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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Design Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.

The Montreal Expos (French: Expos de Montréal) team started in 1969 and never changed their logo.  For almost 40 years the team held on to this awesome mark because it was smart and looked great. Expos de Montreal Baseball. That is the secret behind this logo. Interwoven script pieces all come together to abbreviate the full name of the team. This logo is a little dated looking, but I can imagine this being modernized and still looking amazing without significant change. That is how you know this is a good logo. The line work is smooth, it is creative and clever and I commend the designer for coming up with a mark that doesn’t rely on a baseball to remind the viewer that it is a team logo. This is easily one of the smartest logos in baseball history.

I literally went, “Oh wow,” when I read this bit. I’d never understood this about the Expos logo.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Avisail Garcia needs shoulder surgery, will miss rest of season

I haven’t seen so many injuries in a sport since Harvey Keitel got his in Taxi Driver.

White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia has a torn labrum in his left shoulder after injuring it during Wednesday’s game in Colorado. He’ll need surgery to repair it, which will end his 2014 season. The White Sox made the announcement official Thursday afternoon.

Garcia, 22, was attempting a diving catch in the sixth inning Thursday, after which he was in obvious pain laying on the field. He laid there for a few minutes before departing the game.

Since being acquired in the trade that sent Jose Iglesias to the Tigers and Jake Peavy to the Red Sox last July, Garcia has hit .298/.332/.450 (110 OPS+) with four doubles, two triples, seven homers and 25 RBI in 202 plate appearances.

Repoz Posted: April 10, 2014 at 04:16 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

It’s hard to translate Cuban statistics, but Jose Abreu looks good

The Merriam-Webster scouting service nearly nails it: “We seated ourselves on the Davenport while we waited for Abreu to get ready.”

Nonetheless, analyst Clay Davenport long has tracked Cuban baseball at claydavenport.com. He also has worked on translating Cuban stats to MLEs.

That’s of special interest to White Sox fans, with Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu being the biggest offseason acquisition by either Chicago team. Playing for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Abreu had only 136 at-bats in 2013. Short seasons are the norm, and Abreu has had more than 300 at-bats only once in 10 seasons (2006).

Abreu packed a lot of production into those limited chances in 2013, hitting .322 with 13 home runs, 37 walks, a .527 on-base percentage and a .735 slugging percentage.

Davenport calculates that Abreu’s production was the equivalent of hitting .298/.393/.576 against big-league opposition. Add his on-base and slugging percentages, and you get a .969 OPS. Among American League first-base regulars last season, only the Orioles’ Chris Davis (1.004) topped that. It would be a big step up for the Sox, who had Adam Dunn (.762) and Paul Konerko (.669) sharing first-base and designated-hitter duties last season.

...Most analysts are bullish on Abreu. On Davenport’s site, he projects .296/.391/.586, with 39 homers, 75 walks and 158 strikeouts. The Steamer projection at FanGraphs is only slightly less optimistic at .272/.363/.547, with 34 homers, 60 walks and 110 strikeouts in a bit less playing time (544 plate appearances at FanGraphs against something more than 592 at Davenport’s site, which doesn’t list sacrifice flies, hit-by-pitches or other small factors that go into plate appearances).

The least optimistic projection is on BaseballProspectus.com’s Abreu player card, which sees him with a .262 average and 19 homers in 413 plate appearances. Given the difficulties of translating Cuban performance to U.S. equivalents, the surprise isn’t so much that there’s a low-end projection but that the others are so similar.

Repoz Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:50 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Adam Dunn invited to Oscars

Adam Dunn seen here with his acting/hitting mentor Chuck Connors.

lp

Dunn, an investor in the Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club,” has an invitation to attend the Academy Awards show Sunday in Los Angeles. Dunn has a cameo role as a bartender in the movie, which was produced by his friend Joe Newcomb, founder of Truth Entertainment.

“I’m still debating whether I want to do it,” Dunn said from Chicago’s spring training camp in Glendale. “I don’t know yet, but the offer is there. How many opportunities do you have to go to the Oscars? But if it’s any sort of big deal with the team, I won’t go.”

That doesn’t appear to be the case. In an email to ESPN.com, general manager Rick Hahn said, “We told him it wouldn’t be a problem if he wanted to head out there for a night.”

