John Danks

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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It’s a very busy time in the Chicago sports scene.  The Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls are battling in the first round of the playoffs, medical Bulls MVP Joakim Noah won the Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Chicago Bears returned to Halas Hall for voluntary workouts. With the Bulls and the Blackhawks both beginning their playoff runs, physician many fans aren’t particularly focused on baseball. However, cialis the Sox continue playing decent ball during a time of the season that they have historically fallen behind early.

Current standings: 10-11 (.476) two games behind Detroit in AL Central.

Injuries: There were more injuries to hit the team in the last week.  The injury that is causing most fans to worry is the flexor muscle strain the will keep Pitcher Chris Sale on the disabled list for 15 days.  Pitcher Charlie Leesman was called up from Triple A to replace him.  The team was relieved to find out that there was no structural damage to his UCL and he should be able to return when his DL stint ends the first week of May.

Sale was placed on the disabled list after his 127 pitch performance against the Boston Red Sox, which of course left Manager Robin Ventura open for criticism.  Some believe a game in April is too early in the season to allow a pitcher as valuable as Sale to go that long.  Others wonder will his delivery be a reason he has chronic issues.  Chris Sale and the White Sox are very confident that this is a non-issue and he will return when ready and there is no concern that this will be a lingering problem.  So, until proven otherwise all we can do is trust they all know what they’re doing and they will not jeopardize the career of their franchise.

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

Adam Eaton has to take a few days off to rest a strained hamstring.  Conor Gillaspie will sit to rest his injured hand.  Pitcher Felipe Paulino landed on the disabled list after a terrible outing; he is being replaced by Pitcher Andre Rienzo who was called up from Triple A.

News: Last week the White Sox went 2-4 against the Red Sox and Texas Rangers and won the first game of the series against the Detroit Tigers.  Chris Sale struck out 10 and allowed 1 hit to the Boston Red Sox in the only win of the series.  The south siders had an offensive explosion scoring 16 times to salvage the final game of the series against the Texas Rangers.  In the blowout game First Baseman Jose Abreu and Centerfielder Jordan Danks each hit 2-run home runs.  It seems like Abreu is coming out of his mini slump learning to readjust to the adjustments the pitchers made against him.  Pitcher John Danks continues to pitch well holding the Detroit Tigers to 1 run in the win.

Fireworks Night on April 25th

Fireworks Night on April 25th

Looking for something to do this weekend?  The men in black return to The Cell this Friday to begin a 4-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays.  The weather is supposed to be a little cool, but nice on Friday for the fireworks and some will receive a reusable tote.  This early in the season  great tickets are always available for some of the lowest prices you’ll see all season.  Find the best deals on seats HERE

My thoughts: By all accounts Paul Konerko is fine with his part-time role as he is the ultimate professional and team player, so you’ll never hear anything different.  I don’t know about you but I envisioned this farewell tour going a little differently.  He only has 19 at bats, 0 home runs and is hitting 105. Shouldn’t he get in the games more?  I know for Adam Dunn hitting 250 is like another player hitting 300 and he has 4 home runs, but I still can’t help thinking why can’t Paulie DH more.  Even with his terrible average it is early enough in the season to turn it around and make an impact offensively.  Sure he’s great on the bench and helps guide these young players, but this is the captain not some rookie who needs to earn his place.  Maybe Dunn is in there more to showcase him for a possible trade this summer, maybe Konerko really is fine with his extremely limited role.  I don’t know what it is, but I know I don’t like it.

 

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Pink's Pulse

Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, diagnosis I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, no rx cocktail parties, clinic board rooms, and well, just knowing your week in sports.

HOT

  • Urlacher calls it quits: The big news of the NFL world this week was that former
    Brian Urlacher retires

    From Suntimes.com

    Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is retiring. His retirement comes after the Bears gave him the  ultimatum in March: a $2 million/1-year deal or nothing. Urlacher walked away to find…absolutely nothing. I think he realized that no team is in the market for an old linebacker so Urlacher did the right thing and retired. The Bears will truly miss him. What’s next for the veteran? Urlacher is considering a career in television…although I don’t know how good he will be at it.

  • The Detroit Red Wings: Well, let’s just say as Chicago Blackhawk fan, last night was ugly. I hate to say it, but the Red Wings are playoff hot. They’ve won five out of their last six games and now looking to close out the one-seed Blackhawks. What makes playoff series, in any sport, interesting are those teams that are hot. Look at how the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a few years back, or even how the Detroit Tigers got to the World Series last year. The Wings definitely have momentum on their side right now and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the Blackhawks as their historic season is very close to coming to an end way too soon.
  • Danks’ return to the South Side: It’s been more than one year since John Danks
    John Danks returns

    From DMZsports.com

    has pitched for the Chicago White Sox. The left-hander will make his debut on Friday against the Miami Marlins. Danks had surgery on his left shoulder to repair his rotator cuff and bicep. He told reporters than he’s putting the same amount of pressure on himself just as he did before he got injured. I’m looking forward to seeing Danks comes back, and let’s hope he surges the White Sox out of the bottom of the Central Division.

