White Sox

Sox Drawer: And the Winner Is....

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Sox Drawer: And the Winner Is....

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
6:25 PM

J.J. Putz has yet to throw a single pitch for the White Sox, but when he does, especially at US. Cellular Field, heres hoping he delivers it with a Razors Edge.

Yep, thats the grand prize winner of the J.J. Putz Song Contest: The Razors Edge by ACDC. J.J. is clearly a big fan of the Australian heavy metal band since his original song was Thunderstruck from the Razors Edge album.

The Sox Drawer inbox was flooded this week with hundreds of song ideas. Putz had narrowed it down to a select few. Knights of Cydonia by Muse was one song near the top. So were a few by Metallica. Actually, I think every song Metallica has ever recorded was suggested to J.J.

But as he put it in the Sox Drawer Innerview which you can click on the right, Once I heard Razors Edge...it was done.

There are two winners here. One is a guy by the name of Steve Cooper.

The other person is still a mystery since all heshe provided was an email address. Were still waiting for a reply. Bueller? Bueller? J.J. has decided to give both of them 4 tickets to any White Sox game this season. Congrats!

The Razors Edge might have been the winner of the contest, but considering the wide-ranging list of songs we received, I have decided to hand out my own awards:

The Most Popular Song Award: No contest. Hells Bells by ACDC. How about some originality people!

The Strangest Song Award: Well, this was definitely original, but a little strange. Sent in by Howard, who wrote:

I think that in honor of J.J.s birthday being on February 22nd, then an appropriate selection would be the theme from the old television sitcom Room 222.

Howard, I appreciate old TV sitcoms like the rest of them. Someone also sent in the theme song for Good Times, because of J.J. Walker. DYNO-MITE! But if Putz took the field to Room 222 night after night, he would not survive the season. That is unless he chose one of these:

The Are You Kidding Me? Award: (a tie) How Do I Live Without You by Leann Rimes and You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban.

The BestWorst Email Award: Rich, this is for you.

As soon as the bullpen opens, the fans hear the theme song from the movie Jaws! J.J. is not coming out of the bullpen, hes coming out of the Shark Pen! Im sure that when the opposing batters hear the theme from Jaws, it will scare the &@ out of them knowing that J.J. is coming out to devour them!

I shared this email with J.J. His response? Ummmno. But Rich, I like the creativity!

The He Almost Went For It Award: "Hail to the Victors". A couple of you sent in the fight song for the University of Michigan, J.J.s alma mater. Believe it or not, Putz strongly considered it, but said I just couldnt do it to the people of Chicago. J.J., thank you.

The You Had Me At Hello Award: There were a few songs that simply by their title had absolutely no chance. For instance, if youre a reliever coming into the game in the late innings, would you really want to hear Walk This Way by Aerosmith or Walk by Pantera? How about Im a Loser by Motorhead? We got all three of these.
The Honorary Ralph Macchio Award: For Youre the Best (Around) from the movie Karate Kid. I dont know about you, but I havent been the same since Daniel LaRusso knocked out Johnny Lawrence with the "Crane Kick."

The If It Was Up To Me Award: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. But thats just me.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the contest. Razors Edge might have been the victor, but hey...youre all winners!

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.