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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Facing Chris Sale of Chicago White Sox is a complete nightmare

“He’s that guy who, [when] you see he’s pitching, all of a sudden your hamstring gets tight or something,” Minnesota’s Brian Dozier says of Sale. “You don’t know if you can make it that game.”

“I try to save up any sick days or off days I have, and use them when he’s starting,” says Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis. “I’ve timed it up perfectly, I think, since 2013. If I had an off day coming up, I’d push it back a week until we were playing the White Sox and use it on him. I play dodgeball with him. You know that old thing: ‘How’s your back?’ ‘Hmmm, it’s tight today—the weather must be getting to me.’ Or it’s the old Rodney Dangerfield thing: ‘Wait. My arm. Yeah, it’s my arm.’ That’s how I feel when I know he’s pitching.”

“Go ask every hitter who the top five pitchers in baseball are, and I guarantee every one of them will mention him,” Philadelphia’s Jeff Francoeur says of Sale. “If they don’t, it means they never faced him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 22, 2015 at 09:09 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sale Strikes Out 15 as White Sox Beat Cubs 3-1 - The New York Times

It’s like a little league game.

Sale matched a career high with 15 strikeouts while pitching seven scoreless innings, and the White Sox snapped the crosstown Cubs’ nine-game win streak with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, cubs, white sox

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kyle Schwarber avoids beer can, delivers big hit for Chicago Cubs - Chicago Cubs Blog - ESPN

Somebody picked a weird time to give up drinking.

Schwarber got a taste—almost literally—of the Cubs/Sox rivalry when a fan threw a beer can at him during the Cubs’ 6-3 win on Saturday, their ninth consecutive victory.

“A tallboy,” Schwarber said, laughing afterwards. “And it wasn’t even drunk all the way.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2015 at 10:01 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber, white sox

Thursday, August 13, 2015

David Robertson pans ‘bush league’ Mike Scioscia for standing in way

Icing the closer?

Shortstop Erick Aybar struck out to lead off the ninth against Robertson. The ball was in the dirt, so White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers reached out to tag Aybar on the leg, with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth making an out signal. Abyar kept on running to first base, though, with Flowers not making a throw after Culbreth made his out call.

Scioscia argued, ultimately challenging the ruling via replay. White Sox manager Robin Ventura questioned why there should even be a replay since an out signal was made.

Umpires reviewed the play and upheld their original call that Aybar was tagged out by Flowers. Scioscia, though, came back out to the home plate area to get an explanation. By rule, managers are not allowed to argue a replay decision, but Culbreth gave Scioscia the courtesy of explaining the decision.

Robertson, however, didn’t care for the delay as he waited on the mound to pitch.

“I felt that Scioscia was very bush league, coming out there and standing in front of home plate after the play had already been reviewed,” Robertson said. “I felt like once it has been reviewed, it has been reviewed on film and he’s called out, there’s no reason for you to come back out and argue the call. I guess that’s just the way he is. It kind of changed the whole momentum in the ninth.”


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Rays clobber Chris Sale, hand White Sox fifth loss in last six

A human Chris Sale won’t get the White Sox into the Wild Card game.

So what’s wrong with Sale, the AL strikeout leader who was 6-3 with a 1.76 ERA over 12 starts before this recent run of three losses in four starts?

“I don’t know,’’ Flowers said. “For a couple innings there he was locked in — command, executing pitches, then the next inning a couple mistakes where they took advantage, walking guys, pretty uncharacteristic of him. I’m not entirely sure, I didn’t see anything different aside from just missing spots.

“We all just expect him being an ace and how talented he is to just dominate every time and the reality is he’s human.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: August 05, 2015 at 06:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Friday, July 31, 2015

Former Tigers pitcher Billy Pierce dies at 88

Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star pitcher who played in two World Series and retired after spending most of his 18 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, has died at the age of 88.

His family and the White Sox said Pierce died today, after a battle with gall bladder cancer.

RIP Billy. Led the league in ERA once and in complete games 3 times.  And 2 WS victories

A friend of mine at Princeton remembered him as a color man for the Chisox. He claimed he introduced himself as “Billy Pierth”


Monday, July 20, 2015

Rieper: White Sox announcer Ed Farmer is not a fan of the Royals

Is Farmer’s goal to make Harrelson look sympathetic by comparison?

Years later, Cowens, as a member of the Tigers, would face Farmer, then with the White Sox. Cowens had not forgotten about what had happened. On a routine grounder, Cowens ran straight for the pitchers mound. Cowens landed a few punches, even ripping Farmer’s nostrils in a bench-clearing brawl. The brawl was so violent, it led to charges being filed, potentially preventing Cowens from returning to Chicago until Farmer agreed to drop the charges in exchange for an apology. But perhaps that is the kind of violence Farmer is looking for to enforce the “no fun” rules of baseball

JE (Jason) Posted: July 20, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: announcer, announcing, royals, white sox

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Robin Ventura’s faith in White Sox is being rewarded - Chicago Tribune

The White Sox haven’t given up yet.

“They just go out and pitch well,” Ventura said. “I don’t know what they’re expecting when they go out there, but they know their room for error might be a little (slim). But they’re continuing to battle. With what (Samardjiza) did (Thursday) and what the kid ( Rodon) did (Friday) … I think it’s great for him to come and pitch in this environment and do what he did.”

Sale has been so brilliant of late that allowing one run while striking out 10 on Saturday was almost expected. With Sox fans louder at Wrigley than they are at the Cell, Sale admitted he was more “hyped” than usual.

“Yeah, man, it’s a rivalry,” he said. “You’re talking about two teams in the same city. It’s hard not to have fun. You get up a little bit for it. It’s fun. Good atmosphere, sold-out crowd …”

Now the Sox can head into the All-Star break on a high note before a key four-game series against the Royals begins Friday. Hard to believe it was only two weeks ago that Williams went into Ventura’s office in Detroit and asked a simple question.

“I asked him ‘Do you still have faith in these guys?’ ” Williams said. “And he said ‘Yeah, I’ll let you know when they stop believing in themselves and playing hard.’ “

Keeping the faith is all that really matters.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 12, 2015 at 09:19 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Sale fans 6 in complete-game win over Jays | MLB.com

He only struck out six but he finished the game with 108 pitches and a win.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2015 at 07:24 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Friday, July 03, 2015

No Chicago White Sox front office rift

So there’s a rift in the White Sox front office ...

Walt Davis Posted: July 03, 2015 at 10:04 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: kenny williams, rick hahn, white sox

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

How to throw a no-hitter and lose by 4 runs

Those early 90s Yanks were something else.

Poor Jim Leyritz was in left field. Leyritz is not, was not, and never would be, a leftfielder. Injuries and general incompetence had forced the Yankees to experiment, and they were in the Diet Coke and Mentos phase of the experiment. It was Leyritz’s fourth game in the outfield in the majors, and he had just 55 chances in the outfield in the minors. He was a 26-year-old rookie with the kind of athleticism you would expect from someone who wasn’t drafted. He would become a postseason hero for the Yankees, but in 1990, he was the wrong outfielder at the worst time.

Also, it feels like every paragraph here should start with, “Remembering that the wind was awful,” before each and every thought is presented. And to be fair to Leyritz, he made a sliding catch on the first play of the game, a tough play made tougher by the tornado above the stadium. If he had muffed it, no one would have been surprised or upset. He made that play, and his reward was that he set himself up as one of the goats later….

Look at everything that goes wrong before it almost goes right. Tentative steps in the wrong direction. A dangerous crossover step to change directions. Unsure dancing and backpedaling. Then, just as he almost squares up, someone hits the eject button on Leyritz’s ID, and he’s transported to a different dimension.

It’s the magical confluence of different forces: a fielder who understandably played the ball as if he had about three hours of experience in the outfield, a no-hitter that’s still going because of an error and two walks, a pitcher who was almost unemployed three weeks earlier and the wind. That damned wind.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2015 at 07:29 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: andy hawkins, no-hitters, white sox, yankees

Sale away: Ace’s road show ties Pedro | MLB.com

There are a lot of things wrong with the White Sox this year but Chris Sale isn’t one of them.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Maybe It’s Time To Blow Up the White Sox | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave Cameron wants the White Sox to blow up the team.

Yes, trading the only good players the team has would likely be a huge blow to the team’s revenues, and if you take those guys off this team, you’re left with an unwatchable product in the short-term. But in each case, it’s likely that the White Sox stars are currently at their peak value, and it’s hard to imagine there will ever be another time where the team will have as much leverage as a seller as they would this July. And these are the kinds of pieces that you don’t just have to move for future prospects; if you’re trading Chris Sale or Jose Abreu, you can demand the kinds of young big league talent that the team is desperately lacking.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2015 at 01:55 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sale ties mark with 12-plus K’s in 5th straight | MLB.com

The White Sox have some problems but Chris Sale isn’t one of them.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 20, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chris Sale dominant again with 12 K’s, but Rays win to complete sweep

At the least, some fine company.

Sale was the third pitcher since data is available to strike out 12 in four consecutive starts. Martinez did it in 2001 (he had a streak of five in ’99) to go with a four-game streak in 1997. Randy Johnson strung together five straight of 12 or more in 1998. This was Sale’s 24th game with 10 or more, in 97 starts.

“The maturity of Chris Sale from this year to last year is going through the roof, just on and off the field,” Parent said. “It seems like he has really matured to that next level, almost superstar-type guys.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2015 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chris Sale is dominating the AL, but one Unit of measurement matters most

Now that’s a funky stat.

