Thome's watching White Sox, good friend Konerko


Thome's watching White Sox, good friend Konerko

Thursday, July 15, 2010
7:42 PM
By Brett Ballantini

MINNEAPOLIS Jim Thome was always crystal clear with how thrilled he was to play in Chicago, and seems to prize his three-plus seasons slugging for the White Sox higher than any others. Between his hometown ties and the fact that his former team has soared past his Minnesota Twins in the standings, Thome has been keeping an eye on the Pale Hose.

Thome got in a few words in between Twins batting practice, his daily back maintenance routine and a team meeting before Thursdays game. The DH, hitting .255 with 10 homers and 29 RBI for third-place Minnesota, admitted being impressed with his former team.

Wow, its hard to put together a streak like that a better than .800 stretch for a week or maybe two, not a month or more, Thome said. Its a good group there, and with pitching like theyve been getting, Im not surprised at all theyre playing so well.

Thome took particular interest watching his old White Sox running mate, Paul Konerko, in Tuesdays All-Star Game, even though Konerkos appearance came at the expense of new teammate Justin Morneau-who missed the All-Star Game, as well as tonights series opener, with a concussion.

Paul is so deserving, Thome said through a smile, reminded that Konerko, with four Midsummer Classics in the books, now trails him by just one All-Star appearance. You couldnt have a better teammate or a better friend in this game. I couldnt be happier for him.

Of course, Thome is no doorknob, either. The 39-year-old has slugged his way past Rafael Palmeiro and Twins hero Harmon Killebrew this season, jumping to No. 10 on the all-time list with Mark McGwire clearly in his sights in the second half.

Its the same thing Id say in Chicago, or even before that, Thome said. You see some of the names youre alongside, above or below you, and its just mind-boggling. Ive been so incredibly fortunate in this game.

When asked to take it easy on his former mates tonightThome hit homers vs. the Indians at a slightly higher clip than his career vs. all other teams in spite of slugging in his prime years for ClevelandMr. Incredible just shrugged and grinned.

In other words, brace yourselves, Sox fans.

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

CSN will televise eight Charlotte Knights games this summer

CSN will televise eight Charlotte Knights games this summer

Good news, White Sox fans.

CSN is going to televise eight games this summer of the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox Triple-A affiliate.

It's no secret by now that the White Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball, much of where their talent plays for Charlotte.

The Knights feature an elite group of young stars such as Zack Burdi, Carson Fulmer, Lucas Giolito, Yoan Moncada, and Reynaldo Lopez.

Below is the full TV list:

Date Opponent Time (CT) Status
Wed, May 3 vs. Norfolk 10:00 a.m. LIVE
Thu, May 4 vs. Norfolk 6:00 p.m. LIVE
Sun, May 7 vs. Gwinnett 1:00 p.m. SSD (7:00 p.m.)
Sat, May 27 vs. Buffalo 6:00 p.m. LIVE
Sun, May 28 vs. Buffalo 6:00 p.m. SSD (7:00 p.m.)
Thu, June 15 vs. Louisville 6:00 p.m. LIVE
Sat, June 17 vs. Indianapolis 6:00 p.m. LIVE (CSN+)
Sun, June 18 vs. Indianapolis 1:00 p.m. SSD (7:00 p.m.)

[VIVID SEATS: Buy White Sox tickets right here]

The announcers for the games are still to be determined.

Our CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes went on a minor league tour last week to check in with the team's farm system.

Check out the latest news from Triple-A to Single-A:

White Sox prospect Zack Collins takes a major step toward making it as a big-league catcher

Fun and fluid: Drill sharpens White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada's defensive skills

White Sox prospect Carson Fulmer: 'Our time is coming soon'

White Sox think Michael Kopech's maturity will help him overcome early fastball command issues

White Sox send Zach Putnam to DL, promote Chris Beck as a replacement

White Sox send Zach Putnam to DL, promote Chris Beck as a replacement

The White Sox sent relief pitcher Zach Putnam to the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with right elbow inflammation.

In a corresponding move, the White Sox recalled right-handed pitcher Chris Beck from Triple-A Charlotte.

Putnam last pitched Saturday when he allowed a run on a walk in .2 innings against the Cleveland Indians.

The 29-year-old righty has a 1.04 ERA and 0.35 WHIP in seven games (8.2 innings) this season.

Over the last three-plus seasons, Putnam is 9-6 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 in 130 games as a reliever on the South Side.

Beck, 26, has made 26 appearances with the Sox over the last two seasons, pitching to a 6.32 ERA and 1.98 WHIP. He is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in five games with Charlotte this season.