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

Danks named Opening Day starter

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After pitching seven strong innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, John Danks was officially named the White Sox Opening Day starter by manager Robin Ventura.

Danks will face the Texas Rangers in his home state on April 6. It will be his first opener.

"I was joking with him about how long it took,'' Ventura said. "He's that guy for us. He's the guy we want to lead off with and count on. And he's willing to take that on. I like when I look in his eyes what I see back."

Danks has been lined up all along to pitch the first game but Ventura stretched it out. His first two starts of the spring were shaky, and Ventura wanted to make sure he got untracked. Danks signed a $65 million extension during the off-season and has been considered the heir apparent to Mark Buehrle for the honor all along. Even Buehrle touted Danks for the role.

"It's something I wanted to see,'' Ventura said. "I wanted to make sure and see it and in the last couple with him, I've seen what I needed to see. And I feel comfortable and confident with him making him the Opening Day starter."

In the Sox' 4-3 loss to the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, Danks allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked none.

Adding to the usual buzz of pitching on Opening Day are several other factors for Danks: He'll face the defending American League championship team that drafted him.

"It could be in Alaska and I wouldn't care,'' Danks said "I think that's cool. It's an honor. It's something everyone dreams about, throwing on Opening Day. I've had the opportunity to watch five of them. You can't help but think, man, what if that were me out there?"
"It could be in Alaska and I wouldn't care,'' Danks said "I think that's cool. It's an honor. It's something everyone dreams about, throwing on Opening Day. I've had the opportunity to watch five of them. You can't help but think, man, what if that were me out there?"

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on March 26, 2012 6:17 PM.

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White Sox have plenty of options for closer's role is the next entry in this blog.

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