...Dunn says he would like to go if possible. Manager Robin Ventura says he has no problem with Dunn missing a day and thinks he should.

Said Ventura: “It’s a cool thing. That movie would not have been as good without him.”

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Adam Dunn Is Focused On Helping White Sox Win

Awards season: Dunn said he enjoyed his big-screen debut as a bartender in the Oscar-nominated film “Dallas Buyers Club,” made by the production company in which he invests. Dunn, who didn’t have a line in the movie, joked he was snubbed in not receiving a nomination.

“It seems like that always happens,” Dunn said. “The Gold Glove, every year I get snubbed on that, so I’m used to it.”

Sox manager Robin Ventura saw the movie Friday night.

“It is shocking when you’re watching a movie and you’re getting immersed in a movie and you see Dunner behind the bar,” Ventura said. “All of a sudden it took my focus off the movie and all of a sudden you’re watching him act. … He’s believable. He looks like he would be doing that job. He looks like he fits that role.”

BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:35 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Monday, January 27, 2014

White Sox’ Cooper says it won’t be easy right away, but future’s bright

I’d bust out some Son Of a Gun, but it’s sorta early…in the season.

“We have a tough row to hoe,’’ said Don Cooper, who’s preparing for his 12th season as Sox pitching coach. “We have a lot of young players. What Rick has done has made us look much better for the future. As far as the immediate future, I think it’s going to be a heck of a challenge for us.’’

Cooper knows the Sox could improve significantly and still be a 77-85 team. He also sees how lower expectations from outside the clubhouse can be advantageous. And he claims there are genuine reasons for optimism. With spring training less than three weeks away, now is the time for that.

“Hey, the moves Rick has made, we’re younger, we’re faster, we’re looking better for the future right now,’’ Cooper said. “And now we will get a chance to see all these guys play. I’m really excited to see [right fielder] Avisail Garcia [play a full season]. Man, he looks good. And he’s a big son of a gun.’’

When Hahn traded his No. 2 starter, Jake Peavy, to get Garcia before the trade deadline last season, Cooper asked, what’s not to like?

“He can run, too,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘You get a guy with speed and power? Those are hard to find. So it’s exciting. I see the shape that Ramirez is in. I see Abreu, and he’s a big son of a gun. He looks pretty good. I saw a couple of swings. Then I met [new hitting coach] Todd Steverson [from the disciplined Oakland Athletics organization]. There are many things in my mind, and I’m not just drumming them up to be optimistic about.’’

Repoz Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:39 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicago Tribune - Kane: White Sox sign manager Robin Ventura to multi-year contract extension

The former Sox third baseman has gone 148-176 in two seasons since then-GM Ken Williams hired him in the fall of 2011 with no managerial experience. Hahn said Ventura had provided stability for a team that went 85-77 in 2012, then stumbled to one of the worst seasons in club history.

“We saw in 2012 and 2013 two extremes in terms of being a first-place club (for most of the season) and being a club that was disappointing ... and throughout each of those extremes, Robin’s leadership was unwavering,” Hahn said. “His communication, his ability to teach at the big league level, his enthusiasm, his baseball intellect — all the things we were looking for in a manager — were the same at our highest highs and our lowest lows. And that level of stability is what we want from a leader in the dugout.”

Ventura declined an extension before the 2013 season, but he said Friday the decision wasn’t a sign he was uncertain he wanted to manage the Sox. Instead, he said, he wanted Hahn to have another season to judge his performance and their fit together.

Brilliant or disaster?

Lassus Posted: January 25, 2014 at 10:16 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: robin ventura, white sox

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Derespina: Masahiro Tanaka derby: Reading the tea leaves

Masaography at its finest.

Here’s what we officially know about the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes: Very little.

Five teams have reportedly submitted formal offers for the highly-coveted Japanese righthander. The Yankees and Dodgers are viewed as the front runners in that group with the Cubs, Diamondbacks and White Sox bringing up the rear (likely in that order).

Now let’s get into the tea leaf reading:

(1) Living near a large Japanese community is apparently important to Tanaka (or at least his wife) according to multiple reports.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, New York City tops the list of the ten places with the largest number of Asians, coming in at 1,134,919. Los Angeles is second with 483,585 and Chicago is seventh with 166,770. No city in Arizona makes the list.

Seattle, by the way, is 11th with 100,727. That’s important because the Mariners are viewed as a potential dark horse candidate to land Tanaka.

