• The breaking ball stood as the focus of Chris Sale's 59-pitch effort in Wednesday's 8-0 loss to the Padres at Camelback Ranch. It was a necessary focus, according to the left-hander, who guessed he threw somewhere between 10 and 15 sliders among his pitches.
"Just kind of getting a feel for that and obviously I needed it. It wasn't there," said Sale, who allowed six runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings, with one walk and one strikeout. "It wasn't very sharp.
"I was trying to throw backfoot sliders and they were backdoors and vise versa. I threw more hanging breaking balls today than I threw all year. So, keep your chin up. Keep going with it and keep working."
• Jim McMahon, the iconic quarterback who was part of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl championship, attended White Sox camp Wednesday. McMahon is friends with White Sox bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen, who met him through sports columnist Bob Verdi.
"Verd called me up and said, 'Let's play golf' one day. I said, 'Who is playing,' and he said, 'A buddy of mine, Mac, and me," said Thigpen of how he first met McMahon in the late '80s. "I never had met the guy before. I showed up at Medinah with Verd and here comes Jim McMahon. I'm like, 'Holy cow, are you kidding me? Why didn't you tell me?'
"So we've known each other since then, stayed in touch. He lives out here now and has come to a couple of [White Sox] fantasy camps in the past. We stay in touch and play golf every once in a while."
• Scott Downs has not appeared in any of the five White Sox Cactus League games, but Ventura doesn't need to see much from the southpaw in Arizona.
"He'll get in there," said Ventura. "He's a guy who's been around. He knows what he needs, so I wouldn't see him in there for a ton of games, but he'll get enough, probably more in the middle and later in spring."
• Paul Konerko celebrated his 38th birthday on Wednesday. Before his first at-bat, as he stood on deck, a fan yelled out, "Happy birthday, Paulie." Konerko acknowledged the fan, drawing applause from the crowd.