Quite the week for Chicago's team on the South Side. The Sox go 0-6 vs. domed teams (Twins and Blue Jays), Gavin Floyd tosses his second near no-hitter of the season...and oh yeah, blow-up dolls invade the clubhouse.
Unless you've been partying with Cedric Benson, you know the story. But let me recap it for you (it's why I get paid the big bucks). First, Ozzie said that despite winning the World Series in 2005, the Sox are "horse[bleep] and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives." Then, a story came out that says the Sox, in order to break out of their dreadful slump, had two blow-up dolls pose with their bats.
And then...well...everyone in America (or Chicago, my geography is bad) spouted their opinion on the dolls. The Trib's Rick Morrissey said the controversy is stupid. The Sun-Times' Jay Marrioti said the frat-boy humor was an insult to women and such a thing would never happen in New York or Boston. (No, in NY the men pass out during child birth). ST's Carol Slezak called it sexist. And then the Trib's Mike Downey said the Sun-Times were being a bunch of hypocrites for calling out the Sox when carry ads for peep shows in their pages.
A poll on our site asked if you, the fan, felt the situation was being blown (oops) out of proportion. 88.2% said yes, it's just a clubhouse thang.
So as a female, here's something I've picked up over the years working in sports departments: Boys are um, a little dumb. Seriously. Yes, the Sox were dumb to have the dolls in an open locker room; they should have known this would be a big story (OMG, sex sells). But it's over now. Move on. Talking about it more and more is just as pervy as doing it. Ever think the Sox just did it to divert attention away from their less than superior play? Yeah, me neither.
OK, no more doll talk. I'll need another shower.
Onto the rubber game: John Danks vs. Minnesota's Kevin Slowey. Slowey's got an 8.10 ERA which means he'll be money today. I'm a little annoyed that this is my THIRD White Sox-Twins cubicle. I can only do so many Joe Mauer-sideburns-jokes before they get old. What? They are already old? I know. I apologize.
Here are your lineups: Alexei Ramirez in the lead-off position for a resting Orlando Cabrera. And Toby Hall will be behind the plate.
Comment board to the bottom. My email is email@example.com.
Wonder if Mark Buehrle bought Juan Uribe a new bat after Buehrle went to town on a space heater with it last night? If this cubicle doesn't go well, I might do the same to a fax machine, ala Office Space. Carlos Gomez, he of cycle-hitting fame, will start this ballgame off. He hit for the cycle in reverse last night (HR, triple, double, single). Fancy. Rips one down the LF line just foul (Hawk says 'Thank you.'). Danks then strikes him out. Matt Tolbert then lines out to Juan Uribe at second. Joe Mauer gets a smattering of boos as he steps in. Either they don't like his sideburns (yeah, it's an oldie but a goodie) or the fans are still mad he broke up Gavin Floyd's no-no in the 9th on Tuesday. Danks gets Mauer to ground out for the third out. Nice 1-2-3 for the Sox.
I've just informed that my pretty Sox picture of bearded men is getting bumped for an update on Cedric Benson. The nerve. Alexei Ramirez is up first. O-Cab will return to the spot on Friday when the Sox face the Mariners. Ramirez hits a chopper off the tip of his bat back to the pitcher and nearly beats out the throw. But he doesn't. Carlos Quentin takes one deep to CF, where Gomez leaps into the wall pretty hard. Quentin has a standup double and Gomez will have a headache. Maybe he can hug his cycle. Thome now with one aboard and the shift on. He lines the 2-2 pitch down the RF line, very foul. Ping. Full count...and he fouls another one off. And then he strikes out swinging. Quentin stays at second. Slowey had been sidelined since April 4 with a right biceps strain. Maybe he was handing out too many tickets to the gun show. HA! He strikes out Konerko to end the inning. One runner stranded.
To Tom: No, rubber game wasn't supposed to be funny. That's what they are called. Althought after all the doll talk, everything seems a little dirty. And Mom: I mailed your present yesterday. It should be arriving on Friday. Oh Ozzie, will he ever learn? "The reason everyone likes Lou Piniella is because he's (bleeped) up," Guillen said. Danks strikes out Justin Morneau looking with a fastball right down the middle. Danks has been pretty solid this year, but lacking in run support (as all Sox pitchers are). Michael Cuddyer walks after running the count full. Cuddyer takes off on the first pitch to Craig Monroe...great jump...Toby Hall (and his pink hair) have no chance. Along with doing all the Sox-Twins games, I always seem to get Toby Hall in the lineup. He so has a crush on me. Anyhoo, 2-2 count for Monroe. He fouls off an 80 m.p.h. curveball into the stands. Another foul ball. And then Danks hurls a changeup on the inside corner to strike Monroe out looking. Delmon Young hits one off the tip of his bat (just like Ramirez) but it pops off the end of Danks' glove for a hit. No play on that ball. Runners at the corners. Brendan Harris is a late sub in the lineup for Nick Punto (strained hammy? I think that's what they said). Hawk thinks the Twins would try the old double-steal. So be on your toes. Um....no. Harris grounds out to SS for the forceout at second.
