Results tagged ‘ Chris Getz ’

Getz, Fields move on with class

Chris Getz heard the rumors.

They started Thursday morning, when his cell phone was blowing up with calls from people who knew better than to contact him so early in the morning. Getz repeatedly hit ignore and tried to fall back to sleep, until finally checking his phone to figure out the source of this commotion.

Reports had Getz, the White Sox starting second baseman for much of the 2009 campaign, as part of a trade to the Royals that brought back Mark Teahen. The only problem for Getz was he had heard nothing remotely official from the White Sox. Actually, he had heard nothing at all.

That official announcement wouldn’t come until Friday morning, when White Sox general manager Ken Williams placed a call to the Royals’ newest infield acquisition.

A strange 24 hours indeed for Getz.

“At least it was only 24 hours, rather than anything longer than that,” Getz said. “It’s history, but I’m sure they would do it differently if they knew it was going to get out like that. Basically, everyone knew but the players.”

Josh Fields, the White Sox top pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, also was part of the deal for Teahen and cash considerations from the Royals. But whereas the move was a bit stunning for Getz, it was a welcomed change for Fields.

At 27, which Fields will turn on Dec. 14, the new father just didn’t see himself as a part-time player. He has a far better chance of proving that point with the Royals.

“I think it’s going to work out good in Kansas City,” Fields said. “I always will appreciate Chicago, being that it was my first team, the team where I first made it to the big leagues and the team that gave me the opportunity.

“In 2008, I got to experience playoff type atmosphere. Now, I’m looking forward to taking the experience I’ve had with Chicago, both the good and the bad, and putting it all together when I go with Kansas City.”

Dealing with both Getz and Fields has been a positive experience from my point of view, and I suspect most of my media brethren would agree. They were good talkers, displaying refreshing candor, and always made themselves accessible, even when they didn’t really want to be accessible. Actually, that trait has been fairly common for most of the White Sox players over the past eight years, minus one or two exceptions.

Getz had what turned out to be the unfortunate coincidence for him of attending the same university I did in Ann Arbor. Unfortunate, in that he endured countless minutes of clubhouse analysis from me on the resurgence of the University of Michigan basketball program and the disaster that is the football program under Rich Rodriguez. When I joked with him on Friday as to how I can still keep him updated during Spring Training, being that the training sites are in the same general Arizona vicinity, I think Getz suddenly wished he was traded to team who trained in Florida–or maybe out of the country.

Williams explained on Friday how there was a cash portion of this deal needing approval, which pushed back the official word to Friday, and left Getz and Fields wondering and waiting on Thursday. Obviously, Williams’ style has never been to leave his players unsure as to where they stand, and he made that clear to Getz, Fields and the media.

“You know how I feel about things getting out before it’s time for them to get out,” Williams said. “It puts players in an uncomfortable position.”

But there’s no retribution promised from Getz and Fields for their momentary discomfort. They simply want to contribute to success for their new team, just as they did for their old team.

“Really, it’s better to be wanted than to not be wanted at all,” Getz said. “When I’m out there (for Kansas City), I just want to help the team win. I’m not trying to gain vengeance against the White Sox. I’ll just do the same things I always do.”

“There’s no extra incentive. It’s a business,” Fields said. “You want to go beat up on any team we play against, and the White Sox are no different. Any time you are in the big leagues, it’s a positive experience. You dream of it as a little kid, and to get there and spend significant time, it’s positive regardless.”

RAW is A.J.?

For those who missed WWE’s Monday Night Raw broadcast or weren’t there live at the AllState Arena, you missed a truly classic A.J. Pierzynski moment.

Pierzynski was sitting in the front row with teammates Jermaine Dye, Gordon Beckham and Chris Getz, when some segment began called ‘The Price is Raw’ hosted by the legendary Bob Barker. Wrestlers IRS and Santino Morrello already had been called down, as was some attractive looking blonde-haired woman named Jillian, who I’m guessing was associated with the WWE.

