Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

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.

Peavy Shut Down, Sox Blow Late-Inning Lead

54579590.jpgWhite Sox fans have been holding their collective breath this spring during Jake Peavy‘s recovery from shoulder surgery. But, with each performance, he seemed to be getting stronger and it appeared he was right on schedule to start the season in Chicago.
Until today.
Before this afternoon’s game at Camelback Ranch against the Dodgers, Peavy and the Sox announced that the righthander was being shut down because of “rotator cuff tendinitis.” The next 48 hours will be key in evaluating the setback, but if Peavy misses Thursday’s scheduled start against the Cubs it’s a longshot he’ll be part of the Opening Day roster on April 1.
If Peavy’s 2011 regular season debut is delayed, Plan B will put into action. There is more than one candidate for the fifth starter role. Philip Humber and Tony Pena may be at the top of the list with perhaps Brian Bruney then making the club as the seventh reliever (an educated guess based on his outings this spring).
Another Frustrating Loss:  As noted previously in this blog, it’s become commonplace in  recent years for the Sox to be mediocre in spring training. It’s been a long time since they’ve even been .500 in Cactus League play. 
Today’s 9-7 loss to the Dodgers was an example of the trend. Jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first with RBI hits by Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin, the South Siders found themselves down 4-3, then tied it and went ahead 7-4 in the seventh on a solo homer by Quentin and a three-run blast by Gordon Beckham. But the roof fell in in the eighth as L.A. put up a five-spot–including two homers–against reliever Josh Kinney to give the Dodgers a 9-7 triumph.
Ozzie told Hawk and Steve Stone during today’s WGN telecast that no manager has ever gotten a raise for winning spring training games, espousing his philosophy that it’s more important for the players to get work and for the staff to see the kids play. I don’t disagree, but…
The Sox play the Padres tomorrow night in Peoria.

O’s Baffle Sox, is Manny on the Way?

Manny-Ramirez.jpgAs rumors swirled about the possibility of the White Sox making a waiver deal for the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez, the South Siders went down tonight to the suddenly “pain in the neck” Orioles by a score of 4-2. Look at the bright side: we didn’t blow a save and the Twins once again fell to the Rangers as The Good Guys remain 3 1/2 back.

So, what about the Sox obtaining Manny? I say, why not?
–When you have a chance to go for a division title, do whatever you can to make it happen.

–Manny can be a huge problem in the clubhouse, but there’s only five weeks left in the season.

–He can carry a club when he’s hot.

–Without another offensive force that would help make up for the injured and sagging bullpen, chances for the postseason are slim.

–The prospects we’ll be giving up probably won’t be blue-chippers. The money? It’s only money.

–I think we’re all getting tired of watching the failures of Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones at DH.

To me, it’s a no-brainer. But Manny has a no-trade clause so the decision is ultimately in his hands.


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Scotty Pods Hits Tinseltown

jlm-stars-hollywood-sign.jpgI’ve said before in this space that all members of the 2005 World Champion White Sox have lifetime immunity with me and my Sox posse.  And their comings and goings will always be newsworthy enough to secure a place here at Art of the Pale Hose.


With that in mind, it’s important to note that Scott Podsednik, he of the dramatic home run in Game 2 of the ’05 Series, is now a Los Angeles Dodger. Scotty Pods was traded by the Royals yesterday to bolster the L.A. outfield with both Manny Ramirez and Reed Johnson on the sidelines.
Like we would with all the other ’05 champs, we wish Scotty the best and hope he is a smashing success in Hollywood. And it’ll be nice not to have to face him again in 2010.
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The Springtime Ritual of Predicting the Winners

