White Sox vs. Athletics Photo Gallery

Here are some of the pictures I took yesterday at the game that did not make the cut of the post. Being at one of the lowest attended games I have ever been to had some advantages. I could have moved around wherever I wanted to, but I liked my seat enough that I stayed in it until the 8th inning. With the lefties on the mound I had a good view of them. Here are some of the pictures that I liked from yesterday.

The statue of Minnie Minoso in right field looks great in the sun

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Blown Save By Committee

The new Bacardi at the Park restaurant outside gate 5

Last night I saw the great game ending home run by Alexei Ramirez, and of course headed over to StubHub to see if I could find a cheap way into the stadium. Not only did I find a cheap way in I found a great seat for a great price. You have to love having the day off when nobody else does. I decided that I didn’t want to pay twice as much to park as I did on the tickets themselves so I took the South Shore to Chicago, and then the Red Line to the park. This was my first time trying this out. It actually worked out well even though it takes a lot longer to get to the park. You really can’t beat getting to the park for under $20 though. I got there a little early so I decided to check out the new Bacardi at the Park restaurant by the old stadium. At first I thought the prices were a little high, but in reality they were not bad. I had a beer, burger, and fries for $16. Like I said it was a little pricey, but I was pretty full when I was done. I would have had to spend a lot more money inside to get that full. Just as I was done eating I heard the magical announcement that the gates to the park were now open. Continue reading

White Sox Finally Score Some Runs, Can’t Stop the Yankees

Yesterday I went to the Sox game to see the boys take on the Yankees. John Danks was pitching against C.C. Sabathia. I really thought that we were going to see a pitching duel. What we saw was Johnny Danks giving up runs. He gave up eight runs and put the Sox in a hole that they couldn’t get out of. The day started off much better than it ended though. My brother and I went to the game early to watch batting practice. I had my mitt and he didn’t so I thought that I had a pretty good chance to get a ball before he did. We stopped in right center where I usually stand to try and get a ball. After a couple of near misses Derek Jeter hit a ball that popped off some hands in the first row, and right in front of my brother. He reached over the seat to pick it up, and was ahead 1-0. That is the only ball that we got on the day, but he later gave it to me as a birthday present. Continue reading

White Sox Get All A’s

Today I used my Sox Pride Club tickets to go to the Sox game against the Athletics. The bleacher seats were free, and they included a patio pass. I was there about a month ago, but it actually is a good time. Normally it costs $41 a person for the two hour pass to get into the patio area. For that though you get all you can eat and drink for two hours. When you consider a beer upstairs is $7 a piece you can really make up some ground quick here.For some reason the A’s took batting practice on family day. Usually that does not happen, but in the patio we had a great view of the activity. Several times a ball bounced right in front of us, but you can’t get it with the fence being tight. Finally two balls rolled right in front of us along the fence. A little girl had been begging for a ball to no avail. Henry Rodriguez grabbed both balls and threw the first one over the fence right into my hands. Of course I could not keep it. I gave it to the little girl who was in front of me. There is no way he was trying to throw it to me. As you can see in the picture above the balls just sit there tantalizingly close to you. But on the other hand you have all the food and beer that you can handle. Continue reading

The Audition for the 2010 Fifth Starter Goes Badly

This is the second game that I have seen between the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox. The first game was a ten inning classic. More on that game can be found here. This game was just the opposite. While in Pittsburgh the Cubs jumped out to a quick start to win the game, the Sox decided to spot the A’s some runs. Carlos Torres only threw 21 pitches in his 2/3 of an inning. Sixteen of those were strikes, and five men crossed the plate. He walked the first batter of the game before giving up back to back singles. He then gave up a SAC fly and then two home runs to put the Sox in a 5-0 right away. D.J. Carrasco came in to get the final out of the inning to temporarily stop the bleeding. D.J. pitched for 3 1/3 innings giving up three runs. Daniel Hudson came in and pitched 2 1/3 innings giving up two runs, and Randy Williams pitched a scoreless 2/3 of an inning. Johnny Nunez finished up the young arms by giving up a run in his inning pitched. If these are the candidates for the fifth starter next season we may have to upgrade the offense. Of course by the time these guys were done pitching the game was out of hand. What better pitcher to bring in then Scott Linebrink. He gave up a run in his portion of the ninth. This was a terrible game to attend even if it was for free.

