over 7.0 innings pitched this spring…Jose Abreu, Avi Garcia and Adam Dunn each collected a base hit for the Sox.

Sox Notes of Note

Cactus League stats entering today’s game: the White Sox were tied for fourth in baseball with 22 home runs this spring…Sox hitters struck out 132 times, tied for the fifth fewest in baseball…we have committed just 17 errors, tied for the seventh-fewest in the major leagues…the Sox ranked ninth in the majors with a .280 batting average…Jordan Danks was tied for the American League lead in home runs (5), ranked second in runs scored (13) and fourth in slugging percentage (.838)…Felipe Paulino was tied for ninth in the AL in strikeouts with 15…Chris Sale ranked 10th in the AL with a .216 opponents average…Adam Eaton was 12th among AL hitters with a .439 on-base percentage…Nate Jones has made five straight scoreless appearances (5.0 IP) to start the spring…Jake Petricka has struck out 11 batters over 7.1 IP.

White Sox Earn High Ranking

The Sox have been ranked by Baseball America as the ninth-best major-league team with 25-and-under talent. The rankings were derived by looking at each club’s current major-league talent, Top 100 Prospects and other high-ceiling prospects. All players must be 25 or younger as of April 1, 2014.

The Sox currently have 17 players on the 40-man roster who are 25 or younger. They are Matt Davidson (23), Eaton (25), Avi Garcia (22), Leury Garcia (23), Erik Johnson (24), Jared Mitchell (25), Nestor Molina (25), Adrian Nieto (24), Petricka (25), Jose Quintana (25), Andre Rienzo (25), Sale (25), Carlos Sanchez (21), Marcus Semien (23), Trayce Thompson (23), Dayan Viciedo (25) and Daniel Webb (24).

Sale was named by BA as the eighth best 25-and-under player in the major leagues.

More Praise for the South Siders

Fangraphs.com reviews the White Sox: “the most interesting rebuilding team in the American League.”

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-most-interesting-al-rebuilder-chicago-white-sox/

“Inside Look: Don Cooper,” Parts 2 & 3

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/inside-look-don-cooper-part-2

http://www.csnchicago.com/white-sox/inside-look-don-cooper-part-3

Hall of Fame Visitors

Former Sox manager Tony LaRussa, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, and Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight spoke to White Sox players this morning.

Xfinity Zone

This season, the White Sox have expanded the club’s partnership with Comcast and will open the Xfinity Zone at U.S. Cellular Field.  The new 2,200 square-foot bar and restaurant with digitally-advanced video technology on the 100 level of the ballpark is located near the right field corner of U.S. Cellular Field (across from section 112) and is set to open on Opening Day (Monday, March 31). 

The Xfinity Zone offers yet another food and drink option at White Sox games, while giving fans the opportunity to enjoy other games and other interactive activities on 12 flat screen televisions.  The new venue at the ballpark boasts a massive interactive social media wall, and provides fans the opportunity to experience Xfinity Internet and TV services, including the new X1 Entertainment Operating System, as well as explore a live demo of Xfinity Home, Comcast’s home security and automation platform.

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Quote of the Day

From the above Fangraphs.com review:

“Most likely, this will be remembered as the year that multiple blocks were laid in the foundation of the next very good White Sox club. It should be fun to watch.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox (SS) vs Giants at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Paulino, RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Petricka, LHP David Purcey.

Sox starting lineup: Eaton CF, Semien 2B, Abreu 1B, Konerko DH, De Aza, LF, Ramirez SS, Davidson 3B, Flowers C, Tekotte, RF.

White Sox (SS) vs. Padres (SS) at Peoria (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: RHP Chris Beck, RHP Dylan Axelrod, RHP Zach Putnam, RHP Scott Carroll.

Sox starting lineup: M. Johnson 2B, A. Garcia RF, Gillaspie 3B, Viciedo LF, Dunn DH, Liddi 1B, Jor. Danks CF, Gimenez C, L. Garcia SS.

Photo/Video of the Day

How’s Eaton adjusting to the White Sox? Here’s his answer.

http://m.mlb.com/video/v31604187/adam-eaton-on-fitting-in-with-white-sox

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).

http://atmlb.com/1hCPJRm

http://atmlb.com/1hDfW23

http://atmlb.com/1hDjq4E

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

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/cws/bo-jackson-mentoring-younger-generation-in-white-sox-spring-training-in-glendale?ymd=20140318&content_id=69575102&vkey=news_cws

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.

