Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

August 2008 Archives

Update from Cowley

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Good news does come in threes. We had the baby last week, and I found out on Wednesday that the melanoma I was diagnosed with last month did not get into the lymph nodes, making me cancer free once again. Add to the fact that a certain highly over-rated columnist has taken his ball and gone home, well, the Cowley family is certainly blessed these days.

I'll be back to work on Monday in Cleveland, and looking forward to finishing the White Sox season out on a strong note. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.

JC

Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the American League Central.

The Twins' beleaguered bullpen got a much needed rest Monday. Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune is looking ahead to the Twins' upcoming monster trip that will taken them an estimated 6,234 miles to Anaheim, Seattle, Oakland, Toronto and back to the Twin Cities. They will be on the road for 15 nights and play 14 games on their longest trip since 1969, when the Twins were gone for 17 days and played 15 games.

The Tigers have gently turned their attention to next season, and it looks as if Armando Galarraga has secured a spot in Jim Leyland's 2009 rotation.

Rangers All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler suffered a potential sseason-ending injury, which is bad news for him, but something that only enhances Carlos Quentin's growing chances of winning the American League MVP Award.

Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the American League Central.

La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls the Twins' loss in Kansas City on Sunday their worst of the season. The Twins return home to open a series against the Yankees. The Twins are 39-21 at home, but just like the White Sox, have looked like a different team on the road, going 3-3 on a trip to Seattle and Kansas City, facing two teams they should have handled with ease.

The Tigers better brace for turmoil. Gary Sheffield is now complaining about his role as designated hitter. This is the last thing manager Jim Leyland needs with his team barely hanging onto the fringes of the AL Central race. The Tigers still have plenty of interest in former White Sox right-hander Freddy Garcia. Have to believe that if Garcia really had anything left, the White Sox -- pushed by his good friend Ozzie Guillen -- would make a stronger push for Big Game Freddy.

Royals pitcher Zack Greinke dropped his appeal of a five-game suspension for hitting the White Sox' Nick Swisher and began serving it Sunday.

Right-hander Jose Contreras, making his first start for the White Sox since July 13, suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon during a freak play at first base tonight and is expected to miss the rest of the 2008 season.

On a routine grounder to first baseman Nick Swisher that should have ended the second inning, Contreras was running from the mound to the bag, outdistancing the Boston Red Sox' Jacoby Ellsbury. Once Contreras went from the infield grass to the patch of dirt near first base, he began to lose his balance and stumbled to the ground as Swisher's throw skipped off his glove.

Contreras' momentum took him down the first-base line, where he rolled over in obvious pain, clutching the ankle.

The location issues that raised red flags over Contreras' aching right elbow -- an injury he originally kept from the White Sox -- appeared to be in the past before his mishap at first base. Of the right-hander's 34 pitches, 21 were strikes. He got ahead of leadoff hitter J.D. Drew 0-2 in the first inning with two 94 mph fastballs before fanning him -- looking -- with a 79 mph changeup.

Right-hander D.J. Carrasco replaced Contreras in the second inning.

Contreras, 36, is 7-6 with a 4.54 ERA.

Here's a quick glance at what's happening around the American League Central.

The Twins' stay in first place didn't last long after they blew a six-run lead against the lowly Mariners. The Twins are hoping to get outfielder Michael Cuddyer and infielder Alexi Casilla back from injuries by next week. The Twins need any boost they can get after starting a stretch Monday that calls for 20 of their next 29 games to be on the road.

The thinking by most contenders is that it will take 90 victories to win the Central. That means the Tigers, who open a three-game series against the White Sox on the South Side tonight, must go 35-16 -- a .686 pace -- the rest of the way. Raise your hand if you think this mediocre team has a chance. Former Chicagoan Curtis Granderson is among many Tigers who grew up idolizing Ken Griffey Jr., the newest member of the White Sox.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox open a key four-game series against the White Sox on Friday and the status of slugger David Ortiz is in question after he felt a click in his wrist Monday.

Fight club

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Actually these two teams had a history. In a June 4 Sox win, reliever Octavio Dotel hit Jose Guillen and Miguel Olivo. Two weeks ago at The Cell, Kansas City pitchers played target practice with Sox hitters all weekend long, including Jermaine Dye getting plunked on the knee by Horacio Ramirez and having to be helped off the field.
Reliever D.J. Carrasco was brought in to send a message back to Kansas City in that July 20 loss, but missed on an inside pitch to Billy Butler.
He didn't miss this time around, however, throwing inside to Olivo on back-to-back pitches with the game already out of reach thanks to dismal outing by Sox starter Clayton Richard. On the second one - which actually hit Olivo - the former Sox catcher hit the deck, stalled for a second and then went after Carrasco.
To A.J. Pierzynski's credit, he did his best to try and corral Olivo, no easy task. To this day, hitting coach Greg Walker describes Olivo as not only one of the strongest players the Sox have had, but the one with the quickest trigger.
Carrasco did throw a lazy noogie in Olivo's direction with Pierzynski restraining him, but of course Pierzynski was the only one that felt a little contact, as Olivo came over the top and hit the Sox catcher on the head with a wild haymaker.
Both Carrasco and Olivo were ejected, and manager Ozzie Guillen followed suit minutes later, as he got into a verbal jab session with umpires.

Breaking news from the North Side!!

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KANSAS CITY - Shame on you Erin Andrews! Who do you think you are, wearing a dress to your knees?
In other breaking news for some of the guys who cover the North Side team, girls in bikinis sicken them, and they are completely disturbed that ESPN doesn't go out and hire that hot chick they see in the Planters Nuts commercials. Now that's a looker.
Seriously, what is becoming of this profession when a girl can't wear a summer skirt to a baseball game without offending someone?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from August 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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