(2) Some have speculated that Tanaka may want to go to a team where he would be the lone Japanese star.

The Yankees currently have starter Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (who could be traded) on the roster. Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is on the Cubs’ roster, though it’s difficult to see him challenging for serious attention.

The White Sox, Diamondbacks and Dodgers don’t have any Japanese players on their 40-man roster (LA’s Hyun-Jin Ryu is Korean).

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2014 at 10:19 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, d-backs, dodgers, white sox, yankees

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Schoenfield: The 10 worst mascots ever

1. Crazy Crab (Giants)
2. Chief Noc-a-Homa (Braves)
3. Original Pirate Parrot (Pirates)
4. Twinkie the Loon (Twins)
5. Charlie-O (A’s)
6. Ribbie and Roobarb (White Sox)
7. Bernie Brewer (Brewers)
8. Dandy (Yankees)
9. Junction Jack (Astros)
10. Rootin’ Tootin’ Ranger (Rangers)


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ex-White Sox catcher Ed Herrmann dies at 67

RIP…Ed Herrmann.

Former major league catcher Ed Herrmann, who played for the White Sox for seven seasons from 1967-1974, died Sunday morning at 67. He had battled prostate cancer for years, family friend and former teammate Bill Melton said.

Herrmann played 11 major league seasons with the Sox, Yankees, Angels, Astros and Expos and was named an All-Star in 1974. Melton said Herrmann’s ability to catch knuckleball pitchers such as former Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood most stuck out from his career.

Melton, a former Sox third baseman, remembered Herrmann as a popular and easygoing player who insisted on playing every day, even when his allergies grew so bad his eyes were swollen.

“His famous words were, ‘I’ll be all right,’” Melton said. “You never could get him out of the lineup. He never complained. ‘They’ll be all right.’ That’s the way he was.”

He remained the same as he battled cancer, Melton said.

After he retired from playing, Herrmann stayed involved in baseball as a scout, tutor, coach and manager of youth teams, according to his website, edherrmann.com. He also helped Melton at Sox fantasy camps.

“Really his whole life was about baseball,” Melton said.

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Margalus: Early returns put Frank Thomas on the Hall of Fame fence

Big Hurt’s chances and some Gizmo love.

However, if history is any indication, Thomas is going to have to hold that line, even though it’s considerably above 75 percent. It’s probably some form of selection bias, but the Repoz tally tends to overestimate vote counts for many players—perhaps because the voters who make their ballots public are the ones who put the most thought into it.

(Plus, the Chicago Tribune makes all their ballots public, and I’d be really surprised if Thomas didn’t get 100 percent there.)

...But there’s plenty else that’s compelling about Thomas when you consider the official Hall of Fame voting criteria:

  5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

The record and playing ability are covered, and “integrity, sportsmanship and character” could be clutch this year for Thomas, thanks to his longtime advocacy for stronger drug-testing programs.

But it’s the last clause that gets my wheels turning, because while Thomas; contributions to the individual teams are vast, his contribution to the franchise is even greater. The start of his career coincided with a few other elements—the new stadium, the new uniforms, other successful first-round draft picks—that transformed the White Sox of the last 23 years into an entity completely unrecognizable for the first 90. It wouldn’t be a stretch to divide franchise history into Before Frank and After Frank, and that’s something that even lead-pipe lock, first-ballot Hall of Famers can’t claim.

Repoz Posted: December 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, white sox

Monday, December 16, 2013

White Sox deal closer Reed to Diamondbacks for 3B prospect Davidson

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn continued to make bold moves in remaking the team Monday, dealing closer Addison Reed to the Diamondbacks for Triple-A third baseman Matt Davidson.

Carlo Paz Posted: December 16, 2013 at 06:24 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, kevin towers, rick hahn, trades, white sox

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ventura recharged heading into 2014

Just don’t recharge the mound.

As of now, Ventura still is not sure what that roster will look like.

“You go through a season like you did last year, there are changes,” Ventura said of the Sox’s 63-99 year. “When you make changes you would, for the most part, like to have a lot of young guys who are good and you have control over for a lot of years. But you also want guys who are established and you know what you’re going to get.”

...At least the infusion of youth could help bring about the refreshed attitude Ventura hopes to see soon in his group.