Awesome mascot video from yesterday's Cubs-Reds game. JD is up first -- he homered last night to prolong the misery in the 13-1 defeat. I think the whole newsroom groaned as we just wanted it to end. Sweep the leg. End it. JD grounds the 3-2 pitch to the shortstop for the first out. Lazy throw by Everett (two bounces before it reaches first), but it works. Nick Swisher and his pink facial hair stand in. Ozzie likes him down further in the lineup. You? Swisher grounds the Slowey offering down the 1B line for the out. Think Swisher thought the ball was foul, but no. Two outs. Joe Crede now. He strikes out swinging on four pitches. That was speedy.
Adam Everett is up first for the Twinkies. He bunts it to Danks, who grabs it and throws to Konerko for the out. Ah, he also has the pink facial hair. So it's Danks, Swisher, Hall and the svelte Bobby Jenks. Gomez has himself a hit, grounds it just out of the reach of Crede at third. Couple pickoff attempts by Danks to first as Tolbert stands in. Danks almost gets him on his third try. Pitch to Tolbert and off Gomez goes...Hall fires down and the throw is perfect and Gomez is out. That's my Toby. Tolbert then flies out to Uribe to end the inning.
To Hello: I think Adam made the same joke about Thome/Konerko in RedEye today. Uribe is up first against Slowey...he's 3-for-5 against the Twins pitcher. He fouls the third pitch off, but Morneau has enough room at first for the catch. Hall and his .286 average are up now. I almost typed .826 average. Heh, I think the comment board would have exploded. He lines it to Tolbert at third for the second out. Ramirez takes the pitch deep to CF, but Gomez has a good read and make the catch. Another 1-2-3 for Slowey.
This Tony Orlando song has been stuck in my head all week. And I have to clue why, especially when my i-pod is filled with obscene rap music. To Ozzie???: Uribe, Hall, Ramirez...that's the meat of the lineup. Or every pitcher's dream. Mauer is up first. No joke to tell here. He breaks up Danks' no-hit-in-the-fourth-inning-attempt with a single to LF. How rude. Morneau grounds it to Konerko, who knocks it down and hustles back to first for the out. Here's Cuddyer. To Stuck at work: Oh yeah. Hawk said "I love this game" right after a strikeout in the first. He's a special guy. Cuddyer strikes out for the second out. Monroe grounds out to Ramirez at short for the third out.
Still. Nada. Still.
Carlos Quentin is first up. He grounds out to Tolbert at third. Now we have a side-by-side comparison of Thome's swing now and Thome's swing earlier in the season. They are different. So draw your own conclusions. One is good...and one is bad. He grounds out to second on the shift for the second out. And Slowey has another 1-2-3 inning as Konerko pops out to RF on a changeup.
Number of Missouri's Final Four appearances.
63 pitches for Danks (42 strikes, 21 balls). Delmon Young strikes out to start things off. Two foul line-drives into the stands and a third swinging strike. Danks walks Harris after six pitches. Everett rips a single to LF to advance the runners. Magically, I have completed tuned Hawk out. He's babbling about something...streaks? Donuts? Slumps? Hot pockets? Dunno. Gomez flies out to Swisher in shallow CF, so the runners will stay put. Camera swings over to hitting coach Greg Walker in the dugout. Adam thinks he'll get the boot pretty soon. One hit today against Sox killer Slowey. Ugh. 1-2 count for Tolbert. He punches a ball into LF for a single, Harris will come around from second to score the first run of the game. Twins 1-0. Tolbert found the hole just past Ramirez. Don Cooper comes out to talk to his young pitcher and his catcher. They tell him to come back when his hair is dyed. Mauer now. Another base hit, this one up the middle and Everett will come around to score. Twins 2-0. Runners at the corners. Here's Morneau. Danks has thrown 27 pitches this inning. Full count for Morneau. He grounds it to Crede, who throws to first for the last out. DJ: "Sox need to get it going offensively now." Yes. Thanks Captain Obvious.
