White Sox

White Sox relievers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton recreate notorious Burr-Hamilton duel

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@CHUCKGARFIEN

White Sox relievers Ryan Burr and Ian Hamilton recreate notorious Burr-Hamilton duel

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s been 215 years since Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton held their famous duel in Weehawken, N.J. Their long and bitter rivalry ended with Burr famously shooting Hamilton to his death.

But Sunday, the history between these two enemies was re-written, in of all places, the spring training clubhouse of the Chicago White Sox, where a modern-day version of Burr and Hamilton mended fences, settled their differences and became friends in a show of unity.

“Today we rewrote history," White Sox pitcher Ryan Burr said. "We went back in time and revisited the duel and changed the outcome a little bit."

“We came together, it was all about unity at the end," fellow White Sox pitcher Ian Hamilton said. "That’s basically the moral of the story. Don’t fight each other. Come together."

The two relievers with the famous last names have been linked together since becoming teammates with the White Sox Class-A team in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 2017. Sunday, their job was to give the White Sox players, coaches, trainers and front office staff a lesson in U.S. history — and laughter.

Burr and Hamilton surprised everyone by walking into the clubhouse dressed as their namesakes, donning colonial era costumes.

“It was the Party City version of the closest we could find,” Hamilton said.

Burr put together a rough script for both of them to use. They each had a few talking points they wanted to convey to their teammates, many of whom had never heard the story and were probably wondering why Burr and Hamilton looked like they just came from a costume party.

“Nothing too serious, but we kind of winged it,” said Burr, who admitted that he first had to overcome a paralyzing bout of stage fright.

“I was more nervous than maybe I was in my major league debut,” Burr said. “I hate talking in front of people. I don’t know why. It gets me sometimes. I’m glad it’s over.”

Fortunately, this Burr had a friend he could count on in Hamilton.

“He was nervous. He was about to throw up before we were doing it,” Hamilton said. “I was telling him, ‘chill, chill, chill.’ It all ended up good. Lots of laughs.”

How do these two baseball players describe the events of that notorious duel from 1804?

“Hamilton and Burr were political rivals,” Burr explained. “Hamilton was talking smack about him throughout his political career and I think Aaron Burr eventually just had enough and said, you know what, let’s do something in the streets of New Jersey. It became a duel and he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.”

“I survived for a little bit,” said Hamilton, still in character.

How long did you survive?

“Long enough to go to New York, and then I died.”

“Thanks Wikipedia,” added Burr.

For the record, Burr and Hamilton cannot take credit for this brilliant idea of spring training comedy and unity.

“It came from the higher levels of this organization. We’ll leave it at that for now,” Burr admitted. “They didn’t make us. They just hinted that it would be something that would be good for the team and the clubhouse. There was a gentle push towards doing a skit. We had fun. That’s all that matters.”

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Dane Dunning undergoes Tommy John surgery as another White Sox prospect goes on the shelf

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USA TODAY

Dane Dunning undergoes Tommy John surgery as another White Sox prospect goes on the shelf

Another highly rated White Sox prospect will spend much of the next year in recovery mode.

Dane Dunning underwent Tommy John surgery Monday, the team told reporters in Arizona, pairing him with Michael Kopech as pitching prospects in recovery mode.

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Dunning was shut down last June because of a forearm issue, the White Sox hoping to avoid Tommy John at that time. He wasn't invited to big league camp this spring, with general manager Rick Hahn explaining that decision away as a way to ease Dunning into the 2019 campaign. But Dunning again experienced forearm discomfort during camp, and Hahn said last week that all options were on the table, including the Tommy John surgery that came Monday.

Dunning will presumably go through the standard recovery process following the surgery, which lasts many months. Kopech, the organization's top-rated pitching prospect, underwent the procedure not long after making his major league debut in late August, and he will not pitch in 2019.

The surgery is a tough turn of events for Dunning, who was putting together a terrific 2018 campaign when he was shut down last summer. He had a 2.71 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 86.1 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. Hahn spoke glowingly of Dunning, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 80 prospect in the game, as someone who could've competed for a spot in the major league rotation this spring, if not for the injury.

Dunning becomes just the latest White Sox prospect to have a significant injury in the last couple seasons. Third baseman Jake Burger, the team's first-round pick in the 2017 draft, suffered a pair of Achilles tears last year and missed the entire season. Kopech will not pitch again until 2020 while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Springtime injuries delayed the 2018 debuts of both pitcher Alec Hansen and outfielder Luis Robert until the summer. Outfielder Micker Adolfo is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, as well. Outfielder Luis Basabe suffered a broken bone in his hand this spring.

Individually, these injuries do little to dim the bright futures of the players. Even with time off to recover, their ceilings remain high. But both individually and collectively, they do figure to affect the timeline of the White Sox ongoing rebuilding project, thanks to missed developmental time. Enough players experiencing those delays on their path to the majors can add up to the team's planned contention window perhaps opening later than initially hoped.

 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Will this be a breakout season for Yoan Moncada?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Will this be a breakout season for Yoan Moncada?

Chuck Garfien and Chris Kamka come to you from spring training where they discuss if 2019 will be a breakout season for Moncada (1:20).

Chuck spoke about Moncada with Jose Abreu (4:00), Yonder Alonso (7:20), and hitting coach Todd Steverson (11:50). Kamka provides a whole bunch of Moncada stats throughout the podcast. Chuck and Chris also discuss Carlos Rodon being named the Opening Day starter (20:30) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast

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