COLD

  • Sergio Garcia racist remarks towards Tiger: I find it rare these days that athletes are vocal about racism…until this week. Professional golfer Sergio Garcia was on stage at the European Tour Player of the Year awards when the American host started to talk about next month’s US Open at Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. The host asked Garcia is he was going to invite Tiger Woods to dinner and Garcia replied, “We’ll have him round every night…and serving him fried chicken.” Uhhh, yikes. Talk about a racist public relations crap storm. Garcia apologized, but something tells me Woods won’t be attending dinner next month with Garcia, as this relationship was already heated prior to Sergio’s careless remarks.  
  • Cleveland Cavaliers get No. 1 pick in NBA draft: Unlike the NFL, the NBA has a lottery for their top picks in the draft. The teams with the worst records from the previous years have the best odds to get the top pick. And with the third best odds, the Cleveland Cavaliers will get the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
  • Castroneves “would give up sex for a year” to win Indy again: You’d think winning the Indy 500 three times would be enough for one lifetime. For IndyCar driver Helio Helio CastronevesCastroneves, it’s still not. In an interview with “Stoney and Bill” on 97.1 The Ticket, the handsome IndyCar driver revealed that he would give up sex for one year to win another Indy 500. Doesn’t this sound either a little desperate or just straight up weird? This guy has already won the Indy 500 three times and yet he would STILL give up sex to have another? I would ask him, “Why only one year?”  If it’s that important to him, I can’t imagine him putting a limit on something like that. Although, if I was his wife, I would make sure he keeps his mouth shut.
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Chris Sale

While most people will be hunting for Easter eggs and red-lining brackets on Sunday, online this baseball-lovin’ gal will be getting ready for the 2013 MLB regular season to commence.

The first MLB game of the year will be on Sunday night, March 31st at 7:05pm CT when the Rangers visit the Astros for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. In Chicago, however, opening day baseball starts on April 1st with the White Sox home opener at 3:05pm CT against the Kansas City Royals, (got your tickets??)

Before the regular season gets underway, let’s take a look at Part Two of our series introducing you to the 2013 White Sox roster and examine the pitching staff.

The White Sox have long been a team that that finds success when their pitching staff is running like clockwork. This year, the White Sox pitching staff is jam-packed with veteran players as well as a few newcomers to the organization, and, although it is ever-changes, this is how the starting pitching rotation is shaping up.

Starting rotation Preview via ESPN

1. Chris Sale
2. Jake Peavy
3. Gavin Floyd
4. Jose Quintana
5. Dylan Alexrod

DL: John Danks, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on 3/26, and isn’t eligible to pitch until the 2nd week of the season

Others:  Hector Santiago

Bullpen: Addison Reed (closer), Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Nate Jones, Donald Veal

#39, Starting Pitcher, LH – Chris Sale

Drafted by the White Sox in 2010, Chris Sale has been a huge asset to the club, ending the 2012 season with 192 strikeouts, and 3.05 ERA over 192 innings.  In March, Sale signed a five-year, $32 million dollar contract and earned the opening day nod against the Kansas City Royals.  But the MOST interesting gossip this week around Sale is his alma mater, Florida Golf Coast University, making it to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Sweet 16!  Yahoo! Sports wrote an article about Sale being the most famous athlete from FGCU.

#44, Starting Pitcher, RH – Jake Peavy

Jake Peavy has been a veteran leader around the clubhouse for the past few seasons and fans know what to expect when they see Peavy is starting the game – quality and consistency.  According to ESPN.com, “For the first time since 2007, Peavy topped the 200-inning plateau [during the 2012 season], in fact Peavy has not missed a start since June 2011.”

Spring training has proven to be very fruitful for Peavy, who was recently interviewed by the Daily Herald: “It was fun to go out in front of the crowd,” Peavy said after pitching 5 innings against Los Angeles and allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. “It just didn’t work out the other days and we got our work in elsewhere. But I feel ready to go.”  Look to follow him on Twitter this season @JakePeavy_44

#50, Starting Pitcher, LH – John Danks  (DL)

The 2012 season was a tough one for John Danks.  He started just nine games and recorded only 30 strikeouts while posting a 5.70 ERA, the worst ERA of his career.  According to ESPN.com, “Shoulder problems ruined Danks’ 2012, eventually resulting in August surgery to repair a capsule tear and remove debris in his rotator cuff and biceps.

While that at least explains last year’s dip in velocity (his fastball averaged 1.4 mph slower than it did in 2011) and diminished command (he struck out only 1.30 batters per walk) it also puts his immediate future in question. The White Sox say that Danks has hit all rehabilitation goals as the spring dawned, but his spring training will rank among the most critical to watch of any pitcher.”

