Chicago White Sox: Opening Day

White Sox catch breath before opener

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
10:47
AM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day before their Cactus League schedule began, the Chicago White Sox took an abbreviated work day on Thursday.

After a short morning meeting, the players took the field for an hour-long batting practice session and were free to use the rest of the day as they please.

Long days are now ahead for the month of March. It all will begin on the final day of February, actually, as the team will return to its usual workout schedule on Friday and then take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 1:05 p.m. local start at Camelback Ranch.

From Friday until the team breaks camp on March 27 the White Sox will play a game every day in the desert except for the one off day on March 20. The White Sox have split-squad games on March 6 and March 22.

The lineup scheduled to be used by manager Robin Ventura against the Dodgers has a decidedly Opening Day flavor to it.

Adam Eaton will lead off and play center field, followed by shortstop Alexei Ramirez and right fielder Avisail Garcia. Jose Abreu will bat cleanup and play first base, while Dayan Viciedo will bat fifth in left field followed by Paul Konerko in the designated hitter spot. The bottom of the order will consist of Matt Davidson at third base, Gordon Beckham at second and Tyler Flowers behind the plate.

Chris Sale, who is expected to be the Opening Day starter at home on March 31 against the Minnesota Twins, will also be on the mound in Friday’s Cactus League opener. He isn't expected to pitch more than two innings.

Will this be Konerko's last Opening Day?

April, 1, 2013
4/01/13
12:59
AM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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To everything there is a season. To every baseball career there is a final curtain call.

Though he has repeatedly said he will decide on his future after the 2013 season, Chicago White Sox icon Paul Konerko may be making his last Opening Day start.

The team’s 36-year-old captain is entering his 15th year in the organization and last on a three-year contract he signed before the 2011 season.

Reflecting on a possible farewell will flash through the veteran first baseman’s thoughts Monday afternoon.

“I am certainly aware of it,” he told ESPNChicago.com. “It will cross my mind. After all, you are only human and you are going to have those thoughts. I have always been good about stopping those thoughts right there. I remind myself I have a job to do just like all of my teammates -- that is, to help this team win.”

“Again, you will think about it every now and again,” he said, “but when it comes to playing a game and you have a job to do, you can’t let that creep in. It doesn’t help; it can only hurt you.”

Konerko, whose 415 home runs and 1,307 RBIs are second only to Frank Thomas on the club’s all-time leaderboard, and the Sox faithful have had a long love affair anchored on mutual respect. A big part of that relationship is based on the fact he is the only member of the 2005 world championship team on this season’s roster.

“You have to earn their respect,” Konerko said of the fan base. “They are pretty smart baseball fans . I think they know when a guy is out there giving everything he has. They know the difference between that and that not being the case.

“The fans I have talked to seem to understand the nuances of the game more so than the average crowd,” he said. “We have to prove to them every year we are worthy of their respect.

“It is never a bad thing to prove to fans they should come out.”

News and notes from White Sox camp

February, 22, 2010
2/22/10
7:36
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Lefty Mark Buehrle will make his eighth Opening Day start on April 5 against the Cleveland Indians. Buehrle didn’t find out from manager Ozzie Guillen that he was going to get the start. Instead, media relations manager Pat O’Connell called Buehrle to tell him that Guillen had broken the news to reporters on Sunday.
[+] EnlargeMark Buehrle
AP Photo/Mark DuncanMark Buehrle will make his team-record eighth Opening Day start.

When I talked to Ozzie Guillen on Monday, he told me that after Buehrle pitching No. 1 and Peavy pitching No. 2, he and pitching coach Don Cooper will try to match up his other three starters -- John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia -- against the most favorable opponents and teams. That philosophy gives Guillen the luxury of giving one of the three more days off in April before going with a full-bore, five-man rotation in May.

Guillen also told me that during spring training, right handed pitcher Daniel Hudson will get stretched out all the way until Opening Day so that he’s ready to go into the rotation in case one of the other pitchers is injured.

Reliever J.J. Putz told me on Monday that he’s throwing the ball freely and without pain. He said his only worry was to hold himself back from doing too much too early. Putz is another in a long line of new Chicago White Sox players who admitted they’d rather play with A.J. Pierzynski than against him.

“He was always doing something to beat you,” Putz said. “I’m glad he’s on my team now. Besides, he’s a hell of a catcher. A lot of guys have done well with him behind the plate.”

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Chris Sale
WINS ERA SO IP
10 2.03 165 142
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Abreu .312
HRJ. Abreu 33
RBIJ. Abreu 97
RJ. Abreu 70
OPSJ. Abreu .969
ERAC. Sale 2.03
SOC. Sale 165