Frank Thomas isn't buying any of Ryan Braun's excuses for his positive test for a banned substance. Chuck Garfien has a writeup on Thomas' comments, making mention of Thomas losing the 2000 AL MVP race to noted steroid user Jason Giambi. Check out all of what the Big Hurt had to say on today's edition of Chicago Baseball Hot Stove at 5 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.
We looked at birthday home runs, specifically Andruw Jones' walk-off blast against Seattle on April 23, 2010.
James at White Sox Observer paid homage to Dayan Viciedo's rocket arm, while Jim examined Matt Thornton's use of a changeupcutter third pitch.
Around the division:
Ball Star (of the Kansas City Star) has a great statistical look back at the Zack Greinke trade. The benefits of it haven't really reached the Royals yet, although there are some intriguing prospects that should begin to get a shot in Kansas City sooner rather than later.
The Royals also reportedly were interested in acquiring Mat Latos and still could make a play for Gio Gonzalez.
And finally, the Twins bid farewell to Jason Kubel, ending his reign of terror over the White Sox.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen