Sunday, May 31, 2009

Brooms, Oswalt and Good Home Cooking

Top Blogs The Good: The White Sox accomplished something this weekend they have been waiting for since....well, the beginning of the season. Sweeping a series. An official series. Back on May 7th the Sox took a one game series from the Tigers at the Cell and then a two game sweep of Seattle at the end of April. Each series had one game called due to rain. This time against the struggling Royals in K.C., the Sox would get it right. More importantly, they took two of three in Kansas City without the help of the long ball. Heading back to 35th and Shields for an 11 game home-stand, the Sox will not only bring with them momentum, but the knowledge that their feisty GM is hard at work to bring another ace to their pitching staff.

The Peaved: Reports had surfaced over the weekend that Kenny Williams' assistant Bill Scherrer had been tailing the Houston Astros for the better part of two weeks. Sources close to the Williams' camp have indicated that the Sox have their sights set on Houston starter Roy Oswalt. It was just two weeks ago that the ever diligent Williams had Jake Peavy on his radar, only to get shot down by Peavy exercising his no trade clause. Oswalt, who signed a five-year extension in 2006 with an option year for 2012, is due to make $15 million in 2010 and $16 million in 2011. Any trade involving the Olympic gold medalist would have to get his approval. Regardless of what Oswalt does, one thing is unavoidable....Jake Peavy's decison to snub the Sox has lit a fire under Kenny Williams. Expect to see a new starter by the All-Star break. Case Closed.

Sweet Home Chicago: 23 of the Sox 28 games in June will be played at home, or within 90 minutes of downtown Chicago. The White Sox are 12-10 at home this season.

BTW: Scott Podsednik entered Friday's series opener at Kansas City batting .275. He will enter Monday's game against Oakland batting .297.

Up Next: Oakland (19-29 4th) at Chicago (24-25 2nd) - (7:11 PM) Trevor Cahill (2-5) Bartolo Colon (3-4).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sox Scouting Oswalt?

Top Blogs Sources close to White Sox scouting have indicated that Kenny Williams is actively pursuing one of the Houston Astros starting pitchers. Over the past 10 days, Sox scouting has traveled with the Houston team. ESPN 1000's Bruce Levine is suggesting Roy Oswalt may possibly be on Kenny William's dart board. Oswalt is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA in 62 innings of work this season. In 2005, Oswalt posted a 20-12 record with an impressive 2.94 ERA.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

'Gordon' Beckons

Top Blogs Josh Fields can't say he didn't have his chances. As the White Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball roll into the month of June, talk around the South Side is that Gordon Beckham will be rolling with them. The White Sox are currently in fourth place amidst a division plagued by injuries and inconsistencies. Historically, June has been a gracious month for White Sox baseball. Since 2005, the Sox are 64-43 in the month of June.
For the White Sox to pull off a winning record in June, they're going to need to dispose of some baggage. For the die hard Sox fan, the loss of Joe Crede at third base was especially difficult. Crede going north to Minnesota was one of the more difficult realities to swallow. That transition would have been a bit easier to digest had Crede's replacement showed some bullocks. In 153 at bats, Fields has struck out a whopping 48 times, while batting a meager .229. No doubt Fields has explosive moments and has had several multi-hit games this year, but his quality at bats just aren't there. Back in July of 2007 when Crede had two herniated discs in his lower back, Fields was recalled from Charlotte. In the 100 games Fields played, he went to the dish 373 times and registered 125 K's. Pitiful. Let me put this in perspective for those of you as befuddled by these numbers as I am. In his 13 seasons with the Yankees, Joe Dimaggio averaged 637 at bats, while averaging only 34 strike outs per season. Certainly I am comparing apples and oranges, but the Sox cannot afford this ill-fated plate coverage that continues to plague Fields. Following Ozzie Guillen's benching of Alexei Ramirez a few weeks back, Guillen called attention to Fields' inconsistencies. "He's next," Guillen said of Fields' continuing plate struggles. And 90 feet away from where Fields' is fighting off breaking balls, he is also struggling defending third base. In 40 games at third base, Fields' has committed six fielding errors, while turning five double plays. In 2009, among AL third basemen, Fields' ranks only behind Adrian Beltre in most errors committed this season. And how is Joe Crede fairing? In 33 games at the hot spot, Crede has committed just one single fielding error, while turning seven double plays. Crede hasn't turned too many heads at the dish, but his numbers are respectable. In 129 at bats, Crede is batting .240 with nine home runs, while striking out 21 times.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hitting Their Stride

Top Blogs Story Line: Following a recent 4-2 homestand, the Sox pummel the Angels of Anaheim 17-3. The White Sox registered 24 hits on a night when Jim Thome surpassed Mike Schmidt on the all-time home run leader board, with his 549th round tripper.

