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

Linebrink out of set-up role

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scott_linebrink200.jpgScott Linebrink took the news seemingly well on Tuesday, but moreso because it sounded like the White Sox reliever was surprised by it above anything else.
Prior to the second game of the series with Kansas City, manager Ozzie Guillen admitted that Linebrink and his 8.44 second-half ERA were out of the eighth-inning set-up role for the time being, with Guillen saying, "We're trying to get him back on track. As soon as he's back on track and we feel like he can help us in that situation, he'll be back to his job.''
Linebrink's initial response sounded more like a player who was hearing that news for the first time.
"Get me back on track how?'' Linebrink said.
Then he insisted, "I'm there to answer the phone call whenever it rings. I don't really worry about when and where. I'm just trying to stay prepared every game.''
Linebrink earned the win on Monday, but not before he allowed a three-run homer in the eighth that tied the game up. Over his last 12 games, the right-hander has allowed 10 runs on nine walks and 15 hits over his last 12 games (10 2/3 innings pitched).
Basically, he doesn't look at all like the dominant reliever that had a 1.93 ERA in the first half of the season.
"Not because I don't trust him and not because he's not pitching the way we want,'' Guillen said of the decision on Linebrink. "It's just because I want him to relax a little bit more, don't feel like every time he's on the spot, 'Oh my God, I've got to throw the ball well.'
"But right now, everybody in the bullpen should be ready for that inning.''
Linebrink said that in a perfect world everyone in the bullpen would have defined roles, but at the end of the day it just doesn't work like that.
"In a perfect world everyone would have their own inning,'' Linebrink said. "I think we got the kind of bullpen where you do have a lot of guys with experience in the later innings of the game, so they choose to go with the hot hand. As long as we're winning ballgames I don't think there is any set way to do it.''

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3 Comments

It sure sounds to me as though Linebrink has an indifferent attitude about the situation. While the rest of the team is fighting to stay in contention, he's blowing every opportunity that's handed to him. "In a perfect world..." doesn't actually fit into anybody's strategy when everyday that you go out onto the mound you get blasted. Linebrink needs to face the facts considering that he's a multi-million dollar pitcher. The White Sox have been carrying him, not the other way around. Charlotte and Birmingham might be a good place for Linebrink to get this act together. I'd be just as happy if KW released him. Let's make room for the kind of player that takes the game seriously.

Well, at least we are not relying heavily on any OTHER pitchers who parlayed success in a park with 500 foot home run fences into a huge contract...oh..wait..

Here we go again. Why in the world does Ozzie keep putting this guy in the game too? I said before he must be related to Contreras due to the fact they both while pitching can/t hold onto a lead and always just LOVE to give the other batters a sweet pitch. Linebringk came into the game on Sunday and what did he do as usual served the other batter a nice pitch that he hit so hard that it hadn't landed yet. This guy is one or should i say another BUM that needs to be shipped out of Chicago. Linebrink's worthless and does not need to step onto the field ever again wearing a Sox uniform. I hope by 2010 we have a new pitching staff that is not afraid to attack these batters instead of feeding them. Sox 2010

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