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

June 2009 Archives

Ozzie to the Cubs?

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ozzieg.jpgCLEVELAND - If Cubbie fan ever hoped - or feared - to have Ozzie Guillen switch sides of town and become the manager for their "Lovable Losers?'' Well, it would come with a few demands and at least one death.
The Sox manager addressed that without pulling any punches on Tuesday.
"I never be in Wrigley Field [as a manager],'' Guillen insisted. "I don't give a [crap]. I can't I say I don't like Wrigley Field? Why can't I express myself? It's like I don't like to eat chicken. Why I should I have to like Wrigley Field. Whoever gets upset about that? [Bleep] them. I don't like Wrigley Field. What's wrong with that? I don't say I don't like the Cubs. Just make it clear. I don't say I don't like the Cubs. I don't say I don't like the Cubs' organization. I just hate Wrigley Field. I wish I could do something about it. The Governor of Chicago, please, build another one. I don't' know why people make such a big deal that I don't like Wrigley field. I don't work for Wrigley Field. [bleep] it.
"First of all, to manage the Cubs, Jerry Reinsdorf has to be dead. Second, to go to that job, ... I'm not going to manage at Wrigley Field. I might manage the Cubs. No, not Wrigley Field. I hate that [bleepin'] place.
"Now I hate a couple guys working for the [bleepin] Cubs. And they have nothing to do with the front office.''
Oh Larry Rothschild, c'mon down.

Dye trade talk

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CHICAGO%20WHITE%20SOX.jpgCLEVELAND - Jermaine Dye is well-versed in the trade rumor department.
So with a Bay Area newspaper reporting that the White Sox outfielder is on the radar of the San Francisco Giants and their general manager Brian Sabean, Dye continued to deliver his own company line on Monday.
"I'm not talking about trades,'' Dye said.
When asked again?
"I'm not talking about trades,'' was the response.
The Giants are not one of the six teams in his no-trade clause, but the New York Mets, who are also starting to shop for a bat, are.
What Dye would talk about, however, is the fact that as of last week, Sox Gm Ken Williams stated that he was not a seller. An assessment that Dye not only agreed with, but he was also hoping that he and his teammates could persuade Williams to get some help and be a buyer.
"We shouldn't be, we're still in it,'' Dye said, very matter-of-factly. "We're only five games out. What do I think about that? [Williams is] evaluating the club and right now he feels like right now we're still in it. That's what we feel in this clubhouse. This division is still up for grabs and we feel like we're going to do whatever we can to win this division and put ourselves in a good position around the All-Star Break.
"Hopefully, he'll look at that as whatever we need to make this team a little bit better, maybe he'll go out and do what he's known for doing. He's known for making his club better and hopefully giving us a chance to win a division again.''

Oz not having fun with Lou

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Now we're being told that Ozzie was teasing Sox PR because he doesn't like Nancy playing the organ.

Guillen clowning with Lou in first inning

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Ozzie Guillen is teasing Lou Piniella from the dugout after Milton Bradley's first-inning single, pretending a baseball bat is a gun and then grabbing a towel and pretending to hang himself. Classic Guillen.

Ozzie on Bradley

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guillen-williams.jpgHere was what manager Ozzie Guillen said about the Milton Bradley incident:
"That was awesome,'' Guillen said Saturday morning. "We made him pissed. That's not too hard to do. I just saw it, and after that it disappeared. Everyone handles the ballclub different. Lou handled it the right way because you've got 25 guys you've got to respect. You're not a manager for one player. It's all about the team. He did what he was supposed to do. He showed the team that Lou cares about his ballclub. It was good to keep [Bradley] quiet and everything was on the down-low the way it should be.''

