White Sox

White Sox morning roundup


White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

With a value of 600 million -- up 14 percent from last year -- the White Sox are among the top 10 most valuable franchises in baseball, according to Forbes.

Terry Doyle was acquired from Minnesota after the Sox lost him to the Twins in December's Rule 5 Draft. He'll start 2012 at Triple-A Charlotte.

A bunch of hitters had big days against, of all people, Felix Hernandez. Alexei Ramirez, Brent Lillibridge and Kosuke Fukudome led a 13-run offensive attack.

Kenny Williams admitted Dayan Viciedo -- who missed Wednesday's game after having a tooth pulled -- is "uncomfortable" in left field, but he's hopeful the 23-year-old will acclimate himself to the position.

Jesse Crain's still dealing with an oblique injury. Something to worry about?

We rolled out our All-Chicago team for 1960-1969. In short, that was a hell of a decade for White Sox pitching.

Good stuff from South Side Sox: Jim takes a few national reports on Robin Ventura and tries to piece together the origins of the team's decision to hire him. And this is from Tuesday, but Fornelli's spring pitcher power poll has Hector Santiago, Brian Bruney and Dylan Axelrod locking down the three currently-open bullpen spots.

Around the division: Former White Sox outfielder Jason Bourgeois (for all of six games in 2008) may wind up as a backup in Kansas City, Greg Holland and Jonathan Broxton are the early replacements for Joakim Soria, Twins Daily's Nick Nelson analyzes Minnesota's center field situation, Chris Perez looks like he'll be with Cleveland on Opening Day and Tigers fifth starter candidate Andy Oliver was lit up by the Twins.

Why Royals pitcher Brad Keller hit Tim Anderson: Bat flip was 'over the top'

Why Royals pitcher Brad Keller hit Tim Anderson: Bat flip was 'over the top'

Brad Keller seems to be OK with being a villain in Chicago.

“I was on Chicago's villain list,” the Royals pitcher said during an appearance on The Charity Stripe podcast. “NBC Sports tweeted it. The list was LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Braun and me and one hockey player. I'm like, 'This is a pretty good list to be on.'”

Keller entered the collective Chicago sports consciousness when he intentionally hit Tim Anderson with a pitch last April, sparking a benches-clearing incident, a couple of suspensions and a resurgence in baseball’s ceaseless debate over unwritten rules and the culture war between old-school and new-school mentalities.

For White Sox fans long bereft of the meaningful baseball that typically stokes heated rivalries, Keller plunking one of the faces of the franchise — not only a strong presence in the community but a guy who since his best friend was killed has not stopped talking about how much fun he wants to have on the field — did the trick.

“It was like the first week of April. I'm not going to say a meaningless game because every game in the big leagues means something. But the 12th game of the season doesn't really define if you're going to make the playoffs or not,” Keller recounted. “This game, I was grinding. I was sucking this game. I was throwing really well, numbers-wise, but I think I was behind every single hitter. I was getting lucky, honestly. I was all over the place. I think I had five walks that game, too.

“Comes around the fourth inning, or whatever it is. Runner gets on second base. And I think the at-bat, he battled me for like nine pitches. It was like a long-ass AB, I remember. Basically, in my mind, I'm like, 'I'm not walking him.' Because he's fast, he can steal bases if he gets on. If there's a single, he's probably going to score from first. So I'm like, 'I'm not going to walk this guy.' So I throw a sinker in, and he turns on it, hits a home run.

“And how he acted afterwards, to me and my whole team, was just over the top. It's like, 'Bro, you hit a homer. Congrats.' This wasn't a Game 7 homer. This wasn't a playoff homer. This wasn't even a homer to win the game. Ultimately, we won the game, 3-2, in the long run, but that gets kind of lost in the whole transaction of everything. It just seemed like, at the time, it was an April home run. 'Why are you throwing your bat to the dugout or whatever?' We had beefs in the past, as far as our teams, and that was just like fuel on the fire, basically, is what it seemed like.

RELATED: Tim Anderson and the Royals stir up baseball's never-ending debate: 'You want him to not do that? Get him out'

“I was upset because I was grinding that day and I was already pissed off at myself, and then you pull some shit like that? It was like, 'All right, this is bullshit.' ... I come in, and I'm pissed, I'm hot. And I had other guys on the team like, 'Screw this guy,' basically. Like I said, we (the Royals) had beefs (with Anderson) in the past.

