With manager Rick Renteria away from the club on Friday and Saturday while attending the funeral services for his mother, Angela, in Austin, Texas, McEwing has his hands on the White Sox wheel. The second-year bench coach periodically filled in last year as skipper when Renteria was ejected. But Friday marked his first time managing a Major League game from the first pitch on.
"Every day that you walk into the ballpark, there are nerves," McEwing said. "It's the nerves of excitement. There's opportunity to do something special on that day."
McEwing and Renteria discussed plans for the McEwing-led games before Renteria departed for Texas. McEwing just wants Renteria to concentrate on family matters before rejoining the White Sox here on Sunday.
"The main thing is just to allow him to be at peace with his family right now," McEwing said. "Not worry about what is going on here. We said we'll handle this and we'll miss you dearly, but the main thing is just focus on your family."
Umpire Auction Major League Baseball umpires are offering more than 300 items that include autographed sports memorabilia, VIP experiences and upgraded ticket packages during their 10th annual UMPS Care Charities Online Auction. The auction is underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 9 p.m. CT on Monday.
Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in the game. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice on the field at many MLB parks, golf foursomes, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs.
All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE charities youth programs to provide MLB experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children and financial assistance for families in need.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.