Penguin Party with the White Sox

Peguins_whitesoxWe all know the White Sox relief pitching has been struggling and now it looks like they’ve ventured to the Shedd Aquarium to find some new prospects wearing the black and white. Or maybe they just wanted something absolutely adorable to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

I mean, does it get any cuter than penguins on a baseball field? Yea, I don’t think so.

My main concern is why I wasn’t aware of the penguin invasion taking place at US Cellular this afternoon. I would have loved to meet Stanley, the Magellanic Penguin.

Alexei Ramirez, John Danks, Adam Eaton and Jacob Petricka all had some meet and greet moments with Stanley. The cuteness is too much to handle.

Alexei and Stanley

Danks and Stanley

Eaton and Stanley

 

I’m on board with the Penguin mascot idea ūüôā

LET THEM EAT CAKE! Happy 100th Birthday Wrigley Field

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The ever famous Wrigley Field is celebrating its 100th birthday this fine Wednesday. The very first baseball game was played at the friendly confines exactly this day 100 years ago AND it basically looked exactly the same (hehe).

Over the last century the Cubs haven’t had too much to celebrate, but the field has become an iconic Chicago staple making¬†plenty of movie cameos and providing a venue for some of the most historic Chicago concerts.

What better way to celebrate a centennial than with a 400 lbs cake? If you’ve been around 100 years you don’t have to count the calories any longer, you’re excused. The massive cake was baked by Buddy Valastro of the TLC show Cake Boss. It took a small army and six days to make this bad boy. We’ll call it the Friendly Cakefines.

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The cake is currently on display outside the friendly confines for fans and Wrigleyville patrons to admire. According to Danny Ecker of ChicagoBussiness.com guests will get to try the cake during a party at the Field Museum.

cake cake

I have two concerns. Will the cake taste delicious or will the fondant overpower the flavor? And WHO is blowing out the candles?

 

Why Alexei Ramirez Should Top your White Sox List

Alexei

Alexei Ramirez is easily the friendliest guy in a¬†Chicago White Sox uniform¬†and probably the nicest starting shortstop in the MLB. Not only should we love him for his character, but he’s also¬†doing big things at the plate for the South Side in his first few weeks of the 2014 season.

I’ve always had a soft spot for my fellow Cuban brother and this season you should too. Here’s why:

  • He’s HOT HOT HOT.¬†Alexei¬†has three home runs under his belt¬†after the White Sox have played 13 games.
  • Alexei’s hot bat has helped the White Sox lead all of baseball with 80 runs in 13 games when the Sox scored a terrible 598 all of last season. It’s a TT – total turnaround –¬†we hope Ramirez and the crew can keep it going.
  • He’s worked on his whiffs. Ramirez has always been an aggressive swinger, but he’s really cut down on his strikeouts in the first two weeks¬†of the season averaging 5.6 percent.
  • Bases, Bases and more Bases: He’s lanky and quick like a bunny. He’ll steel a base from right under your nose and takes CWS base running to the next level.
  • Alexei’s line drive walk-off home run on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians has really picked up the morale in the dugout – it’s something to get excited about.

Who knows what the White Sox will do this season, there’s a REALLY long road ahead, but Alexei Ramirez is something to get excited about this spring. Go Go Go White Sox!

‘Clark the Cub’ Makes His Debut

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I know you Cubs fans out there have been anxiously itching for a mascot for over a century, but the wait is finally over. On Monday the Cubs organization introduced ‘Clark the Cub’ a brand spanking new mascot for the loveable losers in town.

He made his first public appearance during a¬†visit with children at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center‚Äôs Pediatric Developmental Center. Those of you who are reading this may not be thrilled about the new mascot in town, but he’s not meant to entertain us. Rather, Clark was introduced after surveys showed parents of the younger Chicago Cubs fans were looking for more family-friendly entertainment at Wrigley Field (it’s more like a historic death trap with all those bathroom lines and treacherous inclines).

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According to Clark’s family tree, provided by the Cubs, his great-grandbear Joa was a live bear mascot for the team back in 1915 (before his days residing at the Lincoln Park Zoo). Joa passed down his love of the Cubs to Clark, who always wanted to play for the team.

You can catch Clark greeting fans¬†as they enter Wrigley Field this upcoming season. If you’re experiencing Wrigley for the very first time, you may find him at the First Timers Booth. He’ll be running the bases on Family Sundays and also always welcoming fans to Clark’s Clubhouse at the field. The organization made a point to note that Clark will not be participating in the usual mascot shenanigans; T-shirt gun shooting, ATV riding, flying down from the stadium rafters or disrupting your view from the game. ¬†He’s a very well behaved MLB mascot.

southpawSome have been hating on Clark, but he’s not creepier than Southpaw the green machine…at least he’s an actual bear. Southpaw is a green thing.

You can follow Clark on Twitter at @Clarkthecub

Adam Dunn 2012 Comeback Player of the Year

It looks like one good thing came out of Adam Dunn’s abysmal 2011 season, he has been deemed the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year. ¬†It’s not a championship ring/title for the Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter, but I would say it’s something to be proud of.

‚ÄúI‚Äôm sure my (family) really enjoys it more than I do,‚ÄĚ Dunn said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt really play for (awards), I play for one thing (championships) and if I don‚Äôt get it than it is all for naught. I am very appreciative of this award but I really wish I would have never won it because you have to have the bad go with the good,” he told¬†ESPN Chicago.¬†

Dunn suffered an oblique strain injury at the end of the season and was not pleased with the Sox’s unsatisfying finish as well as his own inability to help the team. Not only did the Sox miss the playoffs, but they have to watch their rivaled Detroit Tigers advance all the way to the World Series (Game 1 against the San¬†Francisco Giants starts tonight). Yuck!

His¬†resurgence¬†was refreshing since Dunn signed a four-year $56 million deal before the 2011 season – and then he stunk. Although he had a MUCH better year, Dunn still has some areas he’d like to improve on: driving the ball to the opposite field more frequently and cutting down his strikeouts.¬†His 222 strikeouts in 2012 were the most in a single season in American League history.

Congratulations Dunn! Hopefully next season the White Sox can make it into the postseason for ya :-).

Brian Wilson Mania

When Brian Wilson is on the mound for the San¬†Francisco¬†Giants he defines the phrase “Fear the Beard”. He has earned himself the reputation of being one of the best closers in the MLB. This guy’s repertoire¬†consists of a four-seam fastball,¬†cutter,¬†slider¬†and a two-seam sinking fastball. HOWEVER his commute to work is a different story…check out that fanny pack, those sneakers and that scooter with the basket! I love every second of it.

If the picture above isn’t enough, check out his nail polish. Orange and black – for the Giants and possibly for Halloween? ūüôā

White Sox and Tigers Get Ready for a Motown Showdown

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.

1. Pitching

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.