White Sox

Aggressive send hurts White Sox in loss to Rays


Aggressive send hurts White Sox in loss to Rays

Joe McEwing said Alexei Ramirez made the correct read in the ninth inning of Monday night’s 5-4 loss by the White Sox to the Tampa Bay Rays.

McEwing said he made the wrong one.

The split-second decision to send Ramirez home from second base on Adam LaRoche’s single to shallow center is an aggressive play that has benefited a stagnant White Sox a number of times in 2015. But it didn’t work on Monday as Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier threw a perfect strike home to easily nail Ramirez for the first out of the inning, and the White Sox ultimately didn’t score in the final frame of a one-run loss.

“I should have held (Ramirez) from the beginning,” McEwing said. “He made the right read. He held his ground, and when he saw the ball down, he decided to come. He was coming hard, and like I said, it’s one that I should have held him up. In that situation we have first and third with nobody out.

“I take full responsibility for that. It’s totally my fault. I know it’s a guy that throws above (average), and he’s got a great arm and charges the ball hard.”

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Ramirez barely budged when LaRoche broke his bat and sent a drive to shallow center off Tampa Bay closer Brad Boxberger. But realizing the ball would get down, Ramirez took off for third and said he wasn’t surprised to find McEwing had waved him home. About 10 feet before he arrived however, Ramirez saw Rays catcher Curt Casali with the ball in his possession and the White Sox shortstop tried unsuccessfully to avoid the tag with a swim move.

“You have to make a quick decision,” Ramirez said through an interpreter. “I wasn’t surprised he sent me home because you have to be ready for that. It was just the way the play goes, and it didn’t work out for us.

“I saw the catcher caught the ball when he three feet ahead of me, and I just tried to avoid the tag but he got me.

“Baseball is a tough sport.”

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LaRoche advanced to second on the play, and Leury Garcia took over as a pinch runner. But Garcia didn’t leave second as Boxberger struck out Avisail Garcia and Carlos Sanchez lined out to right to end the game.

“It’s always a tough call,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s a tough decision, and I know Joe is always aggressive and you’ve got to make the guy throw you out. I think Alexei probably got a late jump on that and by the time he gets there and you’re sending him or you’re not sending him — it’s always a tough call. Now that you know that he’s out, you can always look at it like that. But we’ve scored a lot of runs sending a guy and making them make a play.”

McEwing didn’t put any of the blame on Ramirez for waiting for the ball to clear.

“It’s a broken bat, and his first instinct is to freeze, freeze, freeze and it’s the right instinct,” McEwing said. “Like I said, I made a terrible decision to send him there. Instead of having first and third with nobody out, now we have a guy on second with one out. Like I said, it was a terrible decision and one I’ll take on.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson


White Sox Talk Podcast: Meet the real Tim Anderson

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Tim Anderson opens up about his struggles in 2017 and why he wants White Sox fans "to know the real me."

Anderson dives into his personal tragedy from last season when his best friend was murdered in Alabama. 

He talks with Chuck Garfien about the dark days that happened, how counseling helped him, his new leadership role in 2018, if he'll draw more walks this season, "bringing swag to the South Side" with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here:

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

GLENDALE, AZ --  There’s a different Tim Anderson at White Sox spring training this year.

You can see it on his face  You can hear it in his voice.

“I’m busting out of the shell. I’m talking more,” he said as he sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Chicago (in the video above).

It’s not the new Tim Anderson. It turns out, it’s the real one that’s been there all along.

“This is me. It’s always been me. I never knew how to express myself. I feel like I’m being a lot more open,” Anderson explained. “That’s what I want to give to fans. Let them know the real me. You’re cheering for me. Why not know me? I’m being open and kind of let fans into my life.”

The White Sox shortstop has learned a lot about life in the past year. It all started in May when the White Sox were in Baltimore to play the Orioles. Anderson received a phone call at 4 a.m. It was news from back home.

It was the worst phone call of his life.

His best friend Branden Moss had been murdered in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar after helping the victim of a fight.  

The two were like brothers. Anderson is the godfather to Moss’s young daughter. Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Anderson said.

While Anderson grieved, playing baseball seemed like it would be a perfect escape for his pain. Only it wasn’t. Far from it.  Baseball might have made things even worse.

In fast-paced sports like football and hockey, players don’t have much time to think. It’s react, react, react. Whatever might be happening off the field feels like a million miles away.

Not in baseball.

The game moves at a much slower speed. There’s plenty of time for your mind to wander. Thoughts kept going back to Anderson’s lost friend, taken from him in an instant.

At 23, he didn’t have the tools to deal with the emotional pain and excel at baseball at the same time.

“The year was rough. I wasn’t having fun in between the lines. I was making the game harder than it was. I was thinking too much. I was feeling sorry for myself and the list can go on. When my friend died it definitely took a lot out of me. I had a dark moment,” Anderson said. “Some days I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the ballpark because I knew it was going to be a bad day.”

Making matters worse, there were many nights when Anderson didn’t sleep. Not a wink. Still, he dragged himself to the ballpark and somehow tried to play.

The results weren’t pretty. On June 22, Anderson already had 16 errors at shortstop, most in the majors. At the plate, he was hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.

He knew he was better than that. He also knew something else: He needed help.

In July, Anderson started meeting with a therapist who was able to unlock the pent up thoughts and emotions that he was burying inside him.

The therapist would write down everything that Anderson was feeling on paper and then read it back to him.

“Just going in and talking and pouring everything out of you. It lets you hear what you’ve been going through,“ Anderson said. “When she did it, it was a lot. I took what she read to me, balled it up and threw it away. I got lighter. It was a brightening. Those counseling sessions definitely helped me.”

Soon, Anderson was back to being himself both on and off the field.

In the month of August, he had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 16 RBI.

“Woof. I was hot,” he said after hearing those stats. “That’s Tim. That’s more Tim that we need to see.”

In September, he batted .327 with 3 home runs and 9 stolen bases.

“We need a lot of that this year. That’s the way I want to go. That’s the way I want to go about it. Get back to what got me here.”

There was still an issue with his plate discipline. He had 32 strikeouts and only 1 walk in September.

“We play a tough sport as it is. They’re going to come,” Anderson said about the walks. “I mean, when I walk more, what are you going to tell me? ‘Start swinging more?’ It’s one of those things. It’s a give and take. We’ll see what happens.”

In 2017, Anderson received a crash course in adversity. What did he learn from all that pain and misery?

“Tough times happen, but they don’t last forever.”

Now that he’s survived the personal storm from last season, he wants “another shot at it. I feel like last year went left. This is new season.”

So, what does he envision for himself in 2018?

“Having fun, smiling a lot, picking up my teammates, hugging on the coaches and players. A lot of love, more so than stats,” Anderson said. “I’m fired up. I’m excited. I feel like I’m ready to lead this pack. We got a great group of guys. We’ve got a chance to do something special.”