Results tagged ‘ Josh Fields ’

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.”

Anderson traded; Kotsay acquired

Brian Anderson got his wish to be traded, and in the process, the White Sox apparently have added a valuable veteran piece to their bench for the playoff push over the next two months.

Anderson, 27, was traded to Boston in exchange for Mark Kotsay and cash considerations on Tuesday. Kotsay, 33, is a .281 hitter with 110 home runs and 614 RBIs over 13 Major League seasons. He batted .257 with one homer and five RBIs in 27 games for the Red Sox in 2009 before being designated for assignment on July 24.

Kotsay’s arrival now makes either Dewayne Wise or Josh Fields expendable for Chicago. Kotsay ranks third among all Major League outfielders with his 113 assists since the start of the 1998 season, trailing Bobby Abreu (117) and Vladimir Guerrero (115), but also can back-up Paul Konerko at first base.

Of even greater importance is Kotsay’s .373 career average as a pinch-hitter, an extremely weak area for the White Sox at present. Wise had been serving as a defensive replacement and a left-handed hitting reserve outfielder, while Fields had been spelling both Jim Thome at designated hitter and Konerko at first base.

It was just five days ago when Anderson told MLB.com that he would like to be traded so he could get a fresh start at playing regularly somewhere else. For the moment, that start doesn’t look as if it will come in Boston, as the White Sox top pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft will be sent to the Minors. He hit .238 with two home runs and 13 RBIs in 65 games before being optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on July 20. Anderson is a career .225 hitter, with 20 homers and 75 RBIs in 334 games.

Buehrle on Letterman, perfect game recognition

Mark Buehrle has yet to receive the official word confirming his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman this Monday. Buehrle would tape a show staple Top 10 list from Minneapolis, along with teammates Dewayne Wise and Josh Fields, in honor of Buehrle hurling the 18th perfect game in Major League Baseball history on Thursday against Tampa Bay.

Being the consummate teammate, Buehrle wanted chief contributors Wise (the catch) and Fields (the grand slam) to join him in this move into network television. But Buehrle had a second reason for their addition.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to (alone) because I don’t like reading that much stuff,” said Buehrle with a laugh. “My agent (Jeff Berry) is the one who hooked that all up. I don’t like doing that kind of stuff.

“They were trying to fly me out for Conan O’Brien and that’s just too much national television stuff, the camera getting in front of my face. I’m not into all that.”

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen spoke on Friday as to how Buehrle throwing no-hitters and a perfect game is about as far removed from his gameplan as could be expected, with Buehrle not featuring a high-octane fastball and relying more on opposing hitters making contact and putting the ball in play. But getting Buehrle to take advantage of this fame through television shows and commercials…?

Well, that idea is even more foreign to the laid-back hurler with Midwestern sensibilities then the hitless efforts.

“With the no-hitter and success I’ve had, trying to get me out there and doing commercials or different things, they want me to get out there and I turn a lot of them down,” said Buehrle, who admitted with all of the talk and hype surrounding the Letterman appearance, it almost has to happen, at this point. “I like doing stuff, getting stuff and doing whatever, but I don’t like doing all the TV stuff that’s involved in doing it.”

Buehrle does appreciate the love and appreciation shown to him from within the baseball fraternity following Thursday’s perfect effort. A clubhouse video has circulated showing members of the Phillies going crazy when Wise robbed Gabe Kapler of the ninth-inning homer and then the group cheering just as loudly when Buehrle retired Jason Bartlett for the game’s final out.

After completing a round of interviews Friday in the White Sox dugout at Comerica Park, Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera stopped Buehrle to offer his personal congratulations.

Of course, the ultimate sign of respect came when numerous Tampa Bay players stayed in the visiting dugout, while the wild celebration took place on the field, to recognize Buehrle’s effort.

“To me, that was a very classy move,” Buehrle said. “I didn’t see it at the very beginning but a couple of guys said the whole team was out there for the majority of the celebration. Then, I got done with the interviews and there were six or eight guys out there. I gave them a thumbs up and I thought that was a class act by the guys out there.

