Alexei Ramirez

While most of Chicago is focused on Melo and the ridiculous (and downright disrespectful) stories coming out about Derrick Rose, health there’s still baseball being played in this city.  Now granted, doctor it’s not very good baseball but it is baseball.  The White Sox are under .500, sovaldi they are struggling to score, struggling to close out games and struggling to get fans in the park; even though it has been a struggle there are still plenty of good things to see.  Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez were voted to the All-Star Game by the players and #TargetSale to get Ace Chris Sale to the game.

White Sox All-Stars Ramirez and Abreu

White Sox All-Stars
Ramirez and Abreu

Chris Sale and Jose Abreu are must see TV and even better in person.  Adam Eaton is a steadying force in the outfield and a catalyst at leadoff.  Paul Konerko is “sparingly” playing his final season and pitchers Hector Noesi and John Danks are bringing it each time they pitch.  You have all that and a chance for a great experience in the sun with friends and family, good food, good drinks and plenty to do for the kids.  So, why do I still have to talk about this each week, each season?  Don’t give me that it’s because they’re not winning, because this problem existed with a winning record.  Don’t give me it’s the neighborhood, are you watching it on someone’s front porch?  You’re not there for the neighborhood, you’re there for a game.  Watch the game and then go home, you’ll be safe.  Another excuse is the cost but there are so many discounted tickets and plans that you can find a game you can afford.  So, you’re out of excuses it’s time to get a group together get out to the Cell and support the men in black.

35th on the all-time home run list, Adam Dunn

35th on the all-time home run list, Adam Dunn

Notes:  Adam Dunn passed Carl Yastrzemski to move into 35th place on the all-time home run list with 453.  Paul Konerko has entered the closure phase of his retirement tour as he hit Fenway Park for a final series.  He says it is hitting him now as his family is in town and will take some games.  Will the Sox be sellers at the trade deadline?  It is pretty known some of the players who could be moved like:  Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, Alejandro DeAza, Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers and others.  What the Sox are looking for in return is more bullpen and rotation help.  How much can any of these players return in a trade?  I don’t think much, you would probably need to offer a team Alexei Ramirez to get a positive return, but we’ll see.

The White Sox are 44-47; seven and a half games behind the Detroit Tigers.

Red Tank Top with Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $24.99

Red Tank Top with Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $24.99

Games Review:  The White Sox beat the Red Sox in the first two games of the series.  The 2013 World Series Champs are in last place in the American League East and look awful.  Sox took the holiday weekend series against the Mariners including a complete game by Chris Sale and the 27th home run by Jose Abreu.  The bullpen couldn’t close out a game leading to an extra inning defeat in the series.

What’s Next:  There are three more games in Boston and they will close out the first half of the season with three games in Cleveland.  They return from the All-Star break with a home stand against the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals.

Don’t forget:  #TargetSale…let’s get him to the All-Star game like he deserves!

All-Star? Chris Sale

All-Star?
Chris Sale

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Oh, tadalafil the Chicago White Sox, the team you just can’t figure out.  Every time you think they’re going to take a step forward in the division, they blow it and take six steps back. The Sox are currently in last place and it’s the same consistent issues killing this team:  shaky bullpen and a lackluster defense.

What did I really expect as far as improved defense?  Adam Eaton is an improvement, but other than that, it’s about the same team as last year.  This team hasn’t had a good third baseman since Joe Crede, and that’s sad.  Sox fans, I preach not to compare your team to the Cubs, but I will in this instance.  The Sox have lost one less game than the Cubs and what really makes that sad is that at least you knew the Cubs would be horrendous, but did you really expect this with the south siders?  I didn’t expect playoffs, but never did I think last place.  I know I sound all gloom and doom, so I must remind myself that there’s still a lot of baseball left and this team features the best pitcher in baseball and a potential rookie of the year.

Red Tank Top with Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $24.99

Red Tank Top with Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $24.99

As we enter July it is time to wonder will this team be a seller or a buyer and the answer is, if they have more series like the last two they’ll try to sell everyone but Chris Sale and Jose Abreu.

Chris Sale congratulates Jose Abreu

Chris Sale congratulates Jose Abreu

The Sox are 7.5 games out of first place and 6 games under .500, not a good position, but since no one is running away in their division there’s still time to turn it around (which I say every week).

