White Sox

Sox Drawer: And the Winner Is....

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Sox Drawer: And the Winner Is....

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
6:25 PM

J.J. Putz has yet to throw a single pitch for the White Sox, but when he does, especially at US. Cellular Field, heres hoping he delivers it with a Razors Edge.

Yep, thats the grand prize winner of the J.J. Putz Song Contest: The Razors Edge by ACDC. J.J. is clearly a big fan of the Australian heavy metal band since his original song was Thunderstruck from the Razors Edge album.

The Sox Drawer inbox was flooded this week with hundreds of song ideas. Putz had narrowed it down to a select few. Knights of Cydonia by Muse was one song near the top. So were a few by Metallica. Actually, I think every song Metallica has ever recorded was suggested to J.J.

But as he put it in the Sox Drawer Innerview which you can click on the right, Once I heard Razors Edge...it was done.

There are two winners here. One is a guy by the name of Steve Cooper.

The other person is still a mystery since all heshe provided was an email address. Were still waiting for a reply. Bueller? Bueller? J.J. has decided to give both of them 4 tickets to any White Sox game this season. Congrats!

The Razors Edge might have been the winner of the contest, but considering the wide-ranging list of songs we received, I have decided to hand out my own awards:

The Most Popular Song Award: No contest. Hells Bells by ACDC. How about some originality people!

The Strangest Song Award: Well, this was definitely original, but a little strange. Sent in by Howard, who wrote:

I think that in honor of J.J.s birthday being on February 22nd, then an appropriate selection would be the theme from the old television sitcom Room 222.

Howard, I appreciate old TV sitcoms like the rest of them. Someone also sent in the theme song for Good Times, because of J.J. Walker. DYNO-MITE! But if Putz took the field to Room 222 night after night, he would not survive the season. That is unless he chose one of these:

The Are You Kidding Me? Award: (a tie) How Do I Live Without You by Leann Rimes and You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban.

The BestWorst Email Award: Rich, this is for you.

As soon as the bullpen opens, the fans hear the theme song from the movie Jaws! J.J. is not coming out of the bullpen, hes coming out of the Shark Pen! Im sure that when the opposing batters hear the theme from Jaws, it will scare the &@ out of them knowing that J.J. is coming out to devour them!

I shared this email with J.J. His response? Ummmno. But Rich, I like the creativity!

The He Almost Went For It Award: "Hail to the Victors". A couple of you sent in the fight song for the University of Michigan, J.J.s alma mater. Believe it or not, Putz strongly considered it, but said I just couldnt do it to the people of Chicago. J.J., thank you.

The You Had Me At Hello Award: There were a few songs that simply by their title had absolutely no chance. For instance, if youre a reliever coming into the game in the late innings, would you really want to hear Walk This Way by Aerosmith or Walk by Pantera? How about Im a Loser by Motorhead? We got all three of these.
The Honorary Ralph Macchio Award: For Youre the Best (Around) from the movie Karate Kid. I dont know about you, but I havent been the same since Daniel LaRusso knocked out Johnny Lawrence with the "Crane Kick."

The If It Was Up To Me Award: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. But thats just me.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the contest. Razors Edge might have been the victor, but hey...youre all winners!

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

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GOOGLE IMAGES

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka was a phenomenon in 2018. But before there was Daniel Palka, there was Dan Pasqua. You might have heard the Palka/Pasqua comparisons on White Sox game broadcasts or within White Sox fan circles. Both are lefty sluggers with a similar build: Palka listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Pasqua at 6-foot-0 and 203 ppounds. Both led the White Sox in home runs in their age-26 seasons: Pasqua with 20 in 1988, Palka with 27 in 2018. And hey, they have the same first name and last initial!

Pasqua, nicknamed “The Hammer,” turned 57 years old Wednesday. Let’s learn a few more things about him.

— He was a teammate of John Elway (for four games with Oneonta of the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1982), Bo Jackson (with the White Sox from 1991 to 1993) and Michael Jordan (for four games with Birmingham of the Southern League in 1994).

— He was the 1985 International League MVP with the Columbus Clippers.

— He homered in his MLB debut on May 30, 1985, with the Yankees

— He was Sports Illustrated’s 1987 preseason pick to lead the American League in home runs. He finished with 17, only 32 behind Mark McGwire.

— He hit a Comiskey Park roof shot on May 30, 1989.

— He hit the last triple (and had the last RBI) in Comiskey Park history on Sept. 30, 1990.

— He hit a 484-foot home run, the third-longest by a White Sox player in Guaranteed Rate Field history, on April 27, 1991.

— He finished his MLB career with 117 home runs, tied with all-time great outfielders Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Ichiro Suzuki.

And finally, let’s compare Pasqua to Palka statistically. Since Palka had 449 career plate appearances through the end of the 2018 season, here's the duo's numbers through their first 449 career MLB plate appearances.

Could Manny Machado's NLCS shenanigans impact White Sox potential free-agent pursuit?

