WBEZ | Chicago White Sox http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-white-sox Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en White Sox icon Minnie Minoso dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Minnie Minoso 1955 AP crop site_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>▲ LISTEN&nbsp;</strong><em>WBEZ&#39;s Yolanda Perdomo talks with Morning Edition host Lisa Labuz about Minoso&#39;s life and career.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">...</p><p>Minnie Minoso, the seemingly ageless Cuban slugger who broke into the majors just two years after Jackie Robinson and turned into the game&#39;s first black Latino star, has died, a medical examiner in Illinois said Sunday.</p><p>The Cook County medical examiner&#39;s office did not immediately offer further details. There is some question about Minoso&#39;s age but the Chicago White Sox say he was 90.</p><p>Minoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. The White Sox retired his No. 9 in 1983 and there is a statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/minnie-minosos-first-game-106394"><strong>Hear Minoso tell the story of his first game in Comiskey</strong></a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639#obama"><strong>Obama: Minoso will always be &#39;Mr. White Sox&#39;</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>&quot;We have lost our dear friend and a great man,&quot; White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. &quot;Many tears are falling.&quot;</p><p>Minoso made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949 and was dealt to the White Sox in a three-team trade two years later. He became major league baseball&#39;s first black player in Chicago on May 1, 1951, and homered in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Vic Raschi.</p><p>It was the start of a beautiful relationship between the slugger and the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso, regarded as baseball&#39;s first black Latino star, was a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field. He is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox, who tried unsuccessfully over the years to get the &quot;Cuban Comet&quot; into baseball&#39;s Hall of Fame.</p><p>&quot;When I watched Minnie Minoso play, I always thought I was looking at a Hall of Fame player,&quot; Reinsdorf said in an informational package produced by the team for a 2011 Cooperstown push. &quot;I never understood why Minnie wasn&#39;t elected.</p><p>&quot;He did everything. He could run, he could field, he could hit with power, he could bunt and steal bases. He was one of the most exciting players I have ever seen.&quot;</p><p>Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta was selected for nine All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves in left. He was hit by a pitch 192 times, ninth on baseball&#39;s career list, and finished in the top four in AL MVP voting four times.</p><p>Despite the push by the White Sox and other prominent Latin players, Minoso has never made it to Cooperstown. His highest percentage during his 15 years on the writers&#39; ballot was 21.1 in 1988. He was considered by the Veterans Committee in 2014 and fell short of the required percentage for induction.</p><p>&quot;My last dream is to be in Cooperstown, to be with those guys,&quot; Minoso said in that 2011 package distributed by the White Sox. &quot;I want to be there. This is my life&#39;s dream.&quot;</p><p>Minoso, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949, hit .298 for his career with 186 homers and 1,023 RBIs. The speedy Minoso also led the AL in triples and steals three times in each category.</p><p>Playing in an era dominated by the Yankees, Minoso never played in the postseason.</p><p>&quot;Every young player in Cuba wanted to be like Minnie Minoso, and I was one of them,&quot; Hall of Fame slugger Tony Perez said. &quot;The way he played the game, hard all the time, hard. He was very consistent playing the game. He tried to win every game. And if you want to be like somebody, and I picked Minnie, you have to be consistent.&quot;</p><p>Minoso appeared in just nine games in his first stint with the Indians, but he took off when he was dealt to Chicago as part of a three-team trade in 1951 that also involved the Philadelphia Athletics. He went deep in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Raschi, and hit .375 in his first 45 games with the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso finished that first season in Chicago with a .326 batting average, 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 146 games for the Indians and White Sox. He also had a major league-best 14 triples and an AL-best 31 steals.</p><p>It was Minoso&#39;s first of eight seasons with at least a .300 batting average. He also had four seasons with at least 100 RBIs.</p><p>&quot;I have baseball in my blood,&quot; Minoso said. &quot;Baseball is all I&#39;ve ever wanted to do.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">President Barack Obama&#39;s statement about Minoso<a name="obama"></a></span></p><blockquote><p>For South Siders and Sox fans all across the country, including me, Minnie Minoso is and will always be &ldquo;Mr. White Sox.&rdquo;</p><p>The first black Major Leaguer in Chicago, Minnie came to the United States from Cuba even though he could have made more money elsewhere.&nbsp; He came up through the Negro Leagues, and didn&rsquo;t speak much English at first.&nbsp; And as he helped to integrate baseball in the 1950s, he was a target of racial slurs from fans and opponents, sometimes forced to stay in different motels from his teammates.&nbsp; But his speed, his power &ndash; and his resilient optimism &ndash; earned him multiple All-Star appearances and Gold Gloves in left field, and he became one of the most dominant and dynamic players of the 1950s.</p><p>Minnie may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie&rsquo;s quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could.</p><p>Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family and fans in Chicago, Cleveland, and around the world.</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">More from the WBEZ archives about the baseball legend <a name="playlist"></a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="380" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/85470411&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 Johnny Mostil, hometown Sox hero http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/johnny-mostil-hometown-sox-hero-106300 <p><p>Opening day at Sox Park!