White Sox pitcher John Danks (he’s been on the DL since May of 2012 with a sore shoulder) popped the question to long time girlfriend Pistol Annies singer Ashley Monroe over the weekend! Who knew major leaguers could be so romantic? I guess it’s not just sunflower seeds and chewing tobacco all the time! Check it out…
Bring out the big guns this weekend boys! After a disappointing series in Baltimore, the White Sox have headed to Motown to take on their ferocious conference rival Detroit Tigers. This series is crucial as the Tigers trail the AL-Central leading White Sox by three games and are vying for the conference crown this season.
Both the White Sox and Tigers are coming off losing series, so we’ll call it a wash. The Tigers haven’t been playing their best ball lately – they were swept in three games by the Royals, whereas the Sox came into their roadtrip after a 6-0 homestand against the Yankees (swept the Yanks for the first time in 21 years) and the Mariners. If Detroit takes advantage of their home field advantage (which they’ve done this season – Chicago is winless in four straight at Comerica Park) they could pick up some serious conference ground. In other words, the White Sox need to take this series in Detroit to prove they’re the big dogs in the ALC.
Here are the three top “musts” the Sox must do to keep those Tigers in check.
Detroit has their three big mound guns going Friday through Sunday with Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Chicago’s big guys need to show-up and shut-out – I’m talking to you Jake Peavy, Francisco Liriano and Chris Sale. Peavy has the honor of opening the series and starting things off right. This Tiger offense is powerful, the Sox need to maintain and tame it. Also, the bullpen needs to be one their best behavior. No hiccups allowed. Addison Reed (who’s really performed like a vet when called upon), Nate Jones, Brett Myers, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain all need to be ready for tight situations.
2. Heat-up the bats
Detroit has some of the heaviest hitters in the league (Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to throw out some names) and Chicago’s offense needs to heat things up a bit. After some slumping in the Orioles series, the Sox need to see a resurgence from Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. A.J. Pierzynski has been having a career year and seems to have hit his first major funk of 2012 – let’s put a kabosh on that right now. Also, they need their lead off men to get on base, we’re looking to you Dewayne Wise and Kevin Youkilis.
3. Attack with the gloves
Defense is something a professional baseball team can take for granted – especially with the Tigers. Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have been making some incredible moves throughout the infield, don’t stop now! The Sox have to allow the Tigers 3 outs and that’s all folks. If Chicago makes defensive errors and allows Detroit freebies to get on base – they can say goodbye to the top spot in the ALC.
Give them hell White Sox! Make it a showdown in Motown to remember.
We’re not talking baseball “sluggers” here. In honor of National Hot Dog and Sausage Month, the Chicago White Sox are introducing a one pound, two-foot-long ”Giant Slugger” hot dog on July 4th. Nothing says “independence day” like a jumbo weenie.
Not only are the White Sox introducing the hot dog on the nation’s birthday, but they’re also hosting a hot dog eating contest featuring the “Giant Slugger.” If you think you have what it takes to beat the 19 minute record you should should tweet @WhiteSox using the hashtag #GiantSlugger. The grand prize is legit: four suite tickets, a customized jersey and an autographed baseball. (If you win, please bring me as your date in the suite because they’re awesome).
The Giant Slugger is meant to feed the equivalent of four people and consists of Vienna Beef, topped with nacho cheese, chili, grilled onions, and jalapenos – served in a 22-inch potato bun. White Sox fans can look for the Giant Slugger at the solo hot dog stands near sections 109 and 538.
This massive hot-diggity-dog was created by the same people who brought you the “Boomstick” for the Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington (coincidence that the White Sox are playing the Rangers on the 4th? I think not).
Happy 4th of July to all and enjoy the “Giant Slugger” White Sox fans!
This face says it all. When the All-Star roster was announced a certain players name was missing, and it just so happened to be White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Let’s just say he’s not very happy with the situation. What can you expect when you’re consistently topping lists like the “MLB’s Most Hated Players.” It’s not rocket science dude – you probably won’t be winning any popularity contests.