Sale joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitcher since 1900 to produce three consecutive starts of 12 or more strikeouts while yielding no more than one run. He also is the first pitcher in the modern era to record at least 10 strikeouts in four consecutive starts while increasing his total each time, striking out 14 in his last start Monday against the Houston Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2015 at 06:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Chris Sale strikes out 14 Astros in White Sox’ 3-1 victory

Chris Sale was dominant last night.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 09, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, white sox

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Hahn stresses “arrow’s pointing up” for White Sox

There is still a lot of time left in the season.

Of course, much of the talk with a last-place team centers around what it’ll do before the July 31 trade deadline. The Sox are no different, and even though Hahn said “let’s see what the next 30 days have to hold for us, because right now we feel guys are starting to come around” he also stressed “there’s no magic date” when they have to say whether they’re in or out.

“Obviously as you get closer to July 31 you have some priorities you have to put in order, whether it’s the current season and feeding what you’re doing right now versus reshaping for the future,” Hahn said. “As we sit here today our hope continues to be that we’re in a position to add and have reinforcements come in here to contribute in a championship run.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2015 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: white sox

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Chris Sale strikes out 13 in White Sox victory

Sale was dominant. Joey Gallo was overmatched in his three AB vs. Sale before homering off Zach Duke.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2015 at 06:55 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, joey gallo, rangers, white sox

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baseball by the numbers: White Sox’ ‘D’ still needs improvement | Chicago

John Grochowski is at least trying, so I will cut him some slack.

Balls a defender doesn’t reach that an average fielder would mean extra hits charged to the pitchers. You can see that in the early numbers for Chris Sale, Jeff Samardzija and Jose Quintana. All have been inconsistent, but all have FIPs — fielding independent pitching — stronger than their ERAs when you filter out defense.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: defense, white sox

Sunday, May 17, 2015

White Sox catcher Geovany Soto says he doesn’t have the yips | Chicago

Nobody likes having the yips.

Geovany Soto’s ritual after every pitch has mystified baseball fans, and on Friday night, A’s broadcaster Eric Chavez seemed to believe Soto suffered from some version of the “yips.”

The White Sox catcher falls forward every time he throws the ball back to the pitcher, and he appears to grab some dirt in his throwing hand and wipe off home plate after each pitch.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2015 at 07:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: geovany soto, white sox

Friday, May 15, 2015

Baseball Prospectus | Daisy Cutter: Shark Tank

The solution to Samardzija’s problems may not be that simple. It’s easy to say that he should just go to pitches that worked for him in the past more often; but currently, those pitches—the sinker and the split—are getting hit and hit hard. He’s using his slider, but he’s missing with it badly and frequently. Those are pitches that helped lead him to his best season ever, and they don’t appear to be having the same effect as they once did.

There’s no easy fix here. Samardzija has to find his command and get his pitch usage and sequencing right. That’s certainly not out of the question—we already saw Samardzija emerge as a great starter despite every bit of evidence we had suggesting he wouldn’t. However, until that happens, the White Sox won’t be able to boast the devastating one-two punch at the top of their rotation that they expected to have when the season began.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2015 at 11:10 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: jeff samardzija, sabermetrics, white sox

Friday, May 08, 2015

Sox ticket promotion a loss for taxpayers

The Ballpark Pass was a chance to watch weekday baseball during April and May this season for merely $2.64 per game.

The Sox, under an agreement with the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the public agency that owns The Cell, are required to pay a fee on each ticket sold beyond 1,930,000 in paid attendance. But that “ticket threshold,” according to the agreement, excludes tickets that are given to sponsors or sold for less than $3.

it wasn’t until 2008 the Sox even paid an annual fee to use the stadium

Several years ago, it [ISFA] covered the costs of building the restaurant and team store for the Sox outside the stadium, ceding all profits to the team at the request of Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

 

Greg Pope Posted: May 08, 2015 at 07:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: public subsidies, white sox

Sunday, May 03, 2015

White Sox still determining how to use Carlos Rodon | CSN Chicago

Earl Weaver believed the best place to start a young pitcher is long relief. I know long relievers are out of vogue but it seems to me having a young guy start his career there, especially when you want to limit innings, still is a good idea.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has said Rodon’s 2015 innings are scarce resource. The franchise has a tried and true program for keeping pitchers healthy and therefore isn’t going to run Rodon’s inning count up to 180. But Rodon could still move into the rotation sometime in the foreseeable future. The challenge is keeping him built up enough, something pitching coach Don Cooper has a plan for just like the White Sox employed with Hector Noesi last season.

“He’s going to be pitching regularly and there are things coming up that believe me, he’s way up in the front of our minds in keeping him ready,” Cooper said. “Not only to pitch in the role he’s in, but eventually hopefully if he does make a jump in the starting rotation. But again that doesn’t worry me because we did it last year with Noesi.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2015 at 08:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carlos rodon, white sox

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