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Tag:White Sox
Posted on: March 6, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2010 5:17 pm
 

Cubs get bad news on Guzman

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs say that reliever Angel Guzman has a "very unstable shoulder" that is serious enough to leave his career in doubt.

"Obviously, this wasn't good news," general manager Jim Hendry said this morning, after announcing the results from the MRI exam that Guzman had on Friday.

Guzman has a significant tear in a ligament in his right shoulder, and there isn't good history of pitchers coming back from the type of surgery he would need. While the Cubs and Guzman haven't yet decided on a course of action, he could try to treat it for 4-6 weeks and hope that he's able to return without surgery.

In any case, the Cubs won't be able to count on Guzman, who they were hoping to have as one of their main set-up men in front of closer Carlos Marmol.

Hendry said that he has already been looking outside the organization for bullpen help, and that he'll continue to do so. Manager Lou Piniella said that the Cubs could rely on some of the pitchers currently competing for the fourth and fifth spots in the starting rotation.

Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells occupy the first three spots in the rotation, and Ted Lilly will also be there once he is ready to pitch. But Lilly will miss the start of the season, so the Cubs need to choose two more starters from among Carlos Silva, Jeff Samardzija, Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Marshall.

The 28-year-old Guzman appeared in 55 games for the Cubs in 2009, with a 2.95 ERA and a .192 opponents batting average.

"At one point, this guy was as good a prospect as [Carlos Zambrano]," Hendry said.

More revelations from a day with the two Chicago teams:

-- Lou Piniella uses an iPhone. But don't get the idea that Piniella is suddenly becoming tech-savvy. Asked if he used any apps on the phone, he responded with a blank stare. "I'd rather talk to someone face to face than e-mail them," he said.

--Ozzie Guillen said that because he considers Piniella a friend and because he has such respect for Hendry, he doesn't root against the Cubs. "The only reason I don't want [the Cubs to go to the World Series] is the fans," he said.

-- Guillen said that when he wrote on his Twitter account that today was "a big game," he was referring to the other White Sox split-squad game, because Freddy Garcia is starting. But then he said, "I tied Mike Scioscia [on Thursday] and lost to Joe Torre [on Friday]. I hope I can beat Lou Piniella."

-- The Cubs continue to rave about what good shape Geovany Soto is in this spring. The Cubs are counting on bounce-back years from Soto, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. Soriano played left field today, and said: "It's great ot play this game with no pain. If I stay healthy, I'll have no problems putting up good numbers for me and the team. Just stay healthy. That's the key."

-- Silva doesn't look slim, and neither does his spring ERA after giving up six runs in two innings (including two long Carlos Quentin home runs) in his Cubs debut today. "I've been working on a lot of stuff, and there's still a lot of stuff to work on," he said.

-- Cubs coach Alan Trammell said he's been asked often about the comparison with 19-year-old Starlin Castro, the Cubs big shortstop prospect who came to camp with a longshot chance to make the team. Trammell had just turned 20 when he made the Tigers out of spring training in 1978, and Castro will be 20 by opening day. "The one thing against him is that we're the Chicago Cubs and we're expected to win," Trammell said. The '78 Tigers were coming off an 88-loss season.

Posted on: March 1, 2010 5:16 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Padres' Gonzalez: 'I'm flattered'

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Adrian Gonzalez is fine with Jake Peavy's campaign to get him to the White Sox.

He's just not going to take part in the campaign himself.

"I'm flattered that he would want me as a teammate," the Padres first baseman said. "But I don't have any control about it. If [the Padres] trade me, they'll let me know after it happens. I don't even want to hear that they're talking about it."

Peavy told CBSSports.com last week that he has already spoken to White Sox general manager Ken Williams about Gonzalez, and that he strongly endorsed the idea of trying to trade for him.

"I want Adrian to be my teammate over here," Peavy said.

Gonzalez watched Peavy go through all the trade rumors, before he was eventually dealt to Chicago last July 31. But unlike Peavy, Gonzalez doesn't have any no-trade rights, so he can't control where he goes.

The Padres aren't talking about trading Gonzalez right now, but some rival executives believe that they will be open to trading him as soon as they fall out of the National League West race this season.

Gonzalez repeated what he said when he reported to spring training last week, that he's fully committed to the Padres. His contract with San Diego runs through the end of the 2011 season.

"When I step into this clubhouse, I'm 100 percent Padres," he said. "When I leave this clubhouse, I'm 100 percent my wife and my family."

He also said today that he believes the new Padres ownership and management team is "moving in the right direction."

As for Peavy, Gonzalez said he has no doubt that his ex-teammate (and maybe future teammate?) will succeed in the American League.

"Obviously, he's going to do great wherever he goes," Gonzalez said. "He could pitch against the Yankees every time out and do good."

Posted on: February 24, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Twitter is reality for Ozzie, Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Only the White Sox. Only Ozzie Guillen.

Yes, another Guillen controversy, although this one seems pretty mild. The Sox manager started using Twitter this week, and today he had to answer for it to general manager Ken Williams.

Guillen, tweeting at @OzzieGuillen, told Williams that he only planned to post items about his own life, and not about the White Sox. His Sox-related posts so far have been pretty tame, telling his 6,000 followers that Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios have arrived in camp, wondering why free-agent Jermaine Dye doesn't have a job and saying that after three days of spring training, "I'm already boreddddddd."

"People are acting like I murdered someone or stole someone's money," Guillen said, referring to the media uproar his Twitter account caused in Chicago.

Guillen said he would stop tweeting if Williams or club chairman Jerry Reinsdorf had a big problem with it, adding that he's not making any money on Twitter.

"If there was money involved, I'm pretty sure I'd get fired, because I'd fight for it," Guillen said.

Just another day with the White Sox.

"We're never boring," Williams said.

And maybe that's why MLB network has planned a reality TV show focusing on the White Sox. The Twitter episode won't be part of the show, though, because it doesn't start until July.

"Those guys don't have any idea what they're in for," Williams said.

Or maybe they do.

"Why doesn't everyone have a reality TV show or a Twitter?" Williams asked. "Why can't we just concentrate on playing baseball?"
Category: MLB
Posted on: February 8, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Honoring Aparicio -- and Vizquel

Remember when the White Sox had to un -retire No. 3 so Harold Baines could wear it? They had honored Baines by retiring his number, but made the mistake of not first waiting for him to retire. So then he came back, and naturally he wanted his number back. And so they gave it to him, even though they had retired it.

That was comical.

Now the White Sox are un -retiring Luis Aparicio's No. 11 so Omar Vizquel can wear it.

This isn't comical. This is appropriate.

Aparicio is the greatest shortstop ever from Venezuela, the country's only Hall of Famer. Vizquel is the greatest modern shortstop from Venezuela, and a possible Hall of Famer.

When Vizquel signed with the White Sox, he asked the team about Aparicio's number. Later, Vizquel asked Aparicio about it. Aparicio told Vizquel -- and the White Sox -- that he'd be honored.

That sounds right, because it's an honor to Aparicio to have another great (though aging) shortstop from his country wear his number. And an honor to Vizquel that he's deserving of No. 11.

One side note: The White Sox originally assigned Vizquel No. 17, which isn't retired but is known in Chicago for belonging to Chico Carrasquel, the first Venezuelan shortstop in the big leagues. And while Vizquel has worn No. 13 throughout his big-league career, he can't wear it in Chicago because that's manager Ozzie Guillen's number -- yet another Venezuelan shortstop.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 15, 2009 10:57 am
Edited on: December 15, 2009 2:39 pm
 

The leadoff man they wanted

The Phillies' pursuit of Roy Halladay lasted at least five months.

The White Sox and Dodgers have been talking about a Juan Pierre trade for even longer than that. The White Sox showed interest in Pierre all the way back in spring training, but after first showing interest in trading the outfielder, the Dodgers took him off the market. That proved to be a good decision, because the Dodgers needed Pierre during Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension.

They don't need him nearly as much now, and they especially didn't need Pierre's contract on their ultra-tight payroll. The White Sox, who kept searching for a true leadoff hitter, still need him now.

Pierre isn't a great player, but he's much better suited to the leadoff role than anyone the Sox had. According the sources, the initial plan is to play him in left field, with Carlos Quentin moving to his natural position in right field, and Alex Rios taking over in center field.

So what do the Dodgers get out of the deal? First, they get two players to be named later. Sources said both players are minor-league pitchers, neither of whom is expected to help the Dodgers much in 2010. But more than that, the Dodgers rid themselves of a little bit of the $18.5 million they owed Pierre over the next two seasons.

The plan has been to use that money to acquire a pitcher. In fact, the Dodgers had trade discussions at the winter meetings that would have brought them a starting pitcher in exchange for Pierre, but they were never able to complete any of those deals.

In any case, Pierre was expendable for the Dodgers, who already have Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in their starting outfield. He is much more important for the White Sox, and his arrival continues the remaking of a team that was once overly dependent on hitting home runs. In 2009, the White Sox hit so few doubles that they were actually last in the American League in extra-base hits, despite ranking sixth in home runs.

But since the middle of last season, the Sox have added Rios, Pierre and new third baseman Mark Teahen, while trading Jim Thome and allowing Jermaine Dye to leave as a free agent.

Add in the acquisition of Jake Peavy, and the White Sox now rank as the early favorites in the American League Central. Their rotation top four of Peavy, Mark Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks is the division's best. Whether their offense is good enough probably depends on whether Quentin and Alexei Ramirez can regain their 2008 form, and whether Rios can ever be the player he looked to be in his early years with the Blue Jays.

The Twins and Tigers, who needed a tiebreaker to decide the division title in 2009, are also strong contenders in 2010. Like the White Sox, the Tigers showed interest in Pierre. The Tigers now could turn to Scott Podsednik.

Category: MLB
Posted on: October 3, 2009 11:10 pm
 

On to Sunday in the AL Central

DETROIT -- The Tigers played it casual Saturday afternoon, barely reacting as the Twins and Royals played on one clubhouse television.

“This [Twins] game doesn’t even matter,” third baseman Brandon Inge said, looking down to a box of baseballs he had to sign. “We’ve just got to win.”

Easy to say when you’re in first place by yourself -- which, a few hours later, the Tigers no longer were.

Sunday, the Twins-Royals game does matter to the Tigers. And the Tigers-White Sox game matters to the Twins.

And, at the end of the day, we’ll either have the completion of one of the worst collapses ever, or a long-delayed celebration at Comerica Park.

Or maybe, one final American League Central game to decide it all, on Tuesday at the Metrodome.

See, that’s the thing about collapses. They’re kind of like no-hit bids -- tension-filled, but only memorable if you finish them off.

The Tigers sure seem on the verge of doing that, and Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Freddy Garcia and the White Sox suggests they’re fully capable of it.

In three games since beating the Twins Wednesday and setting up Clinch Attempt No. 1 on Thursday, the Tigers have hit .172 and have scored just four runs. Their cleanup hitter and one-time MVP candidate, Miguel Cabrera, has gone 1 for 12 while leaving 13 runners on base.

Tight?

“I hope they get tight, to be honest,” manager Jim Leyland said. “Maybe if they’d tense up a little, they’d do better.”

Leyland admitted later that he was just trying to be funny, but the Tigers didn’t look tense in the moments leading up to Saturday’s game. A few watched the Twins, but others watched college football.

The Tigers led the Twins by seven games on Sept. 6, and they led by three games with four games left to play. Now they’re even, with one game remaining on the regular schedule.

The AL Central winner will play the Yankees in the American League Division Series, and because the Tigers will need to use 18-game winner Justin Verlander on Sunday against the White Sox, Verlander would not be able to pitch in a Game 1 on Wednesday in New York.

That’s not really as big a deal as it sounds, because instead of pitching Games 1 and 4 against the Yankees, Verlander would be able to pitch Games 2 and 5. Either way, the Tigers would need someone else to win at least one game to win the best of 5 series.

If the Tigers and Twins remain tied through Sunday, that would seem to be more of an advantage for the Yankees.

First off, the winning team on Tuesday would need to fly immediately to New York, then begin the playoffs the following day. Also, the Tigers would be forced to start 20-year-old Rick Porcello in the one-game playoff against the Twins, taking him out of contention for a Wednesday start in New York.

Edwin Jackson would still be available to start Wednesday, but Jackson has pitched poorly in recent weeks, and he gave up eight runs to the White Sox in his start Friday night. Because Jackson has struggled, the Tigers are thought to be leaning towards starting Porcello in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, assuming they don’t need him Tuesday.

And, of course, assuming that the Tigers get to Yankee Stadium at all.

Right now, that depends on the Twins losing -- either on Sunday, with the Tigers beating the White Sox, or on Tuesday, in the playoff game.

“They’re not going to get beat [Sunday],” Leyland predicted.

“I plan on playing in Minnesota [on Tuesday] if they win, and after that, I plan on playing in New York,” catcher Gerald Laird said.

Either way, the Twins games now matter very much for the Tigers. When the Twins play the Royals again on Sunday, the Tigers will all be very interested in the result.
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 2, 2009 11:02 pm
 

Peavy helps Twins in 2009, Sox in 2010

DETROIT -- Thanks in part to Jake Peavy, the American League Central still has a 2009 pennant race.

And thanks in part to Jake Peavy, we just got a peak at the 2010 AL Central race. In that race, unlike in this one, the White Sox are looking good.

In three starts for the White Sox, Peavy has looked every bit the ace that White Sox general manager Ken Williams thought he was trading for. He’s 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, and two of those wins have helped at the very least delay the Tigers’ victory celebration.

The Tigers failed to clinch the division again on Friday, when they had just two hits in eight innings against Peavy. The Tigers still lead the Central, but the race is already guaranteed to go to the next-to-last day of the season, and there’s a real chance now that it could go to Sunday, or even to a one-game playoff on Tuesday in Minnesota.

The White Sox can only think about next year. They can think about Peavy atop a rotation that will also include Mark Buehrle, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and maybe Freddy Garcia (who starts against the Tigers on Saturday night).

Not bad.

“This is absolutely no disrespect to anyone else in this division, but I know I’m going to show up in camp expecting nothing less than to win this division and get to the playoffs,” Peavy said. “And I think we’ve got key elements in place to make a good run in the playoffs.

“Obviously, it was tough leaving San Diego. But I’m super-excited to be here.”

There will be those who will wonder whether Peavy could have helped the White Sox win this year, if only he’d gotten healthy sooner. Peavy was on the disabled list when the Sox acquired him from the Padres on July 31, and his Chicago debut was delayed after he took a line drive to his right forearm during a rehabilitation start.

Manager Ozzie Guillen isn’t so sure Peavy would have helped, saying “we’d have had Peavy, but we still had nobody hitting.”

Guillen is more positive about 2010, and especially about the rotation he’ll have.

“On paper, we’re going to look really good,” he said.

Guillen isn’t nearly as concerned about this weekend’s games, although he did say the White Sox will play as hard as they can.

“I wish [the Tigers] could have clinched [Thursday],” he said. “But at the same time, I like it that our players would see them clinch, so they’ll get hungrier for next year.”

Right now, Guillen is hungrier for a chance to go home.

“I wish we played a tripleheader today,” he said Friday afternoon. “Then I could leave tomorrow.”

As for Peavy, he's already giving the White Sox hope -- for next year. But then again, that's just what some of us expected .

Category: MLB
Posted on: September 1, 2009 10:18 am
 

Finally, White Sox are rebuilding

White Sox general manager Ken Williams saw that the core of his team was aging. He knew that in order to win another World Series, the White Sox had to turn their team over.

He tried to do it without ever admitting to rebuilding.

"You know me, and you know (manager Ozzie Guillen)," Williams said in a conversation before spring training. "You know how competitive we are. Do you think we could go into a season where we didn't think we'd have a chance?"

So the White Sox went for it -- sort of.

They never put all their resources into this year's team. They made all their moves with at least one eye on the future.

And when they got to the end of August and realized that this team wasn't going to win, they pulled the plug. They traded away Jim Thome and Jose Contreras, and let it be known that they were willing to move Jermaine Dye, Scott Linebrink and others, too.

Some have portrayed this as an abrupt change in plans, but really it's not.

Yes, it's true, the White Sox took on two big salaries when they traded for Jake Peavy and acquired Alex Rios on waivers. But Peavy was always about the future more than about the present, and Rios was a player Williams always wanted as part of the White Sox team he was trying to build. Adding Peavy and Rios never meant the White Sox were "going for it" this year.

The Peavy deal made little sense in the context of 2009, anyway. As part of the package to get him, the White Sox gave up Clayton Richard, who was in their rotation at the time. They knew that Peavy wouldn't be ready to pitch until late August at the earliest, but they were willing to give up a month's worth of starts -- because they saw Peavy as the ace of the team they were building for 2010 and beyond.

Will that team of the future have a better be good enough to win?

It's too early to say that. What we do know now is that this 2009 White Sox team wasn't good enough.

The Sox tried to rebuild and contend at the same time. Now they're hoping they can go 1 for 2.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com