</p><p>At some time or another, most boys growing up around Chicago dream of playing for one of the hometown baseball teams. Few ever make it. Even then, the Chicagoans who do get to the big time usually wind up with other ball clubs</p><p>So today let&#39;s look at one of those rarities, a native Chicagoan who played his entire major league career in a Chicago uniform. He was Johnny Mostil--and he was a star, too.</p><p>Born in Chicago in 1896, Johnny was a boy when his family moved a few miles over the Indiana line to Whiting. &nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mostl%20%28author%27s%29.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 352px; float: right;" title="Johnny Mostil (author's collection)" />He started playing semi-pro baseball as a teenager, mostly as an infielder. During the war-year 1918 he signed with the Sox and got into a few games. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The war ended, the regulars returned, and Johnny went back to work at Montgomery Ward. Then the &ldquo;Black Sox&rdquo; scandal hit. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Eight Sox players were kicked out of baseball for throwing the World Series. Suddenly the team needed replacements. Mostil rejoined the Sox in 1921, this time for good.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">By now he was an outfielder. Writers covering the team were impressed with his defensive skills, comparing him to the legendary Tris Speaker.&nbsp;Once Centerfielder&nbsp;Mostil managed to catch a fly ball in foul territory, something even Speaker never did.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">He became one of the team&rsquo;s most popular players. The people in Whiting were proud of him, and traffic on the South Shore Line spiked whenever Mostil and the Sox were playing at Comiskey. His former colleagues at Ward&rsquo;s even staged a Johnny Mostil Day at the ballpark. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Mostil twice led the American League in stolen bases.&nbsp;He could hit, too&ndash;his batting average was usually over .300, peaking at .328 in 1926.&nbsp;That year he was runner-up for the league&rsquo;s Most Valuable Player award.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mostil%20%28LofC%29--1921.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Mostil warms up before a game (Library of Congress)" /></div></div><p>The Sox were in spring training at Shreveport in 1927.&nbsp;On the morning of March 9, Mostil tried to commit suicide by slashing his chest and wrists with a razor.&nbsp;The team announced he was suffering from neuritis, and had endured constant headaches and sleepless nights.&nbsp;Insiders whispered that he was depressed over a shattered love affair.</p><p>Mostil recovered and came back late in the 1927 season.&nbsp;But he was never the same player.&nbsp;The Sox released him in 1929.</p><p>He later managed in the minor leagues, and eventually became a White Sox scout.&nbsp;Johnny Mostil died at his home in Midlothian in 1970.</p></p> Mon, 01 Apr 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/johnny-mostil-hometown-sox-hero-106300 Chicago losing its South Side Bad Boy http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-losing-its-south-side-bad-boy-104542 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS6854_IMG_2664-scr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The White Sox bad-boy catcher A.J. Pierzynski will no longer call the South Side home.<br /><br />The long-time Sox player has signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers.<br /><br />His departure is leaving a lot of Sox fans saddened by the news.<br /><br />On the field, A.J. was rude, obnoxious and a thorn to opposing players &mdash;&nbsp;all attributes White Sox fans love.<br /><br />Former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of A.J.:&quot;If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.&quot;<br /><br />For loyal Sox fans, like Rich Fisher, A.J. was everything they wanted in a player.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a shame he left the White Sox. He was a true White Sox player and we&rsquo;ll miss him,&rdquo; Fisher said Friday.<br /><br />Fan Peter Musial says A.J.&#39;s departure is probably needed to bring in younger blood, but it still hurts to see him go.</p><p>&ldquo;He was always there for the team and he was a like a Sox icon,&quot; Musial said.&nbsp;&quot;For me growing up on the South Side and seeing A.J. over there, it does hurt a little bit. But what are you going to do?&quot;<br /><br />A.J.&rsquo;s departure means only &nbsp;remains from the Sox 2005 World Series championship team.<br /><br />Pierzynski is leaving the Sox after having one of his best seasons ever this year, even though the Sox blew first place to the Detroit Tigers and failed to make the playoffs.<br /><br />In 2012, A.J. hit a career-high 27 home runs and hit .278.<br /><br />&ldquo;I liked him. He was good for the team and good for the city. I wish he would have stayed,&rdquo; Chicagoan Terry Klaus said. &ldquo;But I guess it&rsquo;s time to move on and get some new players.&rdquo;<br /><br />A.J. is expected to be replaced by backup catcher Tyler Flowers.</p></p> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 16:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-losing-its-south-side-bad-boy-104542 White Sox promote Williams to Executive VP, name Hahn as new GM http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/white-sox-promote-williams-executive-vp-name-hahn-new-gm-103442 <p><p>In a move that has been evolving over the past year, the White Sox made some changes to their front office Friday. Rick Hahn has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager after spending the past 12 years as assistant general manager to GM Ken Williams. Williams, meanwhile, has been elevated to Executive Vice President of the club.</p><p>Williams said his new role would involve more of a &ldquo;macro&rdquo; handling of the team. One of his tasks will be to bring &ldquo;fan energy&rdquo; back to U.S. Cellular Field, similar to efforts that have taken place in Boston, New York and California. He will also become more involved with the White Sox farm system.&nbsp;</p><p>Hahn has worked closely with Williams and will likely continue many of the former GM&#39;s methods. The Winnetka native, who has intereviewed for several GM positions in the past year, went to University of Michigan, Harvard Law School and Northwestern&#39;s Kellogg School of Management. When asked about his collegiate background and his current chosen path, the new GM said, &ldquo;Baseball has always been special to me.