My Boys Are Back!
I’ve really neglected this poor blog. I feel bad. But I was so preoccupied by the Olympics. I actually started another blog for everything but baseball yesterday, and there’s a post on the Olympics. Check it out here.
On that note, I’m so glad baseball is back.
My White Sox pitchers and catchers reported on February 21. Thankfully. And there have been some stories from spring training. Hooray!
For a while, the White Sox seemed to be in the mix to sign Johnny Damon. People made a big deal out of the fact that he was golfing with AJ Pierzynski and Hawk Harrelson. The golf outing was for his and AJ’s alma mater, Dr. Phillips High School, in Orlando. Of course the topic came up, but it seemed to me that it was blown out of proportion.
Eventually, Damon signed with the Detroit Tigers after Kenny Williams pulled the White Sox offer. Would I have liked Damon on the Sox? Sure, he would have been an asset. But I think the Sox will be OK without him. Having Kenny Williams as our GM, I know that it’s entirely possible that he could sign someone without anyone knowing we’re interested.
Speaking of Kenny Williams, the White Sox front office will be featured on the MLB Network this summer. Last season, they had a behind-the-scenes show featuring the Phillies bullpen. On July 4, “The Club” will debut and will give fans an inside look at a front office. Guess who will be watching it?
But not by choice. No, I don’t get to see it because it’ll be on MLB Network, and AT&T U-verse doesn’t carry it. Oh yes, I’m angry. And yes, I’ve been sending them those annoying automated emails requesting they add it to their lineup. But either AT&T or MLB are greedy b*stards, and one side won’t cooperate or some ridiculous nonsense like that.
There’s something new that people expect to be full of ridiculous nonsense. It’s Ozzie Guillen’s Twitter account. Yes, Ozzie has Twitter, and people are expecting something epic. Initially I was expecting something epic until I remembered Ozzie’s a normal person. He’s not gonna be out there spewing profanities and talking about the team. He said he’s not gonna talk about the team but about his family and his personal life. You know, like the rest of us do.
I was one of Ozzie’s first 100 or so followers. He has over 30,000 now. I wonder how many people are gonna be sorely disappointed when the season starts and he’s not swearing and calling people out on their potentially sh*tty performances. I won’t be one of those people. I don’t follow athletes and celebrities and musicians because of something controversial they MIGHT say. I follow them because I’m interested in what they already say. So if you’re interested in what Ozzie already says, here’s his Twitter.
The last time JJ Putz threw a pitch was June 4. (I didn’t know that off the top of my head. I’m awesome, but not that awesome.) He eventually had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Now he’s a setup man for the White Sox, and he feels his elbow is healthy.
Always good to hear, as it seems he’ll be the setup man for Bobby Jenks. Putz in the eighth, Jenks in the ninth. Sounds like a great idea to me. And knowing Matt Thornton will be the seventh inning guy makes me giddy. These are three solid pitchers for the late innings. Oh how I want it to be Opening Day right now.
However, I know it won’t always be JJ in the eighth and Bobby in the ninth. JJ has the talent to be a closer (obviously, since he’s BEEN a closer), so Ozzie has the option to use him instead of Bobby when Bobby needs a rest or when he thinks JJ is a better option. While we have guys in the bullpen who are awesome, we’ve never really had two guys who are both talented enough to close a game every day if needed.
What makes me more excited about the Putz-Jenks tandem late in the game is knowing Bobby is healthy again. Last season, he had some health problems, and this offseason, Bobby did something many people can’t do: he stopped drinking. Cold turkey.
This offseason, Bobby realized alcohol was becoming a problem for him, and he stopped drinking. He said he was basically getting drunk every night, and it was affecting not only him, but his family and everyone around him. Since stopping, Bobby has lost weight. I could tell from seeing him briefly at SoxFest. He looked absolutely wonderful. At SoxFest, I wasn’t aware that he had quit drinking, but I could tell that there was something different other than his weight.
I’m so happy for Bobby. To quit something that was so addictive cold turkey is amazing. The challenge for Bobby will come during the season. But I know he can do it.
Around SoxFest, Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy amused me to no end. They both said the other should be the starter on Opening Day. Mark said Jake should start since he’s such an amazing pitcher. Jake said Mark should start because he’s been here longer. Or something to that effect.
Ozzie made the decision that Mark would start Opening Day. I would have been happy either way, but I’m really glad Mark is starting. I’ve seen both of them pitch in person, but on April 5, Mark will set a franchise record by starting his eighth Opening Day game. And I get to be there in person.
Yes, I have Opening Day tickets. And I’m so excited. Rachel and I will be chilling in the upper deck at US Cellular, potentially freezing our ***** off. But it’ll be so awesome that I don’t care. I’ve sat in the upper deck once before and I hated it. But knowing that this is Opening Day, and not everyone gets tickets, I don’t care. It’s Opening freaking Day. And I know that Mark will pitch me a win.
Andruw Jones is looking to make a statement this season. The Sox signed him to a $500,000 contract, and he reported to camp in amazing shape. Right now it looks like he’ll be DH-ing against lefties, but Ozzie says he may be able to play more often. It all depends on how he performs.
I remember when he was an awesome player. It wasn’t very long ago. He’ll be 33 in April, so it’s not like he’s ridiculously old or something. Not even in “baseball terms” is he ridiculously old. I’m hoping he can bounce back to have a great year. It doesn’t have to be like back when he was freaking fantastical. It just has to be enough to make a difference with our lineup. Considering we’ll be working with a rotating DH, he needs to make an impact.
The first spring trai
ning game is tomorrow. Joe Cowley posted the lineup on Twitter, and I’m so excited. Juan Pierre in left, Gordon Beckham at second, AJ Pierzynski catching, Andruw Jones in center, Mark Teahen at third, Alexei Ramirez at short, Mark Kotsay DH-ing, Dayan Viciedo at first, Jordan Danks in right, and John Danks pitching.
The brothers Danks are gonna be on the same field in the same uniform for the first time since they were in high school. You have no idea how adorable I think that is. Then again, I’m a sucker for brothers playing on the same team. (Google images doesn’t have any pictures of the Danks boys together. Which makes me sad. How cute would those pictures be!) And the game will be shown on MLB Network on tape delay. Hooray for me not being able to see my favorite player and favorite pitcher. Luckily the game will be on the radio, so I can pull up the box score and listen to the game. But I’d much rather SEE my Sox. I can’t complain too much, I guess. I get to see the Sox this weekend on WGN when they play the Cubs. It’ll be with Cubs announcers, but it’s better than nothing. I can always turn on the radio while watching the game.
With baseball almost back in full swing, I expect my blogging to be back in full swing. I think my weekend blogging will be a bit more sporadic, as the job I just got is Thursday through Sunday. But since I don’t have a schedule or a general idea of when I work those days, it may not be sporadic. We’ll see.
But there’s something I’m REALLY looking forward to this season.
If you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know I talk about the knowledgeable people over at White Sox Interactive. It’s a White Sox message board, and the posters there are incredibly smart. I’ve learned a lot about past Sox teams, other teams, players, and a lot more. I’m really grateful I found it. Which brings me to what I’m looking forward to.
After every game, there is a Totally Biased Game Report (TBGR). Every season there’s a different theme to the report. It basically sums up the game in a biased way (obviously). I’ve been asked to do game reports! One of the posters there who is a moderator reads my blog and really likes it, so every Thursday game, I’ll be providing the TBGR. While I don’t get paid to write these, members and visitors to WSI get to read my writing. I’ll make sure you guys can read them.
Until then, MLBlogs, enjoy spring training. I know I will be.
Photo credits: fullcountpitch.com; unknown; AP; unknown