Chris Sale

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.

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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.

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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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There are less than 90 days until the Bears kickoff the 2014 season and the Bulls still haven’t picked up that elusive star, viagra so baseball is still center stage in Chicago.  While the north siders’ struggle to build a new Wrigley and the rumors of a possible Jeff Samardzija trade steal the headlines, the south siders are quietly remaining in the playoff picture.  I think it’s time to shift the focus to the south side boys of summer.

The White Sox sit in 4th place at 32-33 only 3.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers.

Sale against Trout

Sale against Trout

Quick Review:  Here’s all you need to know about what happened last week…it was bad.  The Sox finished off their west coast trip by being swept by the LA Angels.  The series included Chris Sale blowing a 5-0 lead (with the help of an error) and Mike Trout hitting a grand slam off Sale.  Jose Abreu struggled on the trip but hopefully all he needed was to return to the Cell as he hit a two run home run to help the Sox win the first game of the series against the Tigers and move to within 3.5 games of first place.

News:  With the third pick in the draft the Sox picked LHP Carlos Rondon from North Carolina State.  Rondon was considered by some to be the best pitcher in the draft and there are thoughts that we may see him sooner rather than later in the big leagues.

LHP Carlos Rondon

LHP Carlos Rondon

What’s Next:  The Sox will finish their four game series versus the Tigers and then welcome in the Royals for three games starting June 13th.  They will finish the home stand with 2 games versus the Major League Leading San Francisco Giants starting June 17th.  The upcoming promotions are going to be fun so get out there, especially this weekend with nice weather on the way.  June 12-K-Zone cards, June 13-Mullet Night and fireworks, June 14-White Sox Cap and Father Daughter Day and June 14-Father’s Day

My Thoughts:  Every week I write about the surprising White Sox who have overcome injuries, a bad start by the bullpen and spotty defense to be right in the thick of things.  I guess at this point the surprise will be if they don’t remain in the playoff race for the remainder of the season.  The only thing that can stop them is a catastrophic injury to a major player.  With the American League being so unpredictable; there’s plenty of opportunity for the Sox to make a move and sneak into the playoffs.  So with many games remaining in the season all I can suggest is that we enjoy the ride wherever it may take us.

Two Keys To The Surprising Sox, Eaton and Ramirez

Two Keys To The Surprising Sox, Eaton and Ramirez

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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.

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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.

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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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Most Chicagoans will agree that it is a little early in the season for the Crosstown Series, thumb but many of us will still attempt to watch two less than stellar teams battle it out for the sake of their fans.  It’s Sox vs Cubs, here South side vs North side, ’05 Champs vs Loveable Losers, etc. and our let’s be honest, the annual Chicago subway series isn’t what it used to be.

Gone are the days of punching A.J., Ozzie talking about rats and Carlos Zambrano threatening to hit anyone and everyone.  Now the teams are counting on their young stars to bring the excitement back to the series.  In a very classy move the Chicago Cubs honored Paul Konerko before playing his final game at Wrigley Field.  If there’s one thing Sox and Cubs fans can agree on is that Paulie has been great for Chicago baseball.

Konerko honored at Wrigley Field

Konerko honored at Wrigley Field

The Sox (17-17) are in 2nd place, five games behind the Detroit Tigers.  They can continue to chip away in the division this weekend against sub-500 teams..

Quick Week In Review:  The south siders swept the 2-game series at Wrigley.  Winning game one in 12 innings after great pitching performances by Jose Quintana and Jeff Samardzia along with Marcus Semien driving in the winning run with a double in the 12th.  The star of game two was Gordon Beckham who had 4 hits including a home run in the 8th.  The series will shift to US Cellular and the fellas will go for four straight against the Cubbies.

Earlier last week, the Sox avoided being swept and snapped a 4-game losing streak against the Cleveland Indians thanks to a 9th inning Dayan Viciedo 3-run home run.  The series also featured Jose Abreu’s 12th home run and a nice defensive play by him.  He couldn’t get the ball out of his glove, so he threw it to Scott Carroll to get the out.  They were swept in the quick two game series against the Detroit Tigers.  This series had great pitching from Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer as well as a 9th inning RBI bunt.  Over this stretch of games the bullpen has greatly improved, which is a good sign for the team.

News:  Jose Abreu won American League Rookie and Player of the Month honors and is leading the major league in home runs with 12.  Cubs pitchers are very impressed with Jose Abreu; in fact Edwin Jackson repeatedly mentioned that he is a big dude.  Adam Eaton was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring.  There is still no timetable set for Chris Sale to return, but he felt good after throwing recently.  Conor Gillaspie could return Wednesday after hitting a home run during his rehab stint.  Pitcher Nate Jones was moved to the 60 day DL and will have surgery to remove lower back herniated disc material.

AL Rookie and Player of the Month, Jose Abreu

AL Rookie and Player of the Month, Jose Abreu

What’s Next:  The Cubs head over to the Cell for a 2-game series on May 7 & 8th.  Arizona Diamondbacks will come to town May 9-11th.  Promotions:  May 9th-Miller de Mayo and Fireworks, May 10th-Pink Out Night, Pink White Sox Scarf, Mother-Son Night and Fireworks, May 11th-Mother’s Day, Family Sunday

My Thoughts:  This crosstown series has lost its fire.  There aren’t any characters on either side of town.  The closest to a character would have been Adam Eaton but he is on the DL.  The managers and players are nice and complimentary, so no one will be punched or have a ball thrown at him.  Yes, all of that is a reason for the lack of interest in the classic, but in my opinion the problem is that the teams just aren’t good enough to get the fans fired up.  Sure you want bragging rights but so what if at the end of the year both teams have lost 90+ games.  This series should never mean as much as a series against the Tigers or Twins, but it should provide entertainment and a chance for fans to watch good baseball.  So, until each side of town has a product worthy of the series in the past they will remain ho-hum and played in May!

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