Quick Review:  The Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 win in Baltimore a night after blowing a ninth inning lead.  The White Sox were swept in four games by the Minnesota Twins.  One of the losses was to a pitcher, Yohan Pino who spent 10 years in the minors.  Although the team hasn’t played well, their rookie of the year candidate, Jose Abreu continues to tee off on major league pitching. He became the third youngest player to reach 20 home runs this quickly.   His 20th home run came a day after meeting with the coaches to discuss him not running on a dropped third strike.

All-Star? Alexi Ramirez

All-Star? Alexi Ramirez

News:  Scott Carroll will replace Andre Rienzo in the starting lineup after Rienzo lost his last five starts.  Minor leaguers Micah Johnson and Francellis Montas will participate in the All-Star Futures game.  Jose Abreu and Alexei Ramirez are in second place at their positions in All-Star voting.  They need your help Sox fans, go to mlb.com and vote.  You can submit 25 online ballots so do the Chicago thing-vote and vote often.

What’s Next:  Mark Buehrle awaits his former team as the Sox head to Toronto for four games against the Blue Jays.  They will return to US Cellular on June 30th to face the Angels.

ballot

 

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Ladies, find it’s been a while – but I’m back.  Let me start by thanking The White Sox organization for case May 23rd vs. New York Yankees” href=”http://sportsdivasinc.com/2014/05/white-sox-host-annual-ladies-night-friday-may-23rd-vs-new-york-yankees/” target=”_blank”>a wonderful Ladies Night!  It was a night that included a walk-off home run, fireworks, massages and the beautiful Derek Jeter.  I talked to fathers/mothers and daughters, couples and just girls hanging out.  I met ladies from out of town who wanted to enjoy the city so they chose US Cellular and they definitely chose the right night.  Well done White Sox, you sure know how to treat a lady!  Now back to baseball…

From Ladies Night on May 23rd

From Ladies Night on May 23rd

Now that we have recovered from the devastating Blackhawks loss and there are over 90 days before football, baseball is in the spotlight and what a time to be there with the return of Chris Sale and Jose Abreu; both of them made an impact in their return.  The Sox continue to hover at or around .500 and are fighting for playoff position in their division (four games back) as well as in the wild card race (one game back).

Quick Review:  The Sox have split the first two games of the series against the L.A. Dodgers.  Losing the first game thanks to errors by Gordan Beckham and Conor Gillaspie.  The south side superstar Jose Abreu has homered in consecutive games, this man is on a mission and knows that there is more he can do when he improves at the plate. The Sox finished the home stand 6-4 with a masterful complete game victory by the ace Chris Sale.  The south siders also swept the Indians and split the 4-game series with the Yankees.

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

News:  To make room for the return of Jose Abreu the Sox optioned Marcus Semien to triple A Charlotte where he may begin working in the outfield to become an even more flexible player.  Alexei Ramirez is second in American League All-Star voting, trailing the great Derek Jeter.  The White Sox could be looking at sending three players to the mid-season classic, way to go fellas!

Alexei Ramirez All-Star?

Alexei Ramirez All-Star?

What’s Next:  The Sox will continue their west coast trip with two more games against the Dodgers and new left fielder and might I add beautiful Matt Kemp and three against the L.A. Angels

New left fielder and a little disgruntled Dodger, Matt Kemp

New left fielder and a little disgruntled Dodger, Matt Kemp

My Thoughts: I don’t’ know about you, but hovering around .500 and fighting for playoff position is a pleasant surprise.  As Rick Hahn and the Sox were putting together this team I didn’t think they would be competitive and who knows where they’ll end up because there’s still time for a swoon.

White Sox Black Triblend Women's T Shirt with Distressed White Vertical "Sox" Logo by Fifth and Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $34.99

White Sox Black Triblend Women’s T Shirt with Distressed White Vertical “Sox” Logo by Fifth and Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $34.99

 

Their bullpen is still suspect due to injuries and their defense can still cost them a game, but it just doesn’t feel like they’ll go through a terribly long losing streak like the Boston Red Sox.  The Sox are exciting to watch because you never know what can happen or who will be the star.  What makes this resurgence even better?  It was done the right way; with a mix of youth and veterans who can teach the young players how to win and persevere through hard times.  I’m not going to guarantee an above .500 record or a playoff berth, but I will guarantee this team will keep you on your toes, delight and anger you.  It’s baseball baby and it’s one of the greatest reality TV shows, so sit back and enjoy every twist and turn.

