For those of you who have not been following me on mlblogs.com and are new to Art of the Pale Hose, here is some background as I post for the first time on the ChicagoNow network.
I'm a life-long, card-carrying White Sox fan born and raised in the Chicago area. Some close to the Sox organization have called me the the team's No. 1 fan and while I don't know if that's true, I believe I'm at least in the conversation. Residing in New York since the 1970s hasn't prevented me from following the South Siders as closely as if I lived at 35th and Shields. Years ago, it wasn't easy, but with the internet, the MLB Extra Innings package and Sirius/ XM Radio, it's now a breeze. And you'll find me in Glendale every spring and in various cities during the summer where the Sox are playing.
As a PR professional by trade, having worked in that capacity for Major League Baseball, ABC Sports and Sports Illustrated, I take a glass half-full approach to my blog. Don't get me wrong, I agonize over every defeat and voice my frustration with the best of them, but in the end it's with a positive tone.
I couldn't be happier to be joining the other talented White Sox bloggers on the ChicagoNow network. And look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.
SOX VS. TRIBE: A PIVOTAL WEEKEND?
With the series victory over the Twins (thanks to five home runs in last night's rubber game) vaulting the South Siders above the .500 mark at 23-22, the Sox brace for the first-place Indians in a key early season three-game series at The Cell. If the Sox, 3 1/2 games behind, are going to gain ground on their division rival, they will have to do it against three top pitchers. The matchups:
Tonight: Jose Quintana (0-0, 0.00) vs. Jeanmar Gomez (3-2, 3.19)
Saturday: Jake Peavy (5-1, 2.39) vs. Derek Lowe (6-2, 2.15)
Sunday: Gavin Floyd (3-5, 4.66) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (5-3, 5.02)
The Sox and Indians are very familiar with each other, having already played nine games with the Pale Hose having a 5-4 advantage. Not only will the Sox have to to contend with the Tribe's strong starting pitchers and solid bullpen, but with a productive lineup as well, especially from the left side. And, as of late, the Tribe has been on fire coming off of a three-game sweep at home against the Tigers.
So, call it the Memorial Weekend Challenge. While it's still too early to judge whether or not the White Sox are legit contenders, we're going to learn a lot about them in the next three days. If they perform like the Sox team that's won six of the last seven games, serious playoff talk will start--whether it's early or not.
SOX NOTES OF NOTE: As reported yesterday, John Danks was put on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to his last start with shoulder soreness, but he should be ready to go after his DL stint..Replacing him tonight is the same Quintana who pitched an impressive 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief against the Indians in Game 1 of the May 7 doubleheader at Cleveland's Progressive Field...The season-high five Sox homers in last night's 11-8 triumph over Minnesota were hit by A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Alejandro De Aza (grand slam) and Dayan Viciedo.