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January 21, 2010

Paul Konerko endorses Kenny Williams’ off-season moves

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 21, 2010 7:40 pm
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Paulie approves Kenny’s moves:

“I think Teahen, he’s kind of coming into his prime,” Konerko said. “I think that’s obviously a good move; you’re hopefully catching him on the upswing. Pierre, he’s (32), but he’s had a couple of years now where he didn’t play every day so he’s probably fresh and ready to go.

“You’ve got J.J. in the bullpen, which I think is probably the big sleeper move of the off-season because if he’s healthy, that’s another big arm down there and that’s really going to shape us up at the end of the game. We’re shaping up well.” …

“There have been some nice moves in the off-season, and you’ve got to like the pitching staff, No. 1,” said Konerko, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $60 million contract. “I like the way the team’s shaping up. Obviously, there are a lot of things that still have to go right, but we’re looking pretty good going in. I like our chances.” …

Ozzie Guillen’s annual ‘Spring Training will be different’ speech

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 21, 2010 7:04 pm
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Gonzales:

”From the first day in spring training, we have to create how we’re going to play during the season,” Guillen said. ”I’m not going to wait until the last week of spring training. No, you’re going to see in the first day bunting and hit-and-run.

“You’re going to see stupid things from the manager, crazy things from the manager. You’re going to wonder what Ozzie is doing, but we’re going to see what we can work with.” …

That’s the way it’s going to be?

Say it ain’t so Ozzie:

As for Thome, Guillen said there is no bigger fan of the veteran than him, but life in the American League is changing.

“No one except his wife is a bigger fan of Jim Thome than me,” Guillen said. “I will be grateful and pleased one day to say that I had an opportunity to manage this man, but this game is changing a little bit. It’s easy for manager when you don’t have a true DH. I can move things around, give guys more playing time. That’s the way it’s going to be.

“Fans out there will be looking at this team a little different. They might be saying, ‘Hey, we’re missing something.’ I think we’re going in a different direction, but the right direction. Our team is going to create different things. That’s why things will look weird. People shouldn’t be worried about that. Thome to me is one of the best guys ever to wear the uniform, but DH is changing. Few teams will have a legit DH. Those days are going away.”

Easy for manager? No. It’s easy for the other team’s manager. 2010 is gonna suck. Save us Kenny

BTW, Ozzie will be at ‘Chicago Tribune Live‘ today at 5:30 p.m. E-mail him at CTL@comcastsportsnet.com

UPDATE: More sadness/craziness from Ozzie:

” … (Thome’s departure) gives this ballclub an opportunity to give more people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”

… “To me, it’s easier and we get more production with the team we have now that way,” Guillen said.

… ”Fans, they’re not going to be happy about something,” Guillen said. “Or a question mark as to why we don’t have a big left-handed hitter. We did for a couple years. The ballclub we had in the past didn’t create that many runs.

“We’re going to play different. We’re not going to wait for guys who can hit 30 home runs. I hope not. I hope they don’t come to the mentality that we need pop.” …

UPDATE: Merkin:

“But [the DH by committee] gives this ballclub an opportunity to give people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”We are not a home-run team anymore.”

… “We have that big left-handed bat for a couple of years, and I think the ballclub we have in the past is a club that can’t create runs,” Guillen said. “We still have guys who can hit 30 home runs, but I don’t want them to come with the mentality that we need power.

“Sometime we will be down by one run in the ninth inning and wish we had [Frank] Thomas or Thome, but this is a different type of game. We have the ballclub to play baseball, make the catch and make the plays. We change everything around.

“It’s not to say we will win. But we are going in the right direction. I think this team is almost set.”

January 20, 2010

January 20 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 10:19 pm
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- BDD’s Top Prospects Compilation: Update #12:

Spreadsheet: 2009-2010 Top Prospect List Compilation.xls [175 KB]

- Ozzie Guillen turns 46.

- Gordon Beckham is looking to avoid a sophomore slump.

- Don Cooper is encouraged by Mark Buehrle’s off-season workout program.

- Octavio ‘Doc OcK’ Dotel signed a 1-year deal with a 2011 club option with the Pirates.

Season-tickets renewals strong

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 10:12 pm
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Gonzales:

The formula of projected revenues minus projected expenses equaling player payroll is apparently working well for the White Sox this offseason.

Despite a slight increase in prices, season-ticket renewals are “strong” and projections are ahead of what the Sox anticipated at this point, vice president/chief marketing officer Brooks Boyer said Wednesday.

The result is that the Sox have 22 players signed for about $104.025 million for 2010. Even with $5.25 million coming from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals in trades, the Sox’s cash obligations to players will exceed $100 million with the resources to add another seasoned player if needed. …

John Danks will live

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 9:02 pm
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Gonzales:

… In other Sox news, John Danks said a follow-up examination on his left index finger was fine.

”I’m going to live,” Danks quipped in a text message.

Jim Thome just wants to play baseball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 8:45 pm
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Merkin:

Thome followed up his expressed desire to suit up for season No. 20 with an equally strong desire to avoid talking about contract particulars.

“I would rather not get into all that stuff,” Thome said. “I just want to play baseball.”

This question deflected by Thome centered on whether years or money would make a difference in his ultimate 2010 destination. But finding the right fit stands as the most important factor for the prolific slugger.

Once again, Thome mentioned how there was talk between his camp and a few teams. As for a return to the White Sox, Thome said with a smile that he hadn’t closed down this option from his side.

“My door is open,” Thome said. “All you have to do is call me.

“From my end, everyone knows I love Chicago. It’s a great city, and the organization has treated me great for the last four years. It has been a pleasure to play here and be part of it for the last four years.

