Danks, Sox issue own warning

The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins may be neck-and-neck in the standings, but the games haven’t been anything close.
The Sox rallied from a stomping in the first game by defeating the Twins in equally demoralizing fashion in Wednesday night’s 6-1 undressing.
This time, Ozzie Guillen’s club played crisp baseball while Ron Gardenhire’s squad fumbled around. Alex Rios set the tone by hitting cutoff man Gordon Beckham instead of airmailing the ball between third and home. Carlos Quentin, who tends to throw the ball 15 feet behind second, hit the bag and nearly caught Delmon Young straying too far, serving as another warning shot.
John Danks pitched around a botched double play by Beckham. Glen Perkins could not do the same around a team error by Orlando Hudson and Michael Cuddyer. The Sox even benefited from the vagaries of umpiring that Hawk Harrelson bitched about in the opener.
It’s quite the palate cleanser for the Sox, and while it might only nullify the effects of Game 1 in the standings, the Twins have a little extra to deal with:

3 Twins players Ron Gardenhire cited as being hurt after the game: shortstop J.J. Hardy and relievers Jon Rauch and Jose Mijares, who had to leave the game after injuring himself trying to cover first base.

Gavin Floyd and Francisco Liriano square off in Game 3. If that game isn’t close, then we may as well just count on trading ass-kickings over the last six games.
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White Sox pitchers found themselves on the wrong side of warnings once again when Mike Dimuro served notice to both benches after Carlos Quentin’s second plunking.
If you’re keeping track, Sox hitters have taken 55 pitches to their persons, which is more than twice the amount of HBPs issued by Sox pitchers (24).
Ozzie Guillen thought Perkins plunked with purpose:

“It looked like he did it (intentionally),” Guillen said. “If not, the umpire won’t do any warning. Easy scenario. First base open, this kid hit a home run. Do I say he did it on purpose? It’s up to him about it.
“It seemed like it was. Everything was there. He not pitching well. I’m not 100 percent he did it. I know 100 percent it don’t come from the bench. I was very upset because they kick our (rears) Tuesday big time and we don’t come close to pitch in.”

I wouldn’t be as certain. Quentin gets hit all the time, and Hawk Harrelson could tell Guillen that umpires issue warnings under far flimsier circumstances. Either way, it’s nice to see some fire from the manager after he went out of his way to flatter his chief rival.
The warning made John Danks’ outing even more impressive. Despite Dimuro threatening the corner Danks needs to succeed, he still went inside with aplomb, jamming Joe Mauer in his last two at-bats. Danks may hate pitching against the Twins, but he made them hate hitting his cutter on Wednesday, and didn’t let a potential ejection scare him any.
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Beating Perkins gives me a chance to embed my favorite Kids in the Hall sketch:

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Dayan Viciedo is making a strong case to be demoted when Kenny Williams thinks Mark Teahen has whipped his versatility into shape.
He made five outs during an 0-for-4 night, and only saw nine pitches despite striking out twice. In fact, all of those pitches were strikes. All of that is pretty hard to do, when you think about it.
He’s in a 1-for-15 skid with nine strikeouts now, and showing the same spinning-into-the-ground tendencies he did in spring training, when he’s trying to do way too much.
The good news is that this was to be expected. He handled the initial challenge well, but when Teahen is ready to go, there’s no reason to keep him around aside from the occasional outburst of right-handed thunder. Andruw Jones serves the same purpose, and he can still play the outfield.
Still, Viciedo’s first stint could have gone much worse, and maybe after seeing what major-league pitchers throw, maybe it will lead to more walks at Charlotte. Or maybe he’ll keep hacking away happily. I’d bet on the latter, but he’s given reason to be optimistic about his prospects.
And at this time in the year, it’ll only be a few weeks until he’s back on the big-league club, anyway.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Durham 10, Charlotte 9 (11 innings)
    • Mark Teahen (3B) went 3-for-4 with a double, walk and RBI.
    • Brent Morel doubled twice and struck out three times.
    • Tyler Flowers went 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and two strikeouts.
    • Jordan Danks singled, doubled, walked and didn’t strike out over six PAs. He also stole his 15th base.
    • Clevelan Santeliz pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three while allowing just a hit and a walk.
  • Birmingham 3, Mississippi 2
    • Eduardo Escobar went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
    • Christian Marrero singled, walked and struck out twice.
    • Justin Greene was 0-for-3.
  • Winston-Salem 4, Wilmington 2
    • Jon Gilmore went 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
    • Another walk for Brandon Short during a 1-for-4 day. He also struck out once.
    • Josh Phegley went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
    • Stephen Sauer was good: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K.
  • Danville 9, Bristol 5
    • Daniel Black went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Great Falls 6, Billings 5
    • Andy Wilkins went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
    • Michael Blanke did the same, also striking out once.
    • Ross Wilson was 2-for-5.
    • Addison Reed struck out three over three scoreless innings, allowing just a hit. It was just hit second hit allowed over his last nine innings, and has struck out 15 batters with zero walks.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Buehrlesque

