Results tagged ‘ white sox ’

Re-view of the Preview: Chicago White Sox

Here, is the link to the original entry.

Predicted record: 85-90 wins

Actual record: 79-83

Here’s to another completely wrong prediction. I really have no explanation for why this happened besdies the underacheiving of Adam Dunn among others. They didn’t lose anyone THAT important to the any part of their team. I know Dunn not perfoming was indeed a big part of their underacheiving, but one man does not 15-20 make, even if he seemed horrible enough.

I conceed to the fact that I got this prediction completely wrong, whateve the reason behind this mal-prediction may be. I think I may have just been a bit too optimistic. I guess I added the value of Pierzinski and Konerko to the team even though they had already been on the team the year before. I think I made so big of a deal in the fact that Ken Williams kept both of them that I lost the fact that they weren’t going to add wins to the total, but maintain the total at where it was. After all, they did only really add two impact players, one of which turned a spot in the lineup into a black hole of nothingness where hits against lefties go to die.

8/16/11 Indians at White Sox: US Cellular Field

Originally, I was planning to go to three games but because of changes to that plan that I was not made aware of, this would be my first and last game at US Cellular Field this year. I had taken a tour of Northwestern in the morning so this was my view coming off of the el or L (short for elevated train):

It was then 4:59 so I didn’t have that much time to wander around but yet I did (unintentionally). Here is my route in red ink:

In that first picture, you are actually looking at gate 6. I then went over to gate 4 to meet my uncle (not Richard) with the tickets. From there I went to  the Stadium club entrance between gates 2 and 3 because Rick Crowe told me he might be there but might also be inside the stadium for a season ticket holder promotion (long and complicated story that I’d rather not explain). He wasn’t there so I assumed that he was in the stadium and went over to gate 2 to see the length of the line because that goes into Right Field. The line was long enough for me to inspect how long it was at gate 1. Apparently, this was the gate they were doing the season ticket holder event thing at and no other people were allowed through. By the time I made my way back to gate 2 the time was 5:20 (10 minutes pre-gate opening) and the line was this long:

The arrow would be where the front of the line was because the line kind of curved to its destination. Now I didn’t know it at this time but what I should have done was go back to gate 6 because that would get me to the Left Field seats and it would be much less crowded than this line. One of the reasons this line was so crowded was because it was also the patio gate. The patio area is a picnic table area that is actually under the Right Field seats. I didn’t know these seats even existed and so most of the people in this line were actually in it for that reason and other gates did not have this extra crowd. In addition, I didn’t know that we were not on the field level of the stadium. So when faced with the decision, I did not go up the ramp but actually followed the people going to the patio area. Here is actually a picture of the people going towards the patio area through this tunnel type thing that most stadiums have but fans are rarely allowed through:

So if I weren’t late enough already with waiting for the fans in front of me, I was made even tardier by the fact that I went the length of the tunnel and back. Eventually, I did make it to the 100 level and the Indians were already taking bp:

I quickly did pick out Rick Crowe:

He is obviously under the red arrow but I would also like to take this opportunity to show the best thing about US Cellular Field: No guard rails on the aisles. This means that any row is accessible. Usually, in a place with railing you will see ballhawks stationed in railing gaps during batting practice. These are one-row-wide gaps between one railing and the next. They do this because it allows them to access both sections of seats on both sides of the aisle. Without the railings, a ballhawk can just pick the spot on the aisle that is least crowded. For example, I would be able to stand in the second row here and not be worried about being limited to going to only one side due to the railing but I could just pick out the emptiest row and stand in the respective aisle. Anyway, in the process of introducing myself  to him I actually missed out on two balls that landed more towards Right-Center Field. I was okay with this in the moment and I’m glad I met him at my first chance but I really wished I would have spotted him like two seconds later.

