He Gone… Again

Last week, the White Sox brought back Alexander (nee Alex) Colomé for a second go around.  After four appearances with a 6.00 ERA, that second go-around came to an end today.  Colomé was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Colomé was first acquired from the Mariners in a trade for catcher Omar Narváez following the 2018 season.  He notched 42 saves in 83 games over two seasons and picked up an additional save and two scoreless innings in two appearances during the 2020 Wild Card series against the A’s.  He left as a free agent after the abbreviated 2020 season and returned on a minor league deal earlier this season.

A Roster Shakeup

After a disappointing (to put it mildly) April, the White Sox looked to shake things up in May, making eleven roster moves prior to yesterday’s game.  To put this into perspective, reassigning eleven players at one time during spring training would be highly irregular.  Making eleven roster moves on one day during the regular season is unheard of.  Twenty percent of the active roster changed!  In one day!

To start things off, Tim Anderson and Hanser Alberto were activated from the injured list.  Joining them from Triple A are pitchers Alexander (nee Alex) Colome and Sammy Peralta and outfielder Billy Hamilton.  To make room for these five, Joe Kelly was placed on the paternity list, Romy Gonzalez was placed on the injured list, Oscar Colas and Lenyn Sosa were demoted to Triple A, and Jake Diekman was designated for assignment.  In addition, Frank German was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Diekman was the big (and lone) acquisition the White Sox made at the trade deadline last year.  To say he has been a bust would be quite the understatement.  Since being acquired from the Red Sox, Diekman has posted a 7.04 ERA in 39 games.  In thirteen games in April, that ERA ballooned to 7.94.

Fitbit IX – Week 14

Another bad week with more cold weather.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, as I finished with 2400 steps.  A slight rise on Monday put me over 3400 steps.  Tuesday saw a big fall, dropping down to 2200 steps.  Wednesday saw a small improvement, going up to 3200 steps.  Another big fall on Thursday gave me my lowest total of the week, with just 1700 steps.  A night at the old ballpark to see the White Sox lose their ninth straight led to my best day of the week on Friday, coming 29 steps away from 6100.  Saturday fell off once again, with just 2300 steps.

Total steps: 21,548

Daily average: 3078.3

Fitbit IX – Week 12

Warm weather, another round of jury duty, and a couple of baseball games led to my first week over 30.000 steps in more than a month.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, as I finished with 3000 steps thanks in part to celebrating Michael’s birthday.  Monday saw a healthy improvement, jumping up to 6300 steps thanks to my trip downtown for jury duty.  Tuesday saw a big drop off, as I wasn’t required to report to jury duty and I managed 4400 steps.  Wednesday fell back down again, dropping down to 3000 steps.  A nice increase on Thursday left me 17 steps away from 4300.  A post-work trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday led to the best day of the week, with 6300 steps.  Another White Sox game on Saturday put me just 6 steps shy of 5400.

Total steps: 32,879

Daily average: 4697

Fitbit IX – Week 11

Yet another disappointing week, despite a slight uptick in overall productivity.  Things got off to a poor start on Sunday, as I finished with 3200 steps.  Monday saw a nice improvement, jumping up to 6000 steps thanks to the start of the 2023 campaign at home for the White Sox.  Tuesday saw a dramatic fall, needing 20 additional steps just to reach 3800.  Wednesday fell even lower, going down to 3200 steps.  A slight improvement on Thursday left me 34 steps away from 3900.  Friday fell back down again, falling 25 steps shy of 3000.  Saturday was even worse, coming 22 steps away from 2700.

Total steps: 25,831

Daily average: 3690.1

Yet Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 13

33 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would eventually become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD.  Today, we revisit those mix tapes for the fourth time and see how, or if, the soundtrack of my youth still resonates in today’s digital world and how much has changed over the past four years.

The specter of death hovers over this collection of songs, as it would any music list.  Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain took his own life during the timeframe covered by this cassette.  Alice In Chains leader Layne Stayley od’d in 2002.  Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan drowned due to alcohol intoxication in 2018.  Guitarist and chief songwriter Doug Hopkins killed himself after being kicked out of the Gin Blossoms in 1993, just as the band was hitting it big by playing his songs.  Snoop Dogg was charged with (and eventually acquited of) murder after a member of a rival gang was allegedly shot and killed by his bodyguard in 1993.  Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell hung himself in 2017.

Six instances of death just in a collection of sixteen songs.  None of that is out of the ordinary.  Rock and roll has a long history of tortured artists who, when given access to money and drugs and find themselves surrounded by “yes” men who don’t necessarily have their best interests at heart, have imploded and found themselves in an early grave.

Are things any better today?  It’s hard to tell.  Older artists, like Tom Petty and Prince, continue to fall prey to their demons, helped along by the introduction of fentanyl.  Younger artists, from what I can tell, seem to be handling things better, whether due to the changed business model of the music industry or because of society’s greater acknowledgment of mental health needs.

Volume 13 takes us into late spring of 1994 and the end of my sophomore year of college. The song selection is now mostly completely alternative, with just one or two hip-hop hits to go along with it., with a little pop and Aerosmith on the side.

Side A

Alice In Chains – No Excuses
iTunes stats: 24 plays, most recently on 8/12/2022

The first Alice In Chains song to top the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, originally acquired via 93.5 KHY in Lafayette, added eight new plays over the last four years.

Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm
iTunes stats: 19 plays, most recently on 3/13/2020

The third single from the band’s breakthrough release Siamese Dream, which was banned by the BBC because of its lyrical content, picked up just four new listens and none since the corona virus lockdown.

Counting Crows – Mr. Jones
iTunes stats: 24 plays, most recently on 7/6/2022

The debut single from Counting Crows, which hit #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, added an impressive seven plays over the past four years.

The Cranberries – Dreams
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 11/4/2021

The first single from the band, which became a hit after Linger put them on the map, saw an eight-listen increase.

Jodeci – Cry For You
iTunes stats: 16 plays, most recently on 3/10/2022

The 60th biggest hit of 1994 picked up just four listens over these past four years.

Julianna Hatfield Three – Spin The Bottle
iTunes stats: 26 plays, most recently on 5/15/2022

The track, featured on the Reality Bites soundtrack, added five additional plays over the last four years.

Aerosmith – Deuces Are Wild
iTunes stats: 19 plays, most recently on 3/5/2020

Last heard prior to the pandemic, Aerosmith’s contribution to The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience compilation album, originally recorded for Pump, added just five listens.

Gin Blossoms – Mrs. Rita
iTunes stats: 13 plays, most recently on 8/24/2022

The minor Gin Blossoms hit, which peaked at #36 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, managed to more than double its plays over these past four years.

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Travelling The 50 States – Wisconsin

Over my 48 years, I’ve done my fair share of travelling across these United States.  I thought it would be an interesting experiment go look back at those trips to each of the 31 states I have visited (62% isn’t bad, is it?) and see if, and when, I may be returning.  Working in alphabetical order, we wrap things up today with the 30th state to be added to the Union: Wisconsin.

State: Wisconsin
Joined the Union: 1848
Visits: 15

Over the years, I’ve made fifteen trips to the Badger State, first in 1993 and most recently in 2019, the majority revolving around sports.

I made my first trip to Wisconsin, and my only visit to County Stadium, with Scott and Joe for a White Sox/Brewers tilt on July 18, 1993.  Back in the days before cell phones and GPS, we were left to our own devices as far as directions.  I remember one of the signs for the highway saying it would take us to Madison, and, not wanting to go to Madison, Scott decided to get off the highway.  Which put is somewhere in Milwaukee with no idea of how to get to the ballpark.  Eventually we made it in time to see the White Sox pull off the victory thanks to a 2-run single by Bo Jackson in the 9th inning.

At some unknown point, I made a trip up to the woods of Wisconsin with my friend Mike, his father and brother, and Scott to clean up an old family cabin.  I have no idea where we were or how long we were there, but it was certainly an experience.

My next trip came in April of 1995.  When Michael Jordan returns to the NBA and every game in Chicago is a sellout, the next best thing is to take the long drive 90 miles to the north to see the Bulls battle the Bucks at the Bradley Center.  Despite 33 points from Michael Jordan, Glenn Robinson led the Bucks to a 104-100 victory, scoring 36.

