White Sox

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Word on the Street: Ozzie's fashion statement

Friday, April 1, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Ozzie sporting a new look?

Ozzie Guillen showed up to the postgame press conference with a new wardrobe, a shirt that read "Ozzie mows Wrigley Field," complete with a photo of the White Sox manager mowing the lawn at the Cubs' home field. (CSNChicago.com)

Rodman in the Hall of Fame?

The Pistons honored Dennis Rodman by retiring his No. 10 Friday night, but a bigger honor awaits Monday.

A Pistons source confirms that the NBA will announce that Rodman is part of the 2011 class of Hall of Fame inductees.

Rodman didn't speak much on the topic of the Hall of Fame during a 20-minute press conference Friday evening, deflecting one question about it by saying he had a lot going on. But he did touch on several other topics and became very emotional at times. (mlive.com)Holliday to undergo appendectomy

The St. Louis Cardinals will have to play without another major contributor for a while this season. Just a day after hitting a solo home run in the season opener, Matt Holliday will undergo an appendectomy.

The outfielder went home after the 5-3 extra-inning loss to the Padres and began feeling pain.

General manager John Mozeliak said the club will not make any roster moves today, instead waiting to hear from doctors about how the surgery goes. (StlToday.com)

The best goal call in Fire history?

The Chicago Fire defeated the Colorado Rapids in the second round of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup qualifying at Shea Stadium in Peoria on Wednesday. But it is the energetic and at times hysterical goal calls that have had fans talking.

Communications Manager Brendan Hannan made his play-by-play debut alongside Team Writer Jeff Crandall, and drew inspiration from Jerry Seinfeld. (Chicago-Fire.com)

More and more agree: Cam Newton is No. 1 pick

On NFL Network's late-night edition of "Total Access" Thursday, Albert Breer became the latest reporter to predict Cam Newton will be the No. 1 selection in April's draft.

"If you ask me today, Cam Newton goes to Carolina with (the) first pick, Breer wrote on Twitter just before the segment. Breer added on air, This kid has dealt with a lot of things. And hes been a leader throughout it. I spoke to a personnel man recently. He would be shocked if Cam Newton wasnt the No. 1 overall pick. (Newton) still remains strong there as the top quarterback in the draft. (ProFootballTalk)

Krause leaving Sox for Arizona job

The White Sox's struggling effort to maintain a presence in Latin America is facing yet another challenge. Director of White Sox international scouting Jerry Krause will leave the team to take a position with Arizona.

Krause held his position with the Sox for less than one year. He leaves to serve as special assistant to Jerry DiPoto, the Diamondbacks' executive vice president of scouting and player development.

Krause was the Bulls' former general manager and had spent 21 of his 37 years scouting baseball players. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Unlikely ex-Hawk garners Goal of the Night honors

The folks at ProHockeyTalk select the best save and goal every night during the NHL season, and last night, Ben Eager won the title of Best Goal of the Night.

No, this is not an April Fool's Day joke, Eager, the former Blackhawks enforcer is the legitimate Goal of the Night winner.

Currently on the San Jose Sharks, Eager showed that he could use his hands for more than just fighting, taking a nice pass and moving it to his backhand to score a beauty of a goal. (ProHockeyTalk)

Avi Garcia's played in fewer than 20 games since April, but could he still attract trade-deadline suitors?

Avi Garcia's played in fewer than 20 games since April, but could he still attract trade-deadline suitors?

Avisail Garcia returned from his latest disabled-list stint with a bang, smacking a three-run home run in the fourth inning Saturday in Seattle.

The White Sox right fielder hasn't even played in 20 games since late April, when he went on his first DL trip, which lasted two months. A second, also featuring an injury to his hamstring, made it two weeks between games.

But when he has been able to step to the plate this summer, Garcia has been tremendously productive. He came into Saturday night with a .333/.347/.783 slash line and a whopping eight home runs in the 17 games he played in between his two DL stays. Then he added that homer Saturday night off longtime Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, giving him nine homers in his last 14 games.

Keeping this up could do an awful lot of things for Garcia: It could make his ice-cold start a distant memory, it could prove that last year's All-Star season might not have been a fluke, and it could keep him entrenched in the conversation about the White Sox outfield of the future, giving the team one of those good problems to have when deciding how he would fit into the puzzle alongside top prospects like Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert.

But here's another possibility: Has Garcia swung a hot enough bat in his limited action that he could be a trade candidate before this month runs out?