I then noticed two things that made me leave for Left Field: the Left Field seats were bleachers and Chris Perez was shagging in Left Field. The former made me go over there because bleachers are far easier to maneuver through and snag baseballs in because one can be more of an outfielder and adjust to the ball depth wise. Let me explain this a bit better. In a seated section, one has to pick a row to run through within about one row of where the ball is going to land because jumping over seats is a time-consuming process where as bleachers are very easy to jump over and allow a person to start running laterally right away and adjust to the distance of the ball once they get in line with it. The latter made me want to be in Left Field because there are certain guys in the league that give out twenty thousand balls a batting practice and Chris Perez is one of them. This batting practice he tossed up any ball that he fielded within ten feet of the wall. Most players mope around and want to do the least amount of exercise possible in batting practice but he played every ball like he was an outfielder in the seventh game of the World Series and how quickly he got the ball would decide if his team won or not.

Anyway, the latter proved to be a quicker source of a baseball as Perez threw me a ball within the first two minutes I was in Left Field:

I then changed into a different outfit from my standard Indians gear to see if I could get Perez to actually throw me another because as I said he was throwing ball after ball into the crowd. This is what I came up with:

That would be my standard Indians bp hat (bought in Cooperstown), Mets give away sunglasses, and a Red Sox shirt turned inside-out. I didn’t get anything else from Perez as he didn’t field any balls close to me but I did get other players to throw me balls. Unfortunately, I was under-thrown on both occasions. The first is pictured in this diagram:

The guy who threw it to me is under the right-most arrow and the two connected arrows show the arc of the ball. It was headed right in my direction but it was severely under-thrown and landed in the first row where the kid in the White Sox jersey picked it up (and yes I am 95% sure that the ball was intended for me and not the kid as he only looked back to us when I called out to him). I am not completely sure but I think the armless pitcher was Chad Durbin. I do know, however. The person was in fact a player and not a coach that threw the ball as much as it might look like a coach in that last picture. The next ball was closer to straight away Left Field and was almost the same exact scenario except for the fact that the ball was closer to me but I was standing on the bleacher and so it took me longer to get down and that’s when I lost it.

Then next ball I actually did get was a hit ball:

Don’t be fooled, I was not as lucky as it may seem with the crazy series of ricochets show here. Keep in mind that I was tracking this ball so I was moving back and forth with each bounce. I gave this away to a father with what looked to be a one year old. I was planning to spend the game wherever Rick Crowe was sitting but it turns out he only attends the batting practices and no the games so I played Home Run balls out in Right Field.

As for the game, it was a 14 inning affair but I only staid for 12 innings. I would have staid longer but my means for getting back to shelter wanted to go home in the 12th. Speaking of which, here they are:

1. Mike- My uncle that treated us to this game on the field level and currently (in the picture) trying to walk without pain from an injury sustained during the t-shirt toss when an over-exuberant knocked over both he and my mother (should have stayed with me closer to the field). Wait, who’s my mother?

2. Andrea- my mother who wanted to come to this game but yet not stay for the duration of it.

We weren’t the only ones who left early so we had constant updates on the train from other on their smart phones.

STATS:

  • 2 balls at this game (1 pictured because I gave one away)
numbers 195-196 for my career:
  • 135 balls in 36 games = 3.75 balls per game
  • 2 balls * 29,700 fans= 59,400 competition factor
  • Time at game 4:59-11:14= 6 hours 15 minutes

4/26/11 White Sox at Yankees: New Yankee Stadium

Let’s just say that I won’t be in the mood for Yankee games for a while. First, there were three people in line at 4:50 for a playoff game last year. This was the line at 4:45 for the center field gate:

Line 4/26/11.JPG

I
really don’t get how that can happen. That wasn’t that bad as most of
them didn’t go to the outfield for batting practice anyway (why do you
show up this early then?) Then when I optimistically entered the stadium
for a day of working on fly balls:
field as entering 42611.JPG 

Well actually that looks kind of nice but when you look further up as one does on Home Runs:
Sun 42611.JPG 

you’re
lucky if your eyes come back down with both retinas still fully
functioning. This made it nearly impossible for a skilled ballhawk to
catch a ball on the fly (without sunglasses) much less my unskilled
self. I lost three potential balls from this sun as I “had” to let them
drop and hope they stayed in place so I would be able to pick them up.