With the opening of their new ballpark in 2001, the Brewers drew me back to Milwaukee in May.  In a pitching battle, the Cubs outlasted the Brewers 7-6 as closer Tom Gordon picked up his first save with the team.

I returned to Milwaukee in April of 2022, when Tina and I drove north to see The Kids In The Hall reunion show at the Riverside Theater.

My next three trips to Miller Park came in May of 2003 and July of 2004.  On May 12, I saw the Cubs, behind home runs from Damian Miller, Moises Alou, and Troy O’Leary, beat the Brewers 11-5.  The next July 5, Ben Sheets outdueled Matt Clement as the Brewers topped the Cubs 1-0.  Three weeks later, the Brewers topped the Cubs once again, winning 6-3.

After nearly a decade away, I returned to Wisconsin in October of 2013 for Keith Longwell’s bachelor party.  I travelled to the faraway land of Kewaunee, where the festivities included nights of video games and cards, nine holes of golf, where I mostly sat in the cart, and a trip out to some local bars, until we were asked to leave due to some drunken tomfoolery.

In July of 2014, Danny, Michael, and I stopped in Madison on our way to Minneapolis to do some miniature golfing at Vitense Golfland.  The highlights of the stop include Michael falling into one of the water hazards and plenty of picture opportunities, like with the Bucky Badger figure above. Continue reading →

Goodbye Jose Ruiz

Just a week into the 2023 season, the White Sox have pulled the plug on the Jose Ruiz experiment, designating the right-hander for assignment prior to today’s game.  Ruiz, who pitched well for Venezuela this spring in the World Baseball Classic, has had a bad start to the year, giving up nine earned runs in less than four innings pitched, leading to an ERA of 22.09.

Ruiz, who will turn 29 in October, was selected by the White Sox off waivers from the Padres in 2017.  He spent parts of the next six seasons on the South Side, never becoming a consistent force out of the bullpen.  After a career-best showing in 2021, he regressed last season and has been awful to start 2023.  Jesse Scholtens, a 29-year old right hander who spent the last seven years in the Padres system, has been called up to replace him on the roster.

Ruiz’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

Continue reading →

The Leury Garcia Era Has Come To An End

Leury Garcia, the longest tenured member of the White Sox, was released today after being beaten out for the opening day roster.  Garcia, who has spent portions of ten seasons on the south side, had a disappointing, injury filled 2022 and seemed to still be limited, both offensively and defensively, by the lingering impacts of those injuries this spring.

Garcia was acquired by the White Sox from the Rangers in 2013 in exchange for Alex Rios.  He signed a 3-year, $16.5 million contract with the team following the 2021 season.  With his departure, Tim Anderson now becomes the longest tenured member of the White Sox.

Garcia’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were: Continue reading →

All Time Team Records

After a long winter, the 2023 baseball season gets underway today.  To celebrate, it is time once again to look at the all-time team records for games that I have identified as having attended dating back to 1984.  Last year, I tied 2012 for my 16th highest game total of all time, a big drop-off from the year before, and managed to see 20 out of the 30 teams, so there should be some nice changes.

The White Sox look to bounce back after a disappointing 2022, with a new manager hoping to regain the AL Central crown and move past the ALDS in the post-season, while the Cubs are finally hoping to be back in the conversation when it comes to the NL playoff picture.  The 2023 season should be an interesting one on both sides of town.

All-Time Team Records

Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
California Angels 2 0 1.000
Arizona Diamondbacks 15 2 0.882
Cleveland Guardians 2 1 0.667
Florida Marlins 15 8 0.652
New York Yankees 19 12 0.613
Colorado Rockies 11 7 0.611
Boston Red Sox 19 13 0.594
Los Angeles Angels 20 15 0.571
Toronto Blue Jays 15 12 0.556
Philadelphia Phillies 11 9 0.550
Washington Nationals 7 6 0.538
Cleveland Indians 31 27 0.534
Chicago White Sox 351 321 0.522
Chicago Cubs 226 211 0.517
Houston Astros Continue reading →