White Sox

Former Sox Milledge signs in Japan

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Former Sox Milledge signs in Japan

According to Patrick Newman of NBP Tracker, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and Lastings Milledge agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2013.

Milledge signed with White Sox on a minor league deal last winter and looked to be pitted against Alejandro De Aza and Brent Lillibridge for a backup outfielder role coming out of spring training. Milledge tore up the Cactus League and earned a spot on the team's opening day roster, but after two games and some shaky outfield defense in Kansas City, he was designated for assignment and accepted an assignment to Charlotte, where he spent the rest of 2011.

Given his success against left-handed pitching in previous seasons with Pittsburgh and Washington and his blue-chip pedigree, it's surprising Milledge didn't find a spot in the majors last season. The Sox didn't have any need for him with the emergence of Lillibridge and De Aza, but no team claimed him when he went through waivers just after his 26th birthday in early April. Maybe Milledge's defense is regarded so poorly that no team wanted to pick him up and risk an outfield blunder with him playing defense.

Ryan Goins, AJ Reed-fueled White Sox rally falls short as losing streak rolls on

Ryan Goins, AJ Reed-fueled White Sox rally falls short as losing streak rolls on

The White Sox came into Wednesday’s matchup with the Kansas City Royals looking to grab that oh so elusive first win in the second half of the season. After yet another disheartening loss, it is safe the team needs a spark to get them back on track. Ozzie Guillen shared a similar concern on White Sox Postgame Live, suggesting that something needs to be done to get the White Sox back on track. 

Kansas City struck first on Wednesday--as they did in the two previous games this series--scoring 2 runs in the 1st.

White Sox starter Ivan Nova struggled mightily with his control in this one. Nova’s final line was: 6 H, 5 BB, 6 ER in 4.2 innings pitched. The White Sox bullpen put out a decent effort--a combination of Jace Fry, Alex Colome, and Kelvin Herrera--pitched 3.1 innings, giving up 6 hits and one run. But by the time Fry entered in relief of Nova in the bottom of the 5th, the Sox were down 5-0 and Fry himself gave up the lone relief run on a Nicky Lopez single to make the score 6-0 Royals heading into the sixth.

The White Sox mounted an impressive last-ditch comeback effort led by pinch-hitter AJ Reed and new Sox shortstop Ryan Goins but alas it was too little, too late. Goins led off the scoring for the White Sox with a two-run homer in the top of the 6th for his first hit as a member of the White Sox. 

It was a heck of a first game for Goins, who joined the White Sox from the Triple-A Charlotte 

(Knights) on Wednesday. He went 2-for-3 at the plate, helping contribute to Chicago’s 10 hits on the evening. After Goins' two-run blast, the Chicago offense went quiet until the very end. 

In the 9th inning, Welington Castillo struck out swinging with Jon Jay and Jose Abreu already on-base. With Ryan Cordell up to bat next, White Sox manager Rick Renteria chose to pinch-hit for Cordell with another new member of the Sox, 26-year old AJ Reed.

The hope is that Reed will bring some solid production to the DH spot for the struggling Sox and he took a big step in the right direction on Wednesday night.

Reed’s massive 436-foot homer was a three-run blast that cut the deficit down to two runs and also created a neat piece of history in the process.

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Despite the fact that Goins and Reed both hit their first home runs as members of the White Sox, Chicago came up short as the rally stopped at Reed’s three-run homer. Following Reed’s at-bat, the Royals brought in Ian Kennedy to face Yolmer Sánchez. Kennedy notched the save for the Royals after getting Sánchez to line out on six pitches, sealing the White Sox season-high six-straight loss. 

Fortunately for the White Sox, they will have the chance to get some payback right away, with their series with Kansas City coming to a close on Thursday at 12:15 p.m. CST. 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Why Harold Baines belongs in the Hall of Fame

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Why Harold Baines belongs in the Hall of Fame

: With Harold Baines being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Chuck Garfien sits down with White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Baines former teammate Ron Kittle who explain why Baines is a worthy Hall of Famer. But first, Chuck speaks with Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka about the controversy surrounding his induction (1:30) and what made Baines such a special player and deserving of Cooperstown (5:00).  Then, Kittle talks about why he'd "take a bullet" for Baines (13:00), his message to critics who believe Baines shouldn't be in the Hall (17:20) and more. Reinsdorf explains why the committee he was apart of voted Baines into the Hall of Fame (22:00), how tough it was to trade Baines to Texas for Sammy Sosa (24:30), the story behind retiring Baines number a month after trading him (26:10) and more.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: