Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

I Love Sports Illustrated, But…

SI_RS_SotY.jpgI love Sports Illustrated. I love the people there. I spent the 20 most enjoyable years of my life as the magazine’s chief spokesman and I treasure every moment.

Now that I’ve expressed my undying love for my “alma mater,” I have to take them to task for minimizing my favorite baseball team in this year’s Baseball Preview Issue. This is nothing new. All I have to do is point to 2004 and 2005 to make my point. 
In ’04, the powers that be at SI went gaga over the first Red Sox world title since 1918, naming the team and its fans Sportsmen of the Year. In ’05, the Pale Hose won its first World Series since 1917–a year longer between championships–and not only didn’t they win the Sportsman award, there wasn’t even a mention of the feat in that particular issue. Instead, there was yet another story about Roger Clemens’ excellence representing the year in baseball. By the way, how did that work out for Roger?
So, here it is 2011 and the editors of my favorite magazine are at it again. Here’s an example:
–In the Who’s Hot/Who’s Not section, the Motor City is deemed as hot, the Windy City as not. The “Not” opinion was based on the White Sox and Cubs spring training records. What? Since when did spring training records mean anything? And the statement that neither team has much hope for the playoffs is evidence that whoever wrote this simply has no clue. Many of the foremost experts in the game, including several knowledgeable scouts, pick the Sox to win the A.L. Central.

–Although the editors pick the South Siders to finish third behind the Twins and Tigers in the A.L., I can’t complain. Reasonable people can disagree and it’s likely the three clubs will battle for the top spot all season long. But why am I not surprised that SI picked the our Sox third?

–To add insult to injury, SI falls into the same trap as most of the sports media by glorifying the Media Darlings from the North Side. They even hired political pundit Jeff Greenfield to write a fantasy about the Cubs winning the World Series. SI, it’ll never happen.

–Lastly, the magazine picks the Red Sox to win it all. What a coincidence that the baseball editor is a Boston fan. Stunning.
Am I too sensitive? Yes. Am I overreacting? Probably. I guess that’s what happens when a White Sox fan has to deal with the national media’s prejudice in favor of the Yankees, Red Sox and the other team in Chicago that plays in that overrated dump of a ballpark.
Get a good night’s sleep. Big day tomorrow in Cleveland.
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Is it Opening Day Yet?

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If it’s a spring training game in Arizona, chances are the White Sox will wind up on the losing end. After a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers this afternoon, the South Siders find themselves at 9-16-1 and in the cellar of the Cactus League.
The Ups:

Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel (pictured on left) each collected a pair of hits…Carlos Quentin continued his hot streak with his fourth homer of the spring…Matt Thornton struck out the side in the ninth…Adam Dunn, who has struck out 22 times in 53 at bats this spring, didn’t record a “K” today. Did I mention that he didn’t play?
The Downs:

John Danks was touched up for four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings…Mark Teahen continued his consistency by committing an error–this time at first base.
It’s Sox vs. Cubs in Mesa tomorrow.

All In? Not So Much


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GLENDALE, AZ–With nearly 12,000 in attendance and more watching on TV back in Chicago, it seemed like a great opportunity yesterday for the White Sox to display their “All In” brand of baseball against our friends from the North Side.
Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way.
First, the South Siders were far from being all in on this day. Mark Buehrle got the starting nod, but there were only three regular position players in the starting lineup–Paul Konerko as the DH, Adam Dunn at first and Gordon Beckham at second–and it showed. Cubs pitching held the Sox scoreless until the Good Guys put three on the board in the ninth, highlighted by a two-run homer by Lastings Milledge (pictured above). It wasn’t enough, though, and the Pale Hose wound up on the short end of the 4-3 final score.
The Ups:

Not much to brag about here…The Milledge homer…Stefan Gartrell‘s RBI double and the fact he collected one-third of the six Sox hits…Jeff Marquez pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts, Will Ohman and Jesse Crain pitched a perfect inning each and Matt Thornton was credited with a scoreless inning, giving up a lone hit.
The Downs:

Aside from the eight innings of non-existent offense and a Beckham error that led to an unearned run, the big downer was Buehrle’s outing. He gave up three runs (two earned, including a homer to Carlos Pena), six hits and two walks in his three innings of work…Ozzie said after the game that it was the first time he had seen Mr. Perfect upset after a spring training performance.
Sox host the Rangers this afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

Sox Experience the Natural Progression of Things

54638639.jpgIt happens. In fact it happens so often that I was expecting a couple of losses in a row after the 11-game winning streak.
What I’m saying is that it’s pretty much the natural progression of things that a team will suffer a bit of a letdown after winning a significant number of games in a row.
So it is now with our White Sox. After the streak ended on Sunday with the loss to the Cubs, the Sox lost another last night in Kansas City. In both Sunday and Monday contests the South Siders had a chance to win in the ninth with a clutch hit or two. But the law of averages prevailed and now we’ve lost a couple in a row and stand two games back of the Tigers who beat the Twins to move into first place.
The Pale Hose will be back at it tonight with Gavin Floyd on the hill against the Royals. No need to panic, but it’s important for us to win this one. We don’t want the two games to get to three and beyond.
Note of the day:  Red-hot Carlos Quentin was named the American League Player of the Week. Continuing his surge, he homered for the only Sox tally last night.
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Remarkable White Sox Streak Ends at 11

