Results tagged ‘ Mark Kotsay ’

“Did We Kick Someone’s Dog or Did Someone Put Voodoo On Us or Something?”–A.J. Pierzynski

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Aside from my own anger, frustration and the fact that I throw up my hands in disgust almost every night after watching these White Sox, my thoughts turn to what Kenny Williams must be going through.
He’s as hard-working and passionate as any GM and has given us what no other front office exec has provided–a World Series championship. Of course he’s made his mistakes, but all in all he’s been outstanding at putting together contending teams. I wish the Sox could be as consistent as the Twins and various other teams, but considering the mediocrity I’ve experienced in my lifetime as a Sox fan the Williams years have been good. And as a fan, I truly appreciate how much he cares.
After last night’s embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Royals, The Sox are now seven games below .500–the same Pale Hose who many picked to win the A.L. Central. Let’s face it, right now the Sox are arguably the worst offensive team in baseball. 
The facts: a .228 team batting average with a .205 mark with runners in scoring position, both last in the league. And they’ve scored just one run in their past 17 innings and three in their past 22. Last night’s lineup had four hitters batting under .200. Get the point?
The list of culprits is a long one. Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham. A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teahen, Alexei RamirezCarlos Quentin and Mark Kotsay all have underachieved. Williams must be pulling the hair out of his head. After all, he acquired every last one of these guys.
So what do we do? Keep being patient with the hope things will turn around? Blow up the team? Have a come-to-Jesus meeting? I don’t have an answer and that’s why KW makes the big bucks. But I’ll say this, he’s not going to watch this nightmare continue much longer. Mark my words, there will be changes.
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White Sox Beat the Yankees (No, It’s Not a Misprint)

mlbf_7771081_th_13.jpgYou can look at today’s 7-6 White Sox victory against the World Champs two ways. 
Option 1:  The Sox charged to a 5-1 lead, highlighted by two Andruw Jones homers and one off the bat of Mark Kotsay, temporarily lost the four-run margin and had enough grit to come back and break their six-game Yankee Stadium (old and new) losing streak.
Option 2:  The South Siders blew another lead, suffered through a nightmare inning by Scott Linebrink and were lucky to survive.
Whichever explanation you choose, the good news is that Sox won against arguably baseball’s best team at a place where they haven’t won much lately. And aside from the homers, A.J. Pierzynski broke out of a season-long slump with a 3 for 4 day and the game-winning two-RBI double (pictured above) while Bobby Jenks had a relatively calm ninth inning to earn the save.
Mark Buehrle goes in the rubber game tomorrow against Phil Hughes as the Sox attempt to win the series from the Yankees.
Sox note of note: Three former Sox pitchers saw action for the Yanks today–Javy Vazquez, Damaso Marte and Boone Logan. Javy was tagged for five runs and Marte surrendered A.J.’s key double. Logan struck out the only batter he faced.
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Ozzie: “I Didn’t Know They Had Music in This Clubhouse”

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Leave it to our Ozzie to sum up a situation with a perceptive twist.
Ozzie, of course, was referring to the fact that the White Sox have had little to cheer about recently at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, losing 10 games in a row through 2009. It joined the now defunct Twinkiedome and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as the Sox’s personal houses of horror.
All that changed last night, however, as the South Siders continued to snap out of their first week hitting doldrums by smashing the ball and showing some grit in the 8-7 thriller against the Blue Jays to break their Toronto losing streak. It was the third 11-inning marathon in their first seven games–and the first one in which the Sox emerged victorious.
It was comebacker Andruw Jones and the much-maligned Mark Teahen who provided the fireworks. Jones went 3 for 4, clouted two homers and drove in four. Teahen was 3 for 5 and it was also when he delivered. He sent the game into extra innings with a leadoff blast in the ninth and provided the winning run as he tripled in Omar Vizquel (pictured above). Vizquel was running for Mark Kotsay, who had a key single pinch-hitting for Alexei Ramirez in the 11th.
While Jake Peavy had his second straight poor performance, the bullpen came through. Aside from Randy Williams walking in the 7th and go-ahead run in the sixth, Sergio Santos, J.J. Putz, Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks hurled 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Jenks struggled after getting the first two outs (as he did Sunday) but got the save. Thornton was lights out as he struck out four in two innings of work.
Sox notes of note:  Did you see Ozzie’s reaction right before he yanked Williams after Randy walked in the go-ahead run? I’m not lip-reader, but the expletives were flying…Ozzie’s getting beat up a bit about counting on Jones and Kotsay. Maybe the critics will be quieted, at least for today…It was nice to see that the Sox have the comeback gene. To me, that’s the true sign of a winning ballclub.
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Signs of Life on the South Side