&rdquo; Prior to joining the White Sox, Hahn worked for the sports agency firm of Steinberg, Moorad and Dunn.</p><p>Hahn also said he is actively involved in negotiations with the Sox free agents Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis, as well as potential free agent Gavin Floyd. Hahn acknowledged that Peavy especially may get more suitors with more money to offer, but said the former Cy Young winner told the Sox he wants to stay in Chicago.</p><p>This front office move is similar to what owner Jerry Reinsdorf did with his Chicago Bulls when Gar Forman was elevated to General Manager and John Paxson became Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.&nbsp;</p><p>In one more White Sox move, Howard Pizer was named the team&#39;s Senior Executive Vice President. Pizer has been part of Jerry Reinsdorf&#39;s organization since 1981.</p></p> Fri, 26 Oct 2012 12:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/white-sox-promote-williams-executive-vp-name-hahn-new-gm-103442 Learning to remember 9/11 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/learning-remember-911-102361 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP553976738876.jpg" title="The 9/11 memorial in New York City (AP Photo/Newsday, Craig Ruttle, Pool)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong>&nbsp;While locally our attention has been turned towards the teachers strike, there was another story going on in the background: the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As we put more distance between us and that horrible event in our nation&rsquo;s history, the day is finally starting to resemble other such days of remembrance. (This, of course, is from the perspective from someone who didn&rsquo;t live in New York, D.C. or Pennsylvania, nor lost a loved one that day; for those that did, 9/11 will always hold different meaning.)&nbsp;It&rsquo;s a strange transition, one our nation hasn&rsquo;t seen since Pearl Harbor; there were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-11th-anniversary-ceremonies-911-20120911,0,5685500.story">fewer 9/11 families at the memorial</a>&nbsp;this year than ever before.&nbsp;Perhaps it&rsquo;s because the 11th anniversary doesn&#39;t mark a milestone or because the death of bin Laden takes an edge off. Or maybe we&rsquo;re finally moving forward, processing and learning from what happened rather than staying, immovable, in the past.</p><p>But as we move on, a new wave of creepiness is setting in. For example, yesterday I received an email about <a href="http://twitpic.com/ati5mq">a &ldquo;Patriot Day&rdquo; promotion</a> from FTD. After I shared this on social media, friends brought up similar examples of crass commercialism trying to profit from tragedy: <a href="http://consumerist.com/2012/09/is-this-911-casino-promotion-a-nice-tribute-or-just-tacky.html">a casino offering a $9.11 voucher</a> or the noted practice of &ldquo;<a href="http://www.regretsy.com/2011/09/07/never-forgetsy-2/">tragicrafting</a>.&rdquo; There is still a learning curve to creating the historical context of this day &mdash; but there&#39;s a line that shouldn&#39;t be crossed.&nbsp;While there are Veterans Day sales, there aren&rsquo;t any special Pearl Harbor Day mattress deals that I know of.&nbsp;NBC learned this lesson the hard way yesterday: The network was heavily criticized for&nbsp;<a href="http://gawker.com/5942303/as-other-networks-air-911-moment-of-silence-nbc-sticks-with-kris-jenner-interview-about-breast-implants">cutting away from the officially observed moment of silence</a> to interview Kris Jenner (aka Kim Kardashian&rsquo;s mother) about her new breast implants.&nbsp;So onward we stumble, fumbling around how we move forward and, to borrow the cloying phrase so often attached to the day, never forgetting.</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> The Drew Peterson saga just got weirder. Peterson <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-drew-peterson-fires-lawyer-who-opposed-savio-divorce-lawyer-as-witness-20120911,0,5205957.story?track=rss">has fired the one attorney</a>&nbsp;who fought hardest against the defense team decision that probably got him convicted. D-Pete attorney Steve Greenberg tried to convince lead attorney Joel Brodsky <em>not</em>&nbsp;to call Kathleen Savio&rsquo;s former divorce attorney as a witness. But Brodsky did so anyway, even after <em>the judge </em>warned him it was a bad idea; then in testimony, Savio&#39;s former attorney made the explosive claim that Peterson&rsquo;s now-missing fourth wife asked whether she could get more money in a divorce if she threatened to reveal Peterson&rsquo;s alleged role in Savio&rsquo;s death. So, to review: Drew Peterson fired the one attorney who seemed to know what he was doing. Because of course he did.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> With the rash of mass shootings this year (including <a href="http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-shooting-in-chicago-5-taken-to-hospital-20120823,0,2799714.story">local mass shootings</a> that <em>don&rsquo;t</em> make the national media), one from two years ago made headlines yesterday: Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama-Huntsville professor charged with killing three colleagues and wounding three others during a faculty meeting in 2010, surprised many by <a href="http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/09/post_880.html#incart_river_default">pleading guilty to the charges</a>. The speculation is that Bishop was angered by being denied tenure in 2009. Alabama state law requires a presentation of evidence to a jury even in the event of a guilty plea, so there will be an abbreviated trial later this month. While capital murder carries the possibility of the death penalty in Alabama, Bishop&rsquo;s plea deal means she won&rsquo;t face it whenever she&rsquo;s sentenced.</p><p><strong>Recovering:</strong> Jerry &ldquo;The King&rdquo; Lawler, pro-wrestling legend and commentator, following <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/09/wrestling-legend-jerry-lawler-suffers-heart-attack-during-live-wwe-show/">a heart attack he suffered during a live episode</a>&nbsp;of the WWE&rsquo;s weekly <em>RAW</em> show. A fellow commentator had to reassure viewers that Lawler&rsquo;s heart attack wasn&rsquo;t part of the show. After receiving treatment at the arena, Lawler was taken to a nearby hospital where he&rsquo;s in stable condition. For non-wrestling fans, Lawler is probably best known for his part in the bizarre &ldquo;feud&rdquo; he had with comedian Andy Kaufman, all of which was a typical Kaufman ruse; Lawler even portrayed himself in the Kaufman biopic <em>Man On The Moon</em>.