Results tagged ‘ white sox ’
March 27, 2013
As someone noted today, the last day of spring training is a lot like the last day of finals in college. You are exhausted and a little fuzzy. There’s still one more hurdle to get through and then you are excited about what comes next.
For us here, the last day involves cleaning up, checking out of the condo or hotel room, turning in the rental car at the ballpark, loading your luggage onto the right truck (the one heading to the airport), sneaking in a quick workout and then boxing up the office.
After today’s game, we bus to Sky Harbor Airport and then get to Midway as quickly as we can. I can’t speak for everyone, but what I miss most (other than my wife and kids, of course!) is my car, my TV and my bed. Forty-five days is a long time to be away.
But I would love to bring some of this Phoenix weather with us for Opening Day.
Thursday is an off day for everyone and then the team will bus to Milwaukee for Friday and Saturday’s exhibition games with the Brewers at Miller Park. Sunday, the White Sox will work out at 10:00 a.m. at U.S. Cellular Field. Robin will meet with the media at 9:45 a.m. and our players will be available post workout. Being Easter, I am sure everyone–staff, players and media–will try to make the day as short as possible. The Royals are scheduled to work out later that day at 1:00 p.m. and then all focus will be on Monday’s Opening Day at 3:00 p.m.
Thanks for the Memories
White Sox starters left the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to cheers from the great Sox fans in Glendale. The faithful was rewarded as the Sox tied the game, 4-4, on an Angel Sanchez two-run homer in the eighth inning and won, 5-4, on a bases loaded walk to Steve Tolleson in the bottom of the ninth.
Life is Good
It is certainly going to be a special few days for Chris Sale.
On Friday night, his alma mater, upstart Florida Gulf Coast University, plays Florida in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament with the chance of reaching the Elite Eight on Sunday.
On Saturday, Sale will celebrate his 24th birthday and on Monday he starts for the Sox on Opening Day.
Quote(s) of the Day
Skipper Ventura on his Troops
On Opening Day Being Only Five Days Away:
“I’m excited. I know the guys are excited to get out of here and get going. These games are nice, they’re meaningful, but they don’t count so everyone just uses these to get ready for the season. We’re ready to go.”
On the Difference Between Opening Day This Year and Last Year, his First as Manager:
“They’re all fun. Guys are excited for the season. You don’t really know what’s going to happen, but even as a manager, it’s still exciting. You like seeing the smiles on the faces of not only the players, but the fans.”
On Chris Sale as the Opening Day Starter:
“Oh, he’s definitely excited. Again, part of the joy in the position I’m in now is you get to enjoy it through them, see their excitement and how they go about it.”
On the Starting Rotation:
“I feel confident in it. You have a kid like Chris Sale who is young and talented and backed up by Peavy, Floyd, Quintana and right now, Axelrod. We feel like we have depth and we have guys that come to play. For me, that’s what you ask for.”
On the Bullpen:
“In our division you’re going to have to be able to pitch and you’re not going to get through it with just starters the entire time. We do feel like we have a quality bullpen and a lot of guys who can mix and match with a lot of different scenarios.”
On the Versatility of the Lineup:
“You look at the left/right scenarios that come up and that’s one thing we’re going to have to do is to move guys around and be able to play different positions to get them all in the lineup. It’s a nice problem to have.”
On Adding Jeff Keppinger to the Lineup:
“He can hit, he knows the angles and he’s a very smart hitter.”
On the Upcoming Season:
“It’s about effort all year long. You don’t get caught up looking towards the end because the effort has to be there every day for you to have a chance.”
GM Hahn on the State of the Sox
On Starting the Season:
“We’re real excited, we’re ready to get going. It’s been a a nice camp, albeit a long one, that has some of us chomping at the bit to start playing games that matter. There’s been a lot of positives. We’ve had not only some of our young position players that are going to be in Chicago take a nice step forward in terms of development–guys such as Beckham and Flowers–but we also had some of our young players in the minor leagues step up and have nice Springs. Guys like Jared Mitchell, Simon Castro and Erik Johnson, who could conceivably contribute this year–and if not this year certainly as soon as 2014.”
