Thursday, April 30, 2009

Autographs under $1

Top Blogs Sports memorabilia has become a growing industry over the last 25 years. Companies such as Upper Deck, who have exclusive contracts with athletes like Michael Jordan, Joe Montana and Kobe Bryant rake in millions every year. A single signed Michael Jordan basketball can bring in as much as $1000 to a dealer. That's probably one of the reasons the Jordan autographed is one of the most plagarized in the market. Firms such as PSA/DNA and Spence Authenticators, help in flitering out such fakes.
That is why I'm here to offer autographs for under $1. I don't actually provide the autographs, but I will tell you quickly how to grab one for under a dollar.
  1. Find a sports card of a player that you would like an autograph of. Chances are always better with a B-list player. Feel free to take your chance with the A-list player though. Probably not a good idea to send a Derek Jeter rookie card in. Jeter most likely will never see it, and neither will you.)
  2. Two cards is ussually the maximum a player will sign. Ussually the card the player doesn't sign will accompany the signed card.
  3. If you are sending a glossy card, sprinkle baby powder on the card and then wipe away the residue. There is nothing more upsetting then getting a card back in the mail and the signature is smeared. The baby powder helps tremendously. Top loaders are not necessary. They cost money and some players have been known to sign the holder or damge the card when placing it back in.
  4. Include a personal, brief note to the player telling him why you enjoy watching him. Stray from corney phrases like "You're my favorite." Just be honest and try to include a personal memory of the player's accomplishments.
  5. Send the card in an envelope that will stick out. I personally use "loud" envelopes that say " me." Address the envelope to the teams stadium, which can be found at . Make certain you include: C/O Your Players Name Here.
  6. Most importantly: send a SASE, or self-addressed stamped envelope along with your card and note. You do not have to use a "loud" return envelope. They cost money, and you would rather save them for sending out your cards.
  7. Lastly: Wait for the mail. Turnaround times can be as quick as one week, or as long as a year.

Happy Returns! In the last two weeks: Jim Thome and John Danks. Turnaround time was roughly 1 1/2 weeks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Top Blogs OK, so I deviated. I couldn't help myself. The trash-talking, chest-thumping, swear-machine known as Kevin Garnett made me. And to be honest, I have no desire to be in front of a keyboard right now. None whatsoever. I could give two "hoots" about all of Garnett's moral blemishes, but his continued taunting and blatant bad mouthing of opposing players is gutless. Garnett's recent injury has made him a suit and tie cheerleader for the Boston Celtics during their best of seven playoff series with the Chicago Bulls. He has been a bit more than a cheerleader. More like a ring-leader. Watching the game the other night with my family, my seven year-old asked me "why is that angry man yelling at the Bulls' player?" I was just relieved he didn't ask me "what is he yelling?" I had no answer for my young basketball fan. Why would a grown man (presumably) dressed in a suit and tie (clip on?) yell obscenities at another grown man? Every night we see the same embittered Kevin. This is the same psychopath, who in the 2004 NBA Playoffs made references to guns, artillery and some other nonsense, when talking about preparing for his game. "This is it," Garnett said. "It's for all the marbles. I'm sitting in the house loading up the pump, I'm loading up the Uzis, I've got a couple of M-16s, couple of nines, couple of joints with some silencers on them, couple of grenades, got a missile launcher. I'm ready for war."
I have read a plethora of posts and replies from those claiming that trash talking is just part of the game. Absolutely. Moreover, some people are claiming Jordan was at the top of the "trash- talk" chain. He was, but he never did it sitting on a bench. In the years I followed Jordan, I do not recall seeing him shouting disgusting obscenities at opposing players and coaches. Certainly not from the bench. When Garnett dresses for a game----trash talk away. Until then, please sit down, stay seated and shut your mouth!

All in the Family

Top Blogs Twenty games into the 2009 season, one glowing concern for the Sox has been sub par middle relief pitching. Jack Egbert (27.00) proved as efficient as his predecessor and the Lance Broadway experiment is awaiting. Clayton Richard is still a question mark with an ERA just under 5, while D.J. Carrasco is pitching a modest 3.48. So where does Don Cooper and manager Ozzie Guillen go from here? For Guillen it may be as easy as climbing his family tree.
Sun-Times Sox beat reporter Joe Cowley hinted in a recent post that former Southsider Freddy Garcia again has the interest of Guillen. Garcia was recently let go by the New York Mets and now is in search for a job. Garcia has only 14 starts to his credit since leaving the Sox in 2006. Of those starts, Freddy is 2-6. In 2005, Garcia was 14-8, with 228 innings pitched. Freddy tossed three complete games during the Sox World Series championship season; one of which was hurled during the ALCS. So what can an injury prone, 32 year-old bring back to the Sox? To speculate- much needed middle relief. It's not a role Freddy Garcia is accustomed to, but it is a role that Don Cooper can custom mold for the aging Garcia. In addition, if there is any hope for Garcia's future, Ozzie Guillen will find it. "I need to talk to him [Wednesday], see where he is, if he's hurt, how he's doing,'' White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen admitted. "I guess [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and the scouts know more than I do. I have to ask them and see how he's doing. I know he will find a job and hopefully he pitches better for the next team, I don't want to say us yet because I don't know anything about it.''