First Time Since: It's the first time in 54 years that the White Sox had at least 20 more hits in one game than their opponent. On April 23, 1955, in a 29-6 win against Kansas City, the Sox out-hit the Athletics, 29-6, mirroring the final score.

Hitting Their Stride: Every Sox starter had at least one hit last night. Scott Podsednik (.303) and Alexei Rameriez (.243) each had four hits apiece, while Brian Anderson (.307) and A.J. Pierzynski (.273) raised their season averages with three hits apiece.

"Dank You": John Danks improved to 4-3 on the season, scattering four hits on three runs, while walking a career high six batters through six innings.

Santana Says: Angels starter Erwin Santana (0-2) was yanked in the second inning after surrendering nine hits to 13 batters. "Everything was OK but they just hit everything," Santana said. "I located my fastball, my breaking ball, but they hit it. Every time they saw a white thing, they just hit it. I'm not the only pitcher that's happened to. That happens to everybody. Next time, I'll come out and try to do my job better."

549: Jim Thome smacked number 549 last night in Anaheim. Thome passed Phillie great Mike Schmidt on the all-time home run list. Thome will now pursue the likes of Reggie Jackson who is number 11 on the list with 563 home runs.

Where's OsWaldo? Bench coach Joey Cora managed the White Sox for the third straight game Monday night. Ozzie Guillen was in Caracas, Venezuela, where his father-in-law died on Saturday and was buried on Sunday. Guillen is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday in Anaheim.

Next Up: Bartolo Colon (2-4, 4.23 ERA) will visit the mound in Anaheim tonight for the first time since he was a member of the Angels six years ago. The Angels will counter with staff ace Joe Saunders (6-2, 3.17 ERA).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fostering Success

Top Blogs

You're Invited to Join Jim Thome and Paul Konerko at Lizzie McNeill's Sunday, June 7, 2009
Join White Sox sluggers, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko, at Lizzie McNeill’s on June 7 in support of Children’s Home + Aid’s foster kids and the Bring Me Home Campaign. All proceeds of the event will go to benefit foster children and families.
  • Register today for one of our limited VIP tickets to meet the players.
  • Participate in a raffle and take a chance at winning an autographed item.
  • Get your door prize of a limited edition print of Jim Thome and Paul Konerko.
  • Enjoy ball park fare and beer.
  • Date: Sunday, June 7, 2009
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • VIP Meet & Greet: 6:15 p.m.
  • General Admission Tickets: $75.00
  • Limited VIP Tickets: $150.00
  • Location: Lizzie McNeill's
  • (Directions) 400 N. McClurg Ct.. Chicago , IL 60611-4323

Register Now

Click Here For More Information

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Peavy Deal Dead

Top Blogs Jake Peavy and his ugly family will remain in San Diego.
This according to Sun-Times Sox beat reporter Joe Cowley:

A source close to the Jake Peavy camp has said that the pitcher has notified the San Diego Padres that he will not accept the trade to the South Side, killing the deal that would have sent four players West and put Peavy in black and white.

Padres Agree To Trade

Top Blogs One down, one to go. The San Diego Padres have reportedly agreed to send Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox, according to sources close to club upper management. For the trade to gain momentum, Peavy must first waive his no trade clause and Bud Selig must sign off on the transaction. Sox GM Kenny Williams has declined to comment thus far, but his outspoken manager is another story. "If this man comes here, there's one thing I'm going to tell him: I'm going to give him the best opportunity to win games and the less opportunity to lose," Guillen said. "He's going to have a chance to win more games because our bullpen is pretty good and he's going to give our ballclub a better chance. I've managed a lot of good pitchers in the past. I'm not going to treat him different from anybody else. When he's out there, make me look good. Don't make me go to the mound to get you out." Guillen added, "Having him in the rotation would be great. He's one of the best in the game — if not the best in the game, at least the National League. He's going to make our ballclub a lot better."