To be honest, I haven’t watched RAW in a while so I’m not familiar with all of the athletes. Someday, I’ll have to blog about my brief career as a wrestling play-by-play man, for a MUCH smaller wrestling organization, but that’s another tale for another time.

Barker needed another contestant to complete contestants’ row and who was called down but Pierzynski. The White Sox catcher and former wrestler/manager, and I think champion of some sort in TNA, the rival pro wrestling organization, completely sold the bit, reacting as if he just won the World Series yet again when his name was called and he got to meet Barker. Pierzynski even was wearing a Price is Right style name tag with A.J. on it.

Unfortunately, Pierzynski’s bid of $1,000 was not the winner but stood as good television nonetheless. Here’s an early prediction: Whenever Pierzynski decides to retire as a Major League Baseball catcher, he will be a star if he decides to go into the wrestling business. He could be the next Bobby Heenan as a manager or Jerry Lawler as an announcer.

Not sure if he wants the bumps and bruises as a wrestler, after enduing the bumps and bruises as a catcher.

Beckham could return on Wednesday

Gordon Beckham fully expects to be back in the White Sox starting lineup for Wednesday night’s series finale of a brief two-game home set with Oakland. Beckham basically has missed the last three games due to a strained right oblique, although it’s more of a tweak than a full-out strain like the one that sent Chris Getz to the disabled list.

The fact that Beckham exited Saturday’s contest in the bottom of the first inning and got treatment instead of playing on it probably saved the rookie third baseman from more extended trouble.

“I’m doing OK,” said Beckham after Monday’s 5-1 victory for the White Sox over Boston. “I think they want to keep me out one more day, but I probably could go (Tuesday). We’ll see. Hopefully Wednesday, maybe (Tuesday).”

With an off-day coming Thursday, ending a string of 20 games in 20 days during which the White Sox have posted a 7-11 record, and an important West Coast swing to Anaheim and Seattle starting Friday, Ozzie Guillen could error on the side of caution and keep Beckham out for the next two days. Guillen is being very careful with the young man who played 81 straight games and started 65 in a row, who currently leads all AL rookies with 23 doubles, 52 RBIs and 34 extra-base hits.

“I want him to finish strong,” said Guillen of Beckham. “Hopefully he can get what I want him to get, that award. He deserved and earned it. It’s our job to make sure we do the best for him to get it. We’ll talk to (White Sox athletic trainer) Herm (Schneider) about it. It’s a day game today and hopefully the long day he’ll get better.”

Thursday tidbits

Stop me if you’ve heard this tale before.

Bartolo Colon is out of action, on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow, this time. And Ozzie Guillen is not really sure where the burly right-hander currently is rehabbing.

“No, he’s not here,” said Guillen with a laugh. “That’s hard to find out. That’s the hardest question you ask me, where is Colon?”

Guillen doesn’t see Colon pitching for the White Sox “in the next 20 days” because he has to go on rehab assignments again. Don’t look for Colon to work for the White Sox again this year, unless Jose Contreras continues to struggle, not with Jake Peavy and Freddy Garcia coming back from injuries, and Minor Leaguer Carlos Torres probably providing the same level of efficiency as the veteran.

–Shortstop Alexei Ramirez will return to the lineup on Friday against Cleveland and southpaw starter Jeremy Sowers. Ramirez conceivably could end up hitting ninth against right-handed pitchers, with Guillen not wanting to put the left-handed hitting Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik back-to-back in the lineup.

Gordon Beckham stays in the second spot until further notice.

“Every time we change the lineup, I try to get the guy hot,” Guillen said. “The day I did it with Ramirez was just because he was swinging the bat better, and plus batting second he’s going to see better pitches. That’s why I did it there. Right now, I’m going to give the most at bats to my best hitter.”

–Asked before the game, Guillen found it hard to name a season-long MVP for his team.

“Wow. They’re not playing that good. They’re not playing that bad,” Guillen said. “I think this month, Beckham. I think PK (Paul Konerko) and JD (Jermaine Dye) are playing unbelievable.