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Looking for a place to hang out with your girls this Friday night? I’ve got one for you – it’s capsule May 23rd vs. New York Yankees” href=”http://sportsdivasinc.com/2014/05/white-sox-host-annual-ladies-night-friday-may-23rd-vs-new-york-yankees/” target=”_blank”>Ladies Night at US Cellular on Friday, search May 23rd.  The game starts at 7:10 pm, and but get there early for the activities like:   Zumba, massage therapy, discount shopping at Chicago Sports Depot, Girl Band performs and a lucky lady and three of her friends will be randomly selected to take a picture on the field.

After all of that fun you get to see the White Sox take on the New York Yankees when the Yankees begin their 3-game series at the Cell after wrapping up on the North Side against the Cubs. This will be the last time you’ll find Mr. Derek Jeter play at games at the Cell, before baseball’s most eligible bachelor retires from the game.  Get a big group together for a perfect girls night out with music, food, drinks, baseball, fireworks and plenty of eye candy on the field!  For heavily discounted tickets to this premiere matchup, head over to www.whitesox.com/ladies

The White Sox are still under .500 at 22-24 and are eight games behind Central Division leading Detroit Tigers.  They definitely didn’t take full advantage of their schedule last week.

Week In Review:  The Sox took game one of the 3-game series at Kansas City Royals thanks to a go ahead 2-run home run by Paul Konerko.  His improving offense will be needed in Jose Abreu’s absence.  The south siders lost two of three against the team with the worst record in the American League, the Houston Astros.  They also lost 2 out of 3 against the hottest team the Oakland Athletics.  They lost games and their young star Jose Abreu.

Micah Johnson

Micah Johnson

Sox Notes:  Jose Abreu was placed on the 15-day disabled list with ankle tendinitis.  The Sox were relieved after getting the MRI results that it is nothing more to the injury.  He will remain on anti-inflammatory medication and wear a walking boot and there is no timeline for his return.  To take his place on the roster the Sox activated the sparkplug Adam Eaton.

Chris Sale continues his rehab and a decision on his return date could come after his next bullpen session.  Closer Matt Lindstrom left Monday’s game with a leg injury he suffered trying to field a bunt.  The Sox are hoping they will not have to add him to the list of the walking wounded.  Jeff Keppinger was designated for assignment and it may cost the team $7.5 million but with the emergence of the youngsters it was a move that needed to be made.  In triple A news, 2nd baseman Micah Johnson was promoted to Charlotte and is looking good on and off the field.

What’s On Deck:  After finishing up in KC the Sox will come home for four games against the Yankees.  May 23rd is Ladies Night and fireworks, May 24th is Chris Sale bobblehead and May 25th is Family Day.

Much improved Alexei Ramirez

Much improved Alexei Ramirez

My Thoughts:  Even the Sox aren’t much better record wise this year there is still something different about this team that gives you hope (not including this past week).  The defense isn’t great, but it is still much better than last year (couldn’t get much worse).  Jose Abreu is emerging as a rookie of the year candidate and is adjusting quite well to major league baseball.  Newcomer Adam Eaton has added a spark to the top of the lineup that reminds many of Scotty Pods from the ’05 season.  Other players like Alexei Ramirez, Tyler Flowers, Conor Gillaspie, Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo have greatly improved their numbers and hopefully have figured it all out.  Those are just some of the reasons I feel different writing about this team.

Chicago White Sox Women's Grey V-Neck Triblend Tee with Navy Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $29.99

Chicago White Sox Women’s Grey V-Neck Triblend Tee with Navy Batterman Logo by 5th & Ocean, Clark Street Sports: $29.99

Yes, I still write a lot about losing, but I don’t feel like the losing will drag on forever like it did last year.  Last year was hard to take and I could be proven wrong by the end of the year, but with the way this team is playing and fighting every game I just don’t think I will be wrong.  Well at least I hope I’ll be right!

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Alexei Ramirez wins the game

Alexei Ramirez wins the game

It’s still too early to have a definitive answer to the burning question:  how good will the White Sox be in 2014?  It being too early isn’t stopping this team and management from being downright giddy about the possibilities of this team and the difference in attitude and play from last year.

There have been a few games this season that players and manager, generic Robin Ventura believe that last year’s team would have lost, medicine but not this team…so far.  Even Paul Konerko has high praise for this team.  He believes that this team’s offense is better than the ’05 offense.

Okay, let’s slow down a minute the season is only a couple of weeks old and there are reasons to be concerned.  The offense has bailed out the poor bullpen but they won’t be able to out slug every team every night.  If pitching coach Don Cooper isn’t able to work his magic with his struggling pitchers and the offense isn’t able to make up for their mistakes will this team be as happy?  Only time will tell.

