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The White Sox in crisis -- as usual

Posted on: April 25, 2011 6:29 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 10:16 pm
 
NEW YORK -- Every year, we go through this with the White Sox.

Every year, we go through this with Ozzie Guillen.

"Every year at some point, somehow, I'm getting fired," Guillen said Monday.

Yes, crisis time is here again for the White Sox, although Monday night's 2-0 win over the Yankees will help a little. Now the White Sox are 2-10 over their last 12 games, matching those other Sox, who went 2-10 over their first 12 games.

But even if there was panic all over New England until the Red Sox began winning, it's safe to say that no one does crisis quite like the White Sox. The only surprise is that Ozzie hasn't said anything -- yet -- that would have people asking if this time, he really is going to get fired.

The assumption from people who know White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has always been that only something Guillen says -- something really, really bad -- could get him fired. But some of those same people are wondering this week whether this team could play poorly enough that Guillen's job would become an issue.

"Is Ozzie's voice getting old?" one of those people asked Monday.

The word in the White Sox clubhouse is that it's not, that Ozzie is the same as ever and that this is just a bad stretch of games like other bad stretches the White Sox have endured.

"He's the same guy he's been since my first year here," said Matt Thornton, now in his sixth year as a White Sox reliever. "He just has a little more gray hair, most of it my fault."

Other White Sox players and coaches say the same thing, and Guillen's pregame media session Monday was like any number of others he has held when White Sox times have been bad.

He expressed confidence in his team ("We need to go out and let the talent take over"), defended hitting coach Greg Walker ("Some [players] out there are making $12-15 million. Greg Walker's only making $100,000. We're not struggling because of Greg Walker"), and joked about his lack of a true closer ("Somebody's going to be out there, and we have to pray, because we need a win").

And, asked whether general manager Ken Williams would want to talk to him about changing coaches, Guillen said, "If they're going to blame anybody, I take the blame. If somebody's got to be fired here, it's Ozzie."

Williams arrived in New York after a flight delay ("Two and half hours with angry Sox fans," he said), and also expressed confidence that the White Sox are much better than their record.

"We have the ability, we have the talent," Williams said. "Call me crazy, but I happen to think we've got a pretty good team out there. They're what we think they are."

We've heard it all before, and we've seen this all before. Just last year, the White Sox started 8-13, the same record they had before Sunday's loss in Detroit.

The difference this year is that the Sox now have the highest payroll in the division (a club-record $127.8 million), and also that they pushed their players harder in spring training in hopes of getting off to a fast start.

"We got off to a slow start last year, and it ended up costing us the division," said starter Jake Peavy, who believes he needs just two more rehab starts before making his 2011 debut.

They have been here before, but has it been this bad?

Scouts who watched the White Sox over the last week described them as "uninspired" and said there was "no energy."

"They're going to snap out of it . . . I think," said one scout who has followed the White Sox for years.

You have to figure they will, because you have to figure that some of their big hitters will start hitting. While the bullpen was the problem early in the season (and while the White Sox still have just one save in seven opportunities), the biggest recent problem has been a severe lack of offense.

And while it's true that the White Sox have faced great pitching during this 2-10 slide (David Price, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Justin Verlander, and then A.J. Burnett Monday night), it's also true that they've scored just 27 runs in that span.

New designated hitter Adam Dunn had a ground ball that brought in a run Monday, but he's still hitting just .158 with 24 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. Alex Rios had a hit Monday, but that broke an 0-for-22 skid. Gordon Beckham has just one hit in his last 29 at-bats.

"Hitting is so mental," Walker said. "Right now, our team doesn't feel that good about themselves. But deep down, they know they're good."

They should be good. They should be much better than this.

But weren't we saying the exact same thing a couple of weeks back about a different group of Sox?

The Red Sox lost 10 of their first 12. The White Sox has lost 10 of their last 12.

Is it that different?

"I saw them a lot in spring training, and I thought they'd have a heck of a year," one scout said Monday.

Just to be clear, he was talking about the White Sox.


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The White Sox in crisis -- as usual

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:46 pm
 

The White Sox in crisis -- as usual




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Posted on: December 3, 2011 10:30 am
 

The White Sox in crisis -- as usual




Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 8:18 pm
 

The White Sox in crisis -- as usual



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 3:08 am
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Since: May 18, 2008
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:56 pm
 

The White Sox in crisis -- as usual

I guess i was reading a different article, but I thought knobler was being complimentary to the White Sox and Ozzie in particular. It seems that he was saying that White Sox should be fine eventually. I love Ozzie as a manager and It would be sad if Ozzie was not the manager here and we would go back to the likes of Jerry Manuel, Terry Bevo or washed up guys like Joe Torre.


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