Ozzie warns Alexei ... again

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alexei_ramirez_080_1001277c.jpgThe message has been sent to Alexei Ramirez.
What he does with it now, that's on him. But he might want to take it to heart, considering that Ozzie Guillen is the sender, and inevitably can be the executioner.
Upset with what Guillen called "lazy'' defense in Thursday's win over Los Angeles, including a defensive lapse that allowed Los Angeles to tie the game in the seventh inning and extend the game to the 13th, the White Sox manager called Ramirez out following the marathon, and then made it a topic for discussion on Friday.
"One thing about it, I don't care if he hates me or if he loves me, but this kid has an unbelievable future,'' Guillen said of Ramirez. "This kid can be one of the best in the game. My job is to get him there. How I'm going to do it, we'll see how, but I learned that from [Braves manager] Bobby Cox. When Bobby Cox told [former Atlanta outfielder] Andruw Jones right in his face, 'I [benched] you because you're better than that and you're going to be a superstar.' I think this kid has the same tools to be [a star]. If he doesn't play the game right, he's going to have a tough time playing for me.''
Guillen was asked if he had personally spoken to Ramirez about that, specifically the idea that Ramirez takes his offensive miscues out to the field with him at times, and said he had been spoken to before about it. Not only spoken to, but spent a weekend series on the bench because of it back in May.
"I should [talk to him again], just to get it out of my system,'' Guillen said. "But I'm going to let him go because I might say the wrong thing to him and all of a sudden we might create a monster. I hope he reads the paper. My coaching staff will take care of that and we'll see after that. It's not because I hate the kid, it's not because I'm picking on him. You all saw the way he went about his business after he made an out.
"I want him to be the best shortstop he can be. Alexei Ramirez is not going to be winning batting titles, he's not going to win RBI titles. The only thing this kid can do is win Gold Glove. And I know he has a chance to win a Gold Glove. Well, play like a Gold Glover.
"When I made a statement in January that this kid should be one of the best shortstops in the game, one of the best shortstops for the White Sox, I meant it. I meant it because I've seen it. That's why it's my job, Joey Cora's job, to get this kid in the right place for the rest of his career.''
Cora, who works with the infielders on defense, as well as bench coach, did make it known that Ramirez had received the criticism from Guillen, and was spoken about what he did in the win.
"The information has been given, no doubt about it,'' Cora said. "I think he's played, for the most part, he has played good. But when the ugliness shows, it shows very, very ugly. Has there been a lack of focus? No doubt about it and he knows it. He should be a guy out there that is the best player on our team. He has the potential to be the best player on our team, no doubt about that. At times he gets frustrated because of his offense and he takes it to the defense, and when you're a shortstop as good as he is, that can't happen.''
What happens next? Well, that's on Ramirez.
It's not like the Sox don't have options, considering prized rookie Gordon Beckham has played most of his life at shortstop until the switch to third this season.
"That's up to him,'' Cora added, when asked what's next. "It's like giving up at-bats. Sometimes you go up there and give up an at-bat. Well, he goes out there and gives up a defensive play that shouldn't be given up. That can't happen.
" He's young and he hasn't had as much experience as we all think, at least not on the big-league level. This is his second year, so hopefully he learns from this experience. He knows he's a great shortstop, he can play defensively with anyone else in this game, but it's a matter of taking a little bit more pride in it.''

To deal Jose or not to deal?

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ContrerasAP2.jpgJose Contreras has captured a lot of attention since returning from his self-demotion to Class AAA Charlotte to post a 2-1 record and 1.23 ERA in his last three starts with the White Sox.
And that attention is now starting to come from other organizations waiting to see if the Sox do in fact become sellers before the July 31 trade deadline.
Contreras' re-emergence as a dominant starter is win-win for the Sox whether they keep the free agent to be or trade him off. And while trade talk affected Contreras back in his New York days - before the Sox acquired him at the trade deadline in 2004 - he now understands it could very well happen.
"About 20 days before they traded me [The Yankees] told me, 'Don't worry, we're not trading you,' '' Contreras recalled through interpreter Lou Hernandez on Thursday. "July 31, about 3 o'clock, they called me in the office and said, 'We traded you. You do have a no-trade clause so you don't have to go if you don't want to.' My feeling was like being invited to a party, you show up to the party and the host says, 'Hey, actually you're not invited, but you can come in since you're here.' I'm not going into that party.
"But I felt bad. I spent my entire time on one team in Cuba, and I just didn't understand it back then. I understand it now, I know it's a business.''
That doesn't mean the right-hander is dwelling on a trade possibility, however.
"I've got added value after the last couple times I've pitched? Well, then that feels great,'' Contreras said. "It's a business and my job is to pitch. I've felt good about the way I've pitched, but haven't thought about being traded at all. My goal would to be to finish my career with the White Sox. I would love to stay here the rest of my career. But whatever team I'm going to be on, I'm going to prepare myself the same way.''
His next order of business? The Cubs, Friday afternoon.
"My complete respect to the Cubs, great team, but I'm just excited to pitch every five days,'' Contreras added. "It being the Cubs doesn't make a bit of difference.''

Jordan Danks update

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Untitled-2.jpgCINCINNATI - The Danks family could breath a sigh of relief on Saturday, as the concern over the ailing wrist of climbing prospect Jordan Danks was announced as nothing more than a sprain.
According to head trainer Herm Schneider, the Class AA Birmingham outfielder was given a splint to wear for a week, and then will be re-evaluated.
Either way, the plan is to bring him back slowly.
The Sun-Times first reported that Jordan injured the wrist over a week ago on a check swing. It was bothering him enough to where they opted to fly him to Chicago on Friday for a full exam.
"He just said it didn't feel right,'' older brother, and Sox starting pitcher, John Danks said on Friday. "I look at the numbers almost every morning, and ever since he started complaining about the wrist the numbers had gone down. He was at like .340 and now .308. Hopefully, they can figure it out.''
Jordan Danks was drafted last season, but has been a quick climber through the system. There has even been some speculation that he was on track for a September call-up this season.
That remains to be seen, especially with the Sox still trying to figure out which direction they are going.

