|March 6, 2007 --
Hank still waiting for check from MLB 2K7
The video game wars have never raged like they are right now, with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo going toe to toe not only for the hottest game titles, but for console sales as well.
2K Sports landed a coup when they won a bid for exclusive rights to Major League Baseball's player and team licenses. They pulled an even bigger one when they got baseball's hottest star to sign on as the cover boy for the game.
2K Sports' spokesman Frank Kush said that getting Henry Blanco's endorsement means millions for the company. "Most hard core gamers identify quite a bit with Hank White. They're sedentary, somewhat overweight, need a haircut and when they fall asleep on a chair in the clubhouse [clubhouse meaning--their parents' basement] their fly is likely down, too. [Probably because they've been jacking it to Battlestar Gallactica.] Hank is one of the most popular athletes for hardcore gamers. He's on that list of the best of the best along with Keith Traylor, Robert Traylor and, of course, Jimmy Anderson."
Blanco was unaware his photo was on the MLB 2K7 cover and said that he would probably place a phone call to his attorney to see what the deal was. But first he had to catch the Cubs-Brewers game on Tuesday and then take several naps.
January 23, 2007 --
Hank doesn't remember much of Fan Club meeting
Friday night at Kitty O'Shea's in the lobby of the Chicago Hilton and Towers, the Hank White Fan Club had it's annual meeting, and it was well attended, with nine of the club's 18 million members in attendance. The guest of honor, Henry Blanco is ecstatic about the attendance, though he remembers almost nothing of the meeting.
"I'm glad nine people showed up," Blanco said. "That's great. I love the support. It makes me feel good. I just wish I remember more of it. If I hadn't seen the photo (above) of me sleeping through the meeting, I'm not even sure I'd know I had been there. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember flying to Chicago. It's weird."
Sharon Panozzo, the fan club's new full-time spokeswoman, was unavailable for comment. So we'll do it for her.
Hank wasn't really there. But it would have been cool if he had been. And Sharon's probably too busy trying to buy reflective clothing to answer her cell phone.
August 28, 2006 --
Hank White not impressed with Gary Bennett
"I'm less than impressed with Gary Bennett," Blanco says.
You tell 'em, Hank.
In other news, Blanco's recent surge at the plate has his average at a career best .254, and his career average up to .221. If he keeps this up, he's going to lose the distinction of having the lowest batting average of any active player.
Gary Bennett's career average is currently .243. What a hack.
June 19, 2006 -- Go
crazy folks, go crazy!
Another day, another homer for our man Hank. This time White drilled a three run shot off of Jason Johnson, putting a swing on the ball so sweet that the insulin pump that Johnson wears on his belt kicked into high gear at the mere sight.
Currently (it's 7:26 p.m. CDT -- Fifth inning, Cubs lead 6-3) Hank is singlehandedly holding off a cold front and a line of thunderstorms so that the Cubs will have a shot at a rare win, and can avoid a Wednesday doubleheader (nobody wants to spend an extra minute in the Land of Cleve.)
The home run makes Hank 11 for this last 18 (.611) with three homers. When another round of All-Star votes are released this week, we fully expect Whitey to have vaulted hacks like Paul LoDuca and Mike Matheny into the NL lead.
Besides, we're only about two days from Deadspin alleging that Hank's name is one of the redacted ones in the Jason Grimsley HGH case.
Hank, like all of us knows how you make a hormone.
Don't pay her.
June 18, 2006 --
Hank White is sick of this shit
The Cubs, catching speed in their aggressive pursuit of Pissburgh in the NL Central basement have spurred the normally laconic White into action.
He's now just hoping to play well enough to get traded to a contender. Or the Devil Rays, or the Royals. Pretty much anybody but the Cubs.
May 3, 2006 -- Hank
says he's just pacing himself
To his credit, Henry says he's not at all concerned about his slow start. "Once spring training ends, I'll be fine. I always get off to slow starts in April."
Once reminded that spring training ended in March, Hank shrugged his shoulders and went back to sleep. In the clubhouse. During the game.
April 17, 2006 --
Blanco smacks sense into Rusch
Dusty gives all of the credit for the Cubs' 7-3 win in the series finale to the one man who really deserves it.