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If the first week of the season is any indication, 2010 is going to be a nerve-wracking year for the White Sox. In their first six games the Sox have played three one-run contests and two two-run games, a pair of 11-inning marathons among them.
Making matters more intense for Sox fans is that until Andruw Jones‘s pinch-hit single (pictured above) in the bottom of the eighth scored the winning run in today’s 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Twins, the Sox had lost four in a row. And this win was no walk in the park as the game ended with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate in the top of the ninth.
Some thoughts:
* Without his best stuff and location, Mark Buehrle gutted it out for eight innings after falling behind 2-0 and 4-2 for his–and the team’s–second win. He also helped the overworked bullpen catch their collective breaths.
* The South Siders needed a big hit badly and got it from Jones.
* There was no small ball at The Cell today as Paul Konerko, Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham all went deep.
* Even this early Mark Teahen is a concern. He looks like he’s in a fog and has to be among the major leaders in weakly hit ground ball outs.
* It’s a good sign that Carlos Quentin belted out a single and a double. Need him to get back to 2008 form.
* Bobby Jenks gave up two hits after easily retiring the first two batters in the ninth, but the good news is that he was consistently hitting 96 mph.
* It’s Jake Peavy tomorrow night in Toronto against the Jays in the first of four. Look for him to bounce back from his sub-par effort on Tuesday.
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In the Beginning…Sox and Buehrle vs. Tribe and Westbrook

The long cold winter and six weeks of spring training are in the rear-view mirror. It’s time to play for real. Let’s hope the White Sox take the first step toward an AL Central title and a trip to the postseason.

Today’s Opening Day lineups:

Indians

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Grady Sizemore, CF
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Travis Hafner, DH
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
Lou Marson, C
Michael Brantley, LF
Jake Westbrook, P

Sox

Juan Pierre, LF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Carlos Quentin, RF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Mark Kotsay, DH
Alex Rios, CF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Mark Teahen, 3B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Mark Buehrle, P

                                                                          
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Now pitching for the Royals…Brian Anderson?

Brian Anderson was once the White Sox golden boy who had the opportunity of a lifetime. He was the club’s No. 1 draft pick out of the University of Arizona in 2003 who was given the chance to be the starting centerfielder for the World Champion Sox three years later.  As we know, he never made the grade in Chicago.

That said, there were some memorable moments for the superb defender who was unable to hit consistently. While he wasn’t on the playoff roster his celebration with eventual predecessor Aaron Rowand, captured in the ’05 World Series video after Scott Podsednik‘s walkoff homer in Game 2, will live in Sox lore. His two home run performance off of Felix Hernandez and making the final catch of the “sudden death” game against the Twins to give the South Siders the 2008 AL Central crown are two other memorable instances. And, of course, he has a World Series ring.

Despite these sporadic highlights the Sox simply gave up on BA last summer just prior to the trade deadline, sending him to the Red Sox for Mark Kotsay. Obviously not in Boston’s long-term plans, he signed a one-year deal with the Royals this past offseason.

Despite hitting for the cycle during a 5 for 5 day in spring training, Brian must have seen the writing on the wall and is now heading back to the low minors in an attempt to become a pitcher.

“I’m not sure how that process is going to go, but it’s got to start at the very bottom,” said KC manager Trey Hillman. “We’re milling through that right now. He’s committed to making a go of it. So that’s what we’re going to do.” For the record, BA last pitched in college for Arizona. He was in 17 games with a 5.40 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.

Anderson is no different than hundreds of others in baseball history who were highly touted, but never quite lived up to their supposed potential. Some just didn’t have the talent to stick, others didn’t have the stick-to-it-iveness and still others may have not had the professional maturity. In BA’s case the first and third points seem to apply as he has admitted that he wasn’t ready when the Sox handed him the starting job after the championship season.

Who knows how all of this will turn out. Will it be the second coming of Sergio Santos? For Anderson’s sake, I hope it’s a happy ending.

qnpwnl.jpg                                                   BA in happier times


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Sergio Santos is Living the Dream, Reaches the Majors as Sox Announce 25-Man Roster

After failing to get a sniff of the major leagues as an infielder with five organizations, Sergio Santos is finally a big-leaguer–as a relief pitcher. He earned that distinction with a fine spring and today the 2002 No. 1 draft pick of the Diamondbacks was named to the White Sox 25-man roster heading into Opening Day. And he’s only been pitching since last year.

