6/25/2013 9:28 P.M. ET
Alexei committed to defensive excellence
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Coming off what Alexei Ramirez termed a disappointing 2012 season, the White Sox shortstop worked even harder to get back to top form for 2013. That work hasn't exactly paid dividends, with Ramirez having committed 12 errors and hitting just one homer with 14 RBIs, but those numbers haven't stopped Ramirez's quest for excellence.
"My mind is still the same, I still have high expectations," said Ramirez through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "I've got today and that's what I have to concentrate on.
"I have done everything I have always done to catch the ball, anticipate and obviously I hurt more than anybody else when these things happen. The support that my family and friends have given me has been key through these difficult times."
One of those difficult times came up Sunday in Kansas City, when his two-out, eighth-inning fielding error on Alcides Escobar's grounder allowed the winning run to score and prevented a White Sox chance to complete a road sweep. Ramirez wanted to collect his thoughts after Sunday's setback and didn't talk to the media, apologizing Tuesday for something he usually does in good times and bad.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura clearly stated Tuesday that the errors won't change the starting role for Ramirez, who joins Starlin Castro and Manny Machado as the only players who have played every inning this season.
"There comes a time where maybe [he has to] come and get it instead of sitting back," Ventura said of Ramirez's fielding style. "Those are minor things. But he's talented enough to be better at it. Guys are going to make errors every once in a while. He's done a good job of putting things behind him and just being refocusing. He's our shortstop. That's for sure."
"It is difficult for anybody who does it, but especially for me because I care about the team and I take things very seriously," Ramirez said. "There's nothing I can do about it now. Just learn from that and concentrate on what comes next and that's what I'm going to do."
Konerko misses opener with Mets with back pain
CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko was held out of Tuesday's starting lineup because of soreness in his back. The White Sox captain and first baseman entered the series opener with the Mets in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak.
"It's just tight," said manager Robin Ventura. "It's one of those he's trying to work it out right now."
With Konerko out of action, Jeff Keppinger moved into the designated-hitter's role, and Adam Dunn stayed at first base. Konerko finished 14-for-37 with six RBIs on the recent 10-game road trip, and was available for pinch-hitting duties.
"Yeah, if we need him to come out and take one shot at it, you'll see him limp out. Hopefully that's it," Ventura said. "This one is just recent. He wasn't feeling it in Kansas City. I think it's something that just popped up."
Peavy pleased with rehab, Charity Jam
CHICAGO -- Jake Peavy hopes to start playing catch sometime this week and accelerate that process into bullpen sessions next week, as he continues his rehab from a fractured rib on his left side that put him on the disabled list June 5.
"I feel good," Peavy said. "I'm able to move around a whole lot better than I was a week or so ago. I don't really feel it much in my normal day activity.
"I'm hopefully getting better. I've been moving around, been doing some shoulder stuff at home. Hopefully, when I start playing catch, we won't have any setbacks."
Peavy was equally pleased with his Charity Jam, held Sunday night at Joe's Bar in Chicago, to benefit cancer research. All of the money raised was still being tabulated, but according to Peavy, it should be the most successful event he has done. None of his teammates joined in on stage with the entertaining country lineup, although second baseman Gordon Beckham did bring back his now famous Peavy impersonation.
It was an honor for Peavy to put together this event in tribute to his grandmother, Dama Lolley, and his good friend Darrel Akerfelds, who both lost battles with cancer in the past year.
"Yesterday was exactly one year since my buddy Darrel passed away, and then obviously you guys know about my grandma," Peavy said. "Being able to have the event on Sunday night, to rally the troops so to speak, having [Akerfelds'] widow, Julie, here for the event, to be able to spend time with her yesterday on an off-day on such a memorable day for us.
"Having my family up here to remember my grandmother, having some of the guys, we had pancreatic cancer patients there. We had breast cancer patients there, to hear their stories, to give them hope, to lift their spirits to make them smile, I can't tell you how gratifying of a night Sunday night was."
Ventura confident in preparation of White Sox
CHICAGO -- An interesting pregame interaction took place Tuesday between a television reporter and White Sox manager Robin Ventura, centering on the job being done by Ventura.
The media member pointed out that a person looks for "crisp defense, good baserunning and good situational hitting" when watching a team that would be considered well-managed.
"When I watch the White Sox, I don't see that," the reporter concluded.
"So, they are poorly managed. OK," Ventura responded.
At that point, Ventura was asked to assess his managerial effort so far this season. Ventura said that if you go by wins and losses, then obviously he's not doing too well in the reporter's eyes. He clearly would like to see better execution and admitted there are elements of managing where he second-guesses himself.
"If you lose a game, you'd like to have a lot of things back. But when you're in the moment doing things, you're doing what you think is right at that time," Ventura said. "I see what the coaches do. I see how we handle it, and that's what I go by. We've done steps necessary to be ready and be prepared."
The preparation has not been an issue for the White Sox, despite ranking 13th in the American League with a .980 fielding percentage. Eventually, it comes down to execution.
"But whether it's me or whether it's them, it's a team thing," Ventura said. "It's all of us. So when we lose a game, we all lose. When we win it, it's the players. That's the way I look at it.
"I don't think I change as far as my personality goes. The focus doesn't change. Again, it's about playing clean baseball."
White Sox congratulate Blackhawks' championship
CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks' stunning finish Monday night to capture their second Stanley Cup title in four years earned praise from their friends and admirers with the White Sox.
"I told somebody, 'That's hitting a three-run homer down two with two outs in the ninth,'" said White Sox starter Jake Peavy of the Blackhawks' two goals within 17 seconds late in the third period to pull off a 3-2 victory and 4-2 series win. "That's why you play the game and play the game to the end. You really felt, and I don't know much about hockey, that Boston was in control and really outplayed the Blackhawks for the most part.
"What better way would you want to win it than showing we'll play hard for 60 minutes. As an athlete, you respect the way it happens. And that right there is why you say you never know what's going to happen. They're world champions. I tweeted that out last night, "World Champions." If you're an athlete, is there a better phrase?"
There was no word on Tuesday as to when or if the Stanley Cup would make an appearance at U.S. Cellular Field, as it did in Wrigley in 2010 during a Cubs-White Sox matchup.
"You could hear it on the street when they scored," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's exciting. It's one of those where you're happy for the fans and you're happy for the team, the coaches, the players, everybody.
"The way they won, coming back late, I think that was probably what made it a little better. You're looking at Game 7 in an instant there. It was fun to watch."
Third to first
• Double-A Birmingham manager Julio Vinas will serve as a coach for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field in New York. Vinas and the Barons have produced a 44-26 record and won the first-half title in the Southern League North Division.
• Alex Rios is on pace for 24 homers and 29 stolen bases, which would mark his third career 20/20 season. The White Sox have never had a 30/30 player.