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with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

May 2010 Archives

Is the clock ticking on Beckham?

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Beckham.jpgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - It's become an on-going South Side trilogy - "The Sitting of Gordon Beckham Part III.''
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's hope now is this latest benching of the second-year infielder isn't unfolding into a tragedy.
"Try and give Beckham other break, give him a couple days off and see how it helps,'' Guillen said on Sunday. "We do everything we can to get this kid going. He's swinging the bat a little bit better right now. There's no doubt. But in the meanwhile, it's hard to see day in and day out, go through the same stuff, same at-bats. It's funny because every time he hits the ball hard it's right at people.
"The most satisfaction for any manager is to win games, but besides win games, it's when your players play good, enjoy the season and have everything going for them. There's nothing worse than to see your players struggle and suffer, they don't know how to come out of that. It's not easy. If you don't feel for the guys, it's easier. You don't care about those guys it's easier to say, 'F--- it, I don't care what they're doing.' In the meanwhile, you have those feelings and the relationships with the players is good enough, you feel for them. Maybe they don't believe that, maybe they don't even care about that, but you do. You want them to do good. Every time they hit the ball hard right at people, it hurts.''
The 23-year-old Beckham has his own issues to deal with. Besides hitting .167 without an extra-base hit in the month of May, now he has to deal with everyone around him chirping in with their own advice.
"Everyone wants to give their two cents,'' Beckham admitted. "You always appreciate it, but most of the time, people really don't know what you're going through. The good news is I'm out of my head. I feel like I'm going up there and having good at-bats and swinging the bat well and it's getting through the zone very quick. I can't control where it goes, but a lot of people want to give their input.''
Beckham said that checking his Facebook page has even become an adventure these days.
"Obviously, you don't want to hear something like, 'You're doing this,' '' Beckham continued. "Like someone posted on my Facebook page about my swing. I had no idea who he is. He said I was flying open, which is definitely not what I'm doing.
"I don't know if I de-friended him. I erased the post. But I can only look at what I've done recently, and what I've done recently is enough to get it done. It's just that not everything is falling for me.''
The question the Sox have to start weighing is would Beckham be better off trying to get his confidence back in the minor leagues or do they ride out the storm and hope he learns a valuable lesson from it?
"I don't truly believe that if you send a player to the minor leagues you lose him,'' Guillen explained. "I remember they sent Jack McDowell down, they sent Jon Garland down, they've sent a lot of guys down. They came out and bounced back. I don't believe if they send this guy down - not just him, any guy - I don't think we'll lose him, that he might not get his confidence back in the big leagues.
"Our choices [up here] are pretty thin. Backup [Omar] Vizquel and [Jayson] Nix back there? In the meanwhile, it's not my call. It's my call when I see the players don't play hard for me or I don't see the player go about his business the right way. Then it's my call. But send people down to get a break, that's someone else's call. My job is to try and put him in the best situation where he can have success and go from there.
"He's playing hard, he's handling it real well. That's surprising me. Maybe that thing is killing him inside, maybe he wants to kill himself, but he goes out there about his business, handles it the right way, like a pro. It might be something he learns from. That happened to one of the best players I've ever played around, it happened to Robin [Ventura]. And Robin handled it pretty well and came out and was a superstar.''
The Sox can only hope for a similar ending.

Jenks on all the trade talk

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Jenks.jpgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Bobby Jenks doesn't need to storm into the office of Ken Williams and ask the general manager what's going on.
Not that it would make the trade rumors swirling around the White Sox closer necessarily go away anyway.
No, the solution is much easier - win.
It's that simple.
Williams can tell the players whatever he wants to in team meetings, but the bottom line is the Sox will push forward intact as long as the product on the field is staying within range of the first-place Minnesota Twins.
And even if it drops too far out of view, that doesn't mean a complete fire sale is in the plans.
Look no further than the disastrous 2007 season, in which the Sox were basically out of it by mid-May. When it came time to start throwing decks chairs overboard on the sinking ship, only Tadahito Iguchi and Rob Mackowiak were July sacrifices.
Post-World Series, Williams has all but refused to tap out on a season, no matter how bleak it looks.
Even if Jenks is moved by the July 31 trade deadline, he might be one of only several players to change addresses.
"I don't make those decisions,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said of that scenario on Saturday. "I'm the type of guy, I wish I have the same players for the rest of my life, but that's not going to happen. That's Kenny's decision, and what he sees and what he wants and needs and moving players out of here, I just got a small portion of the opinion, especially what we're going to do.''
Guillen reiterated the fact that not only does Williams not like to lose, but he doesn't like hosting South Side sales, either, no matter what the standings say.
"I don't think Kenny is going to give up easy,'' Guillen said. "I don't think he's going to cash in this season. The thing is if we don't go anywhere in the next couple months, well, [Williams] has to make a decision.''
Jenks is also making a decision.
Asked about how much a trade possibility is weighing on his mind, the righty said, "No, It's the same thing with the other stuff. You would just drive yourself crazy thinking about it. I just let the ball bounce wherever it does.''
Jenks was then asked if that comes easy for him.
"Yes and no,'' he replied. "Your curiosity, you still want to know what's going on. That's what is great about these guys. You can go in and ask if you wanted to. I think right now, we are playing good baseball and starting to win some series and if we can keep doing that, we shouldn't have to worry about it.''
More importantly, Guillen is still showing faith in Jenks, vowing to use him out of the bullpen, no matter what the role is.
"As long as he's here, I'm going to pitch him and I don't see this team a better team with him not out there,'' Guillen said. "We will, if we have to move him out of the closer's role, but I think we're a better team when he's closing.''
Whether that's true or not, at least Guillen knows he has options. That has been on display this year, whether Jenks has been in a rut or fighting a calf injury like he is now.
Besides Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz, rookie Sergio Santos threw his name in the hat as far as wanting a chance to close, and could get his wish.
"We got it covered,'' Guillen said. "We got guys who can do that. Look at Santos and the way Thornton threw the ball, even J.J. Putz. We have three, four guys who can over that space until [Jenks] comes back [from the calf injury].''

