Walk talk: He's not gonna take it

Walk talk: He's not gonna take it

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Posted: 3:52 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

DETROIT The Chicago White Sox opened the season on fire, pounding out 23 runs in their first two games and 40 in the first five. In the last 11 games, the Sox are hitting just .201 with 32 runs scored.

Pardon hitting coach Greg Walker for being a little irritated at not being chatted up when times were good and being under fire since theyve turned.

Actually, our scuffles are way overblown, Walker said. Were averaging five 4.7, in fact runs a game . Were fourth in the league in runs scored. Weve got a couple of high-profile guys who havent got going yet. One of them got operated on a week ago actually April 6. Im not worried. Were good. Were averaging five runs a game and we got two of our big boys not even started. Im just sort of sick of the negative s---, I really am. Were not that bad.

Overall, the White Sox are hitting .251, with a tumbling .710 OPS. Just two regulars, Carlos Quentin (1.107) and Paul Konerko (.943) are producing beyond expectations so far.

Both Walker and manager Ozzie Guillen have pointed to the fearsome starting pitching the White Sox have faced over the past week as a reason for the offensive cooling.

We faced the toughest pitching, Walker said. You media said that, and you guys are smart. Sit down and figure out who is going to be pitching in the All-Star Game Have we faced any of them? Or all of them? Were good. Were doing good. Weve scored more runs off these tough guys than anyone else is doing off any of them. We have had a tough stretch against tough pitching. We scored some runs off them. Were battling. Were not giving them away.

Guillen is fond of praising the offenses battling, as well, often citing long at-bats that may even end in an out. But there is a fallacy in the facing aces argumentits Chicagos poor showing against them that helps build their cases as aces.

Rallying behind the offense is fine and predictable, but to round up everyone the White Sox are facing, including raw rookie Tyler Chatwood of the Los Angeles Angels, is disingenuous. Even Walker realizes there are some limits.

Theres been one game where I was disappointed in our focus and effort, the second game against Anaheim vs. Chatwood on April 16, he said. Other than that, our guys have been there battling, got a couple high profile guys scuffling a bit. But overall, were scoring runs. Were doing fine. When we do get everyone healthy overall, I dont look at this as being a negative situation as its been portrayed. I dont see it that way.

Dunns Feel

Adam Dunn is first on the list of White Sox fans concerns, first because of his health (due to his April 6 appendectomy), second due to his struggles at the plate since.

Ive been up, and Ive been down, the affable slugger said. It will even itself out.

Dunn has 22 strikeouts and carries a .620 OPS into Saturdays action. His .293 on-base percentage is nearly 100 points worse than his .380 career mark, an indication the DH is pressing. Last year, Dunn swung (and missed) at many more pitches, in a situation he ascribed to the Washington Nationals anemic offense. Through the first three weeks of the season, Dunn when healthy has been pressing, clearly indicated by his poor OBP.

Hey, the guy was a dominant force until he had an appendectomy, Walker said. Hes had, what, six, seven, eight days back? Sit around and watch. Hell be fine.

Dunn struggled to elucidate on his slump, saying that he just didnt have the feel at the plate hes used to. He pointed to his seventh inning, second-to-last at-bat in Fridays loss to the Tigers as a good one despite the foul pop out to second baseman Ramon Santiago, while his final plate appearance (a K vs. Jose Valverde in the ninth) as expletive.

Walker sees the same thing, although he ascribes it to poor timing and direction by Dunn.

His timing is off, Walker said, insistently. Hes a big man. Hes got a lot of moving parts. Hes got to get his timing back. Because his timing is off, Hes been getting beat and cheating, trying to get the fastball. When he starts hitting fastballs, watch out, because a lot of people are going to pay.

Dunn said that despite his hitting woes being a feel thing, there is some stuff Walk sees that the two work on together. But mostly, the gentle giant knows its a matter of him getting his own act together.

You never can tell when the switch flips, he said. Its not always a solid gapper or a home run. Last year, it clicked for me when I took a pitch for a ball. Then I drew a walk, and I was off to the races.

Feeling more and more comfortable, Dunn nonetheless warns of expecting too much, too soon.

Baby steps, brother, he said, laughing in self-deprecation. Ive got to hit the ball first. But Im getting there.

Fond memories of Motown

It was last AugustAugust 4, the rookie will remind youthat Chris Sale walked into the clubhouse for the first time as a member of the Chicago White Sox. And it was hereno, a few locker stalls over, the rookie is quick to point outthat Sales legend began.

Detroit is definitely a special place, the first ballpark I walked into as a major-leaguer, Sale said, recalling with a laugh at how green he was just a summer ago.

Konerko was walking him through all getaway day protocols, Sale recalled, but otherwise, his call-up was just a blur.

