Former White Sox GM Hemond honored

Former White Sox GM Hemond honored

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011
1:14 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

Longtime baseball executive Roland Hemond, who was the GM of the White Sox from 1970-85, was honored with the Buck ONeil Lifetime Achievement Award, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced.

The award was created in ONeils name in 2008, designated no more than once every three years and to recipients deemed to have made extraordinary efforts popularizing baseball in a manner comparable to the Negro League legend himself. Hemond is just the second winner of the honor.

Hemond, while currently a Arizona Diamondbacks executive, still associates himself very strongly with the White Sox, making routine appearances at gatherings such as SoxFest. While appearing there in January, he laughingly admitted having some second thoughts about coming because, in reference to his Diamondbacks pitching for the services of free agent Paul Konerko, You guys out-Konerkod us.

As White Sox GM, Hemond was named the Sporting News Executive of the Year in 1972 and 1983. The 1972 White Sox won 87 games and made a run at the American League West title, while the 1983 Winning Ugly team was a baseballs-best 99-63 in winning the West. Hemond was an executive advisor to Williams from 200-07, helping the White Sox in 2005 to its first World Series title in 88 years.

Hemond is responsible for a pension plan for MLB employees and creating the Arizona Fall League, credits cited by Jerry Reinsdorf on Tuesday. But the White Sox owner praised his former employee for much more than that.

The award is about even more than lasting accomplishments, Reinsdorf said. It also recognizes and honors the attitude, optimism, and positive approach Roland brought to the ballpark each and every day, and the wonderful friendships he has maintained within the game and literally thousands of baseball fans over the years.

Reinsdorfs words touch even my relationship with Roland. As someone who spent many years writing White Sox historical pieces for the team game program, Hemond was a valuable asset to call upon, a virtual encyclopedia of baseball history. When I sat at SoxFest 2007, peddling my Ozzie Guillen book to fellow fans a bit more interested in autographs and photographs, Hemond sat with me for much longer than he should have, sharing stories and telling tales. I joked that I owed him some commission on sales he was making on my behalf, but Im sure he knew that was somewhat akin to multiplying by zero.

Still, Roland, I owe you a check, or at least a hot dog sometime.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

The White Sox have agreed to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations late Monday, according to multiple major league sources.

Bourjos was signed to a minor league contract and invited to camp with the White Sox. He was expected to see a good amount of playing time in center field in the wake of Charlie Tilson’s injury.

Trading Bourjos improves rookie Jacob May’s chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Bourjos, 29, has played for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels over the span of his career. His best season came with the Angels in 2011, when he hit .271 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs. 

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Holland ended a productive spring with his best outing to date on Monday afternoon.

Healthy and excited to officially kick off his White Sox career, Holland delivered six strong innings in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday. The left-hander allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings pitched, walking two and striking out one. Holland is expected to pitch once more in Milwaukee on Saturday before pitching in the third game of the regular season.

“Definitely feel good,” Holland said. “Feel very confident with everything, very happy with how the spring went. I worked on what we needed to work on to get myself ready for the season and stay healthy and I’m very happy with that. But most of all when you get out there and pitch, the defense, you have to keep them on their toes, and I thought the last out was the perfect example of that.”

Holland was referring to a nice diving catch by Jacob May that prevented at least one run from scoring. The longtime Texas Rangers pitcher was pleased to have established his fastball early and mixed in his offspeed pitches and changeup.

“I wanted to make sure we were going the distance,” Holland said. “I didn’t want to have a setback, and I thought we did a great job.”

The White Sox appear to have narrowly avoided one setback on Monday and are awaiting word on another. An X-ray on the left wrist of infielder Tyler Saladino was negative after he was hit by a pitch while getting in work in a pair of minor-league games. Saladino has been diagnosed with a bruised wrist.

The team is still awaiting word on pitcher Jake Petricka, who took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the seventh inning. Petricka exited the game, got his hand wrapped in ice and left to take an X-ray.

The White Sox are also waiting to learn the results of Carlos Rodon’s second opinion. Rodon was scratched from Friday’s start with a tight bicep tendon and had a physical exam and took an MRI, both of which showed he had no structural damage. Rodon traveled to Los Angeles early Monday for the second opinion with Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Even if he receives the all clear, the White Sox will remain cautious, manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s almost like you have to re-start the process a little bit,” Renteria said. “It would be foolish to try to anticipate or push him into any direction without first of all ultimately having whatever the diagnosis is or the validation or whatever it might be of the second opinion. Once we get that, we’ll know hopefully tomorrow how we can ultimately proceed. I wouldn’t think we’d try to ramp him up quickly.”

The club also expects to have more clarity on the status of right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya on Tuesday. Minaya, who has been out since March 15 with an abdominal tear, was re-evaluated on Monday. Minaya had a 3.18 ERA and nine strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings this spring.

Matt Davidson also had two hits in the White Sox victory and drove in a run. Melky Cabrera hit a solo homer, his first of the spring. Yolmer Sanchez blasted his third homer of the spring, a two-run shot.

Zach Putnam struck out two in a scoreless inning.