By Jim Owczarski
The last time Chicago White Sox fans were able to see Robin Ventura on a daily basis was the summer of 1998, before he departed via free agency for the New York Mets.
Some lasting images linger, of course: The confrontation with Nolan Ryan on the mound and teammate Frank Thomas in the dugout; the horrific ankle injury in the spring of 1997 and subsequent return just a few months later.
But 14 years is a long time, and set against the personality of former manager Ozzie Guillen, Ventura seems placid.
I think there are misunderstandings, Ventura said about his perception.
The 44-year-old first year manager went about dispelling some of those during the first day of SoxFest at the Palmer House Hilton Friday night during a question and answer session alongside general manager Kenny Williams.
Ventura put his sense of humor on display, but as he tried to play into the laid back persona, Williams interrupted, saying the 44-year-old first year manager has a lot more fire in his belly than what appears on the surface.
Not everybody has a personal relationship with you, Ventura said of the fan base. The people I played with and the people I played for know what Im like, they know how I handle situations.
"Kenny and (White Sox chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) have known me a long time. Theyve known me since I was a kid and now as an adult, how I handle things and how I go about it. They wouldnt hire me if I was just going to come in and sit down and not do anything or say anything.
Chicks dug the White Sox on Saturday.
The South Siders hit four home runs in their 8-3 dismantling of the Tigers at Comerica Park. Tim Anderson stayed red-hot with a pair of long balls, Jose Abreu went deep in addition to his pair of doubles, and Daniel Palka made some interesting history with his long ball (see below).
We'll let our stat guru Chris Kamka take it from here.
Since their 10-29 start the White Sox are a respectable 6-4. Days at the plate like Saturday sure help.
For over two years, Charlie Tilson was starting to look like his own version of "Moonlight" Graham, the player made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams" because he played in one major league game and never got to bat.
The White Sox traded for Tilson just before the trade deadline passed in 2016. Two days later he made his big league debut with the White Sox in Detroit. He got a single in his first at-bat, but left the game with an injury and missed the rest of the season. Tilson also missed all of the 2017 season and his MLB future was starting to come into question.
Back healthy, Tilson started this season in Triple-A Charlotte and hit .248 in 39 games when he got called up to replace Leury Garcia, who was placed on the disabled list. On Thursday, Tilson returned to a big league field for the first time in more than 20 months. He went 0-for-3 in a loss to Baltimore.
Friday marked a return to the site of Tilson's big league debut and the injury that made it such a brief stint. Tilson has now played three big league games, over the course of nearly 21 months, and two of them have been in Detroit.
Tilson went 1-for-4, meaning both his hits are in Comerica Park. The White Sox lost 5-4 after giving up three runs in the bottom of the eighth.