Statistically speaking, it wasn’t the most scientific study but, “In a Men’s Journal survey of 100 Major League Baseball players, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was voted “most hated player” with 34% of the votes. “He likes to talk a lot of sh**, and I’ve heard he’s a bad teammate,” one National League pitcher tells Men’s Journal. “He’s been a prick to guys on his own pitching staff. Basically, if you haven’t got five years in the big leagues, he treats you like you’re a peasant. He’s that kind of guy.”
Whether you love him or your hate him, Pierzynski is having one of his best seasons in a White Sox uniform at 35 (he’s batting .285, 14 home runs and 45 RBI) and the Sox are even in first place. I can understand his snippy attitude toward his All-Star exclusion.
Fans voted the Texas Rangers’ Mike Napoli (.235, 12 home runs, 30 RBI) as the starting catcher. The players selected Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters (.249, 11 HR, 38 RBI). Rangers manager Ron Washington, who will be leading the American League squad, also chose Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.324, four HR, 36RBI). After selecting Mauer, Washington said he “felt bad” for A.J.
Pierzynski recently expressed his displeasure with reporters last Sunday, ”If (Washington) felt that bad he would have put me on the team,” Pierzynski said. “He had an opportunity to and he didn’t do it. Obviously, he can feel as bad as he wants, but he didn’t feel that bad.”
Honestly, part of A.J.’s All-Star snub is a reflection of the poor White Sox fan base. Sox fans haven’t exactly been supportive at the gate this season, which helps explain why his vote total was low.
I know he won’t be heading to Kansas City July 10th for the All-Star game, but lets just embrace the “bad boy” reputation and remember what’s really important here. You don’t get a fancy diamond ring for being an All-Star. A.J. needs to keep playing his toosh off and get himself to another World Series.
Welcome to the South Side Kevin Youkilis! The White Sox made some moves over the weekend to fill their devastating void at third base and ended up nabbing a stud from the Boston Red Sox – it feels like we literally burglarized Fenway Park.
Let’s take ourselves back to April of this year when no one expected the Sox to do anything with their old dogs and struggling bats. Who would have guessed that on June 24 the White Sox would have acquired Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox for Brent Lillibridge, Zach Stewart, a big wad of cash ($5.6 million to pay the rest of Youkilis’ contract for 2012) and be a contender to take the AL Central division? Oh yea, no one did.
The White Sox traded a utility man batting .175 and a pitcher who was recently sent to the minors in return for a bucket load of money plus a guy who is a Boston legend and an actual major-league third baseman. WINNING!
Youkilis will take over third base from Orlando Hudson who hasn’t been doing much of anything since he signed with the White Sox last month (he’s generally a second baseman). Like Paul Konerko said, “There is no way we are not a better team with Kevin Youkilis. He is just too good of a player and has been through all the wars and is still relatively a young guy (he’s 33). We just have to keep him on the field. If that is the case, it could be one of the bigger steals of the season.”
Some critics have mentioned that White Sox GM Kenny Williams has made trades for big names in the past, but it has been when they didn’t have any fire left. Although Youkilis isn’t having his best year, Williams believes he’s a “man on a mission” after speaking with him on the phone. I give Kenny props. The Sox don’t have anything to lose, even if the trade is a wash, they’re not any worse off than they were June 23rd.
I am excited to see what Youkilis can bring to the table, but definitely sad to see Lillibridge go. He was such a versatile player, but any sane person would have made the same trade.
After fifty games in this 2012 MLB season, who’s standing alone in first place of the American League Central Division? I’ll give you two hints – it’s not the fancy-pants predicted Detroit Tigers and it’s not the the Cleveland Indians. It’s our very own Southsiders. The Chicago White Sox, a team that Sports Illustrated predicted to lose 95 games this season, are proving every nasty critic wrong.
How is the team that no one believed in making moves in the tough AL central? Here’s a little breakdown for ya:
*They’ve won eight games in a row, are 12-of-13 and homered in 15 straight games (their longest streak since 2004). Last night the Sox rallied for five runs against Rays’ pitcher James Shields in the sixth and Dayan Viciedo added an eighth-inning home run to push the White Sox past Tampa Bay 7-2.