mlb_g_santos_576.jpgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Through the first two months of the season, Sergio Santos' major-league climb from one-time struggling infielder to dominant relief pitcher has all the makings of a Disney movie.
The problem is that the White Sox right-hander isn't done writing the script on 2010.
How it ends? That's what the 26-year-old is wondering.
Santos is straddling a fine line. He's been dominant through his first 18 appearances, allowing one run in 17 1/3 innings pitched for a filthy 0.52 ERA, but has been handled with kid's gloves for the most part.
Santos not only wants the gloves off, but wants to see if he can stand up to the pressure of closing games.
"Yeah, I would be lying to say that I didn't, but [current closer Bobby Jenks], he's so established with what he's done,'' Santos said. "His track record speaks for itself. Then you have two other really good candidates that can shut games down - J.J. [Putz] has shown real success and I think [Matt] Thornton's doing just an incredible job, so he can be given that same opportunity.
"If it was a different bullpen I think it would be different, but when you have so many guys in the backend of the bullpen that can close games, and I still think you have one of the best ones in the game in Bobby. He just needs to get into kind of a little groove and then do what he's always done.''
Santos was then asked if he felt he was ready for the bull's eye that comes with trying to get those last three outs of a game, and didn't shy away.
"If it was presented to me then I would be looking forward to that challenge, absolutely,'' he said. "And I won't find out if I'm ready until I'm thrown into that situation. Until then I'm going to take every opportunity and every situation like I am closing the game, regardless of the score or what the situation is. In my mind, that's the way to approach it, the best way to kind of get ready for it.''
The rub?
According to a source, the Sox have been contacted about Jenks by several teams, but the conversations have gone no further than gauging availability. And yes, he is very available. In order for the Sox to maximize his value on the trade market, they have to show that his seven saves carry more weight than his 6.35 ERA.
In other words, would they like to see if Santos could be a closer of the future? Certainly, but not at the expense of discounting Jenks' value on the market.
"If Bobby is not our closer, our bullpen is not as good as it can be,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said of Jenks before leaving the team on Friday. "We have to keep him out there and make sure we can trust him and make sure he knows we believe he can do that.
"He will dictate how long he will be out there. I still have confidence in the kid. I think he's still throwing the ball well. He's just not getting it done.''
So for now, Santos - who has been pitching for just over a year - will have to wait. A wait that would be made a bit easier if he knew exactly what he's waiting for, what his exact role was.
Asked if he's been given any indication that he might get a chance to save a game, so be ready, he replied, "No not really, it's kind of like ... which kind of stinks, it's more like from the sixth on you can go in at any time,'' Santos said. "I've gone in the sixth inning when we've been in a close game, been up a lot, down by a lot, and then I've come in during the eighth inning when we've been up one or two or a tied ballgame, so that's the hardest part about it, you would like to have a little bit of a gauge, kind of like, 'Hey, you're looking at these situations,' or whatever, but at the end of the day I'm happy to be here pitching and whatever.
"It isn't a big deal. From the fifth inning on I'll be ready to pitch, and I stretch before every inning and get ready to do whatever I can.''

J9H_trans_extension_jpg_max_side_540.jpgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Have Jake Peavy and Don Cooper been on the same page this season? Not exactly.
Call it "an adjustment period,'' as the White Sox pitcher put it on Thursday.
Is there a rift between Peavy and his pitching coach, as some on the outside are starting to assume? Absolutely not. Peavy made sure to put out that fire before the Sox took the field against the Rays.
Cooper was on The Score's "Mully and Hanley'' morning show, and was asked about the "tired arm'' that was brought up by Peavy after his loss in Cleveland.
"The bottom line is he didn't pitch well,'' Cooper said. "We need better out of him. We got him for better than this and he hasn't been providing it for us yet. You know we are waiting patiently. We are working hard and waiting patiently. I think it's going to come. He's got a tired arm, well OK, we'll run it through, we'll deal with it.''
While it might have sounded Cooper was poopooing what Peavy had claimed after the poor outing against the Tribe, Peavy said in fact that Cooper was dead on - it wasn't that big of a deal.
"I just made the comment that, yeah, I didn't have good stuff, I just didn't,'' Peavy explained. "That's part of it. The hitters let you know. I just didn't have very good stuff. I wasn't making excuses, I was just stating the fact that obviously I didn't feel my best, we're going to work hard, get the treatment, try to work out, flush some soreness through there, try to get back to where you feel fresh, you feel crisp ... the bottom line is I've got to go out there and find a way to overcome in that start. That's what the good guys do, that's what I've done in the past. I wasn't making an excuse, I've got to go out there and on those days, you're not going to throw a shutout, but I could have very easily kept that game in check for our team to have a chance and I didn't do that. It's upsetting to me, but I do think that too much is made of it.''
Peavy admitted that the Sox did approach him about a scenario in which Mark Buehrle starts Sunday, giving Peavy an extra day off on Monday, but he told them no, he wants the Rays start.
"I'm going to start Sunday, they gave me the opportunity to back it up with Buehrle getting thrown out of [Wednesday's game early on],'' Peavy said. "No, that's part of being a starter. That's why I take care of my body, to make [all my starts].''
Two weeks ago, Peavy admitted that his mechanics were out of whack since he joined the Sox last season, and since he performed well at the end of 2009, it wasn't the type of thing that Cooper was able to notice. Now, there's the "tired arm'' talk. Either way, Peavy admitted that he's still in an adjustment period with not only Cooper, but the entire change to the South Side.
"Yeah, that's certainly happening with me and my catchers, me and my team, what makes me click, and that's slowly and surely coming,'' Peavy said. "But yeah, I think it would be accurate to say that we're all getting to know each other.
"As far as a personal standpoint, Coop knows [John] Danks, he knows Gavin [Floyd] and Burls [Mark Buehrle], he's had them for years. We're all still getting to know each other, and that's slowly but surely getting better, and it has. But we were just so far off the mark with what I was doing there for a little while. I mean all the work we did in spring training kind of went out the window, so we've really only had about a month or so of them seeing, 'Hey, this is when 'Peav's' got his good stuff.' He saw me the other day in Cleveland for the first time since I made that mechanical adjustment with not what I would call plus-stuff, really take over the game, so yeah, it's been an adjustment period.''

Ozzie vs. Joe West

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guillenx-inset-community.jpgCLEVELAND - Here is Ozzie's side:

"Because he's a f---ing a--hole, that's what he is. I just went out to ask him ... I wasn't asking about the balk because you're not allowed, anytime you go out there to ask about balk or whatever. The thing I went out to ask him about was why he was embarrassing Buehrle. I'm not going out to argue about the balk because the rule, but I went out to ask him why he's embarrassing Buehrle and he give me one of this [dismissing him with his hands]. When you're a professional and you have to respect the managers, the way we're supposed to respect the umpires, they are supposed to respect back. Obviously they have more power than we have and we have to wear it every time that happens. That's the reason I got tossed. I don't think he has the right and the power to let people know who is the chief on the field. We know he has to control the game, we know he has to control all the s---, but in the meanwhile, I don't think it was the right thing to do, like we balked him while we were on the field. Joe has been like that for a lot of years, and he's always going to be like this. I'm not going to change it, nobody is going to change it, but sometimes he thinks f---ing people pay to watch him f---ing umpire. He's the type of guy that wants to control the game, it's good for the game, and to me one of the best umpires in the game, no doubt. But in the meanwhile, those years are on his shoulders and kind of heavy and showing people who he is. I deserve respect and the players here deserve respect here, too. When you tell the manager to get the f--- off the field, I don't think that's a good way to handle situations. No matter what you say, what you do, how long you talk here, Major League Baseball doesn't do s--- for anything. I'll be waiting for my fine, get 'em the next day.''
"I said why are you embarrassing Buehrle? He said, 'Well Buehrle was doing ...' well, you got two choices, the second choice he has, and he was wrong the first time or the second time, either one was wrong. Because you don't like what Buehrle did the first time you should toss him. You shouldn't embarrass him. That's the way he is.''

Did you see the second one that got Buehrle ejected?

"It's not about balk. It's all different. Buehrle has been doing the same stuff, what? Seven years, eight years? All of a sudden [West] just gets up today and says, 'Well, I'm going to call a balk on Buehrle no matter what.' He's got the right, I don't know if it was a balk or not, you couldn't tell. In the meanwhile, I was kind of upset with the reaction. He thinks he's the s--- in the field. People pay to watch f---ing players play, not to see umpires and managers. I don't see any people say, 'I'm going to see Ozzie Guillen manage or Joe West f---ing umpire.' ''

Here's Joe West's side:

Why the balks?

