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

Picking his poison

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ozzieguillen.jpgMINNEAPOLIS - Considering the history, and heartbreak, the White Sox have had with the Minnesota Twins, it would seem like asking Ozzie Guillen which team in the division he fears the most would be a no-brainer.
But when asked on Friday about both the Twins and Tigers in hot pursuit from here on out, the manager played diplomat.
"Both,'' Guillen replied. "I worry about Cleveland and Kansas City, too. They can put you on the spot. But I think those two teams [Tigers and Twins], this division the last two years was decided by an extra game. That's why if you if see [Tigers skipper Jim] Leyland, myself, Gardy [Twins manager Ron Gardenhire], they will say the same stuff. This division is all the way to the end. I hope not, I hope we take over, but in the meanwhile you have to be realistic. They have too much talent, we know that.''
Guillen then admitted that the 2010 Sox were built specifically to beat the Twins and Tigers.
"We built this ballclub thinking about them,'' he said. "To me, whoever stays healthy and whoever pitches better, that's the one that's going to win the division because all three teams, they have enough talent there to win it.''
Because as far as Guillen is concerned, offense alone won't get it done in the Central. Those days of mashing the opposition into submission are over.
"First of all, when you have speed, they have to get on base first,'' Guillen said. "That's the most important thing. The American League is going a different way now. You're not going to see guys hit 50, 60, 70 home runs now. Look at the guys who are in first place. Why? Because they are pitching and playing good defense.
"Hitting, everybody in the American League can hit. Kansas City, second to last place, they lead the league in hitting. If you pitch better, who has the best bullpen and who stays healthy, that's the team that's going to take over.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 16, 2010 8:01 PM.

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