Entries Tagged as 'White Sox'

Ozzie Guillen gone all Tweetin’ on us

Ozzie Guillen is tweeting

At least that’s the rumor.  You never know with celeb-types if these things are real but it’s been picked up by the mainstream media so it HAS to be legit, RIGHT?  <——  <sarcasm>

But seriously, this one appears to be the real thing.  As to the content of Guillen’s tweets, nothing too majorly earth-shattering.  Things like:

Yessss nice day let’s go to work

and

I feel nice and relax today I don’t know why yeeessssssss carlos quentin and rios in camp b ready people

Guillen on twitter is appropriately, all the buzz on twitter right now.  If you think of it, Twitter is just the thing for the outspoken Guillen.  How MLB will moderate him will be the big internal issue, I’m sure. 

Apparently, Kenny Williams is already unhappy with Guillen’s idea of tweetin’. 

If you twitter, you can find Guillen tweeting @ozzieguillen

White Sox Get a Leftfielder & a Leadoff Man

pierreKenny Williams did exactly what I wanted him to do, now let’s see if it works out, because sometimes when you ask for something, it doesn’t always workout the way you thought it would.  Leadoff man Juan Pierre was traded, along with cash, to the White Sox from the Dodgers for two players to be named later.  Whether this deal is a good one or not depends on which two players Chicago will have to give up to LA.  It’s a no brainer, looks great, a leftfielder, a leadoff man, & cash for basically nothing (nothing, that is, until the players to be named, are indeed, named).  But right now, I’m very happy with my new present from Santa, hope we didn’t have to pay to much on our credit card.

Here is what the Chicago had to give up: It is reported the White Sox will part ways with reliever Jon Link, whom they acquired from the Padres in the Rob Mackowiak trade (anything you get for Mackowiak is a bonus) and Homewood Flossmore’s own John Ely.  While Link has a pretty good strikeout pitch out of the pen, and might be ready for the majors, Ely is, far & away, the better prospect.  The 6’1″ 23 year old was impressive at AA in 2009, 14-2, 2.87 ERA, with 125 strikeouts in 156′ innings pitched, allowing only 140 hits.  The righthander had an impressive collegiate career at Miami of Ohio University before being selected by Chicago in the 3rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.

Hot Prospect @ Hot Corner Heats Up in Desert

Brent MorelI couldn’t make it to the desert to watch any Arizona Fall League action this year, which was very disappointing.  I’m a huge baseball fan, who enjoys seeing young talent more than anything, and then watching these players develop.  Last Fall I enjoyed getting a chance to see The Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year Gordon Beckham of the White Sox play in the AFL for the Peoria Javelinas.

Looking over this year’s stats I couldn’t help but notice Brent Morel.  Brent is also a member of the White Sox organization, plays thirdbase, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft out of Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo.  He hit .435 in the desert to lead the AFL in batting, with two homers, two doubles, & two stolen bases, in 62 at bats.

Since being drafted by the Sox this kid has done nothing but impress.  After completing his career at Cal Poly where he hit .368, 18 doubles, 5 triples, 8 homers, & 60 RBIs in 56 games, Morel tore up rookie ball, hitting .375 in 64 at bats there, before being promoted to A Ball Kannapolis, where again he held his own, with a .297 average & power numbers of 6, 2, 6, in 172 at bats.

In 2009 Brent spent the entire season at Class A+ Winston-Salem, where he posted numbers of .281, 33, 1, 16, & 25 steals.  He has always been a California kid, born in Bakersfield, so it took some adjusting getting used to the other coast, back home it rains 5 inches in a year, while in Winston-Salem you might see that in a day.  This kid isn’t just a pretty bat as he was also rock solid in the field.

Morel is an all around athlete who starred at QB for his high school football team at 6’2″ 200 pounds, he could’ve gone on to have played football if he’d chosen to do so.  Since then he’s added 20 pounds of muscle and appears ready to move up the ladder.  Interestingly he’s always idolized Cal Ripken, so he gobbled up #8 as soon as it became available, like gobbling up a groundball.

Brent will most likely start out 2010 in Double A, but if all goes well the 22 year old from the Golden State might see some action at Triple A before the year’s out, and I’ll be waiting at the Cell to cheer on this talented youngster when he reaches the big leagues in the not too distant future.

You can watch Brent Morel along with the rest of the Peoria Javelinas when they battle the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the AFL Championship game, which will be telecast on the MLB Network, Saturday, November 21st, at 1:00 PM CST.