“So, we’ll see what happens,” Thome said. “In baseball, you learn how business moves are made and decisions are made. You respect those decisions and move on.”

What are you waiting for Kenny?

UPDATE: Paulie on the rotating DH:

“I have no idea [how it would work]. I’ve never been on a team that did that,” Konerko said. “Since 2000, every year I’ve been here there has been a full-time DH, give or take a week when someone was hurt or whatever. We’ll see how that plays out. They seem to be confident it’s the right thing to do.”

UPDATE: Big Jim video.

Joey Cora and Greg Walker approve of Gordon Beckham

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 7:56 pm
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Cowley:

Cora has already given the thumbs up on the work that Beckham put in last week. Especially after the third day of the three-day voluntary mini-camp.

“I feel like I got where I wanted to be in those three days,’’ Beckham said. “All I need to do at second base is relax. Joey was happy after the third day. He mentioned it was all worth it because of that third day.

“The main thing is the double-play feeds around the bag. Make sure you’re quiet with the feet and always going toward first base on the throws. But you can bet we’ll be out there before every home game doing a lot of early work. I think I should be very good by the time we get to June. I don’t see it being a problem.’’

His swing sure wasn’t.

Beckham, who hit .270 with 14 home runs, 28 doubles and 63 RBI in 103 games, also worked in the cage with hitting coach Greg Walker in Miami.

“Gordon looked like Gordon,’’ Walker said. “His swing is fairly low maintenance. It’s about the mental battle for Gordon. His big challenge now is to move over to second base and understand that mental battle of a long season.’’ …

Back to 7:10

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 5:46 pm

Greenberg:

The Sox’s sponsorship deal with convenience store chain 7-Eleven expired after the 2009 season, and the company chose not to renew it. The $500,000-per-year deal called for all weeknight games to start at 7:11 p.m.

“They canceled the agreement right after it was done,” White Sox vice president and chief marketing officer Brooks Boyer said on Wednesday.

The Sox’s official Web site lists 2010 home games as to be determined. Boyer said games will begin at 7:10 p.m. …

A Dream Team… in honor of Dr. King

Filed under: MLB — The Wizard @ January 20, 2010 12:44 am

Sully:

On this Martin Luther King Day, I’ve decided to honor those great players who were denied a shot at the big leagues because of the color of their skin.

Of course before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the so called logic of the day said black players were not as talented as the white players.

I guess it was a coincidence that in the 23 years after Jackie arrived, 16 of the National League MVPs were awarded to players who had Negro League experience.

So in the same spirit of my Home Grown vs. Acquired series from last year, I will write up the THE ALL TIME SHUT OUT OF THE MAJORS BECAUSE OF SEGREGATION roster. …

Awesome post.

January 19, 2010

Pops it up

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 10:16 pm
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Pavlidis:

Now that Candlestick is closed, pop-ups are nearly sure outs. They’re also a sign of hitters being over-powered (in some cases), so it might tell us something about the pitch. All the leaders here are four-seam fastballs, which is to be expected when it comes to finding infield flies.

Highest pop-up rate, 2009 debut

1 Fu-Te Ni .265
2 Clay Zavada .235
3 Feliz .229
4 Daniel Hudson .226
5 Koji Uehara .222

Camp Walker, Camp Cora, Camp Cooper

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 9:51 pm
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Gonzales:

Coaches Greg Walker, Joey Cora and Don Cooper met with various groups this offseason to address the following areas — hitting, fielding and pitching.

“You have to pay a price to win,” Cooper said Tuesday, nine days after conducting a mini-camp in Glendale, Ariz., with a group of pitchers with assorted experience. “Each guy has to do his preparation.”

Here’s a closer look at what happened in specific departments with the start of spring training about a month away. …

January 19 links

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 5:43 pm
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- How valuable is a good farm system?

- Carlton Fisk disagrees with Marc Mcgwire.

- The Sox outrighted catcher Cole Armstrong to AAA Charlotte.

- Dayan Viciedo is working out at 1st base at Camp Cora.

- Kenny can’t figure out why Linebrink sucked last year. J.J. wonders what the Sox will do with him after this year.

- Paul Konerko a Hall of Fame player?.

- Erick Threets: Don Cooper Spring Training project.

Sox sign John Danks

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 1:42 pm
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whitesox.com:

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.45-million contract with left-handed pitcher John Danks, avoiding arbitration.

Danks, 24, was 13-11 with a 3.77 ERA (84 ER/200.1 IP) and 149 strikeouts in 32 starts last season.  He set career highs in wins and IP and limited opponents to a .245 average, fourth-lowest among American League left-handers.

Danks has gone 25-20 with a 3.55 ERA (156 ER/395.1 IP) and 308 strikeouts in 65 starts over the last two seasons combined.

The White Sox have no remaining arbitration-eligible players.

Greg Walker reports Alex Rios is A-OK

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ January 19, 2010 12:36 am
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I’m so relieved!

Five swings.

That’s all it took for Greg Walker to take a deep sigh of relief and realize that the enigma looked to be back to an All-Star.

No holes. No mechanical flaws. No signs of a player who was carrying the weight of the South Side on his shoulders.

… ”But to be honest, it took the first five swings in the cage to show me that he had passed the eye test. Mechanically, this is the Alex Rios I saw on tape when he was in Toronto.”

… ”There were some that felt we needed to change his mechanics,” Walker said. ”I wasn’t in that camp. I don’t think he needs a change mechanically. We tried to attack the problems that developed late last season, but when that didn’t work, we decided, ‘Well, let’s just give him some time off.’ My hope was that the time away would be what he needed, and the two or three things he developed would disappear.”

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