White Sox May Land Peavy

Top Blogs There's a chance Jake Peavy might be coming to Chicago after all. On Wednesday, Pevey met with Padres' manager Bud Black and team officials concerning a possible trade to the Chicago White Sox. Since a no-trade clause exists on Peavy's contract, he must first waive the clause. Two possible players who would be dealt to the Padres in exchange for Peavy would be Clayton Richard and first round draft pick Aaron Poreda.
Rumors abound as to Peavy's hesitation in facing American League line-ups. Former Padres teammate and current Sox reliever, Scott Linebrink spoke to Peavy by telephone Wendesday and fielded questions about the White Sox. Linbrink told ESPN 1000's Waddle and Silvey that Peavy has no problem coming to an American League team and that right now he has a 50% chance of wearing a Sox uniform. Peavy's next scheduled start is Friday against the Cubs in San Diego.

Enzo's Eyes: Even if Peavy doesn't move to the Southside, at least I know my GM is out there looking to shake things up. This is a deal that fell right through the lap of Cub's GM Jim Hendry. If the Sox land Peavy, Hendry might as well leave town.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Toothless Piranhas

Top Blogs Story Line: With the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox both coming off series sweeps at the hands of the opposition, one of the two teams were sure to snap their losing streak. With Mark Buehrle throwing for the Sox (6-1) and Scott Baker (1-5) tossing for the Twins, the odds certainly favored the Sox. The Sox pulled off a 6-2 win in front of 26, 696 on a beautiful night at U.S Cellular Field.

Same Old, Same Old: Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye both went deep for the Sox in Tuesday night's victory over the Twins. Unfortunately, the Sox rarely win games and do not hit the long ball. The Sox rank 19th in the Majors with 38 home runs. Since 2002 among major league clubs, the Sox finished in the top 10 in home runs each season, and led the league three different times.

On The Mark : Mark Buehrle continued to solidify his position as club pitching ace with two earned runs allowed in seven innings of work. The White Sox are 7-1 with Buehrle on the mound, as opposed to 9-21 when he isn't pitching.

Mark On Mark: "I owned them," Buehrle joked. "Obviously, we face them a lot of times. It seems like it goes back and forth. … Obviously I’m on one of those stretches now. Tonight was one of those games where I probably missed more spots tonight than I have in a lot of starts and I got lucky with them."

From The Mouth Of Gardie: "A little frustrating right now. We had a little meeting after the game and talked about trying to invent the game. They’re coming up with things. We’re trying to invent stuff. You can’t just do that in a game. You have to play the game," Gardenhire said. "It’s getting a little quiet on the bench and that’s not acceptable. We’re all about nine innings and getting after it. So we had a little bit of a talk about that."

My Two Cents: With only four victories in their past 16 games, it's hard to get excited over one lone victory. However, anytime you beat a division opponent, it can't be a bad thing. The Central is a weak division and it will probably take only 85 victories to win it. If the Sox can get some momentum going in the early summer months, they can avoid the dog fights we're so accustomed of seeing come mid September.

Up Next: Tonight 7:11 PM CST, MIN: Liriano (2-4) 5.21 ERA, CHW: Danks (2-3) 4.82 ERA

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Major League Struggles

Top Blogs Story Line: The Chicago White Sox lose the finale of a four game series to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays swept the series, limiting the Sox to just eight runs over four games.
Ouch!: The White Sox have dropped 12 of 15 games since May 2. The Sox finished 1-6 on a road trip that started in Cleveland a week ago.
Upset Stomach: Following the fifth inning of the White Sox 2-1 loss in Toronto on Saturday, Bartolo Colon left the game with what he described as an "upset stomach." Watching the Sox play lately has left a sour feeling in many stomachs, but something tells me Colon isn't the most discretionary eater.
Deal On The Heal: Carlos Quentin was scratched from the lineup Saturday, May 16, against the Jays because of the sore left heel injury that prevented him from starting two games earlier in the week. Interim skipper Joey Cora slated Quentin for the sixth batting slot. Quentin has not batted below the fifth slot in over a year.
Guillen Talk: "Right now, we're having a really tough time. I really hope that no one starts pointing fingers on the ballclub. We lose as a ballclub. You've got to come here every day and fight. Come here and do the best you can to get it going. How we're going to get it going? Well, that's our job to try and figure out how we're going to get this going."
Enzo's Eyes: There are so many things going wrong with this club right now it's really difficult to pin down one particular. One of the more discouraging stats is the Sox failure to score with runners in scoring position. The Sox were just 2-23 with runners in scoring position in Toronto. If the Sox lose Quentin for 15, it might be some time before the Sox break 20 victories. Both Floyd and Danks are giving Cooper ulcers, and unless the Sox start stringing together some W's, we'll be certain to hear some Kenny Williams sound bytes very soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'll Be Back