<br /><br /><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>It was a tragic, violent day for Americans overseas. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and two other State Department officials&nbsp;<a href="http://news.sky.com/story/983922/us-official-killed-in-libya-prophet-protest">were killed at the U.S. consulate</a>&nbsp;there. Meanwhile, protesters in Cairo <a href="http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/11/warning-shots-fired-as-cairo-protesters-storm-u-s-embassy-walls/?hpt=hp_t1">stormed the U.S. embassy</a>&nbsp;in Egypt.</li><li>Someone has finally taken a &ldquo;<a href="http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/09/11/pot-enforcement-bad-for-kids-childrens-alliance/">do it for the children</a>!&rdquo; approach to legalizing marijuana.</li><li>A new report says conditions on Mars <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-mars-water-20120910,0,4424250.story">probably didn&rsquo;t support microbial life</a> as scientists once previously thought.</li><li>It&rsquo;s finally here: Apple will <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5930100/apples-next-iphone-the-complete-rumor-roundup">apparently introduce</a> the latest version of the iPhone today. But unless it has a built-in <a href="http://backtothefuture.wikia.com/wiki/Flux_capacitor">flux capacitor</a>, I don&rsquo;t want to hear about it.</li><li>I, for one, welcome <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/la-na-nn-south-dakota-skunks-20120911,0,6815786.story">our new skunk overlords</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking Ahead:</strong></p><ul><li>New census stats will likely show the nation <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/09/11/census-stats-likely-to-show-highest-poverty-rate-since-1965">has its highest poverty rate</a> since 1965.</li><li>A prisoner shot and injured by Elgin Police during an escape attempt <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19517755/prisoner-shot-during-escape-attempt-suing-elgin-police-for-6m">has filed a $6 million lawsuit</a> against the EPD.</li><li>Erineo &ldquo;Eddie&rdquo; Carranza, the man who owns the much-maligned Congress Theater, is the new owner of the beloved Portage Theater, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-09/portage-theater-what%E2%80%99s-eddie-102350">prompting our own Jim DeRogatis to wonder</a> exactly what Carranza has up his sleeve.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Get excited, Smashing Pumpkins fans. Billy Corgan&rsquo;s new teahouse <a href="http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/09/07/billy-corgan-opening-madame-zuzus-sept-13.php">opens this Friday</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Sox Watch: The Tigers gained back the game they lost Monday night, <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_11_detmlb_chamlb_1&amp;mode=gameday&amp;c_id=cws">beating the Sox 5-3</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;cutting the Pale Hose lead in the AL Central back to two games.</li><li>Michael Jordan <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/michael-jordan-completely-handed-keys-over-personnel-chief-161345865--nba.html">may have finally relinquished control</a> of personnel decisions over the struggling Charlotte Bobcats.</li><li>The Blackhawks <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19515758/blackhawks-agree-to-terms-with-defenseman-michal-rozsival">have signed</a> defenseman Michael Rozsival to a contract, <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl-lockout-looms-players-owners-175645595--nhl.html">assuming there&rsquo;s even a season</a>.</li><li>Hope for the North Side? <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/id/13466/soler-drawing-comparisons-to-sosa">Here&rsquo;s a nice profile</a> on Cubs prospect Jorge Soler.</li><li>Even Derrick Rose is <a href="http://chicago.sbnation.com/2012/9/10/3313504/derrick-rose-chicago-teachers-strike-cps">weighing in</a> on the teachers strike but still no word from the Bulls about those <a href="http://sports.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981621939">Kevin Love trade murmurs</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally</strong><br /><br />Korean popstar Psy &ndash; like LMFAO without the layer of suzzy ick &ndash; is <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/09/11/get_your_gangnam_on_this_friday_fre.php">in the States</a> for some appearances following his mega-ultra-super viral hit &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0">Gangnam Style</a>.&rdquo; And, thus, let the brilliant mash-ups begin.</p></div><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zPP5Bvtr2Dg" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/learning-remember-911-102361 As summer turns to fall, sports seasons also change http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-09/summer-turns-fall-sports-seasons-also-change-102147 <p><p>The weather has started to change a bit and kids are back at school. But September has various meanings to sports fans. It is the winding down of the baseball season, the beginning of the football season, with thoughts of hockey nearing. Some of it feels good. . . some of it, not so much.</p><p><strong>Baseball: One team plays out the season, the other battles to play in October</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Alejandro%20De%20Aza%20congratulates%20Addison%20Reed%20for%20his%20save%20Monday%20night.%20Paul%20Beaty.jpg" style="float: left; height: 274px; width: 300px; " title="Alejandro De Aza congratulates Addison Reed for his save Monday night. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)" />Despite a rough period on the road, the White Sox will continue to battle in the American League Central with Detroit. It&#39;s a reality a lot of people &mdash;&nbsp;fans and media alike &mdash;&nbsp;didn&rsquo;t think possible last spring. Even with the dismal road trip recently, this has been a team that has bounced back all season. It has been an interesting ride so far; besides the known stories of the comeback players (Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy). It&#39;s been the rookies (Addison Reed, Nate Jones and Jose Quintana), break out players (Chris Sale and Alejandro De Aza), new coaching staff and the veteran pick-ups by GM Ken Williams (Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and DeWayne Wise) that have all contributed to this remarkable season.