1959 Go-Go White Sox

HIST new 150yrp187a.jpgIt’s been fifty years since the White Sox won the AL Pennant in 1959, when Mayor Richard Daley the 1st set off the fire sirens, sending some people into a panic, but not White Sox fans.  I was only three years old, so I don’t remember my team winning the pennant or subsequently being defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series that year, but I have had many sleepless nights wondering why Manager Al Lopez didn’t use Billy Pierce against LA, a question Lopez never answered to his dying day.

But this was a happy time, the Go-Go White Sox featuring Little Luis Aparicio at shortstop, Nellie Fox at second, Sherm Lollar behind the plate, & in centerfield was Jim Landis, talk about strong up the middle defensively, no team was better.  Speed, pitching. & defense made this team go.  Aparicio was the AL leader in stolen bases from 1956-64, stealing his alltime high of 56 in 1959.  It still strikes me as funny, when a friend ran into Luis many years later, and asked, “How many bases would you steal today?”  Luis responded, “Not very many.  I’m very old”.  Pitcher Early Wynn won the AL Cy Young Award that year with a record of 22-10.  Youngster Bob Shaw experienced his best year finishing with an 18-6 mark.  Lefty Billy Pierce had a disappointing record of 14-15, but had won 20 games two of the three previous years, and alot of his losses in 1959 were due to poor run support.  Then there was 9-10 Dick Donovan.  Before good bullpens became a must, the White Sox had a good one, Turk Lown (9-2 15 saves) & Jerry Staley (8-5 14 saves).

The White Sox finished the season with 94 wins, five more than the Cleveland Indians, winning 47 on the road & 47 on the road, their record was 35-15 in one run games, and 12-3 in extra inning ballgames.

In Game #1 of the World Series at Comiskey Park, the Southsiders pounded the Dodgers & Roger Craig, for an 11-0 win behind 5 Ted Kluszewski (a late season pickup) ribbies and the shutout pitching of Early Wynn.

Charlie Neal hit two homers accounting for three runs off Bob Shaw, Chuck Essegian hit a solo shot off Shaw to account for another Dodgers run off Shaw, as the Dodgers won game two 4-3 behind Johnny Podres & Larry Sherry, it looked like it would be another laugher as Podres surrendered two first inning runs, but then came back to work the next five innings without allowing another tally.

The 3rd game was at the Coliseum in LA, over 92,394 fans in attendance.  Dick Donovan was matched up against Don Drysdale.  Drysdale allowed 11 White Sox hits, the Sox stranded 11 runners, had three runners thrown out trying to steal by catcher Johnny Roseboro.  In the 7th inning of a scoreless game pinch hitter Carl Furillo came through with a two out two RBI basehit off reliever Jerry Staley.  Then in the top of the 8th Al Smith hit into a doubleplay with the bases loaded and nobody out off reliever Larry Sherry, the Sox scored their only run on the play.  The Dodgers would add a run in the eighth and hold on for a 3-1 victory.  Even though Donovan didn’t allow a run, where was Billy Pierce?

The Dodgers scored four runs off Early Wynn in the 3rd inning, sending Wynn to the showers Early (allthough my heart is breaking, I couldn’t resist).  Billy Pierce faced only 11 batters over three innings, no runs, keeping the Sox in the game, was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 7th, Chicago scored four in the 7th after two outs to tie up the contest, an RBI single by Big Klu and a three run poke by Lollar.  But then in the bottom of the 8th Gil Hodges hit a monster shot to left off Staley, which turned out to be the game winner, 5-4, and the LA had a 3-1 Series lead.

92,706 fans were on hand for the last game in Los Angeles, looking to win the Championship, if not the Series would return to the Southside of Chicago, which is the baddest part of town (again, my apologies, I crack myself up).  Sandy Koufax was matched up against Bob Shaw.  The Sox scored a 4th inning run to take a 1-0 lead when with runners at the corners and nobody out Sherm Lollar hit into a doubleplay.  Shaw, along with relief help from Donovan, would make it stand up for a 1-0 victory.

Duke Snider hit a two run homer off Wynn in the 3rd to give LA a 2-0 lead at Comiskey.  Then the Dodgers exploded in the 4th inning for six more runs off Early & reliever Donovan.  A 4th inning three run big fly off the bat of Kluszewski cut it to an 8-3 game, after a walk to Al Smith, Podres was lifted for reliever Larry Sherry.  Sherry pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief to seal the deal and notch the win in the Series clincher.

