Thursday, February 4, 2016
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Born: April 19, 1983
Zach was drafter in the twentieth round of the 2001 amateur draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his MLB debut for Pittsburgh on July 2, 2005, starting in Milwaukee against the Brewers. Duke lasted seven innings, but still got a no-decision. Zach was fifth in Rookie of the Year voting and even made the All-Star team in 2009 as a representative of the Pirates.
2011 saw Duke join the Arizona Diamondbacks. It also saw the last of his regular starts, as he saw more of the bullpen in the middle of July 2011, in long relief. 2012 brought a stint with the Washington Nationals, until he was released in June 2013. Cincinnati picked him up for the remainder of the 2013 season. It was with the Reds that Zach started to revitalize his career. In 2014, he received an invitation to spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers. He made the club as a left handed specialist. The success in Milwaukee led to a three year contract with the White Sox in 2015, where he settled in nicely as part of one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Friday, December 25, 2015
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Born: December 10, 1992
Carlos was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011, but did not sign. In 2014, the Chicago White Sox selected Rodon in the first round of the amateur draft, third overall. Carlos quickly moved up the ranks in the White Sox farm system and made his MLB debut on April 25, 2015.
Rodon's MLB beginnings were encouraging, but a bit rough. During the last two months of the '15 season, Carlos smoothed out those rough edges and transformed himself into an even better pitcher. The smart money is on Rodon continuing to adjust, retool and focus on improvement, where he could eventually find himself near the top of the heap of MLB starting pitchers.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Born: September 4, 1990
Chris was drafted by the White Sox in the 2012 draft. Beck made his MLB debut with the Pale Hose on May 28, 2015. He lasted six innings, walking four and giving up five runs, four earned, on ten hits, in the second game of a double header. Chris was sent back down after the game, but he showed enough promise to be considered for a call up in the future.
Beck started off shaky, but improved almost every inning in his debut. After his demotion, Chris battled injuries that limited his playing time. He'll look to improve upon his taste of the big leagues in 2016. After the winter to heal up, Chris should have a good shot to be called up again.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Born: January 20, 1983
Geovany was selecyed by the Chicago Cubs in the eleventh round of the 2001 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut on September 23, 2005, but played very sporadically over the next few years, until he exceeded his rookie status in the 2008 season. Soto won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2008 and was named an All-Star. Geovany failed to reproduce his breakout campaign and struggled mightily in 2009. After a few up and down seasons with the Cubs, he was traded to the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2012.
Soto then moved on the the Athletics before signing a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox on January 22, 2015. Geovany eventually became the reliable second catcher that the White Sox were wanting. While his average might not be anything to write home about, Soto has provided needed stability at the backstop and a little pop at the plate.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Friday, August 28, 2015
There were no players elected this year, as no player received 75% of the vote.
Unfortunately no one was inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame Class of 2015!
There will be no new players on next year's ballot, since no player fell below 5% of the vote.
Thank you to everyone who voted!
Here are the final totals.
Hoyt Wilhelm - 33 votes (67%)
Robin Ventura - 32 votes (65%)
Al Lopez - 27 votes (55%)
Bobby Thigpen - 22 votes (44%)
Buck Weaver - 22 votes (44%)
Gary Peters - 18 votes (36%)
Jerry Hairston - 11 votes (22%)
Oscar Gamble - 9 votes (18%)
Dummy Hoy - 8 votes (16%)
Fielder Jones - 8 votes (16%)
Ron Karkovice - 6 votes (12%)
Jorge Orta - 6 votes (12%)
Frank Isbell - 3 votes (6%)
Forty-nine people voted in this election, which is lower than the previous year, so every player seems to have landed closer together than in past years. Buck Weaver and Al Lopez continue to make gains. Hoyt Wilhelm and Robin Ventura remain close but not quite there. Fielder Jones picked up a few well deserved votes and Frank Isbell is teetering dangerously close to falling off the ballot. Gary Peters' fans seemed to have abandoned him from last year. Dummy Hoy and Oscar Gamble apparently have the same people voting each year, with no gains or losses in votes obtained.
It looked like we would have one or two inducted this year, but a rush of last minute voters pushed those candidates out. It was interesting to see the quick rise and slow decline of players, as more votes accumulated.
Perhaps next year will be a better year for the nominees to be inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame!