</p><p>But tired arms and the unknown territory of a pennant race are all factors right now as the final weeks of the season play out. It&rsquo;s a process for both the younger and older players during this stretch. &quot;Part of the learning curve of all these guys, you can lose a game or a series,&quot; remarked manager Robin Ventura. &quot;You have to come back and be prepared for the next night.&quot; This is how they have played this year.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cubs%20year.jpg" style="height: 409px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="A sign from Cubs fans says it all. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" />Unfortunately, the team&#39;s success this season hasn&#39;t moved the turnstiles much: The ballpark has had few sellouts. With only a few series left, including one with Detroit next week, maybe the fans will make their way to U.S. Cellular (not Tigers fans, though). Die-hard White Sox fans probably wrote off the Sox after the Tigers sweep this past weekend &mdash; they are cup-half-empty thinkers by in large. But&nbsp;those fans will be the first to complain if they can&#39;t get play-off tickets if (or when) the Sox make the post season.</p><p>The Cubs season doesn&#39;t officially end for a few weeks, but it really has not&nbsp;been much a season as far as wins and losses; they are in danger of having that dreadful mark of 100 losses. When you walk into their locker room now there are very few players that have been in the majors before this season. Alfonso Soriano must feel old at the age of 36 with these young players. Fresh faces like Josh Vitters, Brett Jackson and Dave Sappelt have joined the other youngsters: Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Steve Clevenger, Wellington Castillo and James Russell. There are plenty other young players on this team, and what seems like a new pitcher every other day. These last days of the season, manager Dale Sveum and the Cubs staff will be assessing the players as they look to 2013 and beyond. &ldquo;Right now we are trying to evaluate and try to win ball games at the same time,&quot; said Sveum.</p><p>Darwin Barney deserves to have the spotlight, he continues to impress with his outstanding play in the infield. He recently broke the NL errorless record at second and continues to add to the total. Oh, did you know that Alfonso Soriano is the only outfielder in the NL that has not committed an error all season?</p><p>Still, the Cubs saying &quot;wait &#39;til next year&quot; may have to be altered to &quot;wait &#39;til <em>fill in the blank </em>year.&quot;</p><p><strong>Football on our minds&nbsp;</strong><strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>at all levels of play&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brian%20Urlacher%20is%20back%20on%20the%20Bears%20practice%20field%20before%20the%20opener%20Nam%20Y.%20Huh.jpg" style="height: 218px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Brian Urlacher is back on the Bears practice field before the opener. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" />Break out the jerseys, the grills, fantasy football pools and regular NFL office pools. High school has been playing for two weeks, college got underway last weekend and of course the pros begin tonight. The Bears will open their 2012 season on Sunday hosting the Indianapolis Colts. This week the fans will be thinking about a Bears return to the Crescent City as dreams of a Super Bowl run to New Orleans unfolds. The tedium of the pre-season and training camp has the Chicago Bear faithful hoping the off-season changes of GM Phil Emery, offensive coordinator Mike Tice, wide receiver Brandon Marshall and other new faces will give this team a fighting chance to succeed. Even the players, including center Roberto Garza, are anxious for the season. &quot;The real fun begins for us now,&quot; he said. &quot;It&#39;s been a long camp and OTA&#39;s. It&#39;s time to see where we are really at.&quot; Fans are happy to know that Brian Urlacher has returned to the practice field. It looks like they will have to battle division rivals Green Bay and Detroit in their quest for the playoffs.</p><p><strong>Hockey may be taking a sad turn&nbsp;</strong><strong>&mdash;&nbsp;</strong><strong>again</strong></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blackhawk%20star%20Patrick%20Sharp%20throws%20out%20ceremonial%20pitch%20at%20Cubs%20game..jpg" style="height: 385px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp throws out ceremonial pitch at Cubs game. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" />Blackhawks fans, there is a deadline approaching: If the NHL and the players union do not resolve their labor dispute by the September 15th deadline they may have a work stoppage or a player lock-out. This would be a major blow to a league that has to fight for the fans&#39; dollars. On Sunday, there were three Hawks at the Cubs game: Jamal Mayers, Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland. They all hope that a lock-out won&#39;t occur, but understand they may have to make contingency plans. Each said they would have to consider playing overseas if there is a lock-out. Mayers lost a whole season from the last labor dispute and played in Sweden; but now he has young children, and making arrangements to do that again is tough thought. For the moment, the players continue to train and prepare as though the training camp will open on September 22nd. Sharp will not make other plans yet. &ldquo;When they call me up [if a lockout happens], until that happens, I am getting ready for training camp,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>With these tough economic times, any lengthy work stoppage would make it difficult to right the ship. At least right now Chicago sports fans have plenty of action to grab their attention.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter @Crayestout</em></p></p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 09:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-09/summer-turns-fall-sports-seasons-also-change-102147 White Sox pitcher reflects on a great first half http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-07/white-sox-pitcher-reflects-great-first-half-100788 <p><p>When I look at White Sox pitcher Chris Sale, it is hard for me to fathom where this power pitcher gets his strength. This slight, lanky player clocks in at 6&rsquo;6&rdquo; and 180 lbs. &ldquo;If I could gain weight I would,&rdquo; said the 23-year-old Sox hurler. &ldquo;My grandfather, my uncles and dad were all skinny.