Josh Fields made the most of his recent tenure on the White Sox' bench -- which is, perhaps, the reason he broke out of his slump Wednesday night with a 3-for-4, 2-home-run performance against the best team in baseball.
Throughout his 12-day sentence, Fields was able to pick the brain of injured White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin during a series of long conversations about hitting. Said Fields, "I was able to figure some stuff out."
That may be an understatement.
Whatever Quentin said definitely worked. After a .133 average in his last 12 games (including an 0-for-16 stint), Fields finally slapped a single into right in his first at-bat Wednesday night, and he wasn't done there. Fields took Dodgers' starter Randy Wolf deep to left-center in the fourth inning and provided the Sox' third home run in the team's explosive five-run fifth.
If it's the long talks about hitting that did the trick for Fields, perhaps the entire White Sox lineup could benefit from some alone time on the bench figuring some stuff out with Quentin.
But credit Ozzie Guillen, who saw that Dodgers starter Randy Wolf was limiting left-handed hitters to a mere .091 average and decided to give the righty Fields a shot by putting him at first base, moving Paul Konerko to the DH spot and giving Jim Thome the day off.
This was only Fields' third career start at first. He's so new to the position, that he has yet to procure his own first baseman's glove, opting to use Paul Konerko's instead.
After the game, Konerko heaped plenty of praise on the former Oklahoma State quarterback.
Asked how Fields has handled being benched, Konerko said, "Awesome. Classy. He's a hard-worker. Does everything that's asked of him. It was nice to see him get rewarded tonight."
"It's tough to sit on the bench for one game," said Konerko, "let alone a week or two weeks and try and come in and play."
Appropriately enough, Fields' second home run of the evening came just one pitch after Gordon Beckham -- the rookie who replaced him at third -- struck out on three straight pitches.
It's the duty of any good controversy-seeking sports journalist to question whether a performance like this will inspire Guillen to give Josh Fields his old job back.
But Fields himself would have you believe the thought hasn't crossed his mind, and that he's just happy to have the opportunity to play.
"Hopefully," he said, "I saved some for tomorrow."