Results tagged ‘ Tucson ’

Thome update

Ozzie Guillen believes that Jim Thome will get a few at-bats Tuesday, after being out of action since he was scratched from last Wednesday’s starting lineup with tightness in his back. Thome would take the hacks back at Camelback Ranch, with the White Sox traveling to Tucson on Tuesday.

“But he feels better, and it’s a day-by-day thing,” said Guillen of Thome. “We got a lot of games left. I don’t worry about him. I want to make sure.”

Tucson Tales, Day 1

I actually arrived in Tucson on Wednesday night and had a great dinner at McMahon’s with my friend Sarah, probably the most upbeat person I know. I had the salmon, she had the swordfish–both outstanding meals. Actually, I’ve never had a bad meal in all my year’s of going to McMahon’s, so if you are in Tucson, stop by and tell them Scott Merkin sent you. It probably won’t do you any good, but I always wanted to have that kind of pull.

On Thursday night, I dinned at Risky Business, one of my favorite sports bars in Tucson. I was the rebel at the restaurant on this night, as every one of the 25 or so televisions was on the Arizona game. The hostess was nice enough to put one of the TVs on Michigan-Purdue.

Great win for the Wolverines! They should be in the NCAA Tournament, but if they end the season with a win at Minnesota, assuming a loss at Wisconsin, they have to qualify.

During my 6 1/2 years in Tucson (split one Spring Training between covering the Cubs and White Sox while working for another organization), I always enjoyed the city. Still do, but I have to admit I’ve grown accustomed to the Glendale area.

But that’s not why you called. Here are a few brief observations from the victory over Colorado, which probably got overlooked in the bulk of the coverage:

–Gordon Beckham walked in his first at-bat in the 7th and showed a little attitude with a bat flip after the walk. Attitude, as in confidence, not in a bad way. He then proceeded to swipe second base, one of three White Sox stolen bases on the day. I know it’s one game, but this kid has the feel of a ballplayer.

–Speaking of ballplayers, keep an eye on Brandon Allen. The 23-year-old had 29 home runs and 17 stolen bases combined last year and had one hit, one run scored and a stolen base on Thursday. He moves very well for his 6-foot-2, 235-pound size. Ozzie Guillen also has taken notice of Allen.

“I love the way he swings the bat,” sad Guillen of Allen. “He’s a name I’ve talked about with (general manager) Kenny (Williams).”

–Jack Egbert, D.J. Carrasco and Lance Broadway all hurled two scoreless innings apiece, while Jhonny Nunez closed out the victory with the look of a closer.

–Corky Miller had three hits and also had the longest distance for a 2009 Spring Traning bat toss, with it landing in the stands behind the White Sox dugout. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and Miller traded another bat for the one the fan caught.

More updates to come later, after the game against Arizona is complete. Hope I remember how to get Tucson Electrc Park.

By the way, I just noticed the time of this blog entry as 11:11:11. Weird, right? Maybe I should view 11 as my lucky number for the rest of Spring Training.


Things I learned … Recently

–Apparently, I need to go see Slumdog Millionaire.

–I still think Mickey Rourke should have won Best Actor for The Wrestler. Then again, that was the only movie I saw out of the nominations.

–Michigan won’t be going to the NCAA Tournament unless the Wolverines win their next three games or win the Big 10 Tournament. What happened to Manny Harris, is what I want to know?

–Taking a nap from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. is not conducive for falling asleep later that night. I tried this trick out on Saturday. It won’t happen again.

–There are FAR too many pseudo-reality shows on VH-1. Keep Rock of Love and dump the rest.

–I’m looking forward to Cactus League games actually beginning. Trips to Tucson on Las Vegas on the horizon in the next week.

More later. It’s 85 in Glendale today, by the way.


Close Calls

Brian Anderson and D.J. Carrasco suffered the first official bumps and bruises of White Sox camp on Saturday.

Anderson got hit in the left side with a pitch from closer Bobby Jenks, while Carrasco took an Alexei Ramirez line drive off of his right forearm, also during live batting practice. Manager Ozzie Guillen expected Carrasco to be sore for a couple of days but said that the Ramirez shot caught the muscle and not the bone in Carrasco’s arm. The right-hander, a valuable part of last year’s bullpen and moving forward into 2009, is scheduled to pitch Thursday in Tucson against the Rockies.

Thome talk

My apologies for accidentally skipping a day blogging from glorious Glendale (I still miss Tucson, but Camelback Ranch becomes more impressive every day I’m there).

I had fully intended to blog when I arrived back at my spring condo last night, but first laid down on the couch and started watching the 20 worst divorces of all time on the E channel. By the way, how is the Paul McCartney divorce not No. 1? The dude has Beatles money and no pre-nup. Anyhow, I fell asleep at 6 p.m. and woke up disoriented around 11 p.m. I should have blogged then, but I was just trying to figure out where I was at the time.

Anyhow, to borrow a line from WWE announcer Jim Ross, business is about to pick up at White Sox camp. Thursday marks the official day for all position players to report, meaning it’s also the first full squad workout and the first Ozzie Guillen speech of Spring Training. From what I’ve been told, since the media isn’t allowed in the clubhouse during these meetings, Guillen’s humorous but direct dissertation would sell millions on DVD.

We had a chance to talk to with Jim Thome today, and it was interesting to hear him recognize how the end of what I think is a sure-fire, Hall-of-Fame career might not be that far away. I would guess three years would lock up 600 home runs for Thome, allow his young son to gain a greater appreciation for what dad does and give Thome three more chances to win that elusive World Series title.

I had the chance to speak with Thome a few times during the offseason, and he talked then about just taking one year at a time and thoroughly enjoying the present season to the fullest instead of thinking about 2010. That plan certainly hasn’t changed, but on Wednesday, he sounded as if a little more thought had been put into the final stage of his illustrious run.

Along with being one of the nicest humans you’ll ever meet, what really impresses me about Thome is how much he truly enjoys his life. I wish I enjoyed my life half as much as he does. If more people took Thome’s positive approach, there would probably be less crime in the streets or at least fewer people honking and yelling when the car in front of them fails to go on green (one of my pet peeves).

Thome also uses his vast baseball fame to help others, which holds true for MANY players and personnel throughout the White Sox organization. I’m sure that charitable aspect of Thome’s life will continue, even when baseball is done. As a side note, anyone who has never attended the Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Ilinois, in Peoria, hosted by Thome and his wife, Andrea, should do so immediately–like January, 2010, immediately. Great event and a great cause

Thome might not be a .280 hitter anymore. But you can write in pen today that barring injuries, Thome will hit at least 35 home runs and drive in at least 90 in 2009.