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chris%20Sale%20earning%20his%2010th%20win%20of%20the%20season%20vs%20Texas..jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 390px; float: right;" title="White Sox pitcher Chris Sale posted ten wins in the first half of the season. (AP/John Smierciak)" />But the lefty All-Star has proven that he has the right stuff, with his 10 and 2 record with a 2.19 ERA.&nbsp;His fastball can come at an opposing hitter at 100 mph and Sale&rsquo;s devastating slider is compared to former Cy Young winner Randy Johnson&rsquo;s (Sale is under consideration for this year&#39;s award). Let&rsquo;s take a closer look at the young pitcher, who this year moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation.</p><p>As a kid growing up in Lakeland, Fla., Sale played ball every day. He started playing catch with his father, Allen, as soon as he could walk.&nbsp;</p><p>The 2010 top draft pick sailed through the minors with just 11 appearances and was brought up just months after he was drafted. Last year he spent his time in the White Sox bullpen, where he was used primarily against lefties. During his time in the pen he learned to improve his slider, which he said was below average to average in college. &ldquo;Coop [Pitcher Coach Don Cooper], [Bullpen Coach] Juan Nieves and the late Kevin Hickey taught me a different grip and I finally found it,&rdquo; said Sale.</p><p>Earlier this season, Sale experienced some tenderness in his elbow. White Sox management decided to return him to the bullpen as the closer. The move was tough on Sale. &ldquo;I kind of got down on myself,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Starting is something I always wanted to do, but I didn&rsquo;t want to mope, be a bad teammate or be selfish.&rdquo; Sale&rsquo;s health later improved and he was put back in the rotation &mdash; with certain conditions.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chris%20Sale%20All-Star_0.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 322px; float: left;" title="Chris Sale made the 2012 All-Star team at 23. (AP/Jim Mone)" />The Sox brain trust decided Sale would pitch only on either five or six days of rest. But the length between starts doesn&rsquo;t faze him. &ldquo;I take the mound and don&rsquo;t think about innings limits or getting hurt,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The only thing is pitching.&rdquo; Sox manager Robin Ventura even had Sale miss his start last Sunday so the ace lefty would be available in the All-Star game. Of course, to be selected for the mid-season classic was a dream come true.</p><p>Sale credits his success in part to help from veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, one of the best in the league (despite being kept out of this year&rsquo;s All-Star team). Sale said he trusts all the Sox backstops; he has yet to shake them off their pitch selections.</p><p>Now, when he&rsquo;s not on the mound, Sale enjoys playing with his 2-year-old son, Ryland. &nbsp;After a bad game, Sale said, &ldquo;I walk in my front door my wife, [Brianne], and my little boy, they don&rsquo;t care.&nbsp;I could give up eight runs or have eight shutout innings &mdash; it doesn&rsquo;t matter.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s the fun part of being a dad,&rdquo; Sale added. &ldquo;He is going to love you every day.&rdquo;</p><p>Of course this year there have not been too many bad days at all. Now, as the second part of the season begins and the playoff race heats up, the White Sox will still be cautious with their All-Star pitcher. Sale&rsquo;s dominance will have to continue if the club wants to be playing baseball come October.</p></p> Fri, 13 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-07/white-sox-pitcher-reflects-great-first-half-100788 All-Stars align for Sox and Cubs http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-07/all-stars-align-sox-and-cubs-100565 <p><p>As baseball prepares for its annual All-Star game, five Chicago players will be making the trip to Kansas City. Some of the selections were no-brainers &mdash; but one was a surprise.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Bryan%20LaHair%20All-Star.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 241px; float: right;" title="Cubs All-Star Bryan LaHair was a surprise pick from the last place team. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)" /><strong>Cubs get two picks despite dismal standings</strong></p><p>Since Major League Baseball made decreed that each team will have at least one representative, the surprise was that the Cubs, a last place team, received <em>two</em> selections: shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair.</p><p>LaHair was voted in by the players<strong>&nbsp;</strong><strong>&mdash;</strong>&nbsp;but his selection was totally unexpected. He started off the season with great offensive numbers playing first base. However, since first baseman Anthony Rizzo ascended from the minors, LaHair has been moved to right field. Now he&rsquo;s platooned at that position after his recent&nbsp;struggles at the plate against left-handers.</p><p>People may raise an eyebrow about LaHair going to Kansas City, but his story is very compelling: He finally started on an Opening Day roster at age 29, after toiling in the minors. Cubs Manager Dale Sveum understood the moment&rsquo;s significance, and called a meeting before Sunday&rsquo;s game to announce the team&rsquo;s All-Stars. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a special time as a manager, to be able to tell a kid he made the All-Star team after he spent all that time in the minors,&rdquo; said Sveum. LaHair addressed the media with a look of happy bewilderment. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s another dream come true,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Starlin%20Castro%20All-Star.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 233px; float: left;" title="Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro makes his second appearance on the All-Star team. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)" />LaHair&rsquo;s All-Star companion, Starlin Castro, will make his second consecutive appearance at age 22.