White Sox

White Sox seek first winning April since 2009

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White Sox seek first winning April since 2009

The White Sox aim to put their recent miserable, cold and slow starts in the past this season.

Much of the talk at SoxFest last weekend surrounded the team’s hope for a strong opening month. The White Sox haven’t played above .500 ball through the end of April since 2009. Though a good April could convince fans tired of the team’s losing ways to attend more games, general manager Rick Hahn said he’s more concerned with wins and losses. En route to their third consecutive losing campaign, the 2015 White Sox opened with a thud. They lost 11 of their first 19 contests and trailed eventual World Series winners Kansas City by 5 1/2 games.

“I don’t look at it from an attendance standpoint, I look at it from a standings and momentum standpoint,” Hahn said. “I think it’s extremely important that Robin (Ventura) and I, Kenny (Williams), Jerry (Reinsdorf), all of us talk about this, in terms of from the first day of spring training setting the tone about the importance of accomplishing what we want and what our goals are on and off the field, which will then translate into a better start at the start of the year. So it’s something that we’ve targeted, but it’s important for every club to get off to a good start. I don’t view it as any more important than in years past, but it’s a priority, no doubt.”

[MORE WHITE SOX: How Carson Fulmer will force White Sox hand]

A strong start won’t be easy.

The White Sox play 16 of 26 games on the road, including a four-game series at the Oakland A’s to start the season. Over the past three seasons, the White Sox are just 95-148 (.391) away from U.S. Cellular Field.

Poor March/April play has become the norm of late on the South Side. The team went 14-15 in 2014, 10-15 in 2013, 11-11 in 2012, 10-18 in 2011 and 9-14 in 2010. While a slow April doesn’t doom a team’s chances, it can make all the difference. One change Ventura talked about at SoxFest is potentially playing the team’s starters longer in spring training so they could get accustomed to one another. The 2016 White Sox will feature an entirely new infield, save for Jose Abreu at first.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

While Hahn isn’t worried about attendance, pitcher Chris Sale hopes for a byproduct of increased numbers of fans.

“I do think (a strong start is) important,” Sale said. “I don’t think it’s everything, but I would say that if you’re starting off on the right foot, you get a good taste in your mouth, fans are getting excited. I think that’s huge too. When there are people at the stadium, and its loud and rocking and there’s an atmosphere, there’s no doubt in my mind or anybody else’s mind that the players feel that. That’s an energy you can’t replicate otherwise. Hopefully we do that and we can get that support.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list