The waiver claim of Zach Stewart caused a little bit of a panic during the opening panel of SoxFest. Rick Hahn had to assuage one fan that a $20,000 waiver claim didn't mean Stewart suddenly played a part in the White Sox's plans for 2013.
In reality, the only real complication Stewart's reacquisition posed was that it took the last spot on the 40-man roster.
Whenever the 40-man roster is on the verge of filling up, I try to figure out who the Sox might cut if they needed to make room, because that's all there is to do this time of year. Before Stewart, it looked like Deunte Heath might be on the bubble, based on the order of promotions last season, and the general lack of name-floating for the open bullpen spot (or spots, before the Sox signed Matt Lindstrom).
After the Sox claimed Stewart and added him to the 40-man roster, I'd hoped LIFO would apply, because if you needed a guy to throw a scoreless inning at the big-league level, I'd take Heath every time.
Sure enough, any concerns were erased when the Sox outrighted Stewart to Charlotte. The 40-man roster is at 39, and Stewart's just around.
With our national nightmare behind us, let's keep the good news rolling with ...
Terrerobytes (Baseball's The Best edition)
Hector Santiago's visit to Newtown, Conn., gets the follow-up treatment from Scott Merkin, who adds the perspective of the White Sox front office. Christine O'Reilly, the White Sox's senior director of community relations, provides the most interesting quotes, including:
"We were exposed to that last season when Hector first came to the White Sox [... ] He wanted to meet with us.
"He was like, 'I want to do stuff,' and so we actually said, 'We want to talk with you. We can support you.' The organization certainly wants to support players who, on their own, indicate an interest in making a difference in the community." [...]
"So, it is just amazing when you have a player who takes the first step," O'Reilly said. "We have a great team and they are all so supportive of our efforts. Here's a guy who has done it on his own.
"I saw the story that ran [on ESPN.com about Santiago's Newtown visit], and that's so telling about the guy he is. I think it speaks really well of the White Sox. We look for those character guys. That's really important."
While Santiago wants to open a baseball complex for aspiring Little Leaguers in Newark, Chet Lemon is one step ahead of him, as WU points out in this FanShot. I don't know if Santiago plans to have a salon and car-detail shop in his plans, though.
After 10 years away, Jose Contreras returned to Cuba. You don't need sound to watch this video, because the visuals are engrossing enough.
Ken gave us a lot of the great quotes from the 1983 panelists at SoxFest, and Scott Reifert adds a few more here. For instance, Greg Luzinski saying, "I was raised on Hamms."
- San Diego Padres sign Freddy Garcia 13 years after anybody could possibly give a sh_t - Gaslamp Ball
Freddy Garcia landed with the Padres, and they're not nearly as excited about it as Ken would be.
Tadahito Iguchi was often overlooked during his time with the White Sox -- and watching the Sox struggle to patch their infield holes after his departure should give everybody a much better sense of just how sturdy he was.
His post-homer bat flip stood out to me because of its incongruity to the workmanlike nature of his game. But then you watch this collection of bat flips from Japanese games, and Iguchi's follow-through still qualifies as typically subdued, given the context. I mean, look at these other ones:
Just to get a refresher of Iguchi's flip, I plugged his name into YouTube, and here's a video where you absolutely need the audio: