Hey, everyone, are you starting to feel like it’s easier for me to write these blogs and talk to you guys when we win games? Well, it definitely is. I’m in a great mood this morning in Baltimore and decided to write one of these up. Actually, my room here is right over Candem Yards. I can actually see the field right now.
Anyways, it was a great sweep of the Twins this weekend because, as you all know, they are always a huge pain for us. Those guys always play so well against us; we finally got them. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty good feeling. I just hope this starts a trend of us playing better and more consistently, and this series against the Orioles would be a good way to continue it.
Jake Peavy did a great job yesterday and got some help from Brent Lillibridge, and the defense definitely threw some leather around this weekend. The new kid with all the hair, Zach Stewart, did an awesome job as well this weekend. I hope he continues to throw the ball like that. Anytime you sweep a team, especially on the road, it seems like everyone needs to contribute, and we got that. Alex Rios was crushing he ball, and of course, “Q” (Carlos Quentin) continues to swing a hot bat.
I will have time to write you guys after this series with Baltimore and hopefully answer some more of your questions. I had a great time this past Saturday at the TriStar National Memorabilia Convention thanks to Bobby and all the guys that worked there; it was a lot of fun. I will have pictures up for you guys here soon on the website. My son and I had a great time, and I hope to be back doing that every year.
Thank you all for the support and talk to you guys soon!
I have to admit this is not the most fun blog I have ever had to write, but I’m still trying to stay positive. I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t the way we wanted to close out the first half, but life goes on and so will this season. The good news is we are still in contention and we hold our fate in our own hands. There are several teams around baseball that can’t say that right now.
We have an opportunity to play our division many times coming up early in the second half and it’s up to us to take it to these teams when it starts back up. On that note, kids always have a way to put you in a better mood because they are so innocent and just want to have fun. That’s why I am so excited my kids baseball camps started today. (For more info you can check out BullsSoxAcademy.com). I’m really looking forward to these camps and working with the Bulls/Sox Academy and I know it’s going to be a lot of fun. Hopefully this is the beginning of many more camps in the future!
Other than the camps, I will spend most of the break relaxing and will definitely hit the golf course a couple of times. The most important thing for us is that our guys clear their heads and come back fresh. I will try and do the same. I know PK (Paul Konerko) and Carlos Quentin will represent the White Sox very well in the All-Star Game. And, of course, hopefully they will help the American League win because you never know, maybe it will help us down the road.
I will keep you guys updated on the camps this week on my Facebook and Twitter!
I hope everyone had a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend. Happy birthday to the U.S.A., and thank you very much to all the people who serve this country!
Our weekend wasn’t too bad. We took two out of three from the Cubs and won another series. Last night, we won on a balk against the Royals — a “balk-off.” Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and right now, I’ll take them anyway we can get them.
The series vs. the Cubs ended on a bad note because we couldn’t score any runs off of Rodrigo Lopez — a guy I felt like we should handle — but this is baseball and sometimes crazy things happen. The All-Star teams were announced over the weekend, and I’m very happy for Carlos Quentin — he deserves it. I also think Paul Konerko was very deserving because he has been amazing for us the entire season. I know what it’s like to try and pick reserves for the All-Star team and know what Ron Washington is going through. That is not an easy job.
We get the Royals and Twins this week, I think, and yesterday started a stretch of 19 straight games against our division. The Royals always seem to play us very well, and it’s time for us to start swinging the bats a little better to close the gap before the break. The next 3 weeks are either going to have us out of it or right in the thick of things for the home stretch. Hopefully we can make the right adjustments and continue to win ballgames.
See you guys at The Cell!
I have always said it’s better to be lucky than good (hahaha). Wow, that game Wednesday night in Anahiem was a lot of fun, and those are the types of games you need to win to pick up some momentum. It was the perfect game to win before enjoying an off-day in San Francisco! For those of you who may not have stayed up in Chicago to watch the whole game, we did leave a bunch of runners on base early, but we kept plugging away. Alex Rios has been red-hot as of late and “Q” (Carlos Quentin) has been swinging the bat great. And, man, it seems like I talk about this guy in every blog I write, but Omar Vizquel did a hell of a job for us again.
Now, we also swung the bats real well the first game in Anaheim, especially the guys at the bottom of the order. I really think baseball is more of a mental game than it is a physical one because confidence can be a scary thing in this game. Actually, not having confidence might actually be even scarier. I mean, look at the Cleveland Indians right now. They think they can beat anyone right now, and believe me that’s a very good feeling to have.
And, finally, Jake Peavy made his return to the mound. He looked better than I expected him to look, and as long as he doesn’t feel any discomfort, I think he will be just fine. We can only hope.
We are here in San Francisco enjoying our last off-day in like three weeks or something like that. Well, some of the guys were in San Fran. I spent the off-day up in Napa Valley with my wife enjoying wine country (haha). The West coast trip has been a positive one so far, but we have to close it out. I know the A’s are a good team and their pitching staff is tough, but we will see what happens; this is baseball. We can’t change anything; we need to stay positive and continue to play hard! — Ozzie
First off, I would like to thank everyone who took a few minutes of their time to send me their questions, opinions, congratulations and criticisms through this page. I am sure that this exchange between you and me will be very productive. In this second column I will respond to a couple of questions that were sent my way. I will also respond to a couple of comments that were made about the team, which, truthfully, is going through a tough time.
I am still optimistic, as are my players, and I think that at any moment now we will combine good pitching, with timely hitting and solid defense, to get back on track. Up until now that hasn’t happened with the consistency we would like. Miguel Monges asks if it is possible to be able to finish in first place even though we have started the season with so many injuries. It’s true Miguel, that when we put a team together in Spring Training, the last thing we think of is losing so many key pieces due to injury. In 2004, my first year as manager, we lost our third and fourth spot hitters because of injuries in the middle of season and that ended any dreams we had of the postseason. It wasn’t impossible, but it was really hard to score runs without Magglio Ordonez and Frank Thomas in the lineup. That’s why I always say one of the most important things is to stay healthy, especially because of the 162-game schedule we play.
Luis Angel Rodriguez asks that I keep a consistent lineup “as much as possible!” You are right Angel, that is the best scenario, but it’s not always possible because of injuries and the rest that some players that play almost every day need to get. When you have the goal of winning the World Series, you know that that effort will require an additional 11 wins in October, and it’s impossible to reach that goal without your key players in good condition and that means giving them a break from time to time. Additionally, losing your leadoff hitter because of injury during the first week of the season has forced us to experiment with different things in order to get each player in a spot where they will be productive. It hasn’t been easy, but I am confident that we will have a set lineup soon.
Fernando Bosch, Rafael Castro and Sergio Villareal are just some of you that have asked about Jose Contreras. Honestly, I have to tip my cap to him for his professionalism. If before I respected him as a player because of his work ethic and enthusiasm, now I admire and respect him even more after the way he has handled the start of the season. Nobody thought that he would be ready before July or August, but he arrived in Arizona in great shape. Perhaps his rehab wasn’t complete and we rushed in getting him back in the starting rotation. It was his own idea to go down to the minors to work on his mechanics and that is admirable and worth my respect. Anyone else might have stayed at home enjoying his guaranteed money. Contreras went to Charlotte to work because he wants to come back and help his team. I am sure that will happen, too.
Cristóbal Silva reminds me that we need a consistent leadoff hitter that doesn’t get hurt. It’s true Cristobal, and if you know where to find one, let me know and we’ll pick him up tomorrow!
Juan Moreno asks how I am going to get the White Sox to play my style if we have a team of sluggers. This season we added some speed to the lineup with players like Dewayne Wise and Chris Getz to add to Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin in order to let make us more aggressive on the base paths. Also, Josh Fields will add youth and power. Up until now, the injuries and low production hasn’t let us be more aggressive, but I am confident that we will be able to add the youth to the power and experience of players like Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski and score some runs.
Smery Cortez and Carmelo Salazar have asked if Freddy Garcia is in our plans. A healthy Freddy Garcia, without a doubt, can help us a lot; I know better than most of his talent and what his is capable of doing in big games. Unfortunately, Freddy hasn’t been able to get the effectiveness back in his pitches because of injuries to his shoulder. I know that he is working hard and, personally, I hope he can soon get back to form because we are also great friends. The ultimate decision of his signing, though, would be the responsibility of our GM, Kenny Williams.
I’d also like to respond to Martin Quintero, who says ‘he has heard’ that my son was signed by the White Sox without being a good player, because I forced the team to do it, and that because of that we didn’t sign better players.
Martin, if you believe everything you hear you will end up going crazy. First off, I can say, that despite my excellent relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf, I don’t have the power to impose my wishes on this organization. My job has nothing to do with signing players.
Oney Robert, the son you are referring to, was signed in the 36th round of the 2007 draft because there were people in this organization that thought he had enough talent to be a professional baseball player, and I assure you that he didn’t take anyone else’s spot. As a father, I supported him just like any father would. It wasn’t going to be me that squashed his aspirations of being a Major League Baseball player, especially for a person who has been surrounded his whole life by baseball and the Majors. He was born in January of 1986, a few weeks after I was awarded the 1985 American League Rookie of the Year Award. He decided this year to let go of his dreams of being a Major Leaguer, but his talents now are being put to work in an office job. I think his two years as a professional baseball player was a good experience and that it will help him grow as a person.
I would love to have unlimited time and space to keep answering questions, but there are way too many of them. A couple questions that don’t have anything directly to do with me will be addressed by someone in the White Sox organization. Paul LaReau asks if there are White Sox signs and photos available for him to decorate his high school classroom in Indiana, Mavel Zubia wants to know about White Sox training clinics, Francisco Eduardo Arvayo inquired about if we are planning on playing in Hermosillo, Mexico again.
Several of you also sent congratulations and good wishes which I have taken to heart. Keep writing, because I do my best to respond to all the questions. And again, thanks for your support.