What was holding Rusch back was not being aggressive enough. Catcher Henry Blanco changed that.
"Henry did what he's supposed to do, which is hopefully get [Rusch] back on track and fix him," Baker said.
Blanco deferred all the credit to Rusch, who was 1-7 in his career against the Pirates before Sunday.
"He was being aggressive, mixing his pitches," Blanco said. "He spotted the ball and came in on guys and didn't let them see one pitch. The most important thing was that he was ahead of every hitter."
"If anything, I was a little more aggressive in different counts," Rusch said. "It was an all-around good game. I was happy with it."
Add Rusch to the list of Cubs' pitchers who pitch better with Hank behind the plate than Michael Barrett. That list includes...every Cubs' pitcher.
April 6, 2006 -- Baker announces Blanco to start on off day
Cubs' manager Dusty Baker has announced that in response to Michael Barrett's "rough" day in the Cubs' 8-6 loss to Cincinnati yesterday, that Henry Blanco will start today's off day.
"We're going to let Michael rest today," Dusty said. "He needs a day off to clear his head. So we'll go with Whitey today and let him get his work in today when we don't play anybody. I'm sure Michael will be ready to go on Friday."
April 3, 2006 -- A new year of Hank's heroics begins today
It's no coincidence that in the first year of it's existence, the Hank White Fan Club carried our hero to his best offensive season. The fan club didn't even pick up speed until near midseason, and once it did, Henry Blanco was unstoppable. After the break, Hank led the Cubs with a .318 average and dominated NL pitching with four homers and 19 driven in. Only a late, and pathetic, ballot stuffing campaign by insecure Cardinals' supporters (are there any other kind?) robbed Hank of the NL MVP award.
He's sure to take care of business this year. Though the season starts with one of Hank's personal pitchers (Hank only starts in games pitched by guys he hand-selects--usually Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior) on the DL, you can rest assured that it will not take long for Hank to join the fray.
Hank has graciously given up his hard earned opening day start to Michael Barrett. Barrett's not the most mentally tough guy, and Hank's gesture probably saved Barrett from a month's worth of bed wetting.
It's that kind of thing that separates Hank from the run-of-the-mill big league player.
With Hank on their side, how can the 2006 Cubs lose?
February 8, 2005 -- Hank White, Venezuelan Hero
The biggest shame of the 2005 Cubs season was that their removal from the pennant race in July (probably more like April) meant that Cubs fans were robbed of a chance to see the great Henry Blanco in action when the games meant the most.
Last night, down South America way (as Gob Bluth is apt to say), the world was treated to Hank White at his most clutch.
Down 4-3 in the ninth inning of the decisive game of the Carribbean World Series, who should stroll to plate for the Venezuelan nine?
Our hero, Hank White. With his eyes full of sleep from a good three hour power nap in the home dugout at Jose Perez Colmenares in his home nation, he strolled to the plate with a chance to etch his name in the record book for eternity.
Hank didnít hold in his hands one of those weird heated screwdriver things that my brother used to use to carve his name intoÖwell, anything. No, Hank had 34 inches of fresh lumber. (By the way, Iím still kicking myself for not plunking down the $100 the Cubs wanted for a game-used Henry Blanco bat. Sure, the price is absurd, but you had to see it. He doesnít just have his name etched in the bat, he has his headshot. Itís beyond hilarious. Anyway, where was I?)
Oh, yeahÖHank the hero.
You can see it right here. Look halfway down the page on the far left under Video. First youíll see Venezuela wins, which shows Hankís heroics, then click on Venezuela celebrates and youíll be struck by how much cooler their celebration music is than anything Ford Field played for the Steelers.
Hereís MLB.comís Jesse Sanchezís account of the big game.
And hereís the high point.
Of course the cheers were thunderous. Hank White was on the case. The game was over the minute he, his mighty piece of ash and his tastefully appointed mullet dug into the box. There are three hitters you donít want to face with a big game on the line.
1. Derek Jeter
The great ones rise to the occasion. The even greater ones, like our man Hank, drag the occasion down to their level. Thatís how you win your country a championship by banking a double off the shortstopís head.
