CHICAGO -- White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski was happy to see Chris Sale join Matt Thornton as the southpaws in Chicago's bullpen during the 2010 season. Pierzynski's even happier to have Will Ohman aboard for 2011, giving the White Sox three left-handers in relief.
"I told [White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper], 'We need another lefty. We need another lefty. We need another lefty,'" Pierzynski said. "Going out and getting Will Ohman was huge. He can get lefties out.
"Look at our division with [Joe] Mauer, [Justin] Morneau, [Shin-Soo] Choo, [Grady] Sizemore, [Alex] Gordon, and the Tigers with Brennan Boesch. You have to have more than one lefty available to go through a lineup three times.
"People look at the eighth inning," Pierzynski said. "But what about the sixth inning when you have the bases loaded with two out and Joe Mauer up and you have an extra lefty. Will Ohman is that guy."
White Sox players lining up behind Bears
CHICAGO -- Sergio Santos will be signing autographs at 1:30 CT on Sunday afternoon at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago during the final stages of SoxFest '11.
Gordon Beckham is scheduled as one of the panelists for a 1 p.m. seminar entitled, "Next Generation 2: Sox 2.0." But even this weekend of glorious White Sox optimism might not be able to stand up to the fervor of the Bears playing for a Super Bowl berth at 2 p.m. at Soldier Field.
"I'll be surprised if a lot of people are there," said Santos with a laugh of his potential autograph line. "I won't take it personally."
"I'm rooting for the Bears," said Beckham, who will get to watch a little bit of the NFC Championship Game against the Packers before flying back to Atlanta. "Hopefully, they can pull out a win."
Other White Sox players, such as A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko, will also be in attendance Sunday. White Sox players and staff alike are picking the Bears, with home-field advantage being a big factor. But they also realize a win for the Bears is good for the Chicago sports landscape.
"When the Bears are good, it's great for the city," Pierzynski said. "There's one team in this city everyone gets behind. When the Bears are good, there's a vibe in this city.
"You kind of become a Bears fan living here. I want them to win and want them to do well."
Pierre continues mentoring of Mitchell
CHICAGO -- With Jared Mitchell not receiving a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, the team's top pick from the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and leadoff-hitter-in-waiting will not have as much personal instruction coming from veteran table-setter Juan Pierre.
But even when Mitchell was out of action during the entirety of the 2010 campaign -- due to a torn tendon suffered on the inside of his left ankle -- and Pierre was suiting up for the White Sox, Pierre stayed in contact with a key player who the organization hopes is a big part of its future.
"I was texting him throughout the whole season, seeing how his rehab was going," said Pierre of Mitchell. "I'm definitely offering him anything I can to help out."
Pierre believes the year out of action might have even benefited Mitchell somewhat, in that the one-time LSU football and baseball player had a chance to simply watch and study baseball.
"He's still raw, but has tremendous talent," Pierre said. "It's only a matter of time for him. Just get out there and play. I'll be helping any way I can."
Harrelson pays tribute to Reinsdorf
CHICAGO -- Ken "Hawk" Harrelson, the venerable and colorful White Sox television play-by-play broadcaster, can summarize owner Jerry Reinsdorf's immense impact on the organization through four letters.
"S-T-P-L," said Harrelson of his boss. "You look at what has happened during his time here. He has brought in stability, that's the 'S.' He has brought in tradition, that's the 'T.' He has brought in pride, that's the 'P.'
"Those three elements have manifested themselves into something almost non-existent today in professional sports. And that's loyalty. I don't know about baseball, but in the American League, it's the best organization in the American League."
Third to first
White Sox general manager Ken Williams said on Saturday how Jesse Crain was the free agent name on the wanted list of both manager Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper going into the offseason. ... In an attempt to avoid a slow start in April, Guillen will change up final-week preparation during Spring Training. Instead of resting starters, Guillen will try to play the entire starting lineup for eight or nine innings each game. ... Williams remains surprised as to how 2005 World Series Most Valuable Player Jermaine Dye has yet to receive a Spring Training invite. ... Williams seems satisfied with Alejandro De Aza, Brent Lillibridge and Dayan Viciedo competing for the final utility/outfield slot. "De Aza is a lot better than you think," Williams said. "I spent more money this off-season than I ever thought, and we're tapped out. I can't go back to Jerry anymore because we've just overextended ourselves beyond belief."