Tagged: Mark Buehrle

A Little News Here, A Little News There

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The early days of spring training, the time before the exhibition games begin, don’t bring a whole lot of news, but we all know that’s not the point. The point is that baseball is back.
So, while pitchers and catchers enter their fourth day of getting back to their summertime routines and only a handful of position players have reported for duty, the news is slim aside from the proclamation that Chris Sale will be in the bullpen. The following will have to do for now:
Adam Dunn reported to camp early and had to explain to his son why his number has changed from his familiar No. 44 to No. 32. The reason? Peavy is 44.
Mark Buehrle, two-time Gold Glove winner and the author of the best defensive play of 2010 (on Opening Day), flubbed a few grounders in drills yesterday. In typical Mr. Perfect fashion, he laughed it off.
Jake Peavy‘s first start of the spring is now scheduled for March 4 in Tempe against the Angels. Considering how important he is to the starting rotation, it’s something we should all keep a close eye on.
–The spring games will determine the makeup of the Sox roster and what the complement will be regarding pitchers and position players. At this point it appears everyone is in agreement that 12 pitchers is preferred, but the fact that a fifth starter won’t be needed until April 10, might mean 11 will go North for Opening Day.
–No surprise here: Ozzie told reporters he goes more on instinct than relying on computer printouts. Duh…
–A couple of ex-Sox notes: Joe Crede decided not to report to Rockies camp and instead opted for free agency…Centerfielder-turned-pitcher Brian Anderson is now a candidate for a spot in the Yankee bullpen. He pitched in the Royals’ minor league system in ’10.

Mark Buehrle Loves “Happy” and Vice Versa

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Full disclosure: Mark Buehrle is one of my favorite White Sox and Happy (pictured here with his Art of the Pale Hose cap) is my best friend.
Earlier this week, Mr. Perfect said the following: “(Michael Vick) had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we (with wife Jamie) watched the game and I know it’s bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”
Mark and Jamie (pictured below with a few friends) are strong animal rights advocates who have started a “Sox for Strays” program with local rescue groups. And Mark, of course, was referring to Vick’s dogfighting crimes which put him in prison.
I don’t want to put words in Buehrle’s mouth, but I don’t think he literally meant he was wishing for Vick to suffer a serious injury. He was simply expressing his feelings about how atrocious it is to harm man’s best friends.
“Dogs are like your kids,” Buehrle said. “You cuddle with them when they are going to bed, and I think they are kind of like humans…It’s something about dogs. They connect to you and they bond with you. It’s your buddy.”
Happy and I agree.

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Day 1: SoxFest More Like an OzzieFest

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The first day of the annual SoxFest celebration turned out to be quite a day for the Sox skipper.
A group of fans broke out into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Ozzie’s 47th (celebrated on Thursday), a brand new website, ozzieguillen.com, was launched and, most significantly, the Sox picked up Guillen’s option for 2012.
The extension wasn’t a sure thing as we all know. After a hellish (Ozzie’s sentiments, not mine) summer where he bickered with GM Kenny Williams, dealt with his son Oney‘s annoying tweeting (my view, not Ozzie’s) and was on the verge of being traded to the Marlins, Guillen’s future was certainly in doubt. But when all was said and done, Williams had his back.
“I’ve never doubted the man’s managerial ability and the ability to pull people together,” Williams said at SoxFest, according to Mark Gonzales of the Tribune.  “Listen, we all can get off track a little bit, and we (did) last year. All I want us to do is to get back on track and focus on the baseball team and the fans. They’re hand in hand. Everything else, I want out of the equation.

“And I wanted to get that (option) thing behind and move on and enjoy the game. I always enjoy the game. Go about my business the way I always do. We know it was a tough season last year. We just put everything behind, and everything goes well.”
More from SoxFest:
* It was apparent that the GM was unhappy with his pitching coach Don Cooper‘s comment that he would prefer that Chris Sale prepare for a single role as opposed to preparing to be a starter and reliever. Here’s Williams’ view: “…to have Sale prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches, because that’s what guys tend to do, I don’t think it’s wise. My pitching coach will ultimately fall in line with his general manager and his manager. Coop should probably speak to us before he speaks to you guys.”

