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It’s nice to see that Ozzie Guillen’s frustration with Alex Rios is basically on the same trajectory as the ticket-buying public.
Four days ago:
“A lot of people talk about Rios is not doing well,” Guillen said of Rios, who is batting .154 in 22 games since joining the Sox. “Well, there’s a lot of people in the lineup following him. I guarantee you when Alex starts with us next year, sees how we work and gets comfortable, Alex will be fine. He’s a good ballplayer, he’s been for a long time.”
”What have I seen from Rios? A lot of outs,” Guillen said. ”The only batting-ninth guy making $5 million was me.
”This [expletive] is making $10, $12, $14 million, he ain’t going to be batting ninth [in 2010]. I’m going to make sure he earns his money. But right now, I have to put him there because he’s struggling. Next year, if we have Rios batting ninth, we’re in deep [expletive] again.”
Joe Cowley indicates that Guillen did pad his criticism with some sort of encouraging words, but didn’t exactly specify. Either way, it’s great theater; very Earl Weaverish in quality.
Masked by some motherloving goodness is one quote that might turn out to be significant:
”This year has been a very unusual situation,” Guillen said. ”Every time we’re in a slump, it’s everybody. You’re not going to take anything away from the pitching staffs that we’ve faced, but we’ve been facing some pitchers this year, it’s like, ‘Who the [hell] is this guy? They don’t even belong in the [expletive] big leagues, and they just kicked our ass.’
”I’m not going to lie. I know who beat us, and I know who should beat us. We’ve faced some guys where they’ve called him up, faced us and get him back to [expletive] Double-A, get the [hell] out of here. That’s how bad we’ve been.”
Emphasis mine, because the more people talk, the more I expect the Sox to not retain Greg Walker after the season.
For one, if two-thirds of the lineup struggles at the same time, that’s … well, that’s kind of hard to work around.
On top of that, you have Rios — who is clearly going to be around for a while — looking like T-Ball would provide a challenge. With the way all his body parts are going in different directions, he’d have trouble tracking a stationary object.
And while I don’t think Hawk Harrelson is connected to the clubhouse this closely, it is interesting to note the number of times he’s referred to opponents’ “advance scouting,” like it’s an unfair advantage the Sox have never tried. I’m not saying it means anything, but I probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable if I were Mike Gellinger.
Considering Walker’s contract expires after this year and Kenny Williams tabled contract negotiations, it can be assumed that Walker is effectively auditioning for his job. From Guillen’s quotes, it can be assumed that it’s not going well.
Brian Fuentes entered Saturday’s game holding lefties to a line of .217/.277/.250.
Scott Podsednik hung in there to work the count full, then roped a double to the right-center gap. He’s still hitting lefties at a .343 clip.
Minor league roundup:
- Birmingham 1, Jacksonville 0 (suspended, 1st inning)
- C.J. Retherford hit a solo homer.
- Missoula 3, Great Falls 2 (11 innings)
- Terry Doyle struck out 11 over six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk.
- Stephen Curry struck out three over two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit.
- Nick Ciolli and Kyle Colligan each went 1-for-5.
- Jordan Cheatham went 1-for-4 with two RBI.