White Sox

Bobby Jenks remembers ‘incredible’ White Sox World Series run

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Bobby Jenks remembers ‘incredible’ White Sox World Series run

Ten years after debuting as a World Series-winning closer, Bobby Jenks returned to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field.

Back problems forced him to retire, even though he’s only 34 years old, and they were evident as he bounced his ceremonial first pitch to John Danks. But the music — “Boom” by P.O.D. — and the rousing ovation from the crowd all sounded the same as it did a decade ago.

“It’s meaningful,” Jenks said. “More than just coming back for a visit, it was a special year or everybody, it was a special team and obviously with the history of not winning in so many years, it means a lot more to the city as well. But just for us as players alone, most of us aren’t playing anymore due to injuries or retirement so it’s nice to be remembered and come back for other reasons.”

[MORE: White Sox: Jose Abreu adapting to new challenges in Year 2]

The White Sox gave out Jenks bobbleheads to fans on Saturday and, two weeks from now, will have a proper celebration for the 2005 championship team. Jenks isn’t sure if he can make the July 18 reunion (the list of players who are scheduled to appear can be found here) but even without his teammates here, the memories flooded back of winning the city’s first World Series in 88 years.

“It just went by in such a flash,” Jenks said. “It was so amazing not just that it was your rookie year but to be part of a team that goes to a World Series and not only goes but wins. It’s incredible. That’s the only word for it.”

Jenks went on to earn two All-Star bids with the White Sox and tied the then-major league record for most consecutive batters retired (41) in 2007. He last pitched on July 7, 2011, as serious back issues cut his career short only a few months after his 30th birthday.

Jenks has no desire to return to baseball and is happy those issues are behind him and he can live a normal life.

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“I gave it a run it’s just too much pain off the mound,” Jenks said. “I can play catch again, I can play with the kids, throw the football around on the beach, do all those things that you want to do to live your life, but getting on a mound again, that ship has sailed.”

While he wasn’t able to end his career on his terms, Jenks said he doesn’t have any regrets about his seven years in the majors.

“All in all I was very fortunate, very blessed to be able to put on a major league uniform,” Jenks said. “And (to) still have the opportunity to come back and have my own bobblehead day after the fact is still pretty special.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.