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

...the old ballgame."

Top Blogs It's a piece that has been written about for years by columnists and sport writers. Entire books cover the very subject of the experience.
A day out at the ballpark. And for me as a kid, going to 35th & Shields on the Southside of Chicago with dad was nothing short of heavenly.
Dad had worked two jobs for quite sometime, so catching up with him at a game was most ideal for both of us. He didn't have to worry about me asking him why he had to work so much, and I didn't have to worry about him reprimanding me. Dad simply was able to be a dad. And I, a kid. What made our trips to Comiskey Park so genuine was the spontaneity. Dad would decide the day of the game if we were going to go. It was as though dad was able to be a kid. He also made sure we rode in style, hopping on his Honda motorcycle heading up the Dan Ryan expressway.
The arched windows, the distressed facade and the smell of warm beer from discarded Miller Lite cans. It was all Comiskey. It wasn't so much the game itself, rather the allure of being able to be less than 50 yards away from some of baseball's greats. Since those carefree days of taking in an afternoon game with dad, I now have my own son who is interested in the game. So the passion persists. While all relics that pointed to a more tranquil game have long vanished, the corner of 35th and Shields still remains. As long as that tiny intersection on the Southside of Chicago stands so will my reverence for a game that is over a century old.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taking a Halladay

Top Blogs It's quite difficult to locate something you never owned in the first place. That's why for Jose Contreras, finding his first victory of the season has been a bit daunting. In yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, Contreras appeared to relocate something that has been eluding him this season: command. Contreras (0-3) worked seven innings in the no-decision, tying the most innings pitched by the Cuban right-hander since June of last season. Anyway you break it down, seven innings of three run ball is pretty impressive for a 38 year-old pitcher only seven months removed from a ruptured Achilles tendon. In spite of not registering a victory, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen appeared to be extremely satisfied with his senior hurler.
"Awesome job," Guillen said. "He was more aggressive, [threw] more strikes. He had more confidence today."
Veteran reliever Scott Linebrink was summoned to work the eighth inning of a 3-3 tie. The usually reliable Linebrink gave up a double to Vernon Wells who led off the inning. Former Cardinal Scott Rolen would then single home Wells for the go ahead and eventual winning run. The Blue Jays had entered Sunday's game with a league leading 120 runs scored. It would take an additional four runs by the end of Sunday's contest to best the White Sox.
The Sox got to Roy Halladay (4-1) early, but not often. And certainly not enough. The Sox scored three times before the fourth inning and then went into famine mode. Sox centerfielder Brian Anderson improved his batting average to .349 by tagging the Jays for three hits. Anderson is certainly making his case for full-time centerfielder during the absence of Dewayne Wise. Wise's timetable to return is uncertain, and as long as Anderson is producing, the uncertainty may mount. The Sox start a three game set against the AL West leading Seattle Marinerstonight at The Cell (7:05). The Sox will put John Danks (0.95) on the mound this evening while they look to bounce back from dropping two of three to Toronto. It's imperative the Sox finish the homestand .500, and they will certainly need to be more aggressive at the plate if that is to happen. "Seattle is a good team," Paul Konerko said. "But we just lost two of three and need to try to win at least two of three to make it a good homestand."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cuban Missile Crisis. Over?

Top Blogs Alexei Ramirez isn't known for working counts. Ramirez got a free pass only 18 times in some 46o at bats last season. So when the "Cuban Missile" found himself with a 3-2 count and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth of last night's game, one thing was for certain: strikeout or putout. Batting only .167 coming into the game, the chance Ramirez was going to hit safely in that situation was slim and none. The result: Ramirez took a 3-2 "get me over" pitch from Shawn Camp into the left field bullpen. It was Ramirez's fifth grand slam of his young career.
Giving the Sox a comfortable 8-2 edge was perhaps a side note for Sox manager Ozzie Guillen who is hopeful that his sophomore shortstop may be ending his early season woes. "As soon as the game was over, I saw him and talked to him about the game," Guillen said. "I was excited for him. Hopefully this is a corner he is going to turn."
Both Brent Lilibridge and Jerry Owens provided stellar defensive plays to back up Mark Buehrle (3-0) who provided his third quality start of the season. "You're going to run into some of that once in a while. But if they don't make those plays, it's a different ballgame all the way around," said Toronto manager Cito Gaston. Jose Contreras (0-3)looks for his first win of the season today when he takes the mound at 1:05. Contreras is looking for his win at U.S. Cellular since June of last year when he defeated the Cubs.

