CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

CSN, CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive White Sox & Cubs 2012 'Opening Week' coverage

COMCAST SPORTSNET & CSNCHICAGO.COM TO DELIVER COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE FOR ITS 2012 WHITE SOX & CUBS OPENING WEEK TELECASTS

Expanded Coverage for White Sox SeasonRoad Opener on Apr. 6 & Home Opener on Apr. 13;
Expanded Coverage for Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast at Home on Apr. 7;

CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by Opening Day prepost-game video reports, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Plus - feature stories, talent blogs, in-game Twitter messages from Insiders & on-air talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (April 3, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will deliver expanded coverage for the 2012 White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6 featuring an expanded, one-hour, Opening Day edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live, an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, along with complete coverage of MLBs Opening Day on Chicago Tribune Live & SportsNet Central! Comcast SportsNet will also have expanded coverage for its first Cubs game of the season on Saturday, April 7 and the White Sox Home Opener on Friday, April 13. Plus, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more extensive Opening Week coverage, including exclusive behind-the-scenes Opening Week video from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field, along with feature stories, talent blogs, videos, game previewsrecaps and much more. Also, every White Sox and Cubs home and road telecast on Comcast SportsNet will once again presented in high-definition (HD) all season long.

For the White Sox seasonroad opener on Friday, April 6, Comcast SportsNet will begin its marathon White Sox coverage beginning at 11:30 AM with an encore edition of its popular one-on-one interview series, Inside Look, featuring White Sox and Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Following Inside Look, Comcast SportsNet will air a special one-hour Opening Day remote edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX, beginning at 12 NOON. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers in the season opener featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live, also live from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Opening Day coverage on April 6:

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX OPENING DAY!

11:30 AM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton LIVE from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX. Special Opening Day pre-game features include a scheduled live interview with White Sox GM Kenny Williams and new manager Robin Ventura, numerous interviews with White Sox players and coaches, a complete 2012 season preview focusing on the teams line-up and overall offensive roster, the pitching staff, team defense and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX at TEXAS (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
4:30 PM Inside Look: Jerry Reinsdorf Encore edition featuring the White Sox & Bulls Chairman
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox season opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox at Texas (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day local recap and national Opening Day recaps from around Major League Baseball

On Saturday, April 7, Comcast SportsNet will provide fans with extensive coverage of its first Chicago Cubs telecast of the 2012 season. Live coverage begins at 11:00 AM with an expanded, one-hour edition of Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live, which will take place remotely from Wrigley Field. At 12 NOON, the Cubs face the Washington Nationals with the game being immediately followed by an expanded edition of Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets first Cubs telecast of the 2012 season on April 7:

SATURDAY, APRIL 7 on COMCAST SPORTSNET CUBS vs. NATIONALS!

11:00 AM Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live Expanded pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan, Todd Hollandsworth and Gail Fischer LIVE from Wrigley Field. Special pre-game features include interviews with Cubs players and coaches on the upcoming season, along with Cubs front office exec interviews discussing their expectations for the season, plus - a special Whats New at Wrigley Field? segment with focus on the teams new bleacher set-up in right field, a complete offensivepitchingdefensive preview of the 2012 season and much more.
12:00 PM CUBS vs. WASHINGTON (L) Featuring Len Kasper & Bob Brenly on the call
3:00 PM Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (time approx.) Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth from the Comcast SportsNet studios featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring new Cubs manager Dale Sveum, player interviews and complete game analysis.
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Comprehensive Cubs game recap, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.
7:00 PM Cubs vs. Washington (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive Cubs and White Sox game recaps, along with a complete recap of the day in sports.

Finally, viewers can also look forward to extensive coverage of the 2012 White Sox HOME OPENER on Friday, April 13. Comcast SportsNet will begin its Opening Day festivities coverage live from U.S. Cellular Field beginning at 12 NOON with a special, one-hour Home Opener edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live. Then at 1:00 PM, the White Sox face the defending AL Central champion Detroit Tigers featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with the call. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of White Sox Post Game Live. Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNets White Sox Home Opener coverage on April 13:

FRIDAY, APRIL 13 on COMCAST SPORTSNET WHITE SOX HOME OPENER!

12:00 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live Expanded one-hour, pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton and Sarah Kustok LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field. Coverage to include special Opening Day pre-game interviews with coaches, players and VIPs in attendance, a Whats New at U.S. Cellular Field? segment featuring the latest in-stadium highlights and offerings for Sox fans this season, plus Comcast SportsNet will carry the player and coaches introductions LIVE prior to the start of the game and much more.
1:00 PM WHITE SOX vs. DETROIT (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call
4:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live (time approx.) Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton from the Comcast SportsNet studios highlighted by the LIVE post-game press conference featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and complete post-game analysis.
5:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan Hosted by David Kaplan; program will feature a thorough recap and analysis of the White Sox home opener
6:30 PM SportsNet Central presented by AT&T U-Verse Complete game recap, highlights, interviews and more
7:00 PM White Sox vs. Detroit (game replay)
10:00 PM & 10:30 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox Opening Day recap and more!

