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
Cardinals' backup catcher Gary Bennett may have won two of the three games in the Satanic Fowl's recent sweep of the Cubs in St. Louis with walkoff hits, but Henry Blanco is less than impressed with 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

Tired of sitting and watching the Cubs sleepwalk through game after game, Henry Blanco has decided to do something about it.  In three starts this week, White is the only Cub providing any offense, with a pair of homers and six RBI in  those starts.  Hank is starting because Michael Barrett is experiencing empathy pains from Albert Pujols' HGH induced sciatica.  Hank will get even more starts when Barrett finally serves his suspension for doing what every American has always wanted to do.  Punch AJ Pierzynski in the face.

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
Some players would be worried about opening the season with two hits in 21 at bats (.095), but Hank White is not one of them.  Besides, his HWEqBA is hovering around .400, so how bad can it be, really?

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
Thanks to intrepid reader and Hank White Fan Club member Anne Mongiu for sending in this link:
Cubs run off with series win at PNC

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.

Down, 4-3, in the ninth, Baltimore catcher Ramon Hernandez, named the Caribbean Series MVP, led off the bottom of the frame with a single and was immediately replaced by pinch-runner William Bergolla. The moved proved to be a wise one because Bergolla advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and tied the game at 3 when he rambled home on Gonzalezís single to right field.

He would not stay at first long.

Cubs catcher Henry Blanco followed with a high popup to shallow left field between Dominican shortstop Erick Aybar and left fielder Napoleon Calzado. Backpedaling and seemingly confused, the ball hit Aybarís head and rolled away. Gonzalez sped around the bases to send Venezuelaís Caracas Baseball Club into the record books.

The cheers were thunderous.

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
2. Big Papi
3. Hank White

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!

Indeed.

Viva Hank White.

 

October 13, 2005 -- Anxious Blanco awaits MVP voting results
Not much can render Hank White sleepless, but he admits he's anxious about the 2005 NL MVP voting.

"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
Hank White has released a statement regarding allegations that he was in cahoots with Reds' reliever Matt Belisle and that Belisle intentionally tried to injury Cubs' catcher Michael Barrett when he hit him in the head with a pitch in last night's Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Reds.

"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
The hottest player in baseball (isn't that so, ladies?), Henry Blanco continued his torrid pace during a three games out of four performance by the Cubs in their hopeless quest for the NL Wild Card.  Blanco's post All-Star Break numbers continued on their Hall of Fame pace as he is now 14-31 (.452) since changing to number 24.

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
Tony LaRussa may fashion himself a genius, but anybody who would continually tempt fate by pitching to the force that is Hank White deserves what he gets.  In an 8-4 extra inning win over the Cardinals in St. Louis, Hank went 4-5, raising his average to a season-high .211, with a homer and two RBI.  White also threw out St. Louis pinch runner Hector Luna to end the game...only to have umpire Phil Cuzzi try to give the Cardinals a win with a bad call.  One batter later, Hank expertly blocked home plate on a throw from Jeromy Burnitz, only to have ESPN doctor the replay footage to make it appear that Luna had touched home plate.

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.


July 20, 2005 -- Fan club gets needed attention, Hank responds with win
Thanks to a gratuitous plug from Cubs' announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly, the Hank White Fan Club and it's thousands of members got a little love in the Cubs 7-3 win over the hapless Reds in Cincinnati.

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
After struggling through the first half while wearing a number long cursed by Cubs' backstops (number nine, of Berryhill-Servais-Hundley-Bako fame), Hank White changed his number to 24, smashed a couple of doubles, drove in two runs and coaxed Mark Prior through eight innings of two-hit ball in a 5-1 win over Pissburgh to get the Cubs back to .500. 

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
Is it a coincidence that the Cubs have three one-hit wins this year and all have come with Henry Blanco behind the plate?  Mark Prior, returning from a broken right arm couldn't contain himself when singing Blanco's praises.

"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 into submission
Proving he can get a hit and drive in a run in the same game, but not in the same at bat, Hank White was the key cog in the Cubs' offense in a 7-6 win over the Red Sox in the second game of the three game set between the two.  Blanco singled in the second and drove in the go-ahead (and winning run) in the sixth.  tHom Brennaman made some snotty comments about the folly of pitching to Corey Patterson with Hank on deck.  But as we know, tHom's a meth fiend with an extensive kiddie porn collection.

June 5 -- Hank threatens violence, Carlos responds
After bailing Carlos Zambrano out of a shaky first inning by throwing out Dave Roberts trying to steal second after walking to open the game (and then watching Zambrano walk the next two men, also), Hank White was in no mood to coddle the Cubs' young star.

"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 Carlos' pitches

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 injury
In every replay of the gorey injury that Mark Prior suffered when some Judy hitter lined one off his elbow you see Hank White immediately come to the aid of his fallen pitcher.  In super slo-mo you can even see Hank put his hands on Prior's injury to try and heal him using only the sweat on his hands and his faith.

So who could blame Hank for Mark's injury (which thankfully turned out to be relatively minor)?

Hank.

"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

Henry Blanco's third inning home run staked Mark Prior to a 1-0 lead and propelled the Cubs to a 4-3 home victory of the annoying Chicago White Sox.  Blanco caught most of the 126 pitches Prior threw in a complete game victory.  After the game, Prior took time to praise his catcher.

"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!"

Or something.