*Paul Konerko, considered an “old man” at age 36, has a batting average of .386 and having a mind-blowing start this season. As my dad would say, “he’s just seeing the ball.” It’s more like, “Paulie’s hitting like a wild beast!” Konerko’s hot hitting landed him the AL player of the week honor for the period ending May 27th.
*Chris Sale may be all arms and legs, but this young pitcher has a studly throwing arm and is an early candidates for the Cy Young Award. On Monday, Sale struck out 15 Rays players, setting his own career high and finishing one strike out away from the team’s franchise record (Jack Harshman struck out 16 against Boston on July 25, 1954). SALE’S COMIN IN HOT!
*Rookie GM Robin Ventura is giving Dayan Viciedo the chance Ozzie Guillen never did and boy is it paying off. Viciedo, my Cuban brother is nicknamed “tank” for his stocky physique, has been crushing the ball and is absolutely one of the best young hitters in the league. This guy’s proving he deserves to be in the White Sox lineup this season.
On Saturday, White Sox pitcher Philip Humber accomplished something only 20 other pitchers have ever done in the history of the MLB (making him the 21st), he threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. He pitched all nine innings, not one runner advanced to first, not one walk, not one home run, he was perfect. It’s not every day you get to use the word “perfect” to describe any sport, let alone baseball.
Here’s how it went down. The count was 3-2 against Mariners’ Brendan Ryan, he swung at Humber’s breaking ball, it was a bit of a wild pitch getting away from the batter’s box, but A.J. Pierzynski looking quick and agile, pounced on the ball and easily threw Ryan out at first (hopefully Humber bought Pierzynski a drink or two to thank him for the sweet play). Humber was then mobbed by his teammates on the field in a celebratory dog pile.
Humber threw 97 pitches to retire all 27 batters. Although he threw a perfect game, he was so incredibly humble, “I don’t know that I dominated them. Obviously the ball was hit at people. I’m thankful for that. It was a well-pitched game. Definitely something I’ll never forget.” He even thanked his wife and little girl on air; too precious.
There were two things missing from Saturday’s success. Being on the road for such a remarkable task is never as great as being on your own home field, however, the Mariners fans gave Humber a standing ovation when he closed out the game (well deserved buddy). Also, for whatever reason, the game was televised on FOX and Sox fans didn’t get to hear Hawk Harrelson’s voice. Hawk IS the voice of White Sox baseball; he would have made the moment so much better.
It was the third perfect game in White Sox history Saturday afternoon. Humber joins Charlie Robertson (1922) and Mark Buehrle (2009) as a White Sox legend. Not too shabby, only 21 pitchers have ever accomplished a perfect game, and 3 of them have been in White Sox uniforms.
We’re used to seeing drunken fans running around the field, but this, this was different. During Thursday’s White Sox Orioles game a kid, no older than 5 or 6, made his way onto the field during the 7th inning and Dayan Viciedo had to actually pick him up and carry him to a security guard.
Generally the punishment for such an act is rather steep, but what happens to a little kid who most likely escaped his parents? “What’s the fine going to be? A Dozen Oreos?” suggested the announcer.
Honestly though, where were this little nugget’s parents?
U.S. Cellular Field has always had delicious options when it comes to ballpark food – hotdogs with charbroiled onions, an assortment of beer selections, funnel cakes, and don’t even get me started on the corn! Compared to it’s competitor park on the Northside (Wrigley Field) who limits their attendants to Old Style beer, the Cell has always been the better option for baseball eats. Now White Sox fans have some new treats to taste at the home opener on Friday. Check them out, photos courtesy of CSNChicago.com.
The White Sox have also added some additional entertainment. Giant caricatures of Dick Allen, Goose Gossage and Bill Melton will be running around the warning track during this season’s Sunday home games. I really love the models in this photo.
Whether your alliance is with the Cubs or White Sox, this video embodies the long standing crosstown rivalry of Chicago baseball and is quite is humorous. Enjoy