Jeterís a great clutch player, but how many World Series has he ended with a ball off the button of the shortstopís cap?
Papiís a legend for his postseason heroics, but any hump can blast one oppo over the Green Monster if he tries hard enough.
What Hank White did last night in the 40 watt lighting at a stadium named, apparently, after Neifi Perezís other brother (not Rubby, but Jose, the one who moved to Venezuela and opened a successful chain of Pontiac dealerships), wasnít just difficult, it was legendary.
Viva Hank White!
Viva Hank White.
October 13, 2005 --
Anxious Blanco awaits MVP voting results
"I hope Derrek [Lee] wins it, I just worry that my strong second half will steal some votes from him. Nobody wants to see that f@#$ing Pujols win it."
Blanco's fears about splitting the vote with Lee are not unfounded. Blanco out-hit the 2005 NL Batting Champion .318 to .287 in the second half.
Both Lee and Blanco are heavy favorites to win Gold Gloves in the NL.
"Derrek deserves the Gold Glove. I think he saved Aramis at least 50 errors. I don't know if I want the Gold Glove though. How are you supposed to catch anything with it? It weighs like nine pounds and I've seen one of Pudge's [Ivan Rodriguez], you can't even close it. I'd feel like AJ Pierzynski back there."
Blanco's offseason plans include plenty of rest.
"My wife and the kids, we are going to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. I thought about going back to Caracas, but I don't think I have enough time this offseason to get kidnapped and get ransomed out in time to get in shape for the spring. So I'll probably just hang out in my place in Skokie."
September 15, 2005
-- White denies wrongdoing in Barrett beaning
"I didn't do it. I was sleeping."
White released this photo to prove his innocence.
We here at the fan club think that clears it all up.
Barrett was not seriously hurt. His head is made out of Sakrete, which explains his inability to navigate a run down or call a decent game.
September 13, 2005 -- Hank White for MVP
As the Cubs continue their long, winding road to mediocrity, one thing remains constant. The excellence of Henry Blanco. A red hot second half (.375, 4, 17) and a personal record of nine games over .500 in his starts (while Michael Barrett is a whopping 11 under) has propelled Hank into the National League MVP race.
ESPN Hall of Famer Peter Gammons had this to say in a chat yesterday:
Andy from Illinois: Don't you think that Henry Blanco has been the best player in baseball in the second half of the season? What are his MVP chances and what chance does he have of one day joining you in Cooperstown?
Peter Gammons: Hank White has been the best player in the National League for months now. No other player combines his ability to throw, catch and hit for power, and when you add in the fact that he can sleep anywhere, anyplace at any time, you've got not just a special player, but a special person. Derrek Lee deserves some consideration because he's had a great season and is a special person, but he has certainly had the advantage two days out of six of having Blanco in the lineup to protect him. Albert Pujols is a fine "young" man, but he too has had a lot of help with the Cardinals' top notch offense featuring up and comers like Abraham Nunez and Skip Schumacher.
I was at an Ani DeFranco concert this winter with Blanco and he told me that during spring training the year before, Twins special assistant Tony Oliva had given him some batting tips he really thought would help him. But he was concerned it might take up to 17 months for them to kick in. I think we're seeing the fruits of that hard work now.
In my mind the three most obscene omissions from the Hall of Fame are Ron Santo, Marty Bystrom and Henry Blanco. I suggested at the great induction we had on July 31 with Jerry Coleman, Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs that we waive the five-year waiting period and induct Blanco immediately, and I got a lot of support. Andy, I don't think it's a matter of if Blanco walks with the legends in Cooperstown, it's when.
After all, his current .257 batting average has raised his career
number to .220, and his HWEqBA continues to astonish at .643. He's an
amazing player and a tremendous human being. God bless Hank White.
August 29, 2005 -- Happy Birthday, Hank! You didn't think we'd forget!?!
Because, we did. But that didn't stop us from getting Hank a cake.