"He has a couple of really good moves and those two were both balks, so I called them."

Ozzie said he was more upset that you were embarrassing Mark:

"He didn't say that to me. I don't know what he's talking about. Ozzie came out because Buehrle was making gestures on the mound that could have got him kicked out so he was protecting Buehrle, that's all he was doing. I don't have a problem with that."

why did you toss Buehrle?

"He threw his glove. There wasn't that much to it, was there?"

Saving Private Beckham

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uga2.jpgCLEVELAND - The one positive about Gordon Beckham right now is he's hanging in there.
How long will that continue? Well, the make-up of the man continues to be tested.
"He's a really tough kid, he really is,'' White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker said of the second-year player. "He's just going through a learning process of how to deal with a few bad games, a few bad weeks, a bad month, and he's going to play in this league for a very long time, and be a great player. You're talking about a guy that has never had any failure to speak of.
"Last year [after Beckham was called up], there was a little stumble. Once you come out of one of these, like he's coming out of it right now as we speak, then you always have that in your back pocket for the rest of your career. The panic level he experienced this year, next year that won't be there because he will always know that, 'Hey, I don't need to panic here because look at me last year.' ''
Not that Beckham isn't searching for ways to deal with it now. He's gone from changing his at-bat music to currently displaying a mini-goatee - at least as much facial hair as a 23-year-old can muster.
The good news in his struggles is he seems to have overcome the denial stage, now entering the realization part of the process.
"I mean what can you do? There's nothing I can do about the numbers,'' Beckham said. "Just take each day, build on that day and try to keep having good games. There's nothing I can do about where I'm at. I feel like I'm hitting better than my average shows, that's for sure. Maybe not much better, but better. I'm not like suicidal-level bad, but it's baseball, it's not easy. No one said it was easy.''
Walker sure hasn't.
"Most every player in this game has gone through it, but usually in the minors, not at the big-league level for the first time,'' Walker added. "I don't know if people are doubting him or not, but if they are then they don't know what they're talking about because this is just a learning process for him.''

Vizquel to call it quits after 2010?

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vizquel.jpgCLEVELAND - To hear manager Ozzie Guillen insisting that Omar Vizquel is the best player to ever come out of Venezuela is flattering for the veteran shortstop.
"Those are really strong words to say,'' Vizquel said of Guillen's assessment.
But that's not all Vizquel commented on before Tuesday's game, stating that after almost 22 seasons, 2010 was looking like his final one.
Coming off the bench the past two years as a utility player has mentally beaten the 43-year-old up, enough so that he doesn't see himself going through another season in this role.
"It's hard to play in the role that I am when you're used to playing every day,'' Vizquel insisted. "It's hard preparation, sometimes you feel disappointed, sometimes you're sad. Your mental process is different. You take different ways to prepare and I don't know if I can do it another year. I could probably do it because physically I feel pretty good, but mentally it takes a toll on your body. It makes you doubt sometimes. I don't think I want to go through that process again.''
The only way he feels like his mind will change?
"I have to finish this season pretty strong, and if I feel like I finish the way I really want to I might give it a thought to go another year,'' Vizquel added.
The problem is he likely won't be given a real opportunity to finish strong, at least not on his mind, playing sparingly like he has.
As far as Guillen's comments, well Vizquel didn't know if he agreed with his fellow countryman, but he was thankful.
"There are a lot of great players coming from our country in different ways - great fielders, great hitters, great pitchers,'' Vizquel said. "I feel very small here in this game hearing him say those words, but it made me feel really proud.''

woodjock.jpgCLEVELAND - Jake Peavy knows what the statistics say.
If you're an opposing hitter, you'd better get to the White Sox veteran pitcher early on. If not, there's very little give as the game goes on. As a matter of fact, he's the one that does most of the tugging at that point.
Pitches one through 15, Peavy has allowed 11 runs on 12 hits and two home runs this season. Pitches 16-30, 11 runs, 13 hits and two homers. From pitch No. 31 and beyond, the right-hander has allowed 15 runs total.
An explanation?
"I think it's more coincidence than anything,'' Peavy replied, before going through most of his 2010 starts from memory and describing exactly went wrong in each of them.
As far as Peavy is concerned, his first nine starts are history. His season with the Sox begins Tuesday night. Meanwhile, his team's season started this week, with three games in Cleveland and then four games in Tampa Bay.
Basically, it's go time.
"The bottom line is baseball is baseball,'' Peavy said Monday. "We felt like we had a good team, we still feel like we have a good team. We've got to grind it out and play better baseball. Winning a series from a team like Florida [over the weekend], we believe we have to do that. Coming in here, there ain't no ifs, ands or buts about it, this [Cleveland] team has a few injuries, we have to win this series. I'm not sugarcoating anything, 'Hey, we've got to play good baseball.' We've got to beat teams that we feel like we should beat. That's not a knock against the Cleveland Indians; they're hurt right now, they're not playing their best baseball. If we want to be where we think we need to be, you have to win series.''
The way Peavy sees it, interleague match-ups with the Cubs twice, Pittsburgh, the Nationals, Atlanta and then ending June in Kansas City will all but determine the fate of the 2010 Sox, one way or the other.
"We have a favorable schedule over the next month,'' Peavy said. "We still believe in this team and I'm happy to be in a situation where from the owner to the general manager, they're going to try to win. There's not going to be, and [general manager] Kenny [Williams] reiterated it, 'Listen, we're not mailing it in, we're trying to get better.'
"Am I frustrated by the way the team's playing, the way it started for me? Absolutely. But that can happen anywhere. There are a lot of teams that thought they had a good team going in that aren't playing worth a darn right now. Atlanta, you look at the Mets, just to throw some teams off the top of my head that had high expectations and just haven't played well. This thing can turn around. We're not far enough out of it to make run. We have plenty enough games against the teams in front of us. I think this next month or so is going to play a big hand in where our season goes.''
Manager Ozzie Guillen sure hopes so. Then again, he's spent most of the season having his heart broken by his team, so excuse him if he wants to see it before diving in head first.
"I think we play good for a couple days, and all of a sudden we don't play well for three or four days and we've been like that all year long,'' Guillen said. "I wish this series against the Marlins [over the weekend] turned this thing around and we play better.
"Believe me, we cannot play worse than what we did in April. That was pretty sad. That wasn't what we thought we were going to play.''
Peavy will take his chances.
"I'm excited to be in a place where winning matters and you don't mail it in,'' Peavy added. "That's not knocking where I have been [in San Diego]. But we were hoping to win out there and they expect to win here and they're going to continue when things aren't going right to expect to win, not rebuild for next year and the year after that. That's an exciting place to be.''

