White Sox

Wrapping up day 2 of SoxFest

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Wrapping up day 2 of SoxFest

From SoxFest on Saturday:

Adam Dunn is ready to move on from his disastrous 2011 season, reports Chuck Garfien. It's not something he wants to talk about anymore, and he actually wasn't asked about it as much in his seminar appearance Saturday -- most fans concentrated on telling Dunn how much they supported him in addition to asking questions about his offseason regimen.

Gordon Beckham is part of the crew that includes Dunn -- and Alex Rios -- that need to have bounce-back years for the White Sox to contend, by most accounts. But Beckham says he's not going to entertain those thoughts, thus avoiding putting any added pressure on himself.

One guy who hardly needs a bounce-back year is Brent Lillibridge, who hopes to parlay his growth in 2011 into a successful 2012 and, eventually, a starting role.

It's new to Jeff Manto to be in a market in which position coaches are sought out by the fans and media. The new White Sox hitting coach spoke to CSN about that "unusual" aspect to the job, as well as the approach he's going to take to Dunn, Rios, and the rest of the team.

In a way, Kenny Williams actually welcomed the smattering of boos that greeted him during Friday's opening ceremonies, as he notes the last two times he was jeered at SoxFest -- 2004 and 2007 -- the Sox made the playoffs the next season.

Robin Ventura participated in spring training as a player for 17 seasons, but come thing spring, he'll have to coordinate his first one as a manager. Lucky for him, he has a few coaching veterans on his staff who will be instrumental in having everything run smoothly.

Ventura mentioned during a seminar that he's not going to be afraid to sit a player down, no matter who they are or what they're making. He also mentioned that he won't treat everyone the same -- like Paul Konerko vs., say, Gregory Infante -- but he will try to treat everyone fairly.

Brent Morel told CSN he was too concerned with making contact during most of 2011, but in September, he concentrating on being more selective and driving the ball. That tweak in his approach produced eight home runs and 15 walks, for what it's worth.

Rick Hahn on the perception the White Sox don't like on-base percentage: "Yeah, it's like we don't like puppy dogs, chocolate and Christmas. Everybody likes those things." Hahn also joined Buddy Bell, Doug Laumann and Nick Capra in discussing the state of the White Sox farm system, which Larry has some thoughts on after looking at Baseball America's prospect handbook.

Don Cooper doesn't like to read too much into 7 23 innings of work, but Addison Reed was impressive enough in that cup of coffee last season that Coop has him as a lock to be in the 2012 bullpen.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

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NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

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USA TODAY

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


 

As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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