A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Recently in Chicago White Sox Category

The White Sox opened their season on Monday against the Kansas City Royals. Before the game, Comcast SportsNet ran an introductory music video with some of the players lip syncing to the pulsating tones of  Saliva. Deadspin called it "one of the worst things ever put on television and possibly harmful to your health."

What did you think of the video


John Ely uncorks a first inning pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Staium on Thursday night. (AP)

John Ely is a genuine pride of the South Side - Harvey, to be exact. So what is he doing helping out the Cubs?

Ely, making just his second big league start - and first home start at that - was a human wrecking ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the North Siders' nemesis Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

With no less than Vin Scully singing his praises, Ely spun a gem at Chavez Ravine and was in position to earn the win before a Jonathan Broxton meltdown in the ninth. At one point, Ely sat down 16 in a row.

Allowing just one run in six and two-thirds innings Ely, who now has 72 games under his belt in three professional seasons, only allowed two runners as far as second base and took particular interest in embarrassing Jim Edmonds, saddled with three of Ely's seven strikeouts off a variety of high-80s fastballs and and assortment of on-the-corners breaking stuff.

It's a vast improvement on his shaky debut against the Mets, where he lasted six innings, but was touched up for 5 runs.

Ely, called up to sub for a disabled Vicente Padilla, may not get another chance on the Dodger Stadium bump with Jeff Weaver expected back from injury Friday. But with the command he showed Thursday night, he'll also likely find his way back pitching with the big club in the near future.

One thing is for sure: Ely's domination was likely just a little more painful for Sox fans. He was drafted and signed as a Sox in 2007 out of Homewood-Flossmoor, but ended his South Side career as the player to be named that completed the Juan Pierre deal in December 2009.

Mark Buerhle may not have been perfect in his record eighth Opening Day start for the White Sox, but this defensive gem sure was.

In the fifth, the left-hander took a bullet from Lou Marson's bat off his leg, chased it down in foul territory along the first-base line and flipped it without looking through his legs with his glove hand to Konerko to get the out.

Even with 161 regular-season games left, it could very well end up being the Sox' defensive play of the year.

Buehrle was checked out by manager Ozzie Guillen and the training staff, which gave fans the opportunity to give him a well-deserved standing ovation.

Buehrle finished after 7 innings with a 5-0 lead over the Indians, giving up just three hits and striking out three.

gill.jpgTurner Gill is about to be named as head coach of Kansas football, according to a report at Yahoo! Sports, though University of Buffalo athletic director Warde Manuel told The Buffalo News he had no information about Gill taking the Kansas job.

Gill takes over the Jayhawks despite finishing 5-7 at Buffalo in 2009, his third losing season in four years at the Mid American Conference school. His overall mark is set at 20-30.

Gill has apparently edged out the likes of hot coaching prospect Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, among others.

The new head Jayhawk never played in the NFL, but was a on his way to stardom in the Canadian Football League when he was forced to retire at 23 from concussions. He was a standout baseball player in high school and was drafted at shortstop by the Chicago White Sox.

Gill will be joining his daughter, a sophomore cheerleader, at Kansas.

alfonso-soriano-error-cubs.JPGA seemingly routine fly ball off the bat of White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth inning of Thursday's game ended with an opportunity for Steve Stone to rip Alfonso Soriano and the Cubs.

As Soriano moved into position to catch the pop-up, he misjudged it, dropped it and allowed Pierzynski to reach third base and Gordon Beckham to score.  

Stone, the former Cubs broadcaster and Current White Sox color analyst, took the opportunity to point out, "That's what you get when you put a designated hitter in left field."

Stone also criticized Soriano for his lack of enthusiasm in retrieving the ball after he dropped it.

The play marked Soriano's 11th error of the season in left field.

Stone refused a contract extension with the Cubs in 2004 amid controversy fueled by his sharp criticism of the team.  

Stumbled upon this footage of the best soccer game ever played, a spirited contest which ends in somebody getting kicked in the face on the way off the field. Not real sure what the deal is, but here's the handy Google translation of the summary, just to further cloud the moment:

Defender Sergio Jauregui, Blooming, we applied a flying kick disqualifying Uruguayan striker Leonardo Medina in the classic to the East Petroleum. The former Hurricane is horpitalizado.