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will deliver extensive Opening Week coverage and comprehensive 247 White Sox and Cubs coverage throughout the season, including the following highlights:

Live stream of Robin Ventura & Dale Sveums post-game press conferences from U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field
New-look White Sox & Cubs team pages offer the latest news, enhanced articles, player interviews, video, stats and more around the clock.
Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) will filing daily stories and video from Wrigley Field, as well as provide up-to-the-minute news via Twitter to bring fans closer to the game.
Cubs Talk blog will offer news, views and analysis from Cubs blogger Tony Andracki, Mooney, Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth. Cubs fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @TonyAndracki23 and @CubsTalkCSN for news and updates.
White Sox Talk blog will offer news, analysis and features from White Sox blogger J.J. Stankevitz, Garfien and Bill Melton. White Sox fans can also follow key Twitter accounts, including @ChuckGarfien, @JJStankevitz and @WhiteSoxTalkCSN for news and updates.
Chuck Garfien will offer reports and insight via his wildly-popular Sox Drawer blog.
CSNChicago.coms White Sox & Cubs content will be featured on NBCSports.com and Hardball Talk throughout the week and throughout the 2012 MLB season.

Preview: White Sox aim for 20th win in series finale vs. Red Sox on CSN+

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Preview: White Sox aim for 20th win in series finale vs. Red Sox on CSN+

The White Sox aim for win No. 20 in their series finale against the Boston Red Sox tonight on Comcast SportsNet Plus. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 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: Henry Owens (0-0) vs. Erik Johnson (0-0)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with White Sox Pulse.

David Ortiz paces Red Sox past Carlos Rodon, White Sox

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David Ortiz paces Red Sox past Carlos Rodon, White Sox

Carlos Rodon hasn’t been too far off the mark in his outings early in 2016.

His April 18 start aside, the team’s 2014 first-round pick has thrown the ball very well. Yet six starts into his sophomore campaign, Rodon has a 1-4 record.

The young White Sox left-hander made only one big mistake on Wednesday night and Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took advantage. Ortiz’s fifth-inning home run off a Rodon fastball got the Red Sox on track and they tacked on several runs late to snap a three-game winning streak for the White Sox, who fell 5-2 in front of 14,383 at U.S. Cellular Field. Jose Abreu homered, but that was all for the 19-9 White Sox, who were stymied by seven sharp innings from Clay Buchholz.

“Just one pitch, and that’s the name of this game I guess,” Rodon said. “One pitch changes the game pretty dramatically. That’s why people love baseball I guess.”

Rodon has discovered the importance of one pitch several times this season.

He threw an outstanding game in his first start at Oakland on April 6 only to be felled by an opposite-field homer by Mark Canha. In his last turn in Baltimore, Rodon was on cruise control before his defense did him in. Later in the contest, Rodon allowed another opposite-field blast to Nolan Reimold, which sealed the southpaw’s fate.

On Wednesday, Ortiz taught him a lesson after Rodon issued a two-out walk to Xander Bogaerts with the White Sox leading 2-1 in the fifth. Rodon left a 1-1 fastball over the plate and Ortiz turned on it and drove it 397 feet to right on a windy, cold night.

“Don’t throw a fastball down the middle to Big Papi,” Rodon said.

It was the sixth homer of the season and 509th of his career for Ortiz, who is set to retire after the season ends.

But Big Papi wasn’t done yet.

He followed a pair of one-out singles in the seventh inning with one of his own against Zach Duke. Ortiz beat a White Sox shift and dribbled a single through an open spot on the left side of the infield to drive in run No. 22 on the season and put Boston ahead 4-2. The Red Sox added another run in the eighth.

Ortiz, 40, is hitting .311/.404/.633.

“He comes up big in certain situations,” White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “Ortiz is a heck of a hitter, and he’s gonna make you pay.”

The White Sox couldn’t do the same with Buchholz, who entered the game 0-3 with a 6.51 ERA. Eaton said the right-hander kept them off-balance by using all five of his pitches. Buchholz appeared to have trouble keeping the ball down in the first as Eaton flew out deep to left ahead of a Jimmy Rollins single and Abreu’s two-run homer, his first since April 19. Abreu’s fourth homer snapped a 61-plate appearance drought and put the White Sox ahead 2-0.

