Guillen should focus on lack of self-respect

On Thursday, a solo homer by Laynce Nix, brother of Jayson, gave the Cincinnati Reds a 9-1 lead over the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning.
The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Reds protected the 9-3 lead well enough to the point where Bobby Cox took both Chipper Jones and Brian McCann out of the lineup.
You might’ve heard how this one ended.  In the bottom of the ninth, the Braves scored seven runs, capping the comeback with a Brooks Conrad grand slam that went in and out of Nix’s glove.
Since it was only a few days ago that the Reds failed to hold an eight-run lead in the fifth, I didn’t think anything of the Marlins’ Brett Carroll stealing second on Scott Linebrink with a 7-0 lead in the fourth inning on Sunday.
The White Sox, on the other hand

“It’s 7-0, it’s not a good thing to steal a base,” [Freddy] Garcia said. “That’s no respect for the other team. Whatever happens happens, but it’s not showing respect. It’s 7-0 when you steal second and third. I think it’s bad baseball.” […] “Of course I do,” [Ozzie] Guillen said. “I don’t know what happened there, but this is baseball. You have to respect [the other team]. I was up eight [runs] a couple of days ago. That’s the way we learn to play the game. We had to do something about it, and we did. We had to tell the guys not to play like that.”

To use a word Guillen is fond of, this is a horse[bleep] attitude.
On the same day the Braves surprised the Reds, the Sox came within a bad hop of making up a five-run deficit in the eighth inning against the Angels.  Is a seven-run lead in the fourth much different than a five-run lead in the eighth?
Not really. Actually, history says the Sox had a better chance of coming back against the Marlins.  Using a win-expectancy finder, here’s how often teams have been able to overcome the respective deficits the Sox faced:

Had A.J. Pierzynski’s double short-hopped the wall instead of bouncing over it in that game against the Angels, the Sox would’ve climbed a mountain steeper than the one they faced on Saturday.  So who’s to say the Sox had no shot of making up seven runs against the Marlins?
Guillen and Garcia, apparently.  Such is the logic of this particular unwritten rule — Carroll disrespected the Sox by showing a lot of respect, thinking the Marlins might need an extra run or two to turn a very safe lead into a lock.  He certainly held the Sox offense in higher regard than the Sox did.
It’s one thing to run wild when the other team has clearly given up.  For instance, if a team is up 12 in the eighth with a position player pitching.  At that point, it makes sense for both teams to concentrate on nobody getting hurt.
The game hadn’t reached that point in the fourth inning on Sunday.  Scott Linebrink (an atypical mop-up man) was pitching, the ball had no problems flying out, the Sox had scored eight runs the game before … were the Marlins supposed to think the game was over?
Maybe if Carroll had attempted the steal in the fifth, Guillen would have a case.  Using Randy Williams against a slew of righties — now that’s throwing in the towel.
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Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*The Phillies are checking out Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz as they look for back-of-the-bullpen solutions.
*Alex Rios’ combination of power and speed this season is something not often seen on the South Side.
*For many White Sox, May is a month of regression.
*Joe Posnanski on the passing of Jose Lima.
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Minor league roundup:

  • Charlotte 5, Columbus 0
    • Daniel Hudson was terrific: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 11 K.  He struck out eight consecutive hitters at one point.
    • Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks each went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strikeout.
    • C.J. Retherford was 2-for-4 with a double.
    • Dayan Viciedo singled, struck out and was hit by pitch over four PAs.
  • Birmingham 5, Mobile 2
    • Christian Marrero singled twice, walked and drove in two.
    • Brent Morel went 1-for-3 with a sac fly. He committed a throwing error, his seventh.
  • Winston-Salem 7, Lynchburg 3
    • Jon Gilmore went 2-for-4 with his second homer of the season. He struck out once.
    • Brandon Short went 2-for-5 with a double, driving in two.
    • Eduardo Escobar tripled once and struck out three times.
    • Charles Leesman was unimpressive in victory: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR.
    • Santos Rodriguez struck out the side in a perfect eighth.
  • Asheville 13, Kannapolis 11
    • Trayce Thompson went 0-for-3 with a sac fly, walk and strikeout.
    • Kyle Colligan (double) and Miguel Gonzalez each went 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
    • Nick Ciolli had a single over four at-bats, and was hit by a pitch.
    • Joe Serafin was roughed up for seven runs (four earned) on 10 hits over five innings. He walked one and failed to strike anybody out.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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knoxfire30

