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

Jenks vs. Major League Baseball

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bobby-jenks-pink-goatee.jpgCLEVELAND - Bobby Jenks wasn't going to back down from anything he did or said over the weekend, and if Major League Baseball doesn't like it, well, the White Sox closer said that it was no longer his problem.
"If there's something on my mind, yeah, I'll say it,'' Jenks insisted on Monday. "But again, I wasn't trying to hit him. If they investigate that, they'll see that. It wasn't a dirty pitch. It wasn't up. It was right at his butt. That's all I can say.''
Jenks and the Sox, no strangers to controversy, once again became lightening rods over the weekend in the series with Texas.
After the Rangers hit six hitters in four games this season, Jenks unloaded a pitch to Ian Kinsler on Saturday, which went behind the second baseman. He told reporters over the next few days that it was a message pitch, admitting that he needed to protect his hitters.
That smoking gun was enough to catch the eye of the league office, and according to manager Ozzie Guillen, a further investigation into the situation was on going.
"Investigating? It's not a crime,'' Guillen said. "I mean Bobby didn't even get close to hitting him. If you hit the guy and you hurt him, then I see something wrong. But they have their way to do their stuff and we are still waiting to see what decision they make and then we see what happens.
"I'm not going to get caught up in that. That's all publicity. They have to do something, they have to do something. If not, then move along ... After they do something, I see how we handle it ourselves.''
The topic of protecting hitters is a sore subject on the South Side these days, especially considering the Sox have been hit 331 times since 2004, while only hitting opposing hitters 270 times, the fewest in baseball over that span.
It's their mouths, however, that seem to get them in more trouble than actually welting the opposition with fastballs.
Both general manager Ken Williams and Guillen have been candid about what their pitchers need to do, and that stance hasn't changed.
"I see a lot of my hitters almost with broken hands on back-to-back days,'' Guillen said. "I never retaliated because I think it no was on purpose. But in the meanwhile, if I'm the hitter, and I keep getting hit and my pitchers don't protect me, I don't want to play for them.
"That's the way baseball is and how it's going to be. Am I outspoken about it? Maybe it's my fault because every time I hit somebody, I say, 'Yes, I did.' I got in trouble. I paid my dues. I paid my money. They sent me to correctional houses. But in the meanwhile, fans have to know what's going on in the game.
"I see other managers hitting people left and right and they say we don't try to do it. I did it one time and I take the blame and I pay a lot of money. I'm not like another manager when they hit people every other day and they hide behind the bush like, 'We try to pitch inside and we don't mean it.' Oh, really?''
The Sox were hoping to hear from the league by today, one way or the other.
"Yeah [it was a message],'' Jenks said. "Protecting my guys as well. You don't want to see anyone getting hurt. My intentions were not to hurt the guy, like I said, before.
"That's where I pitch, guys. I throw fastballs in. Whether, I did miss my spot, yeah, it went behind him. Other than that, that's all I can do.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on May 11, 2009 6:54 PM.

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