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We all know that preseason predictions mean nothing–nada, zilch, zero. And while we shouldn’t take them seriously, it’s still a lot of fun–especially when the so-called experts pick your team to win.
Historically, it’s very rare when the baseball media elite pick the White Sox to win their division, let alone the AL pennant or World Series. It’s not that much different this year as the Twins seem to be the most common pick to conquer the AL Central. That said, there are a few “big name” media types among those who have picked the South Siders:
* Hall of Fame electee Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and author of the forthcoming bio of George Steinbrenner.
* Fox SportsKen Rosenthal, who somewhat tongue-in-cheek picked the Sox to win the World Series while referring to them “Team Wacko.” Think that had anything to do with our Ozzie?
* ESPN‘s Tim Kurkjian, who doesn’t exactly wear a Sox jersey on the weekends.
* Jon Heyman, he of SI, SI.com and the MLB Network.
Since I’m drinking the prediction Kool-Aid, I might as well add my two cents. Here are my divisional picks for 2010:
AL CENTRAL

1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. Royals
5. Indians


AL EAST 

1. Rays
2. Red Sox
3. Yankees
4. Orioles
5. Blue Jays


AL WEST

1. Angels
2. Mariners
3. Rangers
4. A’s

NL EAST

1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Mets
5. Nationals


NL CENTRAL

1. Cardinals
2. Reds
3. Brewers
4. Cubs
5. Pirates
6. Astros


NL WEST

1. Rockies
2. Dodgers
3. Giants
4. Padres
5. Diamondbacks

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Where Have All the Ex-White Sox Gone?

While Sox favorites Jermaine Dye and Joe Crede are still looking for new homes, a number of other former Pale Hosers are with new teams–for example, Jim Thome (Twins), Jose Contreras (Phillies), Scott Podsednik (Royals) and Jon Garland (Padres). The following is a list of the most recent ex-Sox to sign: one fairly significant, the others not so much.

610x.jpg*  The well-traveled, but talented, shortstop Orlando Cabrera is now with the
    Cincinnati Reds. For the record, this is the “fairly significant” signing.

Timo Perez, a reserve outfielder on the 2005 World Champs, signed a minor league
    deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Josh Fogg, a one-time closer candidate for the Sox, inked a minor league
    pact with the New York Mets.

*  Lefty hurler Jimmy Gobble, who had a cup of coffee with the Sox, is now with the
    Colorado Rockies after agreeing to a minor league contract.

*  Catcher Gustavo Molina, not related to Bengie, Jose and Yadier, signed a minor
    league agreement with the Boston Red Sox.

*  Pitcher Horacio Ramirez, who had a short stint with the South Siders, just signed
   with the San Francisco Giants on a minor league deal.

Sox-wise and Otherwise…

My weekly off-season musings about the White Sox and more…

* With the White Sox out of the playoffs, “Sox-wise” it’s really very boring these days. Other teams are competing and not a lot of Sox news. Anxious for the post-World Series rumors and deals.

*  One bit of promising Sox news is that yesterday, in an Arizona Fall League game, Sox prospect Dayan Viciedo went 3 for 5 with a homer.

*  If you’re like me, you get annoyed when TV shows and movies set in Chicago try to show the flavor of the town by having the actors wear Cubs gear. It happened this week on the CBS series, The Good Wife, when one of the lead characters donned a Cubs cap. Not sure if I’ll watch another episode–yes, for that reason.

* I’m waiting for a Hollywood ending where Jim Thome comes off the bench and hits a championship series-ending homer for the Dodgers against his former Phillie teammates to enable LA to reach the World Series.

* The best news for TV viewers watching Yankees-Angels is that Chip Caray is broadcasting the National League series.

* I’m sticking with the Yankees in the ALCS, but not with a lot of enthusiasm. Those Angels can be piranhas on steroids.

* Maybe it’s because I’ve seen him consistently kill the Sox,  but I always thought that Raul Ibanez would look great in a Sox uniform.

* While we’re on the subject of wanting players, I want Chone Figgins on the South Side next season.

* The more I think about it, the more I think Paul Konerko will be traded this winter. He’ll never be forgotten and has always been a pro’s pro, but I get the vibe it’s just time.

* Get well wishes to Carlos Quentin, who we need to have a HUGE 2010. Just had a pin removed from his injured wrist.
 