“It’s good for everybody to get away (after a season), but toward the end of the year you want everybody to refocus and come (to spring training) committed and prepared and ready to go,” Ventura said. “If you’re not showing up ready to prove last year wrong, then you shouldn’t be coming because it was tough for everybody and it’s not fun to watch either.”

There’s enough to focus on that Ventura said last week he doesn’t think about 2014 being the final season of his three-year contract. He turned down an extension in 2012 but said after the 2013 season that he wants to continue to manage, if Hahn wants him.

“I enjoy doing what I’m doing,” Ventura said. “I love who I work for. I’m just getting ready for the season, and whatever happens from here on happens. … If for some reason Rick wants somebody else to do this, then he’s going to have somebody else do this. That’s just the way it works.”

Repoz Posted: December 14, 2013 at 06:19 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Former White Sox great Jack McDowell seeks return to baseball

Stick? Figure not likely.

McDowell, 47, is looking for work as a pitching coach or as a broadcaster—two jobs that would best suit his strengths.

“I’m kind of sifting through things,” McDowell said Tuesday morning. “I just moved to Charlotte (from San Diego) about three months ago, so I’m in a bit of a transition and trying to figure out which direction and what the opportunities are.’‘

McDowell, who won the 1993 American League Cy Young Award with the White Sox, said he’s met with a few people “to see what it’s about.’‘

When asked if there would be a possible reunion with the White Sox in some capacity, McDowell replied, “It’s not looking very good.’‘

Repoz Posted: December 10, 2013 at 05:09 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Monday, December 09, 2013

Morosi: Arms for Sale? White Sox primed to shop young lefties

Why should Hahn trade Sale now? A few reasons:

• It isn’t every offseason that a general manager can start a negotiation by saying, “Chris Sale was the best left-handed starter in baseball (not named Clayton Kershaw) over the past two seasons. And you can have him for the next six seasons at a little more than $55 million — total.”

• The class of free-agent pitchers isn’t especially strong — and will be weakened further if Masahiro Tanaka remains in Japan.

• The White Sox are in the early stages of an extensive rebuild and need young position players with power. They scored the fewest runs of any American League team this year despite playing at what has been one of baseball’s most homer-friendly ballparks. It would be wise to trade Sale’s prime years for multiple long-term assets that would augment a thin farm system (ranked 29th among 30 clubs by Baseball America when the season began).

• Hahn could trade one starter — even Sale — and put together a respectable rotation for 2014. The White Sox finished near the middle of the majors in starters’ ERA this year, with encouraging late-season auditions by right-handers Andre Rienzo and Erik Johnson. A trade would help the White Sox balance their rotation, which projects to include four lefties, as long as veteran John Danks remains healthy.

Thanks to Al.

Repoz Posted: December 09, 2013 at 05:51 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Paul Konerko to return to White Sox

Wonder if he’s going to hit .400 agai…oh, wait.

Konerko signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract, in which he will receive $1.5 million in 2014 and $1 million in 2021.

“I’m looking forward to coming back in a new role where I can help both the organization and my teammates get turned around in the right direction and also do some productive things on the field,” Konerko said in a Sox release.

Konerko, a 37-year-old first baseman/designated hitter, was deciding whether to return to the Sox for another year, retire or play for another team. He said in September that if he returned it would likely be his last season.

“Paul Konerko has been an extremely important member of our lineup and presence in our clubhouse since his arrival in Chicago,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in the release.  “Paul needed time this fall to step away, think about his situation, and reach his own conclusions.  We are very pleased that he has decided to come back for another season.”

...“Paul Konerko has been the constant face of the White Sox organization and the heart of our clubhouse over the past 15 seasons,” Reinsdorf said. “He certainly earned the right to make this decision on his own, and we are very pleased that he has decided to return for another season.  While the accomplishments speak for themselves—six All-Star Games, a World Series title, 427 home runs with the White Sox—anyone who is in our clubhouse day-in and day-out knows the value Paul brings to our franchise as a leader, as a teammate, as a mentor and as our captain.”

Repoz Posted: December 04, 2013 at 02:07 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jose Canseco had goats in his car for some reason and got pulled over

Jose's Goats

Just got pulled over with goats in the car. The cop laughed at our poor goats . Awesome


Morrissey: Forget numbers; intangibles merit one more contract for Konerko

Morrissey now delivering whiplash.