Top Blogs
Hardware and Software updgrades in process. Blog will resume Monday

Sox dropped 8-3 to Toronto on Friday.WP: Brett Cecil (2-0) LP: John Danks (2-3)

White Sox 2-1 to Blue Jays Saturday aftrenoon. WP:Robert Ray (1-1) LP. Scott Linebrink (1-2)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Anybody For Some Strikeout?

Top Blogs Introduction: As we learn the game of baseball, we know there exists an inexcusable. As little leaguers we are coaxed into thinking that even though we committed the unthinkable, we tried as hard we could and we await redemption. Rarely will a stranger tell us after the game "hey...great job missing the ball", or "wow...i wish I got to miss pitches like that." The problem is, major league baseball players are PROFESSIONALS and they are paid insane amounts of money to HIT the ball. Lately, for one ball club, notably the White Sox: the Sox batters are still awaiting redemption.

What's Happening: For White Sox bats, a whole lot of striking out. Through 33 games this season, the White Sox have struck out a whopping 228 times. That's just under eight times per game. Strikeouts typically have a domino affect that can plague a clubhouse from top to bottom. Men being left on base, runners stranded in scoring position, stroking the opposing pitcher's ego, and of course, losing games.

Who is hurting most: Jim Thome has to be at the top of this list. Thome has struck out 33 times in 88 plate appearances (.375) Jermaine Dye has had some issues of his own at the plate. In 113 appearance at the dishe, Dye has K'd 32 times (.282) As nice as Josh Field has looked at the plate at times, Fields has struck out 39 times in 115 plate appearances .(339)

Good Eye: In just 97 plate appearances, Pierzynski has struck out only 7 times (.072)

Overheard By Ozzie: "People on base, we strike out. Lead off an inning, we strike out. We have to cut that. That's a big part of the game. You put the ball in play, you have a better chance. We really strike out too much, even the guys who strike out. "

Now What? I could fill this answer with a slew of 'Hawk'isms. Hunkering down....etc. Truth is, The White Sox' bats are in a funk. Any fan who believes that replacing Greg Walker is the answer, has short term memory issues. Certainly somebody needs to be accountable, but this is on the players not the coaches.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Maris: The Real Deal

Top Blogs After watching White Sox players "watch" other major leaguers play baseball at Cleveland's Progressive Field this afternoon, I had very little desire to recap the game for my blog readers. Extremely little. Then my eight year-old threw me a curve ball, "Dad, which baseball player has the record for most home runs in one season?" Unflinchingly, I uttered "Roger Maris."

In 1998, Mark McGwire surpassed Maris' single season mark of 61, accomplishing the feat while baseball was still under watchful eyes. Eyes of skeptics and purists alike, waiting for the next big bomb to drop. A 1994 contract dispute between owners, players and the MLBPA caused the cancellations of 948 games overall and the first cancellation of a World Series since 1904. Following McGwire's historic shot in St. Louis, McGwire even took time to walk over to the Maris family and share a cry with them. Not only was baseball reaching plateaus Babe Ruth himself could not have envisioned, Sammy Sosa was also hitting home runs at a record pace. He too would pass Maris that very same year. Something was amiss.
--Fist pumps, high-fives, pointing to the heavens, back taps and even hugs

Plain Language: Sosa, and McGwire were using tons of HGH and banned substances to help increase muscle form. Simply put; they have a much better chance of hitting the ball out of the park by using these substances. Now Sosa and McGwire are ZEROS and Barry Bonds is the poster child for 'Hero to Zero.'
Enough Said: Selig needs to get Maris' family back together and present them with a trophy that signifies that Roger still holds the record. Roger Maris played in the shadow of Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. It was extremely difficult for the aging Croatian pinstriper to come to terms with the fact that he "stole" the Babe's home-run crown. Many of Maris' teammates knew that Maris was going through an extreme depression near the end of that 1961 season. Unrelenting hampering by the media, drinking late into the night, smoking one cigarette after another and watching his thin hair fall out in clumps. Maris broke Ruth's record in the final game of the season. That was real. That was dramatic. No Steroids, No HGH, No Creams.....and as far as I am concerned, no Hall of Fame inductions for sissy, fake, crybabies who point to the sky after hitting those 600 FT home-runs.
"It would have been a helluva lot more fun if I had not hit those sixty-one
home runs. "--Roger Maris