On the Team’s Versatility:
“That was important to us. We wanted to give Robin the opportunity to play matchups, whether it be based upon the opposing starting pitcher or even who we’re starting in trying to go with an even more defensive-oriented lineup based upon how our starter profiles…The more versatility you can have on that big league roster, the more insulated you are against injury or underperformance, which unfortunately happens over the course of the season. Frankly, from our standpoint, it’s not a finished product yet. It’s the kind of thing that we’re going to continue to look for upgrades over the course of the season…We’re going to be aggressive as we have in the past to go out and address those needs.”
On the Minor League System:
“The public and professional ratings don’t matter quite as much as our opinion. And our opinion of the minor leagues is based upon two things. One, are we providing impact guys for Chicago to help win us a championship? And, last year we saw Sale, Viciedo, Reed and Jones all come up through our system and contribute on what we felt was a very good team. The second part is: Is it providing assets for us that can allow us to go out and acquire players that help augment our roster? Last year we were able to do that with getting Youkilis, Myers and Liriano. From my talks with other clubs, I can assure you that we continue to have guys that other clubs covet. So, the farm system is working well. We think that next wave, although it’s certainly not going to hit on Opening Day in 2013, (has) some impact players near being ready for Chicago.”
On the Sox’s Positive Clubhouse Dynamics
“I think a lot of that credit goes to Robin and his staff. From the first day since they assembled 13 months ago, they’ve been able to keep the focus on winning that night’s game and the preparation, fundamentals, and focus on what needs to be done to make the team better. Any outside distractions have remained exactly that, outside of the clubhouse. It’s a very tightly bound group that fights for each other and is singularly focused on winning ball games. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
Play of the Day
Sanchez, whose second monster home run in as many days tied the game in the eighth inning.
Off Day. On Friday, White Sox vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park (7:05 p.m., CT). Hector Santiago will start for the Sox vs. the Brewers’ Wily Peralta.
Did You Know…
…that Sox minor leaguers Brandon Short, Josh Bell, Marcus Semien and Keenyn Walker combined to go 7-10 with two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored in yesterday’s 11-3 win vs. the Rangers?
Photo of the Day
The victorious Spring finale today in Glendale with Opening Day on the horizon.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Rios to the Rescue
In Wednesday night’s WBC elimination game between Puerto Rico and Italy, Alex Rios was a key factor in PR’s 4-3 win. He singled in the eighth inning and scored the go-ahead run on Sox minor leaguer Andy Gonzalez’s infield single. Let’s hope Alex celebrates like this frequently in 2013.
Apparently, a certain White Sox shortstop from Cuba has a certain passion for more than just baseball.
Try the canned air horn.
A grinning Alexei Ramirez can often be heard well before he’s seen in camp over the past few days, sneaking up on unsuspecting teammates and startling them with a burst of an air phone.
Then he laughs.
In the shower.
In the clubhouse.
Echoing down the hallway.
Alexei’s laughter following right behind.
Where Can You Find the Sox on an Off-Day?
For many players and coaches, it’s on the golf course. Two White Sox foursomes tackled TPC Scottsdale on the off-day Tuesday. Here manager Robin Ventura lines up a putt, while director of team travel Ed Cassin, an unidentified golfer in a white floppy hat, coach Daryl Boston and caddie look on. “Unidentified” was latter pegged as bench coach Mark Parent. For more off-day action, see Photo(s) of the Day.
Congratulations are in Order
Darius Day (below on the left) and Rahman Williams (right), both Chicago White Sox ACE participants, have verbally committed to play baseball in college. Day, who attends Simeon Career Academy, will be heading to the University of Arizona. Williams, who attends Morgan Park Academy, will attend the University of Michigan. Both will enroll in the fall of 2014.
Quote of the Day
Bobby Thigpen: “You took a photo of me golfing? Worst round of my life.” The photo in question is below.
Play of the Day
Dewayne Wise homered, his second of the spring, Blake Tekotte tripled and drove in two runs and Jordan Danks went 2-2 with an RBI in the Sox’s 12-4 loss to the Angels in Tempe.