Jordan Danks update

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Untitled-2.jpgCINCINNATI - The Danks family could breath a sigh of relief on Saturday, as the concern over the ailing wrist of climbing prospect Jordan Danks was announced as nothing more than a sprain.
According to head trainer Herm Schneider, the Class AA Birmingham outfielder was given a splint to wear for a week, and then will be re-evaluated.
Either way, the plan is to bring him back slowly.
The Sun-Times first reported that Jordan injured the wrist over a week ago on a check swing. It was bothering him enough to where they opted to fly him to Chicago on Friday for a full exam.
"He just said it didn't feel right,'' older brother, and Sox starting pitcher, John Danks said on Friday. "I look at the numbers almost every morning, and ever since he started complaining about the wrist the numbers had gone down. He was at like .340 and now .308. Hopefully, they can figure it out.''
Jordan Danks was drafted last season, but has been a quick climber through the system. There has even been some speculation that he was on track for a September call-up this season.
That remains to be seen, especially with the Sox still trying to figure out which direction they are going.

News on Linebrink and Jordan Danks

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CINCINNATI - Scott Linebrink will stay in the eighth-inning set-up role, despite his struggles the last week, according to manager Ozzie Guillen.
"He's struggling,'' Guillen said of the .318 batting average Linebrink's surrendered the last week. "He knows. I talked to him [Thursday] after the game. He just needs to throw strikes, and he knows that. He's got to be around the plate more often. He's a veteran pitcher and when you're not around the plate, you're going to get hurt. He's got to work a bit on his command. See what's wrong by watching tape. Not because he got punished [Thursday] and the day before, I'm not going to pull the cord on him. That's not professional, and when he's out there, he hasn't had many bad games. He's just had a bad week.''

Reason for concern?

According to starting pitcher John Danks, younger brother Jordan Danks spent Friday in Chicago getting his wrist examined, with the results expected on Saturday.
Jordan Danks, drafted in 2008, had been yet another one of the wave of talented players coming up through the Sox system, but about two weeks ago, started experiencing pain in the wrist on a check swing in Class AA Birmingham.
"He just said it didn't feel right,'' John Danks said. "I look at the numbers almost every morning, and ever since he started complaining about the wrist the numbers had gone down. He was at like .340 and now .308. Hopefully, they can figure it out.''
There was talk that Jordan could be a possible late-season call-up if he continued his fast-track, but now they just want to make sure there isn't a health issue that would sideline him.

No room for Fields

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610x.jpgJosh Fields is still relevant.
The one-time starting third baseman - pre-Gordon Beckham - still has a role on the team as a reserve/pinch-runner/pinch-hitter, with the White Sox in the midst of finishing up interleague play under National League rules, as well as Bartolo Colon and Carlos Quentin each on the disabled list with no timetable for a return.
But beginning on Tuesday, normalcy returns to the South Side.
That means Jim Thome is back in the designated-hitter role, less reason for the pinch-hitter, and a continued watch on the returns of Colon [knee] and Quentin [left foot]. In other words, all bad news for Fields.
So was Guillen's initial response of "who?'' when asked about Fields.
"I don't think we're going to make a move yet,'' Guillen then said on Thursday. "We still got to wait for Colon and see how he is, how he feels. That's the tough move we're going to make. Josh Fields is still with us. Unfortunately, I could not give him enough playing time.
"I got to wait to see if I can give Paul [Konerko] a rest at first base and if he can help a little bit by DH-ing, but I try to do the best I can to accommodate his situation, but it's tough right now.''
Guillen was then asked about the likelihood of Fields being sent to back to the minors so that he could play everyday, and said that scenario hadn't been discussed yet.
"We don't have that conversation yet,'' the manager said. "Fields never brought it up, [general manager] Kenny [Williams] never brought it up to me. Right now, we're playing well. When you're playing well, you don't want to make any moves. You want to leave the team the way it is. Right now it's not in our plans.''
Neither is moving Beckham.
"He's doing a tremendous job for the time playing here,'' Guillen said, when asked when they expected Beckham to be a impact defensive player at third. "How long is it going to take? Time will dictate. I don't know exactly. It could be sooner than people expect. Playing here on this level right now without much experience, he's handled it very well.''

The shirt that Ozzie loves

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5049_1162553099511_1098348974_30487519_6531966_n.jpgThe people responsible for making Ozzie Guillen so giddy about his latest T-Shirt?
Theresa Nagle and Murat Orlu, who have several stands throughout the Wrigleyville area, designed the shirt sported by the White Sox manager on Wednesday morning that reads "Ozzie mows Wrigley Field,'' and has the manager pictured pushing a lawnmower on the place that he claims makes him "puke'' to step into.
The shirt is hot and getting only hotter, and the places to pick up Guillen's latest amusement? Sheffield and Clark has a stand, as well as Sheffield and Addison.
Bring $20 bucks and a sense of humor. Leave your sensitivity at home.

Fire in the hole?

