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

Ozzie talks Thome ... again

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thome.jpgDETROIT - Jim Thome can keep hitting all the Herculean home runs he wants the rest of the season.
That won't change the fact that White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen isn't losing one minute of sleep over the fact that he and the organization made the decision to go in a different direction with the left-handed hitter in the offseason, opening the door for him to sign with the Central Division-rival Twins.
"I don't know about the organization,'' Guillen responded on Wednesday, when asked if he was feeling the heat with that decision now. "Myself, I know he's going to hit. Maybe the fans do. Maybe the media does. I really don't put attention to that. I don't. He had big hits for a lot of people. He had big hits for us. I don't put any attention to that. I don't.
"If it's not Thome then it's going to be [Justin] Morneau. Jim is playing just because Morneau is not there. And I'm glad for Jimmy. Believe me, I'm very glad for him, I'm very happy for him. He proved people he could still play. I never said we thought he couldn't play anymore. I'm very, very happy for him. All those people can say whatever they want to say. I keep my head up. I go by what we think, what we feel was better for the ballclub.''
Thome wanted to come back to the South Side in January, but the organization felt that a DH-by-committee was better suited for the make-up of the team. At least it started off as the organization. Then during SoxFest, general manager Ken Williams inexplicably threw the decision onto Guillen's lap in a town hall meeting. Guillen decided to stick to the plan, going with a rotating DH that would involve Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin and even Juan Pierre at times.
Now that spot belongs to Manny Ramirez, while Thome has excelled with Morneau still on the shelf because of post-concussions symptoms.
"We're not in second place right now because of Jimmy,'' Guillen continued. "We're in second place right now because Minnesota play good and we have two very bad months. We played good without Jimmy and we played bad without Jimmy. That's the way it is. If people want to ... I said two months ago, if Chicago fans, if White Sox fans want to blame somebody and they want to point the finger at me, I'll take it. I'm big enough. I'm enough man to take it I've been criticized before and when you're the manager, that's not the last time you'll be criticized.
"They can say 'Blame it on Ozzie.' Why not? I will take the blame. Believe me, if the Minnesota Twins win, it's a team effort. It's not just Jim Thome. Did Jim help? Yes he did, a lot. I'm glad for him. The ballclub, if you look at spring training, once again, if you look at the starting rotation ... who's those guys? The second baseman [Orlando Hudson] was looking for a job all over the place. The shortstop, everybody go, '[J.J.] Hardy who?' Those guys are playing well for them. ... Well, if they want to look at all those things and throw them away and blame Ozzie for not having Jim Thome, well they can do that. I'm fine with that.''

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2 Comments

That was a great offseason we had last year..with the crown jewel being locking up the great Mark Teahen for 3 years

Letting Jim get away was another huge mistake by KW and The OZ! Go Sox!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on September 8, 2010 6:33 PM.

Beckham and his right hand - we have a problem was the previous entry in this blog.

Teahen out at third for now - call it a confidence check is the next entry in this blog.

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