If you tilt your head in just the right way, you might see Konerko as a battle line in the war (WAR?) between emotion and sabermetrics.

There is no measure from 2013 that would make you want Konerko on your roster, not at his age (he’ll turn 38 during spring training) and not with the nagging injuries that always seem to be tugging at him. He went .244/.313/.355 last season. The metrics crowd would suggest euthanasia is in order.

But Konerko has meant so much to this franchise, and that’s why the Sox are leaving his return up to him. He and Jerry ­Reinsdorf have a very close relationship, and the Sox chairman has made it clear that he doesn’t want this situation to end badly.

What does Konerko bring to the table? Wrong question.

What has he brought to the table? Better.

...The very idea of coming back for a farewell tour would kill Konerko. He doesn’t want to be a haggard Babe Ruth leaning on his bat and saying goodbye. I’m not suggesting a long adieu. But there are instances when athletes who have meant a lot to an organization deserve to go out the way they want. Or, to put it another way, Konerko shouldn’t go out like Frank Thomas did with the Sox or Brian Urlacher did with the Bears, which is to say bitterly. He has always carried himself with dignity. A messy departure wouldn’t be in keeping with how he operates.

You probably don’t care about this, but it needs to be said anyway: Konerko talked with reporters before and after every game, even when he didn’t want to, which was probably every day. He believed it was his obligation to the fans, and he also knew it took heat off his teammates. If he talked, they didn’t have to.

I don’t want this to sound like a eulogy because it isn’t. It’s simply a recognition of what this guy has meant to a team and a city.

Certain players transcend the coldhearted decisions that are so much a part of the sports world. Konerko is one of them.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics, white sox

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Frank Thomas hits on baseball, steroids and Hall of Fame

Frank Thomas is that close to becoming a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

Regardless of the criteria, the White Sox legend ranks among the best right-handed hitters of all time.

And, the “Big Hurt” was clean. Imagine if he had not been robbed by steroid users.

“I was the one player who was hurt the most,” said Thomas, who won back-to-back American League MVP awards in 1993 and ’94. “All those years I finished second, third, fourth behind those guys, I probably could have won four more MVPs.”

In Joliet to serve as guest speaker at Monday’s University of St. Francis Brown & Gold Night, Thomas made his feelings on steroids known.

“But I was never outspoken about it,” he said. “That’s something the media put on me. I was asked about it and answered how I felt, and the questions escalated.”

...“I have confidence in Rick Hahn,” Thomas said. “He’s a good guy. But maybe he’s lacking the heartbeat of the locker room. I always thought baseball guys should be assistant GMs. But he’s not the only one. There are lots of guys out there who study all the statistics.”

It’s statistics that now may open the Hall of Fame door for Thomas. Very few who ever played the game can match his numbers.

“My fingers are crossed,” he said. “The body of work is there. It’s frustrating because it’s something you can’t control. I just hope the voting is fair this time.”

Well…his “twin” Jeff Bagwell pulled 41.7% of fairness his first year.

Repoz Posted: November 19, 2013 at 05:40 AM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: hof, white sox

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Coppock: Are The White Sox Still In Business?

No Coppocky for Kitty (Skip Steps 1 2 & 3)

Who the hell runs your media relations anyways? Richie Incognito?

Why in the name of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson would you announce the arrival of Jose Abreu on the same day the a little known player named Derrick Rose and the Bulls opened up their regular season in South Florida against the James gang? You talk about the wrong pitch on the wrong day. You would have been better off having Abreu pose in his new jersey this past Monday when the Bears played at Green Bay.

Really, I’m not kidding. I’m also not kidding about the following: the 2005 World Series may as well have been a warm up act for the Civil War. It is no longer remotely sexy to attend one of your home games. In fact, and this is murder 1, it’s become cool to say that you don’t go to White Sox games. Last but not least, if you guys aren’t sick of trotting out “Mullet Night” and “Elvis Friday,” then I would suggest you have genuine issues.

Oh, excuse me, I forgot to mention this. You’re in the nation’s third largest market and despite the flaming charisma of Robin “our guys are playing hard” Ventura, you finished the season ranked 24th in the bigs in attendance while playing to 54% capacity.

That isn’t bad. It’s immoral.