Danks, who finishes his Spring Training on the DL, could give the rotation a much-needed boost…if he can return to form.  Last year, John’s younger brother Jordan Danks made his MLB debut with the White Sox and is hoping to have a regular season roster spot this year as an outfielder

#34, Starting Pitcher, RH – Gavin Floyd

Gavin Floyd came to the White Sox in December of 2006 when he and current Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez were traded from the Philadelphia Phillies for “Sweaty” Freddy Garcia.

In 2012, Floyd had 144 Strike Outs and a 4.29 ERA in 168 innings pitched. As ESPN reports, “for the first time in his career, Floyd spent time on the disabled list, making two visits. Both stints were elbow issues and both were short so he should be fine heading into 2013.”  But is there a shakeup in the making?

According to an MLB Daily Dish report,  “while (many) believe the Chicago White Sox could consider trading right-hander Gavin Floyd closer to the summer trade deadline, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago doesn’t get the sense that the starting pitching will be moved before then. Floyd is entering the final season of the five-year, $25 million contract he signed with the White Sox in 2009. The 30-year-old is set to earn $9.5 million in 2013.” Could this be why other starting pitchers are being talked about for the 2013 rotation?

#62, Starting Pitcher, LH – Jose Quintana

A minor league free agent, Quintana signed with the Chicago White Sox during the 2011-12 offseason.  During his time with the Sox, he has been up and down from the minor leagues a few times and hopes to stay on the 25-man roster this season.  According to ESPNChicago.com, “After a breakthrough rookie season in 2012 when Quintana went 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA over 22 starts (25 total outings), the White Sox are anxious to see the Colombia native continue with his growth.

‘He’s a different kid this year in spring training than he was last year, just because of the year he had,’ manager Robin Ventura said earlier this spring. ‘I think (there is) maturity that comes with that. He comes in, confidence-wise, different than maybe last year when he first came up. His maturity level is much higher.’”

#33, Starting Pitcher, RH – Dylan Alexrod

Dylan Alexrod has been waiting a long time for a chance at the starting rotation.  Fun fact about Alexrod: after being drafted and cut by the San Diego Padres, he pitched for the Windy City ThunderBolts, a professional baseball team based in Crestwood, Illinois.  It was during his time there, when after he had a 2.21 ERA in 22 games with 6 saves, he drew attention of the Sox, signing a deal on August 2, 2009.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “John Danks reinforced Sunday that he will need much more time to regain strength in his surgically repaired left shoulder, and Dylan Axelrod showed signs that he’s preparing for more than just a one-start stint in Danks’ place.  With Danks admittedly trying to regain his low-90s fastball, Axelrod worked more on specifics than results in a minor league game Sunday in an apparent sign that he has all but secured Danks’ spot as the White Sox’s fifth starter.”

The starting rotation hasn’t been set in stone yet, and I don’t think it will be this entire season.  It’s just another thing for us Sox fans to keep an eye on while picking out fantasy baseball teams and root, root, rooting for our beloved South Siders.  My third and final piece of our Opening Day Roundup will focus on the White Sox’ 25 man roster position players.

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Chris Sale

Fresh off hosting Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, sovaldi the Kansas City Royal’s welcomed the first place White Sox this weekend with the South Siders taking two out of three games and winning their first series of the second half of the season. All-Star Chris Sale had his stellar pitching skills on display allowing only one run over eight innings on Sunday. Chris Sale now leads MLB with the lowest ERA and the Sox remain in first place in the AL Central with a 3.5 game lead over the 2nd place Detroit Tigers. 

What You Need To Know:

  • Chris Sale picked up where he left off after having a fantastic first half of the season. Sale struck out 4 and earned his 10th win of the year. Sale lowered his ERA to an incredible 2.11 – the best in the American League.
  • Adam Dunn cranked his 28th home run which proved to be the difference in today’s game.   The solo shot put him in sole possession of first place for homers hit this season in all of MLB!  At his current pace, Dunn could have his first season with over 50 home runs.
  • Sox closer, Addison Reed nailed down his 13th save by tallying the final 3 outs to secure Sunday’s victory. This comes only two days after he blew a one run lead against the Royals in the 12th inning of the Sox’ marathon win on Friday night.

  • Gavin Floyd will be missing Monday’s start against the Boston Red Sox due to tendinitis in his elbow and forearm. This is just another injury bug that has been plaguing the White Sox pitchers this season. Other injured pitcher, John Danks has no expected return date since he was sidelined in mid May by injury.

 

Your Take Away Piece:  “While Chris Sale remains on fire, the starting pitching rotation has been called into question. With John Danks and Gavin Floyd both on the disabled list, the load will need to be carried by Sale, Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy. Even though he is an All-Star, Peavy has had durability issues in the past. This season he has already pitched more innings than all of last year. The Sox may need to direct their attention to a certain pitcher on the north side of town (the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster) with the trade deadline approaching.”

What’s Next: The Sox are taking their winning ways to Boston to take on a struggling Red Sox team. This will be a homecoming for the the newly acquired Kevin Youkilis. Youk played 8 years as a member of the Red Sox which included 2 World Series titles. Dylan Axelrod will take the bump against Aaron Cook in the first of this 4 game set on Monday.

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