The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois on March 9, 2008 · Page 23
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The Daily Herald from Arlington Heights, Illinois · Page 23

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Arlington Heights, Illinois
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Sunday, March 9, 2008
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Page 23
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SUNDAY, MARCH 0, 2008 Baseball PAGE 3 Rowand loves Chicago, but he liked Giants' deal better BY SCOT GREGOR TUCSON, Ariz. — Aaron Rowand was in the lineup Saturday at Tucson Electric Park. In his perfect world, the bulldog center fielder would have been wearing a White Sox uniform. But after coming close to returning to his old team during the off-season, Rowand landed with the San Francisco Giants. He wanted a five-year contract, which he got from the Giants at a total cost of $60 million. Sox general manager Kenny Notes Williams held firm with a four-year offer. "(Williams) said it wasn't in their plans," said Rowand, who played for the White Sox from 2001-05. "I understand the business side of things and they have constraints as far as what they can do. "I would have liked for them to (add the fifth year) because God knows I would have liked to have gone back to Chicago. I mean I love the fans, love the city and the organization." Ron Schueler was the Sox' general manager when Rowand was selected on the first round of the 1998 draft. Now a special assistant with San Francisco, Schueler was instrumental in getting Rowand to join the Giants. "Kenny was very honest and said the most they could do was four years," Rowand said. "He said, 'If you can get five years, I hope you get five years and I hope you can get as much money as you can because you deserve it.' He was very open and honest from the beginning." Rowand is tight with White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who has been rumored to be heading to San Francisco in a trade at some point during spring training. While he's not the Giants' GM, Rowand did give Crede a glowing scouting report. I'm not playing recruiter; it's not like I'm going to (the front office) and saying, 'Get him,'" Rowand said, "They asked me, and obviously everyone knows what he can do on the baseball field. I told them, 'You're asking a guy that is biased, but I'll give you my answer.' God knows, I want to play with Joe again. "He's healthy now. He played three or so years with the back like that and did well. Now that he's healthy, I think he's going to be a better Joe than what we've even seen." Rowand visited the Sox' clubhouse after the game and manager Ozzie Guillen, for one, was happy to see him. "I feel proud for him because he works hard, and when you work hard you deserve what you get," Guillen said. "Believe me, I think he just made this trip because it was us. He played eight innings (Friday) and it's something you appreciate when a former player likes you the way he does." Llnebrink's back: After being sidelined with migraine headaches, White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink returned to the mound Saturday and pitched 1 inning, allowing 1 run on 2 hits. Linebrink has dealt with migraines before. "They just come in at a different times, but usually when I get one, I get a second one," he said. "It seems to trigger a second one. It's just one of those things that you have to put up with at certain times." Cubs: Continued from Rige I didn't know if I had to treat them differently. "I just think that's a common problem." Fox, a catcher at Michigan and a college teammate of Cubs pitcher Rich Hill, cited an example he witnessed firsthand. "In my time at Michigan, I saw a kid who quit playing because a coach didn't know how to handle his disease," he said. "That's why I want to get awareness out mere, not just for me and my wife, who went through some tough times, too. Diabetics can do the same thing that 'normal' kids can do, just with a little different approach to it." Fox has enlisted the help of Cubs outfielder Sam Fuld, a Type 1 diabetic who gives himself insulin shots twice a day and checks his blood sugar five to six times a day. He also hopes to pick the brain of Cubs broadcaster and former third baseman Ron Santo, also a diabetic. "One of the messages I want to get across in my presentation is, with a diabetic there's a whole lot more that goes into (coaching) than just teaching them the game," Fox said. "There's the responsibility of, teaching them about handling a daily disease, being able to check the blood sugars five, six times a day, being able to count the carbs they eat during the day so they can prepare for a workout, prepare for things to come. "At the same time, teaching them they can treat the kids die same with the discipline and all that, but in a different way. A kid I played with in college was diabetic. He was throwing a bullpen, and it was going really bad. His blood sugar was low. So he dropped his glove and walked over to the training room. The coach started yelling at him, 'You can't leave here until you finish this.' "I understood the message he was trying to give him: Don't give up. But