June 2011

Beckham helps White Sox become more interesting

Anyone watching Wednesday’s postgame interviews with A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy might have been slightly distracted by a cardboard cutout standing behind them but in camera shot.

That cutout featured the likeness of Jonathan Goldsmith, who is more commonly known as “The Most Interesting Guy in the World.”

“Man,” said Adam Dunn, quickly correcting my mistake while sitting in the White Sox clubhouse. “The Most Interesting Man.”

So, how does one of the most brilliant commercial runs in the history of advertising, representing Dos Equis, factor into the White Sox push for the postseason? It has recently become the symbol of the White Sox Player of the Game in victories, as awarded by Gordon Beckham.

The one catch is that the chosen nightly winner must work the word “interesting” into his first answer to the media following the game.

“Hopefully, he’s going to be there after games, after wins, just bringing the people up in this clubhouse. That’s the goal,” a smiling Beckham said. “It’s going to probably rotate around the player of the game, depending on who does well.

“We are going to put him, the Most Interesting Man is going to put himself in the biggest spotlight, I guess is what’s going to happen. The problem is we might not have to move him from (Paul Konerko’s) locker for the next couple of weeks because of how well he has been playing.”

Beckham received “The Most Interesting Man in the World” as a gift from a family member. Beckham brought it into the clubhouse a while ago, but then the Most Interesting Man temporarily was lost with no signs of where he disappeared.

“He finally came back,” Beckham said. “And he’s back here for a bunch of wins, I think.”

About the only way to enhance the power of the cardboard cutout would be to have Goldsmith visit the White Sox in person. Dunn called the idea “awesome,” but Beckham preached patience with the White Sox version.

“This has to pick up some speed first,” Beckham said.

And just think of the marketing gems if this good luck charm’s arrival coincides with White Sox success. Remember, this campaign already has produced the following gems:

“He has been known to cure Narcolepsy, just by walking into a room.”

“His organ donation card also lists his beard.”

“His blood smells like cologne.”

“He lives vicariously through himself.”

“Sharks have a week dedicated to him.”

“Even his enemies list him as their emergency contact number.”

So, let’s say the White Sox go on a roll behind this new addition and win it all. How about this addition:

“He helped the White Sox win a World Series without throwing or hitting a pitch or even attending a game.”

Peavy’s prophecy: Twins have life

Before Jake Peavy left for his rehab start with Triple-A Charlotte Thursday, actually before Tuesday’s scheduled series opener at Target Field was postponed due to inclement weather, the veteran White Sox right-hander delivered a bit of an ominous message concerning the suddenly surging Twins.

“This team is starting to play well, and I think it’s a big series for the boys,” said Peavy of facing the Twins. “Come up here and win 2 of 3 and stop their momentum and win 2 of 3 in their park.

“If you give these guys life, … I certainly don’t want the Twins to have any more life than they already have. To lose a series and let them have life, we certainly don’t want to have to deal with this team down the stretch. We saw the problems that they can create to anybody they play.”

Two Minnesota victories later, a stretch in which the White Sox managed just one run scored, and the Twins have life. This latest Twin Cities debacle can’t be blamed on some three-hop triple off the Metrodome turf or some miraculous late rally inside the Twins’ indoor home.

Instead, the Twins have simply outplayed the White Sox in all four games this year. It was Mark Buehrle, Thursday’s hard-luck losing pitcher, who told MLB.com a few weeks ago how the Twins could never be counted out—even when they were sitting closer to 20 games under .500 than first place.

Too many heartbreaking setbacks for the White Sox exist in the memory bank to ever think that way. An otherwise pleasant trip to Minneapolis and the Twins’ beautiful ballpark has been consistently ruined by Minnesota victories.

“Leaving the Metrodome would be easy on us here, or that’s what I thought. I guess not,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “They play good baseball when they play at home. They’re not playing good baseball just against us. I think they’re playing good baseball the last few weeks. You have to give them some credit.”

“I like it a heck of a lot better than I did over at the Dome,” said Buehrle of facing the Twins. “It seemed like when we went to the Dome, it was like, ‘Get in, get out.’ If we won one out of three games, it was like throwing a party. But here, I don’t know. I love coming to this place. Good town, good stadium. Just seems like we don’t play too good here.”

Fortunes better improve quickly for the White Sox in the Twins’ home. The South Siders play seven more games in this venue before the season’s end, from Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 5-7.  Ron Gardenhire’s crew is on the roll going into Interleague that Peavy wanted for the White Sox, and Minnesota’s best baseball usually comes after the All-Star Break.

MRI shows mild strain for Peavy

A MRI taken on White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy at Rush University Medical Center Monday afternoon revealed a mild strain of his right groin (adductor). Peavy left Sunday’s start against Detroit after four innings due to this injury, and he will be evaluated on a daily basis.

Ozzie Guillen said before Monday’s series opener with Seattle how he wasn’t automatically ready to view Peavy as a disabled list case simply because of Peavy’s early departure. He also didn’t mind Peavy trying to pitch through the pain on Sunday, although Peavy admitted afterwards the groin issue and his inability to use his legs during the fourth contributed to Detroit’s six-run inning.

Peavy was working on five days rest after pitching Monday in Boston, when he first felt the pain grab in the groin area. He was flip-flopped with John Danks, though, having Peavy move to Sunday and Danks start Monday.

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