White Sox

Random News of the Day: Tricks of the trades


Random News of the Day: Tricks of the trades

Thursday, July 29, 2010
11:16 AM

By Joe Collins

I can't help injecting sports references into everyday life. It's a lost cause. I'm beyond help. For instance, take my upcoming wedding: I've already compared the invite list to picking seeds in the NCAA basketball tournament. There are the No. 1 & No. 2 seeds (wedding party), the No. 3's, No. 4's (close friends) and then there are the questionable No. 14 seeds that you hardly ever talk to...but feel obligated to invite because of family (conference) connections.

I also like people who take the MLB trading deadline to exciting new heights. I remember during one particular late July afternoon at my first TV job, one of our sports anchors ridiculed a photographer by saying, "we're going to trade you to a station in Rockford for two teleprompters and an intern to be named later. We laughed and laughed...until he ended up in human resources. Oh well.

The mouth-breathers out there have debated ad nauseum for weeks now on which White Sox and Cubs couldshould be expendable and who should be brought here in return. I think it's time to liven up the MLB trade stew with a little spice called randomness:

"Go Cubs Go" to the state of New Jersey for three jukebox songs and cash: I love what the Ricketts family has done so far. Their proactive stance on changing the ballpark experience has been well documented and the results (at-bat music, food selections...etc.) have surfaced. The on-field improvements will come too, I suppose. And, I love singersongwriter Steve Goodman. His "City Of New Orleans" is one of the best red, white and blue Americana songs of all time. I'm just not the biggest fan of his "Go Cubs Go." To me, it's too much 80's sitcom opening credits and not enough razor's edge. I'm probably going to be in the extreme minority on this, but how about we ship this song to a New Jersey jukebox for Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" and a few others? Like the new at-bat music that has surfaced at Wrigley, wouldn't this give the ballpark more of an edge?13 of Barack Obama's White Sox loyalty to the Nationals for Adam Dunn: The White Sox get a left-handed bat without giving up Daniel Hudson or any of the marquee prospects. And Washington gets a guy who actually wears a Nationals cap every now and then. If the Nats want to make a serious run at being relevant in their own back yard, then they have to get the Commander In Chief on board (you know...a few autograph signings, a few charity functions here and there, some banners around the ballpark...etc). And the Sox still retain a 23 majority on Barack's loyalty to the South Side. This is a win-win, folks.Passive Cubs fans to Pittsburgh for Primanti Brothers sandwiches: Every team has a group of passive fans. You know, the ones that come in the third inning, leave after the seventh inning stretch and check their cell phones 20 times in-between. For some reason, the Dodgers and Cubs fans get picked on about this the most. It is widely speculated that a good amount of Cubs fans just go to Wrigley "for the atmosphere." That's fine, I guess. But as a Cubs fan, I wouldn't mind these fans be replaced by, not only by fans who cheer the subtleties of the game itself (moving a runner into scoring position...etc), but with some of the best sandwiches in America. Nothing says fun like grilled meat, cole slaw, tomato and french fries between two pieces of Italian bread. In return, Pittsburgh gets a group of fans to help boost sagging attendance numbers. (Random tangent: if any team needed a boost in attendance, it's the Pirates. They have, arguably, the best ballpark in America. I feel for these guys.)U.S. Cellular Fields Go Go Sox Grille, Burger Barn, South Side Hitmen Grille, and Tex Mex concession stands for Prince Fielder: On the White Sox web site, the words endless supply of meats highlight the concession stand category. Mmmm. That place is amazing, you know? Unfortunately, in order to get the lucrative lefty bat, the White Sox are going to have to give up the meat of their ballpark food lineup for, well, someone to help the meat of their batting lineup. The irony in all of this is that Fielder is a strict vegetarian. A pro-veggie atmosphere on the South Side would have to be a given to make the trade fly. I cant begin to imagine the horror for herbivore Prince Fielder watching grown men in sausage suits run around his backyard every home gamein Milwaukee no less. Ted Lilly and Rod Blagojevich to the Yankees for David Robertson, Slade Heathcott and cash: The Yankees get their rotation insurance in Lilly, and they also get Blago-- a guy with a personality that is more suited for the Big Apple. It also gives Blago a second chance on Celebrity Apprentice and a huge break on transportation costs. The Cubs get a serviceable bullpen guy in Robertson, their outfielder of the future in Heathcott and cash to help build a larger home clubhouse. Do it. DO IT!We can dream, can't we?