But Buchholz settled in and retired 19 of the last 22 batters he faced, including 10 in a row.

He limited the White Sox to two runs and three hits while striking out six.

“We got off well there, Jimmy getting on and Jose hitting a homer, but we can’t stop there,” Eaton said. “You know as an offense you can’t stop there.”

A lack of run support has also been an early theme in Rodon’s starts.

The team has scored a total of 10 runs with Rodon on the mound in six starts. Entering Wednesday, his 2.1 run support average per nine innings ranked 67th among 73 qualified starters, according to baseball-reference.com.

The limited backing has often left Rodon -- who minus his April 18 start against the Los Angeles Angels has a 3.03 ERA -- susceptible to one mistake costing him the game.

“I think he learns something every time out there,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There's something to be gained from it and for him, he's going to be better for it. He's got great stuff, a competitor and all that, but you always learn stuff as you're going through this. Even looking at Sale or Quintana, they're still doing things and you learn something every time you're out there. Carlos is no different.

“We know he's a good pitcher, but even the good ones run through tough stretches.”

Jose Abreu's hot streak a good sign for White Sox

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Jose Abreu's hot streak a good sign for White Sox

Jose Abreu made it official on Wednesday night -- he’s on fire.

Everyone around the White Sox has known this hot streak would soon arrive. They saw signs in Toronto and again in Baltimore as he began to drive the ball to right with authority. They heard the sounds his lumber produced when he smacked another pitch.

But the first baseman confirmed it in the first inning Wednesday when he snapped a 61-plate appearance homeless streak with a towering two-run homer to left. And the idea that the White Sox have played as well as they have without consistent production from Abreu has the club very optimistic about its chances to contend this season.

“It’s awesome,” leadoff man Adam Eaton said. “You know it’s going to happen. He’s never not going to get going and be the type of hitter he is.”

“You’ve seen the month we’ve had and realistically without him producing a tremendous amount, without really the hitters producing a tremendous amount. The pitching staff has really carried us.”

Abreu has been a dominant force in the lineup in each of his two previous seasons. The 2014 American League Rookie of the Year has produced 9.3 Wins Above Replacement in his first two seasons, according to baseball-reference.com.

But until this last week, Abreu hasn’t been himself.

He hit .229/.303/.354 in April with 13 RBIs, the fewest he’s ever had in the opening month of the season. He chased pitches that weren’t his and got away from his game, rifling inside fastballs to right field. Yet the lengthy slump from a player who hit .303/.364/.540 with 66 homers and 208 RBIs in his first two seasons hasn’t dramatically hurt the White Sox, who entered Wednesday with the best record in the AL.

Abreu said the stretch reminds him of 2009 when he got out to a slow start and his team, the Elefantes de Cienfuegos, continued to play well in the Occidental Division of the Cuban National Series. Despite Abreu’s early slump, Cienfuegos finished in second place in the division and earned a postseason birth as it did in each of Abreu’s final eight seasons.

“I’ve had this moment before in Cuba,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I was struggling and the team was winning games.

“We won that year. That’s the same kind of feeling as I’m having right now because we’re getting all together, working hard and pulling in the same direction and that’s probably something God has for us for the season and I’m happy.”

Manager Robin Ventura might like similar results from this situation. Abreu finished the 2009 season hitting .399/.555/.822 with 30 homers and 76 RBIs in 393 plate appearances. Projected out to 600 plate appearances, Abreu would wind up with 45 round-trippers, or nine more than his career high.

No matter what kind of numbers Abreu produces, it’s clear he’s in a better position to do it after a slow start. From April 25 through Tuesday, Abreu hit .406/.486/.531 with nine RBIs in 37 plate appearances. While he hadn’t gone deep in that span, Abreu walked five times and struck out only three.

Abreu said it’s a function of improved timing. He feels right when he drives the ball on a line to right as he did throughout a four-game series in Baltimore. Those are the signs Ventura has seen plenty of lately.

“It sounds better,” Ventura said. “His hands work better. It just seemed like he could pull the inside pitch a little better and drive some more to right field. He was working on it, probably gave up a couple of at-bats trying to find it, knowing it might not look right. We could tell what he was trying to do, and I think it has helped him as we got home, how it feels for him.”

Eaton looks forward to what it can mean for the White Sox. The offense entered Wednesday with 45 runs in the past eight games after it produced 62 in the first 21.  

“He stays inside the ball really well, he goes the other way really well,” Eaton said. “That’s where his power is and somebody hangs one, he’ll pull it

“When he starts doing that and barreling balls the other way, and they throw a 95-mph heater on the inside part of the plate, he shoots it to right with authority and that’s when you know Jose is going.

“It should be interesting once he gets going and gets in a rhythm.”