At the end of August and the very beginning of September, I went to Chicago (and Milwaukee) with my father on a long-delayed trip to the three MLB stadiums there, as well as some museums and other sites. This is the first of three or four installments featuring pictures and memories/neat stuff I remember. Go below the jump (after the first picture) to see them:
In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here.Today, I talk briefly about the Chicago White Sox.
The White Sox spent the off-season helping build a team that could contend in the AL Central this coming year. Whether they will succeed is more up for debate. Among the additions: Zach Duke, Adam LaRoche, David Robertson, and Jeff Samardzija.
However, the player to most watch isn’t one of the new guys. No, the player to watch is the sophomore MLB season version of Jose Abreu.
Consider his season last year, his first in MLB after arriving from Cuba. He hit .317 with a .964 OPS and 36 HRs… and this was while missing some time with a knee injury.
And now, it’s his second year coming up. If the White Sox do well, it could prove to be his breakout amongst more casual baseball fans, especially if he is able to do better this year than he did last. Is it possible that he could hit 50 HRs? Perhaps. And that would be something to see.
Tomorrow: Los Angeles Angels.
For example, it is said that during a four-hour flight, the 6’6”, 180 lb pitcher ate 2 ice cream sundaes and 30 bags of potato chips.
Now, admittedly this is likely just another tale of athletes exaggerating, but, just for kicks, this is roughly what the nutritional info for such a meal would be:
I’m not entirely sure how he would survive such a eating frenzy without throwing up. His metabolism must be something completely unlike anything else on this earth. There must be something unique about him. If everyone could have such a metabolism, obesity could disappear overnight.
In other words, I ask that Chris Sale reconsider his career in baseball and donate his body to science. Within his body may be the secrets of ending obesity and who knows what else.
Make it happen!
It is done. Francisco Liriano is no longer a Minnesota Twin, traded to the White Sox for lefty starting prospect Pedro Hernandez and utility-man Eduardo Escobar. In some ways, the fact he got traded for such an uneven haul is fitting, because Liriano always something of an uneven pitcher. When he was on, he was one of the best pitchers in the game, when he wasn’t… he was one of the worst.
Acquired in a highway robbery trade with the Giants (who got A.J. Pierzynski in return… for one season) that also brought the Twins Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser, Liriano had a brief appearance in 2005. But it was his first full rookie year, in 2006, that was magnificent. He made an All-Star team, came in third for Rookie of the Year. He also had the first of many injuries. It would be the bane of his career.
He would never be the same again for any long stretch of time. He had his moments, including a no-hitter. However, in general, he was a case of what might have been. The same could be said for the Twins- who knows how different the past few years could have gone if they had a top-of-the-line power pitcher like Liriano had been in his early career. It’s possible, in fact, that they might not have even had gotten to this point to begin with, and would instead be worrying about whether they could keep Liriano when he hit free agency, not simply whether the haul they got for him was good or not (time will tell, but there are no obviously top-level prospects getting received).
So, thus ends the Liriano era. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… and it would have been a lot better if not for injuries.
It was July, 1979. Jimmy Carter was president, ESPN was still a few months away from it’s first broadcast and Laverne & Shirley was the most watched show on television. Against this backdrop, a DJ named Steve Dahl and fellow Chicagoland personality Garry Meier convinced Mike Veeck and his father Bill Veeck, owner of the Chicago White Sox, to hold an anti-Disco rally between games of a doubleheader.
After the Tigers beat the White Sox 3-1 in the first game… madness ensued, as can be seen in this compilation of news footage from Chicago that fateful night, 33 years ago. Keep an eye open for a young Greg Gumbel.
The second game, of course, ended up being cancelled, forfeited to the Tigers. It would be the last forfeit in American League history to this day and the second-to-last forfeit in MLB history (there was “ball day” on August 10, 1995 in Los Angeles).
Interestingly, despite claims that Disco Demolition Night ended disco forever, later that year the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series while playing Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” as their theme song.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, it should be noted, have not been back to the World Series since.