Or something like that.

Aaron Bummer latest to join big White Sox contingent on injured list

Aaron Bummer latest to join big White Sox contingent on injured list

In the last eight days, the White Sox have put four players on the injured list.

Aaron Bummer, arguably the team's best and most important relief pitcher, became the latest to join the sizable contingent of banged-up South Siders when the team sent him to the 10-day injured list Saturday morning with a biceps strain.

Bummer departed Friday night's game against the Cleveland Indians with biceps soreness after noticing something was amiss when he threw a pitch in the seventh inning. That pitch was immediately preceded by a throwing error, Bummer spiking a throw to first base into the ground and putting two men on base with two outs. Bummer got a visit from the trainer and left shortly thereafter.

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The 26-year-old lefty emerged as a key cog in the White Sox bullpen with an excellent 2019 campaign, posting a 2.13 ERA in 67.2 innings of work. He's off to a similarly terrific start this season, with a 1.23 ERA in 7.1 innings.

The White Sox added Bummer to the group of young players they've locked up with long-term contracts in the last few seasons, and after getting that deal in spring training, he's under team control through the 2026 season.

Without him, manager Rick Renteria will have to turn to other options for high-leverage situations. Closer Alex Colomé, as well as Evan Marshall and Jimmy Cordero, have been strong in continuing their late-inning roles from a season ago. Rookie Codi Heuer and veteran Ross Detwiler have also been mighty impressive as part of a generally strong White Sox relief corps so far this season, and both could see more action in higher leverage spots.

Bummer's injury adds to a lengthy list for the White Sox. The team has 40 percent of its Opening Day starting rotation on the injured list along with its starting middle infield and top relief arm.

The injury updates from general manager Rick Hahn earlier this week were relatively positive, and none of the current injuries — aside from that of young pitcher Jimmy Lambert — seem to be of the long-term variety. However, in a season such as this one, which is already more than 23 percent over and done with, even missing the minimum 10 days of an injured-list stay is akin to missing a month during a normal campaign.

RELATED: White Sox in the thick of it as AL Central race with Indians, Twins heats up

Per Hahn, injured starting pitchers Carlos Rodón and Reynaldo López, both on the IL with shoulder soreness, could be back in the next few weeks. Shortstop Tim Anderson, put on the injured list last weekend with a groin strain, is expected back when his 10 days are up in the coming days. Second baseman Nick Madrigal, whose Tuesday-night shoulder separation looked like it could have been something significantly worse, could be back in action in just a couple weeks. And designated hitter Edwin Encarnación, who also left Tuesday night's game early, missed an IL trip altogether, even though he remains out of the lineup for a fourth straight day with SC joint inflammation.

And now Bummer. It's a long list of maladies for these White Sox, worrisome in any scenario but perhaps more costly in a short season in which numerous players talked about staying healthy as a hopeful competitive advantage. But the White Sox are certainly not the only major league team bitten by the injury bug through the first couple weeks of this most unusual season, the months-long layoff and a brief ramp-up period before Opening Day figuring to have something to do with that.

The White Sox, expectedly, will continue to soldier on with pro sports teams' favorite mentality: next man up. The team called on a pair of arms from its alternate training site in Schaumburg, bringing local favorite and 2016 first-round draft pick Zack Burdi to the major leagues, along with Drew Anderson. The bullpen churn also saw the White Sox designate Brady Lail for assignment Saturday morning.


How the Blackhawks upset the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers

How the Blackhawks upset the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers

There was a lot the Western Conference's No. 12 seeded Blackhawks did right to upset the West's No. 5 seeded home ice Oilers in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Here's some observations:

Greasy goals

There was a common theme for a lot of the goals the Hawks scored against the Oilers, they were hard-earned and a lot of them were deflected into the Oilers' net. Five of the Blackhawks' 16 goals in the series came off deflections.