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jenks Tagged By MLB

Top Blogs

Story Line: Major League Baseball threw a lazy purpose pitch of their own at White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, fining him some $750 for an incident involving Texas Ranger standout Ian Kinsler. In the last inning of a White Sox one run lead, Bobby Jenks threw behind Ian Kinsler causing home plate umpire Lance Barksdale to issue a warning to Jenks. Ozzie Guillen quickly rose from his dugout post to exchange words with Barksdale. Jenks eventually got Kinsler to pop out to end the game, but Jenks wasn't through.

What Was Said: Following the incident, Jenks was adamant that he wasn't trying to hit Kinsler in a one run game. Supposedly, Jenks was sending a message to the Rangers, following Chris Getz and Carlos Quentin being plunked earlier in the game by Rangers' pitcher Kevin Millwood. "I'm not going to put a guy on in that situation," he said. "I was not going to hit him. I made my point with that pitch and it came across the way I wanted it to.

The Problem: In addition to making Sox announcers Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone sound clueless, the incident didn't exactly make Ozzie sound like he was clued in either. If Jenks intention was to pitch behind Kinsler, why not convey that to Guillen prior to the start of the inning? Furthermore, why wait until well after the game to reveal to sources that you delivered a purpose pitch?

What Guillen Had To Say: Prior to Jenks revealing he had thrown at Kinsler, Guillen had this to say:
"The way we're playing, we're desperate to win and I'm not going to hit one of the best players in the game (Kinsler) with the big boys coming behind him," "When I want to hit somebody, I do it right away."
--Not Good. Period.

Overheard By Ron Washington: "They can talk all they want, but we weren't trying to hit anybody," . "If their pitcher says something like that ... that's on him. If my guys get hit six times and one of my guys wants to take care of business, then take care of business. But don't talk about it."

Bottom Line: Kudos to Jenks for protecting his hitters, but his poor communication have the Sox looking just as baffled off the field as they do on the field.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Same Old Story

Top Blogs Just In: Behind Gavin Floyd (2-3), The White Sox dropped the opener in Cleveland tonight by a score of 9-4. Floyd was tagged for eight runs and 11 hits over five innings. Jimmy Gobble, who was brought up from Charlotte earlier in the day, replaced Floyd in the sixth, allowing one run on two hits in one inning of work.

Off The Hook: Carl Pavano (3-3) won his third straight outing with the help of his breaking ball. Pavano scattered 10 hits on four runs over 6 1/3. Pavano was masterful in getting his breaking ball to work for him, as Sox bats were fishing most of the night.

Need a Hit? Getting hits did not seem to be an issue for the Sox tonight, as they cracked out a dozen. Getting hits when they needed them was another issue. The Sox stranded 16 baserunners with four in scoring position. Konerko (.307), Thome (.212), Pierzynski (.301) and Fields (.255) all had multi-hit games.

Next Up: Cleveland-Tomorrow 6:05 CST Jacobs Field

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Imminent Panic

Top Blogs The Facts: The White Sox will begin a three game set with the Cleveland Indians tomorrow night at Jacobs Field. That's the good news. The White Sox are two games below .500, 30 games into the 2009 season and are looking for some acceleration. With the Indians' offensive woes, the Cleveland series just may provide that opportunity. With right hander Jose Contreras heading to the minors to work on some mechanical issues, Clayton Richard will come out of the 'pen on Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland. Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise are still on the shelf recuperating, both fighting for the same job.

Breaking It Down: This division reminds me of my childhood home. You never knew what was going to happen next, and nothing really surprised you. Many "experts" had the Royals positioned for first place and "they" will continue to speculate as long as Greinke is pitching well. Don't count on it. The Royals cannot handle winning games very much longer and Greinke is a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. Sure, the kid changes speeds as good as anybody, but Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago will not allow Kansas City to sit on top of that division much longer.