White Sox vs. Cubs at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Gavin Floyd will start for the Sox while the Cubs starter is TBA.
Did You Know…
…that while the College of Cardinals selected the first Pope Francis, the first Francis to play for the White Sox was Chicagoan Francis (Frank) Roth in 1906 (compliments of @soxnerd on Twitter)
Photo(s) of the Day
Here are bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen (top) and third base coach Joe McEwing on the famous Par 3 at the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale. Can you hear the roar?
Sox Still Unbeaten, Danks Takes a Step Forward and A.J. Sure Looks Different in Ranger Red, White and Blue
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Sox 14, Rangers 8
The White Sox scored six runs in the third inning, assisted by five walks from Texas pitcher Cody Buckel, a Rangers error and a passed ball. Conor Gillaspie singled home two runs in the inning and Hector Gimenez drove in another with a single. The Sox added five in the fourth highlighted by Gillaspie’s two-run triple, giving him four ribbies for the day, and RBI singles by Alex Rios and Andy Wilkins. Wilkins also singled in run No. 12 in the fifth. In the eighth inning Josh Phegley hit the lone Sox homer and Marcus Semien singled in the 14th and final run in the ninth. Starter Nestor Molina, who got credit for the win, and Brian Omogrosso each pitched two scoreless innings. Zach Stewart held Texas scoreless in 1 2/3 innings while striking out three.
Sox now stand at 2-0-2.
A Bit Surreal
As strange as it was to see A.J. Pierzynski in a Rangers uniform, batting cleanup against the White Sox today (he lined out and singled in his two plate appearances), it must have been equally as disorienting for A.J. to see Conor Gillaspie wearing No. 12 for the Sox.
In their first at bats, Dewayne Wise, Gordon Beckham, Rios and Adam Dunn were among those Sox who exchanged pleasantries with their former teammate, who was in his usual spot behind the plate.
Danks on Track
John Danks threw 50 pitches today in live BP–two groups of 25. Hitters included his younger brother Jordan, Gillaspie, Stefan Gartrell and Trayce Thompson. John seemed happy with his progress and said he has reached the point where he can focus on the pitching side of things instead of worrying about being healthy.
Danks is scheduled for a bullpen session on Friday and will make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Giants at Camelback Ranch. Here he is talking to the media after today’s outing:
A Good Sign
Brent Morel, attempting to come back after missing most of last season with a back injury, made a nice diving stop down the third base line in the bottom of the seventh inning to throw out the runner–alleviating some concerns about his health.
Two Sox who suffered minor injuries in the last few days, Leyson Septimo (leg) and Dayan Viciedo (arm), are good to go.
Quote of the Day
Asked if brother Jordan gives input on his progress, John replied, “Yeah, (we) talk. I think more of our conversations are me talking to him (about) what I would do if I were facing him. But certainly I’ll ask him today. I threw him a couple of front door cutters and change-ups and I want to know what he saw. (We) will talk.”
Play of the Day
Let’s give it to newcomer Gillaspie, who singled, tripled and drove in four. Wearing No. 12 with Pierzynski in the house turned out to be a good omen.
White Sox vs. Rangers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Simon Castro will start for the Sox vs. Alexi Ogando.
Did You Know…
…that Omogrosso is from Beaver Falls, PA, the same hometown as Broadway Joe Namath?
Photo of the Day
Does he look familiar?
Out of the corner of my eye, I sense someone in a Dodgers uniform walking into the dugout.
“Is Robin here yet?’ he asks.
I turn an immediately recognize that it is Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. Behind him, I see lots of autograph seekers and hear people calling his name.
“Not yet,” I say. “He’ll be here is a couple minutes.”
Mr. Koufax started to talk. Fine by me. (editor’s note: I did meet Mr. Koufax one spring in Vero Beach, Florida, when I was a kid. My dad and I were walking down a sidewalk in Dodgertown when here came Mr. Koufax walking toward us. He was very pleasant but, of course, he doesn’t remember me.)