Matthew Highmore had a tip-in late in Game 3 to set the table for the 4-3 comeback victory, then scored the same way to put the Hawks ahead 2-1 in the first period of Game 4. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had a Connor Murphy shot deflect off his shin pad for the game-winning goal in Game 3 with 1:16 remaining in regulation.

Throughout the series, the forwards got the puck to the D-men in the offensive zone and got to the front of the net to create a screen or try for a tip-in. The formula constantly worked for the Hawks and they need to keep at it for as long as they're in the postseason.

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Keeping McDavid and Draisaitl in check

Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid had the first and second most points in the NHL before the pause, respectively.

Against the Blackhawks in the qualifying round, they had a combined 15 points (five goals, four assists for McDavid; and three goals, three assists for Draisaitl), which may not read like an accomplishment, but considering the uncanny offensive talent the two possess, the Hawks definitely succeeded in limiting their chances and keeping them from reaching their full level of production or potential in the series.

Related: More hard-earned goals and a killer PK advance Blackhawks to Round One

Coach Jeremy Colliton and his Hawks definitely got the best of McDavid and Draisaitl when they were the home team and had last change in Games 3 and 4. Colliton often put Toews' line against McDavid's — as well as the Blackhawks' fourth line with center David Kamp occasionally. 

Toews and his line were able to play solid defense against McDavid and the other Edmonton combos they faced. The Blackhawks captain was also able to help the Hawks hang onto the puck, winning 55.34% of the faceoffs he took in the series. McDavid won 43.1% of his draws in the qualifying round.

The PK

The Hawks went 12-for-17 on the penalty kill, including 5-for-5 in Game 4, in the play-in series against the Oilers. Chicago only allowing Edmonton five power-play goals in the entire series is pretty impressive as the Oilers touted the best power-play in the league during the regular season.

Maintaining a strong PK would benefit the Hawks in Round One, but so would staying out of the box to avoid an unfavorable momentum swing.

Captain seriously good

Toews had a monster series, resembling his former 2010 Conn Smythe-winning self in how he was able to take over some of the games in the qualifying round against top players like McDavid and Draisaitl.

In addition to being able to limit McDavid and win a majority of his draws, Toews had seven points (four goals, three assists) in the series. 

The three-time Stanley Cup champ had two two-goal games (Game 1 and Game 3) in the series and won a battle behind the net to get rookie Dominik Kubalik the puck in front for the series-clinching goal in Game 4.

The Crow

After missing the first 12 days of the Hawks' Phase 3 training camp after recovering from COVID-19, Crawford progressed into looking like the two-time Stanley Cup champion goalie he is and appears to have plenty of quality hockey left in the tank.

After allowing 13 total goals in the first three games of the series, Crawford played his best contest on Friday, saving 43 of 45 Oilers shots for the win. It definitely looks like he's now in postseason form.

Young guns

The Blackhawks younger players really stepped up in the qualifying round series. After Jonathan Toews, Kirby Dach was arguably the most consistently good Hawk.

Dach, 19, was only held off the scoresheet in Game 4 after logging a three-game point streak with four assists to start the series. He became the first Blackhawks rookie to score a point in his first three playoff games since Eddie Olczyk in 1985.

Kubalik, 24, set a new Blackhawks record for rookie points in a playoff game with his five-point performance in Game 1, scoring two power-play goals and picking up three assists. Steve Larmer held the previous record. Larmer had four points (one goal, three assists) in Game 2 of the 1983 Division Finals. Larmer went on to win the Calder Trophy in 1983.

Kubalik also became the first player to record five points in his postseason debut in NHL history. 

Highmore, 24, put the Hawks ahead 2-1 at 7:56 of the first period of Game 4 after tipping in a Duncan Keith shot from in front of the net. It was the second straight game Highmore scored off a deflection. In Game 3, he tied the game 3-3 at 14:13 of the third period, deflecting a shot from defenseman Slater Koekkoek past Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen and setting the table for Toews to complete the 4-3 comeback victory.