Luis Aparicio, .308 average in the Series, only stole one base in the Series, the White Sox stole only 2, getting caught 3 times (I guess speed can go into a slump), while the Dodgers pilfered 5 bases.  Ted Kluszewski hit three home runs, drove in ten (5 in game #1), and batted .391.  Nellie Fox batted .375.  While Bob Shaw was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA, working 14 innings.  Early Wynn didn’t seem to have it after the first game, finishing with a 1-1 record, and a 5.54 ERA.  Billy Pierce didn’t allow a run, working only four innings in relief.

Reliever Larry Sherry was the star of the World Series for the Dodgers, working 12 2/3 innings, 0.71 ERA, with two wins, & 2 saves.  Don Drysdale scattered 11 hits over 7 innings in his only start, allowing only one run, picking up a win.  Charlie Neal was on fire in the series, hitting two home runs, while batting .370 & knocking in six.  Gil Hodges hit a red hot .391.  Pinch hitter Chuck Essegian, who’d only homered once in the regular season, hit two pinch home runs in the World Series.

Even though losing the World Series to the Dodgers was tough to take, it was a bittersweet moment in Chicago White Sox history, because at least the White Sox won the Pennant.

Twins Complete Sweep of White Sox @ Cell

buehrle

They were the last three games I could go to at the Cell to see my White Sox play in 2009, Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday nights against the Twins.  The weatherman predicted rain, so I decided not to go.  On Monday the rain held off, but the Twins bats did not, the Sox lost 7-0, Rob went to a Patio Party that night, but couldn’t persuade me to join him, glad I decided to stay home, the White Sox didn’t show up to play, so why should I show up to watch?  Tuesday again looked like rain, Chuck was buying tix for his family on stubhub & wanted me to join him, I politely declinced.  Again we lost, but this night we hit three homers, and lost by a score of 8-6.

I was determined not to go again on Wednesday, but then it hit me.  This was the last game I could go to in 2009.  I have a tradition that goes back nearly 40 years to September 28, 1969 when I first attended the last game of the season.  After the game somebody tossed a baseball up to my father for me.  As we were leaving the ballpark, Dad asked if I’d like to go to the players parking lot to see if we could get some autographs, I’ve still got that baseball proudly on display in my room, with just about everybody’s signature from that team on it.  Since then I’ve taken off school to see the White Sox play their home closer, whenever possible I was there.  I was there when Bill Melton hitting leadoff in order to bat more often hit a home run (# 33) off Bill Parsons to pass Norm Cash, and become the Home Run Champion of 1971, I bought a button of Bill Melton commemorating the event, which I’ve still got.  But even if I couldn’t make it to the last game, I’d still venture out to the last game I could make.

So halfway through Wednesday I decided I would be going down to the Cell to see Mark Buehrle pitch.  Mark Buehrle, who has been far from perfect since pitching his perfect game, seeing his record drop from 11-3 to 12-9, and his ERA rise from 3.28 to 3.84.  But still, Mark was my guy, this was my team, I was going down there on the Red Line with hope of avoiding the sweep.  It was obvious from the beginning Buehrle didn’t have it, he was yanked after giving up 5 runs, and we were down five to zip.  I was hanging behind homeplate with Al, Anthony, & Dan, Dick & Bea, Caramel Corn Mike, Debbie, and bought a beer from BIG Bill (we talked a little baseball), my friend Adele saw me from her seats near firstbase, and called my cell.  I joined Adele and her friends Tina & Kate, while visiting with them we managed to close the gap to 5-3, but then Tina & Kate went off to get some snacks & drinks, Minnesota put the game on ice with three runs in the top of the 7th.  I returned to my normal spot behind home, the Sox closed to 8-6, but couldn’t quite pull it off.  We talked about what we’d do if we were in charge, then we bid each other adieu, till next year, when we’ll all be back for another season of White Sox baseball, rooting for our team.

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!

We’ll Be Talking About This One

Dodgers Sox Spring BaseballWHITE SOX WIN 4-2 in METRODOME FINALE, coming back from two runs down, nobody on, two outs, two strikes, against Joe Nathan, Gordon Beckham HOMERS, Paul Konerko HOMERS, pinch runner Dewayne Wise (running for Jermaine Dye, who’d walked), SCORES after stealing second, on a shallow single to left by Alexei Ramirez, another run scores on a wild pitch, and Bobby Jenks gets them 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th to close out the Metrodome.

Found out, CLuke’s daughter was responsible for this win, playing “Don’t Stop Believin”, when Beckham was batting in the 9th.  Buck also spit out a fantasy win from Brian Duensing, for the cause.  And I have Joe Nathan on my WTLNXTYR fantasy squad, he spit out the save, enabling the comeback win.