To MU Grad: I'm sorry, just trying to spice up an otherwise dull game. Wow, JD must have been listening to DJ...he takes Slowey deep for a solo HR (his third in this series). Twins 2-1. Southpaw is now sitting in the seats behind homeplate. That's gotta annoy a pitcher. Here's Swish. He strikes out swinging. Joe Crede now, looks like something is stuck in his eye. He keeps rubbing it. Maybe it's some fur from Southpaw. He's very green. Crede smokes one down the 3B line for a double. No throw, as Young kinda fumbles the ball. Uribe and his .185 average now. Slowey is at 68 pitches thus far. 3-2 count for Uribe...he takes Slowey DEEP for a two-run HR. It's all about Southpaw. White Sox 3-2. Or maybe it's the bat that Buehrle used to beat the space heater. Hawk: "Uribe has strong, strong hands." See, meat of the lineup! Toby Hall now. Southpaw has now vacated the seats, so there's that. Hall flies out in foul territory on a 3-1 pitch to the catcher. Ramirez now. Well, Uribe homered on a 3-2 count, don't think there were any foul balls...so that would be the sixth pitch he hit. Ramirez grounds slowly to Slowey (heh) for the third out.
White Sox 3-2.
Congrats to Rahula's sister and her lacrosse team. They won yesterday. He's very excited. Octavio Dotel is the new White Sox pitcher. Comcast just showed the space heater that Buehrle pounded -- guess he signed it and dated it. That's funny. No video online of the incident last night. Someone get to work on that! Cuddyer is first up. OD has got on some very white shoes that look very odd with his tall black socks. I think they are new shoes. Cuddyer fouls a bunch of pitches off with the count at 2-2. Next one is low to make it a full count. He then lines it over Ramirez's head for a single. Cuddyer has one stolen base today...and he takes off on the 0-1 pitch to Monroe. Throw from Hall isn't in time, so he's safe. I think Hawk has gone on his "walk-about" this inning. So it's just DJ talking now. A cutter on the outside edge gets Monroe looking for the first out. Oh wait, Hawk is back. Thank God. Here's Delmon Young. Two quick foul balls = two quick strikes. Young strikes out swinging and wait for it...wait for it...He Gone. Harris has himself an 0-2 count from OD. Ball right down the middle, but a tad outside for ball one. Crowd didn't like that. But OD comes back with a 94 m.p.h. fastball to strike Harris out.
White Sox 3-2.
New pitcher for the Twins is Matt Guerrier (2-1, 3.63 ERA). First dude he'll face is Quentin, who skies the first pitch into foul territory. And then with a little patience, he draws the lead-off walk. Haven't had one of those in a long time. Thome now. Maybe he can break out of his mini-slump. RCF is wide open if he'd like to hit it there. Thome takes the 2-2 pitch and flares it to LF for a single. It was "a broken bat duck fart," accoring to Hawk. Paulie. Paulie. No outs. And my TV goes out due to an "unstable signal." That's not very nice. Konerko now has a 2-0 count. 3-0 count. Paulie is standing taller in the box, adjusting to the Twins. Hmmmm. Strike one. Maybe strike two...Paulie tried to check it up, he takes off his shin guard. But no, it was a strike and he didn't check it up. But the runners advance (stolen base) and everyone is confused. Mauer pointed to the 1B ump for clarification, but then the runners trot because they think it's a walk. La-de-da-de-da. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is not pleased and he yells. He, of course, is then ejected. So it's a 3-2 count for Konerko with guys on second and third. Fouls it out of play. Cut to Ozzie in the dugout, making fun of Guerrier, who after the confusion ran around and tagged Quentin and Thome while they were standing on their new bases. Ozzie is cracking himself up. After all of that, Konerko grounds out and the runners stay put. Thome is credited with a stolen base -- his first since 2002. Twins will intentionally walk the hot JD. To Don't Have A Creative Name: Hawk really did say duck fart. Here's Swish. Quickly 0-2 to him. He fouls off a few low ones. He then strikes out on a fastball on the outside corner. Crede now -- he pops up the first pitch he sees in the deep infield for the third out. Way to strand three runners. Sigh.
White Sox 3-2.
Talking on the phone, instead of texting, is soooo 2004. Thanks Tribune. Adam Everett is first up; Dotel is still the Sox pitcher. Everett strikes out swinging...that's OD's fourth straight K. Gomez takes a huge swing but misses; 1-2 count on him. And then OD heaves one right down the middle for another strikeout. Gotta be the shoes. Tolbert takes first pitch strike. Then the count runs full. Tolbert pops it up to Crede in foul ground, who is there to make the grab. Nice showing by OD.
White Sox 3-2.