“They’re playing well. And the pitching staff, even with Mark Buehrle doing what he did, I think Matt Thornton. Matt has been our savior. There’s no doubt about it. Matt is having a tremendous year.”

–Here’s a couple quotes from Mark Buehrle, who seemingly did his one millionth post perfect game interview today on the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

On the recently concluded Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series:

“To me, it’s kinda weird because you don’t usually get appreciated until you retire,” Buehrle said. “They actually asked me to throw out the first pitch one game. I told them I’d still catch it but I don’t care to throw out a first pitch until I’m retired. It’s hectic and I’ve obviously been doing a lot of stuff. But it’s been well worth it.”

On the ramifications of the Peavy deal:

“Obviously, the (Padres) kept coming up and telling him he had to be moved,” Buehrle said. “But I think (John) Danks and Gavin (Floyd) and I have talked and if not this year then for next year we’re excited when he’s healthy and gets back having us four guys from the start of next season.

“Hopefully, he comes back healthy this year and we can get back in the playoffs and it’ll be a fun run. But we got some good things to look forward to the next couple of years.”

On how he would like his next perfect game celebrated:

“By not talking to the media,” Buehrle said. “Is that possible?”

Crosstown Showdown: U.S. Cellular Wrap

John Danks already has earned the utmost respect from his teammates over three big-league seasons, and throwing seven scoreless innings as he did during Sunday’s 6-0 victory over the Cubs only increases that respect.

But Danks also stepped up and showed he had his teammates’ backs by hitting Ryan Freel to open the seventh. Carlos Zambrano already had hit Scott Podsednik and Dewayne Wise earlier in the game, with Wise’s situation causing words to briefly be exchanged between the two in the bottom of the sixth.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would not go as far as to categorize Danks’ effort as a purpose pitch.

“It’s part of the game,” Guillen said. “I cannot say he hit him on purpose because that’s accusing people.”

When Danks hit Freel in the left forearm, Freel blew on the spot as if to indicate a lack of velocity or pain on impact as he ran to first. But Danks had the last laugh on this particular day.

“To be totally honest with you, I didn’t even see him,” Danks said. “He went to first base and fortunately, we were able to strand him. Whatever he did, that’s something you would have to ask him. It didn’t bother me a bit; I didn’t even see it.”

–This just in: According to a well-placed family source, Danks and Scott Linebrink combined for an all Round Rock, Texas shutout on Sunday. Linebrink, who fanned four in two perfect innings, graduated from Round Rock McNeil High School, and Danks from Round Rock High School. There’s some interesting trivia to amuse your friends.

–Danks made sure to spread the credit to catcher A.J. Pierzynski for Sunday’s victory.

“I didn’t shake A.J. once. A.J. did a great job, he always does,” Danks said. “I know that for the most part, I just have to follow his lead and try to hit his glove with whatever pitch he tells me to throw.”

Pierzynski pointed to Danks’ changeup as his outpitch against the Cubs.

“He kept getting swings and misses and weak ground balls with the changeups,” Pierzynski said.

–As Pierzynski was talking about Chris Getz’s steal of home in the clubhouse, Gary Matthews Jr. swiped home during the Angels’ game on one of the televisions on at the time.

–Guillen showed strong pregame support for the White Sox visiting clubhouse staff amidst Cubs’ allegations that there was a leak surrounding what was said during Friday’s Lou Piniella-Milton Bradley spat. Guillen also shared his thoughts on Mark DeRosa moving from Cleveland to St. Louis.

“It’s funny. Mark DeRosa was my backup (in Atlanta). Now he’s the most wanted guy in baseball,” Guillen said with a laugh. “I was the backup at shortstop and Mark was my backup. I think this guy can help a lot of people.

“He can play every position very well, he’s a great man in the clubhouse. You can play him second, third, you can hit him leadoff. He can do so many great things in baseball. I think Tony picked the right guy. I think he’s going to help him.”