* Sale’s immediate future, of course, will depend largely on Jake Peavy‘s progress. Reports range from he’ll be ready on Opening Day to him stepping into the rotation by May 1.
* Mark Buehrle is the latest Sox star to be headed into his “walk” year. Where does he stand? “If I have a good year and something happens, there’s an opportunity out there to sign and I’m open to it. I’ll talk with the wife and play for a couple more years, possibly. So we’ll see. It’s a long year. If I decide to retire at the end, I’ll retire. If not, I’ll sign somewhere.”

* With third base (Brent Morel, Mark Teahen, Omar Vizquel) and first base (Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn) spoken for, Williams indicated that Dayan Viciedo is spending time learning how to play outfield to give him a shot at the Opening Day roster. The GM says Viciedo has done well so far.

58945940.jpgMatt Thornton, decked out in a Brian Urlacher jersey at yesterday’s SoxFest, shows where his football loyalty lies.

The 12 Days of White Sox Christmas


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In the spirit of the season…

The First Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…1 great offseason, filling our stocking with a load of talent–and hope–for the upcoming season.
The Second Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…2 free agents with Sox World Series rings in Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.
The Third Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…3 possible closers in Matt Thornton, Chris Sale and, if needed, newcomer Jesse Crain.

The Fourth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…at least 4 solid starters in Mark Buehrle, Edwin JacksonJohn Danks and Gavin Floyd. Make it five if Jake Peavy recovers from his injury and six if Sale is in the rotation.

The Fifth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…A solid No. 5 hitter from a talented group who, from what Ozzie has indicated, could very well be Alex Rios–hitting behind the powerhouse duo of Adam Dunn in the three hole and Paulie batting cleanup.

The Sixth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…The annual 6 games against the Cubs next season–three at home on May 20, 21, 22 and three at Wrigley Field on 
July 1, 2, 3.

The Seventh Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…a 7-game homestand leading up to the ’11 All-Star Game in Phoenix against the Royals and hated Twins as the Sox attempt to match last year’s first-place standing at the break.

The Eighth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…8 games against the 
Yankees in 2011–four in April (25, 26, 27, 28) at Yankee Stadium and four in August (1, 2, 3, 4) at the Cell.

The Ninth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…No. 9, Sox icon Minnie Minoso, who is still going strong after celebrating his 85th birthday last month.

The Tenth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…A 10-game opening homestand after starting the year with five games on the road in Cleveland and Kansas City. The Sox will face the Rays, A’s and Angels at the Cell from April 7-17.

The Eleventh Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…No. 11 on the back of Omar Vizquel‘s uniform, as the future Hall of Famer honors the great Luis Aparicio for the second straight year after an outstanding first season on the South Side.
The Twelfth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…All in all, a whole lot to look forward to as we head into 2011.
Happy Holidays!
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Paulie’s Back

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Breathe a sigh of relief, SoxWorld, your captain has returned.
In an 11th hour move, Paul Konerko signed what is reported to be a three-year, $37.5 million dollar contract. It looked very iffy for a while yesterday as Konerko’s demands increased, but the White Sox brass obviously made a convincing case that Paulie belongs on the South Side of Chicago.
So, the White Sox’s Three World Champion Musketeers–Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Buehrle–all will be back to hopefully repeat their 2005 success. Joining them will be a solid starting pitching staff and a powerful lineup, including newcomer Adam Dunn, that should be enough for the Sox to be considered the favorite–at least for now–in the A.L. Central. The only void seems to be a spot or two in the bullpen, which Kenny Williams is undoubtedly addressing as I’m writing this blog.
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Sox Have Crazy Thursday: Non-Tender Jenks, Sign Dunn, Bring A.J. Back into the Fold and Pick Up Alexei’s Option

