Friday, July 21, 2006, 3:55 pm CT
Pods, LF; Iguchi, 2B; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Uribe, SS; Anderson, CF. Buehrle on the mound.
With the quick turnaround yesterday, I wasn’t able to steal time to post before yesterday’s game. Then that quick flight home from Detroit yesterday afternoon seemed to take forever … something about flight backup because of AM weather in Chicago and the overall mood in the plane.
Guys are angry, frustrated and disappointed. Not necessarily in the way we played in Detroit, oh for the clutch hit, but in the result. I take this frustration as a good thing, as a motivating emotion. I think a team like us, that could have (coulda, woulda, shoulda) been 4-2 on this trip with clutch hitting, is dangerous. But speculation is pretty worthless. We need to get the job done on this homestand, pure and simple.
Ozzie and Kenny certainly know that. They are feeling the same emotions we all are at this moment. The question for a manager at times like this is how do you respond? Do you jump your team, scream and turn over tables? Do you remain quiet and stay the course, or do you give guys a re-assuring pat on the back?
Ozzie’s going to choose what he thinks is best for this team and for individual players on the team. I do believe that some teams respond positively to times like this by being chewed out, while other clubs would react negatively to that. Each team has its very own personality from one season to the next and each should be handled differently. The 2004 White Sox had a different personality than the 2005, and the 2006 … you get the idea.
Deciding how do handle these situations is Ozzie’s job. And there is no one better at reading a clubhouse (at least in my experience) than Ozzie. And after what the core of this team went through last postseason together, I will always place my bets with Paul, Jermaine, A.J., Joe, et al.
Which leads me to …
We have gone 10-52 (.192) with runners in scoring position over our last six games and 16-77 (.208) over the last eight … and the right guys have been getting the opportunities. Can’t speak on behalf of our nervous (or getting more nervous with each passing game) fans, but I think our 3-4-5-6-7 guys will start coming through again, and probably soon. On the year, we still lead the majors with a .308 average with runners in scoring position.
A good friend and frequent reader sent me a note this morning pointing out that our current .617 winning percentage (tied for third best in baseball with Boston) is better than our final mark in 2005 (.611). The .617 mark equates to 100 victories over a 162-game season.
Brian Anderson was impressive both at the plate and in the field in Detroit … our starting pitching, much maligned recently, turned in three strong performances in the last turn through the rotation.
Our makeup game with the Angels re-scheduled for August 7 has been picked up by ESPN nationally (I know, not great news since we always seem to play poorly in those games) and now will begin at 6:05 pm CT. It can be seen locally on Comcast Sports Net.
The Sox are 14-6 against the AL West and 33-14 at home (including 32 of our last 43) … Chicago leads the AL with 139 home runs and is tied with Baltimore for second in the AL with 27 sacrifice hits (that one surprises me) … we are tied for second in the AL with 28 come-from-behind wins, one behind league-leading Boston.
Just got off the phone with Roger Bossard. Light to medium rain until 8 pm is expected but thought we would be fine after that.
By the way, someone on this blog asked about a weather link. I sent that idea along to MLBAM. No one got back to me, but I noticed today that BAM is offering a link to a weather site. Let’s assume the idea came from a reader on this blog. Congratulations.
Since I haven’t been home much this month, I am in dire need of a haircut (for what hair I do have). Wednesday in Detroit I saw a sign in the clubhouse saying you could get a haircut. Well, Don Cooper, Ozzie Jr. and Chris Widger were among the guys to visit the barber. After seeing their military buzz cuts, I am glad I passed on the offer.
"I blame it on Riske (who does sport a buzz cut)," Ozzie Guillen Sr. said. "Before he got here, I had a good-looking club. Now, everyone looks like a convict."
Several years ago, I ruptured my Achilles playing basketball (long story, not a great day in my life … or my wife’s for that matter). Anyway, I had a great ortho do the repair work. His receptionist is a huge White Sox fan. A friend of ours just injured himself. When my wife called to see if our ortho could check him out, the receptionist said she loves this blog but gets mad when I don’t publish.
So, just in case I ever need to visit the good doctor again, I apologize and promise to try and post more often. I do not want skilled medical personnel angry with me, especially if I ever have to visit them again, hobbling in great pain.