–Finally, here’s Jermaine Dye’s take on the 2009 competition with the Cubs, which has one more makeup game at Wrigley Field on Sept. 3 or 10.

“This series is always great, especially for the city of Chicago and the fans and for us and the clubhouse,” Dye said. “It’s a great atmosphere.

“What a series for everyone. The city of Chicago – three great games and a lot of excitement going on. That’s what you like to see when two teams in the city are playing each other.”

–Actually, one final note. Here’s a closing aside from Wise on Zambrano hitting him after Getz swiped home.

“My thing is just go out and try to get the guy out,” Wise said. “Don’t get mad and throw at someone and hit them. Play baseball and try to get the guy out.”

Crosstown Showdown: Round 2

The White Sox lineup should be extremely small-ball focused in Friday night’s series opener against the Reds.

Jim Thome once again will be out of action, as the White Sox move on to their third and final three-game Interleague set without a designated hitter at a National League ballpark. This run will end up covering just eight games, due to Tuesday’s postponement.

Carlos Quentin continues to be sidelined during his recovery from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and now it looks as if Jermaine Dye will rest on Friday as he battles through an ongoing left calf strain.

“I might not play him tomorrow, give him some rest [for his left calf], see how that feels,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Dye. “Hopefully, with a day off he’ll feel better, but we’re going by ear. We gave him back-to-back days off and that didn’t help him. I have to be careful with him. If Dye goes down, Quentin is already down, it will be tough on us.”

–Without productiviy from Gavin Floyd and Alexei Ramirez that somewhat resembles last year’s breakout performances, the White Sox probably won’t be playoff contenders. So, despite Thursday’s tough loss, the team has to be encouraged with the signs of resurgence from both.

Ramirez homered for the second straight game and had two hits, after going 4-for-25 in his last six games.

“We’re looking for that,” said Guillen of Ramirez’s effort. “He’s had a tough year this year, a really tough year. Hopefully little by little, he’s getting some big hits for us.”

Floyd lost his chance for a second straight victory due to a rare late-inning bullpen malfunction, as Curtis Granderson’s two-run, ninth-inning home run off of Bobby Jenks cost Floyd last Thursday. Floyd has given up three runs or less in each of his last six starts, working at least seven innings in all but one.

He would trade in Thursday’s stellar mound work for a victory.

“To not win as a team, I think that’s the most disappointing thing,” Floyd said. “I want those (bullpen) guys in there every single time. It just didn’t work out for them. We’re going to bounce back.”

–With all the talk over the past week concerning the Cubs hitting woes, don’t lose sight of back-to-back great efforts from Floyd and John Danks. As has been said many times before, ultimately this team goes as far as it’s pitching and defense.

— Josh Fields pinch-hit for Floyd in the eighth inning of Thursday’s loss and drew a walk off of Sean Marshall. Since June 9, Fields has just 11 plate appearances and once again could find himself as the odd-man out when Quentin gets healthy. Guillen addressed that issue prior to Thursday’s contest.

“I don’t think we’re going to make a move yet,” Guillen said. “We still got to wait for (Bartolo) Colon and see how he is, how he feels.

“That’s the tough move we’re going to make. Josh Fields is still with us. Unfortunately, I could not give him enough playing time. I got to wait to see if I can give Paul a rest at first base and if he can help a little bit by DHing, but I try to do the best I can to accommodate his situation, but it’s tough right now.”

When asked if Fields needed to play full-time somewhere at this stage of his career, even in the Minors, Guillen provided the following response.

“We don’t have that conversation yet,” Guillen said. “Fields never brought it up. Kenny never brought it up to me. Right now, we’re playing well. When you’re playing well, you don’t want to make any moves. You want to leave the team the way it is. Right now it’s not in our plans.”

–White Sox fans have to be smiling over the development of young players such as Chris Getz and Gordon Beckham, not to mention the next step up being taken by Brian Anderson in center. The team appears to have formed a youthful core to keep it strong in the present and for years to come.

