White Sox

Royals' Brad Keller to White Sox fans: 'Give up' posting Tim Anderson bat flip

Royals' Brad Keller to White Sox fans: 'Give up' posting Tim Anderson bat flip

Tim Anderson's bat flip against the Kansas City Royals was undoubtedly one of the biggest moments of the White Sox season.

The guy who gave up the homer doesn't seem to agree.

As we found out in the aftermath, there was a lot more behind the bat flip than just celebrating a fourth-inning home run in April.

Royals pitcher Brad Keller plunked Anderson in retaliation, cranking up baseball's never-ending debate between old-school and new-school styles.

Anderson was ejected and suspended for what he called Keller after getting hit, turning the conversation to race and the dwindling number of black major leaguers.

The tragedies of Anderson's life played their own role in the ensuing discussions, too, with his quest to inject more fun into a game he called "boring" mirroring his mission to have more fun in his own life after his best friend was killed.

But Keller, who called the way Anderson celebrated "over the top" and described his in-game fury toward the bat flip, thinks the White Sox and their fans should stop celebrating a moment from a game the South Siders lost.

"I get tagged in like everything Tim Anderson or White Sox. White Sox fans have a fascination with tagging my name," Keller said during an appearance on The Charity Stripe podcast. "When it comes to (the originally scheduled date for) Opening Day this year, and obviously we didn't play, the White Sox tweeted out a thing that was, 'Since we're not playing the Royals, let's review our top five games against the Royals.' And the No. 1 game was the Tim Anderson game. And they lost.

"Everyone was like, 'How does it feel to be the No. 1 game?' And I'm like, 'Dude, we won the game. I don't get what you're talking about here. This isn't about me. We won the game.'"

RELATED: After saying he feels like 'today's Jackie Robinson' in SI interview, Tim Anderson says baseball needs change 'because the game is boring'

White Sox fans might be getting sick of hearing from Keller, who has quickly — and somewhat happily, it seems — attained villain status in Chicago. But he's sick of hearing from them, too, and has a request for White Sox Twitter.

"I get tagged in everything. Apparently (Anderson) did like a Q&A, and someone asked him how bad he wanted to hit a home run off me. And he wrote 'so bad.' And everyone tagged me and was like, 'He owns you!' And I was like, 'Oh my god, give it a rest.'

"And the thing is, they haven't given up on it. They keep posting the same video over and over and over. It happened a year ago. It didn't even happen at the end of the season, it happened at the beginning of the season. So much shit happened during the middle of the season, I don't get why you keep bringing up one moment over and over and over. Give up."

Keep in mind, of course, that harassing people online is a bad thing to do. Don't do it.

Keller explained that he was surprised he didn't get more verbal abuse at Guaranteed Rate Field after all the bad stuff he heard on social media. The reason? People rarely say the horrible things they say from behind a screen to someone's face. This is all a good reminder that those types of things shouldn't be directed at someone in any venue.

Keller, for what it's worth, should also know it's not right to intentionally throw a projectile at someone to punish them for celebrating.

But this rivalry isn't likely to die anytime soon. Anderson had his own response after seeing Keller's thoughts Tuesday:

Keller's not likely to get his wish to stop seeing Anderson's bat flip on social media. As explained, it was a big moment of the 2019 season for a host of reasons. Him serving up a home run was just part of the story.

Here's hoping that the online behavior remains respectful, the rivalry stays heated on the field (without anyone getting hurt) and that Anderson keeps being Anderson and continues to bring more highlight-reel fun to the South Side.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

White Sox Insider Notes: Andrew Vaughn expands versatility at third base

White Sox Insider Notes: Andrew Vaughn expands versatility at third base

It’s not uncommon for baseball players to be seen working out at positions they usually don’t play in games. Heck, Jose Abreu somewhat regularly takes groundballs at shortstop.

But in the case of Andrew Vaughn – the White Sox’s No. 3 overall draft pick in 2019 – working out at third base this week, there might be something there. In fact, when Rick Renteria was asked if third base is a position Vaughn can handle, the manager immediately said, “I do.”