Morning Cup of Joe

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2879639.jpgMorning Cup of Joe

1. Texas is interested in any player available for trade right now. ... As I've been reporting for years and years.

2. Texas is interested in world peace.

3. John Ely was going to solve world peace, before Kenny Williams traded him.

Morning Cup of Joe

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2879639.jpgMorning Cup of Joe

1. I'm going to go a day without mentioning John Ely ... Oh crap, does that count? Hummm baby!

2. Sources have told me that Texas is back on the A-Rod trail. Look for a big trade there.

3. When is Ken Williams going to give Kris Honel a chance?

Morning Cup of Joe

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2879639.jpgMorning Cup of Joe

1. John Ely was the greatest pitcher in the history of pitchers. Did you know the Sox traded him?

2. I love Bud Selig. One time I was washing his car and he said, "Do you wax?'' I hope he meant the car.

3. Heath Phillips is the second greatest pitcher of all time, but he's no John Ely. Can you believe they traded him?

Morning Cup of Joe

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2879639.jpgMorning Cup of Joe

1. How could the Sox have traded John Ely?

2. How could the Sox have traded John Ely?

3. Games look great on my TV. Go to the park? Hell no.

scott_linebrink200.jpgDETROIT - Scott Linebrink can't think of just one reason of why a season with so much anticipation and hype has gone so very wrong.
That's because the White Sox reliever said there's 25 to be exact, and they were all sitting in the clubhouse with him.
"The responsibility lies solely on our shoulders,'' Linebrink said. "The front office, everybody has done everything they can to put us in a position to win, to get the right components in here. That's all I heard in spring training, I was talking to guys on other teams and they said, 'Holy cow, look at y'alls pitching staff, it's unbelievable. You look at the starters you have, the guys you brought in, bringing Putzie [J.J. Putz] into the bullpen, you got several options as closers, set-up men.' So it's definitely here.
"I know from a fan's perspective it's very frustrating to see how much work has been put into getting this team together and now it's not translating to wins. But yeah, I think everyone in here knows what's expected of us and we're disappointed, but not to the point where we're giving up. It hasn't reached that point. I think everyone here is hoping things turn around, and for the most part it's just about getting a few breaks here and there. I realize we're not hitting the ball like we want to, and at times we haven't pitched, but it will start to happen.''
That may very well happen.
The problem becomes will it be too late and will it come at the expense of the wrong people losing their jobs as scapegoats?
"The coaching staff, they're doing a great job you know,'' outfielder Alex Rios said, when asked about the Sox staff. "They're trying the best they can to get us out of this bad stretch. We are the ones that have to perform and do our job to start winning games. I don't think it's the coaching staff's fault or anything like that.''
So while manager Ozzie Guillen volunteers on an almost daily basis to be the one that falls on the sword, for the first time this season the Sox players were using Tuesday to really go out of their way to make sure the finger pointing is in the right direction.
And just as the players feel that they dug this hole, they also feel like they're the ones that have the responsibility of climbing out.
"You here people talk about hitting being contagious, well losing can be contagious,'' Linebrink said. "Once that disease starts to set in you can really see it start to infect everybody. I think the most important thing you can do is to stay positive, be an encouragement to other guys, looking at little ways in which you as an individual can help the team win, and hopefully that will start to infect everybody. We really need a transfusion here to stop this negative thinking, this expectation that bad things are going to happen.
"Go out there and make good things happen. It's not something that's magically going to happen, we're going to have to want it, grab hold of it and shift the whole role reversal that's going on. It's not an overnight fix. It's something that will take time, and hopefully we'll have that one week where we just bust out, get on a role and gradually climb our way out, but it is frustrating for everyone here.''
What Linebrink and his teammates are holding onto are the standings. As bad as they've played, evident by the fact that they haven't won back-to-back games since April 24-25, front-running Minnesota and Detroit are still not out of sight.
"It has been a disappointing six weeks of the season, but I think the important thing is we're still single-digit games behind the first-place team,'' Linebrink added. "I've seen guys get down. There are times in the dugout when it's quiet. I think it's important for the veteran guys that have been through it to pick these guys up because it's easy to feed off that negativity and bring everyone down. To know, 'Hey, this is not the end of the world.' Try and pick guys up.''

ozzie_guillen_closeup_ai.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ozzie Guillen was not surprised that general manager Ken Williams is losing patience.
How it plays out from here, however? That's anyone's guess.
Williams was asked in a text by the Sun-Times Saturday if he was losing patience, and responded with a "Yes.'' A much different answer he gave just 12 days prior in Chicago, when he seemed OK with staying the course.
"Hey, I don't blame him,'' Guillen said Sunday. "He does what he wants to do. I think it's very hard to say. I don't blame him. The expectations we have with this club is very high. We had a ballclub better than what we showed. And we have better hitters than what we showed. You look around spring training and in the winter and you say this team was going to be last in major league baseball in hitting, and you'd be surprised. But we are. Being patient is one thing I'm not very good at and Kenny is very strong with the way he makes moves and attacks the club, the way he does his business. He wants to win. He's not the type of guy who we're going to see him as a general manager that OK, we know he's not rebuilding the club. He knows he does a job to make us competitive. We keep saying that.
"We got a lot of games left. In the meanwhile, those games will count in the end. In the meanwhile, the games we're losing now we might need later. He's entitled to say and have the opinion and I don't blame him to feel that way.''
Asked if that could mean that players, coaches or even Guillen, himself, could be sent packing, again Guillen didn't runaway from the topic.
"I don't care about me,'' Guillen said. "That's his job. With the coaches, one thing about it, we do everything we can to make those guys better. I know it. I fired three coaches myself because I don't think they're on the same page we are. We're going to blame somebody, I do. If [Williams] wants to blow this ballclub away, that's his call. I still believe in this club and it shows some signs how good we can be and showed some signs how bad we can be. The way we play, we should be in last place, 30 games out. We compete, we're just not winning games. Is it about me? I say the first day I got this job, 'I see even the best coaches getting fired, the best managers getting fired.' I think I do what I can do every day to make this ballclub work. It's something I believe if this thing don't work, I'm not a princess or an icon or not that great. If the team don't work the way it (should) be working, I'll be the first one to be blamed. That's the way this thing works in baseball or any sport.
"You don't produce, it's easy to fire one guy or two or three guys than 25. But I never talked to him about it. I don't blame him the way he feels. I don't blame the way he feels about my coaching staff. And the way he should feel about me. I don't blame him the way he feels about his players. We stunk. And when you put a team we don't know can compete or don't do it, then it gives you the reason and power to think whatever you want to think.''

It's OK Sox fans, Ozzie feels your pain

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ligue_1.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ozzie Guillen doesn't blame White Sox fans for losing the faith.
Unfortunately for the seventh-year manager, faith is about all he has left to hang on to.
"Everybody is entitled to think and do what they think is the best for them,'' Guillen said on Saturday. "If they think we're done, I don't think they should, but in the meanwhile, I don't blame them. I think we have a lot of games to go. Look at how bad we've played and we're only about 8 games out, we should be 20 games out but we're still there.
"We haven't faced Detroit yet, we only played Minnesota twice, this is the second round with Kansas City. We have to turn around and play better. Not play better because we've played good. I think just win games. Like I say, the fans, there are only a few teams out there when they lose they still bring people to the ballpark. We can't afford that. We've got to play good to make sure those guys come out and watch. And I don't say we're playing bad, we're just not winning games.''
Guillen's first goal is to try and get his players feeling confident. If he can accomplish that, winning comes and so will the fans.
"I've said with this lineup and pitching staff, every time you come to the park you think you're going to celebrate after the game,'' Guillen said. "That's one thing about this ballclub that hasn't happened too often. The game it gets to the point where it gets frustrating and you think about so much stuff, sometimes you think if you're the only one who believes in this you're the only one fighting through this. You've got to come here and show those guys I still believe in them.
"But like I said two weeks ago, three weeks ago, one month ago, it doesn't matter what I believe or what I say or what I do, they got to go out there and perform.''

