Frankie O: Summer FUNdraiser

Frankie O: Summer FUNdraiser

By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

The All-Star break is always welcome around my house: No games, which means Im not watching games on three TVs to get my roto fix. And it also means Im not looking at my phone for updates every five minutes for the games I dont have on! Its always good to take some time to recharge and get ready for what Im sure will be a long second half. (Im really starting to wonder if all the time I spend scavenging two different waiver wires for anything that can help my plight is good for my overall health!)

Baseball is never far away though. It will always be the soundtrack for every summer as long as I live. The game took a hold of me a long time ago and wont let go. Unfortunately, at my age, almost all of my interaction comes from watching others play. But Im OK with that. As long as one of my kids wants to have a catch with their old man once in a while, Im fine.

This year, for the first time I can remember, I didnt watch the Home Run Derby. It was fun in the beginning, but lately its been like watching paint dry. Think the NBA Slam Dunk contest, but only over two full hours. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. The Josh Hamilton thing in Yankee Stadium a couple of years ago was cool, but in the convoluted rules of the contest, he didnt even win. I know chicks dig the long ball, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

Then the game was not much better. After the NL went up 5-0 in the top of the first, most of the bar tuned out the game. So much for all the hype! As a fan, I still enjoy the whole process, but I think I enjoy finding out whos in and whos out more than the game itself. I also get a kick out of when they bring in the old-timers, also known as the heroes of my long ago youth. George Brett looks like he could still hit .300. There are still some great individual matchups, but its still an exhibition, no matter what Mr. Selig is trying to sell you.

And add to it, there are no Thursday games this year so it was a full four-day break. Am I the only one who thinks it feels longer than that? This week TGIF is really that.

Something that really has me excited and was something that I focused on during my free time is a fundraiser that Im helping organize. I know reading that word makes some folks eyes glaze over, but Id appreciate if you read on.

I know its hard to go 10 minutes in this life without anyone asking for something, but I would hope we can all find at least one thing that helps us give back. If we all find one, trust me, we would all be better off. It doesnt take much, and the reward, not that one is being sought, is always the payoff.

My feeling on such an endeavor is that, if you plan an event, just make it fun. I try not to focus on the overall financial aspect, since I do believe that every little bit helps.

Most of all, it is always about the interactions of every one participating that Im most into and aware of. (Once a bartender, always a bartender!) In other words: I want everyone to feel great about coming, have a good time, and realize how much their simple act of kindness means to so many others.

As Ive written many times, my life changed forever once my first child was born. It opened my eyes to a whole new world that I had never seen before. (It also opened up a whole new audience for stories to entertain with at the bar. Who knew there were so many parents out there?!)

Having a child born with some issues opened them even more. In the beginning there were a lot of sleepless nights and unanswered questions. You know the kind of questions that I mean. But not being the negative sort, and also realizing this situation was never going away, I got back to reality and tried to deal with everything head-on. Of course, that is my way and not necessarily how everyone would react. I completely understand anyone that struggles with what seems like the worst news possible. It really is tough to grasp. Maybe in a way, my own forward progress was a bit of denial, but in the situation, you do whatever it takes.

As I mentioned here last week (and several other times before) the beacon for me and my family was our doctor and the organization that she has been a major part of: The Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types. (FIRST)( www.firstskinfoundation.org.) What my son, and just about every other affected associated with the foundation, has is very rare, at least as a measure of the general population. The number in this country could be in the multiple millions. The meaning of this last sentence is that funding for cures and research, not to mention people with the ability to do the work, is not as abundant as a lot of other diseases or disorders. The word Ive sometimes heard used for Ichthyosis disorders is orphan. Meaning there are not a lot of national entities devoted to them.

In this case it means that anyone connected in any way to anyone who has been affected by these disorders has to do all they can to help raise funds to support the organization that is fighting to better their lives every day.

FIRST has positively affected the lives of everyone that I have met that is associated with the organization. And Im not just talking about people like myself, who were forced to join!

Think about that. That is pretty cool.

That comes from the positive energy being created by a relatively small group of people who want to help people and make a difference in the lives of others.

You can imagine the guilt I feel when Im with these folks and mention how much my time spent on my fantasy team is paying off!

So this is where I get to the point. (Insert trumpeted fanfare here!)

I want to help out and raise money, and in the spirit of who I am, Im trying to do it in one of my favorite settings. Thats right, at a baseball game.

The Chicago White Sox have been gracious enough to offer an opportunity where, in a group of tickets that they are holding for FIRST, they will give the foundation back half the amount of every ticket that we are able to sell. How cool is that?

For me this is the perfect fundraiser. It gives family and friends time to spend together at a ballpark and at the same time doing something very important.

I envision a night with kids wearing gloves hoping to catch a ball from their (new) favorite slugger, laughter coming from groups of adults socializing (or social drinking) while watching Chicagos FIRST (Coincidence?!!) place team, or a weight-challenged father dealing with mustard drippings on his previously white, Sox jersey, from the consumption of one too many hot dogs because he is driven crazy by the smell of sauted onions as he enters the stadium. (Was that really one sentence? Boo-ya!)

So if youre not doing anything on the evening of Wednesday, August 8, (8-8-12) get a hold of me through the information below, or through FIRST, and come join us for a game and a good time.

