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

Walker talks where the Sox have been and where they need to go

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chi_a_white_sox2x_576.jpgMINNEAPOLIS - The comeback from the two-month coma the White Sox suffered through to start the season was a valiant one. As a matter of fact, almost historic as far as the franchise was concerned.
Unless they finish the job by winning the Central, however, it becomes meaningless.
That's where the bar is set in the eyes of general manager Ken Williams, filtering all the way down to the coaching staff.
"I think we have a bunch of pros here,'' Sox hitting coach Greg Walker said of what lies in front of the team the final six-plus weeks. "I like the way this team has fought all year. It's a good team. It's a talented team, it's a fun bunch to be around. I hope they finish it off. We're going to sit back and watch. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here. I think they probably haven't gotten enough credit for what they have done this year, but you want to finish it off.''
Because Walker knows the consequences of not finishing it off.
"Yeah, [the turnaround] definitely loses its luster,'' Walker explained. "They say the numbers don't lie, I mean you can't get rid of them. They've done what they've done this year, but I'm proud to have watched them come back. Now we just sit back and watch them compete, that's all you can do. We're not going to reinvent swings right now, now just everyone go out and play. No secrets. I'm not real worried about anyone.''
While that may be true, Walker also knows that of his big three - Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin - it might be Quentin who will have the most say in this race.
Konerko and Rios have been the offensive rocks throughout most of this season, but Quentin is the wildcard - up one week, slumping the next. As far as Walker was concerned, when Quentin is hot, he is as dynamic a hitter as the American League has.
That's the guy the Sox need during this final run.
"We're trying to get him going to when he was hot,'' Walker said. "Q is definitely mechanical oriented, but he's always looking for a feel. When he gets that right feel he can hit good pitching, he can hit anything. He turns into one of the elite players when he's on that roll. Sometimes searching for that can bring out bad approaches, not so much bad approaches, but swinging at bad pitches. He's big on seeing the ball well. If he's seeing the ball well, usually his changes he makes are so he could see the ball better, make better decisions. When he's not seeing the ball well, he's not making good decisions. That usually determines what pitches he's swinging at.
"We just continue to support him and if he wants input we give it to him, but he knows a lot about his swing, he knows what he wants to accomplish. This time of the year? He knows his own routine and we just leave him alone.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on August 17, 2010 8:59 PM.

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