Daily Archives: June 19, 2011

A couple in the win column. Or: Would Paul Konerko hit 80 home runs per season as a D-back?

Well, the White Sox ended their three-game losing streak over the last two games. And, I’ll get to that in a minute. But, first, it’s time to talk about a member of the White Sox I don’t talk about much.

Paul Konerko is having a ridiculously awesome June. Coming into this weekend, he was batting .404 for the month of June, with 6 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

The rumor mill was (loudly) whirling in the off-season and it seems like the D-Backs were interested in signing Arizona-native Paul Konerko as a free-agent.

After this weekend, they are probably wishing they’d tried just a little bit harder.

Being at home must really agree with him, as we watched him hit a HR in each of the three games in this series. He was just generally on fire. Ozzie originally had planned to sit Paul today and let Adam Dunn play 1B, but honestly, you could practically plug Adam Dunn in at third base and almost still be better off, just by keeping Paul in the game. Well, obviously, that isn’t what happened, but Adam gave a (mildly slumping) Carlos Quentin a day off in RF – a position he has at least played before, albeit 2 years ago with the Nationals.

There were a lot of fun highlights this weekend, but there were a few things to be particularly happy about.

Saturday – John Danks took a liner off his head – AND THEN CONTINUED PITCHING, GETTING THE WIN. Brent Lillibridge managed to catch (and subsequently drop) *another* home run (I think John Danks is going to start requesting Lillibridge in the OF when he pitches) and prevented the tying and go-ahead run from scoring. Paul Konerko hit his daily homer, but even more remarkable was the 3-run BOMB from Alex Rios. Felt like we’d been waiting for that one forever. And, then another great inning of work each by Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton.

Sunday – The typical Sunday afternoon lineup was in full effect. Phil Humber continued to pitch like our staff ace – making the case for a hefty raise next year – and both Juan Pierre and AJ Pierzynski seemed rejuvenated by sitting on the bench for the previous game. Mark Teahen did well at the hot corner (though, not a ton of pop in his bat) and Omar Vizquel was his usual productive self. Paul hit his daily home-run and, after Adam Dunn (0-for-3) struck out, so did Alex Rios. Again.

The real fun was the 8th inning. Singles by Juan Pierre and Omar. Ramirez drives in a run with a groundout. So, 1B is empty and they finally IBB Konerko. Bad idea. Brent Lillibridge (replacing Adam Dunn) singled, Rios reached on an error. So, the bases are loaded and AJ ripped his second double of the game and with the speed of Lillibridge and Rios behind Paul, all three of them scored. We haven’t had a five-run inning in nearly long enough. There was a little more drama than was strictly necessary (keeping Humber in one batter too long and a slight bullpen incident), but we managed to pull it out and, Santos (former Diamondback first round draft pick – as a shortstop) came in for the 9th and looked a lot more like himself than he did against Oakland.

So, the blue wristbands were in full effect on this Father’s Day.

And, it should also be mentioned that because of the “Home Run Challenge”, the 2 HRs by the boys in black (and blue!) donated a healthy 5 figures to prostate cancer research and awareness.

Great timing for those home runs all around, really… :)

Well, that was fun. Let’s do it again sometime.

Like, tomorrow. Let the Crosstown Cup begin!

(And, the quest for .500 continues!)

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Happy Father’s Day. Or: Another non-White Sox post

So, for a change, I’m going to talk about a utility player today. :)

(Oh, stop laughing.)

So, this is one of the non-White Sox that holds a special place in my baseball life and is definitely worth a little attention on Father’s Day. This is John MacDonald.

Johnny Mac has played for the Blue Jays for the last 5 years (after a long stint in Cleveland with one Omar Vizquel). He’s your typical super-sub, with gold glove-worthy defense, but a bat that keeps him out of the line-up most days, barring injury to someone in the starting line-up. And, he’s definitely grown to be beloved in Toronto. He’s a generally all-around nice guy (Canadians love that!) and Blue Jays fans know that when he’s at 3rd or SS, it’s going to be an easy day for your left outfielder. And, it’s nice to see that, instead of leaving him on the bench for a possible defensive replacement move today, he gets to start the day at 3B.

In 2010, John MacDonald came back from bereavement leave 5 days after losing his dad to cancer. Before his dad passed away, his dad had told him that John was going to hit his next home run for him. John is not really known for his power-bat and he told his dad that it could happen quite a few years from then in a weekend softball game. He had only 13 home runs in 12 MLB seasons, and hadn’t hit one that year.

His first game back was on Father’s Day. In his first at-bat (a pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th), he knocked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.

The Jays had too big of a deficit to overcome in that game, so they didn’t win that day, but that’s not the point of this story.

The radio announcers said it best: “We were all up here in the booth, blowing that one out.”

Happy Father’s Day for anyone with something and someone to celebrate or commemorate today.

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