We’ll be talking about this one, when the Sox win it all, with the greatest comeback in the game’s history!

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!

White Sox: We Just Don’t Care Anymore

thome contrerasTrader Kenny Williams turned from a buyer to a seller when he dumped Jim Thome off to the Dodgers and Jose Contreras off to the Rockies.  These moves came when the team hit the skids, putting them out of the playoff picture.  It doesn’t seem all that long ago, we were breathing down the neck of the first place Tigers in the AL Central.  We picked up ace starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who just needed short rehab time in the minors before he’d be up, helping to lead the charge.  Then Williams went out and snatched talented outfielder Alex Rios from the Blue Jays, we were going for it, for sure!  But this recent roadtrip sealed our fate, losing six of seven to the Red Sox & Yankees, putting an end to any chance at postseason play.  It also spelled the end of the Jim Thome & Jose Contreras era on the Southside.  I’m sure there are many players on the current roster wondering if they might be next.

Jim Thome, a local boy, from Peoria, the fans took an instant liking to Jim, how could you not?  He’s a great guy!  Especially after getting rid of the moody, but talented designated hitter Frank Thomas, bringing on nice guy, Thome.  Jim’s Dad was a frequent visitor to the Cell, coming up to watch his son play, Peoria doesn’t get channel 26, so when the Sox were on that channel, making the trip was the only way for Mr. Thome to see his son play.  I still remember Mr. Thome celebrating with us on Elvis Night when Jim passed Reggie Jackson on the alltime home run list.  Mr. Thome exchanged high fives with us.  He even posed for some pictures, wearing Elvis big hair & Elvis glasses.  It doesn’t seem right that we should have to pay the Dodgers to take our hero, just to have him relegated to being a pinch hitter in LA.  All we got in return for the slugger was minor league infielder Justin Fuller and his career .242 minor league batting average.  It seems like an insult, to have to pay, and get a bum in return.

Former World Series hero, Jose Contreras, was also dumped out, like yesterday’s trash, to the Colorado Rockies.  Truth be told the Cuban hurler only had one year of success, which started the end of 05 and extended to the start of 06, other than that, he’s had some very rough outings.  One of the ugliest happened in Boston this current roadtrip, he mishandled a roller toward first, hit by David Ortiz, with two outs, the bases loaded, and Paul Konerko standing right behind him, ready to field the ball, the Red Sox went on to score six runs in an inning where they were going to be shutout, and went on to pound Contreras & Chicago.  At least Brandon Hynick, the pitcher the Sox got from the Rockies, has had some minor league success, going 16-5, with a 2.52 ERA in Class A+ ball in 2008.  Contreras is credited with helping Kenny Williams sign fellow Cubans Alexei Ramirez & Dayan Viciedo.

I was going to go out to the Cell the end of the year to watch our boys battle the Minnesota Twins for a three game set, but I don’t know if I’ll be there.  I don’t know how many of the current players will be there.  Kenny Williams has officially pulled the plug on the season, we were on life support, but now it is over!  Sad to say, but it’s time to pull my Chicago White Sox tee shirt, “They Just Don’t Care Anymore” out of the closet.

MLB Playoff Picture Features No White Sox

no soxThis man is just like the playoffs, no White Sox!  GM Kenny Williams wasn’t shy about going out there and spending his bosses money.  Picking up ace starter Jake Peavy, has yet to pitch for the Pale Hose, in exchange for lefthanded pitchers Clayton Richard & Aaron Poreda and righties Dexter Carter & Adam Russell.  Then Williams spent more money on a waiver claim from the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder Alex Rios.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the playoffs, we started losing, and it snowballed out of control.  After the first portion of a tough roadtrip, in which the Sox lost six of seven to Boston & New York, I’m declaring the season OVER!  Especially seeing Chicago now takes its sorry act on the road to their own personal place of horrors, the Metrodome.  I know the experts are saying, we need to sweep in order to have a chance, I know better.

