Ozzie Guillen compared managing the White Sox to being on the back of an airplane. A plane that is losing altitude in a hurry.
Before the Sox (11-21) suffered a 3-2 defeat against the Minnesota Twins at U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday afternoon, Guillen talked about his struggling players, who have lost 17 of their previous 21 games. The slump is something of a shock, and while accepting his share of responsibility for it, Guillen, a former player himself, knows it falls squarely on his players' shoulders.
"Those guys got to go fight every day,'' Guillen said. "Every day they have to fight. That's the thing. They are the pilots. We [coaching staff] sitting in the back of the airplane. We gonna crash. Well the plane going to crash because you fall, but I'm gonna crash. I be the first one to die. But I not driving the thing.''
The Sox continued to drive their season into the ground, at least in the early going of Wednesday's game. Less than 24 hours after getting no-hit by the Twins' Francisco Liriano, Juan Pierre led off the game with a single to quickly pitchfork the possibility of back-to-back no-hitters. But Twins starter Nick Blackburn picked off Pierre at first before the next batter, Alexei Ramirez, could even get loose.
In the second inning, Carlos Quentin got doubled off first on A.J. Pierzynski's liner to shortstop.
It was just as messy in the Twins sixth when Omar Vizquel was late covering first on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Matt Tolbert. That put runners on first and second, and both runners advanced a base on Justin Morneau's fly ball to Quentin on the right-field warning track. Span scored on Jason Kubel's sacrifice fly and Tolbert scored on Rene Tosoni's two-out single that made it 3-1.
"You have $120 million reasons and you have 30 reasons about why we not winning,'' Guillen said of the Sox all-time high payroll after he was asked if he's talked to chairman Jerry Reinsdorf lately. "You think I gonna tell Jerry don't do it or why are we doing it? No. They know I try hard... What we can do? Hopefully those guys start to play better.
"He asks the same questions we ask. What happened? What happened? You watched the game. He watch the same game we watch. What we can do about it? Nothing.
"I'm not making any excuse. I don't make any excuse. We suck.''
"A lot of manager of the year get fired. They do. That's why when they gave me my manager of the year award, psh. I don't care about that."
Alex Rios hit his third home run of the season leading off the third inning to forge a 1-1 tie. Jason Kubel drove in the Twins' first run with a single in the first inning against Sox starter John Danks.