30 Games from now? For the White Sox, it's going to get worse before it gets any better. Contreras will eventually take the mound again and will get a no decision his first game back. Paul Konerko will fall into his early summer slump, while Thome finally gets into the swing of things. Alexei Ramirez will start warming up with the weather, but don't look for a breakout until Ozzie brings Alexei back to second base. 60 games into the season, look for Detroit to be at the top of the A.L. Central.
Prediction: 28-32

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Speedy Recovery...Speedy Departure

Top Blogs Story Line: Jose Contreras drops his fifth decision in six tries, as the Chicago White Sox lose the first of a three game set with the Texas Rangers 6-0. Contreras' ERA exploded to a team high 8.19, among starters.

Aftershock: In Guillen's office following the game, Contreras was relieved of his starting duties. Contreras' next start was slated for this upcoming Wednesday in Cleveland. No replacement has been named as of yet. All signs and speculation point to D.J. Carassco.

Silent Bats: The Sox struggled at the plate again, allowing southpaw Matt Harrison to register his third victory of the season; the second in seven days against the White Sox. The Sox did not advance past second base all evening, drew only one walk and struck out five times.

Speaking of Contreras: "We've tried different things," catcher A.J. Pierzinski said "We've tried a million things. We've tried to attack guys this way, attack guys that way and nothing seems to work right now. You feel so bad because Jose is such a great guy and you really want him to succeed and do very well and you just don't know what to do anymore."

What I Think: I mean, come on... what did we expect? Contreras is aging, tired and his rehab turnover was anything short of miraculous. This guy wasn't expected to be on the mound until July-August. Now it looks as though his speedy recovery hurt more than that rupture Achilles. We know what Contreras can't do, now let's see what somebody else can.

Up Next: Saturday, Rangers (16-13) at White Sox (13-15) 6:05 PM WGN, 670 WSCR. Kevin Millwood (3-2) and John Danks (2-2)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Flirting With Perfection

Top Blogs Story Line: White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle tosses eight innings of one-hit, shutout baseball against the Detroit Tigers. Mark retired the first 19 Tiger batters before Placido Polanco took a 0-2 offering from Buehrle down the left field line for a double in the seventh inning. Following Polanco's double, Buehrle walked the next two batters to load up the bases. Mark went on to retire the next Tigers batter and get an inning ending fly out to center field. Bobby Jenks came into a non-save situation in the ninth and surrendered back-to-back singles to start the inning. He went on to retire the next three batters, including striking out former Sox right fielder Magglio Ordonez to end the game.

What Buehrle had to say: "I feel so lucky. It's an honor to pitch in the major leagues. It's a kid's game and I try to have as much fun as I can, win or lose. A lot of people would love to be doing what I'm doing, and I appreciate every minute of it."

Overheard by Tigers manager Jim Leyland: "In, out, cut the ball, jam guys, tail away, change up on them -- that's the art of pitching. He just carved us up, made it look easy."

BTW: A.J. Pierzinski hit a three run home run in the first inning. It was Pierzinski's third homer in his last six games. He has 101 career homers. Jason Nix hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Nix is taking over for Alexei Ramirez at shortstop, while the young Cuban gathers his thoughts.

Hard, raw stats: In his last six games, Pierzynski is batting .542 with three homers and seven RBIs, lifting his average from .220 to .313.

What I think: This was just the kind of game the pitching staff needed. Buehrle is unquestionably the ace of the staff and this kind of outing shows why. Hopefully, some of Buehrle's confidence will spill over into some the young guns and aging veterans.

Next Up: Texas (15-12) at Chicago (12-14), 7:11 p.m. Jose Contreras (0-5) Matt Harrison (2-2)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dirty, Dirty. Manny Ramirez Out 50 Games

Top Blogs The Dodgers set a Major League record by winning their first 13 home games of the season. However, talk around the Dodger clubhouse will not be about their great start to the 2009 season. It will be about the 50 game suspension their most talented player was just slapped with. Yep, you read that correctly. Things for the Joe Torre and the Dodgers just got a whole lot more interesting following the news that slugger Manny Ramirez tested positive for a performance enhancing substance. That's great news for the NL West, but not great news for baseball. With reports coming out of SI earlier this year that Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez used banned substances while he was with the Rangers, this latest incident will produce more questions than answers. Ramirez will begin serving his suspension today and will not be eligible for return until July 3. Ramirez will lose $7.7 million of his estimated $25 million salary for 2009. Ramirez is in the first of a two year $45 million contract with LA and is hitting .348 with 6 home runs and 20 RBI in 27 games.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paying Off?

