White Sox

White Sox Talk Podcast: How COVID-19 directly impacted pitcher Steve Cishek

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USA Today

White Sox Talk Podcast: How COVID-19 directly impacted pitcher Steve Cishek

Host Chuck Garfien is joined by one of the newer White Sox players, Steve Cishek as they discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his family who work in the medical field and how he's adjusting to life without baseball.

(1:50) - How Cishek's family has been on the front lines against COVID-19

(9:20) - Difficulties of leaving his family if baseball tried to start right now

(11:55) - Before everyone was sent home, Cishek was having a strong Spring training

(13:50) - Cishek's thoughts on what baseball could look like once they start playing games

(18:00) - Cishek on his mother's drive to help people during this tough time

(20:00) - Importance of putting his family's safety first

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Governor J.B. Pritzker hopeful White Sox, Cubs will be hosting games come July

Governor J.B. Pritzker hopeful White Sox, Cubs will be hosting games come July

Don't expect to be able to buy a ticket for a Fourth of July game at Guaranteed Rate Field or Wrigley Field. But the leader of our state is hopeful that baseball will return to the Land of Lincoln by July.

"I'm anxious, starting with baseball, to get baseball up and running again," Governor J.B. Pritzker said during his daily press conference Wednesday, "and I'm hopeful we will be able to do that going into July."

That's music to the ears of baseball fans who were fearful that even with a deal between Major League Baseball and the players' union to begin a shortened 2020 season during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the state might have had measures in place that could have prevented the White Sox and Cubs from playing home games in their ballparks.

The idea of games in early July matches the league's proposed format for a 2020 season that includes a second round of spring training beginning in the middle of next month, with Opening Day following in the first few days of July.

RELATED: MLB dips into NFL playbook with proposal – here’s why it probably won’t work

Pritzker did mention the caveat that Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City of Chicago are able to enact "more stringent" measures when it comes to sporting events. But with fans not expected to be allowed to attend games, at least at the season's outset, the mass gatherings that make for a higher risk of spreading the coronavirus would be limited to the players and staff, who the league plans on testing frequently.

"The state is the one that sets the parameters for any play that might exist in the state, and then the City of Chicago has the ability to be more stringent than the state," Pritzker said Wednesday. "I am as anxious as I think many people are to get our sports up and running again. The problem is we can't put spectators in the stands today. There's just no way to do that safely, according to the doctors.

"What the leagues have asked (for) is not for that. What they've asked (for) is the ability to run games, whether we're talking about hockey or baseball or football. At this moment, they're asking for the ability to run games, televised with no spectators. Even that, as you can imagine, two teams with all of the surrounding people who work for the team involved, it's a lot of people. So we've worked with them. They've actually come up with reasonably good plans, each one of the leagues."

With governors across the country indicating that pro sports will be welcomed back to their states in the months ahead, it doesn't appear that preventative measures imposed by governments will be among the bigger threats to getting a season off the ground. Instead, the continued squabbling between the league and the union now seems to present the highest hurdle to clear on the path to a 2020 campaign.

The league made an economic proposal to the union Tuesday, one that left the union "extremely disappointed." And along with their financial complaints, the union added they were far apart from the league on the proposed health-and-safety measures, too.

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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.

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