June 2010

White Sox Make the Sale; Chris Sale is Club’s First Round Draft Pick at No. 13

Sale3.JPGThe hope is that lefty pitcher Chris Sale, the White Sox’ No. 1 draft pick, has the success of former White Sox No. 1 picks Jack McDowell and Alex Fernandez and NOT the major league careers of first round flops Lance Broadway and Kyle McCulloch. Only time will tell.
Here’s Sale’s scouting report heading into the draft, courtesy of MLB.com:

–21-years-old, from Lakeland, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University
–Stands 6-6 and weighs 185 pounds
–Fastball reaches 94 mph with lots of sink
–A sweepy slurve, potential wipeout pitch
–Good changeup, with a chance to be a plus pitch
–Strike thrower who doesn’t hurt himself with walks
–Perhaps the best mound presence in the draft class
–Skinny, gangly body
–Main weakness: questionable durability


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Captain Konerko Speaks

52963577.jpgAfter another disappointing loss, 3-1 to the Tribe last night, Sox captain Paul Konerko tried to explain the club’s continuing woes. So Paulie, what’s the problem?
“I don’t know, I’m like everybody else around here, you’re kind of out of answers,” he told reporters. “You can keep an eye on it. Are guys hustling? Are guys fighting as hard as they can? And all of that’s there. After that I don’t know. If anybody else has answers, come forward and let us know.”
Don’t look at me. I’m as flummoxed as he is.
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The Great John Wooden: 1910-2010

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No one’s words have moved me as much as John Wooden‘s. While others have offered their views on sports and life, he has been the only one who resonates with me. His simple wisdom has been an inspiration.
With Coach Wooden’s passing last night at 99, I’d like to pay tribute to this great athlete, extraordinary teacher, incomparable coach, wise philosopher and fellow Hoosier with some of my favorite Wooden reflections. There will never be another like him.
Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people say you are.

There is no substitute for hard work. If you’re looking for the easy way, if you’re looking for the trick, you might get by for a while, but you will not be developing the talents that lie within you. There is simply no substitute for work.

Don’t be afraid to fail. The greatest failure of all is failure to act when action is needed. Use the information that you’ve acquired in the past through the experiences you’ve had and act with self control–but act.

You can’t have confidence unless you are prepared. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.

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The Perfect Game That Wasn’t: I Like It Better This Way

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The baseball world doesn’t need another opinion about Armando Galarraga‘s near perfect game so forgive me for weighing in.
It’s true that the Tiger hurler won’t be officially listed as the 21st major league pitcher to achieve the monumental feat, but what came out of the controversial incident will ironically have far more impact for the pitcher, umpire Jim Joyce and all of baseball.
Point 1: While a perfect game stands among the most cherished accomplished in sports, many who have done it have their names on the exclusive list, but are mostly forgotten. Mike Witt, Len Barker and Tom Browning come to mind. Galarraga, on the other hand, will always be remembered in baseball lore as the guy who got cheated from his moment of glory. In reality, his name will have a more prominent place in the game than most of the others who actually pitched a perfecto.
Point 2:  In the current world of sports, we’re plagued with taunting, overall bad sportsmanship and a lack of accountability. The events of the last two days in Detroit showed us that hope is not lost. What overshadowed Joyce’s mistake was how everyone handled it from Joyce himself to the betrayed pitcher to Tiger manager Jim Leyland to the fans of Detroit. It was a case study of exactly how we’d like the participants to react in a difficult situation. I know I’m old school, but we needed this to help get us back in the right direction regarding athletic behavior.
So my opinion is that Galarraga will be more prominent in history, Joyce will be lauded as an exceptional man who faced the music–which after all is much more significant than being a perfect umpire–and fans everywhere will benefit from the example of their counterparts at Comerica Park.
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I’m Trying, I’m Really Trying to Believe

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Similar to so many other occasions this season, the Sox were in position last night to finally take a step toward turning around their season of major discontent. Coming home off of a winning road trip at Cleveland and Tampa Bay and facing a June schedule of primarily home games, the scene was set.
It all looked so positive. And it got even better when the South Siders jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Rangers. But as things turned out, it was fool’s gold. Mark Buehrle imploded in the sixth and the Sox couldn’t come through in clutch situations in the 9-6 loss. Sound familiar?
I’m trying, I’m really trying to believe in this team. Games like last night, however, sour the most loyal and passionate fans–of which I am one.
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