White Sox Celebrate The Win

White Sox Celebrate The Win

The Soxs’ 7-game home stand got off to a great start with the southsiders winning 3 out of 4 games against the Cleveland Indians; the same team that last year had a record of 17 wins and 2 losses against the Sox.  Shortstop Alexei Ramirez was the hero in Sunday’s game with a game winning homerun.  He definitely is off to a hot start and seems more at ease this season as he is hitting 420 and has a hit in each game so far this season.  The bad news is that Right fielder Avisail Garcia is out for the year after undergoing surgery for his torn left labrum.  He sustained the injury while diving to attempt a catch during Wednesday’s game.  Due to this injury Outfielder Dayan Viciedo will get an opportunity, will he take advantage of it like 2nd Baseman Marcus Semien who hit the go ahead home run on Sunday and has been patient at the plate and played good defense.  The heroics of the offense have been made necessary due to the struggling bullpen, which is last in the AL with a 6.93 ERA, 26 walks and teams batting 295 against them.

The Sox finish up the home stand against some old friends on the 2013 World Champions Boston Red Sox, Jake Peavy and  A.J. Pierzynski.  After snowing on Monday the weather will slowly improve this week, so get out to the games either for a date night or hanging with your girlfriends.  Eat good food, have a few drinks and watch a much improved baseball team.

Sox Notes

Streaks:  “Sexy Lexi” Alexei Ramirez has had a hit in every game, Conor Gillaspie in on a 10-game hitting streak, and Adam Eaton has gone the last five games with multi-hits

The Sox signed RHP Frank Francisco, 34 years old, with 73 career saves and 3.93 ERA who was immediately sent to Triple-A in Charlotte

All of MLB honored the legacy of Jackie Robinson on Tuesday, April 15th                  

K-Zone Section

K-Zone Section

Promotions:  April 16th-White Sox Calendar, April 17th-K-Zone Cards for the Chris Sale K-Zone in the stands

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Chicago White Sox's Youkilis reacts as he grounds out to Minnesota Twins second baseman Carroll during the fourth inning of their MLB baseball game at Target Field in Minneapolis

After the ChiSox bullpen blew the game in Kevin Youkilis’ big return back to Boston on Monday night, cialis the South Siders came through with a 7-5 win in Game 2 on Tuesday.    Clearly, cheap Youkilis is still a fan favorite in Boston as he has received standing ovations when taking the plate in his former ballpark, even as he leads an assault on his old team this series.  Youk has put up 4 hits in the last 2 games and crushed a 3-run homer in the 4th inning last night over the Green Monster (the unsightly green wall that encloses the outfield in Fenway) to lead the ChiSox to a 7-5 win. 

What You Need To Know:

  • ChiSox pitcher, Gavin Floyd was scheduled to start Tuesday’s game in Boston but was sent to the Disabled List and replaced by Philip Humber in Humber’s first return coming off the Disabled List.  After giving up 2 runs in a shaky first inning, Humber settled down and pitched 5 shutout innings. Humber earned his 4th win of the season. ChiSox closer, Addison Reed secured the game in the 9th inning, which brings his save total to 15 on the year!
  • After the Sox offense failed to show up on Monday, they were back in full force Tuesday, stacking up 7 runs on 11 hits. Kevin Youkilis’ 3-run homer in the 4th inning  highlighted the Sox offensive assault. Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and Alejandro De Aza all contributed 2 hits a piece for the win.

Ryan Dempster

  • The trade wind rumors continue to swirl around in Chicago. Reports are saying that the Sox are looking to beef up their pitching in order to make a run for the Playoffs and are taking a serious look at Milwaukee Brewer’s Zack Greinke and the Chicago Cubs’ own Ryan Dempster!  Either one would come at a big price, requiring the Sox to unload some of their best pitching prospects in Triple-A as well as possible current roster players.  The MLB Trade Deadline is July 31st so watch out for any possible moves this week and next.

Your Take Away Piece: “ChiSox GM, Kenny Williams is known for “getting his man”. Who will the Sox bring in? They will already be starting their 10th starting pitcher this season on Wednesday, Pedro Hernandez, who will be filling in for Gavin Floyd. But even with pitching “woes” this year, the Sox still find themselves in first place, 3.5 games ahead of Detroit.

What’s Next: The White Sox will be putting Pedro Hernandez to the mound against the BoSox’ Felix Doubront. Luckily for Chicago, the little luck that Doubront has found this season has been on the road while at home at Fenway his ERA is over 5.65!

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