White Sox

Sox Drawer: The Truth About J.J. Putz

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Sox Drawer: The Truth About J.J. Putz

Friday, Jan. 22, 2010
8:21 PM

Im sitting in a hotel room at the Palmer House, the site of Sox Fest 2010. 139 years ago, this was the site of the very first Palmer House (known as The Palmer), which only 13 days after being built, was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Into the room walks J.J. Putz. He might not know much about Chicago history, or the fire that once erupted here, but if given the choice, the new White Sox reliever would torch his 2009 season straight to the ground.

It was a mess from the beginning, said Putz in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. He was traded from the Mariners to the Mets in a monster three-team, 11-player deal in December 2008. The former closer was supposed to be the 8th inning set-up man for Francisco Rodriguez, a 1-2 punch that on paper was also supposed to make the Mets unbeatable in the late-innings.

But soon after he arrived in New York, Putz knew that something was wrong.

When the trade went down last year, I never really had a physical with the Mets, said Putz. I had the bone spur (in the right elbow). It was discovered the previous year in Seattle, and it never got checked out by any other doctors until I got to spring training, and the spring training physical is kind of a formality. It was bugging me all through April, and in May I got an injection. It just got to the point where I couldnt pitch. I couldnt throw strikes, my velocity was way down.

And it was showing on the mound. The once super human reliever had suddenly become a broken down mess. After 29 games, he was 1-and-4 with a 5.22 ERA. He had 19 walks in 19 innings. And this was New York. The boos cascading from Citi Field could be heard across the river in Jersey.

Being hurt is never fun, especially when you go to a team like New York, where the expectation level is so high, and youre not able to do what you know you can do. (The Mets) gave up a lot to get me, so it was disappointing and frustrating.

Especially when the Mets told Putz not to talk about being hurt with the media.

I knew that I wasnt right. I wasnt healthy. The toughest part was having to face the media and tell them that you feel fine, even though you know theres something wrong and they dont want you telling them that youre banged up.

By June, Putz was concerned that the pain in his elbow would start affecting his shoulder, so he had surgery to remove the bone spur, and was supposed to miss 10-to-12 weeks. However, when he tried to come back in August, he felt some tightness in his right forearm.

Thats when (the Mets) told me that I blew my elbow out. That was kind of a shock because I never felt any pain in it.

It didnt matter. The Mets shut him down. Putzs season was over. And he learned a very important lesson.

That its my career, and when you know something doesnt feel right, and they want to take these little sidesteps to do something, and just wait and wait and wait, you got to get it taken care of instead of trying to prolong the inevitable.

In November, the Mets chose to wipe the slate clean, declining J.J.s 9.1 million option for 2010.

Putz says that the first team to call was the White Sox.

They wanted to do a physical right away, said Putz. They took an MRI. The elbow looked clean.

Which was exactly what Sox GM Kenny Williams wanted to see.

When our doctors finally got their hands on him, he passed his physical with flying colors, said Williams after the signing. We couldn't be happier with what was communicated to us by our doctors.

The Sox quickly signed Putz to a one-year, 3 million contract.

One person who couldnt be happier was Matt Thornton. The fellow reliever and Michigan native placed a call to Putz to gauge his interest, but Putz says that Matt didnt put on the kind of hard sell that has been reported. The two are close friends and huge fans of the Wolverines. But Putz is quick to point out that only one of them has maze and blue in his blood.

I went there. He went to some Grand Valley State University Technical Ranch Dressing School or something like that. Hes a poser.

Friday at Sox Fest Putz said that his arm feels great, and he will be throwing off a mound in two weeks.

But when he walks to the mound at U.S. Cellular Field when the season begins, hes going to need a new song announcing his arrival. Putz has always used Thunderstruck by ACDC, but that's been the White Sox team song since their 2005 World series title.

So, clearly Putz needs a new song and hes asking you for suggestions. That's right...you!

Email me your ideas (SoxDrawer@comcastsportsnet.com) and Ill be sure to pass them along to J.J. If he chooses your song, you'll get White Sox tickets for this season!

And no offense to Gordon Beckham, but no more songs by the Outfield.

Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

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USA Today

Paul Konerko misses out on 2020 Hall of Fame, falls off ballot after receiving 2.5% of vote

Former White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko will not be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2020. Konerko received 2.5% of the vote, less than the 5% needed to remain on the ballot.

Konerko came to Chicago in 1998 and played his first season with the Sox in 1999, hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 81 RBIs. The following season, the White Sox made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Konerko was with the team during their triumphant 2005 World Series win, hitting the first grand slam in White Sox World Series history and giving the Sox the lead 6-4 in Game 2 against the Astros.

Confused and frustrated? You’re not alone. Here's how the multi-step voting process works. Players become eligible to enter the Hall of Fame ballot five years after they’ve retired, if they’ve played a minimum of 10 seasons. From there, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America screening committee votes to determine which players make the ballot. Each voter can vote for 10 players. Players need to achieve at least 5% of the vote to be included on the next year’s ballot. If a player makes the ballot, they then need to achieve 75% of all ballots cast to be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Regardless of the voting, Konerko will always be a White Sox legend.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO TO DELIVER EXTENSIVE, LIVE, MULTI-PLATFORM “SOXFEST 2020” COVERAGE BEGINNING THIS THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

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USA Today

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO TO DELIVER EXTENSIVE, LIVE, MULTI-PLATFORM “SOXFEST 2020” COVERAGE BEGINNING THIS THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