As
for toss-ups, normally Yankee player toss-ups are *very* (relatively
speaking) hard to come by as a wall of “here”s blasts as soon as the
player comes close to the ball but today it was just one fan. One kid
who seemed like a semi-regular by how the players recognized him, got
well over 50% of the toss-ups that went into the seats while I was
there.

Finally, Curtis Granderson stepped in and hit a fly ball
to my right. I ran to the direction it was hit in, descended two rows
after I saw it touch base and beat out aforementioned “kid” to find it
tucked between the pads of the seat for Ball #1 on the day.

I wanted to stayed a bit as Rafael Soriano went into the bullpen to try and get a toss-up from the ball left in the bullpen:
bullpen 42611.JPG
but as I had no spot at a rail gap in right field because of Ben Weil and Tony Bracco,
and there was a mostly righty group of Yankees coming up, I made my way
over to left field. Absoltuamently nothing. Two Home Runs and for some
reason the White Sox didn’t throw any of their warm-up balls into the stands. Had there been any I wouldn’t been able to move that much because when I got there the rail gaps in left-center had already been taken.

As the groups passed, more and more lefties came up to the plate. So when lefties came up, I went to both see how Jake Peavy was rehabing:
Jake Peavy 42611.JPG

And at the same time waited for him to end and get a ball from Pitching Coach, Don Cooper:
Don Cooper 42611.JPG
as he was sitting on a bag of about twenty baseballs.

As I looked up to see the time to get an idea of when security would come and try to kick me out, I saw this:
Ben rail gap 42611.JPG

How did Ben get in the rail gap that I had just seen occupied by a family of three? It was just that type of day. I could not catch a break.

Would I be able to escape the ticket checkers? Let me show you how in three easy steps:
1. Spot the guards coming from your left:
guards on left 42611.JPG

Guard #1 behind the two fans in the row furthest left, Guard #2 in the blue coming through the middle row, and Guard #3 checking the White Sox fan’s ticket towards the right. Whoa, they had never sent more than two guards to check tickets before.

2. Escape to your… wait no there’s a guard to right:
Guard right 42611.JPG

When I first developed a strategy to get past the ticket checkers only one guard came from your left and so you would be able to keep moving to your right until his sections of responsibility ended and go back to left field for the rest of bp.

3. Hope the guard to your right stops at a certain section

When they installed the second guard, they hoped he would make people just resign themselves to one side or the other and the guard stopped at a certain section and let the guys coming from left field get the people left in between them. This is the window where you would be able to just keep going left and out wait the guards but this security kept advancing until he met up with the left field guards. The result:

4. Get your ticket checked and be forced to leave.

Frus-tra-ting because of my false start to foul ground I wasn’t even allowed to go back and ask the other ballhawks if they could collaborate in getting me back into the field level seats. I tried going through the tunnel and asking them but apparently i wasn’t even allowed to stand in the tunnel leading to the section unless I had a ticket for that section.

5. Take a picture on the outside looking in:
outside looking in 42611.JPG

6. Wander Stadium looking for a lazy guard until the game starts.

Did not work. The Yankees have guards at every seat entrance (except for on the fourth level) well before the first pitch because they figure that if they charge so much for tickets than a person not sitting in their assigned tickets cost them that much more. Let’s do some math shall we? 137 entrances to the seats that have security guards (can we call it 140 for the sake of math) +1 supervisor for every ten openings+ 8 ticket checkers= 162 security guards for two hours before the game starts* even $6 per hour=$1,944 every game spent on security and I’m sure they make noticeably more than $6 per hour. That’s just the time from when the gates open until when the game begins.

7. Go back to your paid seat 5,000 feet from home plate:

Thumbnail image for 5 leagues away from the plate 42611.JPG

I would have wandered for the rest of the game but I had a guest to entertain all the way up there (I would introduce you but the picture I took was awful).

After the fifth inning I got incredibly bored and frustrated that I was all the way in section 432a. So, I asked the invited if he had ever been to the Yankee museum. He didn’t even know they had one.

Some of the things I saw:

1. World Series Ring:
WS Ring 2009 42611.JPG

2. The whole room centers on a display of Don Larsen’s last pitch from his perfect game. There is Yogi Berra:
Yogi 42611.JPG
Don Larsen:
Don 42611.JPG
and in between the two is a display case which is shaped on the top by the vertical curvature of Larsen’s last pitch. This case contains baseballs from many (maybe all but probably not) of the Yankee’s past and current players:
case side 42611.JPG
(this picture is from the Yogi Berra side so I was actually kneeling as I took this.)

They have autographs from players as far back as:
27th out 42611.JPG

and me with there most recent World Series trophy:
WS trophy 42611.JPG
Only in their museum did I wear a Yankee hat out of common courtesy but as you can tell by my face I was not too happy at the organization as a whole at this particular moment.

As we walked out of the museum, we immediately came upon then seats near the right field foul pole. I was scoping the area for lazy guards and what do you know, the first opening to the seats was security free. I pointed it out to my guest and we made quickly to our new seats.

A better view, wouldn’t you say:
this is better 42611.JPG

Though I wish I were in left field for the game as this was how empty it was:
I wish I were there 42611.JPG
When I pointed this out my guest called me whiner. I suppose this is true but with the Yankees it is actually deserved. The reason me wanting to be left field remains relevant three days after the fact is because Paul Konerko hit the game winning Home Run two sections from where I would have been sitting. There is actually a good story on what happened to this ball written by Tony Bracco.

That was it for me only one ball. By the way, I apologize for the lateness but Mlblogs has been acting up with the pictures again so I have had to work around those problems.

Stats:

  • 1 friggin ball at this game (#80)

Ball 42611.JPG

  • 19 balls in 8 games= 2.37 balls per game (Bleh)
  • 33 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 7 games straight with at least on ball at Yankee Stadium
  • 1 ball* 40,785 fans= 40,785 competition factor
  • Time at Game 4:45- 10:22= 5 Hours and 37 Minutes

Not sure when my next game will be this weekend all depends on how Fordham does in a tournament.

Chicago White Sox Offseason Recap and Preview

Remember when the White Sox were in first place? They went on a big surge and kept it up for a while even after this:

peavyx-large.jpg

All was well on the south side of Chicago they were making fun of their neighborhood Twins fans because their team couldn’t get them out of first even with a lost Peavy. Then… it happened, they went on a I don’t know how many game slide and lost first place in their division almost as quickly as they had gotten there. For the rest of the season, all they would do is have their defecit increase as the twins were the best team in baseball over the second half of the season. So they needed to make some moves, right?

 

Grade: B+

 

Notable Additions:

chicago-cubs-adam-dunn-washington-nationals-2.jpg

Adam Dunn, Jesse Crain, Lastins Milledge

 

Notable Subtractions:

 Bobby_Jenks.jpg

Bobby Jenks, Manny Ramirez, Scott Linebrink, Freddy Garcia, and JJ Putz (maybe Mark Kotsay).
Why?:  I think we can all agree that the White Sox only added two impact players, if that many. Though this grade isn’t for just the additions vs subtractions it is for the offseason as a whole and they sure did capitalize on what I predicted would be a disastrous offseason for them with both AJ Pierzinski(Is that right? I was never good with the spelling of the polish surnames. Then again, who is?), Paul Konerko and all the rest of the notable free agents that left.
What really stood out to me was that the White sox were able to both get an impact lefty bat and keep Konerko and Pierzinski. Had they lost Konerko and Pierzinski they would have been more in the D range but they not only resigned Konerko and Pierzinski but saved some tens of millions of dollars over, or should I say under, market value. They then solidified their bullpen with Jesse Crain. Would it have been better to have Jenks and Linebrink? Yes, of course. Would it have cost them more? Yes, of course. Do they have any role in the bullpen that is not filled? Yes, of course. Wait… no! They don’t have any unfilled roles in the bullpen. I must have hypnotized myself.
Predicted Record Range:85-90 wins They still don’t have a defined ace until Jake Peavy recovers ( before y’all Sawx fans get up in arms I do not consider John Danks an Ace because of his inconsistency. It has nothing to do with how good he can be at times. I do in fact think he will (may) be an ace in the future but he is not at this moment). So, until Peavy get back ( and I mean *really* gets back) I cannot put this team above that figure. If Peavy comes out of Spring training a Cy Young candidate we’ll talk but until then, this is their range.
Next Up: Detroit Tigers
The Fordham Prep baseball team just played its first game of the pre-season. I will get that up by tomorrow in hopes of making fans out of lazy parents (please don’t read this, please don’t read this). So , the MLB fans just bear with me until it is snagging season. I will be still doing the team previews simultaneously but for those who do want to read about my High school’s games I will be getting that game’s recap up tomorrow some time. Here is the schedule if you want to know approximately when the recaps will be going up.