May 18 -- Hank gets save, Cubs "sweep" Pirates
The official records of baseball will show that Ryan Dempster picked up the save in the Cubs' 3-2 win over Pissburgh, but anyone who saw the game knows that Henry Blanco should have gotten credit for it.  Not only is Hank hot at the plate (he's two for his last five), but he came into the game in the bottom of the ninth just after the Cubs had taken a 3-2 lead and he somehow steered Dempster through an inning in which Dempster gave up a double, a walk and Jerry Hairston committed an error.  The Pirates didn't score and the Cubs held on.

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
The Cubs may have lost the game 3-2 when LaTroy Hawkins pulled a Globetrotters' move and bounced the ball off an opponent's helmet and into the stands (I thought he was supposed to use confetti?), but it could have been worse.  If not for Hank White.

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
Like Don Quixote charging at windmills, so was Henry Blanco last night in Milwaukee.  Despite homering for the only Cubs run, wiping a pair of potential Brewers' runs off the board with incredible tags at home plate and throwing out the only man who dared to try and steal a base against him, Hank White wasn't enough as the Cubs fell to 12-13 on the season with a 4-1 loss to Milwaukee.

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
Unfairly robbed of his second hit as a Cub by an unfair, unfeeling and unseemly arbitrary ruling by Wrigley Field official scorer Bob Rosenberg, Hank White's batting average now rests at a slightly disappointing .067.  But given the fallible nature of batting average, here at Desipio we decided to do something about it.  We have created a new, more accurate way of calculating a player's batting average.  Called the Hank White Equivalent Batting Average (HWEqBA), our new formula takes into account hard hit balls that don't fall n for hits, bad scorer's decisions, tremendous defensive plays robbing the batter of a hit and even good swings that just fall short of making actual contact.  We will monitor Henry's HWEqBA all season long, in our never ending quest to give you the most accurate bullshit possible.

April 21 -- Hank singles, Cubs lose
Thirteen hitless at bats were enough for Hank White, who managed to bat three times and keep his groin intact during all three.  Blanco singled to left off of Cardinals' starter Karen Carpenter in the seventh, but was stranded at first as the Cubs lost 4-0.  The loss is the first in four starts for Whitey, who was pinch hit for in the ninth during a Cubs' "rally" so that Michael Barrett could strike out with two runners on base.

April 18 -- Cubs win again, no offense needed from Blanco
While the skeptics amongst us will argue that Hank White is likely to be the last position player on any team's opening day lineup to get a hit this year, we at the Fan Club want to remind you that under Hank's watch, the Cubs are 3-0 and have allowed only five runs in those games.  Under Michael Barrett, the Cubs are 3-6. 

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 out?

April 13 -- Cubs run record to 2-0 when Hank White catches
On a day when the Cubs supposed big guns (what about Carlos?) pitched, Mark Prior had the enviable advantage of Henry Blanco as his caddy, and Hank didn't disappoint.  Prior, making his first start, threw six shutout innings and allowed only three hits.  Combined with the seven and one third shutout innings Carlos Zambrano threw in Hank's other start, Cubs starters have thrown 13 and a third scoreless innings and allowed only four hits with Blanco behind the dish.  Meanwhile, Michael Barrett and Kerry Wood were assclowning their way to an 8-3 loss in game one.  Nice.

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!


April 11 -- Rave reviews abound after Hank's Cubs' debut
Carlos Zambrano and Dusty Baker gushed openly (and embarrassingly) about the job Henry Blanco did in his first start behind the plate.

"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 against Milwaukee
Making his long awaited Cubs' debut, 2005 Cactus League MVP Hank White caught nine innings of shutout, one-hit baseball in a 4-0 Cubs' win over Milwaukee.  Blanco's presence in the eight spot in the lineup so rattled Brewers' pitcher Ben Sheets that he was unable to recover from Hank's at bats.  Carlos Zambrano benefited by going 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored batting directly after Hank.

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
"Tengo gusto del pollo."

 

April 3 -- Hank White sinks Mariners
Apparently, they don't get cable TV in Seattle.  How else can you explain the complete ignorance shown by the Seattle Mariners who were foolish enough to pitch to the Cactus League MVP with the game on the line yesterday?

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
Mesa, AZ -- Chicago Cubs superstar catcher Henry Blanco was honored today as the Cactus League Most Valuable Player for 2005.  Blanco, a catcher, is hitting .382 on the spring with a homer (a monster shot off of Rockies hurler (and former Wyoming senator) Allan Simpson.  Blanco has slugged .559 on the season for the Cubs.

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.

Top finishes by Cubs in Cactus League MVP voting

2005 Henry Blanco, C, 1st
2000 Daniel Garibay, P, 2nd
1991 Gary Scott, 3B, 1st
1991 Laddie Renfroe, P, 2nd
1988 Frank DiPino, P, 3rd
1987 Chico Walker, OF, 4th
1979 Bobby Murcer, OF, 2nd
1964 Ken Hubbs, 2B, 2nd (posthumous)

 

 

Hank's % of throwing out baserunners: .433
 (13-30)

1

Henry Blanco's Season Stats

Ave. HR RBI
.254 5 26
 
 

Hank's HWEqBA

.500 (67-134)
What's HWEqBA?
Desipio Saber researchers have developed a more accurate way of measuring a player's batting average.  The Hank White Equivalent Batting Average (HWEqBA) takes into account hard hit balls that don't fall in for hits, bad scorer's decisions, tremendous defensive plays robbing the batter of a hit, and good swings that just fall short of actual contact.
 

Henry Blanco's Career Stats

Ave. HR RBI
.221* 48 214

*Hank's average is the lowest among active players with 1,000 or more at bats!

Stats updated whenever we get around to it.  Last update: Aug. 28
 

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