“He's got really good feet, his exchange is very good,” Renteria said. “He's got a very good arm. He has all the makings of being able to play that position.”

Someone jumping to major conclusions might suggest that the White Sox are grooming Vaughn to play third base this season in case Yoan Moncada, who is still absent from camp, can’t. While Vaughn having a contribution in 2020 can’t be completely ruled out, it’s important to remember that he didn’t play above High-A ball last season and isn’t being helped by the lack of a minor league season this year. He’s simply one of the high-profile prospects the White Sox are still trying to develop in camp, while also preparing for a regular season.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

“When we got (back to Chicago), the work in terms of trying to get him to have the ability to do a little bit more has come into play,” Renteria said. “So we put him over there with an understanding that we'd continue to work and be mindful obviously of what he's capable of doing. There are several of us that believe he's capable of moving around.”

Ultimately, that’s what this is about. Many within the organization believe Vaughn can be more than a first baseman and the White Sox are using this opportunity to increase his versatility.

“The worst-case scenario would be him just not doing anything,” Renteria said. “Any time you're around baseball, any time you're around the highest level of players that exist in the game, any time you're following routines, things that are helping you learn something about your skill set, it's always a plus.”

It may just be a short three-week period, but the White Sox are trying to maximize Vaughn’s time at Guaranteed Rate Field, knowing developmental time could be limited the rest of 2020. He’s very much in the team’s plans, perhaps even in the short term.

“I look at him as a baseball player. He is a young man that is very bright and that I believe would be able to make adjustments,” Renteria said. “Would anybody say he'll go hiccup free? No. But certainly don't have any lack of confidence in his ability to make a transition should he need to do it. Bare minimum, we allow him to continue to expand his flexibility and value to a ballclub.”

Moncada, Kopech updates

Not much has changed with the two high-profile players that came over in the Chris Sale trade. Neither Moncada or Michael Kopech are currently with the team in camp, but there is some hope that Moncada won’t miss a ton of time.

“Obviously Moncada will be back soon,” pitcher Lucas Giolito said during his Zoom call with reporters Wednesday.

The White Sox haven’t given an official reason for Moncada’s absence, although two unnamed players tested positive for COVID-19 during last week’s intake. Kopech is dealing with a personal issue.

“It's a fluid situation and we'll deal with it as it arises, so I can't really give you any update,” Renteria said about Kopech. “Just to know that we have the ability to have him return with us.”

First intrasquad game plan

Unlike other teams that jumped right into intrasquad games, the White Sox have eased into camp slowly, showing some patience. But that changes Thursday with the first game scheduled for 1:10 p.m. The White Sox will play four innings and the scheduled pitchers include: Steve Cishek, Aaron Bummer, Ross Detwiler, Carson Fulmer and Drew Anderson, although Renteria teased some sort of surprise.

“We got a few sides and then there's a couple guys that we might be able to add,” he said. “That may be your little surprise piece for tomorrow.”

Know this: it will be the most anticipated intrasquad game in White Sox history.



Chicago White Sox fans can order cardboard cutouts to sit in stands

Chicago White Sox fans can order cardboard cutouts to sit in stands

Diehard White Sox fans will have a new way to show their South Side pride this season.

The team announced on Wednesday that 1,500 fans will be allowed to purchase a cardboard cutout of themselves to “sit” in the stands during Sox home games.

The cutouts cost $49, with net proceeds benefiting White Sox charities. All fans need to do is submit their payment along with a photo and their contact information, and the White Sox will take care of the rest.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest White Sox news and analysis.

If you’re unsure what makes a great cardboard cutout photo, don’t worry, the team has you covered. They published a “FANtastic Faces” submission guide to help snap the perfect pic.

Other teams, like the Oakland A’s have launched similar campaigns. And cardboard cutouts have become a staple in Korean baseball as well.

Only question now: will cardboard vendors come around with cardboard hotdogs for those cardboard cutouts?

RELATED: Gio Gonzalez still hoping to throw 'at least one pitch' for White Sox