Chicago, IL (January 21, 2020) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE NEW EXCLUSIVE HOME of the CHICAGO WHITE SOX - is ready to start up the highly-anticipated 2020 MLB season in a big way with expanded multi-platform coverage of “SoxFest 2020,” which will be held this weekend (January 24-25) at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.  NBC Sports Chicago will be rolling out its most robust “SoxFest” coverage to date featuring multiple, live on-site shows, massive digital content, entertaining social media offerings, “Authentic Fan” booth giveaways/special appearances, and so much more.  Please note NBC Sports Chicago’s “SoxFest 2020” content coverage details below:

 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23 --

  • 6:00 PM CT – “SportsTalk Live” special edition from SoxFest - Prior to the official start of “SoxFest 2020,” fans can look forward to a special edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado live from McCormick Place.  Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) will be joined by special guests, White Sox manager Ricky Renteria and NBC Sports Chicago White Sox game analyst Steve Stone (@stevestone), along with a panel of White Sox experts to discuss the upcoming weekend’s festivities and preview what lies ahead for the White Sox in 2020. (NOTES: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive)

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 --

  • 3:00 PM CT – “SoxFest 2020” Opening Ceremonies - Veteran NBC Sports Chicago White Sox expert/multi-platform host Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) will host network’s always-entertaining “SoxFest” Opening Ceremonies coverage “Live from the Black Carpet” featuring the official weekend kick-off introductions (and interviews) with White Sox players, coaches, front offices execs, broadcasters and legendary White Sox alumni.  NBC Sports Chicago’s “SoxFest 2020” Opening Ceremonies coverage will also be co-hosted by White Sox Pre/Postgame Live & Baseball Night in Chicago host Leila Rahimi (@leilarahimi) and NBC Sports Chicago multi-platform White Sox reporter Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) who will provide additional commentary and conduct interviews throughout the ceremonies. (NOTES: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app; fans located anywhere in the U.S. can download MyTeams for free on iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store…in addition, the Opening Ceremonies will re-air at 6:30 PM on NBC Sports Chicago+)

 

  • 6:00 PM CT – “SportsTalk Live” special edition from SoxFest - NBC Sports Chicago’s live, on-site coverage from “SoxFest 2020” continues with an additional remote edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado as host David Kaplan welcomes White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer and new acquisition/right fielder Nomar Mazara..  In addition, “Kap” will be joined by White Sox players and a panel of Sox experts to discuss all the off-season moves and acquisitions, the shaping of this season’s roster, including the starting line-up and pitching rotation, along with analysis on why 2020 may very well be the year the White Sox make their triumphant return to postseason action. (NOTE: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app)

 

  • 7:00 PM CT – “SoxFest @ Night” (airing on NBC Sports Chicago+) - Fans are in for a special primetime treat Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago will deliver its exclusive presentation of SoxFest @ Night, a one-hour talk show hosted by Chuck Garfien and NBC Sports Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti (@jasonbenetti), which will take place LIVE in front of a die-hard White Sox fan convention audience on “SoxFest’s” primary stage.  Featured White Sox guests on SoxFest @ Night will include Rick Hahn (SVP/GM), Rick Renteria (Manager), Tim Anderson (SS), Jose Abreu (1B), Yoan Moncada (3B), Luis Robert (CF), Dallas Keuchel (SP), Lucas Giolito (SP), Yasmani Grandal (C) and Eloy Jimenez (LF).  (NOTE: This program will also stream live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app)

 

THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND…

 

NBCSportsChicago.com, “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app and Social Media

  • Fans can look forward to even more comprehensive “SoxFest 2020” coverage all weekend long on NBCSportsChicago.com (NBCSportsChicago.com/WhiteSox) and the MyTeams by NBC Sports app featuring additional players/coaches/front office executive interviews, feature stories, fan reaction, photos, videos and much more provided by Garfien, Rahimi, Duber, along the NBC Sports Chicago team of behind-the-scenes White Sox experts (@NBCSWhiteSox). 

 

  • From a social media standpoint, NBC Sports Chicago will also deliver a number of additional on-site Facebook Live (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) interviews and special segments throughout the weekend, along with numerous SoxFest “Sights & Sounds” highlights via ‘NBCSChicago’ on Instagram and Instagram Stories. 

 

“White Sox Talk” Podcasts

  • White Sox fans can look forward to brand new “White Sox Talk” Podcasts presented by Wintrust featuring the hottest SoxFest topics and special guest interviews. The “White Sox Talk” podcast is hosted by NBC Sports Chicago White Sox experts Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey (@RyanMcGuffey), Chris Kamka (@ckamka) and Vinnie Duber.  Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • In addition, fans attending “SoxFest 2020” this weekend can also stop by the convention’s designated museum area on Saturday afternoon to watch a pair of “White Sox Talk” podcast tapings featuring Garfien, McGuffey and Duber interviewing starting pitchers Dylan Cease (12 NOON) and Michael Kopech (2:00 PM). 

 

“Authentic Fan” booth at SoxFest

  • NBC Sports Chicago’s “Authentic Fan” booth will feature a number of special White Sox-themed giveaways including “Authentic Fan” bobbleheads, mittens, baseball caps and much more (while supplies last).  Plus, fans can are urged to utilize the social media hashtag #AuthenticFan throughout the weekend as several lucky fans will be “authentically surprised” with special White Sox giveaways and experiences. NBC Sports Chicago’s dedicated White Sox Twitter handle (@NBCSWhiteSox) will also provide up-to-the-minute info on NBC Sports Chicago “Authentic Fan” booth activities, which will include specific timing details on White Sox player and broadcaster appearances throughout the weekend.