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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

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Bo on Avi: “Talent Just Oozes From His Pores”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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Today’s News

The Game

At Camelback Ranch-Glendale…

A’s               16  20  0

White Sox      6  10  1

Plays of the Day

Jordan Danks smashed two homers, a solo blast in the seventh inning and a two-run shot in the ninth. He now has four this spring…Conor Gillaspie (No. 3) and Tyler Flowers (No. 2) also hit solo homers for the Sox…Maikel Cleto pitched two perfect innings, the fifth and sixth, with a pair of strikeouts. He has now pitched six innings of scoreless ball in four spring appearances since coming over from the Royals.

Sox Notes of Note

In Cactus League play entering today’s game, Jordan Danks was tied for second in the American League in runs scored (10) and added two more today with his home runs. Brother John ranked fifth among AL pitchers with a 2.08 ERA and Felipe Paulino was tied for seventh in the AL with 15 strikeouts…Nate Jones has made five straight scoreless appearances (5.0 IP)…Matt Lindstrom, out with a strained left oblique, is scheduled to make his CL debut later this week.

Monday Night Dinner Review: Old Pueblo Grille

Hit Old Pueblo Grille near the Wigwam last night after 12 holes of golf with Mark Salas. Sadly, my old standby has lost a step in both food quality and service, although I definitely still recommend the bar and you can’t beat the chips and salsa. We sat for 10-15 minutes without ordering as our server stopped at every other table and briskly walked past us as we literally started to talk to her. Salas and I just figured it was because neither of us was wearing green. Still can’t beat a cold Kilt Lifter, though.

Quote of the Day

Bo Jackson, in camp as a special instructor, is quite impressed by Avi Garcia, who is batting .323 with a double, triple, home run, five RBI and five runs scored over his last eight games this spring.

@CST_soxvan: Bo said Garcia looks like a football DE. “He’s just a baby and talent just oozes from his pores. He looks like he’ll be a tremendous asset.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Angels at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: RHP Erik Johnson, RHP Andre Rienzo, RHP Dylan Axelrod, RHP Jake Petricka, RHP Mitchell Boggs, LHP Donnie Veal, RHP Zach Putnam. Angels starter: LHP Tyler Skaggs.

Photo of the Day

Bo meets the media.

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Solid Team Effort Propels Sox

St. Patrick’s Day: March 17, 2014

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Today’s News

The Game

At Maryvale…

White Sox    9   12   1

Brewers       0     4    1   

Plays of the Day

Hector Gimenez blooped a single over the third base bag in the top of the third inning that scored Matt Davidson, who led off the frame with a double off the left field wall, to give the Sox an early 1-0 lead…In the fourth, Adam Dunn walked, Dayan Viciedo was hit by a pitch and Jordan Danks walked, loading the bases. Then Davidson drove in a pair with a double, his second, down the left field line. Danks scored on a Gimenez sac fly, his second RBI of the game, and Davidson crossed home plate on an Alexei Ramirez single, his third hit on the day, giving us a 5-0 advantage…in the bottom of the sixth, Blake Tekotte made a terrific catch leaping over the wall near center to rob Aramis Ramirez of a home run (click on link below to watch video)…in the top of the seventh, Alexei collected his fourth straight hit, a double to left, driving in Micah Johnson from first for his second RBI. Adam Dunn drove in another run with a double off the right field wall and outfield prospect Josh Richmond smashed a two-run homer, making it 9-0. On the pitching side, Felipe Paulino was impressive, pitching five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out four for the victory…Mitchell Boggs pitched a perfect sixth, thanks to Tekotte and another fine defensive play by Johnson at second base, and Daniel Webb (1.0 IP), Nate Jones (1.0) and Donnie Veal (1.0) closed it out for the shutout win.

http://atmlb.com/1qMTvxU

Sunday Night Dinner Review: Isabella’s Kitchen

Dinner was a home run Sunday night, as much for the ambiance as the very good food. Rick Hahn and I decided to get together at a place in North Scottsdale called Isabella’s Kitchen, which turned out to be a place with a great feel. You ate looking out on part of Grayhawk golf course, with a bar that was an excellent spot to watch the sun set on the valley. The food was very good. I’d definitely recommend the brussel sprout appetizer, the kale salad and the Scottish salmon. Isabella’s Kitchen turned out to be a very good place for dinner or just to lounge around and grab a drink at the end of the day. Highly recommended.