Loose Sox: Sox second baseman Chris Getz was 86'd from last night's lineup due to a sore finger. Getz will return to the lineup against Seattle on Monday.
Monday's game against Seattle is a Value Monday at U.S. Cellular Field. All tickets at the Sox box office are half-off the day of game. Game Time: 7:11 pm.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Ramirez reached five career grand slams in the second-quickest amount of time in Major League Baseball history at 152 games, trailing only Rudy York's total of 139.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Canadian Bacon

Top Blogs If you're a "glass half-full" type of person, last night's 14-0 White Sox defeat at the hands of the Blue Jays may not be such a bad thing. That is of course if you're looking at a "half-full glass." After all, there are still 146 games to play in the season. Truth be told, the 27,103 that were on hand last night at U.S. Cellular will most likely admit that the glass is looking pretty empty at this point.
Gavin Floyd (2-2) worked only 4 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs. It was Floyd's shortest outing since August 5, 2008 against Detroit. Floyd's command of the plate was his biggest obstacle of the evening. Gavin walked five and threw two wild pitches in his four plus innings of work. Jack Egbert worked just 1 2/3 innings of relief and struggled considerably. In just less than two innings, Egbert was charged with six runs on seven hits.
In spite of a two touchdown defeat by Toronto, one of the biggest 'jaw droppers' of last night's game was the play of Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez, who is hitting .167 this season, committed two errors on the evening and looked completely defeated at times. "When you take your glove to the plate and you take the bat to the field, you are not going to have much success in this game,"manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't like what I [saw] today, not because of the error, I'm making it clear, I [didn't] like his attitude today. He was kind of head down and feeling sorry for himself."
The one bright spot for the White Sox has been the young talent of second baseman Chris Getz. In 12 games played this season, Getz is hitting a team high .340 with a OBP of .396. Mark Buhrele takes the mound this evening.

Loose Sox: Following being hit by a pitch on the wrist Thursday evening, Carlos Quentin will not need X-rays at this point.
Jack Egbert was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte following Friday's humiliation. Lance Broadway was recalled and will rejoin the team Saturday.
Sunday's game at 1:05 will be Kid's Day- Dia Del Nino at 'The Cell.' Tickets for kids 12 and under will be only $1 with a paid adult admission. Tickets must be purchased at the park on the day of the game.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"Eaton em' up"

Top Blogs It was a day Bartolo Colon (1-1) didn't need his translator. He knew. After only 63 pitches into the White Sox 6-2 loss at Baltimore, Ozzie Guillen had seen enough. Colon worked three innings, surrendering five runs on eight hits and two walks. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen decided to remove Colon early when it was apparent he didn't have his best stuff. "He was not throwing strikes. The ball was not moving," White Sox Ozzie Guillen said. "You got to throw strikes. Every time he put the ball in the middle of the plate, he got hit." Oriloes starter Adam Eaton (1-2) however, was stellar in his seven inning outing, earning his first victory at Camden Yards. Eaton struck out nine batters, including Jim Thome and Josh Fields three times each. Eaton did not look like the same pitcher who had entered the game with a 9.00 ERA. He had frustrated Sox bats all evening, not allowing back to back base runners. Eaton departed in the eighth inning, following what would be the Sox first batsman to reach base on a extra base-hit. Eaton left the game to a standing ovation of 11,723. "It's been a while since I've been part of an experience like that," Eaton said. "It felt good to be out on the field shaking hands after a something like that." The White Sox now head home to begin a six game home stand which will begin with Toronto this evening. The Sox finished up the 10 game road trip (5-4). They will make up a called game later this season.

Loose Sox: Jim Thome is one RBI shy of the 1500 mark. Thome drove in the Sox only two runs of last night's game.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dank You Very Much

Top Blogs Coming into the 2009 season both Gavin Floyd and John Danks had some pretty big shoes to fill. Their own. Last season, the pitching duo surprised the baseball world combining on 28 wins. Collectively, they earned an ERA just under 4, with a respectable 3.79. Out of the gate both starters have ignited a pitching rotation that had many in baseball circles speculating just how effective it could be. Last night in Baltimore, John Danks (2-0) helped evaporate some of that speculation. Danks was solid in his third start of the season helping the White Sox to a 8-2 win over the Orioles. Danks pitched a solid seven innings allowing only one run on four hits and no walks. John retired 19 of the final 21 batters. "My job is to go out there and put up zeros on the board," Danks said, "but the runs did help for sure." Chicago only needed three runs to support Danks in his outing, but supplied more. Jim Thome's (4) opposite field solo shot in the fourth was all the insurance the lefty needed in securing his second victory of the season. Chris Getz and Josh Fields both continued to solidify the top of the batting order. Getz had three hits for the game including a two out RBI single in the third and Fields (1) homered in the seventh off Dennis Sarfate. "We don't have to rely on just the big boys. Everyone contributed," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Getz had a big game and I am excited about Fields." Bartlo Colon will look for his second victory of the season on Thursday, while Baltimore counters with Adam Eaton.
Loose Sox: Jim Thome (545) is three home runs from tying Mike Schmidt (548) for 13th on the all-time list for homers.
In his three starts this season, John Danks has only given up two runs. Both were home runs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Top Blogs To Ozzie Guillen, Jose Contreras has looked as good as....well... Jose Contreras. And if you've caught a glimpse of the 37 year-old Cuban born right hander lately, it can be a bit hard on the eyes. Watching him pitch has been harder though. Contreras (0-3) had difficulty again last night finding the strike zone, as the White Sox fell 10-3 in Baltimore. Thanks to Buehrle, Danks, Floyd and Colon, the Sox pitching staff has produced consecutive quality starts. Contreras' speedy recovery from a ruptured Alchilies tendon last August has many questioning whether he can be an effective member of the rotation. "He's got to figure it out," Ozzie Guillen said of Contreras' difficulties. "It was a bad game--walking people, didn't get that many lefties out. He walked the leadoff guy two different innings, and when you do that against a good hitting ballclub, you're not going to win many games." Contreras worked 5 1/3 before Ozzie pulled the plug on him; surrendering six walks while allowing seven hits on six runs.
The White Sox bats did not help Contreras either. Apparently the Sox bats were not notified the game wasn't postponed following the 1 hour 45 minute rain delay. The Sox managed to scatter just four hits off recently called up starter Brian Bergensen. Bergensen struck out five Sox batters and didn't allow a hit until the top of the fourth. Bergensen left to a standing ovation in the sixth inning after striking out Jermaine Dye. "That was unbelievable," he said of the appreciative crowd. "It was something that I've always dreamed about. To get that after the first start was something special." The good news is that John Danks (0.75) will be on the bump tonight as he goes for his second victory of the season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What About Bob?