On the plane ride I didnt sleep a wink, he chuckled. I must have gone to the bathroom six times. My mind was going a mile a minute. Everything was going so fast.

Sale didnt make his major-league debut until the next series of the road trip, August 6 in Baltimoreone of just three poor outings he had of his 21 appearances in 2010). But the southpaw had no concrete expectations upon entering Comerica Park.

Every scenario was going through my mind on the way to Detroit, he recalled. But once I made it here, I was just excited to be pitching for the White Sox in a major league game.

He knew no one on the White Sox at the time, and took out his checkbook to tip the clubhouse attendants on getaway day. Now, hes part of the fabric of the team, so much so that Edwin Jackson interrupted the start of our interview to introduce himself as Sales new agent, and Chris doesnt speak on Saturdays.

Sale laughs at how far hes come in the gamealthough still designated as a rookie and with just 29 career appearances under his beltplayfully poking me jokingly on the shoulder on reflection: Now, its all just easy for me!

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

Scott Podsednik joins CSN's White Sox studio team

Scott Podsednik joins CSN's White Sox studio team

Scott Podsednik is making his return to Chicago.

The 2005 World Series hero will join CSN's TV team as an analyst alongside Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton on White Sox Pre/Postgame Live this season.

Podsednik's first broadcast will be Monday, April 3, the White Sox home opener against the Detroit Tigers. CSN coverage begins that day at 2 p.m.

"I've always loved this city so much and had some memorable years playing for the White Sox organization," Podsednik said. "I'm excited and looking forward to joining the great team at CSN Chicago." 

The 11-year MLB veteran will also be a part of the White Sox Talk podcasts throughout the season.

"Scott's impact during his time with the White Sox was immediately felt by fans throughout the city thanks to his strong work ethic and kind heart," said Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for CSN Chicago. "Scott did a terrific job in the booth for us filling in for Steve Stone during a number of games last season and it was very clear that adding him to our pre- and postgame shows with Chuck and Bill will only add to the expert coverage we deliver to our devoted White Sox fan base."

Podsednik spent parts of four seasons on the South Side, hitting .280 with 141 stolen bases in a White Sox uniform.

He was the tablesetter for that '05 championship team when he hit .290 with 59 stolen bases and 80 runs scored.

Scott Podsednik to join CSN's White Sox Pre/Postgame Live studio team

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Scott Podsednik to join CSN's White Sox Pre/Postgame Live studio team

Former White Sox standout to provide pre/postgame analysis (including the Home/Season Opener on Monday, April 3) for select games throughout the 2017 season with host Chuck Garfien and analyst Bill Melton;

Podsednik to also make regular appearances on “SportsTalk Live,” “In the Loop,” and CSNChicago.com’s “White Sox Talk” podcasts

Chicago, IL (March 30, 2017) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the 2017 Chicago White Sox, has announced former White Sox standout and 2005 World Series hero Scott Podsednik will join CSN’s White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships and Subaru White Sox Postgame Live as an additional studio analyst on a number of select games this season.  Podsednik will team up with veteran CSN White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien and analyst/White Sox legend Bill Melton throughout the 2017 MLB season.  The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for CSN Chicago. 

Podsednik’s first CSN appearance will take place on Monday, April 3 for the White Sox HOME/SEASON OPENER against the AL Central division rival Detroit Tigers (NOTE: CSN’s Opening Day coverage begins with an expanded, remote edition of White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships LIVE from Guaranteed Rate Field beginning at 2:00 PM CT).  In addition to his White Sox studio analyst duties, Podsednik will also make select appearances on CSN’s weeknight sports discussion program, SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado, on the early edition of In the Loop presented by Comcast Business, and on CSNChicago.com’s popular “White Sox Talk” podcasts presented by Wintrust.

“I’ve always loved this city so much and had some memorable years playing for the White Sox organization,” said Podsednik.  “I’m excited and looking forward to joining the great team at CSN Chicago.”

“Scott’s impact during his time with the White Sox was immediately felt by fans throughout the city thanks to his strong work ethic and kind heart,” added Cross. “Scott did a terrific job in the booth for us filling in for Steve Stone during a number of games last season and it was very clear that adding him to our pre- and post-game shows with Chuck and Bill will only add to the expert coverage we deliver to our devoted White Sox fan base.”

Podsednik, a standout defensive outfielder and perennial base stealing threat, played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, including four years in a White Sox uniform (2005-07, 2009).  In his first season with the White Sox, Podsednik was a key factor in helping the team win its first World Series title in 88 years, thanks in part to his unforgettable 9th inning walk-off home run in Game 2, which was just his second HR all season long.  In his 11-year MLB career, which included stints with the Mariners, Brewers, White Sox, Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, and Red Sox, Podsednik compiled a .281 career batting average with 42 HR’s, 312 RBI, and 309 stolen bases.