We have not played well for a variety of reasons, surely there have been some good times, the highlight being Mark Buehrle’s Perfecto.  But things have gone South in a hurry, and not in a Southside kind of a good way.  All season long we never had a 4th or 5th starter we could depend on, tough to win conceding 40% of your games.  Alexei Ramirez has not looked good at SS, he was very good at secondbase, why did we move him?  Carlos Quentin is still not healthy, somehow he’ll always manage to be hurt, face the facts.  A.J. Pierzynski couldn’t throw me out attempting to steal, he doesn’t have an arm, and has driven in only 37 runs, while hitting .313, that’s tough to do, maybe not with the slowsters batting ahead of him.  We talked about improving team speed, but didn’t.  Why can’t our pitchers hold on baserunners and why can’t our hitters bunt?  We’d really be introuble, like we’re not now, if we didn’t hit home runs.  Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, & Jermaine Dye have all stopped contributing, what’s it going to be like when Jermaine isn’t playing for us next year?  No different from this year, he stopped playing some time ago.  Batting Jim Thome, who walks, ahead of Paul Konerko, who hits into doubleplays, not a good idea.  Our fundamentals are terrible, whose fault is that, Jay Mariotti’s?  The bullpen has gone up in flames like a California wildfire.  Brent Lillibridge is a minor leaguer.  We went into the season without a leadoff hitter, luckily we plucked Scott Podsednik off the garbage pile, where would we be without him?  Also Gordon Beckham has done well at thirdbase, despite the fact he never played it in the minors or in the Arizona Fall League, at least not on a regular basis, and why not?  Did we really believe as Hawk kept spouting, that Josh Fields reminded him of Harmon Killebrew, maybe when he swung & missed.  We could blame it on Rios for not providing the spark we really needed when we got him or we could simply look into the mirror and see we just aren’t that good.

Berken is Good for the Birds

berkenDe Pere, WI native Jason Berken took the mound against the White Sox Sunday at US Cellular Field.  The Orioles righthander won his debut the end of May against the Blue Jays, but winning has been a long time coming, 2-11 coming into today.  He brought his own rooting section, about 25 vocal friends & family members were on hand to back up this cheesehead.  They almost came on the field after Robert Andino & Melvin Mora, who committed first inning errors.  But this rookie has learned to overcome adversity, coming to the majors after Tommy John surgery, and today was no exception, as he bested Mark Buehrle & the White Sox for his 3rd win of the year, 5-4.  In addition to myself, Dick & Bea, Steve, Roland, Debbie & George, Nancy Faust, and Caramel Corn Mike, were all in the house, the sad house.

John Danks controlled the O’s lineup Saturday night, with a little help from Gordon Beckham’s robbery of a couple of Brian Roberts shots, despite walking six.  I wasn’t in the bathroom for Carlos Quentin’s big fly, the three additional runs were the difference, as the bullpen (Matt Thornton, Octavio Dotel, & Bobby Jenks) held the lead for a 4-1 White Sox winner!  I’d bought a ticket, even though Kevin had a freebie for me, the Sox box office refunded my error, very nice.  Lisa, Dick & Bea’s dog groomer, was also there for the post game fireworks Saturday night, the fireworks & Lisa, both very nice!

My Dad doesn’t really follow baseball all that much, but asked me after the Sox lost 2 of 3 to Baltimore, aren’t the Orioles a bad team, in last place?  Yes to both, shaking my head.

Big Elvis Was Not in the Building

elvisLast night was Elvis Night at the Cell as the White Sox hosted the Orioles.  Big Elvis was not there, but something you should see before you die is waiting for you at the Barbary Coast in Vegas.  Jamie Aaron Kelley performed outside Gate 4 before the gates opened (then did the National Anthem & performed on the field after the game), all of his fans braved the raindrops as he sang Kentucky Rain, and thanked him very much before going inside the ballpark.  Flying Elvises (or is it Flying Elvi) dropped out of the sky with the American Flag to America the Beautiful, quite inspiring, even to a non-patriot like myself.  Then after the game there was a terrific fireworks display done to Elvis songs, the rain waited until after the game, but got quite wet while ewing & awing.

My friend Steve couldn’t make the game, but summed it up nicely.  He was listening to the game on the radio, heard Thome’s homer, but then fell asleep, so did the White Sox.  Big Jim’s Dad was sitting by us, high fives all around when his son went yard.  Wore my Elvis glasses with chops, brought along a couple extra pairs, and got an Elvis photo with Minnie Minoso.

It’s nice to be back at the Cell, even though the baseball has been boring & less than inspiring.  On Tuesday night versus the Royals went to the bathroom, missed Paul Knoerko & Carlos Quentin’s home runs, Sox lost, disappointing.  I wasn’t really looking forward to going back for a day game Wednesday day, especially with Zack Greinke opposing Jose Contreras, but Rob loves going to day games, so we went, and they won, surprising.  It was good to see Dick & Bea, and Nancy Faust.

Going back again Saturday night, at least there are post game fireworks, and a freebie ticket.  And then Sunday I get to see Mark Buehrle, which is always a pleasure.