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

I'm Freddy Garcia - do I look worried?

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t1_garcia-753386.jpgCLEVELAND - Time is a luxury the White Sox cannot afford to waste this season.
Not when the Minnesota Twins look like a well-oiled machine on offense, apparently solved that so-called closer problem that was going to hamstring them, and suddenly have American League East money to spend.
This is not 2009, where one could tell from the start that it would be a scrum come September. This is 2010, where the Twins are a year older, a year wiser, and poised to tap out the rest of the Central by late July if the other four teams keep blinking, waiting for the switch to flip.
"I don't worry about the new ballpark or new contracts,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said Friday, of the Twins flexing their muscles the first 10 games into the season. "I worry about [Minnesota's] good players. Very underrated. I wonder why. This season, I don't see any difference from the last two. It's going to be a fight all the way to the end. Obviously there are a couple of teams out there with good make-up, Detroit and Minnesota always have a good ballclub. I think if you fall asleep against Cleveland or Kansas City you will pay the price. In this division you've got to come every day and compete.''
That's why the stumble by Freddy Garcia on Thursday might be a bigger deal than the Sox would like to show.
Publicly, it's easy to brush it off as one bad start. Privately, the staff is hoping that it's not the first hole in the starting staff about to spring open.
Garcia's first outing of the year against Minnesota, the veteran looked stellar. Then again, that was coming off of nine days rest. Thursday's three-plus innings of dribbling down his leg came on normal rest. The same normal rest that Garcia was struggling with throughout the spring.
With top pitching prospect Daniel Hudson waiting, and willing, in the minors, Garcia was asked on Friday if he felt like he had to start looking over his shoulder.
"I don't think about anyone else,'' Garcia said. "I think about me. I don't care if they have Roy Halladay in Triple-A. I got to do what I got to do and they got to do what they got to do. I don't want to worry about that stuff. If I don't do the job, something is going to happen. But for right now, I got to think about my next start.
"If they have Daniel Hudson or Roy Halladay, good for them. I got to worry about me. I don't have to think about what they have at Triple-A or Double A. I'm here and I try to do my job.''
Garcia said that he felt great warming up in the bullpen before the finale against the Jays, and then something strange happened between that warm-up and his walk to the mound. What was it? Garcia wishes he knew.
"I don't know what the hell happened at the start of the game,'' Garcia said. "I was off. I was watching the video and it was two different people.''
So now there's good Freddy and bad Freddy.
"I'll continue to do my stuff and try to get better,'' Garcia said. "I cannot go one good one and one bad one. I got to be more consistent. That's what I think.''
What matters, however, is what his bosses eventually think. With Jake Peavy struggling out of the gate, the Sox cannot afford the perceived strength of the club to spend April and May trying to find itself. Not when the offense already has that department covered.
Garcia's next start is scheduled to come on Wednesday, and it comes with an extra day off. Make no mistake about it, Garcia will be closely watched. But according to him, he's his toughest critic.
"You can't wait for the next five days,'' Garcia said of wanting to get back out there, "to go to the mound and do your thing.''

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I found a said "late July" i think you meant "mid May"

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on April 16, 2010 10:50 PM.

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