White Sox

National pastime: How it might be past your time

National pastime: How it might be past your time

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
4:13 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

The Cubs played a makeup game in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. It was notable, not necessarily because the Cubs actually won a game in the Steel City, but because a young adult fan was spotted throwing his glove to the ground in disgust after a sought-after foul ball landed in someone else's hands. Can't beat rage at the ol' ballpark I guess. Heck...rage might be the norm in Pittsburgh, given their recent baseball history. But anyway, this guy made up for the tirade in a most ironic fashion. He actually caught another foul ball later in the game and promptly gave it to a little kid. Atta way. Seriously. This young guy was mature beyond his years in doing the right thing.

But not everyone acts this way.

Acting like a kid at a baseball game is akin to jumping on the bed in a hotel room. Sometimes we just can't help ourselves. The temptation is too great. But every once in a while, you spot where the "immaturity" has gone too far. I propose some age limits on random acts of ballpark lunacy. Like...

Bringing a Glove to a GamePainting your Face Or Body (age 18): Bringing a glove to game past age 18 is tantamount to showing up at a cocktail party with sandals and black socks. It might feel cool and comfortable, but it just looks...bad. And nobody between the ages of 18 and 65 should be hanging out in the face paint aisle at Hobby Lobby to begin with. That should be common sense. And if you insist on wearing an oversized novelty glove or one of those foam "We're Number One!" fingers, divide the number up above by two.

Hounding a Player for an Autograph (21): Depending on when you grew up, your hero could have been John F. Kennedy, Clint Eastwood, Mr. T, Hulk Hogan or even one of the Baldwins. Regardless of the era, there's a good chance that you grew up idolizing a baseball player. That should cease by age 21. Why? Because you're 21. You are the hero now. Just trust me on that one. Young people envy you because of the legitimate ID. Old people envy you because you don't have arthritis. Yet. Enjoy the ride.

Chasing After a Foul Ball (24): By the age of 24, you should have moved out of your parents wood-paneled basement. And you should be able to afford a whole bucket of baseballs by now. Instead of tearing an ACL going after a Russ Ohlendorf foul ball, let it go. Or if you do get it, give it to one of the seven kids, three ushers or five Cocoon castoffs you ran over en route.

Shouting Obscenities at Opposing Fans' Teams (30): Yelling at strangers might be acceptable if you're a burned out day trader in the pits (literally or figuratively). But once you hit 30, it's time to give the ballpark rage a break. The Pepto Bismol should be reserved for watching your team's weak bullpen mail in the game, not to ease the stress from yelling at the "bad guy" in front of you.

Wearing a Jersey to The Ballpark (35 for men, limitless for women): Once a man hits 35, it's time to give up the faded Augie Ojeda or Jose Valentin jersey--or any jersey for that matter. You're a Toys R Us kid no longer. You're an adult. Look the part. Women get a lifetime pass because they look better in jerseys anyway.

Getting to an Arthur Bach Level of Drunk (40): Who remembers the 1981 movie Arthur? It's the one where the hilarious Dudley Moore plays a carefree, drunken New York playboy. He finds true love in a waitress played by Liza Minnelli. I'm quite sure those two plot devices aren't connected. Arthur was to alcohol like how Wham was to 80's Cheese-Pop. Unfortunately, this behavior doesn't translate off the big screen. You're not a hero if you plow through seven whiskey sours before the game. Or blitz through 11 beers during it. Granted, this shouldn't be done at any age--with or without Hollywood credentials. But once a person passes 40, the drunken baseball fan looks more like an injured animal than a party animal.

And regardless of age, no fan should ever --under any circumstance-- do the wave (unless you're at a Badgers football game-- Wisconsin fans take the wave to astonishing heights). Sit down. Relax. Enjoy the game. Baseball is still a wonderful past-time. Just save the strength and go anti-wave. You'll thank me when you channel the extra energy to dig your car out of a snow embankment in five months.

Or something like that.

Coming soon: Tom Thibodeau and the Running of the Bulls

Follow Joe Collins on Twitter @JoeCSN

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease is entering the 2020 season with plenty to prove. Considering how important he is to the future of the White Sox, it is perhaps fitting he was the first White Sox pitcher to take a mound in a spring training game.

On Saturday, Cease pitched two innings against the Cincinnati Reds as he ramps up to full strength. The most notable thing wasn’t how long he pitched or what his stat line was. It was his fastball.

Cease's fastball sat mostly at 96-98 mph and topped at 99. Cease quipped there could be a bit more in terms of his velocity.


Cease averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball in the majors in 2019. In 73 innings, he threw nine pitches that were at least 99 mph, topping out at 100.1 mph, according to Baseball Savant. He was capable of throwing that hard, but didn't do it often. For Cease to be on the higher end of his average and feature a 99 mph fastball in his first pitches of Cactus League baseball might be a sign that he could have added a touch more velocity.

It’s also just a two-inning spring training start, meaning Cease knew he could let fly a bit more in a shorter outing. Cease told reporters after his start he was focusing on his fastball command. He struck out three with no walks and three hits allowed.

In his rookie season, Cease struggled with command and consistency. He had a 5.79 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 35 walks over 14 starts.

February baseball doesn't carry any meaning, but this is a small encouraging sign for Cease.

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Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

yasiel_puig.jpg
USA TODAY

Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

You can put to bed the rumors about free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig possibly signing with the White Sox. It’s not happening.

The two sides did get together during the MLB Winter Meetings in December. Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria met with Puig for about 90 minutes to discuss the possibility of the 29-year-old joining the White Sox as their everyday right fielder.

But instead, the White Sox chose to take a different route. That same week, they acquired Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers for minor league outfielder Steele Walker, ending any chance of Puig coming to the South Side.

“After our meeting we came away big Yasiel Puig fans, but he wasn’t the right fit for us then and he isn’t right now,” Williams said.

With spring training games starting this weekend and the regular season a little over a month away, fellow Cuban Jose Abreu says he’s surprised the flashy 29-year-old outfielder remains a free agent.

“Yes, I am (surprised). That’s one of those things that happen that you don’t understand. A guy with his talent. He’s still so young,” Abreu said through a translator. “He doesn’t have a team yet. It’s a surprise. I’m confident he’s going to find something this year.”

Even with Puig’s talent, Abreu looks around the White Sox clubhouse and agrees with the decision by the White Sox not to sign the former All-Star who hit .267/.327/.458 with the Reds and Indians last season.

“I don’t think he would be a good fit here. Don’t get me wrong. He has a lot of talent but we’re full," Abreu said. "Our outfield is looking great with Nomar (Mazara), Eloy (Jimenez) and (Luis) Robert. There’s no reason for us to make more moves in that area of our team. He’s someone who would fit in with any major league ball club because he has the talent to help any of those teams.”

What about possibly platooning Puig with Mazara in right field? On paper, that might sound like a good plan, although Puig has traditionally hit better against righties than lefties in his career. But a larger issue could be the timeshare. The idea of Puig, nicknamed “Wild Horse,” being forced to the stable for half the season could spell problems not only for him, but the chemistry inside the clubhouse.

“It would be difficult, especially for him being an everyday player,” Abreu said about Puig being a platoon player.  “When you have to make that decision, it’s not easy.”

So, where will Puig end up?  No one knows for sure but it won’t be with the White Sox.  

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