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497882a41d856.jpgThe fire in Ozzie Guillen's belly is just fine.
Evident by the fact that the White Sox manager even took time to stop at a T-shirt vendor's stand outside of Wrigley Field and buy a shirt depicting Guillen riding a lawnmower that read, "Ozzie mows Wrigley Field.''
It wasn't even a freebie, he had to dish out a $20.
But as far as the idea that both he and Cubs skipper Lou Piniella need more fire in 2009, Guillen had his own explanation for that.
"Well I think Lou is getting old and I'm getting poor. I'm broke,'' Guillen said. "Every year I donate too much money to Major League Baseball.
"I don't think we need it. One thing I follow in baseball is Lou's press conference. I never miss them, I never do. I think they're fun. And he treats you guys real good. He talks to you guys when he wants to talk to you guys. I say what I have to say the day we played poorly, I say that because of the way we were playing. Right now, I don't think we have to do it. When we have to do it, we're going out and doing it. Sometimes, it's like when your parents day in and day out all over you, and then all of a sudden the kids just start making fun of you and don't listen to you. You have to pick your spots how and when to say stuff, and how. I think right now we don't need to. Right now we know that both teams aren't playing the way they should be playing. I'll wait for a little while because I still believe that these guys can do it, and I don't think it's necessary right now to say stuff you don't have to.''
As far as if Guillen feels his tirades work with his players, well ...
"I don't give a [bleep] if they do,'' Guillen said. "That's my job. If they do it, they do it. If there's one thing about the players I have, they respect me, and I respect them. The love is mutual. I don't get paid to make friends, I get paid to manage a ballclub, and I will do the best I can to have the best of the two. I try to be the best friend I can be off the field, and on the field they are my players and I am the boss. I try to do the best I can to get the best out of them.
"I've got my style to do it, and it seems like they react real well. You ask any of my players, you ask J.D. [Jermaine Dye], or P.K. [Paul Konerko], Bobby [Jenks], I've got my way and they've heard it before. Every time I say something in the paper they know what's going on and they know why I said it.''

Konerko on Sosa: 'Not a story'

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Konerko.jpgTeam captain Paul Konerko dismissed the Sammy Sosa steroid story as a non-story in his eyes, and gave an explanation why.
"First to me, it's just not a story,'' Konerko said. "Some guy writes an article, the sources aren't public. One of two things needs to happen: Either whoever is going to report, these sources, put your name behind it and put your face out there and tell people who you are. Or someone admits to it and that's what happened in the Alex Rodriguez thing.
"That's the only two ways that this becomes a story. Obviously, you guys are standing here so it's a story. But I just think that it's just sad it has come to the fact that news now is on reports, unnamed sources and that kind of stuff. It gives it a bad name for you guys [the media].''

Oz on Wrigley: 'I puke every time I go there'

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497882a41d856.jpgMILWAUKEE - Ozzie Guillen wasn't looking to make friends with Cubs fans that feel the need to defend Wrigley Field as some hallowed ground that should never be desecrated.
But what the Sox manager did want on Sunday was for them to at least respect his opinion.
"Oh, I don't care if they hate me, the don't feed my kids,'' Guillen said of the Cubbie faithful. "They hate me, that's cool. People, no matter how famous you are, they hate you or they love you. I see the other day they asked [Joe] Crede about the rats [in Wrigley], at least I have something that people can read and write and listen to, but I never put the Cubs fans down, I've always admired the Cubs office, I always made my feelings known about Cubs players, about the manager, about Lou [Piniella] now, [general manager] Jim Hendry and the way I respect them, a lot, a lot, but Wrigley Field? I puke every time I go there. I'm just being honest.
"If the Cubs fans don't like the way I talk about Wrigley Field ... I don't say anything about their fans, but Wrigley Field? They have to respect my opinion because that's the way I feel. A lot of great people are working there, the clubhouse people working there - I wish they had a better clubhouse, but besides that, it's exciting when the game starts. Of course it's exciting because that's one of the best, it's always crowded. But besides that, it's terrible.''
Guillen said that Cubs fans should have hatred for him if he singled out people in the organization, or players, or even the fans in general.
"I just tell you the truth,'' Guillen said. "If they hate me for that, I don't pay much attention to it. I'd rather have somebody say you hate the place you live, rather than the people who live on it. If I ever say I hate the players, the organization or the Cubs uniforms, then it's something bad. But when you say you hate the building, that's the stupidity of the people acting like 'I hate you because you don't like Wrigley Field.' If I say I don't like Derrick Lee or I hate Lou Piniella, there are a lot of reasons to hate me because that's part of their team. I just don't like going to the building. Besides that, a lot of nice people.
"Every time I walk to Wrigley Field, people treat me like a king. The people that work at Wrigley field, like the front office people, the security guards, the people who work there are very honest and treat me well. I just hate the building.''

Beckham still standing ... with swagger

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ncaa_ap_gbeckham1_300.jpgMILWAUKEE - If there were any concerns that Gordon Beckham is at all balled up in a corner, fetal position and all, feeling completely overmatched by what he has seen since his promotion from Class AAA Charlotte, the rookie tried to put those concerns to rest on Saturday.
And doing so with the same swagger that caught the media's attention during spring training.
"No,'' Beckham responded, when asked if he felt overmatched, sitting 2-for-28 (.071) through his first eight games. "Look, no disrespect to the pitchers, they're getting me out and I'm not looking great up there. The stuff does not overmatch me. A lot of it is me getting myself out and that's not good. I have to have good at-bats, get a pitch I can hit and square it up. After that I can't do much besides hit it, and where it goes, I don't know.
"I haven't felt overmatched. I'm still energized. I think I'm still over-energized honestly. I get to the plate and in the back of my head I'm thinking, 'I haven't gotten many hits, get a hit.' Then the first pitch I see I'm going after it. I need to go up there and relax.''
The third baseman said he has been talking to teammates about other players who have started their big-league career slowly, and while that helps, it doesn't change the fact that he wants to breakout.
"I've heard all that,'' Beckham said. "But I hope I get going here. I've heard, 'I started this.' I have friends that play for the Braves telling me, 'I was 2-for-32.' I know this is just me trying to figure it out and when I do I'll be fine, but I want to start hitting, I want to start winning, and helping this team. It's frustrating for me because I don't feel like I'm helping this team much.
"It's frustrating I guess, but I'm not down. A.J. [Pierzynski] said, 'Just relax, just try and relax, calm down. I know it's hard, and no one said that would be the easy part.' I'm still trying to figure it out and I think I will.''

t1_ozzie_si.jpgMILWAUKEE - Manager Ozzie Guillen continued making sure he would be getting a warm welcome from the Wrigley faithful when the Sox play there next, again expressing his feelings about the "rat-infested'' Cubs ballpark on Friday.
"You asked the wrong guy about Wrigley field,'' Guillen responded, when asked by a local Milwaukee reporter about playing at Wrigley and old County Stadium. "I'd rather play on the moon than Wrigley Field.''

News on Konerko

After receiving a second shot in the last three months in his chronically injured right thumb, Paul Konerko said that he would be "surprised'' if he wasn't back in the starting lineup for Saturday's game with Milwaukee.
Guillen wasn't going to hold his team captain to that, but did say that Konerko was in the plans as far as the starting lineup went for Game 2 against Milwaukee.
"I'm not going to say he's playing [Saturday] because maybe he can't,'' Guillen said. "But the way he sounds, we're going to see what he can do. He's going to try to play.
"PK knows how he feels because he's been through this for three years. He knows when he feels good, when he feels bad. He knows when he gets up in the morning, 'Wow, it's a battle,' because he's sore. But he has to deal with that for the rest of his life, I guess.''

Konerko injury not that bad

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Paul-Konerko_1.jpgThe right thumb injury to Paul Konerko is not as bad as first believed, and manager Ozzie Guillen declared that the first baseman could even be available to play Friday night in Milwaukee.
Konerko spoke to the media Thursday morning and reiterated that it was the same injury that hampered him for years, with it getting to a point of no return after his third at-bat against Justin Verlander on Wednesday.
The team captain had a shot - more for prevention - back in mid-March, with the hope that he wouldn't need another one until the All-Star Break. That plan went out the window, however, as he was scheduled to receive that July shot a bit earlier, specifically this afternoon.
Until Konerko is ready to return Josh Fields will be the Sox starting first baseman.

Draft wraps up for Sox

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2538586282_a078d50152.jpgThe Sox wrapped up Day 2 of the draft on Wednesday, with 32 picks, a lot of talk about "high-ceiling'' guys and now the task of starting the signing process.
General manager Ken Williams sure liked what he saw from his amateur drafting department.
"You know, I think it was a nice job by the guys,'' Williams said. "They really worked it. And even in the 14th, 15th rounds, we took some guys that really have some high, high ceilings, but because of some unusual circumstances, they've fallen. There are a lot of intriguing guys that we have in place. Combine that with what we already have and yeah, it could turn out very well.''
Two of the first three picks were outfielders, while they added two catchers.
While Williams didn't go into details on his specific picks, he did have some interesting comments on No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg, nabbed by Washington. Williams said he would not hesitate to throw the flame-throwing phenom right into his big-league rotation.
"I saw him pitch,'' Williams said. "I'd put him in the rotation. In this league, in the rotation ... Maybe not, because he's got some innings underneath him, but talking from the talent level the man possesses ... ''

A.J. vs. Dontrelle?

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22531475.jpgSo what happened between Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski and Detroit pitcher Dontrelle Willis in the fourth inning?
Well, according to Pierzynski, nothing but a misunderstanding.
Tigers players have been extra protective of their pitcher and his "anxiety problems,'' so when Pierzynski said "Hey'' to Willis after making an out, it hit the fan.
Tigers catcher Gerald Laird stepped in, and both teams began running onto the field immediately, with even the bullpens emptying. No punches were thrown, however.
"They thought there was something there, there was nothing there,'' Pierzynski said. "They were being protective of him. I said, 'Hey,' to [Willis] and they went crazy, I don't know. I said, 'Hey,' and then he said 'Hey,' and next thing I know the benches were empty and all hell was breaking loose. I don't have any problem with anyone on their team.
"If anybody else would have said anything it probably wouldn't have been a good deal, but once again I'm in the middle of a crock of [crap], so whatever.''

