White Sox

Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

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Soriano celebrates another walk-off win over Cardinals

Alfonso Soriano danced around late Tuesday night and got the Gatorade bucket filled with ice water dumped over his head.

Soriano had just smashed a two-out single off Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene. The ball trickled away in the 10th inning, scoring Tony Campana and giving the Cubs a 3-2 walk-off victory at Clark and Addison.

We need that kind of emotion and belief, Soriano said afterward, above the dance beats pumping from the clubhouse stereo. We got to celebrate when were winning, because thats the best part.

A blown save against the Cardinals last season prompted Carlos Zambrano to look in the direction of Carlos Marmols locker and deliver the We stinks! address.

No ones quite sure what the Cubs (6-12) are now, or what theyre going to become. But if the past two nights are any indication, its going to be unpredictable.

The last time the Cubs had back-to-back walk-off wins against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field was July 26-27, 1961, according to team historian Ed Hartig.

Its great, especially for a young ballclub, said Jeff Samardzija, who threw 6 23 scoreless innings that became a footnote. We know were going to be in a lot of these tight games.

We know were not going to bang the ball around the park. We just need to pitch well and play good defense and when we get those opportunities to score runs, we need to get them across.

This one took three hours and 21 minutes. The boos became the soundtrack as Marmol walked back to the dugout in the middle of the eighth inning.

They had just watched Matt Holliday lift Marmols 2-2 slider over the wall in center Campana thought it was close enough to make a jump for the go-ahead, two-out, two-run homer.

Manager Dale Sveum gave his closer a vote of confidence: Hell be right back out there tomorrow. And Bryan LaHair changed the subject in the ninth when he hit the teams first home run in nine games, a shot off left-hander Marc Rzepczynski that tied it at 2-2.

Soriano still hasnt homered yet, and on Tuesday snapped an 0-for-14 streak, and finally got his first extra-base hit of the season. Before the game, Sveum issued another vote of confidence and said he wouldnt drop Soriano in the order.

On a team thats looking to go young and inexpensive, Soriano is a symbol of the old way of doing business. Hes the 136 million man who enjoys being around the rookies.

It makes me young, Soriano said. I hang around with those guys, play with them, Im happy. I know that Im 36 years old, 11 years in the game, but with those guys, I feel like this is my first year in the big leagues, too. Im very happy that Im part of this team.

The Cardinals (11-7) wouldnt have made the playoffs and won the World Series last year if the Cubs had shown a little more fight and tightened up their game in St. Louis. Who knows where it will go from here?

(This) is an interesting little team with how we play and how we come to the park and work every day, Samardzija said. That starts up top. Dales been great since spring training with keeping our minds set on the right goal.

(Thats) to play the right way. What happens, the outcome of the game, is important, but its also about how you play the game and how it pans out for nine innings. In this case, it was 10, and we kept playing the whole game.

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.