&nbsp;<em>He</em> was the one expected to make the National League All-Star team, but was still glad, like LaHair, that his peers voted for him. In 2011 the young Cub led the NL the league with 207 hits (the youngest player to ever accomplish that feat). He continues to have good numbers at the plate this year, but what makes Cubs coaching staff proud is his defense. Coach Pat Listach and Sveum&nbsp;both worked hard tutoring their star shortstop. It&rsquo;s clearly paying off.</p><p>There is one more Cubs All-Star representative: first base coach Dave McKay. He was a long time member of Tony LaRussa&rsquo;s coaching staff and will join the retired St. Louis Cardinal Manager in the NL dug-out.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Some intriguing choices for first place White Sox</strong></p><p>It was expected that the American League Central First Place White Sox would have more than one player represented on the All-Star team. The choices that were made are understandable &mdash; but interesting nonetheless.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Adam%20Dunn%20All-Star.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 413px; float: left;" title="Sox slugger Adam Dunn returns to form in 2012, and is rewarded with a spot on the All-Star team. (AP/Bill Kostroun)" />Paul Konerko is so good he could probably be named to the All-Star team just about every year. He has been in the top ten of several batting categories in the AL this season. What was intriguing, though, was the choice of Adam Dunn to join Konerko on the roster. Just a year ago, Dunn was unable to produce the big home run numbers he was signed to do. This year, with a clean slate, the Sox designated hitter has been one of the team&rsquo;s best sluggers, consistently hitting the ball out of the park.</p><p>From the Sox pitching staff, starter-then closer-then starter Chris Sale was also named to the American League team. At 23 years of age and firmly established in the Sox starting rotation, he has been brilliant. He is one of the best pitchers in ERA and wins.&nbsp;Manager Robin Ventura adjusted his rotation, so&nbsp;the lefty could pitch in the game and maybe have the ultimate honor: &nbsp;starter for Tuesday night&rsquo;s game.&nbsp;</p><p>The fans vote online for the final spot and Sox starter Jake Peavy is one of five pitchers on that ballot. Like Dunn, 2011 was a nightmare season for the former Cy Young winner. But 2012 has been very different. He is among the leaders in ERA, innings pitched and complete games. Had Peavy gotten some run support, his win total may have put the right-hander on the team outright. Fans have until 3 p.m. Thursday to stuff the ballot box.&nbsp;</p><p>Of course, there is one All-Star snub that even Texas Manager Ron Washington felt bad about: Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski. Washington will manage the AL All-Stars and recognized the offensive numbers the Sox catcher is putting up; still, he had to take a player from Minnesota and gave that spot to Twins catcher Joe Mauer. A recent poll taken by MLB players had the Sox&nbsp;colorful catcher voted the most hated player in baseball, so there wasn&#39;t a chance his peers would&nbsp;select him for the All-Star team.&nbsp;It just wouldn&rsquo;t be right if AJ wasn&rsquo;t involved in some controversy.</p><p>For the rest of the players, the four days off present a welcome time to rest any aches, pains or mental fatigue. For a few of the Chicago All-Stars the game will be a time for Cubs star Bryan LaHair to celebrate what some thought may never happen and a night for Adam Dunn of the White Sox to hear the roar of cheers after a year of boos.</p></p> Wed, 04 Jul 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-07/all-stars-align-sox-and-cubs-100565 Raising a Cubs-Sox fan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-05/raising-cubs-sox-fan-99226 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Jaxon in Cubs dug out.JPG" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Cheryl Raye Stout’s son, Jaxon, in the Cubs dugout in 2002. (Photo by Glenn Stout)" /></div><p>How can you raise your child without the trauma of picking sides in the Cubs-Sox rivalry? You may not believe it, but you can.</p><p>That&rsquo;s the beauty of being a long-time sports reporter, covering both Chicago baseball teams. At times I may favor one over the other, but to outright <em>hate</em> the other team, well,&nbsp;that just goes against my grain.</p><p>It also went against the grain of the person most responsible for my love of baseball, my late-maternal grandfather. He was a native of Poland who delivered coal for a living &ndash; you can kind of figure out the era since anyone under 40 probably has no idea what that means. Suffice it to say, he brought his coal truck to both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, and he loved baseball &ndash; both teams. He taught me the ins, outs and intricacies of <em>both</em>&nbsp;the Cubs and the Sox.</p><p>I grew up without much money, so the only way for me to see a game was to go on a&nbsp;Girl Scouts&rsquo; field trip or as a reward for good grades. I cherished any game I got to see. As I got older, I could buy a ticket with baby-sitting money &ndash; that was pure gold. If I had a little extra money, buying a scorecard with a pencil was the icing on the cake. I went to both parks, experienced the pain of the 1969 Cubs and saw Dick Allen blast home runs for the Sox&nbsp;at Old Comiskey. As a baseball purist, seeing Pittsburgh&lsquo;s Roberto Clemente play in right field at Wrigley versus the Cubs&nbsp;is etched into my memory for all time.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Cubs%20-Sox%20fans.jpg" style="float: left; height: 206px; width: 300px;" title="Cubs-Sox fans. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)" /></div><p>Fast forward: My career has allowed me to cover both the White Sox and Cubs. It is my belief as a sports reporter that we should not tip our hand on the air regarding any preference. Why tick off opposing fans? Also, you may blind yourself by single-minded loyalty and miss some great baseball achievements or moments (or not appreciate them fully).</p><p>That&rsquo;s why I raised my son to enjoy both Chicago baseball teams. When Jaxon was just a few weeks old, he was in the arms of the then-Cubs PR director Sharon Pannozzo in the press box. A few years later, he got to meet one of his favorite players, Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, in the dugout. When Jaxon was 6 years old, White Sox grounds keeper Roger Bossard invited him to U.S. Cellular, and unexpectedly gave my little boy a ball for the players sign.