White Sox

New coach Greg Sparks starts over with White Sox

1-11-greg-sparks.png

New coach Greg Sparks starts over with White Sox

Greg Sparks used last week’s White Sox mini-camp to begin to familiarize himself with his new team.

The club’s new assistant hitting coach joined the coaching staff and a dozen young hitters (mostly minor leaguers) at Camelback Ranch for the three-day camp. Sparks -- who spent the previous 19 seasons in a variety of roles with the Oakland A’s -- said the event was important as he tries to get acquainted with new players and other members of the coaching staff.

“It’s huge for just to get a feel for how it goes over here and getting used to seeing what these guys do and putting a face on a name,” Sparks said. “It’s huge for me. It’s a big part of me getting acclimated to the White Sox system.”

Sparks already is acquainted with hitting coach Todd Steverson. Sparks hired Steverson as a minor-league hitting coach when he was Oakland’s hitting coordinator and they worked together for 10 seasons until Steverson joined the White Sox in October 2013.

[SHOP: Get your White Sox gear here]

But nearly every hitter in the system is new. A professional ballplayer from 1984-96, Sparks has done some work this offseason but knows the best way to get comfortable with hitters is to work in the cage.

“I did a little (video homework),” Sparks said. “Just starting to look and formulate a plan with these guys, but just getting to know the hitters first and then go from there. This is a big part of being a new guy in the organization.

“They’re new to me and I’m new to them and getting to know them and looking forward to spring training and building that relationship and starting the season.”

Sparks looks forward to working again with Steverson. Their relationship should mean hitters hear get the same type of information from both coaches.

“We go way back,” Sparks said. “We’ve always fed off each other, worked well together. Butted heads at times, but that’s OK. Again looking forward to being back with Trick.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

machad.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

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

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.