I know for a fact, when you leave the game, youll be glad you were there. It always feels good to be a part of something special.

Hope to see you there!!

FIRST NIGHT AT THE WHITE SOX

Wednesday, August 8th @ 7:10 pm vs. the Kansas City Royals
Bleacher seats, 34 each, with half the money being donated to FIRST!
Contact: Frank Osowski Frankieo@harrycarays.com

FIRST is a registered 501(c)(3)nonprofit entity.

Gomez, Fiers lead Astros over White Sox

Gomez, Fiers lead Astros over White Sox

HOUSTON (AP) Carlos Gomez hit a two-run homer and Mike Fiers and three relievers combined for a shutout to help the surging Houston Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

It was Houston's fourth straight victory and 11th in the last 12 games.

Fiers (6-3) scattered four hits over six innings. Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson didn't allow a hit in an inning each and Chris Devenski threw a scoreless ninth.

The Astros didn't have a baserunner until Miguel Gonzalez (1-4) plunked George Springer to start the fourth inning. He then walked Luis Valbuena before Jose Altuve grounded into a double play that left Springer at third.

Houston's first hit came next when Carlos Correa's strange infield popup dropped in front of shortstop Tim Anderson and allowed Springer to score and make it 1-0.

Gomez padded the lead when he sent one into the seats in left field with one out in the seventh to make it 3-0. Correa reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Saladino before Gomez's shot.

Gomez has started heating up after a tough start to the season that included a May when he hit just .136. He has hit four homers, five doubles and driven in 15 runs since June 5 to boost his average from .182 to .225.

Gonzalez yielded three hits and two runs in a season-high seven innings.

Houston first baseman A.J. Reed got his first major league hit with a single with two outs in the fifth inning. He was 0 for 16 since being called up on Saturday before the hit.

Valbuena added an RBI double in the eighth and Colby Rasmus had a run-scoring single in that inning to make it 5-0.

ALTUVE'S STREAK ENDS

Altuve went 0 for 4 without a walk to end a streak where he reached safely in a career-high 32 straight games. The streak was the longest by an Astro since Lance Berkman did it in 37 straight games from July 30-Sept. 8, 2004.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: 3B Matt Davidson had surgery on Friday after breaking his right foot rounding first base in his White Sox debut a day before. Davidson had a screw inserted to repair his foot and the White Sox don't know how long he'll be out. They recalled INF Carlos Sanchez from Triple-A Charlotte before Friday's game to take his spot on the roster.

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers, who was scratched from his last start on Tuesday with a blister on his right index finger, is doing better and is expected to make his next start on Monday.

UP NEXT

White Sox: Chris Sale (13-2, 2.79) is scheduled to pitch for Chicago on Saturday. Sale, who leads the majors with 13 wins, has a four-game winning streak. Sale is 4-1 with a 0.66 ERA and 56 strikeouts in five career starts against Houston.

Astros: Doug Fister (8-4, 3.36) will start for Houston on Saturday. Fister allowed eight hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings of a loss to the Royals on Sunday to snap a seven-game winning streak.

 

Sky rally to beat Mystics in OT thriller

Sky rally to beat Mystics in OT thriller

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Elena Delle Donne had 28 points and 11 rebounds, Courtney Vandersloot hit a game-winner with 4.6 seconds left in overtime and the Chicago Sky rallied to beat the Washington Mystics 86-84 on Friday night.

Delle Donne made a steal and went coast-to-coast to tie it at 84-all with 48.5 seconds left. After a Washington miss, Vandersloot dribbled down the clock and sank a pull-up jumper. Washington had a good look before the buzzer, but Stefanie Dolson's shot was blocked Erika de Souza.

Vandersloot finished with 14 points and five assists for Chicago (7-9), which is ranked No. 8 in the AP power poll. Delle Donne was 13 of 27 from the field for her fifth straight 20-plus scoring game. She also recorded her first double-double of the season.

Vandersloot drove the lane and fed it to Delle Donne for an open jumper to tie it at 77-all with 36.1 seconds left in regulation. Tayler Hill's runner in the lane was blocked by Imani Boyette and Delle Donne secured the rebound. Vandersloot found Boyette in the lane but her shot didn't fall and Washington didn't get off a shot before overtime.

Hill scored a career-high 25 points for fourth-ranked Washington (9-9). Kia Vaughn scored 14 of her 20 points in the first half for the Mystics, who tied a franchise record with their fourth overtime game of the season.

E'Twaun Moore signs four-year deal with Pelicans

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USA Today Sports Images

E'Twaun Moore signs four-year deal with Pelicans

E'Twaun Moore has agreed to a four-year deal worth $34 million with the New Orleans Pelicans, agent Mark Bartlestein told Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill.

Moore spent the last two seasons with the Bulls, putting together a career year last season in a reserve role. The 27-year-old shooting guard averaged 7.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 59 games, including 22 starts.

General manager Gar Forman said during the offseason the Bulls had interest in bringing back Moore, who's capable of playing both guard positions. But when free agency began Thursday night at 11:01 p.m., Moore's suitors came calling. It was reported that six teams, including New Orleans, were interested in the two-way guard.

In New Orleans he'll join a backcourt that is losing Eric Gordon to free agency and could lose both Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans the following year. The Pelicans drafted shooting guard Buddy Hield with the No. 6 pick in last month's NBA Draft.