Tag:Ozzie Guillen
Posted on: May 28, 2011 6:39 pm

Guillen angry, 'drained' after 14-inning loss

By Matt Snyder

Even though things have improved in the past several weeks, the White Sox have still -- on the whole -- had a rough 2011 season. It seems like if they get good pitching, the offense fails. If they score some runs, the pitching or defense will find a way to allow runs. There were bullpen issues earlier in the season and the underachievement from several members of the offense continues. I'd imagine it would be quite frustrating for everyone from players to management to fans.

After a Corey Patterson walk-off home run in the 14th inning buried the White Sox Saturday afternoon, manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters exactly what was on his mind. Here are a few of the quotes, via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

"After the ninth inning, we [expletive] stink."

"Our offense [expletive] sucks after the ninth."

"I'm drained now. I feel like I'm in September right now. You can ask my coaches. We feel the same way."

"I've been watching the same [expletive] a lot of times with men in scoring position."

It's hard to blame Guillen. The White Sox have every bit as much talent as any other team in the AL Central and sit at 24-30. And he's not wrong about clutch hitting. Entering Saturday's game, the White Sox were hitting .220 with two outs and runners in scoring position. They were hitting just .222 in "late and close" situations (BBRef). Even the biggest hit Saturday was of the excuse-me variety. Paul Konerko's game-tying double in the ninth inning was actually a blooper in no-man's land in shallow right field. In the 11th, Brent Morel led off with a double and was stranded at third after Adam Dunn popped up and Carlos Quentin flied out. A baserunner was also stranded at third in the 12th inning.

Basically, you can see how it would wear down the skipper. That sentiment was simply vocalized by Guillen after the tough loss.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:08 pm

Pepper: Red Sox sweep Yanks; Varitek on Posada

By Evan Brunell

WALK A MILE IN THESE SHOES: Jason Varitek has been the Red Sox's answer to Jorge Posada for over a decade and has already undergone his own transition from starting catcher to backup. While Posada remains in the lineup as DH, Varitek wonders if his transition was easier to undertake.

“Jorge’s really had to go from focusing and doing the things that you have to do behind the plate -- the constant reminders, this and that, the maintenance, what’s going on -- and now you’re almost like, ‘Well what do I do with my time?’ ” Varitek said.

'Tek says the fact that he still starts games or has to stay mentally engaged in case he is needed in the middle of the game has allowed his transition to be easier and forces him not to worry about his slow bat. While Varitek's bat is waking up, he's still at a poor .164/.258/.218 in 63 plate appearances. Posada doesn't have that luxury, as his lousy line is as starting DH. But the Red Sox captian isn't ready to anoint Posada's career dead in the water.

"[Saturday] he had one of the few hits against Buchholz, and Buchholz had his top notch stuff,” he said. “You go through the Xs and Os and you don’t look at the batting average.” (New York Times)

Looks like Julio Teheran will get another spot start Wednesday. The Braves only need a fifth starter Wednesday and May 31, so can go with a four-man rotation for the time being. Obviously, Atlanta would have preferred Brandon Beachy not get hurt, but he kind of had decent timing. Beachy will take about a month to return, so Minor could still grab a few starts in June. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution via Twitter)

The first-place Rays have yet to do battle against the Yankees, but that changes Monday as both teams begin a two-game set in Tampa. David Price will draw the ball to start and admits he is always just a bit more motivated against the Bronx Bombers. "That just happens," Price said. "Whenever you're pitching against the pinstripes, you have a little more. That's how it is, that's just from their success forever in baseball." (St. Petersburg Times)

Manny Acta, by all appearances, has been everything the Indians want in a manager. He's driven closer community-player relations, encouraging players to take part in Twitter. (Dusty Baker, take note.) But he's also made an impact on the field by setting expecations in spring training of contending and using all his tools at his disposal to make decisions. That's put him in the early bid for manager of the year. (New York Times)

