Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Cabrera Island

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Trailing 6-5 after starting pitcher Javier Vazquez dug the offense a five-run hole by the third and made them climb out of it, Orlando Cabrera walked to lead off the eighth inning. Nick Swisher flied out to center, leading to Cabrera nabbing second base.

Carlos Quentin, who had homered twice on the night to give him 21 on the season, then walked to bring up Jermaine Dye. During Dye’s at-bat, Cabrera nabbed third base. On the surface a heads-up play, but at the same time, a pet-peeve for some hitters who find it a distraction. Dye then struck out, seemingly putting the rally in jeopardy.
Jim Thome had other ideas, however, as the veteran hit a grounder into the hole between first and second base, allowing Cabrera to tie the game up, and Quentin to get to third.
Then it was fun time, like only the South Siders, and their now 3 ½-game lead in the Central Division, could provide.
As Cabrera was passing around the high-fives in the dugout, Dye apparently must have said something to his shortstop. What that was, Dye wasn’t saying.
Cabrera, never one to bite his tongue, started shouting in Dye’s direction and had to be restrained by Jose Contreras.
Afterward, it was explaining time.
“There was a little thing going on, but not a big deal,’’ Guillen said. “I talked to everyone after the game, told them that a good ballclub puts it behind them, a bad ballclub keeps fighting.
“But I like that. I don’t want them to fist fight, but I like that. I don’t want to see talking behind peoples’ back. I hate when players don’t like something with a coach or teammate and create a big whisper thing in the clubhouse.
“It was a misunderstanding. They talked it out and hugged, and it’s over.’’
While Cabrera did his usual disappearing act right after the game, Dye did discuss it.
“It was a misunderstanding,’’ the outfielder said. “When you’re together for a long time things happen. Good teams have disputes and move on.’’
My take? Who cares. Cabrera is a bad guy, selfish and cares about one person, but both he and the Sox need each other for a few months longer and then can spit on one another through the media. Next!

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Just because a guy calls to the press box doesn't make him a bad guy. Cabrera has been one of the most cosistent players on this team and why the Sox have been doing well. I understand why you are hating on him because of the press box thing, and his attitude towards the media and all, but to say he is a bad guy is a little extreme. He has proven himself as an asset to this team. Should he be resigned? That's up for debate, but for now as you put it Joe, he is on the team. And as far as last night goes, Dye had no reason to be upset. OC brought in the tying run.

Cowley, you are such a friggin' joke. Get over yourself, you whiny little douche. Just because a ballplayer doesn't want to talk to you doesn't make him a "bad guy." Now go stir up some more crap while your paper goes down the tubes.


Cowley note: Real men use their real name, Ghost.

There has been no public based and reported incidents about Cabrera's behavior or comments or attitudes that would paint him as a bad person. All the relatively minor incidents are well within the bounds of giving individuals slack. Yes, he may be like Frank Thomas in not being the perfect role model for team play and camaraderie, but neither of those individuals is a bad person or even a bad teammate.

Cabrera's defense in the field, his running on the bases, and his batting have been quite good. The Sox should feel fortunate to have this fine player. If he were willing to take a reasonable contract to re-sign, he should be re-signed.

It's unfair and inappropriate behavior for a professional journalist to characterize someone he covers as "a bad guy." Report on his actions, but let us, the readers draw our own conclusions as to his character. A reporter should not prejudice his readers on the character of an individual when he is the only conduit we have to "know" the person. Furthermore, this characterization is inconsistent with the way he is playing, as well as with the way his manager and the teammate with whom he had the dispute characterize him. For all we know, he MAY be a bad guy, but gratuitous swipes in blogs should be left for guys in their pajamas, or "featured columnists" (from whom we expect such nonsense), but should not emanate from working professionals.

Cowley, great take on what happened. Somehow Me thinks you have more info you could share with everyone??? What really happened? Surely, someone else in the dugout heard also and would be willing to talk to you? Otherwise, good job on the reporting..


Cowley insider: My take is that Cabrera and Dye haven’t liked each other most of the season, and Cabrera was upset that Dye was one of the few veterans who actually manned-up and spoke out against Cabrera’s poor attitude the first six weeks of the season.

Dye told the Sun-Times at the end of May, “Well, as far as it goes with another veteran that’s been around the league, we’re not going to mess with a guy’s routine and stop him from doing what he feels is right and works for him. If you try telling a veteran, ‘Hey, we do things this way,’ that could be disruptive, too. Then you have a key part of your lineup feeling like we’re piling on, going against everything we preached in spring training. If it was something like a lack of hustle, then the veterans would step in to pick him up. But a veteran like that, you just don’t want to come at him like that.’’

This thing was boiling for a while. It happened and it’s over with. The good thing about the Sox clubhouse is that players are so used to distraction, it doesn’t bother them. A lot of clubhouses would take it to the field, but like Earl Woods trained Tiger not to be distracted by making loud noises on his back swing, manager Ozzie Guillen has done the same with his players.

