White Sox

White Sox legend/CSN analyst Bill Melton to be next featured guest on Inside Look

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White Sox legend/CSN analyst Bill Melton to be next featured guest on Inside Look

“Inside Look presented by Cadillac,” hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien, featuring Bill Melton to debut Sunday, April 13 at 3:30 PM CT

CSNChicago.com to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of ‘Inside Look,’ including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (April 14, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac

Debuting Sunday, April 17 at 3:30 PM CT (following “White Sox Postgame Live”), Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with Chicago White Sox legend/veteran CSN studio analyst BILL MELTON.  Regarded as one of the all-time White Sox greats, “Beltin’ Bill Melton, a ten-year MLB slugging standout (eight with the White Sox) and the American League home run champion in 1971 with 33 HRs (the first White Sox player to ever hold that distinction), discusses everything from the rarity of never playing organized baseball other than Little League and wound up being signed by the White Sox right out of high school, winning the AL home run title on the last day of the ’71 season, being embraced by White Sox fans and his unspoken rivalry with Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, returning to the White Sox as a team ambassador and eventual CSN analyst, and much more.  

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, for additional interview content never before seen on TV.  Fans will also be able to watch every Inside Look guest interview online after it debuts on Comcast SportsNet.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Bill Melton on the following dates/times: Sun , Apr. 17 at 6:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Mon, Apr. 18 at 4:00 PM (on CSN+HD) - Wed, Apr. 20 at 4:00 PM - Sat, Apr. 23 at 6:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Tue, Apr. 26 at 12:30 PM - Sat, Apr. 30 at 6:00 PM - Sun, May 1 at 12:30 PM - Thu, May 5 at 1:00 PM - Sat, May 7 at 8:30 PM (on CSN+HD) & Sun, May 8 at 12 noon (on CSN+HD). (Schedule subject to change).

Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Bill Melton presented by Cadillac premiering Sunday, April 17 at 3:30 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

Melton on never playing organized baseball and getting signed by the White Sox out of high school

I was playing baseball on Saturdays by the Rose Bowl in California just on weekends, pick-up games.  I remember there were a lot of A & AA players out there and that’s where Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and the Dodgers would practice on the fields, but we played there every weekend.  Then, an old scout with the White Sox by the name of Hollis Thurston saw me hit two home runs in one game and he said ‘did you ever consider playing professional baseball?’ I said I never gave it any thought at all. He said ‘I’ll tell you what…we’re going to go down to Florida in June.’ I said ‘you know what? I do need a job, it’s a nice summer job, so let me go down there and see what I can do.’ That’s how it all started.”

Melton on winning the AL home crown title on the last day of the 1971 season:

“I had 30 home runs. Norm Cash and Reggie Jackson had 32. They had a game left and I played in that game. They didn’t play in their game that day and I hit two that night off Brett Parsons and Jim Slaton with the Milwaukee Brewers. So now, there’s three of us that are tied. 32-32-32. Their season was over. We had a game the next day…and I’m leading off. I go to the clubhouse. I had been out (the night before). The boys had thrown a little party for me on Rush Street. So I get to the ballpark, I remember it was September 30th and it was 95 degrees. I went to Chuck Tanner the manager and said “you know Chuck, I don’t feel like stealing bases today…you know what I’m saying?...why are you leading me off?’ At that time, what did another home run mean? Was I going to get a million dollar raise? I don’t think so. But the second time up, I hit a fastball out of the ballpark. Chuck Tanner made me go out to third base, I got a nice ovation, and they took me off the field. At five o’clock that evening, I was on a plane back to L.A.”

Melton on being a southside hero and the crosstown rivalry with Cubs third baseman Ron Santo:

“I was popular because (the White Sox) never had a power hitter, and the competition was Ron Santo at third base with the Cubs and this young kid Bill Melton with the White Sox. Fans were ecstatic that a guy on the southside could lead the league in home runs or a guy on the southside could hit more home runs than Ron Santo. So, in the bars, it was ‘I bet you Melton hits another home run…I bet you Melton hits more home runs than Santo… I bet you Santo hits more RBIs.’ It was competition between me and Ron Santo, even though he had already been in the big leagues about seven or eight years. So that’s where my popularity kind of came in because when you hit 33 home runs back-to-back, all of a sudden people go ‘is this guy for real?’ because (old Comiskey Park) was a big ballpark.”