On the positive side I was able to see Mark Kotsay and Paul Konerko each hit home runs. The blowout let the Sox clear the bench so I saw almost every player currently on the roster. How many times have you been to a nine inning game in which all three catchers that the team was carrying played. This was also the first time that I was able to see Tyler Flowers bat in the Majors. He struck out of course, but I think he will be fine over time. I sat near the Sox bullpen most of the game so I was able to watch the carousel of pitchers warming up. When I knew that Flowers was going to be coming up I moved closer to the plate. I was able to get almost right on top of the Sox dugout since most of the fans were smart and had already left the stadium. I have to go to another game this season because I don’t want to end on this note.

I will add some pictures later when blogger will allow me too.

I Must Really Enjoy Watching Athletics

Today I am headed back to the Cell (weather permitting) to watch the Sox for a second day in a row. I had some vouchers that I bought earlier in the season that I had to use up. This was one of the games that I could use so I did. I also used the vouchers to get tickets for the Tuesday – Wednesday games later in the month with the Twins. If anyone wants to go to the Wednesday Twins game let me know I have an extra. If I had used this voucher earlier in the year to see the A’s I would have been able to see such players as Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, or Jason Giambi. Those guys are all gone now. They still have a good team that will be a challenge for us. We need to keep pace with the Tigers if we are going to make hay when we play them.

On to the game preview. This will be my first time seeing Carlos Torres in a Major League uniform. I watched him pitch twice this season for the Charlotte Knights. He gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings the first time in Toledo taking the loss. The second outing was much better. In Louisville he pitched six innings only giving up two runs getting the win. He has been up and down this season. Lets hope he is up tonight. For the Athletics we have Brett Tomko on the mound. The last time that I saw Brett pitch was that crazy mother’s day game back in 2003. He gave up nine runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings with the wind blowing straight out at close to 40 mph. He was saved the bump in ERA by the game being called. This game has the possibility to turn into a high scoring affair. Let’s hope the right guys come out on top.

Since we are playing the Athletics check out one of my favorite sites to look in on on the internet. Taste Like Dirt Baseball is run by a man who loves his team (the A’s) and loves to take pictures. This sounds a lot like someone I know. He has some great shots on there. Give it a look. Heck add it as a favorite.

Buehrle Finally Gets Another Win

Mark Buehrle has been winless since he pitched his perfect game in July. I have been to a couple of his games, and he has pitched good enough to win a few, but without any support. Today he got that support from his teammates. I got to the stadium early in case they were having batting practice only to find out that they were not. I used that time to look around the stadium a bit. As soon as I walked into the stadium I noticed a crowd watching Dice K getting some work in on the right field grass. I stopped and watched him pitch for a while before moving on. I used my trick to get into the lower deck to see the new Thome plaque in center. I have been to a couple of games since they put it in, but I always forget to check it out. While I was out there I noticed that nothing was going on in the center field deck. I grabbed a couple hot dogs (they were only $1 today) and sat up there for most of the pre game. I figured since Boston was in town that it would be a sell out so I decided to get to my seat behind the plate. I tried to go up through the fundamentals deck, but I was told that if you do not have a kid you can’t go up. The guy asked me in a weird tone why any adult would want up there anyway? I told him that I just wanted to get to my upper deck seat, and he said to use the ramp like everyone else. I got to my seat seven rows up right behind the plate excited for the game. That is until I realized that right in front of me is where everyone stops while they are trying to find their seats. This will not work for a guy who takes pictures. I watched the last part of the top of the first from the tunnel before sprinting back downstairs. I finally settled in near the right field foul pole with a great view of the bullpen.

