White Sox open 29th season of TWIB

White Sox open 29th season of TWIB

CHICAGO -- Winning the franchise's first World Series title since 1917 earned the White Sox trips to the White House and the Playboy Mansion, not to mention an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Now, the defending World Series champions also will be the featured team in "This Week in Baseball's" season opener, marking the 29th year for the longest-running sports anthology show in the history of television. TWIB features a new format in 2006, embedding itself each week with a different team, instead of just an individual player as the host.

The producers will spend an entire series capturing the sights and sounds of players in the dugout, during batting practice, in game action and in the course of doing everyday stuff ballplayers do both before and after the games -- both on and off the field.

This White Sox-centered episode takes a look at two of the most publicized events from early in the 2006 season. For starters, it follows Joe Crede and A.J. Pierzynski getting their hair cut at WSCR radio station in Chicago -- as explained once again by the White Sox catcher.

"Well, we were ordered by the owner [Jerry Reinsdorf], me and Crede, to cut our hair," Pierzynski said. "So the media got a hold of it and it turned into a thing for charity. So we set it up with a radio station, they had cameras and everything. We sold the smocks for charity and raised a couple thousand dollars.

"I think Crede cried because he didn't want to get his hair cut, but for me, it was fine. They brought in some people from a salon. They were very careful that they cut it the way we wanted it cut, and it turned out OK."

TWIB also takes a look at Mark Buehrle's greatest tarp dives, leading up to his final effort during an April 16 rain delay in a home game against Toronto.

"Obviously the crowd gets enjoyment out of it, but I enjoy doing it even more than that," Buehrle said. "I'd do it if there was no one in the stands, I don't do it just because they're there. I'd go out there and dive if there were no one in the stands, too.

"The more water on there, the better it is. The last one I did, there was hardly any water on there and that wasn't much fun. I mean, it didn't hurt, but it's just ... I like diving across it and plowing through spots where it gets you wet [motioning with hands out, Superman style], and that time it didn't."

A look back at the most memorable White Sox postseason moments from 2005 also will be featured on TWIB, as well as an up-close look at the ring ceremony for the White Sox earlier this year. Jermaine Dye and manager Ozzie Guillen wore wireless microphones, and their sounds and opinions have been captured. So has the red-hot start of designated hitter Jim Thome.

The Yankees are the featured team in the May 27 edition of TWIB.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.