Alomar, Blyleven elected to baseball Hall of Fame

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Alomar, Blyleven elected to baseball Hall of Fame

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
1:26 p.m.
By Angie Wiatrowski
CSNChicago.com

The baseball Hall of Fame welcomed one of Chicago's own as former White Sox Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were elected to the Hall of Fame Wednesday.

A year ago, Blyleven missed election by five votes and Alomar missed by eight, on a ballot in which outfielder Andre Dawson was the only player elected by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Blyleven had 74.21 percent of the vote and Alomar had 73.65 percent.

Alomar is a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman. He was a key player in helping the Blue Jays win back-to-back World Series in 1992-93 along with four other playoff teams in Baltimore and Cleveland. He also had two stints with the White Sox in 2003-04 and hit a combined .239 in 85 games on the South Side.

He hit 210 home runs, 1,134 RBIs, and maintained a .300 batting average in 2,379 games. This is his second of 15 years on the ballot.

Blyleven became the first full-time starting pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame since current Rangers president Nolan Ryan received 98.8 percent of the vote in 1999.

He had a 22-season career from 1970-92 with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians, and Angels. He is fifth in career strikeouts with 3,700 and threw 60 shutouts, only one fewer than Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver. He was also member of two World Series-winning teams: the 79 Pirates and 87 Twins, and finished his career 287-250 with a 3.31 ERA.

The two will join general manager Pat Gillick for the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y on July 24.

Preview: White Sox kick off 10-game homestand vs. A's tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox kick off 10-game homestand vs. A's tonight on CSN

The White Sox take on the Oakland Athletics tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.

Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Mike Pelfrey (3-5, 3.56 ERA) vs. Jharel Cotton (4-7, 5.40 ERA)

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How White Sox players managed the 'chaos' of Thursday's record-setting rain delay

How White Sox players managed the 'chaos' of Thursday's record-setting rain delay

MINNEAPOLIS -- Some guys played cards. The soccer ball got kicked around in spite of the close quarters in the visiting clubhouse. There was dancing. A magic trick or two was attempted. A few players even tried to get in a nap.

White Sox players found myriad ways to keep themselves occupied during Thursday’s draining 4-hour, 50-minute rain delay -- the longest in Minnesota Twins history.

Yet despite not knowing what time the game may start, White Sox players found a way to overcome the uncertainty and stay engaged. Similar to May 26 when the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers was cancelled, the White Sox figured out how to go from zero to 60 in mere seconds. Though there’s no exact formula for success, the White Sox seem to have figured out a way to endure the elements and get out quickly. On early Thursday evening, the White Sox overcame the rain and misery to jump ahead of the Minnesota Twins en route to a 9-0 victory at Target Field.

“We keep it real loose whether,” veteran third baseman Todd Frazier said. “We have a good time. We enjoy each other’s company. Win lose or draw, tomorrow’s a new day. Today we kept working hard and we knew we had a game to play and eventually we were going to play it. We turned it on at the right moment.”

Jose Quintana saw so much of his iPad that eventually he had to turn it off out of sheer boredom. Thursday’s starting pitcher was almost able to complete two feature-length movies during the rain delay. Quintana, who excelled with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 scoreless innings, watched ‘Fast and Furious 7’ and ‘Get Out’ on his iPad during the delay.

While he liked the action movie, Quintana wasn’t as fond of the latter, though he admits he’s not a big fan of horror movies.

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“I think it was bad because too much time in front of the iPad,” Quintana said. “It made me bored.

“I just tried to stay relaxed, focused on the game. … Tried to come back and work a little bit. It’s a little hard, but we don’t have control so stay focused on the game.”

Whereas the White Sox determined when they played last month at home -- they cancelled Game 1 of a doubleheader at 1 p.m. and pushed the second game back to 8 p.m. because of rain -- this time was in the Twins’ hands. The forecast called for rain all afternoon before things cleared up around 5 p.m.

While the White Sox were in limbo as to when they would play, they had a pretty good idea that eventually they would.

“It’s miserable,” Frazier said. “You try and find some things to do, play cards, hang out with the guys. If you had a set time it would help. But we came out banging in that first inning. It’s huge.”

White Sox manager Rick Renteria is impressed with how his team has handled both long days. The White Sox also defeated the Tigers 8-2 on May 26th. While Renteria and his coaching staff spent a lot of his time preparing for their upcoming home series against the Oakland A’s, he’s pleased with how his players managed themselves through the uncertainty.  

“They’re the ones who are dealing with the chaos,” Renteria said. “They’re the ones who play the game and who have to have their minds to be ready to go out and perform. They’ve been able to respond well. It’s part of who they are, their character, and hopefully it’s something they continue to be able to do and build on.”