–Check out Guillen’s take on the wholesale lineup changes Cubs manager Lou Piniella suggested were coming after Wednesday’s loss.

“”He made one, he put (Anders) Blanco in,” said Guillen with a laugh

Crosstown Showdown: Round 1

It’s sometimes easy to forget the managerial acumen possessed by Ozzie Guillen.

That aspect of the overall person that is Guillen often gets lost when he’s telling humorous stories about buying T-shirts that make fun of him on the streets near Wrigley Field, not to mention the other comical yarns he spins on a daily basis. But anyone who watched the White Sox in action during Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs understands his sharp and aggressive managerial mindset and how the White Sox take their cue from their leader.

I’m not saying Guillen outmanaged Lou Piniella. In all honesty, I’m not sure if Houdini could have produced a win for the Cubs on Wednesday with as listless as that lineup looks. But the non station-to-station game played by the Whtie Sox is the sort of game Guillen would prefer to see from his team every day.

–I’m just throwing this out there and I want to see how many, if any, of you agree.

If a vote was taken today, would Scott Podsednik be the White Sox Most Valuable Player? That’s where I would throw my support, although a case could be made for everyone from Paul Konerko to Jermaine Dye to A.J. Pierzynski to Mark Buehrle. But Podsednik has changed the dynamic of this lineup.

He reached base three more times on Wednesday, having now reached base in 32 of his last 34 games, and Podsednik is hitting .315.

— Slowly but surely, the White Sox have put together what looks to be a solid bottom part of the batting order. That group includes Chris Getz, Brian Anderson and Gordon Beckham. On Wednesday, the trio reached base six combined times.

“I think we are playing well,” Beckham said. “We’ve all done something in the last couple of games. It helps that our older guys don’t always have to do it. They don’t always have to have the big hits.”

All three have helped out defensively, with Anderson still standing as one of the best with the glove in the American League at his position.

— Here’s Podsednik’s take on the importance of doing the little things in victory.

“That’s what we haven’t been doing in series before this one,” Podsednik said. “That’s what we needed to clean up a little bit: The way we handled the bats, getting guys over, getting guys in with less than two outs. So, the team that takes the field and is able to do those things consistently is going to be able to win games.”

–Guillen had these words of encouragement for Cubs fans after another tough home loss.

“They’ve got a good ballclub,” Guillen said. “If I had to bet, with all respect to St. Louis, Milwaukee and all those teams, the Cubs are going to be in the pennant race.

“Just people in Chicago relax. Quit panicking. Worry about something else. Worry about your family, the kids going back to school and having good grades. Don’t worry about the Cubs, they’ll be fine.”

On Tuesday night, Guillen predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central by 10 games.

Homestand leftovers

One day after general manager Ken Williams talked about the future direction of the White Sox if they don’t pick up the pace a bit in the next few weeks, manager Ozzie Guillen addressed the same topic Thursday.

“Kenny is the GM and my job is to manage the team he put on the field,” said Guillen, when asked if he expected big personnel changes to come for his team. “My job is to make the best ballclub out of that. Kenny in the past and in the future, as long as I’m here, we are on the same page. He gives me great ballclubs to compete. Maybe people don’t believe that, but I do and I’m the one in charge of this ballclub.

“If we continue to play this way, you know something is going to happen. If we do a little better, then obviously we are going to keep the ballclub. We are here to win and we build this ballclub to win.

“Obviously, every general manager will do the same thing or think about it,” Guillen said. “We not playing good, that’s his decision and I respect his decision. I hope players start playing better and we can keep the same people with the ballclub. If not, that’s part of the game. The media has to understand that.”

Guillen added that he doesn’t want to his team get into too deep of a long-term hole, where it will take years to climb out. Williams agrees with that philosophy, and incorporated young players such as Chris Getz, Josh Fields and even Gordon Beckham into the 2009 fold to stay competitive in the present and future.

“I don’t want to get in the hole and suffer for the next 10 years trying to get better,” Guillen said. “If we don’t think we are going to get it done with this ballclub, Kenny has to make the decision. He has a job and he’s doing a pretty good job.