“So anyway, comes down to it. We ended up tying the game up. Comes around the sixth inning, and he had to know it was coming. He was leading off the sixth inning, and he was literally a foot from the dirt when I was on my second warm-up pitch. I've never seen anyone get out to the box that fast in my life.”

Being “over the top” in celebrating an accomplishment doesn’t really seem like the type of thing that warrants having a projectile thrown at you. But that’s what the old-school types think. Keller, it should be noted, is younger than Anderson.

Major League Baseball seems to be supportive of bat flips and celebrations and the like, spending a hefty sum on an advertising campaign trumpeting that style of behavior: “Let the kids play.” After all, baseball’s a game, and games are supposed to be fun.

But bad blood between division rivals must be thicker than any sea change in how a new generation of players is acting on the field.

Keller’s explanation of the event isn’t about to win him any fans on the South Side of Chicago, and he’ll likely stay on that list of villains, at least as long as Anderson remains a White Sox hero. After winning the big league batting title last season and being at the center of a young team on the rise, that could last a long while.

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Why White Sox starter Dylan Cease thinks he was 'very exposed' to coronavirus

Why White Sox starter Dylan Cease thinks he was 'very exposed' to coronavirus

For most of April, while baseball was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease was back home in Georgia, preparing for a possible baseball season but also bracing for what he felt was coming next.

The coronavirus very likely invaded the house where Cease was living. He was concerned it was only a matter of time before he became stricken with the disease as well.

“Everyday I was waiting for it,” Cease said on the White Sox Talk Podcast.

After spring training was canceled, Cease flew from Arizona to Georgia to stay at his brother’s place. About a week after he arrived, his brother’s girlfriend, who was living with them, became ill.

“She had a fever for like 17 straight days. For three weeks she was basically asleep all day," Cease said. "It probably took her a week-and-a-half, two weeks after that to start feeling more normal, but she’s good now. I wasn’t able to leave my place for three weeks to a month.”

How exposed was he?

“Very exposed,” Cease said.

The puzzling part is that when she went to get tested for COVID-19, the result came back negative.

“There was something funky with it,” Cease said. “She doesn’t think they did the right thing. They didn’t swab her nose. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t done correctly, because why else would she have a fever for three straight weeks? Her cousin is a doctor, and he said, ‘You got this, so don’t leave the house.’”

For days, Cease was concerned that at any moment he could develop symptoms and become sick with the virus.

“I was reading that usually within the first seven days you’ll know, so everyday I was telling myself, ‘OK, it’s less likely I’m going to get it, less likely, less likely,'" he said. "And once she was in the clear and then it was a week later and I still wasn’t sick, I was like 'All right, I’m either immune to it or she didn't have it,' but we’re pretty sure she had it.”

How did his brother’s girlfriend get sick? She’s a student, so maybe she was exposed to the virus at school.   

But Cease wonders if he caught COVID-19 on the way back to Georgia, was asymptomatic, and gave it to her after he arrived.

“It could have been from me. We don’t really know," he said. "I was traveling. I was just coming from Arizona. I was on a plane, at the airport. It could have been from me, but I didn’t have any symptoms or anything."

MORE: White Sox to pay employees in full through June as other teams institute cuts

Cease has not been tested for the virus or whether he has the antibodies. If there’s a baseball season, that will certainly change. MLB and the players union are discussing strict health and safety measures in the event baseball returns, with frequent testing among the players.

NBC Sports Chicago reported on Saturday the league and players are showing a willingness to negotiate in the hopes of getting a deal done for a baseball season in 2020.  

Cease is ready to return. He's also aware of what that could mean from an exposure standpoint.

“As a player, I think you have to embrace that you’re risking the chance of getting (the coronavirus). (You have to) minimize your exposure to the outside world as much as you can during the season," he said. "You can’t expect it to be 100 percent safe.

"We definitely want to play. Obviously, there’s business negotiations that have to go down. We really do want to be on the field when it’s all said and done. Hopefully they can figure it out, we can figure it out.”

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