White Sox

Steve Stone's mailbag: Manny with Sox next season?

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Steve Stone's mailbag: Manny with Sox next season?

Monday, Sept. 20, 2010
11:38 AM
Steve Stone dives into his mailbag toanswer your questions about Manny Ramirez, Paul Konerko's AL MVP chances, Tyler Colvin's possible move to first base and more!

Scott - Chicago, IL: Do you think Manny Ramirez will be with the White Sox next season?

Steve Stone: As of this writing, Manny Ramirez has 1 RBI and 1 home run. I appreciate the fact that he needs to go through a bit of a spring training. That being said, its a shame he had to go through spring training when we were fighting for our lives in a division race. Now, I personally would not have him on the team, if nothing else, to get rid of his hair.

Robert - Lake Zurich, Illinois: Would Paul Konerko get your vote for AL MVP?

Stone: No. The White Sox are going to finish multiple games back of Minnesota and they will finish multiple back of the Wild Card. Normally when a team that doesn't win it produces an MVP, it means there was a number of other people who didn't have a great year. My MVP vote in the AL would go to Josh Hamilton even though Texas stayed afloat, he has been hitting in the .360 range, and in the top of almost every category. Texas is a somewhat surprise winner in the west and Hamilton would get my vote.

Rene - Chicago, IL: Do you think the Cubs shouldwill move Tyler Colvin to first base next season?

Stone: I think it all depends on the type of power they think he can produce and what happens to Fukudome. I think it is time for Fukudome to move elsewhere and they have to make a decision on what they want to do with their baseball team, which direction they are going in and essentially, how much will they spend to get then. Then and only then I'd consider him playing first base. I'm not sure if he can play it and that becomes problematic. You want to do things to help your defense and not hurt it. There is a long way to go to make him an asset defensively. Too many questions to be answered to be definite.
Kevin - Los Angeles, CA: What is the future of Jeff Samardzija? Do you think he will end up in the Cubs starting rotation soon? Or is he best suited to be in the bullpen?

Stone: I think Jeff will most likely end up in the Cubs bullpen. I think he needs help on his secondary pitches. The CUbs spent a ridiculous amount of money on him but that being said, it's already spent and he could help. Bear in mind, look what happened last year with four youngsters in the bullpen which was disastrous - I don't think they can afford the same thing this year.

Richard - Wheaton, IL: Who wins the AL East? Will the Yankees be able to hold on or will the Rays take it this year?

Stone: If the Wild Card comes out of the East, they can't run into each other as they head into post season play which means that the division winner is going to get Texas, most likely. The Wild Card team is going to get Minnesota most likely. From the Twins standpoint, I don't think they want to play the Yankees. They are hoping for the Yankees to win it - then having the best record between themselves and Texas, they would get Tampa Bay int he first round. All four teams that are going to get in are fully capable of winning a series if they don't have home field advantage.

Remember That Guy: Chris Snopek

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USA TODAY

Remember That Guy: Chris Snopek

Chris Snopek was born September 20, 1970 in Cynthiana, KY. He was a multi-sport standout in high school, averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 assists on the hardwood, as well as hitting .576 with 20 HR as a senior on the diamond. He was a standout third baseman/shortstop at Ole Miss, hitting .407/.491/.725 with 13 home runs and 62 RBI (a school-record at the time) in 54 games as a junior. The White Sox made him a 6th round draft pick in 1992.

In 1994, Snopek played for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, where he was one of two players on the team with 50+ RBI and 50+ walks. The other one was Michael Jordan.By 1995, Snopek hit .323/.402/.494 with 12 HR in 113 games for Nashville (AAA); that batting average good for second in the American Association. He made his MLB Debut on July 31, 1995, going 2 for 3 with a run, RBI, walk and stolen base as the starting third baseman. The 6’1” right-handed infielder drew a walk in each of his first five career MLB games; the first White Sox player to do so since Ray Morehart in 1924.

The White Sox had Robin Ventura at third and Ozzie Guillen at short, so Snopek had to settle for a start here and a start there. He was sent back down to the minors but returned in September. On September 20, 1995, Snopek connected for his first career home run; the blast coming off Indians starter Joe Roa. The milestone round tripper came on Snopek’s 25th birthday. He remains the only player in White Sox history whose first career home run came on his birthday. It was his lone homer of 1995, though Snopek did quite well in his first taste of MLB action, hitting .324 (22 for 68), .407 vs lefties (11 for 27) in 22 games.

Entering the 1996 season, he was the #52 overall prospect according to Baseball America (in between Jason Varitek and Dustin Hermanson); topping the White Sox organizational top ten:

White Sox top 10 prospects according to Baseball America entering 1996

  1. Chris Snopek
  2. Jeff Abbott
  3. Scott Ruffcorn
  4. James Baldwin
  5. Jeff Liefer
  6. Mike Cameron
  7. Jimmy Hurst
  8. Luis Andujar
  9. McKay Christensen
  10. Greg Norton

Snopek started the 1996 season in a utility role, making spot starts at third and short as well as pinch hitting. On April 28, 1996, he became the first White Sox shortstop to start and hit cleanup since Ron Hansen in 1967 (Only José Valentín & Alexei Ramírez have done it since). In limited duty, Snopek hit 6 home runs in 1996 – all off lefties.

Snopek got his chance in 1997 when Robin Ventura suffered an ankle injury, getting the nod as the opening day third baseman. He went 0 for 5 that game and never got it going, hitting .218/.263/.319 in 86 games. The following season, after struggling to the tune of .208/.291/.248 in 53 games, Snopek was traded to the Red Sox at the end of August, where he finished the season and as fate would have it, his MLB career, with eight final games. He bounced around the minors the next four seasons.

In 2017, Snopek and a business partner purchased P360 Performance Sports in Jackson, Mississippi, where they offer baseball training facilities and instruction programs. Snopek also serves as the Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Madison Ridgeland Academy in Mississippi.

Chris Snopek… remember that guy?

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

Thirteen of the White Sox top American born prospects are in the Dominican Republic this week for a cultural exchange trip organized by the White Sox, giving players like Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins and Dane Dunning a first-hand experience to learn about the country where many of their Latin teammates like Eloy Jimenez call home. Chuck Garfien speaks with Ryan McGuffey who is covering the trip for NBC Sports Chicago. They talk about the White Sox training academy in the Dominican Republic (3:50), what the players are learning and how they're bonding on the trip (6:30), the crazy atmosphere going to a Dominican Winter League game (11:10), going with Reynaldo Lopez to the home where he grew up (14:40), personal stories from the trip (23:15) and more.

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