Top Blogs This is Part 1 of a four part series on the 2009 White Sox payroll. Check out what your favorite player is getting paid for the 2009 season, and if they are earning their take based on the numbers 25 games into the season.

Mark Buehrle 2009 salary $14,000,000
ERA 3.30 W-L 4-0 SO 19
Buehrle is getting paid $86,419 per game, $28, 806 per hour, $9,602 each inning pitched

Jim Thome 2009 salary $13,000,000
BA .214 HR 4 RBI 14
Thome is batting just .185 against right-handers and a solid .375 against lefties.
In 71 at bats, Thome has struck out 39% of the time.
Thome is taking in $80,246 per game. $26,748 per hour or $20,061 per at bat (9 inning game)

Paul Konerko 2009 salary $12,000,000
BA .302 HR 3 RBI 18
Konerko has been the Sox most solid contributor at the plate. In 99 plate appearances, Paulie has only K'd 13.1 % of the time. $74,074 per game, $24,691 per hour.
Carlos Quentin 2009 salary $550,000
BA .253 HR 8 RBI 17
Quentin got off to a hot start this year, but his recent struggles have many suggesting his wrist is causing him problems at the plate. Quentin will be signing a new contract next year and big money is waiting for him. Quentin earns $3395 per game or $377 per inning.

Jermaine Dye 2009 salary $11,500,000
BA .292 HR 7 RBI 15
Dye has traditionally always hit better off of righties and this year has been no exception. Dye is batting .342 against right-handers, while hitting .235 against southpaws. Dye cashes in $70,987 per game, $23,662 per hour.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Youth Exposed

Top Blogs As my wife and I watched the White Sox game yesterday evening, she repeated a question many casual Sox fans are asking, "who is that guy?" Jason Nix, Brent Lilibridge, and Wilson Betemit. All strangers to the casual observer. I told her that these guys may become franchise faces before long. Throw in the addition of 33 year old back-up catcher Corkey Miller, and the confusion is complete. With both Jermaine Dye out with a sore hand and Josh Fields out, fresh new faces took to the field last night out in Kansas City.

Tough night to have fresh meat in the batter's box.

25 year old Zack Greinke improved to 6-0 on the season with a stellar complete game shutout. It was Greinke's second shutout of the season. Scott Podsednik and A.J. Peirzynski had two hits apiece in the loss, while as a team, the Sox had six. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen may of seen the best the Majors have to offer in Greinke. "To me, he's the best in the league right now," Guillen said.

The Sox have been downright awful at the plate as of late. They did not have a runner in scoring position until the sixth inning, and the first five batters were 1-19 on the night, striking out six times. Greinke fanned 10 Sox batters to add insult to injury.

The White Sox have scored one sad run in their last 20 innings and have scored one run or fewer in seven of 25 games played.

Something to think about... Is Wilson Betemit really worth the $1,300,000 he is getting paid? Meanwhile, Brian Anderson will only make $440,000 in 2009.

R U Kidding? : Zack Greinke overcame a social anxiety disorder following his 2005 season. He was only 20. This season his 0.40 ERA in 45 innings is the best in the majors. He has allowed just 30 hits, two earned runs, walked eight and struck out 54, while tossing three complete games and earning two shutouts.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Vocal Disgrace From A Pretty Face

Top Blogs Denise Richards was out at Wrigley Field last Friday telling people that kidney cancer kills. Apparently, so does her singing. I can't begin to adequately describe my frustration after listening to Richards singing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' at Wrigley. It was heinous. Who is she anyway besides a face to look at? She's originally from Downers Grove, IL, and "made" it in some B-list movies, married Charlie Sheen, divorced Charlie Sheen, and her mother died from kidney cancer. So, the powers to be in the Cub's organization decided it would be a nice gesture if they gave her a platform to talk about kidney cancer. Good job guys. Another "who gives a hoot" celebrity sporting a Cub's jersey at Wrigley Field. I'm sorry, I have no sympathy for her sorrows as it relates to her mother and her cancer. If people want to find out about kidney cancer, let them find out about it somewhere outside the ballpark. The ballpark is for baseball! Nothing else. I don't want fundraisers, sob stories, musical acts, or pretty tight skinned suburban girls in cute little booths talking about cancer.
The entire seventh inning clown act that has been going on at Wrigley Field since Harry Carey died is pathetic. Cub's management missed it when they decided to continue live 'acts' during the seventh inning stretch. It was Carey's trademark. The very fact the Richards was allowed by Cub's upper management to hold the sacred microphone, let alone "sing" into it is just plain sad. Had Richards been out in left field with the rest of the ditzy balloon heads, nobody would have even noticed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Assignment: Reassignment

Top Blogs Former White Sox outfielder Jerry Owens was signed to minor league contract by the Seattle Mariners. Owens 28, was designated for assignment by the Sox following their series with, who else? The Mariners. Owens opted out of the reassignment.

Mike MacDougal also agreed to terms on a non-guaranteed minor league with the Washington Nationals. 'Dougal racked up a 12.46 ERA in just five games with the Sox this season.

Sox former second baseman Tony Graffanino was designated for reassignment by the Cleveland Indians.

What Every Dad Needs To Hear

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"My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me everyday after school in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and righty against my granddad" ~ Mickey Mantle

At times it can be difficult in it's simplicity. It has moments of ecstasy that have no equals. It always gives more than it is ever willing to take. It requires patience, patience, and at times, more patience. The rewards are never-ending, the disappointments--expected. And sometimes if we allow ourselves, our gratitude will spill over into tears.


Certain things have a way of bringing together a father and son. For every man who took in a baseball game with dad, you know exactly what I mean. Then there are the words every kid loves to hear from their ol' man, "go grab your mitt." It can only mean one thing: time to throw around the ball with 'pops'. In a little over one month, my son and I have spent more time together alone than I believe we spent alone all last year. We did it all playing baseball. I truly believe baseball is God's gift to fathers. It's God's way of saying: "Now you have no excuses." If you're a dad who finds himself crunched for time, take your kid outside and throw around the ball for awhile. If that's not an option, perhaps taking him to a ball game would be more ideal. Try not to think about getting work done or catching up on emails. Try to think about that little person. That little impressionable mind who always looks up to you.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This Is The Year To Wait Until Next Year

Top Blogs Watching a person cry should never evoke a feeling of happiness. There are only two stipulations for this reaction to be deemed acceptable:
  • You are a White Sox fan.
  • The sorry sap crying is a Cub's fan

For the life of me I cannot understand the Cub fan. I can't. I'm not exactly sure I want to either. Year in and year out it's the same sorry mantra,"This is the year!" Is it guys? Is it really? It's amazing to me that the Chicago Bulls just pushed a great Celtics team to a game seven, while the Blackhawks are three victories from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. These two teams were clearly not favorites to advance as far as they did in their respective playoff series', yet they did. Goodness, even the Chicago Sting, Chicago Rush and the Wolves all have won championships in their respective sports more recently than 1908. The Cubs on the other hand were the bookies favorite last year to win the World Series. No dice. Again. Meanwhile the White Sox won a World Series in 2005 and won one more playoff game than the Cubs did last year. The Cubs have not won a playoff game since 2003 and have bowed out of the playoffs the last two years without a victory to show for it. Having a priest perform an exorcism in the dugout, bringing a goat back in Wrigley Field; all sorry attempts at redirecting fate. A fate that has the Cubs without a World Series championship in over a century.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Center of Attention

Top Blogs Are the White Sox truly a team that is moving toward a "youth movement"? They can't be. Not truly, anyway. Along with Chris Getz and Jim Thome, 33 year-old Scott Podsednik will rejoin the Chicago White Sox this evening, when the Sox open up a three game series in Arlington, Texas. Podsednik will most likely be in center field for an ailing Brian Anderson, who is recovering following a strain in his right oblique. Podsednik inked a Minor League deal with the Southsiders on April 14. In 10 games with Tripe-A Charlotte, Podsednik hit .262 and swiped one base.
The Sox have been searching for a reliable lead-off man, since Podsednik went on and off the DL in 2006. "Pods" was very instrumental in Ozzie's "small ball", where he hit .290 in the lead-off spot and grabbed 59 stolen bases. Podsednik joined the Colorado Rockies in 2008. The question many Sox fans are barking is , "Where is Rowand?" Truth is, with Brian Anderson showing promise at the plate, along with his exceptional range in center-field, the White Sox have no room on their roster for Aaron Rowand. While Rowand would be a nice addition for a team lacking character, it cannot come at the expense of the energetic and maturing Brian Anderson. In the meantime, the Sox will get what they can out of Podsednik and hope for the best.