So of course I start small talk with Sandy Koufax. I ask him how he’s doing (fine), where he’s staying down here (West Valley), where he lives (up and down the East Coast depending on the weather) and why in the world are “you guys” throwing Kershaw and Greinke at us this early in the spring … since there is a long way to go.
He laughed a little and then explained that he liked to go nine innings once or twice each spring so that he had dealt with the soreness issue before the season had even begun. “I didn’t care about the first start,” he said. “I was concerned with how I’d feel going into the second. Back then, we didn’t have playoffs.”
You either won the pennant or you went home, he explained, so every start mattered.
After about 10 minutes, Robin showed up to a big smile and hug from Koufax.
“Back when I was with the Dodgers,” RV said, “we used to sneak off and play basketball with Sandy.”
(Sandy, by the way, went to the Universithy of Cincinnati on a hoops scholarship).
Basketball? With Sandy Koufax? That would have made him about 65 back then (Sandy, not Robin).
“Guy could play.”
Another true story … maybe
Former White Sox pitcher Grady Hall was in camp on Saturday to say hello and he re-connected with former teammate Mark Parent.
“We played together in the Dominican one winter,” Hall said of the Sox bench coach. “His nickname down there was ‘Grande Lama.’”
“Grande Lama,” I laughed, almost choking on my lunch.
“Nothing to do with the Dali Lama,” Hall corrected. “It had to do with a sponsor and of course, he’s the Grande Lama.”
Quote of the Day
Coop on pitching: “Anytime you shut someone out, you’ve done something,” he said referring to yesterday’s win. “Every game no matter spring training or regular season, there are always going to be 10 balls hit hard. It’s what happens to those 10.”
Play of the Day
Dunn’s first homer of the spring.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
White Sox 9, Dodgers 0 In Spring Opener As Sox Pound Out 14 Hits
The Sox got on the board early and often in today’s victory over the Dodgers, scoring five times in the first four innings including a pair of runs off of L.A. starter and 2011 Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw. Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a single and scored on a two-base hit by Alex Rios, who went 2 for 2 with a pair of doubles. Tyler Flowers smashed a solo homer (Gordon Beckham called it the hardest hit ball he’s ever seen), minor leaguer Seth Loman hit a two-run shot, Dayan Viciedo drove in a pair of runs, Gordon Beckham doubled in a run and Andy Wilkins and Angel Sanchez added RBI singles. On the pitching side, starter and winning pitcher Dylan Axelrod hurled three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Axelrod, Leyson Septimo (1.0 IP), Zach Stewart (2.0), Santos Rodriguez (1.0), Brian Omogrosso (1.0) and Deunte Heath (1.0) blanked the Dodgers on three hits.
It is believed that the White Sox scoring a run today in the top of the first inning is the first time the Sox have led a spring training game that early since moving to Arizona in the mid 1990s (not really, but it just seems that way).
Sox Notes of Note
Here are a few notes of interest as the Sox began Cactus League play today:
* The White Sox play 16 games as the home team in Glendale and 17 as the road team this spring, including two exhibition games vs. Milwaukee at Miller Park from 3/29-30.
* Chicago currently has 61 players in camp: 30 pitchers, six catchers, 15 infielders and 10 outfielders … the oldest player in camp is Paul Konerko (36), and the youngest is 20-year old infielder Carlos Sanchez.
* The spring roster features 22 draftees, 22 players acquired as free agents or through the Rule 5 draft, 12 acquired via trade and five claimed off waivers.
* Jesse Crain (Canada), Alejandro De Aza (Dominican Republic), Andre Rienzo (Brazil) and Alex Rios (Puerto Rico) will represent the White Sox in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
* Eight players on the White Sox spring roster have made it to the majors after being drafted or signed by the club since 2007 … the players are: Nate Jones (2007), Gordon Beckham (2008), Jordan Danks (2008), Brent Morel (2008), Alexei Ramirez (2008), Dayan Viciedo (2008), Addison Reed (2010) and Chris Sale (2010).
* Twenty-two of the 61 players invited to spring training are products of the White Sox farm system, including five first-round draft picks (Beckham – 2008, Jared Mitchell – 2009, Josh Phegley – 2009, Chris Sale – 2010 and Keenyn Walker – 2011).
