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White Sox Make The Most Interesting Man in the World Part of their Postgame Routine

Baseball teams tend to be quite superstitious. They have specific pregame routines and postgame traditions. When I worked with the Dodgers in ’04, they used to play William Hung’s “She Bangs” on the clubhouse stereo after every win. Seriously. The White Sox’s postgame routine seems to be infinitely cooler (though there was nothing quite like hearing Jose Lima belt out William Hung).

As CSN Chicago reported, by way of Hardball Talk, the White Sox have made a cardboard cutout of The Most Interesting Man in the World a popular clubhouse figure. CSN Chicago even calls The Most Interesting Man the team’s unofficial mascot.

According to their report, the cardboard cutout is “carefully placed in the player of the night’s locker after every Sox victory. You’ll often find him repeatedly leering over the shoulders of Paul Konerko, Jake Peavy, Juan Pierre, etc., staring eerily into every TV camera pointed in his direction.” Clubhouse manager Vinny Fresso says the cutout travels with the team wherever they go and that it even has its own trunk.

I love the Dos Equis commercials featuring The Most Interesting Man in the World, so I’m definitely down with this tradition. Those are easily some of the best beer commercials on TV and The Most Interesting Man in the World is a sleeker super hero than James Bond. Plus, you know the media enjoys the tradition as well — it’s certainly much better than what the White Sox had in their clubhouse in 2008, though not quite as good as this.

To see the Dos Equis man in action, check out CSN Chicago’s photo gallery.

Jerry Reinsdorf Admits White Sox Reached with Free Agent Signings, Budget

The Chicago White Sox, along with the Detroit Tigers, had a strong off-season in hopes of overtaking the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. They landed Adam Dunn, one of the premier sluggers in the free agent market, with a four-year $56 million contract. The decision to sign Dunn apparently was not an easy one, and according to team owner Jerry Reinsdorf, it led to more signings by the team.

Reinsdorf explained at the team’s SoxFest ’11 event Saturday that the franchise was deciding between two different plans — one where they would cut payroll and go young, and another where they would spend money to try and win. He said “We reached this year. Last year was a difficult year. We weren’t as good as we thought we could be. Our attendance was down. Financially, it came out OK.”

Once the White Sox committed the money to Adam Dunn, it only made sense to bring back Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski who were also free agents. Adding just Dunn without Konerko was essentially pointless, because then the team would be in a similar situation as last year. Hopefully the fans appreciate the direction the ownership took this off-season for Chicago. This also means that they may be likely to unload contracts if they fall out of contention by the All-Star Break.

Chicago White Sox Reportedly Closing in on Deals with Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko

What could possibly be better than adding one big free agent bat? How about retaining another. The Chicago White Sox, who finished seven games over .500 and six games behind the Twins in the AL Central last season, reportedly are close to announcing the signing of Adam Dunn. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dunn is taking a physical and then the Sox can announce a four-year deal with him reported to be worth $56 million. As if that wasn’t enough, Cowley reports that White Sox players think free agent Paul Konerko will return to the team.

A four-year $56 million deal is slightly less than what Dunn reportedly was hoping for ($60 million), but that is the type of deal he deserves. The big slugger took a huge paycut signing with the Nats for just $20 million over two years in 2009. He had the misfortune of becoming a free agent for the first time when the economy entered the recession and signed a short-term deal with the hope of cashing in on another deal. That opportunity has come and it looks like Dunn will finally be paid.

Dunn has earned a reputation as Mr. Consistency. He hit exactly 40 home runs four straight seasons with the Reds (and part of 2008 after being traded to Arizona) and then he hit 38 home runs in both seasons with the Nats. He’s driven in at least 100 runs six times and has a career OPS of .902. He has clubbed 282 home runs since 2004, more than any baseball player except Albert Pujols. Dunn is a premier slugger in the game and will be an excellent addition to Chicago’s lineup.

Paul Konerko is 34 years old and coming off his finest season as a pro. He’s been with the White Sox since 1999 and driven in at least 90 runs eight times for them, clubbing at least 30 home runs six times. Bringing Konerko back gives the White Sox a slugger at first base to hold down the middle of the lineup as he has been for over a decade. The Adam Dunn signing keeps Chicago as a contender in the AL Central race, retaining Konerko makes them a legitimate threat to win the division and be a playoff force.

Manny to Say Bye, Bye to his Dreads

Now that Manny Ramirez is a member of the Chicago White Sox, owner Jerry Reinsdorf has asked the slugger to do something drastic — cut off the dreads. Manny is doing as he’s told and flying his personal barber to Boston so that his hair will be ready for the first game of the White Sox-Red Sox series.

