The White Sox posted their list of non-roster invitees to spring training this afternoon, but before I start hacking away at the annual “Who’s Who” post, let’s take this window to touch upon several stories we’d been following this month.
Mark Buehrle’s Hall of Fame case
The Baseball Writers Association of America did not pitch a shutout, as Scott Rolen cleared the 75-percent threshold by a baker’s dozen of tenths, which is the common way of saying 1.3 percent. He’ll join Veterans Committee selection Fred McGriff in a likeable two-man induction ceremony this summer.
Next year figures to have at least two more, as Todd Helton is on the doorstep at 72.2 percent, and Billy Wagner jumped up to 68.1 percent, even if I don’t understand the latter’s appeal at all.
Well down the list is Mark Buehrle, but he’s up from last year. He registered 10.8 percent, which is better than the public ballots tracked by Ryan Thibodaux’s crew (10.2 percent). That should give him some ground to remain in play after next year, which he’ll need since Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer and Chase Utley will take up anywhere from one to three spots on a ballot.
PERTINENT: Mark Buehrle’s Hall of Fame plaque would have a story to tell
Guaranteed Rate Field’S VIEW BARS
If you had bigger ideas for Guaranteed Rate Field’s 500-level bars than what the White Sox reflected in the renderings, the Chicago Sun-Times’ David Struett says the Sox were right there with you.
Documents attained from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority in a Sun-Times open records request showed that the White Sox had grander ambitions.
In that permit, issued by the city in November, the team said it planned to install a “premium seating skybox,” estimating the cost at $284,500. But the new renderings released by the team don’t show or mention the premium seating.
Internal planning documents also show the team had planned to build full-service bars that would have required extensive plumbing and electrical work. The bars would have featured large overhead “shrouds” to accent the bars.
An internal email from Nov. 14, 2022, shows the team decided to simplify the bars to meet its budget, four days before its building permit was issued by the city. The revised plan called for bars that are “self‐contained units with minimal requirements for plumbing and reduced requirements for electrical services.”
I wouldn’t blame the IFSA if it refused to indulge the concept of “premium seating” for the 500 level, because that shouldn’t be said, written or read with a straight face.
As for the rest of it, it appears as though the White Sox’s grand plans were scaled down into a half-assed simulacrum thereof in order to “meet the budget,” if you could ever imagine such a thing.
PERTINENT: Three AL Central ballparks getting makeovers
Jason Benetti, Steve Stone officially back
In better news, the White Sox’s broadcast pairing of Jason Benetti and Steve Stone had spent the entire winter without contracts, and while there was no specific reason to believe they wouldn’t return, White Sox fans are understandably conditioned to fear the worst.
Fear no longer: The White Sox announced multiyear continuations for both.
Any delay was probably due to Benetti’s burgeoning status as a national college football play-by-play voice, which might now require a more specific ideas of how many White Sox games he’ll miss due to other commitments.
With the biggest broadcast business taken care of, the White Sox can turn their attention to figuring out what they’re going to do after NBC Sports Chicago runs its course.
RIP, Gary Peters
In the annual tribute to White Sox players who died the year before, I noted in the section covering Joe Horlen’s passing that, since Juan Pizarro preceded Horlen in death the year before, that left Gary Peters as the last stalwart from those 1960s rotations left.
Sadly, that’s no longer the case. The White Sox announced that Peters died at the age of 85.
Peters will have a prominent spot in next year’s “in memoriam” post, where we’ll talk about that run of excellence in the 1960s, not to mention the fact that he was a good-enough hitter to do things like bat sixth and deliver a pinch-hit walk-off homer.
PERTINENT: In Memoriam: The White Sox’s other losses in 2022
Wasn’t Peters a ringleader in running Dick Allen out of Philly?
Peters never played in the National League, so no. Are you thinking of (the other) Frank Thomas, who also just died?
You’re absolutely correct, I apologize for getting the two mixed up based on the timing of their deaths.
It looks like Thomas and Allen got in a fight in July of 1965 in the batting cage, and the Phillies put Thomas on “irrevocable waivers” after that nights game. That’s what his obits say, anyway.
He would have had to have done it by proxy. Peters was still with the Sox when that happened.
Thrilled with the signings of Benetti and Stone. Saddened with the passing of Gary Peters. As a young boy I was drawn to Peters for some reason. Too many ex-Sox players passing. It’s getting creepy but 85 years is a hell of a run.
Like Sox Machine, Jason and Steve are essentials in our alternate universe survival kit….
Im worried that Jason is going to outgrow the Sox soon enough if things keep going as they are for him. I guess the only thing the Sox have going for them is the lack of summer stuff Fox does for sports.
That’s my fear, too. As he grows his national profile, I’m afraid he’ll move on to bigger and better things. Such is the life of a Sox fan….
Seems like Jason really values being the voice of a team, as well as a copious workload. Not to mention he grew up a Sox fan, and working for Reinsdorf is a plum gig, generally speaking. I’d be surprised if he left any time soon, unless he decides he wants a family or some other personal reason.
Since those bars are specifically called out in the Sox’ press release as ‘spaces are available for group sales’ it feels like the Sox are setting themselves up for fan blowback when a bunch of people want to go see the new stadium feature on Opening Day but it’s reserved for a private group.
Just read that Sox pitcher Ray Herbert died at 93. What the hell is going on?
cut down in his prime
Only the good die (93 years) young.
Fun fact: Mr. Herbert had a better HR% than Nick Madrigal.
And a higher walk rate than TA.
And a lower strikeout rate than Moncada.
So did Nick’s mother!
It might be noted that I really liked Ray Herbert.
Proximity to this organization is good for no one’s health.
That’s not true. Jerry’s gonna live forever.
My God. Jerry Reinsdorf is an energy vampire.
“Fu**ing guy” (in Nandor’s accent)
Well, I do believe that Jerry is from Nhew Yhork Citttay.
I remember Gary Peters being a pretty good hitter. I might be wrong but I think he was used as a pinch hitter a few times and once hit a home run using Don Buford’s bat. RIP Gary Peters and Ray Herbert.
My biggest memory of Peters was in 1968. The Sox came in with big expectations and immediately crapped the bed. Early in the year he pitched a game, Twins I think, where he was perfect in every inning except one. Gave up 3 runs in the third or fourth, Sox lost 3-2. That set the tone for the whole miserable year.
So I just looked it up. 10th game of the year. Sox were 0-9. Peters retired the first 8 batters. Then he walked Jim Perry, his only walk, gave up doubles to Tovar and Oliva, and a single to Killebrew. Those were the only 4 baserunners of the game.
Peters was dominant for 7 out of 8 innings, plus he had 2 of the Sox’ 12 hits and scored 1 of the runs. He still got tagged with his third loss.
All this reminds me of Rick Wise saying about his Phillies team, “The only way to win with this team is to pitch a shutout and hit a homer.” He went on to pitch a no-hitter and hit 2 homers, driving in 3 of his team’s 4 runs that day.
Wise was traded for Carlton, who won 27 games the next year for that terrible team.
If they hadn’t traded Norm Cash, Johnny Callison and Earl Battey after the 1959 season, they may have won a pennant or two in the 1960’s.
Similar career wRC+ to Yolmer Sanchez, Adam Engel, and Leury Garcia.
Also, today I learned that MLB.com and fangraphs.com have gone back to calling Yolmer Carlos. I couldn’t find any news story that indicated that he changed back what he wanted to be called. https://www.mlb.com/player/carlos-sanchez-570560