Where have I been?
A hectic few days, including the Cubs-White Sox two-game series in Las Vegas, not to mention a cold or battle with allergies that won’t quite go away, have kept me off the blog. But I’m back with a few news items to start the week.
–Jose Contreras and Bartolo Colon will be throwing batting practice tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. CT, as part of their continued comeback from injuries and push to the White Sox starting rotation. Ryan Braun also will be throwing batting practice on a separate field, as he battles his way back from Tommy John surgery on April 22, 2008.
I’m just guessing here right now, but I think Contreras will start the 2009 season as part of the rotation, but Colon, who is coming back from an elbow injury, will not but won’t be far behind. By the way, I think both Clayton Richard and Jeff Marquez are locks to make the team in some pitching capacity.
–Gordon Beckham continues to… Well, I was going to say impress but I don’t think that word is strong enough. How about amaze? He had three doubles on Sunday and has caused the White Sox to take a serious look at him as a possible starting candidate at second base, less than one year after being selected with the eighth pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
I don’t think Beckham breaks camp with the team. But I reiterate that he will be playing Major League baseball before September callups. His confidence, as much as his ability, impresses me. Beckham looks as if he’s been doing this for 10 years.
“Well, I hope I’m looking like that,” Beckham said. “I think there’s a difference in being cocky and being confident. I try to be as confident as I can without being cocky.
“Why not? I’ve been playing this game my whole life. The game hasn’t changed. It’s just the scenery and settings got a little different.”
–Here’s an example of Ozzie Guillen’s popularity. The White Sox manager came out in the third on Sunday to check on Alexei Ramirez, who had fouled a ball off of his foot, when some fan at Camelback Ranch yelled, ‘Hey, Ozzie. How are you doing?’
I watched Ozzie walk the hallways of the Bellagio Hotel during the 2008 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, and he couldn’t take three steps without someone stopping him to talk or pose for a picture.
–Michigan wins its first round game in the Big 10 tourney, and its NCAA Tournament drought is over. No questions asked. Minnesota might be the Big 10 team with the most trouble.
You heard it here first: Michigan vs. Michigan St. for the NCAA crown.
–Jayson Nix is expected back in action after Tuesday’s day off. Brent Lillibridge will play Monday.