Top Blogs I had just finished my breakfast when I opened up Joe Cowley's most recent article entitled "Bobby Jenks uncensored ... read with an empty stomach." Sanitary and hygiene habits of a 6-3, 275lb roughneck all for the reading. Apparently, Jenks has been known to "go Number 2" anywhere. Literally. During interviews, he is also known to use his shirt or whatever he may be wearing to deposit snot and saliva. Whatever his personal habits are off the field, Jenks makes saving games for the White Sox a habit on the field. And quite frankly, that's all that matters. "That's the type of guy that when he gets out there it's just extreme confidence,'' outfielder Brian Anderson said. "You've got the confidence that there will be a guy throwing four-plus pitches for strikes, not to mention that if he has to throw 100 he probably still could. He defines the closers' role." Jenks has registered three saves in this young 2009 season. Scouts and fans alike are wonedring if Jenks can still hit triple digits on the radar gun. For Jenks though, it has been a learning process. Like Sandy Koufax of years past, he is realizing that overpowering batters doesn't always equate to strong appearances. "I want to sit you as quickly as possible,'' Jenks said. "Going out there 60, 70 times it could wear you down by September. Going out there and being efficient early, that's something you have to learn the more you do it. The goal is to be better at the end."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Those Stingless Rays

Top Blogs The only thing looking good for Devil Rays pitcher Matt Garza (1-1)Sunday afternoon was his sideburns. Matt Garza took the loss as the White Sox pummeled the Devil Rays 12-2 on Sunday. Garza allowed seven runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, including a home run to A.J. Pierzynski in the second inning.
The pitching for the Southsiders was solid yet again, as Gavin Floyd (2-1) worked six scoreless innings. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen continues to feels confident with each Floyd start. "He's one of the top pitchers right now in the big leagues, and he continues to throw the ball well," Guillen said.
The pitching was only part of the days highlights. Brent Lilibridge, Chris Getz, Brian Anderson, Wilson Betemit, and Paul Konerko all contributed with timely hits. However, it was the power of the White Sox bats that again made it a difficult day for opposing pitchers. Carlos Quentin hit his third home run in as many games and Jim Thome followed with a solo shot of his own. The White Sox are now heading to Baltimore for a three game set before heading back home for a weekend series with the Blue Jays.
Loose Sox: Paul Konerko has nine RBIs over this last six games, including five in the past two games.
With Jim Thome's solo homer on Sunday, he is now four homers away from tying Mike Schmidt (548) for 13th place all-time.

Jermaine Dye
AVG .370

HR 4


Carlos Quentin
HR 7

OBP .426

RBI 13

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mr. CQ

Top Blogs It's quite apparent eleven games into the 2009 campaign who has some unfinished business from the 2008 season.
Carlos Quentin is certainly coming into his own. He already has six homers in just eleven games and is on pace to hit 95 this season. The 26 year old Stanford standout is just a half a year removed from wrist surgery. Carlos is showing "Tampa Bay Fans" exactly what they would have seen in last years ALDS had he got the chance. Through three games and 12 plate appearances in St. Pete, Quentin has four hits, three runs scored, two homers and three RBI's. One more game to go.
Quentin and Paul Konerko powered the Sox to an 8-3 victory over the Devil Rays on Saturday night. Konerko was extremely happy to see Scott Kazmir (2-1) on the hump for Tampa Bay. Paulie has seven hits and two homers in 15 at bats against the All-Star hurler. "We hit homers. That's us when we're going good," Konerko said. "We had a lot of people on base, but we're not a team that manufactures runs like some others. We've got guys that can hit some home runs and you have to do that once in a while in the American League."
Mark Buhrele (2-0) registered the win for the White Sox, striking out five and giving up eight hits in 6 2/3 innings. "He didn't have the best stuff today, but he's going to give you a chance every time," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. Gavin Floyd throws for the Sox on Sunday, completing the four game series in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay counters with right hander Matt Garza. The Sox will have the day off Monday before travelling to Camden Yards to play three with the O's.

Loose Sox: Jermaine Dye knocked in his 1000 career RBI in the sixth inning of Saturday's game.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gosh Doggit!

