CHICAGO -- It was Nancy Faust Day at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday. Faust is the longtime organist for the White Sox.
Faust, who started playing the organ at the age of 4, has been with the White Sox since 1970. She announced earlier this year that this would be her last season at the keyboards. Faust was one of the first baseball organists to integrate pop songs into her game repertoire.
Among many things, she may be best remembered among longtime Sox fans for her arrangement of the seventh-inning standard "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," which inspired late broadcaster Harry Caray to start the tradition of singing to the fans at old Comiskey Park, a tradition which he carried over to Wrigley Field when he moved to the Cubs.
Morel provides White Sox surprising power
CHICAGO -- The White Sox haven't seen a whole lot of rookie Brent Morel since he was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in early September to primarily provide defensive support. What they have seen in limited playing time is a player with some pop in his bat.
Morel homered off Detroit's Max Scherzer on Friday for his second big league homer. All three of his hits so far have gone for extra bases, giving the 23-year-old third baseman a tidy .833 slugging percentage.
"He faced one of the toughest pitchers we face all year long, and he showed pretty good," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "I don't know what kind of hitter [he's going to become]. I think it's too early to say that. As a third baseman, he's got a chance to win a Gold Glove. The reason he's here is that I said we need a guy who can play defense."
Guillen said he first encountered Morel in the rookie league and was immediately impressed by his glovework.
"I think it's a little early to say that he's a Joe Crede type," said Guillen. "He's got more range than Joe. I always say that Joe was better than Robin [Ventura], and people think I'm crazy. I saw those two guys playing third base for the White Sox for a long time, and this kid has a chance to be [like] those two guys defensively. Offensively? I don't know."
Morel's name was in the lineup again on Saturday, but his playing time has been sporadic with the White Sox still hanging on the fringe of the playoff chase. He's managed to stay ready despite not knowing when his at-bats are going to come.
"I never really know if I'm playing or not," said Morel. "I just come to the field and I'm happy to be in the lineup."
In the Minors, Morel was an aggressive hitter with gap power, perhaps a bit better, and sported a high contact rate. He's hit .305 in over 1,300 Minor League plate appearances, while hitting 70 doubles and 26 homers over the last two seasons. If there was any doubt whether he could muscle up, Morel erased it with his first big league homer on Sept. 10, a shot to dead center off Kansas City's Bruce Chen.
Does he see himself developing into a power guy?
"I don't think I'm a true natural raw power guy, but I don't think it's out of the question," Morel said. "I feel like I'm an overall hitter."
Guillen says the team's focus will remain on trying to win as many games as possible, though the postseason is an extreme longshot at this point. Whether or not Morel gets more time is kind of up to him.
"I don't know. If he continues to swing the bat [well]," said Guillen. "I never doubted that this kid is going to be a pretty good third baseman. I'm very impressed. He got to his first big league Spring Training and opened a lot of people's eyes.
"I think this kid has a great future with the White Sox. Is he going to play every day right now at third base? I don't know. I'll move him around, pick a spot."
Konerko shakes off plunking, returns to lineup
CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko was back in the White Sox lineup on Saturday after sitting out Friday's game against the Tigers. Konerko was hit in the face by a pitch from Minnesota's Carl Pavano on Thursday night, leaving him with a swollen lip, a cut on the inside of his mouth and some general soreness.
Ever the stoic, Konerko downplayed any lingering problems from the beaning.
"Nose is a bit sore, but it's all right," Konerko said.
Konerko is having arguably his best season. The veteran currently ranks in the top five in the American League in all three Triple Crown categories. At 34 years old, the career renaissance has seen Konerko post career bests thus far in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
The last White Sox player to finish in the top five of all three Triple Crown categories was Albert Belle in 1998.
Ozzie sees Quentin's problem as mental
CHICAGO -- Two years ago, White Sox right fielder Carlos Quentin hit 36 homers at the age of 25 and posted an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .965. Only 12 White Sox players have had a full season with an OPS that high. The last two seasons have been disappointing, and Quentin's playing time has grown increasingly sporadic.
Quentin wasn't in Saturday's lineup and when asked if the slugger was OK, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said that's not a clear-cut question to answer.
"Physically? Yes. Mentally? I hope. Offensively? No," said Guillen. "I think this kid -- and I've managed this kid for a little while -- I think it's probably more mental than anything.
"He's such a good player, I don't think he knows how good he is. I think he puts so much pressure on himself and pushes himself too hard."
In 893 plate appearances the last two seasons, Quentin's average has dipped to .236 and his OPS to .794. Part of the problem, Guillen contends, is that the slugger just isn't embracing his inner Ozzie, so to speak.
"In baseball, you play backwards," said Guillen. "You have to play hard, but you don't have to think hard. That's why when you see guys out there that seem like they don't care, it seems like they handle [pressure] better than others. I'm not going to change the way he is because I'm not his father. I just wish he'd have more fun and enjoy this game a little bit more.
"When you don't have fun in this game, pretty soon it's going to kick you out of here, and you forget how good this game is. Just go out there and have fun. He's a hard worker, he plays extremely hard, he's a tremendously professional guy."
Bradford Doolittle is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.