at the same time, he couldn't do it. All you have to do is say, 'OK, go get your blood sugar under control, and come back and we'll finish this because I'm not going to let you give up.'" Of course, Fox has baseball to play, too, as he tries to win a roster spot A catcher coming up in the Cubs system after being drafted in 2003, Fox has moved Cubs 4, D'backs 1 / Athletics 7, Cubs 6 Cubs' record: 4-7 At the plate: Against the D'Backs, Alfonso Soriano had 2 singles and a run scored. Felix Pie hit a 2-run single in the Cubs' 4-run second inning. Against the A's, Daryle Ward hit a solo homer and a double. Matt Mutton had an RBI double in the seventh. On the mound: Jon Lieber pitched 4 efficient innings against Arizona, throwing 46 pitches, 28 for strikes. He allowed 2 hits while walking none and striking out four. Sean Gallagher worked 2 hitless innings. Bob Howry gave up a hit in 1 inning. Jose Ascanio earned the save. Against Oakland, Sean Marshall worked 3Va innings, giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. Jeff Samardzija allowed 4 hits and 2 runs in 1 inning. Next The Cubs travel to Surprise to play the Kansas City Royals (3:05 p.m., Channel 9.WGN 720-AM). Ryan Dempster pitches for the Cubs against Brett Tomko. — Bruce Miles around the diamond as the Cubs try to find a place for his bat Fox hit 23 homers in 91 games at Class AA Tennessee last year before getting called up July 19. In seven games with the Cubs, he had 2 hits, both doubles. He has shown he can hit at all levels, and sooner or later, some major- league team may have to find a place for that kind of bat. "For me, the biggest thing is to learn how to come off the bench and hit," Fox said. "It's something I've never done before, so it's a new beast to tame. But the last two times I've come off the bench, I've felt very comfortable at the plate. "I've got a very good feeling that I'm going to be there someday. Somewhere, somehow, I'm going to be there. But right now I'm trying to pay my dues and be patient with it because I know it's going to happen. Right now I'm just trying to make sure I'm making myself the player I can be so that when I get that chance I'll be ready." Seven starters, only five spots BY BRUCE MILES limilfa@tlnilyhmilil.fnin MESA, Ariz.—All spring the Cubs have been saying they have seven starting pitchers and only five spots. So what happens to the two pitchers who lose out? Lefty Sean Marshall, who pitched 3M) innings in Saturday's split-squad 7-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics in Phoenix, has minor-league options and can be sent to Class AAA Iowa. That seems especially plausible since manager Lou Piniella already has said this is no spring for young pitchers. Jon Lieber started Saturday's home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and worked 4 scoreless innings. Unless Lieber comes up injured or is totally ineffective, he's in the rotation. That leaves the final spot between righties Ryan Dempster and Jason Marquis. If the Cubs can trade Marquis, as they'd prefer, that solves one problem. If not, somebody's going to the bullpen. "Whomever doesn't make the five, one of those two is going to have to pitch in the bullpen," Piniella said. "And then we've got another one left. We can't carry two of them, that's for sure." Piniella added that he and pitching coach Larry Roth- Notes schild had talked, and by March 23 "or so we're going to have to make a decision by then and put everybody in an alignment for the season. We're just going to go with our best starting pitching, and that's it. I don't know how else to do it." y Ted Lilly will get a start at the minor-league complex March 17, when the Cubs have an off-day from Cactus League play. Rich Hill will start games from now on instead of being the second pitcher into games, something he did in his first 2 appearances. Piniella also said Carlos Zambrano will get an extra day of rest so he doesn't pitch against Milwaukee on Monday (die Cubs and Zambrano open the regular season against the Brewers). It also looks like the Cubs will open the season with 12 pitchers. Getting them back: Alfonso Soriano returned Saturday after suffering a minor break of his right middle finger last Sunday. He flied out in the first inning and singled to left in the second. As Kosuke Fuku- dome was taking ball four, Soriano was off with the pitch. "More important, day by day, my legs are going to feel better," said Soriano, who battled problems in both legs last year. "My legs feel good. I'm a little scared because today was my second game. Every day I can feel more comfortable." Soriano said he's running at 85 percent, not because his legs are bothering him, but because he's trying to get over the mental obstacles of recovery. He said the finger was no problem. Second baseman Mark DeRosa appears to be in good enough shape that he can play Monday, a few days earlier than expected. DeRosa is coming back from a surgical procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. "The trainer came into my office today and said they'd give him a really good work day today and lighten him up tomorrow," Lou Piniella said. "If he's OK, get him in the lineup." Weighty issue: Pitcher Sean Gallagher, who