White Sox

Bailey-less Bolingbrook tops Sandburg

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Bailey-less Bolingbrook tops Sandburg

By Mike Clark
SeasonPass.com

Bolingbrook didn't need Aaron Bailey on Friday night, though it didn't look that way for a while.

The Raiders lost fumbles on two of their first three plays from scrimmage and managed just six points in the first two quarters.

But then they came out and blitzed host Sandburg with a 32-point second half, coasting to a 39-7 victory in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.

Bolingbrook (8-2) continues the defense of its Class 8A title next week against Neuqua Valley, which beat Naperville North Friday night.

Quincy Woods, who has been subbing for Bailey since the Illinois-bound quarterback was hurt in a Week 6 loss to Lincoln-Way East, survived a rough start to run for 104 yards and three touchdowns.

He was helped by a defense that held Sandburg (7-3) scoreless after its first possession and scored two touchdowns of its own.

"When you have a good defense with what they did today, it was easy," Woods said. "The offense just had to execute and we executed in the second half."

Woods' first start in relief of Bailey came in the Raiders' first meeting with Sandburg this season, an overtime loss.

His improvement has helped make the Raiders stay afloat while they wait to get healthy. Besides Bailey (knee), running back Omar Stover (ankle) also sat out Friday.

"He keeps getting better, which is what you need right now," Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said of Woods.

As for Bailey and Stover, Ivlow said the latter is more likely to return next week. "Aaron hasn't done anything in four weeks," Ivlow said. "Until he gets in shape, I guess you'd say, I wouldn't expect to see him."

Sandburg took a 7-0 lead on Miles Taylor's 21-yard run with 8:40 left in the first quarter. But couldn't capitalize on Bolingbrook's two first-quarter turnovers, going three-and-out and then getting a field goal blocked.

Bolingbrook, meanwhile, was getting its offensive act together.

"They had a good scheme, what they were doing with their ends on our quarterback, so we had to change some stuff up on the offensive line," Ivlow said.

Woods scored on a one-yard sneak after hitting Chandler Piekarski with a 47-yard pass, pulling the Raiders within 7-6 at the half.

Emile Wisdom returned a Sandburg fumble 25 yards for a touchdown with 8:40 left in the third quarter, giving Bolingbrook its first lead at 12-7.

"The offense wasn't scoring, we had to make sure we picked it up," Wisdom said.

Jaden Huff (10 carries, 84 yards) scored on a four-yard run to make it 20-7 with 5:36 left in the third and Woods had a three-yard touchdown run at the 11:04 mark of the fourth.

Greg Amos returned an interception 55 yards and Woods dashed 54 yards for the Raiders' last two touchdowns.

What happened after halftime for Sandburg? "We started missing keys, playing sloppy," Taylor said.

"This is our game," Ivlow said. "Three and four yards a crack, get them to wear down, suck them in and then hit the perimeter."

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.