I have never seen baseball as a 'Team' game to begin with. It's stats are driven by individual accomplishments. OC was doing the right thing by trying to manufacture a run in a game that the Sox showed little offense (except Carlos). If anything, JD showed a little selfishness because OC 'distracted' him. With Orlando on third, the Thome shift was not as severe, allowing him more field to hit.

Yeah, the phone call Cabrera made in Toronto was selfish, but no more than Dye's complaining about an aggressive base running play. But the Sox won and gained another game on the Twinkies. I'm just hoping they don't come out flat after the the All-Star break (ala 2006).

I agree with the others that Cabrera doesn't have to be someone you go to dinner with as long as he helps the team win. Guys with a little edge keep a team from willing to accept losing. Joe Crede is one of my favorite players but he always looks like he just got back from a relative's funeral. Cabrera and Pierzynski are abrasive guys but they want to win and contribute. If the Sox had more players like them in the past maybe the wait for the World Series would not have been so long.

Is OC really that bad of a guy or does Joe Cowley have some type of issue with him? I have always liked Cowley, until this year. I don't know if it is his goal to be as controverisal and idiotic as Mariotti, but apparently there is some desperation to change the Sun Times to an Enquirer type paper, in order to keep them afloat. How many times has Cowley been wrong this year? Start reporting the facts and stop trying to create controversy at every turn.


Cowley's Wrong Count This Season: 0

if anyone was selfish, in that situation, it was dye. cabrera set him up with an easy rbi opportunity. all he had to do was hit the ball slowly on the ground or sacrifice fly. obviously, dye chose to blame somebody else because he failed to execute when striking out. how selfish can you get? the team scores, thanks to thome, and dye's still mad that it wasn't him that hit the runner in. wow.

I can't believe this is the topic of discussion. After the OC stole 3rd (a rare thing in MLB these days) Dye needed just a SF for an RBI. The OC was playing Ozzie ball & Dye failed to come through.

There's no question in my mind that if the OC continues to play Ozzie ball, the Oz will go to bat for him in a new contract.

Joe you are way off base with this one . Lets just take a look at what happen last night. Now Swisher comes up with a 6-6 tie and a man on first no outs, swings away fly out. Now lets go back to last year for a moment. OC played on the LA angles of aniheim near Juerusalem city, and and you covering the White Sox you basically see the American League. You and I and Ray Charles both know Mike Scosia would have bunted with a guy like Swisher at the dish in that situation late in the game with a 6-6 tie. Ozzie a a different type of manager who seems to wants his players to recognize that than act on it more than instructing them to do so time in and time out. Now that out of the way, OC is stuck at first and has to get to second so he steals a base. Stealing a bag does affect a pitcher ask Jose Contreras lol. Now Quentin walks. OC is on second and Quentin is on first pitcher is not looking at the runner so OC plays with him on second and yes this get in the sightline of JD and the catcher who has to make a sign. Still not paying attention to the runner OC steals third AWESOME. JD is so concerned about just droving the run in he is not aware of why OC is doing what he is doing, yeah he sees it but for whatever reason has no clue why OC is doing what he is doing but JD only concern is driving a run yes I understand thatbut the game of baseball is a very mental game and that sequence alone shows that. JD was wrong and give up his at bat like a girl and then goes back into the dugout whinning blah blah blah.. This is what OZzie was talking about in Tampa Bay not that the guys stink no is that they are so one dimensional that its no wonder why they stunk offensively at that time. This team is starting todoa much better job of manufacturing runs of late and desperately needs to contiue that. Yeah they could bop the long ball but every scout and manager in the big leagues know that so they pitch the sox to position. Your article and calling him selfish also proves another point that I will continually repeat until i'm proven wrong and that is that no sports writers for the major papers in this town knows anything about baseball, I mean true, pure un-roided up baseball the game and it multi faceted approach from the offense to defense which includes pitching.. Get off your ego trip and maybe if you guys knew what you were talking about beyond the obvious than OC might grant you guys interviews he used to but he stopped and I don't blame him


Cowley response to Hal: Here’s what I love about some of our readers … they don’t actually read. Hal, at what point did I come out and say that the reason Dye was angry was because Cabrera stole third? All that was pointed out was that was one possibility. As did Hawk, D.J. and every other announcer that knows the game.

I’m glad you remember everything you learned in Little League, and can impress all of us with your baseball genius. Unfortunately, now try and impress me that you can actually read what was written.

There has been a lot more going on with Cabrera than just calling up to press boxes this year. When I say he’s a bad guy, it’s not because of just my dealings with him. I could care less if Orlando Cabrera talks to me or not. I learned that years ago in this business, trust me.

Hey Joe,
I'm still on the team. Your wrong count is wrong. Hack.


Fine - Updated Cowley Wrong Count: 1. Happy?

OC is getting grilled here and shouldnt be. To question his motives as to why he did it, none of us know. What I do know is he saw a chance to get an easy SB and allow for DYE to hit a sacfly to tie the game. Dye is whining because he struckout and it is OC'S fault. Dye hit the dang ball and you wouldnt be whining you would be happy you tied the game. I can see why OC is upset, because he is thinking you have to be kidding me! I did what was best for the team to bring in a run, sac fly, wild pitch, balk! (which happened later) as a result of my SB to third. So Dye is just upset because he didnt come through, dont blame OC for being aggressive. If I am OC, I am freaking out too! Dye next time you need to come through in the clutch instead of striking out and then blaming your teammate, how lame.