Sox-wise and Otherwise…

   My weekly off-season musings on the White Sox and more…

*  Is President Obama the first Sox fan to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?

*  It was announced today that Dewayne Wise, he of the spectacular catch that saved Mark Buehrle’s perfecto, has opted for free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple A. Wise is a favorite of mine and I wish him the best. No matter what happens in his career from this point on, he made “The Catch” that many call the greatest in history.

*  Chip Caray is certainly not a “chip off the old block.” The grandson of legendary Harry Caray and the son of outstanding sports broadcaster Skip Caray, is an embarrassment to his family’s tradition, TBS and baseball in general. He’s a minor league announcer on the sport’s biggest stage. Read Richard Sandomir and Phil Mushnick in today’s New York Times and New York Post, respectively, for details.

*  You have to feel for the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday after his error with two outs in the ninth set the stage for the Dodgers to rally and take a 2-0 lead in their ALDS series. That said, Cards closer Ryan Franklin should have been able to pitch over it. Reminds me of all the flack Bill Buckner got as THE culprit in Game 6 of the 1986 Mets-Red Sox series. In that case, pitcher Bob Stanley got a big-time pass.

*   I’m not the biggest Jim Thome fan, but I was hoping he was going to jack one out yesterday as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Instead, he was hit by a pitch.

*   Joe Girardi’s decision to replace All-Star catcher Jorge Posada with Jose Molina to catch A.J. Burnett in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Twins is a big story here in New York. Truth is, Posada’s not a great defensive catcher and Molina is. Plus, Burnett and Molina have a much better rapport.

*   I picked the Yankees to win the World Series, but the more I think about it I’m getting a vibe it’s going to be the Angels. They are on a mission to win it for their late teammate Nick Adenhart.

*   I’d give anything for the Sox to be in the thick of things, but it’s nice to sit back, relax and enjoy a baseball game. I can’t do it when the Pale Hose are playing.                 

11 Ex-White Sox on 2009 Playoff Rosters

While our Sox failed to make the grade this season, 11 former Chisox find themselves on postseason playoff rosters, including four who won World Series rings with the club, one coach and one manager.

Here’s the breakdown:

AL
Yankees:    *Damaso Marte, Nick Swisher
Twins:         Orlando Cabrera, Jon Rauch
Red Sox:    *Brian Anderson
Angels:        None

NL
Cardinals:    Tony LaRussa (Mgr.), Dave Duncan (Coach)
Dodgers:    *Jon Garland, Jim Thome
Phillies:       Scott Eyre
Rockies:    *Jose Contreras

* Member of 2005 World Champion White Sox. Anderson was on the team, but not on the postseason roster.

Two more of note: Red Sox Manager Terry Francona managed in the Sox organization and Twins’ reliever Matt Guerrier played in the farm system, but neither made it to the majors with the White Sox.

My Hat is Off to the Piranhas

I have a great deal of compassion for the Detroit Tigers and their fans this morning after last night’s thrilling tie-breaker loss in Minnesota. As a White Sox fan, I’ve seen this movie before.The Twins play the right way (especially in the Dome), make very few mistakes, hit in the clutch and just nibble at you until they’ve done enough to win. Ozzie Guillen said it best, they’re a bunch of piranhas.

As a division rival I hate them. As a baseball fan I admire them. Many are predicting a Yankee sweep in the ALDS and it very well could happen. But the Twins, a tired bunch without playoff-caliber pitching and an injured Justin Morneau, will compete and certainly won’t embarrass themselves.

My prediction: Yankees in 4. The Twins will find a way to win a game, but the Yanks’ lineup is as strong and balanced as any in baseball and the pitching staff should be able to handle the Minny hitters, who are at a major disadvantage without Morneau.

My other predictions:

Angels over Red Sox in 5
Cardinals over Dodgers in 5
Rockies over Phillies in 5

Sox News: Freddy Garcia and Matt Thornton had their respective options picked up and will both be back with the Sox in 2010.

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