...Don’t go anywhere near Hawk and Steve Stone. Last summer, when you guys were lost at sea and generally out of a ballgame by the fourth inning, Harrleson and Stoney became appointment TV for one reason. They couldn’t talk about the misadventures of Alexi Ramirez or why Dyan Viciedo should really be a D.H., so they just talked in baseball banter.

God, it was great. The two finally meshed liked Lennon and McCartney, Sam and Dave or W and Dick.

Here is your first step (a step you must make).

Your operation has lost virtually all credibility. An unknown from Cuba didn’t thrust you into pennant contention.

At least Theo has a so-called ‘plan’. And I’ll be damned if anybody outside Bridgeport knows what yours is. So, you must dip into the checking account and sign a quality free agent. I don’t care if the guy is a shortstop, a left-fielder or aspiring chef.

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2013 at 09:35 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Future’s Game: What will White Sox baseball look like in 100 years?

Uhh…they still won’t have built a weena?

Your time traveler from 1913 might be taken with the physical appearance of today’s ballplayers. The game is integrated, of course. Ballplayers are also taller, faster, and stronger than their counterparts from 100 years ago. Our knowledge of nutrition and fitness has improved exponentially in the past century.

Our time traveler also comes from the deadball era. U.S. Cellular Field would probably be too small compared to the cavernous dimensions of 1913 Comiskey Park.

Now, let’s move ahead 100 years.

Star Trek says professional baseball will end in 2042, but it appears that the game will remain financially healthy through the 2040’s and beyond.

The building known as U.S. Cellular Field/New Comiskey Park is probably gone, replaced by a plaque acknowledging the great feats that took place on that spot (assuming The Cell has the same 80-year lifespan as its predecessor, the Sox move into a new home some time in 2071).

Let’s assume that the fourth Sox Park is still at 35th and Shields. In fact, it’s on the old Comiskey Park site.

The Sox park of 2114 might even have the same dimensions of the park that was built 200 years prior, simply because the baseball player of the 22nd century will be even stronger. Line drives will go even longer, and pitchers throwing over 110 mph will be common.

There are two reasons for this:

  We might know even more about nutrition, the human body, and how it regenerates.
  Gene therapy or genetic engineering might be a part of daily life.

The typical baseball player of 2114 might be 7 feet tall. The more we know about taking care of ourselves, the taller we get. Edward Longshanks, King of England 1272 to 1307 (and the bad guy in Braveheart) was considered a giant of his era, and he was 6’2’‘.

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2013 at 04:36 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CBM: Ray Herbert recalls surprise 20-win Sox season in ‘62

To pull an old Belz riff…

A: How the hell did Ray Herbert become 84-years old?!

and

2: How the hell did Ray Herbert become 84-years old?!

Herbert, who had been in the major leagues since 1950, was one of the unheralded Sox pitchers of that decade who found success with manager Al Lopez and pitching coach Ray Berres.

Ray will be celebrate his 84th birthday in December at his home in Michigan. We recently had an in-depth chat with him:

...ML: After the 1964 season you were traded to Philadelphia where you finished your career. What did you do after baseball?

RH: “I stayed in baseball. I was the home batting-practice pitcher for the Tigers from 1967 through 1992. I went to the World Series with them in 1968 and 1984 and went to the league playoffs as well. Never got a World Series ring, though. Jim Campbell, the Tigers’ GM, must have been the cheapest guy in the game and he just gave them basically to the players.”

ML:Do you still follow the game?

RH: “I watch the Tigers every so often, but a lot of times when I do it pisses me off…a guy will throw 75 pitches and here comes the stupid manager out to take him out of the game. I know when I pitched if I had a 2-1 lead late in the game if a manager came out to take me out I’d tell him, ‘You better have a bigger gun than me right now. If you don’t I’m not leaving.”

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2013 at 05:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history, white sox

MLB: White Sox recognized Abreu’s Miggy-level potential

Hopefully, not Miggy Stardust...those go to level eleven!

Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s affinity for Minnie Minoso prompted the team’s signing of a handful of Cuban players in the last decade, with Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez on the 2005 championship team and current players Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo. Reinsdorf authorized an aggressive pursuit of Abreu, which included firsthand scouting from former White Sox GM and current executive vice president Ken Williams.