Top Blogs The attendance trackers at St. Petersburg counted 28, 927 at last night's Rays, White Sox game. Supposedly. During Tampa Bay's three game home opening series against the Yankees, just over 99,000 tickets were sold. Yankee fans make up a large demographic of the St. Pete's area. Tropicana Field holds 36,973. You figure the rest out. Any qualified baseball fan knows that Tampa Bay isn't a baseball mecca. It's actually more of a retirement community that happens to have a Major League club playing there. Why else would they decide to build a dome in the middle of one of the nation's warmest states? Apparently those over 60 cannot handle humidity too well. Isn't the motto of St. Petersburg: Always in Season? It's no secret that a great contingent of baseball fans in Florida are transplants from cities that are home to some of baseballs more storied franchises. So... Please! For the sake of REAL baseball fans and the Rays ball players, relocate the Devil Rays. And while you're at it, rename them. In the meantime, take those damn cowbells away from Aunt Lois and Uncle Henry. Just because they can't hear them doesn't mean the rest of us have to. It just isn't pure. It's not baseball.
Now, on to why I am really upset. In spite of timely hitting and some good base running, the Sox took a 6-5 knock out punch from the Devil Rays. Even though Bartolo Colon's numbers didn't show it; five runs and six hits in 5 2/3, he struck out four Ray batters and only walked one in the no decision. Matt Thorton came in after Colon loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. Thorton proceeded to give up a grand slam to pinch hitter Ben Zobrist, which put the Devil Rays ahead for good. "He knows I have to come after him and throw strikes. I can't afford to walk guys there," Thornton said. "The situation right there, they're fun to come into. But they're the toughest ones you're going to face." Both Carlos Quentin (5) and Jermain Dye (4) homered in the top of the inning to give the Sox a 5-2 lead. The Sox appeared to threaten in the top of the ninth, but Troy Percivol came in to register the save.
Loose Sox: Mike MacDougal continues to struggle. MacDougal walked the only batter he faced on Friday. Ozzie's Mac experiement may quite possibly be drawing to an end. Soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Not So Wimpy

Top Blogs Back in March I attended the 38th annunal Chicago Sun-Times sports collectors show at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. I got a chance to sit down with All-Star first baseman Tom Paciorek. For those of us old enough to remember the 1983 Sox, Tommy played a pivotal part in help the Winning Ugly Sox pull to close to 30 games above .500 by the end of September. Younger fans remember Paciorek for his days of working alongside Ken Harrelson in the broadcast booth with the Sox. If you listened to the games they broadcasted, there was no doubt that Tom was Harrelson's lakey. Paciorek parted ways with the Sox and Harrelson in 2000. Most recently, Paciorek has been trying to land a gig since the Nationals decided not to renew his contract back in 2007.
When I talked Tommy back in March, he was more than adamant about his disdain for Jerry Reinsdorf and contempt for Harrelson. I don't blame him. People who toss others "under the bus" for the benefit of highlighting their resumes need to get a clue. From what 'Wimpy' told me, Ken Harrelson falls into this "clueless" category.
I asked Tom about the blue uniforms the White Sox wore back in 1982, and he mentioned that aside from the collar, they were quite comfortable. Talking to former Heisman winner Billy Cannon on Friday night of the show, I should have asked him about state issued prison uniforms. I digress.
'Wimpy' has the distinction of being the only player in MLB history to have 5 hits or more in a single game; having not started that game. Paciorek is one of three boys in his family to play professional ball. Jim played for the Brewers in 1987 and brother John played for the Colt .45's in 1963. Paciorek originally signed with the Dodgers in 1970. He found his way to the South Side of Chicago in 1982 and was part of 'Winning Ugly' in 1983. He batted over .300 his first two years at 35th and Shields and was traded to the Mets in 1985. Of course, the Mets won their second World Series in 1986, and by that time Paciorek was winding up his career in Texas.
Tom is one of the nice guys. He isn't pretentious. There is nothing fake or deceiving behind him. What you see is what you get. Nothing Wimpy.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A LuLu Jim Dandy

Top Blogs
Hawk Harrelson called this one a "LuLu Jim Dandy." That in itself deserves a seperate post; along with every other Hawkism. The White Sox took the first game of their series with the Devil Rays 3-2 down in St. Pete.
John Danks got his first victory of the season following a no decision back in Chicago. Danks was excellent, knocking out eight Rays batters, while allowing one run in six solid. Carlos Pena was responsible for Danks only mistake, a homer with one out in the sixth. It was the only run Danks has allowed in 12 innings this season. Danks improved his record to 4-1 against Tampa Bay. All the victories coming in Tampa.
It was the bats that were most frustrating to watch. The Pale Hose were 3-13 with runners in scoring position and only advanced a runner past home plate one of those times. Failure to advance runners and capitalize on runners in scoring position is something the Sox will need to address if they intend on contending. It was power that lifted the team once again. Jermaine Dye (3) homered off Tampa Bay starter Jeff Nieman (0-2) in the second inning. It was homer number 140 for Jermaine, since joining the White Sox in 2005. The Sox tagged the Rays pitchers for 14 hits, while only scoring three times. Josh Fields' infield single in the ninth inning turned out to be the difference. Fields entered Thursday night's game batting .333.
Tampa Bay threatened in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on second and third, with two outs, Bobby Jenks got Gabe Gross to hit into a 3 unassisted. Bobby Jenks earned his third save.
Loose Sox
Following the end of the 3:10 game, Hawk belted out MERCY and THIS BALL GAME IS OOOOOVER; then added "This was a LULU JIm Dandy of a game."
Attendace at Thurday's game drew only 13,803. This was a home opener.

