White Sox

Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Stone's mailbag: Trade rumors and Crosstown Cup

Monday, June 14, 2010
5:14 PM
Steve Stone dives into his mailbag to answer some of your questions about the crosstown cup, possible deadline moves, and more!
Question from Matt M.- Chicago, IL: Steve, with Mark Teahen on the DL, I wouldn't mind seeing Ozzie move Beckham over to 3rd with VizquelNix platooning at 2nd. What are your thoughts?

Steve Stone: I think they are not in the business of moving Gordon Beckham wherever they have a perceived weakness. He has to learn 2nd, which he is doing and I think the best thing is doing that. Third will be fine until Teahen gets back. You can't move Beckham back and forth, so I think leaving him in one spot is the best solution.

Question from Zach T- Dubuque, IA: Steve, the White Sox right now are not out of it all and are starting to hit. Do you think they could trade for a guy like Mike Lowell or another bat that is available in June or July?

Stone: I think certainly they would probably have some interest. Kenny is always looking at some players to make the team better. That being said, Lowell is hitting .215, pretty good defender, but lost lots of speed and power. I don't know if he is the answer but you have to wait until the end of the month to figure out exactly where they will be before Kenny pulls off any trade of substance. He has no idea if they will get back to a three game deficit of Minnesota or if they will fall to a 10 game deficit. Now they have 100 games left, waiting a couple weeks wont hurt anything and maybe the picture clears up by then and Kenny has then an idea about where he wants to go as far as being a buyer or a seller.

Question from Will G-Glenview, IL: Steve, Do you think the Cubs could trade a guy like Derrek Lee or Ted Lilly before the deadline? If so, what kind of player could the Cubs get in return?

Stone: Well, the White Sox and Cubs are 7.5 games back right now. Cubs behind St. Louis and Cincinnati, Sox behind Minnesota and Detroit. Neither believes their team is out of it despite that the Cubs are seven under .500. The same will hold true as to whether Jim Hendry will be a buyer or seller. GM's will have a clearer picture on the trade. Lee has a no-trade clause so you have to satisfy his demands and Lilly is very valuable and if you intend to get back in it, you want to keep him. With the contacts ending with both players, they would be guys you would seek to move.

Question from Joe T-Hanover, NH: Hey Steve! Big Cubs fan from New Hampshire here, and I was just wondering if you think the upcoming CubsSox "Cross-town Classic" will be one of the more dull six game sets these two teams have played? Both under .500, both struggling to score runs, what if anything do I, as a Cubs fan, have to look forward to in this series?

Stone: Because this is written after the first three game series, the Cubs have to look forward to a losing series against the White Sox. That being said, when the Cubs come to U.S. Cellular, it will be exciting for both teams. Most players, most fans like it, some don't. I'm a big fan of the six games they play against one another and there were very dramatic games at Wrigley. I'm expecting nothing less when the teams shift from Wrigley to U.S. Cellular in a couple weeks.

Question from Robbie L-Evanston, IL: Steve, if you were Bud Selig, how would you decide the outcome of the Armando Galarraga "perfect" game? Do you think that whatever Selig's decision is that baseball needs to broaden the use of instant replay in games?

Stone: I think if baseball is unhappy with replay then it's up to them. You have one rule as it pertains to replays, the only thing that you use it for is home runs. Bud could not change that call because it went against the rules of baseball. If you don't like them, winter can change it to expand it. What was said out of the first round of using, baseball likes the human element in the game if you keep appealing each game. Most umps got the call correct, thats the human element. Bud handled it right and with 30 teams that meet in the winter, they will make a decision if they want to change instant replay but you dont change a rule after the fact.

Freshly cut Michael Kopech feels 'different energy' around White Sox

Freshly cut Michael Kopech feels 'different energy' around White Sox

On the eve of the most anticipated SoxFest in recent memory, Michael Kopech got a haircut.

He likely won't be the only one sporting a fresh look when the White Sox gather for the annual fan convention this weekend at McCormick Place. But he's probably the only one who had his restyling attended by the local media.

Kopech got his trademark flowing locks clipped off Wednesday as part of a charity event that raised $20,000 for the Ronald McDonald House and White Sox charities, meaning there'll be a noticeable difference the next time he steps on a major league mound. There was bound to be a difference, considering he last pitched in a big league game in September of 2018. But how much of a difference there will be in his pitching style remains to be seen.

Kopech has long been promised as a flamethrower that can touch ungodly speeds like 101, 102 and 103 miles an hour on the radar gun. He'll still be able to do that, he says, but there will be a difference.

"I don't know if I'm going to necessarily be that type of power pitcher again in my career," he said Wednesday. "I think I'm going to be a little bit smarter and cautious about how I pitch. That being said, velocity will always be a part of my game."

We'll have to wait and see exactly how Kopech will attack opposing hitters after his recovery from Tommy John surgery. "Wait and see" will be a theme of at least the early portion of Kopech's 2020 campaign. The White Sox have signaled that he'll be limited in some capacity in an effort not to overwork him — remember that his next major league appearance will be only his fifth — but we don't know what that will look like yet. Will he be part of the rotation, but be skipped at times? Will he pitch out of the bullpen for a little bit? Will he start the season in the minor leagues?

According to Kopech, he doesn't know the plan, either, knowing only that he feels great and will be looking to earn a roster spot in spring training.

"Not really," he said, asked if he's talked with the team about what it has planned for him. "My plan for myself is to be competitive in the spring and give my team a chance to win, and hopefully that's giving myself the best chance I can.

"But for what the team has in store for me, I really don't know those answers. I'm just going to do my best when I get there."

Between the moves Rick Hahn's front office has made this winter and the way so many of the White Sox young, core players broke out in 2019, there are realistic playoff expectations on the South Side for the first time in a long time, with the expectation being that the team will make its long awaited leap out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. Kopech would figure to be a big part of that, still ranked as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Even with plans to limit his workload, the White Sox would figure to want him to be pitching in meaningful games if they should roll around in August and September, or even October.

Of course, these kinds of expectations are nothing new for these White Sox players, who have long been willing to express their confidence in the organization's bright future. Kopech has talked about wanting to win the 2020 World Series. Eloy Jimenez has talked about being a part of a championship outfield. Lucas Giolito, "sick of losing," has been talking playoffs since the end of last year's 89-loss season. And the freshly extended Luis Robert is talking about winning multiple championships.

This group has always been about setting lofty goals. But now the fan base is buying in to all that, too, and setting its own set of expectations, ones that end with the White Sox reaching the postseason. Kopech can already feel a different vibe surrounding this team, though added that the expectations inside the clubhouse haven't changed from what they've always been.

"We were just talking about that a couple of days ago. We were out playing catch, me, Zack Burdi, Ryan Burr, Grandal was out there. It was that camaraderie, but more so, the underlining competitiveness in all of us. It felt like a different energy, was the word that was used," Kopech said. "We were all pulling in the same direction, which I think is kind of a glimpse to us what the future is going to look like.

"Not to look too far ahead, but I think we all are pulling in the same direction, not that that wasn't the case before. We're all starting to get that taste, sort of speak.

"(Playoff expectations are) what we've put on ourselves, as well. We're always going to want to be a competitive team, and we're going to want to be a competitive team at the highest level and that's to be in the playoffs.

"Those expectations that people are putting on us, we're going to also put on ourselves and try to achieve that."

It's still a bit of an unknown when and in what capacity we'll first see Kopech contributing toward reaching those expectations. But don't adjust your television set when he does make his first appearance. That's him, all right. Just lighter now without all that extra hair.

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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.

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