This was Hahn’s first major deal, and he expressed his interest early to agents Barry Praver, Scott Shapiro and Bart Hernandez and stayed in touch, upping the ante several times before agreeing to terms two weeks ago. “There were times you had doubts about the ability to get this done,’’ Hahn admitted. “But we stayed regularly in touch with them and never felt in the dark. That helped my level of anxiety.’‘

This is not to say that the anxiety has gone away. There are skeptics out there that point to flaws in Abreu’s mechanics and so-called “slider-speed’’ bat. They suggest that he will struggle to succeed against pitchers who throw in the high-90s and have the ability to command an array of breaking pitches.

Hahn says there is “a calculated risk’’ associated with the signing. But he quietly dropped a reference to the “Davenport Translations’’ during his news conference, which is code for: “Are you kidding me? This guy is the next Miguel Cabrera.’‘

Clay Davenport, a co-founder of Baseball Prospectus, devised a system to project Major League performance based on stats from other leagues. He nailed his projection on Cespedes’ rookie season with the Athletics, so why not let him take a crack at Abreu?

The Davenport numbers for that white-hot 2010-11 season suggest that Abreu would have been capable of putting up this slash line in the Major Leagues: .381/.495/.809. He wasn’t as good the next season, but still hit .394 with 35 home runs in 87 games for Cienfuegos.

Hernandez, an agent with experience as a Minor League player, cites Andres Galarraga and, yes, the Tigers’ Cabrera, for Abreu’s potential. Both Hahn and Hernandez praise Abreu for being an intelligent hitter, not just a slugger.

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2013 at 09:07 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Ex-baseball player nominated as ambassador to New Zealand

The high-end of the (Mark) Gilbert Model.

A former professional baseball player and financial high flier has been nominated ambassador to New Zealand by United States President Barack Obama.

Mark Gilbert, 57, is a director at Barclays Wealth, formerly Lehman Brothers, in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

The nomination was announced by the White House today.

...Before beginning his business career, Gilbert was a professional baseball player for several years, mostly in the minor leagues.

Gilbert appeared in seven games for the Chicago White Sox as an outfielder in July 1985, batting a respectable 6-for-22 (.273) with four walks in 26 plate appearances. But a knee injury sustained diving for a batted ball forced him to have surgery, ending his brief Major League career.

Gilbert told the Chicago Tribune in 1992 that he had fond memories from that time.

“Everywhere I played I had fun,” he said. “The most impressive thing being with the White Sox was how congenial everybody was. Carlton Fisk. Harold Baines. Tom Seaver. They were all superstars. Yet they were extremely nice to me and tried to help me as much as they could. No question. It was worth it.”

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2013 at 06:34 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: history, white sox

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jeff Pearlman: Q&A: Ron Kittle

Missed multiple minor league Triple Crowns tracer alert!

J.P.: I’m gonna say something, and please don’t be insulted: I was a kid when you played with the Yankees, and I always sorta thought of you as a swing-and-miss-or-swing-and-hit-it-a-long-way lug, a la Dave Kingman or Mike Laga. Was I, in hindsight, off on this? How would you break down your game, looking back? And are you satisfied with your Major League career?

R.K.: Of course I am not satisfied with my career, but despite coming back from a broken neck, I did real well. I have always had the ability to hit for average—I missed multiple Triple Crowns in all minor league levels. But once I got up to the Majors, it was a must to swing hard and drive the ball out of the yard. A strikeout is just not three pitches—there are many scenarios to each at bat … three, four, five. six, seven swings and sometimes even more. And most home run hitters need to swing aggressively. It’s no different then a ground ball to second base or back to the pitcher. It’s still an out.

J.P.: A bunch of years ago you called out Barry Bonds in your book—something I loved, because he’s the meanest person I’ve ever met. However, I must ask—what’s your beef with Bonds? And how did you feel when he responded with, more or less, “Who the hell is Ron Kittle?”

R.K.: He knew who I was … I played against him in spring training many, many times. His comment was not really about who I was. What happened was I asked him very politely to autograph three game jerseys I bought for my charity. I took four Sox batboys with me and his comment was, “I don’t sign for f—-ing white people.” And he left. I just laughed because I thought he was kidding. The rest of the team in the locker room handed over many items for my charity … to make up for his asinine comment.

Dusty Baker came out and gave me a hug. He said he was not surprised with his comment, but was surprised I didn’t kick the #### out of him..

Repoz Posted: October 23, 2013 at 01:14 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, white sox

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