Rowand Coming Back?

Top Blogs
Joe Cowley, Sox beatwriter for the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the San Fransisco Giants want to unload the $44 million contract still owed to center fielder Aaron Rowand. According to Cowley, the Giants would be happy to eat half of the contract in order to free up $22 million of their salary cap. The Sox were interested in pursuing Rowand when he was a free agent following his brief stint with the Phillies back in 2007.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And By The Way

Top Blogs Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers became the second player this season to hit for the cycle and the first since 1890 to hit for the cycle and go 6-6 in the same game. He was the second Rangers player in franchise history to have a six hit game. Alfonso Soriano accomplished the feat on May 8, 2004 against the Detroit Tigers. It was the first Rangers cycle since September 13, 2006, when Gary Matthews Jr. did it at Detroit. It was the fourth time a Ranger hit for the cycle in club history.The other Texas cycles were both against Cleveland, Mark Teixeira on Aug. 17, 2004; and Oddibe McDowell on July 23, 1985

"HoSay it ain't so"

Top Blogs

On a day when the baseball world paid homage to Jackie Robinson, the Detroit Tigers paid their own special tribute to Mark Fidrych. ...and then Jose Contreas. Jose Contreas (0-2) lost his sixth straight decision to Detroit dating back to August 11, 2006 on Wednesday afternoon. Contreas and the Sox took a 9-0 shalacking at Comerica park.

Tigers starter Armando Galarraga (2-0) was superb in his effort. Galarraga limited Sox bats to only 4 hits while striking out five in 7 1/3. White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen acknowledges Galarraga's effort, but thought his team beat themselves. "He was very good, but we let him off the hook too many times," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He's a good pitcher, but we were chasing his slider when we needed hits."

Whatever the case, the Sox could not advance runners when they needed to and Galarraga made pitches rather mistakes. "He made every pitch he needed to make," Josh Fields said. "We got some runners on base, but then he shut us down. That's what we saw on film from him -- he's really good." The scoreboard didn't show any runs for either team until the bottom of the fifth. Placido Polanco put a two spot on the board with a two run double in the inning. The Tigers never looked back. Rather, the Sox never looked ahead.

No. 42

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As I began taking in Wednesday's White Sox game, I noticed the White Sox away uniforms did not have their names on the back of them. It was then that I remembered that Bud Selig and MLB announced on Monday, that all Major League players on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 would wear the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. No need to elaborate on Robinson. If you need some stats on Jackie, you probably don't know a lick about baseball and won't be reading a baseball blog anyway.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


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Today's game out at Comerica Park was PPD due to inclimate playing conditions. The game has yet to be rescheduled.


Game Time: 1:05 EST

Forecast: Chance of showers at gametime. 50 degrees.


CWS : Contreras (0-1) 7.20/ Tigers: Galarraga (1-0) 1.20

Baseball History 300

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Only seven games into the 2009 season, and the White Sox bats are already making history. In the top of the second of Monday's 10-6 win over the Detroit Tigers (3-4), Jermaine Dye hit a solo shot off Tiger's starter Zach Miner (1-1). One batter later, Paul Konerko took a Miner full count into the left field bullpen. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time in Major League Baseball history that teammates hit century milestone homeruns of at least 300 in the same game. Konerko and Dye actually did it back to back. "I think we're just good hitters with power," Dye said. "I think we both hit a lot of line drives that are able to get out of the ballpark. Konerko (.346) ended the game 4-4 and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
The White Sox never trailed in Monday's contest. In addition to Konerko's (2) and Dye's (2) historic homers, Carlos Quentin (4) added two round-trippers of his own. Carlos Quentin is reminding the baseball world why he was a favorite for 2008 MVP. A frustrated Quentin fractured his wrist back on September 1, 2008 after slamming his bat to the ground.
Gavin Floyd (1-1) was erratic at times, walking seven and surrendering six earned runs over five innings. It was the defense, however that would have the last say in Detroit. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, Ramon Santigo was robbed on a tremendous inning ending grab in deep right-center by Dewayne Wise. "I think he saved the game," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said of Wise's catch. "When he made that play, that was the game right there." Carrasco, Thorton and Linebrink all worked in relief of starter Gavin Floyd. The trio collectively struck out five and gave up only 2 hits on no runs in securing the win.
Loose Sox: Dewayne Wise (separated shoulder) was placed on the 15 day disable list. The Sox purchased the contract of OF Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte.
Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson hit for the first cycle in Dodger Stadium history against the Giants.
Former Tigers All-Star pitcher and 1976 AL ROY Mark Fidrych was found dead at his farm in, Northborough, Mass,. on Monday. He was 54.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Train Kept A Rollin......

