So, we’re almost through the first weekend of Summer Camp. Seems an OK time to catch up on some business not directly related to Summer Camp, as we speculate about the positive White Sox tests. Besides, we can do that in the other story I’m putting up.
The Rule of Three redux
Leigh Allan, Sports Illustrated
Long ago (OK, April 2019) and far away (clear over on SSS), I tried to make the case for MLB teams, and specifically the White Sox, to put the Rule of Three into operation. Jerry, Kenny, Rick, Ricky and Coop weren't listening, and look what happened.
Fortunately this season, short and with an abbreviated training period and expanded rosters for a while, makes application of the Rule of Three even more desirable. so let's try again.
Not sure if Kopech’s absence makes this idea more, or less, feasible, but personally I can’t wait for the first team to take this “through the order” thing to its logical extreme and give three pitchers three innings a game.
Experiencing 2005: Spring turns to Summer
Lurker Laura, Sports Illustrated
I call my parents; I know they'll be home on a Saturday night, too. As Dad picks up, I am jumping up in down in my small kitchen, the heels of my feet hitting my butt. I don't even say hello as I yell into the receiver "I. Love. This. Team!!!"
The super fun series continues, with Laura seeing a walk-off win in person, watching the A.J. 1959s game on TV, then sweating through an autograph line to meet a preteen crush.
Focus on the South Side
Kevin Kaufmann, Sports Illustrated
All the major sports leagues in the U.S. have given some kind of statement regarding racial injustice, and many of the teams within the leagues have shared their own statements. SSHP wrote a letter to the White Sox urging them to offer something more substantial to the moment. Like the White Sox statement, the social media posts from other teams might not quite be banal, but they are crafted to be palatable to as much of their audience as possible. "Racism is bad" is the general idea. (It is particularly ironic that the Washington Redskins shared such a message.)
Teams need to do more.
A sort of “Juneteenth” piece from Kevin raising some issues and providing some ideas as to how the White Sox could better connect with their Black fan base.
Are the White Sox on the playoff bubble?
Brett Ballantini, Sports Illustrated
SI's Matt Martell paints a somewhat dour picture for the Chicago White Sox when it comes to a 2020 playoff berth.
And Matt's not wrong. The proposed expansion of playoffs that was one of the many carrots dangled by ownership in order to get their players to accept, like, a 20-game season, or 33% of pay, or only middle seats on flights throughout the 2020s, would have benefited the up-and-coming White Sox, for sure. Busting open the back door to let a buncha not-ready-for-prime-time ballclubs, too old and too young alike, would certainly have made things easier for the South Siders.
I know, someone’s going to give me hell for sharing mostly SI articles. Sure, I’m a little biased. But if you find a site that is doing the variety of stuff our ex-SSS crew is doing, let me know.
And you don’t have to read these pieces, if you want to horde your clicks! These topics alone are enough for discussion. You’re free to link other cool stuff, from WhiteSox.com, Sox Machine, Sox on 35th, etc. This can be a community effort; it’s a community site. Anyway, Brett gets some national shine here.
Father's Day at the home of the Birmingham Barons
Jake Mastroianni, Sports Illustrated
About two weeks before Father's Day I got an email from the Barons: "Celebrate Father's day at Regions Field!"
That was all I needed to see to be on board.
I've been looking for any excuse to get out to the stadium, and this was the perfect opportunity.
Jake is based in Birmingham, and I’m guessing he didn’t think he’d be spending his first year doing Barons SI coverage from the batter’s box, but here we are. A neat piece addressing the lengths the minors are willing to go to serve their fan bases — and stay alive.
When the organist became a cover girl
Nancy Faust, Sports Illustrated
A lot of people are curious about a picture that's shown up on Twitter and circulated online, with me and Bill Melton. I thought you might want to know the rest of the story, and see the entire picture — with Wilbur Wood!
Oh, maybe you missed it, but the beloved Nancy Faust, 40-year White Sox organist (and SSS/SSHP Hall-of-Famer, per your votes) is writing for SI now. This one I would urge to to click on, because Nancy is just the best.
A Conversation With: Geoff Blum
Sam Sherman, Sports Illustrated
When Geoff Blum came off the bench to hit the game's deciding home run, two things became apparent. First, there was a real good chance the White Sox would win their first World Series in my lifetime, and more importantly my dad and all his friend's lifetimes.
Credit due: Sam has been hustling all through the break in action on the field, with some terrific interviews for SI. This, naturally, is another. Not video this time, just a podcast. But hey, it’s Geoff Blum, ’nuff said.
MLB cancels All-Star Game for 1st time since 1945
“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
This will be the first time since 1945 that no game will be held. Travel restrictions because of World War II kept the game scheduled for Boston’s Fenway Park and any player selections from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season.
Nothing you didn’t expect, just like the MiLB season news being canceled. Interesting that L.A. only has to wait a couple of years before “re-hosting,” in 2022.