White Sox

Why Chris Sale thinks White Sox are in good shape with Rick Renteria

Why Chris Sale thinks White Sox are in good shape with Rick Renteria

BOSTON -- He can’t identify many current faces, but the direction in which the White Sox are headed is recognizable and Chris Sale thinks it could be successful.

The Boston Red Sox pitcher spent Thursday afternoon catching up with old White Sox teammates, coaches, etc. at Fenway Park. But the bulk of the lengthier conversations have been with staff members because of the tremendous amount of roster turnover that has occurred since Sale was traded eight months ago. Seven of the nine players moved have come in the two months since Sale first returned home as the White Sox are in the midst of the franchise’s first rebuild since 1997. But no matter who fills out the uniform, Sale thinks the White Sox will be in good shape with Rick Renteria as their manager.

“I’ve said it before, I think with Ricky leading the way, he’s got a great presence over there,” Sale said. “Obviously talking with a few of the guys stuff like that, they said he’s really set a tone over there. It’s good to see. It’s good to see. It’s good to hear about.”

Sale’s in a great spot with the first-place Red Sox. He currently leads the American League in wins (13), ERA (2.70), innings (153 1/3), strikeouts (216) as well as FIP, WHIP, hits per nine, strikeout per nine and strikeout to walk ratio. As evidenced by Tuesday’s start when the Red Sox rallied twice for a 12-10 victory over Cleveland, Sale is also confident his loaded team can win even when he has a poor performance.

The six-time All-Star loves pitching in the electric atmosphere of Fenway Park. He attributes the endless energy for an uptick in velocity. Aside from the inability to find good late-night food — he and his family live about 15-20 minutes outside of Boston — Sale is pretty pleased with his new life.

“I definitely am appreciative of it,” Sale said. “This is a perennial team to go to the playoffs and realistic goals of winning the World Series. The history not only with this team but in this ballpark. Pitching here is as fun as any place in baseball. I even said that when I was with Chicago, that I loved it down here.”

Sale has tried to keep an eye on what’s transpired on the South Side, where he played from 2010-16. He lobbed a text message to Jose Quintana after he was traded to the Cubs to tell him he’d look good in blue. While he’s sad to see that era come to an end, Sale is happy for Quintana to land in a great spot.

“It’s one of those things that’s bittersweet,” Sale said. “You are sad to leave your friends but you are obviously excited for the new opportunity. Seeing him go to the North Side where they are in the thick of things, I’m just happy for him.”

But the veteran pitcher also thinks the new direction the White Sox have taken can have them competitive for years to come. He knows about the talent the team has acquired in all these deals. And with Renteria in place and setting the tone, Sale thinks the White Sox should be in great shape —even if there are fewer familiar faces.

“It’s different, but it’s baseball,” Sale said. “That’s how it works. They know the direction they are going in. They could be pretty darn good here in a few years.”

Omar Vizquel will reportedly be a minor league manager for White Sox in 2018

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AP

Omar Vizquel will reportedly be a minor league manager for White Sox in 2018

Former White Sox shortstop Omar Vizquel is reportedly about to become current White Sox minor league manager Omar Vizquel.

According to a Sunday report, Vizquel will be the manager of the Winston-Salem Dash in 2018.

Vizquel spent 24 seasons in the big leagues, most of those with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants. But two of his final four seasons, 2010 and 2011, came on the South Side, where he appeared in 166 games over those two campaigns.

Vizquel is considered one of baseball's all-time great defenders and has 11 Gold Gloves to back that up. He batted .272 with a .336 on-base percentage over a nearly quarter-century major league career that saw him play in four different decades with six different big league teams.

Vizquel has spent the past five seasons as a major league coach. He was an infield coach with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013, and he was a common sight for White Sox fans during his four-year stint as the Detroit Tigers' first-base coach.

Vizquel also interviewed this offseason for the Tigers' open managerial position that eventually went to former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Vizquel was not retained by the Tigers to be a part of Gardenhire's new coaching staff.

Vizquel managed the Venezuelan team in this year's World Baseball Classic. His team advanced to the second round of the competition, losing all three games in that round.

Last season, Winston-Salem was a focal point for those watching the White Sox bevy of highly ranked prospects develop in the minor leagues. Another former White Sox player, Willie Harris, was the manager at Winston-Salem last season.

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Frank Thomas

White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his past, baseball's present and the future of the White Sox. He talks about his first major league hit (a stand-up triple!), how fame affected him when he was a player, his appearance on David Letterman in the 1990s and more. 

Plus, what was wrong with the baseball this past season? Thomas has some ideas and tells Garfien how many home runs he would have hit with that baseball in his prime. He talks about working with Alex Rodriguez at FOX and what it was like whenever girlfriend Jennifer Lopez came to visit in the studio.

Thomas praises the White Sox rebuild and reveals an idea he presented to GM Rick Hahn about where all the top prospects should play this upcoming season. He describes what it was like going to Roy Halladay's funeral, if he sees the White Sox signing Manny Machado in 2019 and much more.

Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: