Category: Chicago White Sox (Page 2 of 2)

So Long Edwin and Mark…

The trade deadline is coming up rather quickly this year (Sunday at 9PM). I thought that we might slip through without any major moves this year, especially with the payroll being so high, but I got home from work today to the news that we traded Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to Toronto, in return for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart. I’m still not 100% sure about the move. Jackson and Teahen were never my favourite players on the team, but they have been pretty good (despite the injuries to Teahen), and I’ll need to have a look at some stats before I make a decision about Frasor and Stewart. It will be nice to have Frasor as another arm in the bullpen to help out Jesse Crain, and it also looks like Stewart will make it to the big league club at some point this year.

The best news today was that we brought up  Alejandro De Aza from Charlotte. First at bat, 2 run homer! Not a bad first impression. We seem to be going in the right direction after the All Star break, and catching up quickly to the top of the division – I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do…

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600 Homers or 3000 Hits?

Last night, The MLB Fan Cave posed the following question on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/MLBFanCave/status/93080982881697792

(More impressive milestone: 3,000 hits or 600 home runs?).

First of all, both milestones are pretty damn impressive. You have to be at the top of your game to be able to notch up that many of either. To answer the question as it is posed, I would have to go for 600 home runs. There’s something about the home run that is inherently exciting to watch. It’s also pretty much impossible to get a bloop home run whereas bloop singles happen all the time (no disrespect of course).

Now we all know that the question in this instance is really Jim Thome vs Derek Jeter.

First of all, I have massive respect for both guys. As far as we can all tell, they’ve played the game the right way. Getting these records without resorting to steroids (especially during that era) is something that has to be commended. I’ve also heard nothing but good things about the attitude of these players, both on and off the field. Both seem like genuinely nice guys, who have a great passion for the game.

Obviously Derek Jeter is Mr Yankee, and Jim Thome has played for 5 teams (Indians, Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and Twins). I think this gives Jeter a bit of an advantage in getting to his milestone, in that he hasn’t had to adjust to new teams and new ballparks.

Another advantage that Jeter has is regular playing time. He’s not that much younger than Thome (which surprised me when I looked it up – 37 to Thome’s 40), but he is still playing regularly at shortstop, and doesn’t show much sign of slowing down yet. Thome is now exclusively a DH, and has been hampered by injuries the last couple of years which have prevented him from getting regular playing time.

Despite all this, I would still pick Thome over Jeter every time. Even throwing out the anti-Yankee bias, I have had a soft spot for Thome since he started playing for the White Sox (a couple of years after I started watching baseball). He’s a genuine good guy, doing a lot of charity work with his wife. Even other MLB players agree – in 2007 he was voted the second friendliest player in MLB, tied with Mike Sweeney.

Thome is currently at 596 career home runs, and I will be watching very closely for him hitting the 600th. He deserves to get that milestone, and I would hope that he is a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame 5 years after he retires.

Let me know if you agree…

Chris Sale

1. I love Chris Sale.

2. This picture on FanFeedr of Chris Sale pitching in the fog against the Indians (taken by Jonathan Daniel) is awesome.

3. That’s all.

cs

That’s gonna leave a mark…

My favourite baseball player Gordon Beckham got hit in the face last night by a relay throw in the game against the Blue Jays.

gordon-beckham

It looked really painful – the last I heard, his eye was working but he was going to hospital to check for fractures. Let’s hope he’s okay and he’ll be able to get back soon!

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http://twitter.com/#!/CSNChi_Beatnik/status/74306181874712576

Caption Competition

A baseball themed caption competition today with a couple of amusing pictures I saw when browsing around FanFeedr. Prizes for the best caption for each picture *

*(Not really)

Decade of the Pitcher?

Congratulations to Justin Verlander on his no-hitter tonight, a fantastic game! I tuned in during the eighth inning, when he was still on track for a perfect game. That was broken up by a walk, but a no-hitter is a fantastic achievement! The excitement in the ballpark was amazing, but I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like for the players. I’m sure Verlander was about 50/50 excitement and nervousness. I’m equally sure he’s enjoying the celebrations now!

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I was watching the Brewers/Cardinals game tonight. Yovani Gallardo was coming close to a no-hitter too, but not quite close enough. He gave up a hit in the 8th, and by that time, his pitch count was getting quite high, so there was not much chance of him coming out for the complete game either.

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It’s been a week of strong pitching performances, and the trend in general seems to be leaning away from power hitting and back towards the pitcher. First of all there was Liriano’s no-hitter. I don’t really want to dwell on that because it was against my White Sox, so we’ll move on quickly. There was also Cliff Lee’s game with 16 strike outs. Unfortunately, he still took the loss in that game, which just goes to show that no matter how good you are as a pitcher, you need the offense behind you to back you up (just ask Danks, Buerhle, Floyd, Jackson or Humber).

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I much prefer to watch a good pitchers duel rather than seeing home run after home run. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fireworks, but I prefer the continuing anticipation of a good pitching battle than the momentary excitement of a big hit.

Saying that, the story of Andre Ethier’s hitting streak is keeping my interest. Currently at 30 games, he is only one game away from tying the Dodgers record, and more than half way to Joe DiMaggio. Still a long way to go though!

The White Sox are on a west coast trip at the moment, meaning they don’t play until 2am UK time, so I won’t get to watch the game. I’ll just leave this out there: wouldn’t it be nice for Floyd to get the second no-hitter of the night?

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Scratch that – I’d just like the Sox to win, please. Pretty please?

Lillibrilliant?!

I gave up on posting game recaps when the White Sox gave up on winning, but I had to write a post about Brent Lillibridge in last night’s game against the Yankees.

Last night’s game didn’t start until midnight UK time, so I only made it until the 5th inning before I fell asleep, but I saw the highlights (and the tweets) this morning. Brent Lillibridge made two amazing catches last night in the bottom of the ninth, to save the game and get Gavin Floyd the win.

The first one was fantastic, but the second one was unbelievable. Three things I have to mention:

  1. Hawk Harrelson gets really excited. People don’t like him but he’s one of the best play-by-play guys I’ve heard.
  2. Lillibridge’s face as he made the first catch was awesome. I don’t think he expected to catch it.
  3. Derek Jeter came past home plate (obviously expecting he would score and win the game) and just mouthed ‘Wow’ to the home plate umpire. High praise indeed.

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If you want to watch, check out the video on the MLB site:

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14199297&topic_id=8878818&c_id=cws

His postgame tweet was brilliantly understated – I would have been celebrating way more.

http://twitter.com/#!/BSLillibridge/status/63083850313646080

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Okay, now you have finished singing Christmas songs in your head (!), I don’t mean Christmas, I mean Opening Day, and how brilliant was it?!

I have to admit I was pretty nervous about whether there would even be baseball at Progressive Field, with all the snow in Cleveland. There was still 8-10 inches of snow on the field the day before ,but the grounds crew did a wonderful job of getting it cleared and ready for the game.

The game time temperature was a chilly 6 degrees, which can’t have been much fun, especially for Mark Buehrle trying to keep his arm warm while the team were bashing out runs left, right and centre!

The first half of the game was great for the White Sox, runs after runs. I was pleased that Adam Dunn did well, including a two run homer. There have been a lot of people saying that it was a mistake to trade for him, but I think he is going to prove his worth. He hasn’t historically had a good record against Fausto, but then again, he hasn’t been in the American League before either.

I was a bit disappointed with out bullpen though. We went from 14-0 to 15-10 in the last four innings. I was most disappointed with Will Ohman, he just looked like he was struggling. Jesse Crain gave up a run, but he looked like he had the passion last night, which is just what we needed to close out a great opening day.

I did like that Ozzie switched out a few position players half way through the game too. It was nice for the guys to get a taste of the opening day excitement. I hope it doesn’t happen all the time though, because I like having Gordon at second and Carlos in right.

I think my greatest investment this year will be the MLB.tv that I bought for myself for Christmas. I’ve always only been able to watch a few White Sox games a year, but now I can watch every single one! If I miss a game, I can even watch it the next day, which has never been possible on my iPhone or iPad before. The only thing that annoyed me last night was that my dad was watching the Indians feed at the other side of the room, and his was about 4 pitches ahead of mine, so I could see his reactions before anything happened. If that carries on throughout the season, I may have to stop watching in the living room!

 

The award for best spring training tweet goes to…

Jim Margalus. Ozzie and Kenny decided to take both guys rather than some freaky mash-up, but it really made me laugh!

http://twitter.com/#!/JimMargalus/status/51476034423488512

Rocket Fuel for Breakfast?!

I don’t know what the White Sox had for breakfast yesterday but it must have been bloody good! 18-1 over the Athletics. Now I get that they aren’t the best team in baseball and it is still spring training, but that was pretty awesome!

I was watching the game on Gameday on my iPhone because it wasn’t available as a free spring training game, but I couldn’t stop watching. The 4th inning had to be the best, I think any time one guy bats twice in one inning, you know you’re having a good game!

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I was most pleased last night with Carlos Quentin. Now I don’t claim to be a baseball expert (or anything close), but I was starting to get a bit worried about Carlos this spring training, and he really picked himself up yesterday, leading the team with 4 hits.

11carlos

Also Gordon Beckham. He is my favourite player so I may be a bit biased, but he seems to be having a really good spring. I’m hoping he can get over last year and return back to his rookie of the year form.

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We are playing the Athletics tonight, so let’s hope we can carry on the good form and have a stonking game again tonight!

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