As far as the game was concerned the Red Sox got a run in the first thanks to the speed of Jacoby Ellsbury. He led off with a hit, stole second, moved to third on a Victor Martinez groundout, and then scored on a Kevin Youkilis hit. He really adds a unique dimension to this Red Sox team. The good news for the White Sox was that the run scored in the first would be the last for the Red Sox. The White Sox stranded leadoff runners in the first two innings before scoring three in the third. Mark Kotsay had the big hit of the inning scoring two with a base hit to center. He was thrown out at home to end the inning trying to go from first to home on a Carlos Quentin hit. The Sox added two more runs in the eighth on a Carlos Quentin home run. That ball rocketed into the stands. Quentin has now homered in the last three games that I attended. Maybe Brian Anderson’s mojo moved over to Carlos when he was traded. Scotty Pods had another good day at the plate. He was on base three of the four times he came up scoring a run. He really has done alright in the games I have attended this season. The bullpen pitched two innings today without giving up a hit. That is what we need if we are going to pull this miracle off. We still have six games left with Detroit so I have not thrown in the towel yet.

One of the cool things about my acquired seats at the park was the fact that I was able to watch the bullpen as well. I saw Pena and Thornton warming up before coming into the game. I was also able to get my first look at Daniel Hudson pitching as he was throwing in the pen at one point. Hudson is shown to the left. He threw with Johnny Nunez while the Sox were batting in the seventh. Thornton and Pena were warming up, but quit for that half inning. They kicked the young kids off the mound once the Red Sox came back up to the plate. I was also able to see Bobby Jenks and D.J. Carrasco warm up in the bottom of the eighth. Bobby watched Quentin’s shot land in the bullpen, and then walked back into his spot in the bullpen. He knew he was no longer needed. I may have to sit here again tomorrow. These were great seats that almost netted me a foul ball.

My Favorite Games: #2

Two days after the Barrett sucker punch game I drove the 50 minutes back to Comiskey to watch another White Sox game. This game was special because it was the first time that Frank Thomas returned to Chicago since he left the team that winter. Anyone who knows me knows that I had a love hate relationship with the Big Hurt. For some reason at the end of his stay in Chicago I thought he was doing more harm than good. I even pointed out to anyone who would listen in 2005 that it was no coincidence that in his absence the Sox played better. That being said he is probably one of the greatest ball players that I will ever see, and I am proud that he wore a White Sox uniform. I hope that one day when he is enshrined into Cooperstown he will be wearing a Sox hat. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder so I actually found two tickets to each game of the series on eBay for under $20 with shipping. The seats were in the upper deck on the first base side, but I like the view and ended up sitting here for some more games that year. One of which is on the countdown already.
On to the game. Jon Garland (who we can greet this year as a member of the Angels) had the daunting task of facing the Big Hurt. Frank came up to the plate to lead off the top of the second, and the ovation was so great that the game actually was stopped. Frank then put us in our seats by hitting a shot to left. The picture below (although bad detail) shows that home run swing. In a way I was glad that he hit the home run, but he was also the enemy now. When he came up to the plate the next time the crowd booed him mercilessly. Such is the nature of Chicago fans. I like you until you do something to hurt our team. It didn’t matter though. Thomas hit another home run. He ended up going 3-5 on the day. Everything so far would be enough for this game to be on the countdown, but wait there is more. The Sox were down 4-1 going in to the bottom of the eighth inning. Jermaine Dye hit a solo shot to get us a little closer. Uribe then hit a double. The tying run would now come to the plate against A’s closer Huston Street. Rob Mackowiak pinch hit for Brian Anderson and hit a two run homer to tie the game. I went crazy. Rob was not a home run hitter, and the ball barely made it over the right field fence. The whole flight of the baseball had me yelling for it to go. Anther two out miracle for the Sox. In the tenth A.J. walked, and advanced to third on an hit by Rob Mackowiak. Pablo Ozuna with two outs bunted the ball down the first base line and beat out the throw. A.J. scored, and the crowd could go home happy. This was one of those games that I thought I would never see again. I thought to myself what could possibly top this. It would take something extra, extra special to knock this game down a rung.
Some games on this countdown I had to rely on outside sources to make sure that some details were correct. This was one game that was written solely on memory. It is etched in there, until another great event knocks it out.