Tag Archives: sometimes I watch other teams play

Welcome back, White Sox. Or: So, the cure for what ails the White Sox is the future AL Cy Young winner?

So, it’s both very surprising and not-at-all surprising that the White Sox won the opener against Detroit. On one hand, Verlander has been unrelentingly brutal on hitters and it’s no secret that our offense has been somewhat… lacking. On the other hand, for some reason, the White Sox seem to do better against team over .500 and worse against sub-.500 teams. So, really, you never know what you are going to get.

Sure, I spent the first 3+ innings just praying SOMEONE would get a hit. I really didn’t want to watch a no-hitter. But, then when Gordon Beckham (!!!? I know, right) came through, followed by Mark Teahen (again, what??!), it was off to the races.

Firstly, and most importantly (other than Beckham initially calming my nerves and being my hero of the game by breaking up the no-no), was the return of the good Gavin Floyd. Gavin Floyd is as good as anyone else out there, but he’s so inconsistent (I think he probably needs to borrow Adam Dunn’s sports psychologist sometimes), you never know what you are going to get. But, last night, he out-pitched Justin Verlander and it made me a very happy sports fan (and, okay, a Gavin Floyd fan) and, aside from the one bad pitch, he was a pleasure to watch. I fully acknowledge the fact that he can have an utter meltdown any day of the week and he can be incredibly frustrating, but I’m still convinced that he has no-hitter stuff in there somewhere and I can keep hoping. :)

And, it was nice to see a happier mood around the White Sox camp after the game today. Rumor has it that ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ made it into Gordon Beckham’s locker after the game, but he moved it to Gavin’s locker. Both of those sound about right to me.

It was a good game. At the very least, I’m just happy that (almost) everyone got in on the action and there was actually offense. It’s definitely a step in the right direction. I would be thrilled if they didn’t feel like they had to rely so much on the home run to win ballgames.

There was a lot of good baseball last night: the Charlotte Knights won (White Sox AAA team) with John Danks on mound in a fantastic rehab start, the Jays won, the Rays won, KC made a late comeback against the Twins, and Juan Rivera hit a HR in his first at-bat as a Dodger.

It was good to be back.

Hopefully, it’s the start of a lot of good things for the second half.

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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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A Blue Jays interlude. Or: Some people really can (and will) do everything.

So, I have nothing to say about last night’s epic White Sox disappointment other than I am very glad that Detroit, Minnesota, and Cleveland all lost, too (only KC failed to lose, preventing the entire AL-Central from getting smoked yesterday).

And, in an effort to move on, I’m going to talk about something fun from the AL-East.

So, imagine that you are John Farrell – former pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox – and you are now the manager of the Blue Jays. And, it’s the top of the 9th and the Boston Red Sox are in Toronto and are leading your Jays 16 – 4 and they are beating the snot out of your pitchers: your starter only lasted 4 innings (giving up 9 runs), and you’ve breezed through pretty much the rest of your bullpen (giving up 7 more).

So, what do you do now? Obviously, you move your recently called up from triple-A utility infielder from second base to the mound.

(Clicking on the photo will take you to the clip @ MLB.com)

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love the utility players. I love watching someone busting their butt every time they get a chance to play, I love watching people show off what they can do when they’re put out in the action, I love watching people who are up for doing whatever they are asked to do, and, I have to admit, I also love when the entire game gets turned on its head like this – giving the devoted fans who stuck around to the bitter end, something to smile about today.

Way to go, Mike McCoy (who apparently only has to play 1B and catcher to hit every position on the field). Grabbing a double on a day where your team only managed 6 hits and you and your 60 mpH curveball & knuckleball threw the hot Red Sox lineup for a bit of a loop. 1.0 IP, 12 pitches with 9 for strikes, and a 0.0 ERA. You totally deserved that standing ovation.

This is one of the things I love about this game.

(Also: In other random highlights from today’s game:
My 2nd-fave Blue Jay (behind utilityman John MacDonald) Jose Molina showed off some awesome base-running as he slid into home with one of the smartest slides I’ve seen lately. You can tell that he’s always thinking like a catcher.

And, in other oddities from the game, if things weren’t going badly enough for the Jays, the home plate umpire started calling out people after 2 strikes. When things aren’t going your way, it’s hard to catch a break.)

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Some amusement for me on a ChiSox off-day. Or: Things I would miss, if not for Twitter.

(Just when you thought an off-day was enough to keep me from posting….)

So, I follow @MLB on Twitter. And, it’s not unusual that the person/people responsible for posting content to that account make me crack up on a fairly regular basis.

And, today was no exception. I clicked on the following tweet, and I’m glad I did. I normally don’t have even the faintest clue what is going on in the NL (clicking the image will take you to the video), so I would have missed this completely.

This has got to be one of the stranger things to transpire in either league of MLB so far this season. And, just when you think it can’t get more strange, it totally does. Don’t worry, you don’t need any context. You’ll have just as much idea of what is going on as the people, you know, on the field.

And, another thing that adds to the wackyness? This whole thing was going down in the middle of NINE RUN COMEBACK (also worth checking out). Man, tickets were worth the price of admission today.

(And, because I have about 14 other things I should be doing, this is all the post you are going to get from me today. You’re spared my random thoughts on my special love of the utility bench-player until another day.)

Hope the Sox are enjoying their day off, but I’ll be excited to see them back in action tomorrow. Go Sox!

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A new barometer for wackyness. Or: I think we were all delerious by the end of last night’s game.

I blame the White Sox for the fact I was a zombie all day today. If I hadn’t checked twitter before going to bed,I wouldn’t have been up half of the night (with a few other crazy diehards on twitter) watching the Sox beat the Rangers.

In the end, though, I’m glad I stayed up for it. Not only was it a win (and, turned out to be our only win this series), but I think everyone lost their minds a little during the weather delay and came back not quite at full capacity afterwards.

  • Josh Hamilton sliding (head first) in to first. And, second. And, third. IN A ROW.
  • Brent Morel swinging and missing when trying to tag Josh Hamilton out at third – after advancing on a wild pitch – or, a terrible call by the umps, one or the other (depends ify you’re drinking the ChiSox or the Rangers’ kool-aid).
  • Santos tagging David Murphy on the way to first for the second-to-last out of the game and a little drama about the call.
  • Adam Dunn improbably hitting a home run.
  • Juan Pierre manages to steal 2nd base AND successfully bunting.
  • The final out of the game also coming on a controversial score, so AJ tagging the batter with his glove while he trotted out from behind home plate – continuing his mission of making friends wherever he goes.
  • The see-saw score (White Sox – Rangers):
    Top 5th: 4-2
    Bottom 5th: 4-4
    Top 6th: 6-4
    Bottom 6th: 6-5
    Top 7th:7-5
    Bottom 8th:7-6
    Top 9th:8-6
  • Somehow, even after letting in two runs and giving up our 4-2 lead for a 4-4 tie, Tony Pena manages to collect the win, giving Jake Peavy a no-decision. As we already knew, the win/loss/hold/save designations could use a little re-vamping.
  • Lets not forget the runway show that was the path between the ChiSox bullpen and the pitcher’s mound. A different reliever started every inning for the ChiSox. When Santos had to bail out Thonton at the bottom of the 8th, we had used our entire bullpen. It was like the auditon for who is getting the boot out of the bullpen (or, at least down the pecking order) when they go back to a 5-man rotation. Holds for Sale, Crain and Thornton and a save for Santos. I wonder if Willl Ohman feels left out.
  • And, finally, being up with about 18 other diehards on twitter, watching all of these shenanigans unfold, right before our (very delerious) eyes.

Kudos to the very small number of fans who stuck it out at the game last night. Sorry it didn’t go your way (well, not really!), but your enthusiasm kept the momentum swinging, early into the morning. There are probably more than a few kids who didn’t have to go to school today in Arlington.

And, beacuse that recap is approximately the size of a small novel, and posting about Gavin Floyd collecting a loss (especially after a good outing), and also posting about a game that I could not watch, I am going to limit my commentary on today’s game to:

The three hits that Gavin gave up are apparently the smallest number ever given up that resulted in a win at the Rangers ballpark. And, the White Sox continuing to be their own undoing, failing on the run support and grounding into double plays like it is going out of style.