The White Sox don't figure to have too many players who are going to get contending teams worked up into a lather. James Shields, Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan, Xavier Cedeno. Those guys could classify as additions that would bolster teams' depth, but they might not be the attractive upgrades the White Sox were able to trade away last summer.

Garcia, though, could be. He might not slide into the middle of the order for too many contenders, but someone looking for a starting corner outfielder might be enticed by the kind of numbers Garcia has put up in June and July, albeit in a small sample size. Teams would also have to consider his health. He's already been to the disabled list twice this season. Teams would certainly have to be confident he wouldn't return in order to make a deal.

On the White Sox end, Garcia would figure to fetch a far more intriguing return package than the aforementioned pitchers, given that he's still pretty young (27) with one more season of team control after this one.

The White Sox have plenty of options when it comes to Garcia. They could deal him now, deal him later or keep as a part of the rebuild, extending him and making him a featured player on the next contending team on the South Side. But with a lot of significant injuries this year perhaps having an effect on when all those highly rated prospects will finally arrive in the majors — not to mention the disappointing win-loss numbers the big league team has put up this season — perhaps it would make more sense to acquire some rebuild-bolstering pieces.

Of course, it all depends on if there are any deals to be made. Do other teams' front offices like what they've seen from Garcia in this short stretch as much as White Sox fans have? We'll know by the time August rolls around.

Cubs fight back after Javy Baez ejection: 'We're not animals'

Cubs fight back after Javy Baez ejection: 'We're not animals'

If baseball wants stars that transcend the game, they need guys like Javy Baez on the field MORE, not less.

That whole debate and baseball's marketing campaign isn't the issue the Cubs took exception with, but it's still a fair point on a nationally-televised Saturday night game between the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

Baez was ejected from the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when he threw his bat and helmet in frustration at home plate umpire Will Little's call that the Cubs second baseman did NOT check his swing and, in fact, went around. 

Baez was initially upset that Little made the call himself instead of deferring to first base umpire Ted Barrett for a better view. But as things escalated, Baez threw his bat and helmet and was promptly thrown out of the game by Little.

"I don't think I said anything to disrespect anything or anyone," Baez said after the Cubs' 6-3 loss. "It was a pretty close call. I only asked for him to check the umpire at first and he didn't say anything.

"I threw my helmet and he just threw me out from there. I mean, no reason. I guess for my helmet, but that doesn't have anything to do with him."

Baez and the Cubs would've rather Little check with the umpire who had a better view down the line, but that wasn't even the main point of contention. It was how quickly Little escalated to ejection.

"We're all human," Baez said. "One way or the other, it was gonna be the wrong [call] for one of the teams.

"My message? We're not animals. Sometimes we ask where was a pitch or if it was a strike and it's not always offending them. I think we can talk things out. But I don't think there was anything there to be ejected."

Upon seeing his second baseman and cleanup hitter ejected in the middle of a 1-0 game against a division rival, Joe Maddon immediately got fired up and in Little's face in a hurry.

Maddon was later ejected, as well, and admitted after the game he was never going to leave the field unless he was tossed for protecting his guy.

"He had no reason to kick him out," Maddon said. "He didn't say anything to him. I mean, I watched the video. If you throw stuff, that's a fine. That's fineable. Fine him. That's what I said — fine him — but you cannot kick him out right there.

"He did nothing to be kicked out of that game. He did throw his stuff, whatever, but he did not say anything derogatory towards the umpire.

"...You don't kick Javy out. If he gets in your face and is obnoxious or belligerent or whatever, but he did not. He turned his back to him. That needs to be addressed, on both ends."

Maddon and the Cubs really want Major League Baseball to get involved in this situation. 

There are many other layers to the issue, including veteran Ben Zobrist having to come into the game as Baez's replacement. Maddon was not keen on using the 37-year-old Zobrist for 1.5 games during Saturday's doubleheader and now feels like he has to rest the veteran Sunday to lessen the wear and tear of a difficult stretch for the team.

There's also the matter of the groundball basehit in the eighth inning that tied the game — a seeing-eye single that just got past Zobrist as he dove to his left. It tied the game at 3 and the Cardinals took the lead for good the following inning.

Does Baez make that same play if he were out there instead of Zobrist? It's certainly possible.

"The dynamic of our defense was lessened by [the ejection]," Maddon said. "Again, listen, if it's deserved, I'm good. It was not. They don't need me out there, we need Javy out there.

"And it surprised me. I stand by what I'm saying. It was inappropriate. MLB needs to say something to us that it was inappropriate because it was and it could've led to the loss of that game."