* Courtney Hawkins enters the season ranked by Baseball America as the No.1 Prospect in the organization … since 2009, three of Chicago’s top-rated prospects have reached the majors and are on the current roster (Gordon Beckham, Chris Sale and Addison Reed).
Mr. Koufax and The Chairman
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax visited with Robin today (See the Photo of the Day).
Koufax asked if Jerry Reinsdorf was here, and I told him yes.
“I want to say hello,” Mr. Koufax said.
“If you want, I can call him and ask him to walk in on the field to see you,” I said.
“Oh, no. I don’t want to bother him. Just tell him I said hello.”
I told Mr. Koufax that Jerry has a signed jersey of his hanging in his office in Chicago.
“Brooklyn kid,” he said, smiling.
Later I told Jerry that Koufax said hello but that he didn’t want to bother him by asking him to come down to the dugout.
“For Sandy!?!?” Jerry responded. You got the sense he would have gone anywhere to say hi.
The White Sox didn’t waste any time welcoming third baseman Conor Gillaspie to camp.
Gillaspie, who was acquired yesterday, actually drove over to Glendale from Scottsdale Friday afternoon to check in and set up his locker.
This morning, he took part in live batting practice before the game. And which pitchers did the left-handed hitting Gillaspie get to face?
Just John Danks and Chris Sale.
“Maybe we can find a way to get him a couple of at-bats against Kershaw,” someone quipped.
Quote of the Day
“As a player, I don’t have superstar tools…I’ll definitely work for you. I’ll definitely play hard, I’ll practice hard, I’ll run everything out and try to play the game the right way.” — Conor Gillaspie, who went 0-1 today in his Sox debut.
Play of the Day
There are many candidates, but let’s give it to Axelrod for his stellar performance.
White Sox vs. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale (2:05 p.m., Chicago time). Starters are the Sox’s Erik Johnson and the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke. Also scheduled to pitch for the Sox are: Scott Snodgress, Jhan Marinez, Daniel Moskos, Jacob Petricka, Ramon Troncoso and Simon Castro.
Did You Know…
…that new Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom served on a Mormon misson in Sweden?
Photo of the Day
Robin shares a laugh with Dodgers’ Hall of Fame great Sandy Koufax in the dugout before today’s game. That’s bench coach Mark Parent on the right.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Here are the highlights from today’s first Sox intrasquad game at Camelback Ranch: Team 1 (major league starters) nipped Team 2 (mostly minor leaguers), 4-3, in a 5 1/2 inning contest. Team 1 was paced by Brent Morel (double, RBI, run scored) and Blake Tekotte (triple, RBI). Simon Castro gave up a lone run in two innings of work. Josh Bell (single, RBI) and Jared Mitchell (RBI, HBP) collected RBIs for Team 2, while Leyson Septimo pitched one scoreless inning. Here was the scene at today’s game:
Assistant GM Buddy Bell Reviews Sox Prospects
On 2012 No. 1 draft pick Courtney Hawkins: “One of the reasons we sent Courtney up to (Class A) Kannapolis is that we wanted to get him in an environment that was faster than (Advanced Rookie) Bristol. The (high Class A) Winston-Salem thing tricked us because he did so well. As it turns out, no matter what level we sent him to he actually kept getting better and better and that’s a testament to how talented he is. It also showed us the kind of makeup he has and that he’s a tough kid who gets better as the lights get brighter, which is great for moving up the ladder and eventually getting to Chicago. We’d like to get him to Double A (Birmingham) by the end of the year. In saying that, if he doesn’t get to Double-A it’s not that big of a deal.”
On 2009 No. 1 pick Jared Mitchell: “As (last) season went on, he got healthier…He, for me, probably looks better than anybody in camp right now in terms of body and progress. We had him in the instructional league last year for about 10 days and he kind of tweaked his hitting approach a little bit. His balance is really good right now and I’m really anxious to see what he does in a game. He’s probably one of our top five guys in the organization when it comes to competing. This kid competes like crazy, right now he’s as impressive as anyone we have in camp. He’ll start the season at (AAA) Charlotte.”
