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

Guillen says 'Missile' ready for relaunch Saturday vs. Rangers

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Manager Ozzie Guillen said today he expects to have shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who has been benched the last two games, back in his lineup Saturday against the Texas Rangers.

Ramirez, who hadn't spoken to reporters since Guillen announced the benching on Wednesday, says he will be ready.

''I'm always ready,'' Ramirez said through translator Lou Hernandez. ''The people that make decisions made the decision and I'm always going to be ready whatever decision they make.''

Ramirez's usual smile has disappeared in recent days, but he says he has taken the benching in stride.

''It's been OK, it's been good,'' he said. ''I've been able to study and think about what I've been doing and haven't been doing right when I bat. I had some time to get in the batting cage and focus on a couple of little things, but it's actually been pretty good.''

Ramirez, the runner-up for the American League Rookie of the Year Award last season, is hitting .211 with one home run and 11 RBI. Has he been able to figure out what is behind his struggles?

''I have,'' he said, without elaborating. ''The coaches have been good and we've been working on minor details and I know what I have to work on.''

Guillen's biggest complaint has been pitch selection.

''Good at-bats,'' Guillen said. ''[Jim Thome] is struggling right now, but he's giving me good at-bats. He's battling, he's working on it, he's swinging at good pitches. When you miss a ball over your head ... and I talk about myself, because I was a free-swinger, too. If the pitch bounces and you continue to swing at that or if you don't care or you don't have the concentration or you try to be lucky ... . Hopefully, when he comes back, I expect him to swing at bad pitches. I expect him to be aggressive at the plate. But you can't go from [a ball in the dirt] to over your head in back-to-back pitches. That's a lack of concentration.''

Ramirez rebounded from a slow start last season and expects to do the same this year.

''Last year I felt almost worse than I have this year,'' Ramirez said. ''As far as knowing I can do the job, I've never lost that. This year, I'm more relaxed. I feel comfortable and confidence isn't an issue with me so I feel like when I get the opportunity, I'll get it done.''

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Will the Sox please just bite the bullet and get rid of Contreras! How can anyone in their right mind continue to have confidence in him now to maybe coming out of the bullpen. Send him to the minors or just get rid of him and eat the $10M. Go Sox!!!

Weak bats equal WEAK hitting coach!! Before you get rid of Contreas, say good riddens to Greg Walker. 4 hits last nite against another pitcher with a balloon ERA. Would be nice if some of our pitchers had some offense behind them.
About time this team starts learning the strike zone, swing to meet the ball and put it in play, everyone has to swing for the fences, and how about cutting down on strikeouts! These guys see major leauge pitching day-in and day-out and it still makes me wonder, if these guys are worthy of wearing a Sox uniform. Lets start getting a new attitude and a new hitting coach, and start scoring runs which may win some more games.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on May 8, 2009 7:08 PM.

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