dayan viciedo

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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With the NBA Finals now finished, medicine all eyes are now on baseball. This is the time of year when many people simply tune-out and wait for the Bears preseason to begin (only 80 days remain until the start of the 2014 NFL season).

The Chicago White Sox can’t make up their mind whether to contend or not.  At times they look like a playoff contending team, sovaldi but two games later they look like the same old losers from last season. As I say every week, there’s plenty of time in the season to make a push if they play like they did in the lastTigers series, but if the bad defensive and offensive team that played the Royals shows up time will run out steam and quickly.

The Sox are a three games under .500 at 34-37 and 4.5 games out of first place behind the surprising Kansas City Royals.

Adam Eaton Triple

Adam Eaton Triple

Quick Review:  John Danks continues to put together a nice bounce back season beating the team with the best winning percentage in the league, the San Francisco Giants 8-2. The south siders were swept by the Kansas City Royals and outscored 22-6 in the three games.  The Royals used big innings to win the games and were helped by poor defense and the pitcher’s inability to get out of the inning.  The Sox took two out of three games from the first place Detroit Tigers.  The offense was able to get to the very beatable Justin Verlander, but they weren’t able to solve the Tigers’ Ace Max Scherzer.

News:  The White Sox have been swept twice in their last three series.  While Adam Eaton has been hot others like Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo have been struggling at the plate.  There were 32 White Sox runners left on base during the Royals series.

Old  friend Buehrle's perfect game

Old friend Buehrle’s perfect game

What’s Next:  The Sox finish up the brief Giants series this afternoon.  Next, the south siders hit the road for 11 games featuring the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and they’ll see their old friend Mark Buehrle and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Special Events:  While the Sox are out of town they will host two great events for you and your family on June 21st.  Family Field Day provides families a chance to play catch in the outfield, warm-up in the bullpen, visit the dugouts and take photos around the field.  Tickets are $30 for adults and $12 for kids.  Visit Whitesox.com to purchase tickets.  You can also get in some shopping if you prefer that over the field day.  The White Sox Garage Sale is free and doesn’t require a Field Day ticket to enter.  From 9am-2pm you can purchase game-used equipment, game-worn jerseys, autographed memorabilia and collectibles.  For more information go to Whitesox.com.  Proceeds from both events will benefit White Sox Charities, so go out and have a good time while supporting a great cause.

Family Field Day

Family Field Day

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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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R. Ventura
Source:  ChicagoTribune.com

“You just want to go home,” said manager Robin Ventura after last night’s 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays.  Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

This road trip could not have ended soon enough.  After taking only 3 wins during a 7 game road trip (which is sad…) the White Sox players need to come home and recharge their batteries.   When did the tires fall off this caravan?  Here are a few “non-highlights” from the road trip:

  • Adam Dunn when 1 for 33 – ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  Talk about an early slump that fans are all too familiar with from Dunn. This rough start will certainly put a dent in your projections for 2013. 
  • Dayan Viciedo has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after he injured a left oblique in the eighth inning of last night’s 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays.   He will be meeting with the trainers on Friday though he doesn’t believe the injury is severe enough to place him on the DL.  His injury is the latest blow to the Sox, after losing second baseman Gordon Beckham for about six weeks because of a left hamate bone fracture suffered April 9.

Looking ahead, the Sox are welcoming the Minnesota Twins tonight for a three game series to opening their ten game homestand. Here are the nuts and bolts to the series.

What you Need to Know

  • The Twins are 6-7, 3rd in the American League Central Division
  •  The Sox are 7-9 and are in 4th in the ALCD.
  • The Sox are 4-2 at Home, while the Twins are 2-4 on the road.

Minnesota Twins – What to Watch

The Twins have been rained out two of their past four games, which have thrown their pitching rotation off.  “It’s never really good to have that many off days, especially when you bang a game this time – you’re going to play a lot of games in a row later,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Somewhere you’re going to pay. But you can’t fight this weather. It is what it is. But you’ll be playing in better weather, which is a good thing. But the pitching gets a little out of whack here.”

The Twins are ranked last in the league in strike outs for their pitching staff; let’s hope this stat continues while they’re in town!

The Twins are second to last in allowing home runs off their pitchers, which means the White Sox need to rely less on the long ball while at home this weekend.

Twins to Watch: 

#5 SS, Eduardo Escobar – Former White Sox prospect, batting an impressive .412 average

E. Escobar
Source: TwinCities.com

#7 C, Joe Mauer – From 22 at-bats, batting a .386 average with 2 home runs and 7 RBIs

J. Mauer
Source: SportsIllustrated.com

#33 First Baseman, Justin Morneau – Batting a .288 average with 15 hits on the season

J. Morneau
Source: SportsIllustrated.com

Series Schedule

Friday night at 7:10 PM CSN+ Fan Promotion: White Sox Drawstring Bag

Saturday afternoon at 2:05 PM on FOX Fan Promotion: White Sox Puzzle Cube

Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM on WGN Fan Promotion: Family Sunday – 1983 stars Jerry Dybzinski and Mike Squires will be signing kids autographs as part of Family Sunday festivities.