On who is the one prospect to have the kind of year Carlos Sanchez had in 2012: ” (Infielder) Joey DeMichele. “We drafted him out of Arizona State and he’s a really interesting guy. We’d like to think of him kind of like (Jason) Kipnis of Cleveland, because he can run a little bit, has some pop in his bat and is a high-energy kid…We’re kind of on the fence whether he starts at (A) Winston-Salem or (AA) Birmingham. We’re also looking for (Tyler) Saladino to have a (good) year as well. He’ll start at Birmingham.”
On promising prospect Trayce Thompson: ”He’s going to start in (AA) Birmingham. We expect really good things from him. He’s another guy who looks really good, he’s always had a terrific body but he’s starting to get his man strength in his shoulders and legs. Obviously, he’s had two really good years and we want to be careful with him because kids with power, they seem to come a little later, especially outfielders.”
Kenny Williams on CNBC
Kenny, who was named to the annual list of 100 influential African-American leaders by thegrio.com, appeared on CNBC discussing the business of Major League Baseball and building a championship team. Click on the link to see the interview.
Behind the Scenes with Coop and Herm
Here’s an interesting conversation among CSN’s Dan Hayes, Sox pitching coach Don Cooper and head trainer Herm Schneider. Click the link below.
Sox Notes of Note
Dan Plesac and Ken Rosenthal from the MLB Network are onsite today as part of the net’s tour through team spring training sites. Check out the coverage tonight on MLBN.
Jake Peavy, the Padres’ Chase Headley, the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier took part in a photo shoot for GQ Magazine last night at the Camelback Ranch – Glendale ballpark. The photo spread is scheduled to run in the May issue of GQ. “At least I wasn’t alone,” Peavy joked this morning. I told him it would be a little tough in May to run all around the state of Alabama buying all the copies of GQ … then again, maybe not!
Chris Sale Q&A Conference Call With Sox Fans, Part II (First Part Appeared in Wednesday’s Post)
Would you ever want to learn how to throw a knuckleball ”I don’t think I quite have an arm slot to throw a knuckleball. I’ve always messed around with it growing up. It’s funny you mention this because I play catch in the off-season with my dad who can throw a pretty good one, and he always gives me crap about it because he has a better pitch than I do. I don’t see it in my future, but if it comes down to it I wouldn’t be opposed to learning it.”
Going into next season, is there added pressure in the American League Central Division with the recent additions among teams? ”I wouldn’t say it’s added pressure. I think it’s added motivation to be honest with you. It motivates us to live up to who we are and what we do. This is a team effort, but it takes a group of 25 individuals putting everything they have into one collective group. We have guys in here that put it on the line and we all play for each other. That’s the main thing and that’s what we did last year and it worked well. I don’t think we’re going to sit here and say we have more pressure on ourselves, I think we have more determination going into this year. It’s not going to get any easier from this day forward. We all know that and we expected that. We’re ready for it.”
What do you believe you or the team can do to improve upon last year’s performance? ”You set out every year to be the best you can be. For myself, personally, I don’t like to set goals or a bar for myself because sometimes you don’t reach that bar and you get down on yourself and get disappointed. Also, say you reach that bar, you kind of give up. You say ‘I’ve met my goal so I can cruise in from here on out’. For me, I want to be as consistent as I possibly can and do everything I can to help the team win. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m going to rattle out this many wins and this is going to be my ERA, but obviously I’m going to take into account what happened last year and work on things I didn’t do so well and sharpen the things that I did do well and see where it takes me.”
Who is the toughest challenge you had in the batter’s box last season? ”I have to go with Billy Butler from Kansas City. It seemed like every time I faced that team, if I gave up five runs, he had three RBIs. He, for the most part last year, owned me. I’m very disappointed to say that. He’s just a good hitter and he hits the fast ball well, and it seemed like he had a little bit better eye than he had in the past. He took me deep a few times last year and in previous years. He seems to be the one guy that gives me the most trouble at the plate.”