Sox first pick is in and 'hanging out'

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Sox select LSU outfielder/speedster/wide receiver Jared Mitchell with their first-round pick [23rd overall], addressing one of the biggest needs in the organization.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder is a lefty and considered one of the better athletes in the draft. Plus, in his LSU football bio he said one of his favorite things to do is "hanging out.''
No news yet, but if the Sox can sign him in the next 24 hours, there is a strong chance he can be called up by Friday, before the Milwaukee series.
"I'm very excited for a couple of reasons: Number one, Jared is just an outstanding young man,'' director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann said of the pick. "He played some baseball in the Cincinnati area where I live the past couple of years, and I got an opportunity to know the people that spent a lot of time with him, and first and foremost, he's an excellent, outstanding young man. Secondly, one of the things we were trying to accomplish in this draft was to find the high-ceiling, athletic type of player. We certainly weren't going to sacrifice the ability of some guys just to get that, but as it turned out he was the one guy that we felt was the best player on the board and at the same time fit exactly what we were looking for. A potential lead-off type of guy and a high-ceiling type of guy.''

Guillen on Poreda and Fields

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t1_ozzie_si.jpgOzzie Guillen was very clear on two fronts Tuesday.

First, that Aaron Poreda is not here to develop, he's here to produce out of the bullpen. And if he doesn't?
"I talked to him and made it real clear, 'If you don't pitch well, you're going to have O'Hare Airport next to you pretty soon,' '' Guillen explained. "I said, 'Did you arrive at Midway or O'Hare?' He said, 'O'Hare.' I said, ''Well, on the way back, Midway is closer.' Because this is to win. I think he can help us, I think our scouting report and our minor-league people said we can count on him to win. It's another good arm in the bullpen. This kid can be used as a long man, against anybody, lefty or righty, and he gives me another good arm in the pen.
"This isn't instructional league. I make it really clear to him, this isn't development. You're going to be treated the same way as everyone else. If you don't do the job, we have Southwest airlines waiting for you to go to Charlotte. That's the only one with nonstop, I already checked.''

As far as Josh Fields wanting some more answers from the organization about his future?

"Oh, you better be careful for what you say and what you wish,'' Guillen said. "It's not my fault that we brought [Gordon] Beckham here. If [general manager] Kenny [Williams] brought Beckham here, it's because Josh Fields was not doing his job. Am I wrong? If you were playing good, I don't think we should have to do that, but I don't think he was playing the way we think he can play. Right now, we're going to give the kid [Beckham] the shot, but I don't call people up, I don't do anything with the minor leagues. He was not doing what he was supposed to do and that's why they called Beckham up. Kenny didn't tell me anything about that.''

Poreda gets the call - Colon out?

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fantasy_g_poreda_576.jpgThe youth movement continues on the South Side, as a source close to the situation confirmed that left-hander Aaron Poreda is going to be added to the 25-man roster today, likely taking Bartolo Colon's spot in the starting rotation.
Manager Ozzie Guillen admitted on Monday that he and general manager Ken Williams had a lengthy meeting before the first game of the doubleheader with Detroit to discuss different scenarios, and with the Jake Peavy deal falling flat, as well as Colon's struggles - possibly health related, Guillen hinted - had no choice but to go with their best prospect in Poreda.
The paper trail on the Freddy Garcia signing also then makes sense, as the club feels that if Poreda or a Clayton Richard falls on their face, Garcia can come in and give them the same workload as Colon did.
The Sox are yet to officially confirm anything going on, but are expected to announce the moves this afternoon at some point.
The other decision that has to be made then will be what to do with Jose Contreras after his lights-out performance Monday night. In all likelihood, he could take Richard's spot, putting the southpaw back in the bullpen as a safety net if Poreda struggles.
But make no mistake, the youth movement is on ... whether it's admitted or not.

Fields questioning timing of Beckham call-up

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610x.jpgEven after a sit-down meeting with manager Ozzie Guillen, Josh Fields still wants answers from the organization.
Not only answers about his future, but what he felt was bad timing from the club to call up highly-touted prospect Gordon Beckham and handing him third base, making the entire situation "awkward.''
"As a player you go through a thing where you kind of have people that have confidence in you, your front office and your manager having confidence in you, and I really don't know this situation,'' Fields said. "It's been weird. Ozzie sat me down the other day and tried to go through it a little bit, but it's kind of hard to swallow I think. If I was still at .212 like I was for a while, it would be easier, but pulling my average up and the team getting into second place, it just kind of came surprising I guess.
"I asked [Guillen] a couple of questions, but I have more questions for [general manager] Kenny [Williams] and I haven't been able to actually sit down and talk to him. I know the draft is coming up and stuff, but we'll get to sit down here before long and we'll get to ask all of the questions that I need to.''
Asked if he was frustrated about the timing of the Beckham call up, Fields responded, "I think so.''
"Obviously they have their reasons,'' Fields said. "I'm just an employee, so I don't make decisions. But you can always look at things and say 'Why this, why that?' We're struggling now and I think everyone knows that, that's the truth. As a team and individually we were really struggling, but to then come back to within [3 ½] games ... I mean I would kind of consider this a big change, not just a small tweak. To be doing pretty well as a team at that time and then to make a big change, it's still kind of a question that I'll have to ask.''
Fields isn't even sure he'll like the answer, but at least he'll have one that eases his mind.
As it stands right now, all he can hope for is something gives. Whether that means him being traded or some other piece being moved, that remained unclear for the 26-year-old.
"Right now it's kind of sit and see how it plays out,'' Fields said. "I've been getting in there and playing some third, I played the DH the other day, so it's not like I've sat a whole bunch of games, Ozzie is still playing me. But it's kind of an awkward situation for everyone. Not only myself, but teammates as well. You don't want that to happen.
"I think something will happen pretty soon, whether it's, no telling, something like them getting rid of me or something like that for someone else that can possibly help the team. You never know. I don't think it will stay awkward for too much longer. They've won too long and know how to win, and they'll figure something out.''