We spared no expense. If you're worried that Hank is getting too old to be a Major League catcher for much longer (he just turned 34), we had the same Desipio Saber researchers who came up with the Hank White Equivalent Batting Average (HWEqBA), come up with the Hank White Equivalent Age Index (HWEqAI). Hank is 34, but considering how much time he's spent on the bench watching other guys do most of the catching, he's really only 33.2.
Happy Birthday, Hank!
August 15, 2005 --
Red-hot Blanco leads Cubs to series win over St. Louis
Blanco's recent tear has his average to a season-high .243, which will be his career high if he can maintain his current pace.
July 25, 2005 --
White singlehandedly subdues Cardinals
White was on deck, scaring the pants off Cardinals Nation when Neifi Perez hit the game winning grand slam in the top of the 10th.
Kasper mentioned how excited the Fan Club members were about Hank's huge game in the first game back from the All-Star Break when he doubled twice, drove in two runs and single-handedly destroyed Pissburgh. Brenly went on to bemoan the plight of the Fan Club members who need to change the jersey numbers on their shirts from 9 to 24.
Blanco reached base twice in the game and coaxed Mark Prior through six and two thirds for his seventh win of the year. The Cubs have won eight of their last nine games.
The Fan Club also announced that they have taken out a third mortgage on their 1984 VW Vanagan to pay for the official www.hankwhitefanclub.com URL. There's no stopping the Fan Club now.
July 14, 2005 -- Hank changes numbers,
pounds Pirates and guarantees a playoff spot
A guest of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly on the postgame show, Hank said "Oh most definitely" about nine times, but also guaranteed that the Cubs would make the playoffs. They are currently 5.5 games behind the Braves in the wild card, and 12 behind St. Louis in the Central.
But if Hank says it, who are we to doubt?
June 27, 2005 -- Blanco guides Prior,
etc. to one-hit win
"Henry Blanco called a great game," said Prior. "It even shocked me when he called for a 3-1 curve to Thomas and Konerko. I think that set it up for both times the at-bats ended, because they probably didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what to expect and just trusted Henry."
Also, Henry had threatened to break Prior's other arm if he shook him off.
June 11, 2005 -- Hank sac flies Red Sox
June 5 -- Hank threatens violence,
"Henry told me that if I didn't start throwing strikes he would slap me," Zambrano said.
Carlos threw strikes, avoided the slap and threw seven scoreless innings in the Cubs 4-0 win over San Diego, their ninth win in the last ten games.
May 31 -- Hank catches almost all of
The Cubs rolled to their fifth straight win with a 2-1 win over the punchless Dodgers in LA. Carlos Zambrano pitched eight innings, struck out nine and allowed only one hit and one unearned run. The run scored only after Hee Seop Choi struck out on a pitch over his head, Hank White failed to catch it and Choi reached first base. Then Choi scored on a bloop double that should have been caught by Neifi Perez. It was LA's only hit.
Hank did however drive in the only Cubs run in regulation with a grounder to third. So that's something, right?
May 29 -- Hank takes heat for Prior
So who could blame Hank for Mark's injury (which thankfully turned out to be relatively minor)?
"I should have thrown my body in front of that line drive and knocked it down. I have feline quickness and I'm sure that I could have gotten a paw...I mean hand on it. It's all my fault. Mark has every right to flog me with a wet towel if he feels that's necessary."
I'm so, so sorry.
May 23 -- Hank goes yard, carries Prior
through nine in Cubs win
"Everybody knows how good Whitey is," Prior said. "He calls a great game. Much better than that piece of crap Michael Barrett. I think Henry should catch every game. And I think you should all go to his fan club at Desipio.com and buy lots of Hank White Fan Club Merchandise!"
May 18 -- Hank gets save, Cubs "sweep"
The key moment came in the seconds after Jose Macias had fielded a throw from Dempster that forced Tike Redman at third for the inning's first out. Macias then threw the ball in the general direction of the Allegheny River. Hairston made a nice leaping catch to save an error (because Jerry wanted to boot the next one). Dempster, obviously rattled needed somebody to calm him down. Hank came out and said this,
"Hey mang, why do the little man from the Sol Times always say you run around nekkid? That's crazy."