As White Sox fans, are we ready to say that we have one of the best starting rotations? “Well, I’m hoping you guys are saying that. We’re all definitely excited to see where this goes and how it plays out. Not only do we have an unbelievable group of guys, but we have some great talented athletes. I think getting Johnny (John Danks) back and having him healthy is huge. I was throwing in the cage next to him today and I’ve been throwing bullpens next to him for the last couple times and he’s looking really good. He’s very confident. You can tell he’s got that step back and is happy to be here. He’s working hard and he’s doing everything he can. That’s going to be fun to see. As a group, we’re all excited. We all pull for each other and we push each other; we have friendly rivalries. We all sit down and talk about pitching. We might be good on paper, but we’re a tight knit group as well, both in the clubhouse and off the field. We’re all pulling for each other and that’s the best part. We don’t get jealous. We’re all rooting for each other and have each other’s back. There’s an open line of communication between us and we’re bouncing ideas off of each other. I hope you’re as excited as we are because we’re thrilled to get this year started.”
Do you know when your first live appearance will be on the mound in Spring Training? ”Our first game is coming up on Saturday, but I’m not 100 percent what day I’ll be throwing. I’m still talking with Coop about that. I don’t think I’m going to throw in February or start a game in February. We’re bouncing ideas off each other and we’ll see where it goes.”
Quote of the Day
From the Sox clubhouse: “If I tell you it’s Christmas in July, hang the stocking.”
Play of the Day
GM Rick Hahn interrupted a conversation today by saying, “wait until (Blake Tekotte) triples.”
On the very next pitch, you guessed it, Tekotte tripled to right field.
I told him to save them for when they count.
White Sox players will go through a media session tomorrow morning with Kevin Sullivan, former White House Communications Director (and huge Sox fan, by the way).
Did You Know…
…Jeff Keppinger led his University of Georgia team to the College World Series in his junior season with a .389 BA, 18 homers and 73 RBIs? He hit .444 in the CWS, including a triple and a two-run homer off of former major leaguer Mark Prior, then pitching at USC.
Photo of the Day
Sox GM Rick Hahn is shown here taping a segment with CSN’s Dave Kaplan for tonight’s “Chicago Tribune Live.”
Weather Gets in the Way of Baseball in Glendale, Chris Sale Talks to the Fans and Ron Kittle Finds a Sox Fan in the Strangest of Places
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Rain, wind and cold abbreviated today’s workout, but John Danks was able to throw under the covered batting cage–his third throwing session of the spring.
Several Sox players took part in a commercial shoot today and it went without a hitch. Details will follow in the coming weeks.
Sale Answers Sox Fans’ Questions on a Variety of Subjects
Chris Sale spent part of his day today interacting with Sox fans. So much good info came out of the Q&A session that I’ll be posting in two parts. Part I is below, Part II tomorrow. Here are the first six questions and Sale’s responses:
How have you adjusted to pitching to Tyler Flowers instead of A.J. Pierzynski? “There really is no adjustment. With catchers you just kind of throw to the mitt; it just might be on a different hand. Tyler has been great and I’ve already thrown to him a couple of times out here. We’ve communicated back and forth quite a bit, whether it’s pitches, movement, what he sees I’m doing differently, stuff like that. He kind of helps me out in a coaching standpoint too because he’s looking straight at me with my mechanics and my hand and my delivery.”
How do you calm yourself during stressful moments on the mound? “When things start happening and moments start to build up and you find yourself at the peak of the game, the best thing you can do is just slow it all down. Step off, take a couple of deep breaths, and flush any of the negativity out that could possibly happen instead of going into that situation saying, ‘I hope I don’t get hit, or I hope this, or I don’t want this to happen.’ You kind of talk yourself into ‘Hey I’m going to make this pitch; I’m going to get out of this.’ You have to self-motivate, but at the same time don’t hype yourself up too much because this game can get fast on you in a hurry and can unravel pretty quickly. The more you can slow it down and pace yourself the better off you are.”