Top Blogs Mark Buerhle does not have the characteristics of an all-star hurler. He doesn't strike out very many batters and his fastball rarely, if ever hits 90 mph. Nonetheless, Mark Buerhle is an all-star pitcher and Sunday's 6-1 win over the Twins showed why. Buehrle was dominant Sunday afternoon, knocking out five and surendering just two hits in 6 1/3 innings. He retired 15 straight following Demong Young's second inning home run. The bullpen came in and helped close out their third straight. Ozzie Gullien signaled for Octavio Dotel with one out in the seventh. Buehrle was laughing all the way back to the dugout. Literally. When he took the ball from Buerhle, Ozzie asked to reveal some of his slow pitch secrets. "He was just asking me how I do it," Buehrle said. "He said, 'I look up there in the first inning and I see a pitch 78 miles an hour. I don't know how you get guys out.'"
Dotel, Clayton Richard, veteran Scott Linebrink and closer Bobby Jenks combined for 2 1/3 innings of three hit shutout relief.
Jim Thome snapped a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth, taking a Nick Blackburn offering into the bleachers to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. Jermanie Dye added to the festivities, hitting a slo shot off Twins stud Joe Nathan in the bottom of eighth. It's off to Detroit for the beginning of a 10 game road trip. The trip wraps up in Baltimore.

Loose Sox: Josh Fields has reached base safely in each of the six games the Sox have played. Fields is hitting
Carlos Quentin is returning to MVP stature, hitting safely in as many games.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fransisco Tremor

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If somebody would have told me last year that Bartolo Colon would be returning to the White Sox rotation, I would have thought them crazy. If somebody would have told me that he would allow only 3 hits in six scoreless in his first start for the Pale Hose since 2003, I would have (insert here).
Bartolo Colon was stellar in his first outing Saturday. Absolutely stellar. A far cry from his 9.90 ERA he racked up in spring training.
What was more baffling then Colon, was Fransisco Liriano. Liriano worked 4 2/3, giving up five runs on six hits, dropping his second straight start (0-2) in the White Sox 8-0 rout of the Piranhas from Minnesota.
"Liriano was all around the plate. He had the one inning where it didn't go his way and he was just missing. Close pitches and he ended up walking a few guys. Just not a good day for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Colon got plenty of help from his offense; as been a concern of any Sox fan. Pitching and no hitting. Hitting and no pitching. Saturday we got both. Carlos Quentin homered in as many days and Alexei Ramirez broke his 0-14 slump with an RBI single in the fifth. Backup catcher Corky Miller had a breakout game as well, adding two hits and two RBIs.
"He's a veteran player, he swings the bat pretty good. You're going to see him get a lot of action because I'm going to give A.J. more days off than in the past," coach Ozzie Guillen said.

Loose Sox: Mike MacDougal was exactly the Mike that Don Cooper and Guillen were banking on. MacDougal worked 2 superb innings, facing eight batters and striking out three.

Cleveland, Kansas City, and Minnesota were all losers Saturday.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recycler's Heaven

Top Blogs A death in the family is putting blog on hold until tomorrow evening. Your prayers for my family are welcomed. In the meantime, the White Sox dropped 12-5 to The Twinkies on Friday. Joe Crede returned to US Cellular for the first time not in a Sox uniform. Crede was acknowledged with a standing ovation and proceeded to take a Jose Contreas slider into the left field bullpen. Both Knonerko and Carlos Quentin homered for the first time this season.

This is a photo of thousands of empty Miller Lite cans in the old Comiskey Park.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Royal Letdown

Top Blogs The Kansas City Royals only managed two runs on Thursday afternoon against their division opponent, the Chicago White Sox. Problem is, the Sox only crossed the plate half that. You do the math.
The Royals took the rubber match of an afternoon contest in front of a meager 18,091. It all came down to starting pitching for the second straight day. Royal starter Kyle Davies equaled his career best, eight strikeouts in seven frames. The Sox had John Danks pitch six scoreless, while only giving up a handful of hits. Between both clubs in the three game set, all six starters gave up a combined 5 total runs while knocking out 38 batters in 38 innings.
Both teams were searching for a knock out going into the ninth, and Coco Crisp delivered for Royals, jacking a two run shot off Bobby Jenks. The Sox answered with a run of their own in the bottom on the ninth. With runners on first and second and an opportunity to extend the inning, pinch hitter Wilson Betemit struck out to end the game.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Top Blogs Miguel Olivo apparently isn't a fan of his former team. The former White Sox backstop appears to have the attitude of a guy who has already played 159 games. Truth is, the league is 3 games deep into the season. Alot of squatting to go Miguel.
Carlos Quenin seemed to be a pinstriped target for Royals starter Zach Greinke from the outset. In Quentin's first at bat, he had to duck out of the way of a 0-2 pitch that appeared to sail for his think-box. Later in the fourth with no outs, Greinke nailed Carlos directly in the back. It's possible Greinke and Olivo were reacting to Quentin's "Sox Tradition" spot that airs every 8th commercial on CSN.
Regardless, the Sox needed to take what they could get last evening, losing to the Royals 2-0. Gavin Floyd was strong in his effort, fanning 9, walking 2 and allowing 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings. Zach Greinke was better though.Greinke worked six strong, surrendering only 3 hits, while allowing 3 base-runners on walks and one hit batsmen. The Sox went hitless following Greinke's departure.
The White Sox will focus on taking the rubber game of the three game set before welcoming Joe Crede and the Minnesota Twins to 35th & Shields on Friday. Thursday's game is scheduled for 1:05 PM and can be viewed on CSN. At work? Get the earphones out and listen to DJ and Farmio on 670 The Score.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Once a Cub...

