Ever since I can remember, the White Sox’ offense was stacked with power guys that were able to take advantage of the hitter-friendly conditions at U.S. Cellular Field.
I got here after Greg Luzinski, Ron Kittle and even Carlton Fisk, but have been around long enough to see sluggers like Frank Thomas, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Lee, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and Adam Dunn.
Through the past two decades, the Sox had hitters throughout the order that were patient enough to take a walk.
Thomas, Thome and Dunn - in particular - set a good tone for the rest of the lineup by forcing opposing pitchers to throw strikes.
This season, the White Sox rank last in the American League with 121 walks. They also rank last in runs scored (177) and last in on-base percentage (.293).
We’ve got off-and-on rain here at U.S. Cellular Field as the Cubs get set to take on the White Sox. We should get some word today on the status of reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, who is scheduled to have an MRI on his right forearm today. The Cubs are calling it a “muscular strain,” but repeated forearm injuries raise red flags about more serious possibilities.
While we’re waiting, let’s do this today. Yesterday, GM Jed Hoyer talked a lot about the Cubs’ lack of walks and the importance of on-base percentage in the OPS equation. We couldn’t get to all of it in the paper, so let’s get to some of it here on the blog.
A lot going on here before Game 1 of the Cubs-White Sox series at the Cell. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said reliever Kyuji Fujikawa will undergo an MRI tomorrow. Fujikawa suffered an injury to his right forearm during Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. He spent on a month on the DL from mid-April to mid-May with a forearm strain. Hoyer said the Cubs are “cautiously optimistic,” but it looks like Fujikawa will be out for some time.
The Cubs officially placed him on the DL today with what they term a “muscular strain of the right forearm. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that whenever you hear “forearm” or “triceps” repeatedly with a pitcher, it’s never out of line to think there might be an elbow issue.
Both baseball teams in this city have been taking a beating all season, and most of it is deserved.
You can keep checking in with Bruce Miles' work here to get the latest on the Cubs.
As far as the White Sox are concerned, they enter tonight's interleague game vs. their North Side rivals having won 9 of 12.
The Sox (24-24) are playing their best baseball of the season, no question about it, and almost to a man, they say they can do better.
"We've had a lot of injuries," Adam Dunn said. "Offensively, we've been pretty much terrible all year. For the first month, defensively we were terrible. For us to sit here and be .500, that's pretty remarkable for the way that we've played.
DETROIT - Bryan Bickell will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but the big left winger might be earning himself a new contract with strong play in the playoffs.
Bickell took 4 goals into Game 6 here on Monday and has been a physical force for the Blackhawks.
"He's been effective," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You look back over the last couple playoff years and Bick usually finds a way to make an impact in games. We notice him because he gets in on the forecheck and he gets a big hit or two early in games to set the tone.
In case you missed it, first-base umpire Angel Hernandez made an atrocious call in Friday night's White Sox-Marlins game at U.S. Cellular Field.
In a 3-3 game, the Sox had runners on first and third with one out in the 10th inning. Alex Rios grounded to shortstop, but he beat the relay throw and was safe at first base.
The winning run should have scored, but Hernandez called Rios out.
The White Sox went on to win in 11 innings, but that doesn’t completely erase what happened.
And, not surprisingly, Sox TV announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson teed off on Hernandez after screaming “NO!” four times.
Last season, MLB commissioner Bud Selig fined (and lectured) Harrelson after he went off on umpire Mark Wegner during a game at Tampa.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
That's when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville usually turns to the trio of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
Based on Saturday's morning skate, those three will skate together as the Hawks' top line in Game 5 tonight at the United Center.
"For us three we played together a lot my first couple years in the league and just kind of developed some chemistry to where it was pretty instant," Kane said. "I think we just have to remember how to play with one another. We haven't done it in a while. Hopefully we can have a good first couple shifts and get some chemistry back right away.