How has the arm held up after throwing so many innings last year? “So far, so good. I actually took a little more time off this off-season from throwing. I probably took an extra three weeks to a month off from throwing, moreso than I usually do, because I wanted to give it a rest. Last year was a long year and obviously that was the most innings I’ve ever thrown. There at the end I might have fizzled out a little bit because I had been throwing a lot and was still learning how to get back out there every fifth day. Now that I’ve gone through that and know how I’ve felt the beginning, middle, and end and all the way in between I can kind of adjust accordingly. This year, I can help myself, not really beat what I did last year, but get through the year a little bit more complete than I did last year.”
How did you gain the weight this off-season? By eating a lot of pizza? “Obviously I ate my fair share of pizzas; I won’t sit here and lie to you. The biggest thing for me this off-season is I got a trainer and saw him five days a week. He got me in a program that helped me build leg strength, core strength, etc. I actually just started eating better, eating a bit healthier too. I learned how to grill this off-season, so I was whipping up steaks, pork chops, chicken and ribs. I feel like eating those types of things is better than going to McDonalds and grabbing two Big Macs and a large fry.”
How is the team chemistry so far compared to last year? “Honestly, it’s about the same. We have pretty much the same core group of guys back, and the guys we’ve brought in have meshed awesome. It’s the same feel, same vibe from last year. We’re laid back, everyone is friends with each other and we all have a good time. We all hang out together while we’re here, and then we’ll leave and go grab lunch or hang out at one of our houses. We’re a bunch of grown up men who are friends and play baseball and hang out off the field too so that’s the good thing about what we have going here. I can truly say every day I come in I have a good time and enjoy the people that I work with. Not everyone in the world can say that, but it’s nice to have that here.”
What are your thoughts on Peavy saying you should pitch on opening day? “Everyone knows what my standpoint on that is. It would be a tremendous honor to me and that’s obviously something you dream about. I would appreciate it more than anything, but where I’m sitting I feel like that’s (Jake Peavy’s) role. He’s not only a leader on our pitching staff, but a leader of our team. With what he’s gone through and what he’s done and how he’s gone about his business throughout his career it’s hard to sit here and say I think I deserve to pitch over someone I look up to. It’s kind of like saying you’re the man of the house when you’re still living in the house with your dad. I have all the respect in the world for him and that’s why I truly believe he’s our leader to go out there, but it makes me feel a lot more confident to hear him say those things about me.”
Quote of the Day
From former Sox slugger Ron Kittle, weighing in from Mexico: “I found a lone Mayan Sox fan at the ruins of Chichen Itza at Mayan Temple.”
The Sox will play an intrasquad game tomorrow morning.
Did You Know…
…that popular White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider, entering his 35th season with the Sox, was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands?
Photo of the Day
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Annual Rite of Spring
Today was Photo Day at White Sox camp, the one day each spring when photographers from Major League Baseball, the team and all the various licensees (think baseball cards, products, etc.) snap early morning photos of our staff and players.
Setup begins the day before and folks, including many from my staff, arrive veeeerrry early in the morning. We have an early-to-rise camp, so while we say Photo Day starts at 7:00 a.m., guys started going through our line closer to 6:20 a.m. By 8:40 a.m., the dust had settled.
Here is an image from the day …
While we maybe had 8-10 different stations today, you can imagine what Photo Day was like when Michael Jordan was in camp, something like 40 stops by my recollection. And Jordan’s response to photographers was always classic: “If I only get two free throws, then you only get two shots too.” And after two clicks of the camera, he moved on …
Robin on Matt Thornton Being Slowed Down by Elbow Soreness
“He just said it (the elbow) didn’t feel right. We have so much time down here, I think it’s safer to slow him down and get him out of drills and make sure he’s comfortable with it before he continues on…You’re concerned every time a guy has that. I don’t know what level it’s at right now. Again, the beauty of being down here so early is you can give him this time off and he can catch back up if there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Rain, wind and cold weather predicted for Glendale.
Did You Know…
…that Sox reliever Donnie Veal is a cousin of former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento, CA mayor, Kevin Johnson?
Photo of the Day
The Sodfather: Only with the White Sox would our world famous groundskeeper Roger Bossard sneak into line on Photo Day with his trusty rake. I told him he needed a new pullover.