So there you have it. But crazy Central American ninja players aside, seeing footage like this reminds me of maybe the most classic karate kick sporting moment of all video time: the Flying Izzy Alcantara.

Alcantara was a cup-of-coffee slugging outfielder for the Boston Red Sox around the turn of the century - this one, that is - who spent his fair share of time with the Triple A Pawtucket Red Sox. (Fun fact: Alcantara hit his first Major League homer against pre-juicing White Sox hurler Jim Parque in Chicago in 2000).

A prototypical quadruple-A player, Alcantara lost his shot at playing in the minor league all-star game in 2001 after this spectacularly nutty moment against Scranton Wilkes-Barre:

So remember, kids, keep the karate in the Cobra Kai dojo and off the diamond and field.

derek-jeter-gordon-beckham.JPGIn just over a calendar year, White Sox third baseman Gordon Beckham has gone from playing against Kennesaw State to playing on the same diamond with the most storied franchise in the history of sports. But as far as first impressions go, Beckham has to be happy with the one he made on the New York Yankees.

In his first series against the Bronx Bombers, Beckham played an integral role in each of his team's three wins. For the series, he went 7-for-19, had 7 RBI and scored three times. Five of his seven hits were doubles. It was more than enough to turn some a few heads in the opposing dugout.  

"I got a chance to talk to him quite a bit, " Yankees captain Derek Jeter said, "because he was on second base all the time."

So what did Jeter have to say to the former Georgia Bulldog?
Ozzie Guillen was asked to share his thoughts on yesterday's David Ortiz steroid revelation. It was classic Ozzie before the series opener against the Yankees as he launched into a rant about the infamous 2003 list:

"Can somebody in baseball, please, we're all begging people, get that stupid list out and move on. This is ridiculous. This is embarrassing. This is a joke. Whoever is there is there; get them out and that's it. We're going to continue being alive, we're going to continue playing the game. But sitting here every freaking day, every manager, every player, responding to the same question, it's getting tired. It's old. Come on. If you're going to divorce me, divorce me right away. Don't say you're going to leave me. I'm serious. If you're going to talk every night, 'I'm going to divorce you,' no, get out of my house. Every week we've got to come up with this thing."

BY MIKE HALL The Big Ten Network

mike_hall_big_ten-thumb-250x241-7933.jpgMy family is made up entirely of White Sox fans. A few years ago we created a season-long game where we all pick "a guy." At the beginning of each April we choose a White Sox player, and for the rest of the season, that player is our guy. When he does something well, we give the family member credit as if they were the one who did something positive. Its like our own uber-simplified form of fantasy baseball. My mom may not know much about the south siders, but she knows that, as she'd say, "Thome's my homey!"

This year the rest of my family chose the following players- Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Quentin. The common trend is that they're all position players. Except for me and my guy.

Every year we've done this game, I've chosen a guy who will only take the field every fifth game. And its just about a Hall family consensus that I've won our game every year. Why? Because my guy has always been Mark Buehrle.

People are often confused on how to spell his last name. As we know from Thursday, its simple: just seven letters... P-E-R-F-E-C-T.
(AP Photo)

As part of U.S. Cellular Field's Asian Heritage Night on Tuesday, there was plenty of singing, dancing and banging of drums to celebrate Asian culture.

On the field, however, White Sox rookie third baseman Gordon Beckham was giving fans plenty of reason to do some singing and drum-banging of their own -- namely the singing of Beckham's praises and banging of the drum for him to be considered for the American League Rookie of the Year award.

What -- too soon?

Sure, the season is barely past the midway point.

Sure, those of us in the Chicago media have a tendency to aggrandize players on a hot streak and completely vilify those who struggle.

Sure, he could get worn down in August -- in which case I'll hope no one remembers that I wrote this.

And yes ... with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, a man on first, his team down by a run and a chance to be the hero Beckham, who had been perfect at the plate all night, grounded out weakly to the pitcher to end the game.   

But for those 23,319 fans who watched Beckham go 3-for-4 and make a couple of solid plays in the field, there was little question of whether he should be considered.