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Valentin Batting Left Looks Like Bad Move… Alomar Bucks Trend To Suburbia

Valentin Batting Left Looks Like Bad Move

Scot Gregor, Daily Herald Sports Writer

Chicago Daily Herald

April 9, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved.

NEW YORK - So far, it looks like Jose Valentin's decision to stop batting from the right side is wrong.

A switch hitter since his childhood days in Puerto Rico, Valentin never was able to find his groove as a right-hander and decided to bat exclusively from the left side in spring training.

Facing left-handed starters Brian Anderson and Darrell May during the White Sox' first two regular-season games in Kansas City, Valentin was a combined 0-for-6 with 6 strikeouts.

But the veteran shortstop is not about to scrap his plan. Valentin also didn't give the Royals' duo any of the credit for their success.

"Those guys (Anderson and May), I don't feel like they have the stuff to strike me out six times," Valentin said. "They're not that tough. Maybe I was just overanxious, because I was seeing the ball good. I just couldn't make contact."

Even though he has struggled against left-handed pitchers, Valentin isn't even thinking about hitting right-handed again.

"I never thought it was going to be that bad for me after the spring training I had," Valentin said. "It's something I'm not going to be afraid of. It's not the first time I've struck out, and I won't give up. I'm not worried about it.

"I don't feel uncomfortable or overmatched. I got my pitches to hit and I just didn't make contact with them."

White Sox's Alomar Bucks Trend To Suburbia

By Bob Goldsborough

Special to the Tribune

April 11, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Chicago Tribune. All rights reserved.

White Sox catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. has paid $1.25 million for a 4,200-square-foot house on the Northwest Side.

Now starting his 17th season in the major leagues and in his second tour of duty with the White Sox, Alomar, 37, bought the four-bedroom house, making him one of the few players with either the Sox or the Cubs to own a house in the city. A Cleveland Indian from 1990 until 2000, Alomar previously had owned a 3,200-square-foot house in suburban Cleveland that he bought in 1990 for $275,000. In an interview during spring training, Alomar said he sold his interest in that house in 2001, as part of a divorce.

Alomar said he bought the Chicago house because he recently remarried, to a woman he had met in Chicago. The house was built new by Northside Developers, on the site of a now-demolished house that had dated to the 19th Century, according to public records.

Alomar said he originally wanted a house in River Forest, and later considered buying a place in Hinsdale or Burr Ridge, where some other Sox players have lived in the past.

"I looked at 30 houses," Alomar said. "But when I went to Burr Ridge and Hinsdale, it took me an hour and half to get back [to the city], so we decided to look in [the city]. I love it there."

Alomar said he had been renting on the border of Bucktown and Wicker Park, which he characterized as "a little too busy."

"The [new] neighborhood is real good," he said. "The people are real friendly, and it's real nice and quiet there."

Alomar said he also owns a house in Puerto Rico, next to the house that his father, former major leaguer and former Cubs coach Sandy Alomar Sr., and his mother own.

"If we get real bad weather in Chicago, I can fly home to the Caribbean and enjoy it," he said.

Alomar's brother, Roberto, played briefly for the Sox last year. He never owned a house in Chicago, however, and instead rented a hotel suite during his stay, his brother said.

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