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We knew it had to end sometime. And the fact that the Sox have lost only twice in 17 games and moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Twins’ A.L. Central lead, makes today’s 8-6 loss to the you-know-whos an acceptable, if not satisfying, outcome.
It was also heartening to see the Sox rally in the ninth and bring the winning run to the plate in the person of Alex Rios, the club’s most consistent offensive performer.
The hope now is that the Sox continue to play sound baseball. Winning 11 games in a row is one thing, maintaining their consistency after the streak is another. But from the looks of things, Sox fans have to be confident that good things are ahead.
Speaking of the number 11
Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, who starred in both the Negro Leagues and with the New York Giants, on Saturday became the 11th player in the history of the Giants franchise to have his uniform number (20) retired.
During the ceremony, 91-year-old Monte told the crowd: “My life in baseball is now complete.” 
Congratulations to the ultimate gentleman.
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Happy Days on the South Side as Streak Hits 11

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Whether it was planned that way or not,  Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard in real life) was the perfect choice to throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight at the Cell. After all, for White Sox fans the last couple of weeks have certainly been Happy Days with the Sox now 1 1/2 behind first place Minnesota and tied with Detroit for second.
After the thrilling 3-2 victory over the North Side Media Darlings, the Sox winning streak is now at 11 while winning 15 of 16. Freddy Garcia, with a strong seven innings, continued his pitching excellence, J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Matt Thornton earned his third save. It was Paul Konerko’s 403-foot blast in the eighth that broke a 2-2 tie.
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In addition to the streak continuing, the Sox clinched the first Crosstown Cup with a game to go in the series with the Media Darlings–and celebrated afterwards. They’re also 15-2 against the National League in interleague play.
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The best part of tonight for me was being at the Cell. Electric and exciting. The Sox feel they can’t lose and the fans believe them. Nights like these are why we got hooked on this team in the first place.
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If You Cut Through All of the Clutter, the Sox Should Be the Story of the Day

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In the city of Chicago, the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup hangover, the rumor than Lebron and Bosh are on their way to the Bulls and the Zambrano meltdown are overshadowing something pretty special brewing on the South Side. It was another day and another victory for the surging Pale Hose, making it 10 in a row–the club’s most consecutive wins since 1976–and 14 of 15.
It was simply a great day as…

Jake Peavy stymies Cubs in the 6-0 whitewash…Carlos Quentin hits a first inning three-run homer…Gordon Beckham slugs round-tripper and drives in two…Mets beat Twins…Braves defeat Tigers…The Sox move within a game and a half of the division-leading Twinkies and only a game behind Detroit.
I know, pretty hard to believe.


standings


TEAM W L % GB
Minnesota 40 33 .548 -
Detroit 39 33 .542 0.5
Chi White Sox 38 34 .528 1.5

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Sox Host Cubs Looking to Extend 9-Game Streak

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The Happy Headlines from today’s 2-0 triumph over Atlanta:

–White Sox win ninth consecutive game, and make it 13 of 14, with three-game series sweep
–Sox move within 2 1/2 games of the first place Twins who are swept by the Brewers
Gavin Floyd is masterful with a scoreless seven-inning two-hitter, striking out nine Braves
--J.J. Putz hurls perfect eighth inning, Bobby Jenks a perfect ninth
Paul Konerko’s two-run homer in eighth, his 18th, proves to be the difference.
Up next? the Cubs. Will be heading to Chicago tomorrow and will be in the house on Saturday. Happy times on the South Side.
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                                                   Floyd Stymies Braves



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White Sox Continue Their Winning Ways, Put Fun Back into the Season

54446304.jpgAmazing.
After an 8-1 road trip and six victories in a row the Sox will arrive home to play the Braves on Tuesday as a .500 team. And despite winning against mediocre teams like the Cubs, Pirates and Nationals, it looks like we’ve turned the corner with solid play (and no homers in eight straight games). I have to admit I had serious doubts it would happen this season.
Freddy Garcia won his eighth game today in the 6-3 win over the Nationals and Alex Rios and Paul Konerko continued their assault on major league pitchers. Between them they were 5 for 10 with five RBI. And this could be the most telling stat of all: The Sox starters are 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA in their last 12 games.
“Today’s game might be the biggest game all year,” Ozzie told reporters after the game. “We got a chance to be .500 and go back home and continue to play the way we want to play…a couple of weeks ago were in a lot of trouble, but now (we’re) getting the players’ confidence back and giving the team some hope.”
Hey guys, don’t stop now.
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White Sox Should Be Happy With Series Victory Despite Loss in Lilly’s Juan-Hitter

mlbf_8995367_th_13.jpgOf course White Sox fans would have loved a sweep at Wrigley, extend the club’s winning streak to five and to have gained a game on the Twins. But in light of last night’s developments, I’m just happy that Juan Pierre foiled Ted Lilly‘s no-no in the ninth so we didn’t have to suffer the indignity of enduring the feat amid the vines. And able to leave the North Side with a series victory.
Perhaps more important than winning a series on the road–and against the North Side Media Darlings at that–is that the Sox have begun to play entertaining, competitive baseball with solid starting pitching such as Gavin Floyd‘s gem last night. Frankly, it was getting difficult to watch their dismal play–even for the most loyal fans.
So, now it’s on to Pittsburgh and Washington starting tomorrow night. The hope is that we can continue winning series and maybe even give Stephen Strasburg his first major league loss on Friday night.
Question of the Day: Hate to be petty, but has anyone ever seen Ted Lilly smile?
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