Beckham-mania hits the South Side

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gordon_beckham.jpgManager Ozzie Guillen wasn't pulling many punches on Monday when the topic of the "golden child'' were brought up.
"The last thing we worry about is [Gordon] Beckham, and I don't know why people in Chicago fell in love with this kid,'' Guillen said in his pre-game media gathering. "He's a great player, he's going to be in the big leagues, he's going to be a big part of this organization pretty soon. But we don't have Beckham on our mind right now. I don't and I'm the one making the lineup. If we have Beckham here, we're in trouble.''
Well, following the 5-3 loss to Oakland, trouble has obviously hit the South Side, and this afternoon, so will Beckham-mania.
In the wake of a second consecutive loss to Oakland, the White Sox announced that their first-round pick from the 2008 draft [eighth overall] was called up after just 59 professional games, with Wilson Betemit being designated for assignment.
The natural shortstop turned third baseman will be the fastest Sox No. 1 draft choice to reach the majors since Alex Fernandez was selected fourth overall on June 4, 1990 and made his debut on Aug. 2 of that season at Milwaukee, a span of 58 days.
How he will be used? Well, that now falls on Guillen, who saw him play all three infield positions during spring training. But from the way it sounded, current third baseman Josh Fields may see his playing time significantly cut into.
"I hope I can sleep [Wednesday night] and not think about it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have some Vodka knock myself down,'' Guillen said, almost mocking the media hype surrounding the 22-year-old. "Beckham, he's going to play. Where's going to play? We're going to find out. How we're going to start him, where we're going to start him. Move him around. Play a little bit third base, second base, help 'The Missile' [Alexei Ramirez] get a rest, but I have to get him at-bats. Now he's here ... ''
Then Guillen said with a laugh, "I hope he can save us.''
The 6-foot-0, 190-pounder combined to hit .326 with 23 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI in 45 combined games this season between Class AA Birmingham and Class AAA Charlotte.
Guillen also went on to say that Fields would start getting some work at first base and the designated hitter spot, which means there will be a lot of moving parts in the lineup from day-to-day.
"He's got some talent,'' Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said of Beckham. "He's got a chance to be a really good player. He definitely can hit. Physically he has all the tools.''
Pierzynski would know, considering he was Beckham's locker neighbor, and No. 1 tormentor, in spring training.
"We've become pretty good friends, just goofing around, so ... he's Georgia, he's from Georgia - at least [hitting coach Greg] Walker will have someone to cry on his shoulder with,'' Pierzynski said. "He's not the savior, he's just one piece.''
But can Beckham be ready this quickly?
"He was a college player, one of the best, if not the best, so these guys are polished and need a little less time, but it's quick. There's no argument there,'' Paul Konerko said. "Again, we have people that are watching the game, guys like [farm director] Buddy Bell. I have a hard time believing Buddy Bell has been watching a guy play and he's going to call him up here and say this guy is not going to help this team.''

Ozzie lets critics of his lineup have it

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060520_brawl_vlarge_12p_widec.jpgThe Dewayne Wise-Brian Anderson debate became a touchy situation on Wednesday, as White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made it very clear to fans and critics exactly who makes the lineup.
Guillen was asked what he thought about Wise since his early return off the 15-day disabled list, and after initially answering, "Terrible,'' it became classic Ozzie.
"But in the meanwhile, people in Chicago have to understand, the media, fans, this guy only played two games in the minor leagues to rehab,'' Guillen insisted, getting more animated. "It's not fair, but we had him come up for a reason, because somebody else got hurt. If [Carlos] Quentin didn't get hurt, believe me, Wise would still have some at-bats in the minor leagues. It's not his fault, his swing's not in good shape right now. It's my fault and I'm tired, really tired, of fans and media talking about Wise anymore.
"He played because I wanted him to play. He played because I made the stinking lineup. If they don't like it, that's not my problem. There's only guy I have to tell why I play Wise, [general manager] Kenny Williams. That's it. Every time I read it, all of the sudden they're in love with Brian Anderson. I like Brian. Some people tell me I hate Brian, I've got something against Brian. Please, I give this guy [Wise] at-bats because he needs it and I want to get him in hitting shape the best I can, the quickest I can.''
As for Anderson, the constant talk about him being in and out of the lineup is also getting old for him.
"I know how to deal with it more, but it's more frustrating than anything,'' Anderson said. "Obviously when you're swinging the bat well you want to be in there, but Dewayne came back from his injury and he shouldn't be penalized for getting hurt. At the same time, if you feel good, you want to play. I think that's just natural.''
It's also not lost on Anderson that there is debate in the court of public opinion on how fair of a chance the Sox have given him since he fell on his face in 2006.
"I'm just going with the flow.'' Anderson said. "I don't look into it too much because I think it's a lot of wasted energy. I appreciate the support of the fans, and then for the people that say I got my chance in '06, that's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion, it doesn't bother me. At the same time, you want to look for consistency and that goes with playing and producing as much as possible.''
But how it all plays out, well, that is all Guillen's call.
"If they don't like it when Wise comes to hit, turn the TV off, turn the radio off or turn around and start walking towards the concession stand,'' Guillen added. "They don't have to watch him hit.''

Guillen: No trades looming

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ozzie%20(mouthpiecesports_com).jpgThe White Sox are no strangers to being involved in the rumor mill, but on Tuesday, manager Ozzie Guillen insisted that all is quiet with his club, and quiet for a reason.
"It's because we're playing good,'' Guillen said.
But beyond the obvious, Guillen did say that as far as he was concerned, the current 25-man roster is good enough to take this team to where it set out when they broke spring camp. At the same time, he is confident that the failed Jake Peavy trade at least showed that general manager Ken Williams has the blessing from board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to increase the payroll, and do so by taking on a large salary if need be.
"If the starting rotation is doing well ... but if the starting rotation isn't doing what they're supposed to do than the middle relievers become important, very important,'' Guillen said about his current roster. "Right now on the field, I have the guys that are doing what they're supposed to do.
"When you're playing good it's kind of hard [to think trade]. You ask me this thing two or three weeks ago, I would have wanted 20 guys out of the ballclub. Listen, if we have to make a move, it will be a move that had to be made. The chairman said yes to Peavy, which had a lot of money involved, then I have no doubt they will say yes to whatever Kenny presents. If there's something out there that will help this ballclub Kenny will do it, because the chairman already said yes with a lot of money involved.''
Guillen did have an hour-long conversation with Williams Sunday evening, but they only discussed baseball near the end of that talk and no trades were discussed.
"Believe me, [assistant GM] Rick Hahn, Kenny, myself, the coaches, we don't need to have a meeting to talk about it,'' Guillen said. "You see it every day. I talk to Rick and Kenny about it, and they will know better than me what we need and what can get done because they have an opportunity to watch 10 to 12 games upstairs [every night]. I watch one and the scoreboard. We haven't talked about [adding] anything.''

Oswalt was never an option

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Example_ScapularLoading_Good_RoyOswalt_2007_016.jpgKen Williams would like to comment in detail on all the trade talk surrounding Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt.
Then again, the White Sox general manager insisted that he could only comment on something that had some sort of truth to it.
"I really prefer not to get into confirming or denying something because you tip your hand and if you tip your hand, you don't get anything done,'' Williams said on Monday. "But I'll make the exception so everyone can relax a little bit. I haven't talked to the Houston Astrrois about any pitching whatsoever.''
Williams was then asked about a Houston Chronicle story in which is was assumed that Oswalt would go the Jake Peavy route, using his no-trade clause to block a deal to the South Side.
"You want me to respond to something we haven't made an overture towards?'' Williams said. "He probably hasn't been asked the question and someone has written or talked about it as though it were something that was imminent or a reality. And it's not.''
The first manager Ozzie Guillen heard of the Oswalt rumors didn't even come from his GM. It came from his middle son, Oney.
"I just want to laugh because some people are making deals out there,'' Guillen said. "They aren't even close to being around us. The only guy who can get that thing clear is Kenny. Kenny is not going to lie to you guys. Kenny likes to do stuff, you know what I mean, and not make a big deal about it. When I see people who are not White Sox people saying we're going to make this move, we're going to make that move, I just laugh.
"I just find out when Oney text messaged me to ask me about it. The way we throw the ball and the way we do stuff, I don't think we need anybody right now.''
Williams did admit that Sox special assistant Bill Scherrer was watching Houston last week, but was there as part of his normal routine. What then happened was the media tried to make it fit into a nice little box, especially in the wake of the Sox' interest in acquiring Peavy.
"Billy Scherrer happens to be on his regular tour,'' Williams said. "I didn't even know he was in Houston. Because he's seen, there's an automatic assumption.
"I'm very sensitive about false hustle. The perception, during the offseason you see this more, clubs say they are going after this guy or that guy, and it's like, 'Really?' It's false hustle and misleading to your fan base.''

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