“David Price wrote me a note and said, ‘Hey, it was an awesome game to watch and to be a part of history. It was an awesome game, congrats.’ Just all that kind of stuff, it makes you feel good that guys recognize it.

“Anytime history is going to be made, guys will tune in and watch it whenever they can. I think the same way,” Buehrle said. “It made me smile and feel good when they showed the (Phillies) going crazy when Wise made that catch. It almost kind of seemed like certain guys were rooting it on for it to happen.”

Historic baseball and David Letterman

A little misinformation apparently has been floating around concerning the whereabouts of the baseball used to record the last out of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game on Thursday. And here’s the official confirmation, as provided by the White Sox themselves.

The ball is in the White Sox offices at U.S. Cellular Field and will be held for future display. Josh Fields caught the final out on a throw from shortstop Alexei Ramirez and had it briefly taken by a Major League Baseball authenticator. But the ball was never lost, and the White Sox actually had it back in their possession directly from said authenticator.

In other Buehrle-related news, Dewayne Wise’s glove also will be going to Baseball’s Hall of Fame along with Buehrle’s jersey. The appearance by Buehrle, Dewayne Wise and Fields to do the Top 10 list on the Late Show with David Letterman from Minneapolis on Monday has not yet been officially confirmed on Buehrle’s end.

But if Buehrle chose Letterman, I applaud his decision-making process. It’s the funniest show on television, in my opinion.

Postgame commentary

The White Sox will honor the 50th anniversary of the 1959 World Series team, a group that lost to the Dodgers, prior to Thursday’s series finale. Luis Aparicio, Jim Rivera, Billy Pierce and Jim Landis are some of the players from that team scheduled to be in attendance.

But leave it to Ozzie Guillen to lend his interesting, yet somewhat bizarre, and always humorous take on the planned ceremony.

“They’re still alive?” said Guillen with a laugh, drawing a laugh from the media during his press conference following Wednesday’s 10-7 win. “I see Billy everyday. Every time I see Billy, he’s Mr. White Sox.

“I think what they did was nice. I hope they invite me when they celebrate the 2005 team. If I keep managing this ballclub, pretty soon I’m not going to be alive, but it’s always nice to see those people back in uniform, back in town.

“But we see those guys every time,” Guillen said. “Just name it. We see them everywhere. We sign autographs at the zoo, they’re behind us. That doesn’t surprise me.”

–Asked to describe how Josh Fields has handled his move from starting third baseman to utility player, team captain Paul Konerko offered the following analysis.

“Classy. Awesome. Hard-worker. Does all that is asked of him,” Konerko said. “It was nice to see him rewarded tonight.”

Fields earned a start at third base on Thursday with his three-hit, two home run effort on Wednesday.

“Dads say it as far back as in Little League: Hit and you play,” Field said. “I felt good about my at-bats and my swing.”

–I was asked this question tonight during the game, and I’m looking for a little help from the White Sox fan base in finding an answer.

Jared Mitchell, who was the Outstanding Player at the College World Series and the White Sox top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player, has won a football and baseball title at LSU. How many other collegiate players can make that same claim? I’ll hang up and listen for your responses.

While the White Sox had to be thrilled by Mitchell’s performance, No. 1 Texas fan John Danks didn’t seem all too excited about the Longhorns’ loss.

Going Deep

The six home runs hit by the White Sox against the Dodgers on Wednesday night were the most hit by the team since they knocked out six on June 8, 2004 against Philadelphia. As a full service blog, here’s how the home runs broke down during that particular 14-11 victory, in which the legendary Amaury Telemaco suffered the loss.

–Paul Konerko and Juan Uribe each hit two.
–Frank Thomas hit one off of Telemaco
–Carlos Lee went deep off of Ryan Madson

Also of note that night, Mark Buehrle earned the victory and Mike Jackson gave up five runs in one inning of relief.

On Wednesday, the home runs belong to Josh Fields, Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Jayson Nix, Alexei Ramirez and Josh Fields again.

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

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.

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