“Some time people don’t like the decisions other ones make. It’s easy to make decisions for someone else. We are not talking about it, but I will do the same stuff.”

As for handling a young team, Guillen sees no problem if the change over occurs.

“I don’t see why not,” Guillen said. “Those guys have a lot of talent. Hopefully, that’s a lesson for those kids. They learn from the best and it’s not because they are my players.

“When you play with Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko and Jim Thome, those three guys, you are not going to be better teammates than those guys. They are professional and go about business the right way. They do everything they can for baseball. Hopefully those kids look up to these guys and play the way these guys play.”

–I had the chance to talk with Dewayne Wise today and asked him if he was safe at home during Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to Detroit in 10 innings. Wise would have been the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, completing a four-run ninth on Paul Konerko’s three-run double, but home-plate umpire Jim Joyce ruled him out on the definition of a bang-bang play.

Wise respectfully disagreed, holding his palms flat out in response to the question.

“Safe,” Wise said with a smile.

More on Beckham

Could there be actually any more to write about Gordon Beckham? I think his rise to the Major Leagues has been fairly well chronicled over the past two days. And as the old Carpenters’ song goes, Beckham has only just begun.

Beckham’s strong Spring Training performance was important, not only to show Beckham was ready to play at the Major League level, but he also had a chance to bond with his future teammates. And even players such as Josh Fields and Chris Getz, who Beckham will be taking playing time from, especially Fields, have nothing but good things to say about Beckham.

“He’s a great guy,” said Fields of Beckham.. “I talked about it earlier, but it was inevitable he would be in the big leagues quick. He has been playing well. We’ll see what their plan is. I like him and will talk to him and help him out as much as I can. I don’t know if I’m necessarily the person to do that. But there’s no hard feelings or anything like that.”

“Gordon’s a great guy,” Getz said. “A very talented player. A bright future ahead of him.”

–Hitting coach Greg Walker doesn’t intend to reinvent the wheel in regard to Beckham’s approach at the plate. Walker plans to let Beckham go with what has been working for him at Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this season, while being there for any questions or adjustments Beckham needs to make.

“We are going to let him play,” Walker said. “We’ll go up and ask him what he was doing in Birmigngham and Charlotte to get ready for games. But short of standing on his head to swing, we will let him do exactly what he has been doing.

“Everyone likes his talent, mechanics and attitude. Now, we will see how he handles the big leagues.”

— Getz was available to pinch-hit or pinch-run on Thursday. He expects to be back in the lineup Friday against Cleveland’s Carl Pavano, coming back from a mildy sprained right ankle.

–Here’s Fields take on potentially getting some time at first base, in a search to continue getting him at-bats.

“Last year, when I was considered the utility guy off the bench, I was classified as third base and first base,” Fields said. “They had me working there, but I have no experience at first. It might be like my left field debacle in 2007.”

Beckham on the move

Gordon Beckham officially was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday and will be in the Knights’ starting lineup on Thursday night in Columbus.

Let the predictions begin as to when the Minor League phenom arrives with the White Sox.

The team’s top pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft hit .299 in 38 games for Double-A Birmingham, with four home runs, 17 doubles and 22 RBIs. White Sox manager Ozzie  Guillen said that Beckham could have been ready for Triple-A competition out of Spring Training, but he applauded the choice of Minor League Director Buddy Bell to start Beckham with the Barons.

Guillen also liked the move of prepared talent through the White Sox system.

“I always believe when we think someone is good, move him up,” Guillen said. “A lot of organizations keep guys in the same place to be great just to trade him.”

Before people assume that the jump from Charlotte to the White Sox is a mere formality, remember that Guillen is in favor of Beckham spending a full season in the Minors. Guillen also cautioned that the move from Triple-A to the Majors will be the biggest challenge Beckham has to face.

At this point, the White Sox seem to be satisfied with Josh Fields at third base, Chris Getz at second base and Jayson Nix getting time at both positions.