</p><p>There are two other interesting moments stuck in my mind: I remember when first year manager Ozzie Guillen saw Jax, put him on his lap and said, &ldquo;I knew you when you were in your mommy&rsquo;s tummy.&rdquo; A look of puzzlement came across the face of this awe-struck child. Moments later, when Frank Thomas learned my son was outside the locker room, he ran out and brought Jaxon into the club house. It was a chance for this massive player to show his gentle side.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/World%20Series-Sign_0.JPG" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="Waiting a lifetime for a Chicago baseball World Series. (Photo by Glenn Stout)" /></div><p>In 2003, Jaxon was at the Cubs-Florida game 6, (the infamous &ldquo;Bartman game&rdquo;) sitting in the bleachers. He was supposed to see history -- a Chicago team going to the World Series. As the crowd directed its anger at a fan&rsquo;s mistake, my husband smartly left the game &ndash; there are no emotional scars on them. My son did get to see the White Sox play in the World Series. Some snarky adults chided him for being too young to appreciate it. The next night there was a sign that read &ldquo;I waited my whole life to see a World Series! (8 years).&rdquo; Guess who held up the sign?</p><p>In a very rare occurrence in 2008, Jaxon saw both the Sox and Cubs play in the post season. Imagine if he only took one side?</p><p>These are special and unique circumstances for a kid to form an opinion. Nevertheless he has some nice memories without hatred or malice towards any baseball fans, Cubs or Sox.</p><p>Now, as a teenager, baseball is behind him. But I have no regrets letting him enjoy both the Sox and Cubs. He would have missed plenty otherwise.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl Raye Stout on Twitter: @CRayeStout </em></p></p> Fri, 18 May 2012 08:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-05/raising-cubs-sox-fan-99226 A pair of Sox on the comeback trail http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-05/pair-sox-comeback-trail-99189 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/jake%20peavy%20AP%20CR%20Abrogast.jpg" style="height: 376px; width: 620px;" title="White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy delivers during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles. Peavy is healthy again and hoping to return to the form that made him one of the majors’ best pitchers. (AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)"></div><p>Last year was a disaster for White Sox players Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy; it seemed improbable they would bounce back in 2012. Peavy, a former Cy Young winner, was recovering from a severe injury and pitched only 19 games last year. Dunn had plenty to deal with after one of the worst years a player could have in major league baseball. His problem was not physical – it was a mental struggle.</p><p>Flash forward to this season: It’s only May but now both Sox players are vying for “comeback player of the year.”&nbsp;</p><p>Peavy has been plagued with several injuries throughout his career (he was hurt when he dealt to the White Sox). But his most recent injury, a rare detached <em>latissimus dorsi</em> muscle, (his tendon literally came off the bone in his back) seems healed now. And excluding his outing Tuesday afternoon against the Tigers – he gave up 6 runs in the 6<sup>th</sup> inning, the only bad start of the year – he has been terrific this season, with a record of 4 -1 and a 2.65 earned run average. Now the right-hander has two complete games and is among league leaders in innings pitched and strike-outs. No wonder Peavy was named American League Player of the month in April.</p><p>Peavy says he’s relieved that fans can finally see the pitcher White Sox General Manager Ken Williams acquired in 2008. “It’s nice to finally be healthy in this uniform,” he says.</p><p>But here’s the kicker with Peavy: After all his struggles, this could be his final year with the South Siders. His salary is now at $17 million, and attendance at U.S. Cellular Field has sharply declined. Next season Peavy stands to make $22 million, if the team picks up his option. They will probably opt out of a deal that would cost the Sox $4 million, so the one real curve ball to this situation is: What do the Sox do if they can be in contention&nbsp;for the&nbsp;post-season?</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dunn%20home%20run%205-14-12_0.jpg" style="float: left; height: 349px; width: 300px;" title="Adam Dunn celebrates with Alejandro DeAza after hitting a 2-run homer against the Tigers on Monday. (AP/John Smierciak)"></div><p>Then there’s Adam Dunn. The winter before the 2011 season, the designated hitter signed a big contract; the weight of that deal appeared to be too much for his 6’6” frame to bear. His 11 home runs were not what his 4 year, $56 million contract was supposed to bring Chicago’s South Side. This season, the slugger has already hit 12 homers with 28 runs batted in. He is among league leaders in those categories, as well as slugging percentage, walks, extra base hits and total bases.</p><p>2011 was such a horror show it seemed fans booed Dunn before he even went to the plate. He set a very undesirable mark of 177 strike outs – the most ever in Sox history. Coupled with his paltry home run output, who could blame the fans? He doesn’t fault them for their sentiments but has admitted it was a tough experience – especially rough for his family to endure.</p><p>Dunn had a solid history before he made the switch from the National League to the American League. Now that his form is back, Dunn has a pile of strike-outs. But that has always been the case in his career.</p><p>The next two days (the schedule makers did no favors to the White Sox) the South Siders are in California to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before returning for a weekend series with the Cubs. Dunn told me he plans to talk to former St. Louis Cardinal Albert Pujols. The Sox DH identifies with what his friend is going through. Like Dunn, Pujols&nbsp;switched leagues for a huge contract, and is now in a major slump as an Angel, with a low batting average and only one home run. Of course, if Pujlos stays in his slump two more days that would be just fine...</p><p>As for Jake Peavy and Adam Dunn, there’s no sure bet both players will continue with what they’ve started. At least now the Sox are seeing some dividends from all the money they’ve invested in these two players</p></p> Wed, 16 May 2012 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-05/pair-sox-comeback-trail-99189