Sox Drawer: Please stop now boys!

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Sox Drawer: Please stop now boys!

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010
4:36 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

We interrupt this pennant race to bring you the following announcement:

The Minnesota Twins will eventually lose a baseball game. We dont know how, we dont know where, we dont know when, but at some point (hopefully in the near future) that thing known as a defeat will rear its ugly head and hit the Twins right between the eyes.We hope.

Yes, the White Sox number-one menace is at it again, doing its best to make life miserable for the South Siders. It just might be the Twins greatest strength. Hopefully it wont become the Sox greatest weakness.

After finishing one of their best weeks on the road in years, seven straight wins, most of them ranging from dramatic to improbable, closing the stretch by beating Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jose Valverde, the Sox looked up at the standings and noticed how much ground they had gained on Minnesota.

One measly game.

While the Sox were exhausting every ounce of their bodies and minds, scoring 24 runs after the 6th inning to keep their playoffs hopes alive, the Twins just went out and took six of seven from the Tigers and first-place Rangers, five of their wins decided by a single run, and one by a trigger-happy 3rd base umpire who called the Rangers Michael Young out for interference with two outs in the top of the 9th inning, ending a furious Texas rally.

But whos complaining? Me, I guess.

If the team Ozzie Guillen famously called the piranhas happen to be getting in the White Sox heads, the Twins are doing everything in their power to keep the Sox out of theirs.

Sunday while the Sox were mounting their late-inning comeback in Boston, someone operating the Target Field scoreboard decided to show highlights of the rally on the Jumbotron.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didnt like it one bit.

Scoreboard watching is one thing; having White Sox highlights during our game is a joke, Gardenhire told reporters. It brought everybody down. The crowd got deflated. We dont need that. This is our game. We dont care what the White Sox do until we play them. Theyve never done that, and I hope they never do it again.

And to be sure, Gardenhire spoke to the Twins front office about it. Monday, they showed highlights of the CardinalsBrewers game instead.

One week from tonight scoreboard watching wont be necessary. The White Sox and Twins will be sharing the same field for three games at U.S. Cellular Field, easily the biggest series of the season.

Will the Twins cool off by then? Anythings possible. But judging by history, not probable. Guillen knows it.

Its nice when the Twins lose, but the way things are going for themI expect to be close enough when we face them, said the White Sox manager. I dont expect anybody to go out there and do us a favor. In the meanwhile, we wish theyd lose. But we just have to continue to play the way we are and take it for the best.

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

White Sox pitchers headed for World Baseball Classic look sharp in win over Rockies

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Quintana and Miguel Gonzalez looked like a pair of pitchers who began their offseasons earlier to prep for the World Baseball Classic.

Both White Sox starting pitchers looked sharp as they made their spring debuts in a 7-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch on Sunday afternoon. Team USA relievers David Robertson and Nate Jones also pitched a scoreless inning each in the win. Prospect Zack Burdi also pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Gonzalez, who is on the Team Mexico roster, only allowed a single on a dropped pop up on the infield in two scoreless innings.

“I’m a little ahead of the game right now,” Gonzalez said. “I started a little earlier this year in the offseason to work out, thinking I wanted to go to the WBC and get ready for that. But I think the most important thing right now is getting ready for April 1 with the White Sox. That’s my goal, and you don’t get these opportunities every year. To represent Mexico, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be great.”

Quintana, who will start for Colombia in their March 10 opener against the United States, allowed a run and a hit in two innings. He struck out one and hit a batter.

“I feel good,” Quintana said. “I think for the first day I feel comfortable. I hit the glove. I feel good. A couple of pitches spinning were good and I feel really good.”

[RELATED: Jim Thome on being a finalist for National Baseball Hall of Fame]

Robertson is throwing much earlier than normal in anticipation of his March 6 departure for Miami, where Team USA begins its tournament. The club’s closer normally wouldn’t appear in a game until the calendar turns to March. Robertson said he usually only needs 5-6 spring outings to get in shape for the regular season. Though he felt a little rusty, the right-hander was pleased with several changeups and fastballs he threw.

“I wouldn’t say it was smooth but I got through it,” Robertson said. “I had a few bad pitches that were just not competitive. … All in all I got through what seemed like a tough inning for a first outing.

“I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to go down there and put the ‘USA’ across my chest and have a chance to win something for our country. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m excited to play with a group of guys I’ve been playing against my whole life.”

Eddie Alvarez had a three-run double for the White Sox while Tyler Saladino collected two hits in three trips. Catcher Roberto Pena went 2-for-2 with an RBI. 

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

Jim Thome: Getting into baseball Hall of Fame would be indescribable

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Normally upbeat and positive, Jim Thome can’t help but beam with pride when asked about his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Thome, who blasted 612 career home runs, including 134 with the White Sox, is eligible for induction for the first time in 2018. Even though he’s expected by many to one day be voted into Cooperstown, perhaps even in his first year, Thome said he’s merely honored to be on the ballot. Thome is joined on the ballot by Chipper Jones and former teammate Omar Vizquel, among others. Voting begins in December and the results will be announced next January.

“To even be on the ballot and thought of, it would be the greatest honor I think you could get,” Thome said. “Or if you get an opportunity to go into the greatest fraternity baseball has or created, it would be indescribable. How do you ever think as a kid or a high school player or even going through the minor leagues, that you’d play at the big leagues that long? And then to get an opportunity at the end of your career to be put on the ballot is so great.

“That would be the coolest moment ever.”

Thome – who is in White Sox camp as a special assistant to the general manager – provided plenty of big moments in a career that spanned 22 seasons. He hit 30 home runs in 12 of 13 seasons between 1996-2008, leading the league with 47 in 2003. The slugger was a five-time All-Star and produced 72.9 b-Wins Above Replacement.

[RELATED: Brett Lawrie trying to clear final hurdles]

Thome isn’t as superstitious about his candidacy as others previously have been. He won’t be the guy to bring up the topic, but the Peoria, Ill.-native doesn’t shy away from discussing it, either.

“It’s not something you talk a lot about,” Thome said. “We’re not going to bring it up. But when people do bring it up, there’s a sense of pride, a sense of ‘Wow, baseball has thought that highly to put you on the ballot.’ And the fact that there’s just this wonderful fraternity of incredible players that you could be a part of, if you’re chosen.”