 White Sox Host U.S. Air Force Members on Wednesday

The White Sox will be hosting seven members of Glendale’s Luke Air Force Base in gratitude for their bravery and service – inviting them to participate in batting practice and attend the game vs. the Angels this Wednesday.  Two Illinois natives and five of their fellow members of the Luke Air Force Base will be on hand, including: long-time Sox fan Ryan Perry (Sauk Village, Ill.); long-time fan Chris Powell (South Holland, Ill.); Anthony Drew (Phoenix, AZ); Sean Walls (Huber Heights, Ohio); Peter Lacasse (Detroit, Mich.); Leonard Hodges (Houston, Texas); and Robert Davis (Defiance, Ohio).

Quote of the Day

Roger Bossard talked to the media today about the massive job of thawing out the playing field for Opening Day, which is just two weeks from today.

@ChuckGarfien: Roger Bossard says that they’ve removed 400 tons of snow at US Cellular Field.

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. A’s at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: LHP Jose Quintana, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Ronald Belisario, LHP David Purcey, LHP Eric Surkamp, RHP Maikel Cleto, RHP Matt Lindstrom. Starter for Oakland: RHP Jesse Chavez.

Photo of the Day

In no uncertain terms.

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Paulie Delivers in Sunday Slugfest

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Today’s News

The Game

At Surprise…

White Sox     8  12  2

Rangers      14  15  1

Plays of the Day

Adrian Nieto, who went 2-2 with a walk on the daydrove in a pair of runs off of Yu Darvish with two outs in the top of the fourth inning with a bouncer over the third baseman’s head, narrowing the Rangers’ lead to 3-2…In the sixth, the White Sox tied the score at 3-3 as Alejandro De Aza singled home Conor Gillaspie…Down 8-3the Sox matched Texas’ five-run sixth with five of their own in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 8-8. Keenyn Walker singled home a run, Paul Konerko doubled with the bases loaded, driving in three, for his second hit of the game (click on link below for video), and Jordan Danks collected his second hit of the afternoon with a run-scoring single…the only other Sox player with a two-hit day was Marcus Semien, who had two singles, walked and scored a run.

http://atmlb.com/1lGXIiI

About Last Night

For those in Chicago able to remain awake, last night’s game featured some real highlights, led, of course, by Avisail Garcia‘s bullet of a home run to center field that gave the Sox their eventual 5-4 win over Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. (Click on this link for video of Avi’s blast: http://atmlb.com/1qHyPHC).

The Sox also turned two nifty double plays, and shortstop Alexei Ramirez took away a hit with a nice running play and throw to his left.  All night long, Juan Uribe and Alexei chided one another in a playful manner, each it appeared, challenging the other.

But perhaps the biggest message/high point came when Jose Abreu lined a shot past the ear of Kershaw for a single into center field.  With that one swing, Abreu may have silenced doubters who this off-season criticized the free agent for having a slow bat, claiming he might be challenged hitting against the game’s better fastball pitchers.

My guess is that last night’s at-bat might have taken care of that.

More About Last NIght: Worth Another Look

Enjoy Adam Eaton‘s first-inning, inside-the-park homer off of Kershaw. According to @CST_soxvan, Adam said he had one inside park HR in college, one in Class AAA before last night. 

http://atmlb.com/1qHqUdd

Sox Notes of Note

Reliever Maikel Cleto worked a spring-high two scoreless innings to finish last night’s game…Entering today’s game. Eaton ranked sixth in the AL with a .484 on-base percentage and 11th with a .385 batting average. He went hitless today in three at-bats…Chris Sale is tied for fourth in the AL with 14 innings pitched, ranks eighth with a .216 opponents average and is tied for eighth with 13 strikeouts…former Sox outfielder and two-sport star Bo Jackson will be in Sox camp starting tomorrow through March 22 serving as a special instructor. He was named a White Sox community ambassador in January.

Quote of the Day

Eaton, on the subject of inside-the-park homers:

“For me, most exciting play in baseball.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Brewers at Maryvale (3:05 p.m., CT). Sox pitching schedule: RHP Felipe Paulino, RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Zach Putnam, LHP Donnie Veal, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Daniel Webb.

Milwaukee starter: RHP Kyle Lohse.

Photo of the Day

Former Sox standouts Ron Kittle, Floyd Bannister and Jerry Hairston were on hand to sign autographs for Saturday night’s sellout crowd at CR-G.

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