Ozzie unplugged on his 'horses---' team

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guillen.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Ozzie Guillen on his offense after the 6-1 loss Friday night - in full:
"The Chicago media, I hope you come up with something for a headline, I ain't got shit, I don't. It's no matter what I say, what I do, stay positive, different ways to approach them, different ways to talk about them, there's so many ways you can try to get those guys going - the good way, the hard way, the no care way, the what's going on way, I tried all those. And we've only played for a month and a half. It seems like no matter who's pitching, a lefty, righty, breaking baller, knuckleballer, hard-thrower, no matter what, they look very good against us. I wish I had the answer to be honest with you. So many guys are struggling. Sometimes they give you good at-bats, sometimes they don't. It's hard to see it every day. It gets to the point where I don't want to lose any confidence in those guys, I never will, but in the meanwhile, I've started putting doubts in my mind. Am I thinking the right thing or lying to myself? I hope I'm not lying to myself believing in those guys. It's swimming against the current. We left eight or nine guys on base. I'm not a stats guy, because I think stats lie, but in the meanwhile you look at the White Sox stats, that's pretty ugly.''

"Offensively, I won't say it's ugly, it's kind of embarrassing. Lefty, right, artificial grass, day game, 40 degrees, 90 degrees, 100 degrees, same stuff. If I knew we had a bad-hitting team I could live with that, but I always say, 'We're better than this.' Every time we take the field I think we're going to score a lot of runs, but everyday I come empty. Frustrated, empty, unhappy ... as a manager you try and stay positive, but in the meanwhile it's not easy to stay positive when you see a rewind. The same movie rewind for so many days. I guess I will stay positive, fight with them, go down with them.''

"When you struggle, you struggle as a team. That's why average is the most overrated thing. You can hit .350 and not help the team win. No matter what we do, when we get things going, one guy gets hurt, one guy is sick, one guy is sore, we try to figure out the way it is. The hardest thing for any manager - a lot of people say talk to the media, that's the easy part. The hardest thing for a manager is to make those guys believe, figure out the best lineup every night. The toughest thing for me in seven years I've been here is trying to make the lineup every night. We're trying to find the right match-up, nothing is going on.

"It's hard to see this every day. I feel bad for Walk. I feel him because a lot of people are blaming him. Maybe it is his fault, I know Walk, he'll take it. But I don't blame Walk. I think he works hard. In the meanwhile, I had four guys in the lineup hitting under [.200] to start the game. Kansas City Royals, they in last place? They got five guys hitting three-something. I think you look man-by-man our lineup is better, but it's not showing that way. What are we going to do? Keep plugging it in, keep being positive, get up and get it tomorrow. But if they don't get tired, if they're not embarrassed when they look at the scoreboard, they should. I would be. This is contagious, because you have a few guys swinging the bat good and seven guys that are horseshit. Pitching, Buehrle went out really well, cruising along, all of a sudden, boom - no shit, no cushion. One mistake the game is over.

Jake-Peavy-Portrait2.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jake Peavy isn't about to start playing the blame game.
Actually, the White Sox pitcher said on Friday that his mechanics getting out of whack were more bad luck than the fault of anyone within the organization.
All that Peavy cared about now was that in his mind they were fixed.
"I'm just going, 'Man, am I 28 [years old] and losing it already?' '' Peavy admitted. "That doubt was there to a certain extent.''
And now?
Since the first inning in his April 28 start in Texas in which he served up five runs, Peavy has allowed three runs over 20 1/3 innings pitched (1.33 ERA), walking three and fanning 23. Over that time, opposing batters have a .130 average.
In other words, here's the ace the Sox had been waiting for.
So how did April turn so ugly for the former Cy Young Award winner? Simply put, he was a victim of his own success the last month of the 2009 season, after he made a return from a badly strained right ankle.
Peavy's pitching routine is like none other in the Sox organization, maybe in all of baseball. Besides the normal work he does between starts, the day before he's scheduled to toe the rubber, he actually takes the mound and throws "10 to 15 pitches.'' Day of, his final "last line of defense'' as he calls it, is calling up video of his last start against the day's opposing team, watching how he pitched them. That overrides everything else, including all the paperwork gathered from Sox intelligence.
It's the eye test, with his own eyes watching how he conducts business.
"That overrides any paperwork I will do,'' Peavy said. "That overrides any encounters you have with guys.''
When Peavy came back from the ankle injury last season, all pitching coach Don Cooper had to go on was how the career-long National Leaguer looked on the mound. He looked 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his three starts. Fine, have a nice offseason, no problem.
So when he showed up to spring camp, Cooper saw nothing mechanically different from the dominance Peavy displayed late last year.
Opposing hitters, however, were showing something different. Not only was the velocity down, but the location was a mess. Three runs allowed in his regular-season start against the Indians, seven his next in Toronto. The same routine, but something was wrong.
The day before his April 22 start against Tampa Bay came the breakthrough. Unlike Cleveland and Toronto, Peavy had a history pitching against the Rays in an interleague game from 2007. When they popped that video in for his regular recon, there it was.
"So the day of that Tampa start, that's what we were doing, and Coop just happened to walk in ... that was the first time this season that I had something to go back on,'' Peavy said. "Coop said 'Holy Jesus' and they had [video coordinator Bryan Johnson] put my comparison up there, my last start and then '07.
"The way I stood on the mound was different than even in '09. When I came back last year, I didn't trust my ankle. I pushed it and pushed it trying to get back but I didn't trust it. I didn't trust my legs to get on the ankle and drive. The worst thing that happened was I went out and had success.''
It took a few weeks to get his arm slot moved back down while his hand moved back to a more vertical position, but now it's right. More importantly, it feels right.
"I don't know how much you guys believe me or what, but I promise you I was completely honest with you on what was going on,'' Peavy said. "I can be good. It has nothing to do with the league. I can win if I'm healthy and right. Are there going to be hiccups along the way, are there going to be some bad starts? Sure. But I have the potential to go out, throw seven or eight innings, shut people down, make guys swing and miss. I've never been through anything like that. It was a rough month but I think the worst is over.''
Start No. 8 comes Saturday night for Peavy.

ozzieguillen.jpgMINNEAPOLIS - Ozzie Guillen is never afraid to speak his mind, so asked on Wednesday if the Sox do turn this around, is their best good enough to chase down the Twins' best when it's all said and done, he pulled no punches.
"I don't know about that,'' Guillen answered. "Man by man, I don't know. They're playing better than us, yes. But man by man, I don't know. Right now they are. They're in first place. I don't think man-by-man ... we got a pretty good club.''
As Guillen is very well aware of, so do the Twins.
"They're a better team than people think,'' Guillen said. "Way better team. They got so many bullets to get you. I think their pitching staff, their starters hold on, they're going to be a tough team to beat. Great defense. Good speed, their pitchers throw strikes.
"They have the best two hitters you're going to see [in Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau]. I don't want to say the best in the past 10 years because of Manny [Ramirez] and Papi [David Ortiz in their Boston days], but I'd rather pitch to Papi and those guys in their prime than pitch to those two kids.
"People forgot about [Jason] Kubel, [Michael] Cuddyer, [Delmon] Young. Just because they wear Minnesota Twins uniform, but they're good. You got to admit it. They play well so many different ways. They put the ball in play, they execute well. What more can you ask of a team to play like that? That's the reason every year they're in the pennant race. When they're not there, they're fighting. Maybe I'm crazy or I look at it different way, but those guys are good.''
For the Sox to even be in the same conversation as the Twins, however, they first need to be playing their best.
That starts with the offense, where two runs on six hits like on Wednesday, just wasn't going to get it done.
Hitting coach Greg Walker has been in the crosshairs for many Sox fans over the years, and while the numbers through the first six weeks of this season seemingly hasn't changed that opinion, Walker chooses to look at things a little differently.
"Here we sit and there are some ugly numbers out there, but everyone continues to dwell on the batting average,'' Walker said. "Last time I checked, they don't decide games on how many hits you get. It's how many runs you get. We have scored some runs. It's just different than what everyone expected and how everyone expected us to do it. They thought we would do that more with small ball.''
As far as Walker was concerned, flexing some muscle so far this season is a good thing.
"As a hitting coach, you step back and look at the body of work,'' Walker continued. "But overall we've done some good things, some neat things, that trend itself to be a really good offensive team. Nobody thought we would hit with power. We are hitting with power. The only thing we haven't done is we haven't got enough singles.
"We are working on that. ... The way I would put it is coming into this year, we had a lot of questions about offense and some have been answered. Some are still out there, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
"I don't look at it so much as where we are at. I look at the potential we've got. You've never heard me one time say this team is not talented enough to be good.''
What remains to be seen, however, is will good be good enough?

Jenks unplugged after Tuesday save - good stuff

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bobbyjenks_nc.jpgMINNEAPOLIS - Bobby Jenks earned save No. 6 on the year Tuesday night, one game after the worst loss of the season in which the closer allowed four runs in the ninth for his first blown save of the year.
His message on Tuesday to the doubters and haters?
"That's the thing I don't understand, all the stuff going on,'' Jenks said. "I mean it's one game. Everyone is hitting the panic button in f------ April. Chill out. I don't want to say everything I want to say, but it was one bad game. The game before that I gave up a solo home run, the wind is blowing out 20 mph, what are you going to do?''
Asked if it was unfair that he seemed to be the one that was singled out, Jenks said, "I really don't want to comment on it too much because I really don't want to start anything, but it was one game. It was one F-ing game. Things happen.''
As far as giving up a double to Jim Thome in his Tuesday save, Jenks did have the one-liner of the night.
"He keeps doing that, I know where he lives,'' Jenks said. "I'll just toilet paper his house.''

Thome's little secret

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500x_thome_manny.jpgMINNEAPOLIS - The four years Jim Thome spent with the White Sox will always hold a special place in his heart.
"Those guys are like brothers to me,'' Thome, now a member of the rival Minnesota Twins, said on Tuesday of his former teammates. "They really are.''
Brothers? Yes. But it stops there, especially when Thome was asked about the "Twins way,'' and how year-after-year - minus a nice little World Series trophy in 2005 - Minnesota continues to be a thorn in the Sox' side.
"This has been a lot of fun watching guys go about their business, the way they go about their business,'' Thome said. "The way our guys play the game, fundamentally how they go about it. Being on the other side for a number of years you always kind of look at the Twins and say, 'Man, they play it the right way, they do it the right way.' And now being here you kind of see it. You see it over the long haul.''
Asked for a more detailed explanation, Thome said with a laugh, "Well we can't give all the secrets.''
What he would say was, "You look at it [in spring training], and they're out there early morning getting their work in. They go to hit, but it seems like they're taking groundballs all day long.''
Nice cute little story, but not really the kind of advice that will exactly help the team on the South Side that has spent 2010 putting the fun back in dysfunctional.
When the Sox pitch, they can't hit. When they hit, they can't pitch. No. 2 hitter Gordon Beckham is now in the No. 8 spot. While leadoff hitter Juan Pierre has gone from atop the order, to the bottom and back on top. Bobby Jenks has sort of lost his closer role, sort of, and the man trying to will this group to some sort of turnaround before the season is over by Memorial Day? Ozzie Guillen is still Ozzie Guillen.
"To me, it's easy to say I don't think this team is that good, but no, I think we're good,'' Guillen said. "We have the team to compete. We should be playing good every day and right now they aren't doing it. I wish I could say, 'You know what I was wrong.' But I'm not going to say I was wrong until I was very wrong.''
Guillen hopes it doesn't reach that point, so for now he keeps applying the band-aids.
The latest is with trying to get Beckham up and running. Considering he is believed to be the future of the club, that might be a good idea.
"Yeah, I've gotten to the point where I've said you've just got to go out there and play, and screw everything else,'' Beckham said. "It's still a game and I'm confident. I've had to remind myself that I have done it and I will do it again. It's a matter of time in my opinion, and whether or not anyone else believes that I don't really care. I know at some point it will happen for me and that point is coming soon. I'm not worried about it.''
The latest hole to spring on the pitching side of things is Jenks and what to do with his struggles.
All Guillen would commit to is that it seems to be a closer-by-committee situation now and Jenks is a part of that committee.
"It depends who is the hitter,'' Guillen said. "That's all I can tell you. I'm going to leave that open right now with a few choices because I think we have to get to the point to, our ballclub to be the best club we want out there, Bobby has to be our closer.
"It's not a punishment. It's not about losing his job. It's just about putting him back what he was. He's a little off right now. As soon as he's back what he was, he has his job back.''
So the Sox press on.
Meanwhile, the Twins have a new ballpark and a new attitude. No longer the little engine that could, but the engine that should.
Their secret?
Thome's not telling, that's for sure.

The 'Sweaty' one is back!

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428PX-~1.JPGBeing written off is nothing new for Freddy Garcia.
As a matter of fact, the right-handed veteran has made a career out of it the last three-plus years. So while there may have been anxiety bordering on panic after a seven-run, three-inning outing for Garcia back on April 15, there was the 33-year-old pitcher on Thursday, with an almost "I knew it all the time'' attitude.
"That Toronto start is in the past,'' Garcia said. "One bad start, man. It happens. I can't worry about it. If I pitch bad, I pitch bad. I move forward.''
That's exactly what Garcia has done. Since disaster up North, he is 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts.
What has to have the Sox coaching staff even more excited about his Wednesday win over Kansas City was Garcia went six innings, allowing just two runs on four days rest.
It was the normal rest that became a topic of concern back in early April, when Garcia was filthy against Minnesota and then four days later got lit up in Toronto. Manager Ozzie Guillen made it a point to give Garcia extra rest between starts since then, but it couldn't be avoided from his start in New York over the weekend leading up to handling the Royals.
"That's been their decision, not mine,'' Garcia said. "Whatever they want to do with it, I'm fine. My shoulder feels good, I don't have any problems. I would like to pitch every five days, but right now, I don't mind six days. If they want me to get rest, I'll rest. I just try to do my stuff.''

2005_si.jpgTeam captain Paul Konerko leads the White Sox in home runs.
Starting pitcher John Danks sits atop wins.
Then there's the category that manager Ozzie Guillen goes untouched in. The one stat that he's dominated since Opening Day, still unsurpassed.
Leading the team in BHs - "broken hearts'' - was never in the cards for 2010, however.
You go home and you're so excited and you start calling people and say, 'Yeah, we've got it where we want it,' and the next day I said, 'Forget about what I just said,' '' Guillen said on Wednesday in describing his Jekyll and Hyde team.
"I was talking with [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] [Tuesday] before the game and I said, 'That's the team [in Monday's win] I thought it was going to be.' I think that's the reason I leave this ballclub with a broken heart because I expect them to play like that every day. All of the sudden, 24 hours later, you don't know what to do.''
While Guillen is fond of playing the blame game, pointing the finger at himself in most cases, Mark Buehrle stepped front and center before the series finale with Kansas City and said the real blame of an early season gone wrong starts and ends with the starting pitching staff.
In some ways, it might be hard to argue with Buehrle.
After all, no one was hyping the disappointing offense as the key to the season back in spring training. It was all about the five-some of Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia. A unit that stepped into Wednesday's game 7-11 with a 5.20 ERA. And that included a 3-0, 1.85 ERA showing by Danks.
"Big time,'' Buehrle replied, when asked about the staff underachieving. "Besides Danks, I think everyone of us have. We've all had a good game or two, had a decent one, but had some bad ones. I think if you would have said in spring training that we would be at this point right now with the starting five, I would have called B.S. on you.
"That's why we go out and play these games and go out and compete every five days. On paper we were one of the best, and now when you look at that paper we're one of the worst in the league. We haven't done our job, and us going out there and lasting four, five innings messes up our bullpen. I think you point the fingers at us on why they've had some problems in the bullpen as of late.''
While that might have been a nice gesture by Buehrle, real or unreal the unit that has disappointed Guillen the most has been the offense.
This was supposed to be small ball at its finest. A group of hitters that one through nine would put pressure on the opposing pitcher from first pitch to the final out. Not even close.
"Probably the offense has a lot to do [with it] because most of the game we're in the game,'' Guillen explained. "A lot of people, when they talk about our pitching, it seems like we're pitching bad. You talk about how many games we play. We might pitch very bad in seven? You talk about (20) we're pitching good. Our starters have had some bad ones, but they've had some pretty good ones, too.''
And while Guillen knows there is plenty of time to turn this around, there is a pressing need for his players to understand that it's about consistency.
"Everything in life is about consistency,'' Guillen added. "When you're not consistent doing something you're always going to fail. I think that happened here.''

2005_si.jpgTeam captain Paul Konerko leads the White Sox in home runs.
Starting pitcher John Danks sits atop wins.
Then there's the category that manager Ozzie Guillen goes untouched in. The one stat that he's dominated since Opening Day, still unsurpassed.
Leading the team in BHs - "broken hearts'' - was never in the cards for 2010, however.
You go home and you're so excited and you start calling people and say, 'Yeah, we've got it where we want it,' and the next day I said, 'Forget about what I just said,' '' Guillen said on Wednesday in describing his Jekyll and Hyde team.
"I was talking with [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] [Tuesday] before the game and I said, 'That's the team [in Monday's win] I thought it was going to be.' I think that's the reason I leave this ballclub with a broken heart because I expect them to play like that every day. All of the sudden, 24 hours later, you don't know what to do.''
While Guillen is fond of playing the blame game, pointing the finger at himself in most cases, Mark Buehrle stepped front and center before the series finale with Kansas City and said the real blame of an early season gone wrong starts and ends with the starting pitching staff.
In some ways, it might be hard to argue with Buehrle.
After all, no one was hyping the disappointing offense as the key to the season back in spring training. It was all about the five-some of Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia. A unit that stepped into Wednesday's game 7-11 with a 5.20 ERA. And that included a 3-0, 1.85 ERA showing by Danks.
"Big time,'' Buehrle replied, when asked about the staff underachieving. "Besides Danks, I think everyone of us have. We've all had a good game or two, had a decent one, but had some bad ones. I think if you would have said in spring training that we would be at this point right now with the starting five, I would have called B.S. on you.
"That's why we go out and play these games and go out and compete every five days. On paper we were one of the best, and now when you look at that paper we're one of the worst in the league. We haven't done our job, and us going out there and lasting four, five innings messes up our bullpen. I think you point the fingers at us on why they've had some problems in the bullpen as of late.''
While that might have been a nice gesture by Buehrle, real or unreal the unit that has disappointed Guillen the most has been the offense.
This was supposed to be small ball at its finest. A group of hitters that one through nine would put pressure on the opposing pitcher from first pitch to the final out. Not even close.
"Probably the offense has a lot to do [with it] because most of the game we're in the game,'' Guillen explained. "A lot of people, when they talk about our pitching, it seems like we're pitching bad. You talk about how many games we play. We might pitch very bad in seven? You talk about (20) we're pitching good. Our starters have had some bad ones, but they've had some pretty good ones, too.''
And while Guillen knows there is plenty of time to turn this around, there is a pressing need for his players to understand that it's about consistency.
"Everything in life is about consistency,'' Guillen added. "When you're not consistent doing something you're always going to fail. I think that happened here.''

l_959229b2cd78e7423e58c91616afc742.jpgFour words that have to end some restless nights on the South Side: "I can get better.''
That's what Jake Peavy was insisting on Tuesday, a day after he threw seven scoreless innings, fanning nine and walking one.
The way Peavy sees it, rock bottom is now behind him.
"I've never thought about having a month like that,'' the right-handed ace insisted on Tuesday, a day after picking up his first win of the season. "I don't think I've had one season where I've given up more five or so runs in any more than one start. To do it ... give up five, then seven a couple times. It's unbelievable. Almost to the point where you have to try and be - things just have to be going that bad.
"I mean I had outings where I walked seven guys [last month]. I have no explanation when I came and talked to [the media] after the game, and really I was at a lost for words because I never thought I could do that in my career. If you would have told me I was going to go out there and walk seven guys, I would tell you that you lost your mind. I would bet everything I could. So yeah, it was frustrating to go through that, and especially when the team was going through it. Hopefully that's behind us now.
"I can get better - location-wise, I'm going to get better. I was myself [Monday] night. I was throwing 92-95 mph, had good breaking balls and was aggressive.''
The next step for Peavy? Duplicating it. He will get that opportunity against Toronto over the weekend. The same Jays team that battered him for seven runs on eight hits on April 12.
"[Monday] night, I just had good stuff, did what I know I can do,'' Peavy added. "That's something I've done my whole career, every couple times out there. That's not being arrogant, being cocky, I just know what I can do when I'm out there.''
As far as manager Ozzie Guillen was concerned, the hope is that Monday was a date that will be circled in the calendar. The day the Sox can say that's when Peavy got it going.
"I hope for him,'' Guillen said. "Sometimes no matter how good you are, when you don't start good, you start to put doubts in yourself. 'Can I do this? If I'm good enough. If I get paid to do this and how long am I going to be doing this and how long am I going to be talking to the media about this.' For us it was great. I think for him it was more important to see him do what he does best. I think hopefully it will be the beginning of a good season for him.''

mlb_a_williams11_400.jpgKen Williams has an opinion of the team he's put together for the 2010 season.
Give the general manager another 30 days and maybe he'll make it public. Until then, it's a sit-back-and-watch situation.
"Here's one thing I've learned, and it's been an evolution for my own way with going about this business,'' Williams explained on Monday. "Whatever your issues are at a given time, whether it's your offense or certain pitchers or hitters, if I come out and make a pronouncement of some sort that we need to do this or that, it's headlines across the paper or on every radio or news station, then it's a sure-fire way to make it worse and make the guys press a little bit more. I'm relegated to sitting back.
"Listen, we go up and down our lineup. These guys aren't career .150 hitters. They're not career .200 hitters. We got some pretty good guys out there that certainly are better than what they've shown. It's time for them to say, 'What the hell. Let it fly. Let it go.' Relax and have some fun with it and make May much better than April.''
That's all well and good advice for the struggling hitters to tell themselves.
Sitting in Williams' seat right now, not so much. Relax is a five-letter word that Williams has never been able to truly grasp.
Which quickly brought up the question of a certain left-handed hitter from the West Coast that has been on the Sox radar for months. While Williams couldn't come out and talk about Adrian Gonzalez, he did talk about the idea of adding to the current product.
"Well, No. 1 I don't think anyone is really prepared to make any deals right now,'' Williams said. "And any interest expressed in any players out there who are impact guys have been done so for quite some time. There really isn't much substance to anything at this stage of the season. Another 30 games, and you'll start to see talk pick up.
"If you're not playing well, it doesn't make any sense to go down those roads, anyway. You got to warrant that.''
Then there's the other scenario. What if the S.S. Sox keeps taking on water and continues to sink? Blowing it all up isn't in Williams' make-up, but it might be the right thing to do if push comes to shove.
"I'd really like to tell a white lie right now, but if I said I had a lot patience, you'd call me on it,'' Williams said. "Let's just say I'm patient enough.''
Asked directly if he could host a fire sale, it isn't like it's not a path to go down if things get bad enough.
"Perhaps,'' Williams said. "We haven't been in that position before. Even when we were, we were actively looking to get better, not just for now but for setting us up for the next year. Even if on the surface it's not going as well as we like, there's still that aggressive part of who we are at that stage that will probably prevent that.
"It's tough with the type of personalities around here, it's tough to dial it back.''
And besides, Williams feels like he will be the one that makes the decision to push forward or go into a selling mode.
"I guess it's just having been down these roads before, you learn to navigate your way through it in a much better way,'' he added. "And bring the perspective of a long season to the surface more so than any negative thoughts you have. You have to be realistic and at some point in time, you have to be realistic about who and what we are.
"But that time is not right now - not when so many guys that are below their water line.''

john_danks.jpgSOX 2010 PLAYER POWER POLL [Through April]

A look at the Sox 25-man roster ranked by talent, makeup and value to the team:

1. LHP John Danks (Last Month 7) - As it stands right now, really only the surest thing the Sox starting staff has.
2. 1B Paul Konerko (LM 8) - Along with A. Jones and A. Rios, carrying the Sox offense.
3. DH Andruw Jones (LM 16) - Looks like he's turned the clock back a few years.
4. CF Alex Rios (LM 11) - Is hitting, and more importantly, stealing bases.
5. LHP Matt Thornton (LM 10) - Guillen's security blanket.
6. RHP Jake Peavy (LM 1) - If Peavy doesn't turn it around, Sox have absolutely no shot this year.
7. RHP Bobby Jenks (LM 5) - Has been better than expected, but becoming trade bait.
8. RHP Sergio Santos (LM 18) - Is the reason Jenks could be trade bait.
9. LHP Mark Buehrle (LM 4) - Great Opening Day - down hill since.
10. C A.J. Pierzynski (LM 2) - Starting to get the bat going - finally.
11. 2B Gordon Beckham (LM 3) - Can you say sophomore slump?
12. RF Carlos Quentin (LM 6)
13. RHP Gavin Floyd (LM 9)
14. RHP J.J. Putz (LM 15)
15. 3B Mark Teahen (LM 14)
16. SS Alexei Ramirez (LM 12) - He survived April, now he has to shine.
17. Freddy Garcia (LM 19)
18. LF Juan Pierre (LM 13) - So far, Pierre over Podsednik not sitting well with fans.
19. RHP Scott Linebrink (LM 23) - As long as they keep him in middle relief, he's been solid.
20. RHP Tony Pena (LM 21) - Been put in unfair situations to eat up innings.
21. DH Mark Kotsay (LM 17) - Not the same guy we saw in spring training.
22. INF Omar Vizquel (LM 20)
23. LHP Randy Williams (LM 22)
24. INF Jayson Nix (LM 24)
25. C Ramon Castro (LM NR) - Welcome to the mess.

A New York minute? Not for the White Sox

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_47762472_police_vehicle_ap.jpgNEW YORK - There were some uneasy moments for Ed Cassin on Saturday night.
The White Sox' director of team travel was just about to fall asleep when his wife, Julie, called him and asked him if he was watching what was happening on television.
Cassin said that he immediately had an eerie feeling, flashing back to the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when his wife had also called him and told him to turn on the TV.
The Sox were the visiting team in town to play the Yankees when the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers shook the country, and just happened to be in town Saturday, when a car bomb failed to explode in Times Square, not far from the Times Square W Hotel the team was staying in.
"My wife called, I was actually almost falling asleep, and she asked me if I heard anything,'' Cassin said Sunday morning. "I said, 'Yeah, I heard some sirens and everything, but that's normal for New York City.' So I turned on CNN and saw what was going on, and it was pretty much how things happened the morning of 9/11. She had called me that morning and told me to turn my TV on, so, yeah, it brought back a few memories.
"It was vaguely reminiscent of that morning on 9/11, but thankfully they caught it and nothing happened.''
Not that Cassin didn't have some anxious moments.
It was his job on 9/11 to track down the entire traveling party, and make sure that they were not only all accounted for, but also were in a safe place. With the city on lockdown, Cassin then had to figure out how to get that entire traveling party back to Chicago as quickly as possible. He was able to get two buses into the city the morning of Sept. 12, with the Sox taking what former manager Jerry Manuel described as "the quietest bus ride I've ever been on.''
So of course with what happened in Times Square Saturday night, Cassin's mind started racing through scenarios.
"Back on 9/11 it was definitely more difficult because in 2001 not everyone had cell phones,'' Cassin said. "That was a lot more calling of rooms and what not. These days would be a lot easier because you would be able to send out a max text to see where everyone is.
"But Major League Baseball has procedures in place and they have resident security agents here in New York, really every city we go to, their local law enforcement guys ... those are the ones you first reach out to, and then hotel security.''
Cassin said that he watched the news coverage, assessing the situation with the latest scare.
"I kind of watched the coverage to it and assess what's going on,'' Cassin said. "I was aware they did evacuate some properties. The Marriott Marquis was right near that area, so they evacuated that hotel. It was just kind of keeping an eye on it. I never got to the point where I called anyone. Had it progressed a little more, I probably would have [gathered the team].''
Manager Ozzie Guillen admitted that it was a "scary'' situation, but thought it was handled as well as could have been expected.
"I think they handled it really well,'' Guillen said. "At 2 o'clock in the morning, I was up watching the news and the Mayor [Bloomberg] come on to talk about it. He looked pretty good for 2 in the morning. They handled it very well. We should feel proud about the people in New York the way they handled it.
"It surprised me how many people were around there when they weren't supposed to be around there. There were a lot of idiots around there. They didn't let the police do their job. This morning the hotel apologized for the situation but they handled it very good.''
With all that said, Guillen did say he couldn't wait to get back to Chicago Sunday night.

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