Notes: Broadway to start on Thursday

Notes: Broadway to start on Thursday

CHICAGO -- Lance Broadway's first Major League start will not come cheap. When the 24-year old right-hander discovered he was getting the starting nod for Thursday's series finale against the Royals, getting his family to U.S. Cellular Field became a priority, at nearly any cost.

"They were all scheduled to come in here on Friday [for the last series of the season]," Broadway said. "Once I got the start, it means we have to cancel a bunch of plane tickets and re-buy them. On three days' notice, they are not the cheapest things to find. But you only make your debut one time, so it will be worth it."

Broadway was officially awarded the starting spot on Sunday after White Sox management decided to put rotation-regulars Mark Buehrle and John Danks on the shelf for the rest of the season. At the same time, his trip to the mound is more than just a spot start -- it is also another great chance for manager Ozzie Guillen to see his young hurler in action.

"I just do what's good for him, to start against a team, and it's good for us to take a look at what he can do," Guillen said. "When I put him in the big leagues this year, he's thrown the ball well. And we're going to see tomorrow what he can do."

Broadway is widely regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the White Sox organization along with fellow Major Leaguers Gavin Floyd and Danks. He was selected with the team's first-round pick in the 2005 Draft out of Texas Christian University and was ranked the No. 3 Chicago prospect by Baseball America entering the 2007 season.

He was called up from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 4 and has made three appearances, all out of the bullpen, since joining the big league club.

But unlike when he pitches in relief, Broadway has had plenty of time to think about his upcoming outing on Thursday and what it might mean to his future with the Sox.

"Most of the day, it is going to be on my mind," Broadway said. "I'm probably going to be pretty nervous. But hopefully, when I get to the ballpark and warm up, it will slowly take over that it is just baseball. You've done this a hundred times. Just go through your routine.

"I have a hard enough time worrying about the things I can control. I'm going to try to leave that up to them. I'm going to do what I do, regardless."

A sad day in the Second City: The Chicago sports scene lost a prominent and controversial figure on Wednesday with the passing of Blackhawks owner William Wirtz.

Wirtz, who served as president of Chicago's NHL franchise since 1966, died at age 77 after a long battle with cancer.

Wirtz's death took on extra significance for White Sox chairman and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who partnered with the former Blackhawks owner to build the United Center, which houses the city's NHL and NBA franchises.

"Bill Wirtz was a giant of a man, whose passing leaves a tremendous void in Chicago," Reinsdorf said in a statement issued through the Bulls. "It was an honor to have been his partner for over 25 years. He was a person of great integrity, loyalty and generosity."

Into the future: The White Sox released their tentative 2008 regular-season home schedule on Wednesday.

The South Siders open the season on the road and begin the home campaign at U.S. Cellular Field against the Twins on April 7.

The Sox play just nine games at home in May, but are rewarded with a 10-game homestand in September.

Chicago hosts three National League clubs next year -- the Rockies, the Pirates and the Cubs for the second leg of the annual intercity rivalry. The North Siders visit U.S. Cellular Field from June 27-29.

The injury front: The Sox got some rare good news from the training room on Wednesday. Pablo Ozuna, who has been on the disabled list since May 28 with a fractured right fibula, took another positive step towards a full recovery.

The do-everything utility man had securing materials, which included stitches and metal buttons, removed earlier this week at Rush Medical Center in Chicago.

While the procedure is a move in the right direction for Ozuna, he is still at least four weeks away from being able to participate in running and jumping activities. He will continue to rehab with the team in Chicago.

Quick hits: Jon Garland took the hill on Wednesday night needing one victory to reach double-digit wins and at least 30 starts for the sixth consecutive season. No right-hander in White Sox history has ever accomplished that feat. ... Prior to Wednesday's game Jim Thome signed a jersey that included the signatures of every member of the 500 home run club since Ted Williams. The unique piece of memorabilia hangs in Reinsdorf's luxury box at U.S. Cellular Field.

Up next: Broadway (0-1, 2.08 ERA) makes his first career start against the Royals at 7:11 p.m. CT at U.S. Cellular Field. Kansas City will counter with a rookie of its own, Billy Buckner (1-1, 4.50), who will make his first career start against the White Sox.

Alex Gyr is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.