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We thought all the action would happen at next week’s annual Winter Meetings in Orlando, but the Sox surprised everyone yesterday with a blockbuster day of moves that began to shape the team for next season.
It was hard to keep up with it all:
First, the Sox picked up the $2.5 option for Alexei Ramirez.
Second, Bobby Jenks was non-tendered.
Third, word came out that the Sox signed slugger Adam Dunn.
Fourth, I woke up this morning to find out that A.J. had signed a two-year deal (to continue my obsession with the ’05 Sox, Mark Buehrle is now assured of having a fellow World Champion as a teammate in 2011).
If that weren’t enough, there’s talk that that signing Paul Konerko is still a possibility. And could J.J. Putz be right behind?
So, what’s behind all of this spending? After Kenny Williams submitted two different budgets–one that would focus on cutting salaries and rebuilding and the other would increase the payroll–this is what was decided, according to Williams:
“The decision was that if we’re going all in, we’re going all in.”
You’ll get no argument from me.
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Sox-wise and Otherwise: Will Buehrle be the Last Man Standing From 2005 World Champs?

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Here’s a sobering thought.
When White Sox spring training begins in February,
Mark Buehrle may very well be the lone survivor from the 2005 World
Champions.

It’s certainly premature to
carve this scenario in stone, but with
Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and
Freddy Garcia
free agents and Bobby Jenks arbitration eligible, the popular lefthander from St.
Charles, Mo. could stand alone.

If you think about it, it’s
appropriate. Some may say Konerko would be the ideal “last man standing.” But
Paulie, as beloved as he is on the South Side with one more year in a Sox
uniform than Buehrle’s 11, lacks one thing–he’s not a home-grown White Sox. 

While some Sox fans might be surprised because Paulie is so identified with the silver and black, Konerko grew up in the Dodger organization and played briefly for the Reds before coming to Chicago. Buehrle, on the other hand, was a 38th round pick for the Pale Hose in 1998 and has been with the organization ever since.

So, if Konerko, Pierzynski,
Jenks and Garcia go elsewhere in the next few months, only Buehrle will
represent the greatest year in Sox history on the active roster–and will do it
with a pretty impressive resume. Here are some of his career highlights,
already worthy of consideration for a likeness on the left field wall at the
Cell:

 

     ·     Perfect
Game against the Rays

 

·     
No-hitter
against the Rangers

 

·     
148
wins in a Sox uniform, an impressive 38 games over .500

 

·     
A
Major-league record 45 consecutive batters retired

 

·     
Four-time
All-Star, winning pitcher for AL in 2005

 

·     
An
ALDS victory, an ALCS win and a World Series save in 2005

 

·     
10
consecutive seasons of 200-plus innings pitched, leading the league 
twice–also led league twice in games started

     

     ·     
Two
Gold Gloves, including this past season

 

·     
White
Sox record (8) for Opening Day starts

 

·     
Arguably
the game’s best pickoff move

 

·     
Among
the Sox career leaders in wins, starts, innings pitched, winning percentage,
quality starts (1
st) and strikeouts

 

And the above accomplishments
don’t factor in his leadership  
abilities, ultra-competitiveness, team-first attitude, good humor and
charity/community involvement.


Sox
Notes of Note:
  Rumors run rampant this time of year.
One is that the Sox are willing to listen to offers for
Gordon Beckham (really?)…Another is that Jermaine Dye, after sitting out the entire 2010 season, wants to
play next season. Reports are that the Rockies, Phillies and Rays are
interested…Yet another is that Sox are exploring the possibility of signing
free agent closer
Rafael Soriano,
who was so strong last season for the Rays. Another sign that Jenks may be a
goner…Finally, congratulations to Buehrle for his winning a 2010 Gold Glove and
Alexei
Ramirez
for his first Silver Slugger
award. Truth is, the Missle should have won a Gold Glove as well.

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