An in-depth look at Jim "Wheels" Thome. Go Go Go Go White Sox. Juan Rincon is the new Twins pitcher. We've got the meaty part of the lineup this inning. Uribe is up first. He flies out to Everett at SS. Scott Linebrink is out of his hibernation and warming up in the bullpen. Here's Hall. He also flies out, but this time in foul ground to Tolbert at 3B. Ramirez now. He battles back from an 0-2 hole for a single to LF. Quentin has a 2-1 count before he swings and misses at strike two. But Ramirez gets a good jump and steals second. His first career stolen base. Pie in the face for him. 3-2 count on Quentin...he smacks it back up the middle and Ramirez will come around to score. White Sox 4-2. Quentin has a single. Pitching change: It will be Denny Reyes. He'll face Thome first. And yes, DJ called Quentin "Mr. Clutch." I think it's just because he's so dreamy with his pretty hair. Thome draws the walk. Hey, Mayor Daley is at the game. The acting Twins manager comes out to yank Reyes. Some "wicked, nasty" pitcher (according to DJ) is entering the game...Pat Neshek. Konerko pops the first pitch he sees, but Morneau can't make the grab in foul territory. D'oh. But then Konerko lines out to end the Sox threat.
White Sox 4-2.
Thanks to IWC for the Buehrle video here. Scott Linebrink takes over for OD on the mound. He gets Mauer first. And Linebrink delivers the dreaded lead-off walk. It's been a few games since Linebrink has been asked to protect a lead, he's a bit rusty. Here's Morneau, who is 0-for-3 today. Ball gets away from Hall on the 2-2 pitch and Mauer takes second. Couple foul balls from Morneau...and another but it stays in play that Hall catches right in the on-deck circle. Cuddyer just stands there -- move buddy! And now Cuddyer moves into the batting arena. A wild pitch (fork ball) will move Mauer to third. 2-2 count for Cuddyer. He hits a ground ball to Crede, and with Mauer running, Crede throws home to Hall who throws back to Crede who chases Mauer who then throws to Linebrink who tags out Mauer. Lovely run-on sentence. Cuddyer takes second base on all those throws, but two outs now. Kubel now. He pops up the 0-1 pitch to Ramirez at SS for the third out. So Linebrink escapes his lead-off walk and wild pitches.
White Sox 4-2.
It's currently 56 degrees at the Cell with wind blowing out of the NE at 11 m.p.h. Neshek is still the Twins pitcher and he'll face JD first. This Neshek dude has a funky delivery. He does a little dance and sticks out his tongue before he pitches. And he's a vegan. Sure. JD rips one to LF for a single, his second hit of the day. Swish now. He strikes quietly out on four pitches. Crede stands in there. Bobby Jenks and his pink goatee have put down their food to warm up in the bullpen. Neshek shakes out his right arm and the trainers come out to visit him. Came up weird after a pitch to Crede. He will depart and Brian Bass enters. So it's a 1-1 count to Crede after the extra warm-up time for Bass. One out, runner on first. Bass tosses two balls and then a low ball four. Juan "Strong Hands" Uribe now. 2-0 count...low ball three bounces in front of Mauer. JD steals third as the ball hits the dirt. Crede stays at first. Ball four is in the dirt too. That will load 'em up for Hall. Another ball from Bass. 1-0 count. Hall grounds in to 3B, Tolbert throws to second to get Uribe out. But a hard slide from Uribe ends the play there. JD will score from third. White Sox 5-2. Runners at the corners for Ramirez. Two outs. Ramirez grounds it to third, Tolbert fields it and throws to Morneau, but Morneau can't handle the low throw. Crede will score from third. White Sox 6-2. That will be an error on Tolbert. Here's Carlos "Mr. Clutch" Quentin. His 25 RBIs lead the Sox. But Bass strikes him out with a breaking ball to end the inning. And that means...Bobby Jenks!
White Sox 6-2.
Foster and kedzie: It should be called the Kaschubicle. It's not a save situation for Jenks, but he will enter the game. He faces Delmon Young first. He lines the 1-2 pitch back up the middle for a lead-off single. Harris flies out to Swisher for the first out. Young stays at first. Mike Lamb will be pinch-hitting for Adam Everett. He's batting .209 this season. Quickly 0-2 on Lamb and then he swings and misses at a Jenks' breaking ball. Two outs. Here's Gomez. Fans to their feet. Gomez hits the first pitch right to Crede, who flips it to second for the forceout. And this ballgame is OVA!
White Sox 6-2.
Final thoughts: Sox take the series from the Twins. Big West Coast road trip in the future, which mean, late starts and late night shifts for us. Boo. Thanks for reading.
P.S. To Foster and kedzie: I love them all equally, well except for Eric Chenowith and Lester Earl. And David Padgett and Micah Downs.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun