White Sox

Blooms pulls away in 2nd half to defeat Rich East

661938.png

Blooms pulls away in 2nd half to defeat Rich East

By Curt Herron
YourSeason.com

After watching his Bloom squad settle for a 20-17 halftime lead over Rich East on Friday, coach Jasper Williams issued a challenge.

And that was for the Blazing Trojans to become more aggressive both attacking the basket while also picking up the intensity on defense.

That challenge was answered in a big way as Bloom outscored the Rockets 24-7 in the third quarter to help it claim a 64-44 Southland Athletic Conference win in Chicago Heights.

Rich East played a good first half and was more aggressive than we were, Williams said. So at halftime we got on the guys and told them to drive the ball to the basket and get a little more aggressive on the defensive end, which led to some easy baskets on the other end.

The Rockets (9-13, 2-4) overcame an early 7-0 deficit to grab the lead for the only time at 17-16 following a basket from Anthony Perkins (nine points) late in the second quarter.

But Bloom (19-3, 5-1) got a pair of layups from Zerell Jackson (11 points) after that to move back in front and claim a three-point halftime advantage.

The run continued after the break as seven different Blazing Trojans contributed points to help their team build up a 44-24 lead through three quarters.

Donald Moore (13 points) and Lejavius Johnson (seven points) scored five points apiece while Henry Hicks (11 points) and Dejahown Freeman (six points) added four points each in the third period.

At halftime, coach told us to pick it up on defense since thats our offense, Moore said. That helped us get a lot of steals, fast breaks and layups. We knew that Rich East was going to come out hard since they were coming after us.

Jataryan Dejaraux added seven rebounds for Bloom while Rich East also received 11 points from Don Henderson and 10 points and seven rebounds from Ronald Lawton.

We came out flat in the third quarter and you cant do that against Bloom since theyre very good at expanding on a lead, Rockets coach George Leonard said. I thought that we did a pretty good job defensively during the first half but they killed us on the boards.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

machado-sox-pod.jpg
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

0521-welington-castillo.jpg
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.