I have to be honest with you, Joe, I can't understand the negativity towards the Sox by the Sun-Times. There always seems to be a snide comment in your stories even when what you're writing is supposed to be positive. And considering that Mariotti, Slezak, and Crouch always can be counted on to be negative in regards to the White Sox, it appears that there is a policy by the paper to make the team look bad.
I've been following the White Sox for a long time and for most of that time they have been the baseball team in Chicago that even comes close to having a chance at winning anything. But they never get any credit from the Sun-Times.
Between exaggerating the Ozzie controversies, making a mountain out of a molehill with the Cabrera and Dye confrontation, and your comments with the Ozuna situation, you look like you're trying to make the Sox look bad.


See, another person who didn't do their homework. Go back and check where I picked them to finish this season. Forget it, I'll just tell you. I was the only writer in town that I saw that picked them to reach the postseason.

And Jim, I'm not supposed to be a fan. I'm supposed to cover the team - good and bad.

I have to defend Joe here for a minute. In his NEWS stories, he never said anything discouraging about OC. Maybe took a subtle swipe, but he hasn't made an opinion one way or the other. This is a blog, and I don't see a blog as being official news. Therefore, I think the man is entitled to his opinion.

Now on the other hand, Joe, your constant critism of OC is getting a little boring on the Twitter. Dye and OC say everything is fine, and here you go saying "Dye is pretending that ball is Cabreara's face" or whatever. It's over, we need to move on to the next firework show here on the south side. It's funny, but getting boring dude.


Hey, thanks for reading my twiters.


Ask the Boston Red Sox and Keith Foulke why OC is a bad guy to have around the clubhouse. Great shortstop but huge charactor issues.

Joe, I didn't question whether or not you chose the Sox to win the division. My comment was about how the Sun-Times magnifies small controversies into large ones.
I'm apparently not the only reader who feels this way if other readers are writing the same thing. No one questions whether or not you're supposed to cover the good and bad stuff about the Sox.
No one argues that everything should be sugar-coated but when you start injecting your personal feelings about players as you did about Cabrera into your articles, then you're doing more than just reporting a story. When columnists such as Mariotti, Slezak, and Couch are primarily negative in their approach, you can't blame readers for feeling that there is an agenda involved.
I don't know Cabrera personally, but can you honestly say to your readers that he's any worse a teammate than Jay Mariotti is a coworker?

Cowley, you have a decision to make. You can continue the path you're on to becoming a "shock" sports writer like Moronitti & chuck your cred out the window, or you can stop & think about how you're "spinning" a story.

It's obvious to any one Moronitti has a personal axe to grind vs the WSox. He's too stupid to understand that in bearing it he's lost all credibility with fans who bother to read this paper for WSox news. It would be a shame for the same thing to happen to Cowley because he's got a personal axe to grind vs the OC.

Maybe I'm giving Cowley too much credit. He chose the topic "Cabrera Island" when he could have used "Clubhouse Angst." That's what spin is. Clubhouse Angst would have made the story "the offense is clicking to the point they are bickering about how best to score runs." Same facts, different angle of coverage.

Cabrera certainly comes off like a me guy.He did distract Dye moving around but at same time stole third & eventually scored. Dye didn't look that great anyhow in that game & doubt he would of connected regardless. Dye when on is one of best hitters in AL as we all know.But that was one of those games he was just not looking like a .300 hitter.Not a huge Cabrera fan, he seems to come off more concerned about his stats on paper & then the score on scoreboard.Hey he played out in Cali for years home of millions of self centered folks. I guess it may of rub off on him? I know first hand, I'm a transplant living on west coast & deal with self centered pricks everyday.That is one reason I still pull for Chi teams (sox favorite chi team). Can't stand the fans out here & being a true Chicago sport fan can't give up on teams I've been following for 50 some years anyhow.In fact when sox eliminated Angels out here in 05 was one of the best nights of my life. Threw on my sox gear went to store & bought a bottle of champagne only. Never forget the look of cashier!He said something like oh no!I said oh yes!


Cabrera was a HORRIBLE signing. This is why NO OTHER TEAM wanted him.

He is selfish and not a team player.

TRADE CABRERA and get a real man!

Again on Saturday night Cabrera shows why he is an egomaniac; totally undisciplined; and not a team player. He runs right through a stop sign by the third base coach. Yes he scored and that is not the point here. The stop sign is as much from Ozzie as it is Cox. He should be fined clear and simple. To make matters worse, The Hawkeroo endorses what Cabrera did by arguing with DJ that a good baserunner does not need a third base coach. Please! I beleive that The Hawkeroo has one foot inside the assisted living facility and the other on a banana peel. He needs to call the game, shut up or just give up the play-by-play to DJ. You can put this on the board, yes!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 9, 2008 11:02 PM.

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