Top Blogs Packed house. Bottom of the 8th. 2 outs. Down one run. Opening day. Jim Thome's 542nd round tripper. Take away all of that greatness and you still have a fantastic moment. Why? It all starts with the 6-4, 230 lb underachiever called Kyle Farnsworth. Next to Greg Maddux, Farnsworth looks like the real deal. That is, in physique. However, if we are talking pure numbers, next to Maddux, Farnsworth looks like any other wannabe pitcher. There is no doubting the velocity Kyle brings to the hill. No scouts will argue that point. Let's not forget the secret to Sandy Koufax's success. Surrendering his velocity for control. The rest is history. Cooperstown history.
And while Kyle Farnsworth brings physical intimidation to the mound, his career numbers hardly have batters shaking in their cleats. Take his rookie year of 1999, when he started 21 games for the Cubs. In 140 innings pitched for the Cubs, Farnsworth surrendered 28 home runs with a 5-9 record. Luckily, that was his only year as a starter. Following a dismal first half of 2008 with the Yankees, Steinbrenner released a teary eyed Kyle to the Detroit Tigers for Ivan Rodriguez.
In only 60 1/2 innings pitched with both the Yankees and Tigers in 2008,
Farnsworth was tattooed 15 times. One dinger every four innings. Looking at these numbers, why would a GM pull out his checkbook and commit $9.25 million over two years? It's frightening to think this clown gets paid that kind of money to serve up fat ones so consistently. All I can think is....."Once a Cub, always a Cub."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Heat Emitted

Top Blogs Jim Thome took a 2-1 offering by Kyle Farnsworth into the left-center field bleachers. The home run; Thome's 542nd wall clearer, put the White Sox up for good in the bottom of the eighth. Thome has hit home runs in the 3 of his 4 opening day starts with the White Sox. Thome said he was looking for a pitch over the plate to drive up the middle. With a 20 mph gust out to straight away center, all Thome could do was pray for such a pitch. On a 2-0 count from Farnsworth, Thome got that pitch; and took it. He said he wasn't sure if he would see such a pitch again. Thome's monster hack saw the ball sail some 420 feet into the center field bleachers.
Thome went 3-4 and is hoping this is just the beginning of good things to come. For the club of course. Jim Thome has never been one to self-promote. Some 37, 499 packed into the Cell to watch Bobby Jenks close things out for the 'good guys'. Mayor Daley was on-hand celebrating the Southsiders victory.
Gavin Floyd takes the rubber tomorrow evening against Kansas City. First pitch 7:11 pm. Tickets available, as always through . Also, be sure to stop by Grandstand near the ballpark to pick up some licensed MLB White Sox apparel.

A Royal Pain

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37,499 braved the cold this afternoon making their way out to US Cellular for the opening of the 2009 season.
Mark Buehrle worked 5 innings and found himself in jams essentially all 5 of those innings. Royals third base standout Alex Gordon was responsible for both Kansas City runs; homering in the 2nd and knocking in a run in the 5th on a fielders choice.
The Sox had 3 consecutive hits in the bottom of the 2nd that did not lead to a run. Josh Fields eventually singled in the lone run for the Southsiders with 2 outs.
Richards, Dotel and presumably Thorton will finish up for the Sox this afternoon. With runners on the corners and 2 outs in the eighth, Jim Thome who is 2-3 will try to pump some heat into the 40 degree weather.

"Say it ain't snow...say it ain't snow."

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Mark Buehrle will be making his seventh opening day start today at 1:05 pm against the Kansas City Royals. Buehrle will tie Billy Pierce for most opening day starts by a Sox hurler. Hopefully the southpaw will fair better than his 2008 opening day start in which he was battered by the Clevland Indians for seven runs in a 10-8 loss. Buehrle and the Southsiders were scheduled to take the field yesterday for the beginning of their 2009 campaign. Weather however, proved the difference as Roger Bossard determined the field was not ideal for baseball. It was the first time in over a quarter of a century that baseball was postponed for opening day Southsiders.
This is how the White Sox will take the field today:
  1. Dewayne Wise CF
  2. Chris Getz 2B
  3. Carlos Quentin LF
  4. Jim Thome DH
  5. Jermaine Dye RF
  6. Paul Konerko 1B
  7. A.J Pierzynski C
  8. Alexi Ramirez SS
  9. Josh Fields 3B

Enzo's pick to click is Chris Getz.

Final Score: White Sox 4 Royals 1

Check out the game on CSN and listen to it at work on 670 The Score.