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

So who goes?

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With team captain Paul Konerko ready to leave for Charlotte Friday afternoon to begin his rehab assignment, his projected return date is now finally set for Tuesday in Kansas City, barring any setbacks.

What that means for the Sox is Nick Swisher now has to move back to center, and a roster move is coming.
Yes, there were scouts in attendance to watch Juan Uribe get the start at shortstop in the 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics, but if the Sox are unable to make a move with Uribe before then, expect Wise or Brian Anderson to be sent packing to Charlotte.
“I mean I know they have been playing well here … they can win this whole weekend and then I play on Tuesday and we lose, everyone is going to be, ‘Oh, it’s because Konerko,’ ‘’ Konerko said Thursday. “But that question is almost not for me. It’s like listen, ‘I’m on the team, I got hurt, I worked to get back and if I’m back, hopefully they want me.’ That’s the question for [manager] Ozzie [Guillen]. What am I supposed to say? I mean I hope they want me back.’’
Guillen does.
“P.K. has been here long enough,’’ Guillen said. “He should know what he’s doing.’’
What won’t be easy for the Sox is who to send out? The bottom line is someone’s feelings are about to be hurt knowing that the record put up in Konerko’s absence was a team effort by all 25 guys.
“It’s going to be hard,’’ Guillen said. “We’re going to make a couple moves. I think right now we think about what decision we’re going to make when he’s coming back. We don’t have any decision yet. When that day comes, we should be prepared. But what decision we’re going to make, my center fielder obviously has got to be Swisher.
“Every time you make a decision when you’re going to lose a player when you’re playing well, it’s not easy. The decision, right or wrong, we got to make one.’’
The million-dollar question, who would you send out?
--Uribe, even if you can’t trade him?

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If I'm Ozzie for a day, and it's the day Konerko's ready to be activated, then first things first: I'm LEAVING Nick Swisher at first, PERIOD. Konerko will be my DH; I'll "rest" Swish with Konerko occasionally, helping Paulie to keep those obliques rested for the playoff run; I'm also platooning him with Thome, and I'm putting Konerko up against EVERY lefthanded pitcher the Sox face for the rest of the season, including pinch-hitting for Thome when he starts when the opposition matches up a lefty to face Thome in the late innings (Thome strikes out better than 33% of the time against lefties; the failure of Thome to hit against lefties is no longer acceptable; put him in situations where he's got the best chance to be successful, like when he faces righties and his strikeout ratio improves to 1 in 10 AB). I'm playing the numbers with these two guys: Konerko faces those hitters he knows and hits best, and likewise with Thome. It's not rocket science, it's common sense, just like putting Dye in the 4th spot and Q in the 3rd spot was obvious early on, particularly if a person was determined to prevent a repeat of the Sox hitting woes of 2007. And I'm platooning Anderson and Wise in center, again, using these guys where they're the most likely to be successful, and, both guys give me a much better defensive presence and give us more speed in the lineup. Dye in clean-up is something I advocated weeks ago; don't you think his placment there has SOMETHING to do with the 11-6 record the Sox recorded in Paulie's absence? Quentin in the 3rd spot is something I advocated weeks ago; having him hit every first inning of every game might have something to do with our 11-6 record since Paulie's stint on the DL, yes??? Pierzynski isn't your proto-typical 2nd spot guy, but he gets the job done, and he's in shape, he's smart, and is there someone better that's on our roster? He's stretching singles into doubles and using his svelter self to pick up extra bases here and there like a 2nd spot hitter should, he's hitting for average, he's spraying hits all over the field, and it bears repeating: he's the smartest runner we've got, and the 2 spot is great for him. It would be nice to see Pablo in the lineup more often, giving Crede's back a rest, and maybe we'll see Joe's hitting return when he's not hurting. Back pain inhibits the most skilled worker no matter what your profession or trade. Cabrera is starting to hit consistently. Interpolate my friends. Anderson's platooning with Wise, Konerko with Thome, Pablo with Crede, Cabrera, and Ramirez, who has been just sensational at second. Toby Hall needs to get in there once in a while, too, DH Pierzynski, Thome at first, Swish in center, Anderson in right to spell Dye, hey, we can do what we need to do with this roster, without the one guy who has absolutely no idea what he's doing with the baseball bat, and that's the same guy who answers the question "WHO DO YOU SEND DOWN?" If you haven't been counting and you're still reading, go find your 1st grader's arithmetic book, because Uribe's gone; look elsewhere for that backup infielder in case someone's hurt out of the core infield group. Don't we have a second baseman in the system who's hitting over .400 right now? I'd play Pablo before I'd put Uribe in the lineup. His unbelievable defensive plays in the 2005 World Series are great memories, but so are the memories of Podsednik's table setting OBP and base running. This should be entitled I'd rather have a slumping Konerko than a perpetually wild swinging hitter anyday. Uribe is the White Sox' version of Corey Patterson, that is, if Corey were to put another 30# of beef on his backside, which come to think of it would probably help Corey cut down on his swing and become what he and Uribe (and his brother Eric) should be: slap hitters, contact hitters, choke up the bat hitters, disciplined hitters. These guys all have one thing in common, including setting a bad example for Felix Pie: They prove that you can't force a team to hold their collective breath indefinitely without suffocating the lineup whenever these guys are in it (the lineup). I wouldn't have started Uribe last night, I'd have started Pablo, and run the future shortstop over to shortstop from second, one Alexei Ramirez. This is the AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL DIVISION TITLE AT STAKE. Wise has already shown he can hit and play defense, and in my estimation is a better outfielder than Swish; Anderson's starting to hit because he's working to cut down that swing and becoming more confident and the distance between his hitting abilities now and what he can be is exactly the distance he needs to shorten his swing, which is not much. This guy should watch some old Al Kaline film. He can be that kind of hitter (memo to Sox hitting coach.) Have I missed anything? Javy using his change-up a little more often might reduce the HRs he gives up with 2 outs, and certainly would reduce his BBs, not to mention preventing a few HBP, which cost him the game last night, a night when he had no-hitter stuff. This Sox team can win it all; Uribe's a great memory, but he's Pete Best at this point, and the Sox need to march to Ringo's beat from here on out. 2007 was a Hard Day's Night, and keeping Uribe is forcing the team to "Carry That Weight", and Juan should be singing "I Don't Want to Spoil The Party", while 2008 should be, could be, it is...."Get Back" to the World Series for "A Taste of Honey" and another "Magical Mystery Tour". Kenny can then enjoy his winter playing "Fixing a Hole" while planning another Revolution No. (200)9 as World Champions, again, and Sox fans will be happy "Here, There and Everywhere"!!! Just send me my beat check now, and it'll all be good!!!

I totally agree with putting ozuna on waivers, reason being is what has he done for the club and he does not even play 3rd base consistantly. As for contreras the ballclub should release him. This guy is just wasting the teams time by being here. He can't pitch, he blows leads and the starters have to play extra hard to play catch up after his pitching blunders. This guy is well known for blowing games like he almost did last night. I like ozzie but I don't believe that he should continue holding this guys hand. Contreras gives up too many runs in a game putting more strain on the offense. If it was up to me he would have to go. I'd take a chance at finding a better pitcher on the open market than to keep holding on to this bum.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 3, 2008 10:04 PM.

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