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USA TODAY

Could Manny Machado's NLCS shenanigans impact White Sox potential free-agent pursuit?

"It's a dirty play by a dirty player."

That was Christian Yelich, the all-but-sure-to-be NL MVP, describing Manny Machado, who's about to become one of the best-paid players in baseball history, after Game 4 of the NLCS, a game in which Machado once again grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Machado's Los Angeles Dodgers and Yelich's Milwaukee Brewers have played four games in this NLCS, and after three of them, the focus has been on Machado. Not because of his bat or his glove but because of lack of hustle and certain methods on the base paths that weren't exactly on the up and up.

After Game 2, he was criticized for not hustling on a ground ball to shortstop. In something straight out of a public-relations person's nightmare, he defended himself by saying that hustling really isn't his cup of tea. During Game 3, he twice attempted to break up double plays by interfering at second base and was, upon review, busted for it the second time. In extra innings in Game 4, he appeared to intentionally drag his leg across Jesus Aguilar's at first base. That play cleared the benches, got Machado called "dirty" in the Brewers' clubhouse and earned him the reputation of postseason villain.

And so Machado's impending free agency gets to be discussed in a brand new light. There's now more baggage attached to the 26-year-old superstar with a fantastic bat and a stellar glove.

The question is: Will the White Sox, one of many teams that could be mulling a contract offer worth hundreds of millions of dollars, care?

As much as it’s talked about building a perennial contender of the future by developing the on-field skills of their fleet of highly touted prospects, the White Sox brain trust has discussed developing a culture, a way of doing things, to go along with all that talent and all that skill. Unsurprisingly that conversation has focused on the oft-used phrase of “doing things the right way.”

Does what Machado has been doing count as “doing things the right way”? It seems easy to assess that it doesn't. It's far more difficult to determine whether it will end up making a difference or not.

Not hustling is one of Rick Renteria's biggest bugaboos. He sat down multiple players on multiple occasions throughout the 2018 season — starting with Avisail Garcia in a spring training game and including a veteran like Welington Castillo as well as a young star like Tim Anderson — for not running to first base on pop ups and line outs and ground outs. Would Renteria's tune suddenly change if Machado and his preference for not hustling arrived on the South Side in what would surely be the biggest free-agent deal in club history?

Renteria got fired up over the issue at the end of July, when he benched Anderson for not hustling on what the shortstop believed was a line out.

“We tell these guys, don’t assume anything. ... It’s as simple as that, and he understands it. He knows it. We’ve talked about it. He comes out of the box, he doesn’t stand there. But we just reiterated to make sure that you allow the umpires to make the calls and you allow the other clubs to go ahead and ask for reviews. We run.”

But asked about not running out his ground ball in Game 2, Machado shared pretty much the opposite philosophy.

"Obviously I'm not going to change, I'm not the type of player that's going to be 'Johnny Hustle,' and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen," Machado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "That's just not my personality, that's not my cup of tea, that's not who I am."

What about Machado's interferences at second base? It was that exact play that sent Anderson into an on-field tiff with umpire Joe West during the second Crosstown series of the season just last month. Javy Baez slid into second base, and Anderson thought Baez did something he shouldn't have, raising his arm to interfere with a double-play turn, that sequence of events ending with Anderson screaming at West on the field. Would Anderson be cool with playing alongside — and potentially vacating his position at shortstop for — an infamous interferer?

And what about being a "dirty player," a villain? The White Sox always seemed fine — heck, they loved it — having one of baseball's greatest irritants in A.J. Pierzynski on the roster. Perhaps no player wore the "villain" title as a badge of honor more than the catcher on the 2005 World Series team. But remember that Pierzynski took the punch, he didn't throw it. Being baseball's version of a "villain" and being a guy who makes dangerous plays that could hurt somebody are two different things.

The point being: Do Machado's actions in this postseason series make him anathema to the "Ricky's boys don't quit" mantra? If the White Sox were to turn a blind eye to the events of this NLCS, would it qualify as a betrayal of their quest to establish a high-effort, high-character culture?

Or do they value that culture so much that they stay away from Machado this offseason?

Here's Rick Hahn from September of last year.

"It’s the culture that Ricky and his coaching staff have been able to create in that clubhouse. I cannot tell you how many various fans have stopped me, or emailed me or mentioned to me that they’ve never been this excited over a 60-win team. Or they’ve never been excited about a team that isn’t going to the playoffs. And I think so much of that is based on how Ricky and the coaches have them playing day in and day out. You see them fighting for 27 outs, you see them prepared every night. Sure, we’re going to get out-manned at portions during this process, but the fight and competitiveness and the style of play is the kind of thing that is going to endure year in and year out. And that is extremely important for us to establish at the big league level for all of us."

Machado's talent would make any team he's a part of more competitive. But for the White Sox, who talk an awful lot about hustling and refusing to quit, perhaps all these postseason shenanigans make it so Machado just isn't their cup of tea.