All in the White Sox family

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 20:47
They feud a lot, but the White Sox fancy themselves as one big family. That extends to the kids, too. On Thursday, the Sox selected outfielder Kenny Williiams Jr. in the sixth round of the amateur draft. The son of White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, Junior batted .325 and stole 16 bases in 45 games with Wichita State. "Kenny hasn't played a great deal of baseball,'' Sox amateur scouting director Doug Laumann said of Williams Jr. "He's a very good athlete, a switch-hitter, good arm strength, power. He's somewhat of a project, but he's a high-risk, high-reward kind of guy.'' Drafting talent with blood ties to the organization is nothing new to the White Sox.

Cubs draft a closer

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 15:08
The Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Andrew Cashner, a closer out of Texas Christian University, with their first pick in the amateur draft. Cashner went 19th overall to the Cubs. At TCU, Cashner had 9 victories and 9 saves in 30 relief appearances, with a 2.32 ERA. He had 27 walks and a team-high 80 strikeouts. Interestingly, the Cubs drafted Cashner in the 29th round out of Angelina College in Texas, but he decided to stay in school. "We're very, very happy," said scouting director Tim Wilken. "We're pretty excited at this point. His delivery is pretty darn sound, one of the better in this draft."

White Sox GM weighs in

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 22:36
It's been a while since White Sox general manager Kenny Williams sat down and chatted with the media. Pressed for time Wednesday as he made final preparation's for the amateur draft, Williams didn't directly comment about his meeting with manager Ozzie Guillen or hitting coach Greg Walker's job status. Williams did expound on some other topics: On trading for some better hitters "If you think I can go out and get anybody better than the talent that these guys have shown you throughout their careers, you're kidding yourself. It ain't that easy. And if it was that easy it would have already been done, trust me.'' On dealing with turmoil

Party like it's 1969?

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 21:21
This year's Cubs have drawn more than one comparison to the fabled 1969 club, which stormed out of the gate and led the eventual world-champion Mets by 8 and a half games on June 15. By the middle of August, the Cubs led the Cardinals by 8 and a half and the Mets by 9 and a half. We all know what happened after that.

Drop everything and see...

Posted by Sean Stangland on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 16:54

..."Speed Racer," which has improbably vaulted ahead of "Cloverfield" and "Iron Man" on my list of the best movies of 2008. If you have any interest in this movie at all, you have to go see it now, since it's going to be disappearing from movie theaters this weekend. The bigger multiplexes, like the AMC 30s in South Barrington and Warrenville, will still have it, but good luck finding it any place that has 16 or fewer screens after tomorrow.

Denny and Glenn's smooth political sailing over choppy waters

Posted by JP on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 13:50

One of the biggest surprises to come from the demise of a $34 billion construction-spending plan is that its co-pilots received little to no political blowback for their somewhat odd roles in promoting it.
If you’d have told a Republican a year ago that former Republican U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert would be traveling the state on behalf of Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich and telling people to give Blagojevich more money, they’d have either laughed in your face or questioned your sanity – or both.
But there was Hastert recommending fellow Republicans trust Blagojevich and vote for gambling expansion and leasing out the state lottery in order to give controlling Democrats access to more money.

So just what did Lou say?

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 06/04/2008 - 01:10
All eyes were on the press box TV in the fourth inning tonight when Lou visited Jason Marquis on the mound. The Cubs had just come within 2-1 of the Padres, and Marquis opened the bottom of the fourth by walking Paul McAnulty. It would be one of Marquis' 5 walks for the night in what turned out to be a 9-6 Cubs victory. Lou did some gesturing on the mound when he got to Marquis and used some words fit for neither a family newspaper or even a family blog. "I told him he had to throw strikes," Lou said after the 3-hour, 29-minute game. "I said if not, I had to get somebody else in the ballgame." Marquis wound up with the victory, running his record to 3-3. The first-place Cubs won their ninth straight and ran their record to 38-21.

Sox return to basic baseball

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 22:48
To review...there were no Ozzie outbursts Tuesday. The White Sox' lightning-rod manager left the Cubs, the umpires, his offense and Kenny Williams alone. There were no blow-up dolls in the clubhouse. There were no senior directors of player personnel fired for dubious doings. Mark Buehrle didn't attack any dugout space heaters, and Orlando Cabrera didn't call the official scorer to complain about an error. Shock of all shockers, it was just plain old baseball at the Cell, and the Sox actually did some hitting in a 9-5 win over the Royals. Let's hope they keep following the same script. All of the extracurricular stuff can be fun for the media, but I'm starting to get a headache.

A lucky 13?

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 19:50
The Cubs went ahead and did it today: They now have a 13-man pitching staff. Before tonight's game against the Padres, they recalled right-hander Kevin Hart from Class AAA Iowa and sent infielder-outfielder Micah Hoffpauir back to Iowa. Manager Lou Piniella says the move to 13 pitchers is temporary and that by the time the Cubs play at Toronto next week, they'll either recall Hoffpauir or activated Daryle Ward off the disabled list. Somebody will have to be the DH in the games at American League parks. Lou admitted his starting staff so far hasn't been an "innings staff," and that's part of the reason Hart is here. "I like the idea of strong young kids up here with good, fresh arms to come in and help out, and hopefully Hart will do just that," he said.

More quality needed _ and soon

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 17:00
There's little to pick apart with the Cubs, considering they have baseball's best record and a three-and-a-half game lead over the Cardinals. But it is interesting to note that they've gone an entire turn in the pitching rotation without a quality start, that is, at least 6 innings pitched and no more than 3 earned runs allowed. Fortunately for the Cubs, they've been able to hit their way through some subpar pitching performances. Carlos Zambrano started and won Monday's game by going 5 innings and giving up 3 runs. The Cubs' record when they do get a quality start is 21-7, and the starters' ERA in those games is 1.77 (which should silence those who degrade the quality start, but that's a story for another day).