Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Changes coming to White Sox' batting order?

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 17:06
When Jim Thome was struggling at the start of the season, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen considered dropping the veteran designated hitter down in the batting order. But after giving it some thought, Guillen decided to leave Thome in the No. 3 spot. If the Sox'offense continues to struggle, expect Guillen to shake things up. And don't be surprised if Jerry Owens comes up from Class AAA Charlotte to add some spark (and speed) to the leadoff spot. Thome (.216) isn't the only White Sox hitter that is slumping. Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Orlando Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Juan Uribe are also cold, so it's been a collective slide.

Splittsville for Fukudome

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 16:56
No, no, no, Kosuke Fukudome isn't going anywhere. Maybe that's a good thing because his numbers at Wrigley Field are far better than what they are on the road. At Wrigley, Kosuke is 20-for-50 (.400) with 1 homer and 8 RBI. His all-important on-base percentage is .516 at Wrigley, and his slugging percentage is .600. On the road, it's been quite a different story for the popular right fielder. He's 10-for-44 (.227) with no homers and 1 RBI. His road OBP is .333, and his slugging away from the Friendly Confines is .318. I asked him about it Tuesday. "I do have an ally in the outfield, or I should say the fans, who support each play that I do on the field," he said through his translator. "Maybe that's giving me a little comfort playing at Wrigley Field."

Day Trippers

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 12:30
The White Sox have 13 players that are 30 years or older on their 25-man roster. Most of them are married, and the days of going out and howling at the moon are pretty much long gone. The Sox are a veteran team, and they obviously realize the importance of getting a good night's sleep. That's the main reason the White Sox are 9-2 in day games heading into Wednesday's noon matinee against the Twins at the Metrodome. If anyone has a theory on why the White Sox are 5-9 at night, float it by me. Jim Thome, the 37-year-old designated hitter, put the Sox in front 1-0 with a first-inning double Wednesday, but it looked like he had too much energy while being easily thrown out trying to stretch the extra-base hit into a triple.

The bald truth

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 17:27
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano showed up with a little surprise this afternoon: a cleanly shaved head. "What?" he asked in mock anger as reporters wanted to ask about the chrome dome. "You want to know anything, just wait until I pitch." Right fielder Kosuke Fukudome will be on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. "I'm not quite sure how important this is because I haven't seen the magazine," he said through his translator. What about the SI jinx? Did word of it ever reach Japan? "It's a lot of other people who are not actually on the cover saying it's jinxed," he said. Here's how the Cubs line up tonight against the Brew Crew: Johnson, LF Theriot, SS Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B Fukudome, RF DeRosa, 2B Soto, C Pie, CF Marquis, P

Hey, Metrodome's not all bad

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 04/29/2008 - 17:08
A few hours before Tuesday night's game against the Twins up here in the Land of the Walleye, the White Sox were still thawing out from Monday's suspended game against the Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field. The game was stopped with the score tied at 3 after 11 innings of rainy, cold, windy conditions. It will be resumed on Aug. 25 at Baltimore's Camden Yards. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski reiterated on Tuesday how bad the playing field was. "There was a lake out in front of home plate,'' Pierzynski said. "I've never seen anything like it. They had all the kitty litter down on the field, but if you moved it out of the way, it was all water.''

Off-day musings

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 04/28/2008 - 18:28
Added another new ballpark to the list over the weekend when I visited Nationals Park in Washington. Call me underwhelmed. While the Nats' new park is much nicer than old RFK Stadium, that's not saying much.

10 Grand

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 04/24/2008 - 13:09
If you're riding the Red Line today, take a look at the Wrigley Field scoreboard as you hit the Addison St. stop. In addition to the "W" flag, which signifies a victory, the Cubs also will be flying a "10,000" flag, commemorating the franchise's 10,000th victory, achieved Wednesday night at Colorado. The Cubs have been around since 1876, and if not for some real lean periods, we'd have been celebrating No. 10,000 a lot sooner. During one of those periods, from 1947-66, the Cubs finished at .500 or above just twice, capping it with a record of 59-103 in '66. Before that season, new manager Leo Durocher proclaimed that the Cubs weren't an eighth-place ballclub. Nope. They finished 10th in 1966. If not for years like that, heck, we could have been around to witness No. 20,000.