The other roster question was also answered as Jayson Nix made the team as a utility infielder/outfielder.

The final cuts were infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, pitcher Dan Hudson (Charlotte) and hurlers Greg Aquino, Erick Threets and Charlie Leesman plus catcher Donny Lucy (assigned to minor league camp).

The Sox will go into battle beginning next Monday with the following roster:

Pitchers (12): Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia, Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, Scott Linebrink, Tony Pena, Randy Williams, Sergio Santos

Catchers (2):  A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Castro

Infielders (7):  Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Teahen, Mark Kotsay, Omar Vizquel, Jayson Nix

Outfielders (4): Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Andruw Jones

85521035.jpg                                    The dream comes true for Sergio Santos

Enough Ties Already, Let’s Get a Win or Two Before We Leave Glendale

When Ozzie commented that, in essence, the Sox would start getting down to business during the last week of the season, I don’t think he had last night in mind.

Blowing a 7-0 lead, the Sox salvaged their fifth tie of the spring with Scott Linebrink (he gave up four runs, two earned) and Tony Pena (he committed a balk that allowed the tying run to score) the mound culprits and the defense playing a major role in the blown lead with four errors.

Offensively, the Sox were led by red-hot Mark Kotsay (pictured below), who homered with three RBI and raised his spring average to .426. Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 5 and Paul Konerko 2 for 3 with an RBI. He’s now hitting .345 this spring.

Mark Buehrle and the Sox face the A’s today in Glendale with the possibility that the club will announce the 25-man roster as well.

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Successful Finale in Tucson, Beckham is OK (Whew!) and Getting Down to Business

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tucson2.jpgFrom 1998-2008 the White Sox called Tucson Electric Park (above, top) their spring training home after 37 years in Sarasota, FL. With both the Diamondbacks and Rockies moving to the Phoenix area next spring, the Sox played their final game in Tucson today at venerable Hi Corbett Field (above, bottom), beating the Rockies, 6-2, with an impressive 15 hits.
The Sox rebounded from a 10-1 pounding at the hands of the D-backs on Friday in their TEP finale. Mark Kotsay went three for three  with a walk, including a double and a triple. Alexei Ramirez had a pair of singles with two RBI, Paul Konerko collected two hits and an RBI and a rejuvenated Mark Teahen singled twice and scored two runs. After a couple of days in minor league camp, Teahen has been hitting and is now up to .256. Jayson Nix also doubled in a run.
On the pitching side, Randy Williams and Greg Aquino, a candidate for the last pitching roster spot, threw scoreless ball.
Sox notes of note…

It looks like Gordon Beckham‘s abdominal strain was nothing to worry about as reported yesterday. He should be back at second base Sunday…Sox have a pair of split-squad games
tomorrow. They are at home against the Royals and on the road in Surprise vs. the Rangers.
Dan Hudson is scheduled to start at Camelback Ranch and Gavin Floyd will be given the nod against Texas…Ozzie has made it known that starting Monday it’s time to bear down and get ready for Opening Day with the starters playing nine innings. There undoubtedly will be a different intensity that has resulted in an 8-13-4 spring record thus far with a mixture of starters, prospects and other minor leaguers.

Mark it Down: Teahen Breaks Out of Slump as Sox Hammer D-Backs, 10-3

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Will the real Mark Teahen please step forward? The new White Sox third baseman (pictured above) was acquired from the Royals during the off-season partially due to his dominance over Sox pitching–particularly Mark Buehrle. In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Whether he has been trying too hard to impress his new teammates or simply is in a routine slump, Teahen has had a very disappointing spring. Going into yesterday’s game against the Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch, ultimately a 10-3 Sox victory, he was hitting .143. It got so bad that instead of staying with the varsity, Teahen was jettisoned to minor league camp in an effort to get him straightened out. Well, so far so good.
This afternoon, Teahen’s first appearance since his short stint in the outer fields, he went 2-4 with a single and a two-run homer–his first extra base hit this spring. While Teahen provided the best news of the day, there were other happy highlights:
* Omar Vizquel snapped out of a slump by going 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI, a walk with two runs scored.
* Carlos Quentin was 3 for 5 with two RBI.
* Juan Pierre went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and his fourth stolen base of the spring.
* Mark Kotsay was 2 for 4 along with two runs scored.
* Pitching-wise, John Danks hurled six good innings, allowing three runs and five hits. Greg AquinoBobby Jenks and Erick Threets each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the win.
The Sox are now 7-11-4 this spring. They travel to nearby Peoria tomorrow afternoon to face the Padres.
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