Though the dreads are Manny’s signature look, he said that it doesn’t bother him having to cut them off “It seems like everywhere I go, people worry about my hair. I just want to go out there and play the game.”

I would figure he’d be a little more upset, I know I would. I love having Manny sporting the black and white, but in all honesty who really believes he’ll be a member of the team next spring? Anyone? Yeah, me neither. He’s a member of the White Sox to help their playoff run. They may have convinced him that he’s auditioning for next year, but I really don’t see that happening. My point in all this is that it’s not worth cutting my hair if I’m Manny knowing that I’ll only be on this team for the next 29 days (if they don’t make the playoffs).

I do appreciate the fact that Manny’s being a team player and doing what is asked of him. Manny is used to having that hair though, Mr. Reinsdorf. If your decision to make him cut it some how throws his swing off balance then Sox fans will be blaming you. As for now, I can’t wait to see what happens with the hair. Manny is a character, for all we know he could walk out tonight with an inch off his hair (technically he would have “cut his hair”) or with a completely shaved head.

Source:
Reports: Manny to Cut His Hair Friday [Fox Sports]
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark Duncan

Frank Thomas Gets Emotional at White Sox Jersey Retirement Ceremony

Frank Thomas is a man who means a lot to the city of Chicago–especially if you are a White Sox fan. On Sunday, his former team honored him by hosting “Frank Thomas Day” at U.S. Cellular Field before the finale of a three game series against the Yankees. The Sox retired Thomas’ number and unveiled his picture in the outfield.  I’ve never had my number retired, but I imagine it’s an emotional day for a player who is getting one of the highest honors that a former team can provide. They are forever immortalizing you in their organization and I see it as the biggest way a team can say “thank you.”

This isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen emotional speeches in Chicago. Lou Piniella gave an emotional retirement speech a week ago and Jeremy Roenick welled up after the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory. If you missed it, here’s the Big Hurt’s speech from U.S. Cellular Field:

I don’t believe anyone can judge Thomas or any other athlete for getting emotional at something this important in their career. In fact, every time I’ve witnessed emotional speeches like these, it reminds me that these guys are just human after all. As a Sox fan, I got emotional watching Thomas’ speech and I’d like to say thank you to the Big Hurt for all the amazing talent and passion he brought to our team. I don’t think anybody deserves it more.

Source:
White Sox honor all-time great Frank Thomas [CSN Chicago]

Mullet Night Recap at the Cell in Chicago

Friday night was “Mullet Night” at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago for the White Sox/A’s game. The Sox’s Web site explained the details behind Mullet Night: Join the White Sox for a night celebrating a classic American hairstyle, THE MULLET. Stay postgame for a spectacular fireworks display set to a music soundtrack of classic hair-bangin’ rockers!

Apparently the first 250 fans participated in some sort of pregame mullet march around the field too. I don’t know if the mullets had anything to do with it, but the Sox continued their stellar play winning 6-1 for their 12th straight home victory.

It must also be mentioned that alleged Detroit lover Kid Rock threw out the ceremonial first pitch and had Dick Butkus’ name misspelled on the back of his shirt. I don’t know of too many Tigers fans who would be so willing to wear White Sox gear, but I guess Kid Rock is one of them. Anyway, here is a comprehensive review of some of the best ‘dos at the Cell for Mullet Night.

WHITE SOX MULLET PICTURES

Business in the front, party in the back.

Photo Credits: Coach_Burnett, MattWhilhelmBMX

Obama Will Have No Part of the Wave

To be honest, I have no idea what to make of President Obama as a baseball fan.  He claims to be a dedicated, life-long Chicago White Sox fan, but couldn’t even name his favorite player — or any player for that matter — when asked in an interview.  He’s also thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at a White Sox game and missed horribly.  Some fans even questioned his allegiance recently when he accepted an offer to throw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game, but we won’t hold that against him since it would just be bad PR for him to turn that down for obvious reasons.

Now, we see this photo of Barack Obama not doing “the wave” at Nationals Park while he was in attendance watching Stephen Strasburg pitch against the White Sox.  Score one for the President.  Actually, I’ll even give him two points here.  The first point he receives is for clearly being locked into the game and not wanting to be distracted.  Just look at the expression on his face and effort he’s giving to peer around the arms of the other fans.  The second point is awarded simply for not partaking in the “the wave”.  It’s for bored fans.  I’ve seen it done in 10-0 games and I’ve seen it done in 0-0 games.  If you don’t want to be there, go home.  In my opinion, this photo can only help the status of Obama’s fanhood.

Source:
Obama Takes A Firm Stand Against The Wave [Deadspin]