The voting for the Class of 2016 will begin some time after the World Series is concluded.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Born: November 6, 1979
Adam was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 1998, but did not sign. He was also drafted by the Florida Marlins in 1999, but did not sign. LaRoche was then drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2000, where he chose to sign. He made his MLB debut for the Braves on April 7, 2004. Adam stayed with the Braves for three seasons until he was traded to the Pirates prior to the 2007 season. Two and a half seasons later, LaRoche was traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 22, 2009. His career as a Red Sox player was short lived, as Adam was traded to the Atlanta Braves on July 31, 2009, after playing six games with Boston. After the 2009 season, LaRoche was granted free agency, where he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would stay a season in Phoenix, then he would sign with the Washington Nationals in 2011, who lost Adam Dunn to the White Sox in free agency. LaRoche would come into his own during his stay in D.C., eventually signing with the White Sox through free agency before the 2015 season, effectively following the wake of Adam Dunn again, who left the White Sox during the 2014 season and retired after a stint with the Oakland Athletics.
LaRoche was brought in to fill the designated hitter role and to rest Jose Abreu at first base occasionally. Adam was signed mainly for his bat, but his hitting in the 2015 season has him flirting with career season lows across the board, not including his 2011 season, which lasted only forty-three games due to season ending labrum surgery on his left shoulder. After a rocky start in Chicago, his numbers are staying steady. If LaRoche can finish strong in 2015, he could be setting himself up for a monster 2016 season.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Monday, August 17, 2015
The picture above was taken from my seat at Saturday night's White Sox/Cubs game. This was my first anniversary present from my wife. She got tickets for us, the kid and my mom. It was a nice family outing.
I spent the fifth inning tracking down the one cotton candy vendor, because the kid had her heart set on the sugary treat. The Sox didn't win, but we had a great time and there was a really decent fireworks show afterward. I even got a chuckle when Bobby Thigpen's brother started messaging me to bother his brother in the middle of a bullpen meltdown.
There was only one aspect of the game that kept the evening from being perfect. No, it wasn't the score of the game. It was one family, two rows in front of my family.
I was at a Crosstown series, so I expect there to be ribbing and some playful taunting. That just adds to the atmosphere. When it crosses the line, ruining the enjoyment of those around you, is when it needs to stop.
There was a family of three males and two females. The two females were mostly quiet. Around the seventh inning, one of the females even looked like she wanted to shrink down until she disappeared. I'm not sure of the dynamic of the family, so I'll just speculate here. The grandfather was a Cubs fan. The father was a Sox fan. The son was a Cubs fan. Every one of them seemed to be deaf, because the volume coming out of their mouths could drown out tornado sirens.
It seemed to be a two pronged attack against the "father" and the father had no problem dishing out insults and blowhard bravado right back at them. In the picture, he's the one in the Konerko jersey. Every time anything on the field happened, all I saw was that Konerko jersey blocking everything but the outfield. The "grandfather" would block the outfield portion of my viewing area. To be fair, right before the game started, the "father" did apologize and mentioned he would be standing up every time something happened. I swear, he was telling the complete and utter truth, not that prefacing this behavior with his non-apology excused this behavior. It did not. By the time I returned with cotton candy for the kid, I was done being my mild mannered self and started to loudly proclaim grand wishes of being able to actually watch the game that we paid for and the some inconsiderate people suck the enjoyment out of sporting events.
The males of the family continued to ignore my thinly veiled statements, but the females started to notice and that's about the time one of them wanted to be invisible. The other fans around me in my section felt the same way my family did, but chose not to be as loud about it. Oh, did I mention that alcohol was involved? It was, but my family was the one that only had water and Pepsi.
I did get to see the two Saladino plays, mostly because they both happened too fast for the jumping bean scream family to react. I had no idea that Robin Ventura was ejected from the game until I got back to my parents' house. That was how much this inconsiderate family blocked my view and distracted me during my anniversary present.
An obnoxious family like this is what gives team's fans a bad name. While the majority of fans are there to enjoy the game and have a good time, a slim few are there to knowingly ruin the good time of those around them. Well, loud family, you didn't ruin my good time, even though you tried like hell to do so. All your family did was show the fans sitting in section 117, what foul-mouthed, inconsiderate, loud jerks that you can be. Aren't you proud? You've succeeded. Maybe you'll get some kind of rusty award that will result in lockjaw.
Absolutely, you should have fun at the ballpark, but not at the expense of others around you. Be courteous to the fans around you.
One last thing... if you are aware of your behavior enough to pre-apologize for it, you are aware of it enough to change it.
Enjoy the game.