And, finally:

These boys need to get their act together. For my brother’s birthday, I am packing up and taking it on the road and we are catching the two weekend games of this weekend’s series in Toronto! I’m going to be one of the lone fans in black and white this weekend, so I’m going need a little back-up from the field.

Go Sox!

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It was a dark and stormy night. Or: I don’t like when my baseball comes with an intermission.

We’re in a rain delay down in Texas.

Actually, it’s not really so much a rain delay as it is “everybody run for cover, Mother Nature is pissed” delay.

Too bad, really. Now that we’re getting a little momentum going (thanks to Carlos Quentin and 2-for-2 with 2 home runs!), having everything grind to a halt before it is an official game is kind of a giant bummer.

However, not to dminish his accomplishments, it feels good to have Carlos Quentin back in the line-up. Welcome back, CQ.

So, I’m flipping back and forth between the rain weather delay and Tampa Bay @ Detroit, where they just brought in Alburquerque into the game at a typical Jesse Cain moment. Top of the 8th, bases loaded, one out. Between this, the top of the 9th when Matt Joyce actually made a dent in the right-field wall with his knee (during a play that should end up all over the highlight reel tonight) and the bottom of the 9th that I caught of Jays @ NYY, there’s drama all over the American League tonight.

And, now, we wait. Probably until tomorrow, but I’ve got another few hours of patience left in me and a big tub of ice cream, so we’ll just have to see how the night unfolds.

(Edited to say: According to those in the know (ie: twitter), there is baseball-sized hail coming down. Stay safe down there, y’all. I think Mother Nature has closed the book on this one.

You can say a lot of things, good and bad, about the 2011 ChiSox season. But, I thnk it would be fair to say that “boring” is not the first thing that comes to mind.

Stay safe in Texas, y’all.)

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Winning streak ends at two. Or: The good and the bad, but nothing really ugly.

1. I still haven’t gotten over the events of yesterday. So, I am going to link to a video that contains both of the much hyped-about catches.
http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=14199891

His expressions (he knew exactly how perfectly-timed those plays were) and his excited fist-pump the second that he made the second catch were pretty awesome to watch. Way to make the most of your time in the game.

And, I am also going to link to a rather amusing article about someone hacking Lillibridge’s wikipedia page – which is how you know that you’ve “made it”. [click here]

Seriously, we have had so much late-inning drama in all of the games where we’ve actually been in contention to win, it was nice for the drama to go our way and not have to endure – at worst – a disappointing loss and – at best – another inning or more of drama.

And, also, give me a game that ends on a spectacular piece of defense over a walk-off homer any day of the week.

2. In regards to today’s game, I missed the first inning and a half and, as such, missed pretty much everything that happened in the game. I missed Ozzie getting tossed, I missed Buehrle’s early struggles that led to the 3-run homer and I came back just in time to watch 5 innings that were, essentially, a pitcher’s duel. (And, due to a ridiculous lack of sleep lately, I may or may not have fallen asleep about 2 batters before Jesse Crain came in. Sad for me, since I have really enjoyed watching him pitch lately and would have liked to see it.) And, sadly, there was nothing more to be done and, aside from a single RBI courtesy of Adam Dunn, there really wasn’t any more action. From either side.

There were a few times where we left runners in scoring position (the time with the bases loaded was particularly painful), and yeah, the offense could be better those times. But, there was something remarkable about tonight’s loss. We didn’t win, which is disappointing, but we didn’t really have an active role in giving the game away. To me, anyway, it just felt like a normal, run-of-the-mill, every day loss and not like another team crushed us and then wiped the floor with us afterwards.

And, honestly? Today’s type of losses aren’t nearly as painful to me. It happens sometimes. You win some, you lose some. And, hopefuly we’ll do better tomorrow.

3. It’s snowing in Minnesota and they’re postponed in Chicago? And, I thought the recent weather in Chicago was going to be the last time I saw the players bundled up on the field. That’s nuts.

I think *everyone* is going to be happy when April is over.

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