My thoughts exactly on Viciedo. It was only a matter of time before big league pitchers armed with scouting reports started exposing him. I hope he goes down to Charlotte and rakes to all fields but, like you said, he’ll be back up in 3 weeks anyway.

cushinglee

I thought the Twins NEVER made mistakes.

knoxfire30

You keep playing kubel in the outfield and cuddyer at first and it has to catch up to even the twins.

knoxfire30

Johnny Sack, another huge ace performance, a must win game he goes out there and leaves no doubt! Well done sir!
I think quentin got drilled on purpose, and im sick and tired of these dumb fuck umps not having a clue about whats going on, Perkins exits the game after that pitch, but he has done so by eliminating danks inside corner and now that minnesota is into their pen they wouldnt care if one of there guys gets tossed. STUPID UMPING at its best, you dont need to issue a warning there, you let the game play out, if a twins pitcher hits a third guy, you simply toss him, if a sox pitcher hits someone then warnings go out to both sides, how freaking hard is that to understand????
32,000 fans, PATHETIC

bigfun

Is 32,000 really that bad? They’re averaging 26,295 per game this year, and that’s counting weekend games. 32,000 seems decent for a weeknight.

knoxfire30

1st place team, biggest series of the year, school not in session, arch rival in town… sorry but the freaking reds cardinals series averaged 36,000… the giants cubs game drew 37,000 last night, seems like a weak crowd to me

bigfun

I don’t think pennant races really affect a lot of middle-range attendance teams that much until late September. Casual fans just aren’t going to be as invested at this point in the season. And 37,000 is an average crowd for AT&T Park.

lorenzobandini

Regarding the comment before about 32,000 fans being pathetic… I agree. The White Sox are on pace to have the 3rd highest attendance in the Central Division…. which will soon lead to the third highest payroll in the division.
I have been to games at Target Field and Comerica Field and the size of the crowds frankly scares the crap out of me.
One other thing… it makes me sad to say this… the home team fans in both places treated me a lot better than White Sox fans treat visitors in our park.

alwayssox

Sad to hear about the fans. Chisox fans seem to be developing a bad reputation. And the crazy thing is that visitors are helping to support the payroll. People should be glad to seem them.

larry

brent lillibridge in the last month: 4-26, 0 BB, 7 K. pick your poison.

tdogg

what .600 BABIP doesn’t continue? Even still I’d rather just send Dayan down for the short term.

tdogg

This Q Home/Away split is becoming a little ridiculous.

ricksch

Sox fans are drawn primarily from the working class. With the country heading off the cliff of recession into depression, I’d say 32K is pretty damn good.
Viciedo showcased himself well, but it’s time to go back down and, hopefully, learn how to become a hitter and play first base. He’s hopeless at third and I for one hope he soon becomes trade bait. Sox have an issue with lots of potential DHers on their roster, especically if they re-sign Konerko. Quentin should get lots of reps at DH. Teahen projects as a lefty DH with occassional back-up stints in the field. He’s a disaster I’d love to trade but no one will take his ridiculous contract (thanks again Kenny!).
So Hudson’s 3-0 with a tiny ERA. Not a big sample, but the Sox decided he was a 5th starter or long relief pitcher after only two starts this year. Unless Jackson helps get us deep into the playoffs, that trade will do down as one of Williams’ all-time worst.

dudeman

32K is not “pretty damn good” by any stretch, and I’m rather tired of the meathead idea that Sox v. Cubs is “Blue Collar” v. “Homosexuals.” Personally, my allegiances (though perhaps too strong) are for entirely different reasons.
For all the reasons Knox touched on, 32k is decent at best, even considering that every potential ticket buyer has to get up at 5 a.m. to sweep chimneys or shine shoes, if they have a job at all.
Dumbass.

blah

If you look at attendance records for the Cell by year, it’s been steadily declining since 2006. The economy does play a part, but the team played really bad to start off the season and, as Jim pointed out, your value per dollar is dramatically decreased since the upper deck patrons can no longer go down to the fan deck.
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/wsoxatte.shtml

blah

(Winning and winning regularly will solve attendance problems. Look at the jump from ’05 -’06 and the decline from ’06 – present)

alwayssox

They really need to reopen the lower concourse to fans in the upper deck. That change was just disrespectful to the fans.

ricksch

The working class are people who work for a living. That doesn’t mean they’re blue collar. Historically, the Sox core fans are represented best by Bridgeport where my dad and all his brothers grew up. None of them were meatheads. None of them were blue collar. They all worked for a living.
Baseball’s ridiculously expensive, even in the best of economic times. Sox are on the high end of the price scale. Field boxes at their SPRING TRAINING GAMES go for $45. You can get a field box for an A’s game during the regular season for the same price.
Personally, I think people who spend thousands on season ticket packages are many of the same meatheads who have been on endless credit sprees for the last 20 years and have nothing to their name but credit card debt, an underwater mortgage and maybe a foul ball they caught. Folks will do what they will, but there’s no shame in spending your money on things like food, shelter and your kid(s) education.