Minnesota Twins Offseason Recap and Preview

As a Yankee fan they are a gift (up to this point) because of their record both in and after the season, which is somewhere between .200 and .300 in the 21st century. As an appreciator of cost efficiency, there playoff results absolutely kill me:

1013-alds-yankees-twins-bas.jpg
Grade: D-
Notable Additions:
Minnesota+Twins+Introduce+Tsuyoshi+Nishioka+gXPYddKUVyol.jpg
Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Notable Subtractions:

Minnesota+Twins+v+New+York+Yankees+Game+2+RYzXOjc2_oll.jpg
Matt Guerrier, Ron Mahay, Jesse Crain, J.J. Hardy, Brain Fuentes, Joe Crede, Orlando Hudson, Nick Punto, and Jon Rauch.
Why?: They lost what could be a bullpen in itself this Offseason in addition to what could be an infield on its own. Now I am aware of the fact that they have replacements for most of those positions and should at least come close to last year’s success. So they should have a higher grade… if the grade were for the state of the team, but it aint, it’s for what the Twins did in the Offseason which was get an infielder and lose all that listed above.

Now by talking with other baseball fans I realize that many just wondered “What? How are the Twins going to even come close to last year’s success when they lost that much talent?” First, Joe Nathan was the second best closer in baseball since he became a closer after his trade from San Francisco (still one of the worst trades in MLB history even after the hype died down). Do you not think that would make up for at least two of the reliever’s departures (Pat Neshek making up for one other)? Second, had Justin Morneau finished the season like he started, .345 AVG 36 HR 120 RBI. Now I realize this would have been pretty unlikely but that would have at least put him in the MVP discussion if not won it for him and he is typically a second half guy. Thirdly, the Twins always outplay their expectations. For example, SI predicted them to finish in last place in 2008 after they lost Johan, and Torii. What did they do? Only tied for the lead in the division and eventually lose their playoff spot to the White Sox in a one game playoff:

19f84a92754af378f797fbb82894090c.jpg
I realize that there are a lot of “if”s in there but we must not forget that they did win 95 games without two of the faces of the franchise. I also remind people that they have made it to the playoffs more than anyone besides the Yankees since 2002 (they’re tied with the Angels).
Again, most of the fate of the team seemingly rests on how the injured players rebound but with the Twins they are coached in such a manner that whenever someone is injured there is always a person that steps up right behind him and temporarily. Though, if Morneau does comeback to full strength it will be the final piece that puts them over the top in the playoffs because of not only the statistical aspect he adds to the team but the protection he provides in the lineup to Joe Mauer. Also, I am not sure if it is over-looked by the common fan or not but if anyone was paying attention there was a party in support of Delmon Young as AL MVP at the end of the year.
Predicted Record Range: 91-96 this is assuming 2 out of the three injured Twins get back to true from by the all star break but if only one does then you can shift this scale down a few games.
Next Up: Chicago White Sox
I don’t know if any of you noticed but mine is the featured blog on the Mlblogs home page. So I would like to take this line to thank whoever was responsible for making that happen.
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