White Sox

All-or-nothing: Diving Rays drive Sox downward

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All-or-nothing: Diving Rays drive Sox downward

Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted: 8:11 p.m. Updated: 10:40 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.David Price was hammered in the Chicago home opener, a game featuring every element of the purported All-In baseball the White Sox have signed up for this season.

Those heady times of just 10 days ago have dissipated, as Price held the Pale Hose completely in check with a three-run first to put the sleeper hold on a speedy, 5-0 win. Chicago failed to mount any real offensive threat, tapping out just four safeties and one of them a Carlos Quentin broken-bat bloop.
WATCH: Pierre says Sox need to battle

Oh yeah, Price was a bulldog tonight, said left fielder Juan Pierre, who saw his OPS dip to .648 with an 0-3 night. That was the best I have ever seen him pitch. The equalizer tonight was he changed speeds on us. I don't recall him changing speeds like that before. We have to battle through this stretch and continue to try and have good at-bats, but he was pretty good tonight.

Price was a different Price today than he was in Chicago, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. In Chicago, he was changeup and breaking ball, and today he was fastball first That was a different pitcher than we saw in Chicago.

The cherry on top of Mondays loss was a booming homer off of Matt Thornton to lead off the eighth by Felipe Lopez, who felt so guilty about piling on the embattled White Sox closer he bothered to neither toss his bat at the lefty and nor front and show up the Chisox.

Edwin Jackson, who polished a gem in that White Sox home opener on April 7, struggled through 98 pitches in a second straight start failing to find his feel and fell to 2-1 on the season. Overall, he kept the White Sox the game, surrendering four earned runs, but his offense couldnt rally on his behalf.

Jackson threw pretty good, maybe one mistake, on the first-inning Ben Zobrist home run, Guillen offered. But he was throwing very well. We just didnt score many runs.

WATCH: Jackson says the Rays had him ducking

It was a good, old-fashioned battle, said Jackson, who suffered his first career loss vs. Tampa and allowed more hits (11) and runs (four) in his seven innings than he had in his prior three career starts vs. the Rays. They put the ball in play and Price pitched a hell of a game. What can I say?

A mere 12,016 escaped 81-degree heat to bask in the Juice Box climate control, stuck fastidiously at 72, so its tempting for the Chicago 9 to pretend that this series opener didnt actually happen, or registers in a gymnasium intramural category of the standings.

But count it did. The White Sox started the season with two thumpings of the Cleveland Indians, who now lead the AL Central. The Rays started a franchise-worst 0-6. After tonight, the two clubs now stand at 7-9, and the team that looks more apt to taste playoff champagne this fall isnt the visitors.
Pizza posing

Before the game, Guillen recalled his past diatribes regarding a Rays pizza promotion that finds ticketholders earning a free pizza if Tampa hurlers K 10 or more opponents.

Little did he know it was a premonition, as Price (nine in eight innings) and Joel Peralta (two in one) combined to earn the scattered and bipartisan crowd a free pie (for the record, Rays fans, pen Paul Konerko a thank-you as the 10th victim).
WATCH: Ozzie shares his thoughts on pizza

It seems like every time we come to Tampa Bay there are going to be a lot of people eating pizza, Guillen said. Every time we come here, its pizza for everyone. I never remember leaving here without giving away some pizza. We should be on the payroll for the restaurant; it must be great marketing when the White Sox comes to town.

Hitless wonders

The White Sox managed just four hits in the series opener and have tumbled down to a .263 team batting average and .734 team OPS. Still, Guillen isnt too concerned.

When asked about Gordon Beckham, mired in a slump that was aggravated by an 0-4 outing with two Ks on Monday, Guillen was similarly cool.

Well try to figure it out, he said. He took early hitting. He has slumped before. I will try to protect him, but its all about him. Hes my second baseman. He will be there until he kills me, but hes my second baseman and will be in the lineup.

Guillen sees Bacons struggle as endemic of those of his entire offense.

Right now, I cannot point to whos struggling. As a group, we all struggle. Then when we hit, they make a good defensive play vs. us. Thats part of the game. All you can do is when you wake up in the morning, be ready to fight again.

Its the way it is. Its a long season, and hopefully were hitting the wall offensively now and not later. I have confidence in this lineup.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

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.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

The White Sox top pitching prospect sits down with Chuck Garfien for a revealing interview at spring training. Kopech says he almost quit the game after he got into a fight with a Red Sox minor league teammate in 2016. He goes in-depth about his desire to be great, why meditating makes him a better pitcher, his failed PED test in 2015, comparisons to Justin Verlander, possibly becoming the future ace of the White Sox and much more.