Dempster induced weak grounders out of the next two hitters, Matt Lawton (Hairston punted it to load the bases) and Jack Wilson (6-4-3 DP) to end the game. Hank was mobbed by his teammates who carried off the field.
Actually they carried him off the field because he had fallen asleep between the mound and home plate.
May 7 -- Hank soothes Prior
With Mark Prior struggling in the second inning (Prior had given up a leadoff homer, then a double, single and walk to load the bases with no out), Hank made a visit to the mound, where he decided to take the pressure off of the Cubs' ace.
"I ask him which of the Golden Girls he thinks is funniest," White said in an exclusive interview with Desipio's Karry Ling. "He says he like Blanche, but I tell him that Sofia, she the funny one. I remember one time the Girls were getting a new toilet and the plumber left it in the living room in front of the TV while he was in the bathroom unhooking the old one. Sofia, she come home and see the toilet in front of the TV and she get all excited. Then she drop her pants and take a poop in the toilet, but it no hooked to anything. Now that is funny."
Prior would strike out the side to escape the inning without giving up any more runs, then retire 24 of the last 27 Phillies he faced, including the final 14.
May 4 -- Hank takes on Brewers by
himself, Cubs lose 4-1
The Cubs have shown a disturbing tendency to turn the offense over to Henry for him to carry by himself. He's only one man. And a sleepy one at that.
The Cubs are now 4-2 in Hank's starts, but 0-2 when he gets a hit. Hank has promised to not get a hit the rest of the year, feeling that it will guarantee the Cubs go undefeated when he catches from now on.
April 26 -- Hank White mercilessly
screwed by Bob Rosenberg
April 21 -- Hank singles, Cubs lose
April 18 -- Cubs win again, no offense
needed from Blanco
Hank's influence was most obvious on Carlos Zambrano, who threw seven a third innings of one hit baseball in his last start with Blanco. Zambrano threw mostly fastballs, didn't get into high pitch innings and cruised. With Barrett, Zambrano threw an absurd amount of breaking balls, fell behind constantly and gave up two homers to Dave F@#$ing Ross, the only player in baseball worse than Gabor Bako.
Besides, Barrett's only hitting .143. While we don't advocate that
Hank White get more starts, maybe Barrett should get less. Like none.
How about trading his candy ass to Houston and let him and Roy Oswalt hug it
Hank's 0-4 day at the plate dropped his career average one point, and his .215 career average is still safely the worst of any active player with 1,000 at bats.
Atta boy, Hank!
"Henry likes to call a lot of fastballs," Zambrano said. "Be aggressive and get ahead in the count -- it helps you a lot."
Baker stopped short of saying he would make Blanco Big Z's personal catcher, but he liked the way they worked together.
"Carlos is still learning," Dusty said. "He's aggressive by nature. I think sometimes Carlos tends to get a little bored and make up stuff while he's out there. Henry kept his train of thought and focus straight."
White's next start should come Tuesday when Mark Prior is expected to make his first start of the season.
April 10 -- Hank White catches one hit shutout
White was also credited for curing Carlos Zambrano's forearm cramps on two separate occasions. Once in the first inning and then again in the eighth. Blanco could be seen laying his hands on Zambrano's affected area, immediately alleviating Carlos' pain.
Blanco was 0-3 in his Cubs' debut at the plate.
He's just pacing himself.
April 5 -- Hank
White's list of "Things I enjoy" Volume 1
April 3 -- Hank
White sinks Mariners
With the Mariners nursing a 1-0 lead in the seventh, they pitched to Hank White with a runner at second and he singled Angel Echeverria in to tie the game.
Two innings later, with the score tied at two, they foolishly let Dan Riechert pitch to Hank with the bases empty.
Hank was sleepy, and wanted to end the Cactus League season right there, so he jacked one over the left field wall and sent the crowd home happy.
Actually, since the game was in Vegas, Hank sent them back to the casinos where they could lose next month's house payment. But you know what we meant.
March 30, 2005 --
Hank White named 2005 Cactus League MVP
Blanco is the first Cub to win the Cactus League MVP since Gary Scott did in 1991. Scott was later shot and killed by a deer in a bizarre hunting accident. Four Cubs have been runner-ups in the Cactus League MVP voting.