worked 2 hitless innings Saturday, said he's down to 220 pounds, or 30 pounds lighter than he was at the end of last year. He said he's in his best physical shape since he was drafted in 2006. "I was 215 back then; I'm 220 now," he said. "It's great for me. I feel a lot better out there. It's so much easier. I feel I don't have to put so much exertion into every pitch." Fukudomania Media glare not too bright BY BRUCE MILES bmiles@(lait\limiM.com MESA, Ariz. — While the Cubs have superstars such as Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano on their team, it's only Kosuke Fukudome who gets grilled by the media every day. Fukudome draws a crowd of Japanese reporters every day, and they want to know about his'every action on the field. "I'm a very patient man, so I'm OK with that," he said. Doesn't he ever get tired of it? "If that's the case, I wouldn't be here after the game," he said. American reporters told Fukudome they weren't used to seeing one player get so much attention. "Right now, at this point, I'm a little bit valued," he said, laughing. Fukudome was l-for-3 with a walk in Saturday's 4-1 victory over Arizona. He also was caught stealing once. "I asked him today if we wanted to pinch run for him, or if he wanted to attempt a stolen base," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said, "He wanted to attempt a stolen base. Let him run." Sox: Continued from Page I the end of the day, boys, don't tell me how rough the water is, you bring in the ship." Several Cubs players, notably relief pitcher Kent Mercker, also were upset with some of Stone's candid comments late in the 2004 season. He's with the White Sox now, and Stone said he's going to continue being himself. "It's the style that I have," Stone said after working his first exhibition game with Farmer on The Score (WSCR 670-AM) on Friday. "Within the framework of understanding you have a product to sell — in our case, the Chicago White Sox — and the wonderful experience that it is in Chicago to come to the ballpark, which is something I truly believe, I really don't say anything on the air that I don't believe. "I don't anticipate that being a problem. I think that I know (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) very well, I know the people associated with the White Sox very well, and so for me, going out and explaining a baseball game and how to do it and how not to do it, just comes second nature. I don't view myself doing anything different." If the Sox play as poorly as they did last season, manager Ozzie Guillen expects Stone to be critical. "That's his job," Guillen said. "Those people (broadcasters) up there, they have a tough job. Especially when you travel with the team, hang around. The players, manager, the coaching staff, they have to understand they have a job and they have to do their job." Even though Stone spent two decades working for the Cubs, Guillen considers him a friend. "We are, but if he feels White Sox 6, Giants 4 White Sox' record: 6-7 At the plate: Brad Eldred's 2-run homer in the eighth inning decided the outcome. Brian Anderson was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI, raising his Cactus League average to .364. Joe Crede (.105) was O-for-3. On the mound: Starter John Danks pitched 4 innings and allowed 1 run on 3 hits. Matt Thornton and Mike MacDougal each pitched 1 scoreless inning. Next: Jose Contreras starts against the Padres today in Peoria. — Scot Gregor something, if he wants to say something, don't hold back," Guillen said. "Same thing with Hawk (Ken Harrelson), Farmio and DJ. (Darrin Jackson). If they talk about somebody's family or something that happened off the field, then I will get (peeved). But if we play horrible, don't expect them to say anything good." White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski agrees with his manager... to a point. "You have to be honest," Pierzynski said. "I think we all understand that if tilings are going bad, we're going to take a beating because that's just the way this game is. They have a job to do and they have the right to say whatever they want to say about you. "But I think you should try to be as positive as you can about the team that you work for. "I think broadcasters should be homers to a point, because they're getting paid by the team to broadcast the game. I don't think they should disrespect the other team, but the White Sox are paying their salaries, so they should be a little bit of a homer." Need A Second Chance? lp ANV c. To Qualify For Immediate Delivery, Please Bring The Following Items. • 2 Current Pay Stubs • Current Utility Bill • Current Phone Bill < a " P a 9 es > (all pages) . Proof of Insurance • Valid Drivers License 847.426.2000 AL PIEMONTE CHEVROLET East Dundee, IL • 847.426.2OOO www.plemontechevy.com THE OUNTRY CLUB G MAKING AN OFFER*., )Y4L7COUNTRY CLUBS )YAL..'8c : .ANCIENT DRIVES •HARLES, IL 60 I 74 ***"• '000 EXT 2 It :r- : -v.- »A *.tl BECOMt A MEMBER OE 1HE ROYAL HAWK'S DEAL OK No DbAL MEMBERSHIP BY PAYING ANY PORTION OE YOUR INIIIAIION ftt EROM $ 1 ,OOO TO THE EULL $15,OOO. ONCE WE HI I OUR MEM BEKSHIP GOAL YOU MUSI MAKE A DECISION, DEAL OR NO DtAt .' 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