Tony La Russa remains away from the Cardinals with a bout of shingles, missing six games to date. La Russa is unclear when he can return to the team and will hold a meeting with GM John Mozeliak Monday to try to answer that very question. (FoxSportsMidwest.com)

Chase Utley played in his first full minor-league game on Sunday and is getting ever-closer to returning to the majors. GM Ruben Amaro indicated that Utley needs to get more at-bats, but would not rule out a return during the upcoming week-long homestand starting Wednesday. Sounds a bit optimistic, but it looks like Utley will give fantasy owners a jolt by returning before the calendar flips to June. (Philadelphia News)

A few eyes widened Sunday when Daniel Murphy of the Mets walked on what was thought to be a 3-1 count -- except umpire Angel Hernandez had called Houston's Aneury Rodriguez for a balk prior to what ended up being the fourth ball.  "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention," Murphy said. "I heard, 'Balk.' And then, '3-1.' I guess that's what Angel said -- ['ball']. It went from 2-1 to 3-1. It was a four-ball walk." (ESPN New York)

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen wants fans to know that the team will turn things around. “Hopefully, we go home and play better for our fans,’’ Guillen said. “They deserve that. We owe them one after that last homestand. Hopefully, we continue to play the way we’re playing now.’’ The White Sox are 6-3 in their last nine games, but are still a discouraging nine games out of first place. (Chicago Tribune)

There are no plans to demote third baseman Pedro Alvarez to the minors, Pirates GM Neal Huntington revealed on the radio. "He's a slow starter," Huntington said. "We're seeing signs he's getting to where he needs to be. He's squaring up some balls. He's not getting himself out or getting into pitcher's counts." Alvarez is hitting .210/.277/.286 in 130 plate appearances. Even rebuilding teams give up on prospects with that stat line at this point. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

AYBAR RAKING: Erick Aybar is less patient at the plate, which is allowing him to go after good pitches more and has a .351 batting average to show for it. Sure, he's playing a bit over his head, but he seems to turned a corner offensively at age 27 and is looking like 2009 is the norm, not exception. Aybar struggled to a .255 batting average last season, which he says was in part due to being too patient at the plate. (Los Angeles Times)

GREAT ESCAPE: Those who play SplinterCell for X-Box will notice a move taken right out of the game. An Astros fan ran on the field and evaded security guards by leaping over the center field wall and scaling a berm in a way that would make Sam Fisher proud, then vaulting yet another wall and escaping... until Houston's forces caught up with him outside the park. (Youtube)

PEACOCK ON FIRE: No, not the animal. Nationals' right-handed prospect Brad Peacock has taken his game to another level and currently has a 2.13 ERA in six starts for Double-A. Credited for his success is his curveball, which is being thrown near fastball velocity which is causing hitters to miss the adjustment needed to hit a breaking ball. (MLB.com)

ATTENDANCE ISSUES: Yeah, the weather hasn't been great and it's hard to get excited about a perennial loser no matter the state of the rich farm, but the Royals have noticed their poor attendance this year. The play on the field is surprisingly strong so far, plus the constant influx of young players over the next couple of years should fix the issue. For now, though, K.C. has to worry a little bit about lack of fan turnout. (Kansas City Star)

HEYWARD RETURNING: Jason Heyward is hoping his return to the lineup will happen Tuesday. Sidelined with a sore shoulder, Heyward has reported progress and will be available to pinch-hit in Monday's game. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

SCOUT PASSES: Dick Wiencek, one of baseball's most successful scouts, passed away due to complications from a heart attack. Wiencek signed a record 72 players, including Bert Blyleven, Alan Trammell, Mark McGwire, Jim Kaat and Graig Nettles. Thoughts and condolences to friends and family. (MLB.com)

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 11:39 am

Hot seat warming for some managers


By Evan Brunell

The hot seat is getting a bit warmer for managers with tenuous holds on their jobs now that the calendar has flipped to May and teams are getting a far better handle on how the team is performing against expectations.

Back prior to the start of the season, Bob Geren of the A's, Jim Leyland of the Tigers, Mike Quade of the Cubs, Jim Riggleman of the Nationals and Edwin Rodriguez of the Marlins were five managers to keep an eye on. So far, all but Leyland appear to have confirmed their job security through at least the end of the season.

Leyland's not the only one with a hot seat, however. There's two others who need to shape up or will be asked to ship out.

Ozzie Guillen, White Sox

"We suck," Ozzie Guillen said recently about his ballclub, as Chicago has baseball's worst record at 11-22. This is surprising, given the rather deep rotation and a potent offense that is still searching for the match to light the fire. There's nothing redeeming about the ChiSox's season so far, with DH Adam Dunn struggling in his adjustment to the DH role and a bullpen corps that simple doesn't understand how to close a game out. That puts the spotlight squarely on Guillen, who doesn't do himself any favors with his brash, outspoken nature even if it endears him to the media and fans. Bottom line: this is a team who hasn't made the postseason since 2008 and has performed under expectations since. If the White Sox don't turn it around, Guillen's exit could come fast and hand Joey Cora the reins.

Kirk Gibson, Diamondbacks

Gibson is the only other manager currently with a modicum of a warm hot seat. He's playing for a new GM who didn't select Gibson as manager, although he did retain Gibson once taking control. Still, that fact alone puts him in danger of losing his spot even if 'Zona has played slightly above expectations to date with a 14-17 mark. It's unlikely that Kevin Towers makes a move inseason unless Arizona suddenly bottoms out like the White Sox have done, but Gibson would have to finish .500 or higher to guarantee his job security. Any record under .500 -- and the Diamondbacks will certainly finish with less than 81 wins -- will put him at the mercy of Towers.

And of course, Leyland is another on the hot seat as his Tigers have eked out a 15-18 record to date. Detroit certainly hoped for better but that record is good enough to delay any possible firing of Leyland. If the team sinks into a quagmire, he could be jettisoned, but for now has plenty of leash. While the seven-game deficit behind first place is not pretty, it helps Leyland's cause that the top two teams of the White Sox and Twins are instead scuffling with lousy records and the Indians and Royals, both thought to be non-factors, top the Central.

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 6:15 pm

Guillen: 'I say we suck'

Ozzie Guillen

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Oh you Ozzie Guillen...

There are some days I'd love to cover the Chicago White Sox and some days I know I'd hate it. The thing is when you cover someone like Guillen, you can never take time off because you don't know what he may say -- and you'll be expected to have it. I've covered those types before, and it's great most days because they can make your job easy, but on certain days they make your job hard.

Today? Well, if you're good at transcribing, Ozzie made the job pretty easy.

Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com did a nice job of giving the highlights from Guillen 16-minute pregame meeting with the media (and keep in mind this was before losing 3-2 to the Twins on Wednesday to fall to 11-21 and have lost 18 of their last 23).

• On the team heading west: "Well, I was looking for the trip for the first time in my career. At least it's going to be like 2 o'clock in the morning here so if we play bad, people don't have to watch us."

• On coaches and managers getting the blame for poor play: "It's how it has been for 100 years. Players play bad, coaches pay. Players play good, they get their raise in salary. Like I said, coaches in the big leagues they win championships, they get maybe $10,000 raise. Players win championships and they get maybe $16 or $20 million raise."

• On the attention on the White Sox's troubles: "Every time people say I don't know what's wrong with the White Sox, I say the same thing: 'Me neither.' I wish I could figure it out. We've tried to figure out, yes. Maybe we try too much. Maybe we should let them go out and play the game. Take batting practice, we don't hit, we hit early, we don't hit early. We do everything everyone else does. We're not clicking."

• On the team psychiatrist: "Nothing against the guy, I respect him because this guy went to school. He helps us. But I think right now the players like everything, it's an excuse. Hey, take it like me. I say we suck. They say I should get fired, I don't give a [expletive]. Why? Because that's the way it is."

• If Jerry Reinsdorf has talked to him about his job status: "At this point, I don't trust anyone. You think Jerry come to me and say, 'We might fire you?' What do you think I'm going to say, no? Hey man, you got a lot of reasons to do it. How many games have we lost?"

Go read the rest of the link, not only because Doug did all the transcribing (and trust me, with something like this and with Guillen, that's no small feat), but also because there are some other good Guillen rants in there -- I particularly like the one about hitting coach Greg Walker needing a psychiatrist.

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 1:43 am
Edited on: May 1, 2011 1:51 am

3 up, 3 down: Shields, Halladay baffle batters


By Evan Brunell

3 UP

James Shields, Rays -- Shields delivered a dominating performance and may be on the way back towards being an ace. However, Shields is an inconsistent player, so we'll have to see how he performs more. Still, he twirled a beautiful start against the Angels, going eight strong with an eyebrow-raising 12 strikeouts against one walk, six hits and an earned run. He combined to strike out the first three batters of the game six times, holding them to 1 for 13 with a walk. This game pushes Shields' ERA down to 2.14.

Roy Halladay, Phillies -- What else do you expect? Halladay rivaled Shields for best pitching performance as he pitched a complete game seven-hitter, allowing a walk and punching eight out. The Mets -- especially Jason Bay in an 0-for-4 night with three whiffs -- were helpless as Philly squeaked out a 2-1 victory. That offense is starting to run a little cold in Philadelphia, who were lifted by reserve outfielder John Mayberry Jr.'s first home run of the year plus a sac fly by Placido Polanco. Carlos Beltran did have two hits, continuing a nice return from knee problems.

Michael Brantley, Indians -- The league's best hitting performance that also directly won the game for Cleveland by Brantley, who sparked the team to victory by first tying the game at two-all in the sixth by ripping a solo home run and then scoring the winning run on an Orlando Cabrera single. All in all, the leadoff man who was playing center as Grady Sizemore took a breather, stepped up to the plate with a 3-for-6 night (so did Cabrera), scoring those two runs and driving in himself on the homer to edge the Tigers 3-2. Top Indians pitching prospect Alex White got throw his start by throwing six innings and allowing just two runs despite coughing up four walks and six hits -- two home runs -- and whiffing four.


Matt Thornton, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen must be furious. In his house, that is, as he was suspended two games for his comments about the umpiring earlier in the week and then tweeting about it. Matt Thornton was called in by bench coach Joey Cora to keep the ChiSox in the game as they trailed 2-1 in the eighth. Phil Humber had a two-run, seven-inning start, calling into question whether he should be demoted when Jake Peavy returns. Against the Orioles, Thornton went as such: single, stolen base, strikeout plus Pierzynski error allowing a run to score and batter to reach, single, wild pitch, walk, infield RBI single, sacrifice fly, and -- that was it for Thornton as Jerry Gray sandwiched two outs around a hit by pitch. Not a good day at the park for Chicago's closer at the beginning of the season who has already lost his job.

Red Sox offense -- What can the Red Sox offense do for you? Well, it can mount a seven-hit attack on Doug Fister, walk six times, and ... leave 11 men on base in a 2-0 defeat. Awesome. David Ortiz want 0-for-4 with two whiffs, coming up in a key situation that could have changed the complexion of the game. The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the first (yes, really) and fourth, with Jacoby Ellsbury ending the threat in the fourth by getting doubled off second in a mistake. Oh, and no Mariners game is complete without a Milton Bradley ejection. The mercurial outfielder delivered a RBI double in the second to send Seattle up 1-0 then argued with the second base umpire about a play in which Miguel Olivo grounded to first and got the heave-ho. Skipper Eric Wedge was in the process of leaving the field after mounting his own complaint, but he didn't get tossed.

Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays -- Drabek got a little lesson in humility Saturday night, lasting just 2 1/3 innings. Drabek has been a bit up and down in his first full major-league season, but was still doing decently enough. Now his ERA rests at 4.45 after giving up five runs on seven hits, four walks and four strikeouts against the Yankees. He was dinked to death, but those runs count and can be even more deflating than a single big blow. You can attribute giving up a grand slam to one misplaced pitch, but you can't justify any of your stuff when everything is being rifled. Oddly enough, no Yank had more than one hit, but everyone did sans Derek Jeter (all together: when will he be demoted to No. 8 in the lineup? -- hey, look a reunion of the top two in the order from last season... at the bottom).

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 4:06 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 4:13 pm

Guillen suspended two games for Twitter comments


By Evan Brunell

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended two games for violating baseball's social media rules by tweeting his anger at being tossed from a game Wednesday. Guillen also tweeted that his rant was going to cost him money, but it costs him a lot more: two games as White Sox manager. That's a hefty price to pay, on top of being fined an undisclosed amount of money for both his specific comments and the Twitter usage. He will serve the suspension during the first two games of a four-game set against the Orioles, slated to start Friday night.

Suspending Guillen two games is rather harsh. Even a one-game suspension is odd, but new disciplinarian Joe Garagiola Jr. (who works under Joe Torre) is clearly sending a message: Stay off Twitter. MLB has a rule that social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) cannot be used from 30 minutes prior to the game to its conclusion. It doesn't seem to be a strict rule, as players tweet during the game, but when Guillen goes on the offensive after being ejected and blasts an umpire (a very sensitive subject in baseball, but really, there are plenty of terrible umpires who would have been fired long ago in another profession -- looking at you, Bob Davidson, and your screaming epithets), you can imagine how upset baseball was.

Guillen brought a lot on himself with this, though. He clearly knew he would be reprimanded for his actions, saying so publicly, but brushed off whatever punishment he would get. It's not surprising baseball came down hard, but will it really silence Guillen?

Probably. It's one thing to be fined; it's entirely another to be suspended for two games. That wouldn't fly for a player, and it won't fly for Guillen, especially when these same comments could have been said after the game and likely subject to only a fine. (Although at some point, baseball needs to ratchet up the punishment and send a message to Guillen that his comments in general have to stop.)

Of course, this is Ozzie Guillen we're talking about. Can anyone even silence him? Baseball is certainly trying.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 10:22 pm

Chicago's other manager won't be tweeting

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike QuadeMLB is looking at White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for his tweets after he was ejected from Wednesday's game, but don't expect the other manager in Chicago to have that same problem.

"I will never get in trouble Twittering," Quade said before Thursdya's game against the Cubs (via MLB.com).

He was then told the term is "tweeting."

"See? I can't even say it," Quade, 54, said. "I will not get in trouble because I will never do it. I don't have the time, energy or the know-how."

He did note he does have a BlackBerry, so he does have the equipment.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 28, 2011 3:08 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 3:09 pm

Guillen's tweets violated MLB rule

By Matt Snyder

In case you missed it, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected early in his team's game against the Yankees Wednesday. Shortly after he was relegated to the clubhouse, Guillen sent two tweets about the incident, including saying it was pathetic (he spelled it incorrectly, but who cares). He also said it would cost him a lot of money.

We can't be sure if Guillen meant the ejection itself or tweeting would cost him money, because it turns out there's an MLB rule in place that social media may not be used from 30 minutes before the game until the game is concluded. (Chicago Tribune )

This is interesting, not only as it applies to Guillen. I know for a fact at least one -- I don't want to totally out him, so I'll just say he pitches in the NL East -- relief pitcher who tweets rather regularly during games from the bullpen. I've seen other players tweet during games, too.

Not that I disagree with the sentiment -- I personally think they should put it away for the entire game for several reasons -- but I'm not sure the MLB really needs a hard and fast rule in place. It feels more an issue that each individual ballclub should be dealing with.

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Category: MLB
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