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P. Konerko from wgntv.com

The 2013 MLB season is only one week in and the White Sox are already finding their rhythm with an excellent homestand to start off the season.  The Sox are 4-2 and won their first two series of the year against the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners.  The Sox are currently tied for first place in the AL Central division with the Minnesota Twins, order who will be facing the Sox in Chicago in two weeks.

There were many notable moments from the Sox Opening week. Below are a few of the highlights to share around the water cooler on Monday morning, or better yet, to use when sparring with Cubs fans.

Opening Day on the Southside

Opening day at The Cell brought anticipation, a clean slate for the fans and players alike,  and thousands of Sox fans with standing room only capacity at Sox Park – (in the words of the Hawk, “Don’t stop now, boys!).  Even with the unseasonable temperatures, the Sox pulled off a 1-0 win with Tyler Flowers’ homer un to show off his long-ball and to hush the naysayers of his new, full time catching position.

T. Flowers from AP Photo

Home Runs Galore!

Although Sox Park has always been know as a hitter-friendly field, the extra windy conditions allowed for many long balls to sail straight out of the park this week.  The Sox alone hit 11 home runs in 6 games, including 3 by Alex Rios.

A. Rios from The Huffington Post

 

Pitching is Spot On

As a fan, I’m not expecting prefect pitching every game, but after seeing how the rotation preformed this week, I am pleasantly surprised. Knowing the pitching rotation was still up in the air a week ago, I feel the starters, relievers and closers looked great.  Note: there is still chatter about Dylan Axelrod only being part of the pitching rotation until John Danks comes back from the DL, but the Sox front office are now unsure as to when Danks will return.  In Axelrod’s regular season debut he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a Sox 4-3 win over the Mariners.

D. Axelrod from ESPN.com

 

Extra Innings

Although the Sox lost on Friday night to the Seattle Mariners in the 10th inning, the Sox found redemption in the last game of the series with a 4-3 10th inning win on Sunday from Dayan Viciedo’s walk-off home run.

ESPNChicago.com writer Doug Padilla sums up this opening week well, “What it means: If the White Sox showed anything in the opening series it’s that pitching and home run hitting can get it done for stretches. “

Looking Forward

I don’t want to get too deep into comparisons….but…according to my White Sox insider, the last time the White Sox started 2-0 was in 2005, the same year a new Pope was elected and it was the 2nd season for then-manager Ozzie Guillen, as it is now for manager Robin Ventura.  Coincidence? I sure hope not!

In 2013, Major League Baseball decided to intermingle interleague play throughout the season.  The Sox open their next series on Tuesday night against the NL Washington Nationals.

A few players to keep an eye on from the Nationals are former White Sox pitching prospect Gio Gonzales, who’ll be pitching against Jake Peavy on Tuesday, and CF Bryce Harper who already has three home runs on the season with a batting average of .360.   Thank God starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg is not in the rotation while the Sox are in town, with his MLB lifetime 22-11 record and a 3.00 ERA.

One person I would not be surprised to pop his head into the park would be President Obama, who we know loves his White Sox.

Pres. Obama from NBCSports.com

 

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klub

After maintaining the lead of the AL Central for more than half the summer, try the White Sox now find themselves dead even atop the Division with the Detroit Tigers. The Sox dropped a Tuesday matinee game at the Cell to the visiting Cleveland Indians 4-3. The Sox couldn’t keep up with Indian’s pitcher Corey Kluber who only allowed 2 runs over 7 innings. The game’s turning point? A close call at the back end of a double play seemed to be their undoing in the 4th inning as the Tribe added 3 runs to their 1-0 lead and never looked back.

What You Need To Know:

  • The Sox had the long ball going for them as AJ Pierzynski, Dayan Viciedo and Paul Konerko all hit home runs. The problem? There was no one else on base! Adam Dunn followed up Mondays homer fest with a sad 3 strikeout effort. He now has 210 K’s this season only 13 short of the record!

Francisco Liriano

  • Francisco Liriano gave up all 4 runs in the game leading to his 12th loss of the season. Liriano never even made it out of the 4th inning. The bullpen, however, kept their stellar performances going as Brian Omogrosso, Jose Quintana and Nate Jones didn’t allow a run for their combined 5+ innings.

 Push For the Playoffs:

The Detroit Tigers have clawed their way to the top of the division yet again! They took their game against the Royals by a score of 2-0. Anibal Sanchez was lights out as he pitched a 3-hit shutout while Prince Fielder and Delmon Young supplied the offense. The Sox have 8 games remaining this season and will have to face better opponents than Detroit. Post-season peril?

Your Take Away Piece:

“This is the 4th or 5th time the Tigers have rose to meet the Sox atop the division and each time we have seen them fall back down a few games later. With the Sox current struggles, I’m not sure if they can count on Detroit being their own worst enemy anymore. I bought my first round playoff tickets at the Cell and I’ll be DAMNED if the Tigers take them away from me!”

What’s Next:

The rubber game between the Sox and Indians takes place tonight at 7:10PM on WCIU. Could this be the last day the Sox are in first place? Only time will tell. The Sox have to count on Hector Santiago who is new to the starting rotation after Jose Quintana was ushered to the pen. Don’t Miss This Game!

 

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