Melton on his approach analyzing White Sox baseball on Comcast SportsNet:

“I think I’m overall pretty honest with the people. You know…one thing about a Sox fan, you can’t trick ‘em. You know what I’m saying? You just can’t. If they’re sitting there watching on TV, and I try to tell them something like I know about it because I played the game you didn’t…no, it doesn’t work that way.”

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

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USA TODAY

Jose Abreu's got a new beard, but what he really deserves is a contract extension

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Sunday marked the first surprise of White Sox spring training, courtesy of first baseman Jose Abreu.

“This year, I’m going to try to steal more bases,” Abreu said through a translator.

This might have sounded like a joke, but Abreu was completely serious.

On paper, he’s not exactly Rickey Henderson. In 614 career games, Abreu has only six stolen bases. However, the slimmed-down first baseman does have some sneaky speed. His six triples last season ranked third in the American League. So there are some wheels to work with.

“I like the challenge. I think that’s a good challenge for me. I’m ready for it,” Abreu said.

How many steals are we talking about? A reporter asked sarcastically if a 30-30 season is in the offing? Abreu didn’t exactly shoot down the possibility.

“Who knows? When you fill your mind with positive things, maybe you can accomplish them,” Abreu said. “The mind of a human being works in a lot of different ways. If you fill your mind with good things, good things are going to happen.”

The morning began with Abreu walking to the hitting cages with his Cuban compadres Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert, who the White Sox signed last summer. He held his first workout on Sunday. At the White Sox hitters camp last month, Moncada took Robert under his wing, showing him the ropes, even telling Ricky Renteria, “I got him.”

But Sunday, Abreu was in charge, holding court with the three of them in the cage. Abreu watched closely as Robert hit off a tee, giving him pointers about his swing.

“I just like to help people,” Abreu said. “When I started to play at 16 in Cuba, I had a lot people who hounded me to get better. At the same point, I want to give back things that I’ve learned and pass that along to other people. That’s what I’m doing. I’m not expecting anything else. I’m just glad to help them and get them better.”

What kind of advice has he passed along to Robert?

“Since I came to this country, I learned quickly three keys to be a success: Be disciplined, work hard and always be on time. If you apply those three keys, I think you’re going to be good. Those are the three keys I’m trying to teach the new kids, the young guys,” Abreu said.

Abreu lost about 10 pounds during the offseason. He said he hopes to learn more English in 2018. He also arrived at spring training sporting a scruffy beard which he grew while he was in Cuba so he “could be incongnito.”

Abreu likes his new look. Moncada thinks he should shave it off.

“If the organization doesn’t say anything, I’m just going to keep it,” Abreu said.

Well, so much for that.

Moments after Abreu spoke with the media, Renteria told reporters that Abreu will have to “clean it up a bit.”

The two will find a compromise. Come to think of it, maybe Abreu and the White Sox should do the same about a contract extension in the near future.

Yes, he’ll be 33 when his contract expires in two years, but there have been no signs of a decline with his performance. Instead, Abreu is only getting better both offensively and defensively.

Heck, now he wants to steal bases, too.

After Renteria, Abreu is the leader of this team. He commands ultimate respect inside the clubhouse. He’s become another coach to Moncada, Robert and others. He’s a huge brick in the present and too big of an influence and cornerstone to not have around in the future.

“I hope to play my entire career in the majors with the White Sox,” Abreu said Sunday. “But I can’t control that.”

At some point, a decision will have to be made whether to keep Abreu or trade him. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: What will bring more value to the White Sox, getting a high-end prospect or two in return not knowing if they’ll ever succeed in the majors? Or keeping your best player, the heart and soul of your team, allowing him to show your future stars the way while they’re developing in the major leagues?

Seems like an easy decision to me.