White Sox

Playoffs kick off with conference battle

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Playoffs kick off with conference battle

By Tashara Parker

CSNChicago.com Contributor

Its that time again: The Illinois High School Football Playoffs will kick off all across Illinois this weekend and there is no better way to get a good dose of Illinois culture than to watch a game or two.

Theres only one thought on many of the teams mind and thats taking it deep into the playoffs and hopefully making it to the state championship game this year.

Not only will the matchups be exciting, but we may see teams come up with plays that weve never seen before. Theres obviously a finality to the postseason, so coaches and players are going to give it all they got to make each game worthwhile.

The question remains, will the greater Chicago-area produce a state championship high school football team in 2012?

Perhaps the best chances reside to the west, south, and northwest suburbs in communities where the high school is the talk of the town.

The truth of the matter is no one really knows how things will unfold in high school football, its a matter of who makes the least mistakes offensively and puts up the most points during the game.

One predictable thing about the postseason is that its unpredictable and the first weekend of the playoffs may prove to be just that.

Class 8A will see the most action tonight, theyll have 10 games kicking off with four ranked teams looking to fight for a chance to see round two. Perhaps the most exciting of the four is the Bolingbrook-Sandburg (Raiders-Eagles) game.

Both teams are 7-2 and are familiar opponents to one another. The Eagles took on the Raiders just three weeks ago and beat them out 13-6 so, were sure the Raiders are looking for revenge tonight.

Not only are they seeking a win, but they have some renewed confidence with the hopeful return of their starting QB Aaron Bailey, who has been out since a Week 6 lost against Lincoln-Way East.

Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow tells MySurburbanLife.com, he doesnt know if Bailey will be ready today, tomorrow or next week.

Class 7A will have nine teams facing elimination this Friday night, followed by class 6A who will have eight teams looking to advance past the first round.

One thing for sure is gridiron greatness will be renewed this weekend and many teams are looking to advance to the most important weekend of this football season, Nov. 24-25.

Let the games begin!

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Manny Machado Mania

Manny Machado to the White Sox?? It's been the dream for many White Sox fans for months.

With Machado in town to the play the White Sox, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss the White Sox chances of signing the soon-to-be-free agent.

Garfien also talks with Nicky Delmonico who played with Machado and fellow free agent to be Bryce Harper on the U.S.A. 18-under national team.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

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USA TODAY

Rick Renteria issues another benching after Welington Castillo doesn't hustle on popup

One thing you better do if you play for Rick Renteria is run to first base.

Yet again, Renteria benched one of his players Monday for the sin of not hustling down the line.

Welington Castillo, a veteran, not a developing player in need of ample “learning experiences,” popped up to first base with two runners on and nobody out in the sixth inning of Monday’s eventual 3-2 loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles. He did not run down to first, instead staying at home plate.

So when the inning ended and the White Sox took the field, Castillo stayed in the dugout.

Ricky’s boys don’t quit, or so the slogan goes. But what happens when a player doesn’t live up to that mantra? What happens when they don’t play their absolute hardest for all 27 outs, as the T-shirts preach? This is what happens. A benching.

“It was towering fly ball in the infield at first, probably had 15, 20 seconds of hangtime,” Renteria explained after the game. “I assumed the dropped ball. It has occurred. He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way.

“That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest, it truly is. Maybe he was just frustrated in that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all. And you guys have heard me talk to all the guys about at least giving an opportunity to move in that particular direction.

“Everybody says, ‘Well, 99 out of (100) times he’s going to catch that ball.’ And then that one time that he doesn’t, what would I do if the ball had been dropped? Would it have made it easier to pull him? Well, it was just as easy because you expect not the best, but the worst.

“That is uncharacteristic of that young man. I had a quick conversation with him on the bench, and he knew and that was it.”

It might seem a little overdramatic, a little nutty, even, to sit down a veteran catcher brought in this offseason to provide some offense and to do it in a one-run game. But this rebuild is about more than just waiting around for the minor league talent to make its way to the South Side. It’s about developing an organizational culture, too. And Renteria feels that if he lets this kind of thing slide at the big league level, that won’t send the right message to those precious prospects who will one day fill out this lineup.

“There’s one way to do it, you get your action, you start moving toward that direction in which you’ve got to go,” Renteria said. “What would’ve happened if everybody’s watching it — and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, (but also for) everybody in the minor leagues — and they’re saying, ‘Well, at the top, they said they’re going to do this and then they don’t do it.’

“It’s really simple. And people might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this, do that so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened in 2018. Avisail Garcia was taken out of a game during spring training for not giving maximum effort. Leury Garcia was removed from a game earlier this month for not busting it down the first-base line on a weak grounder that went right to the first baseman.

It’s become a somewhat common tactic for Renteria, and while it might strike some as taking things a little too seriously, what good is this developmental season if a culture goes undeveloped? The White Sox have placed their bright future, in part, in Renteria’s hands, and they’ve talked glowingly about how the players have bought into his style and how the team played last season under his leadership.

If Renteria truly is the right man for the rebuild, things like this are how he’s going to establish his culture. And it will, he hopes, impact how all those prospects play when they’re no longer prospects and the White Sox are contending for championships.