Im all for protecting the unwritten rules of baseball but Ozzie is dead wrong in this scenario. How freaking bush league can he be throwing at a guy on the marlins a team we just won a series vs because of a stolen base in the 4th inning. Forfeit the game if you think its over at that point but dont expect the other team to stop trying. HOW BOUT INSTEAD YOU GET MAD AT THE TEAM DOWN 7 RUNS CAUSE THEY WERE THE ONES WHO QUIT!!!!!!!!
Freddys peak value took a hit today, but it sounds like the phillies (as will lots of other teams) have started scouting jenks and putz. Volchers are gonna be circling all over the cell the next couple months.

ricksch

Just in case you had any hope the Sox might start playing respectable ball . . .
Garcia and Ozzie are full of shit on this one. It was early! I guess Garcis quit in the 1st and was waiting three innings for everyone to catch up with him.
I think this series with the Indians will tell us something about self-respect. The Sox must win this series and need to sweep it.

mechanicalturk

I’m going to defend Ozzie and Freddy here. Not their apparent lack of annoyance at getting destroyed today, which should piss them off a hell of a lot more than some stolen bases, but I will defend the decision to throw at Carroll.
I don’t think Carroll was trying to help his team win. I think he was trying to pad his stats. Carroll is not a stolen base guy- it just isn’t a big part of his game. In fact, in 164 major league games before today, he was 1-2 on stolen bases. The guy is simply not a base stealer.
So today he was hit by a Linebrink who didn’t have the best control. It happens, you take your base. Then he steals- not really to help his team- after all this guy is not a base stealer, and they don’t exactly have the hit and run on in this situation- so it sure seems like he’s just trying to pad his stats. I’d equate it to Uggla taking big rips at 3-0 pitches in this situation. But he steals, and is safe, for the second time in his career. Later in the inning Gaby Sanchez is on first, and HE steals second. Again, a guy who does not make the stolen base a big part of his game. Sanchez attempts his first major league steal, having not tried in his first 68 major league games. These guys are not Juan Pierre, doing their thing- these are guys who are doing things they don’t normally do to try and win, when they have a big lead in a game. It probably doesn’t help that the White Sox ran often on the Marlins the day before, but by running now they send the message that they are doing it, that they are stealing bases and playing the game in a different way from their norm, because they can.
Maybe I would have bought that they were just trying to help their team win, but these are the only guys who try to steal today. And after Carroll is hit, they apparently receive, understand, and accept the message, because no one tries to steal again. The Marlins’ response really says it all, but for further support I’d point to one of Morgan Ensberg’s blog entries (I couldn’t find the link in my brief search) in which he discussed some of the unwritten rules. Some things, like running across a mound when it’s the quickest path back to your base, are fine. Some things, like admiring a home run (see: Carlos Gomez, who proceeded to drop his bat on Mauer’s wrists) or taking big hacks at a 3-0 pitch with a big lead, are not ok. This falls into the latter category.
If the Marlins really wanted revenge for Carroll’s plunking, they’d have gone after the next batter, Pierzynski. But they didn’t. And their running game was shut down for the day. Seems like they got the message.
Later, in the 7th, Pierzynski was hit. They waited an awfully long time to respond, if they were responding. But it’s Pierzynski, so I’m guessing something was said to spark that chain of events.
At any rate, I don’t think Ozzie was wrong to order the hit. As for the comments, well, he’s mad enough about the game, what do you want him to say when asked about Carroll? “Forget that, let me talk about how badly my team lost again”? I’m sure Ozzie is plenty pissed that his team lost horribly, and I’m sure they’ll hear it from him. This is separate from all that, but it happened too, and that’s all right with me.

knoxfire30

haha stat padding 1 to 2 steals, break out the extra 15 mil a year!!!!!
no in all seriousness, when I use to get plunked I would be mad about it, and naturally a lot of coaches like running guys who have been hit, your adrenaline going that little bit extra and sometimes thats the difference in being safe or out
look the defense holds the freaking ball, as hawk always says if you have a problem with the other team scoring by using whatever strategy they are using thats on you!
sox got their ass beat sunday and they quit, instead of being mad at themselves they decided to be mad about a meaningless stolen base.

Shinons

I don’t have a problem with Ozzie or anyone else not liking it, and sending an unspoken message to enforce the unwritten rule. But I do have a problem with multiple guys coming out after the game complaining about it. You evened things up – there’s no reason to bitch about it after that.

cushinglee

I think Ozzie should thank the Blackhawks. For the next couple weeks, nobody’s going to care about the White Sox.

knoxfire30

Anyone been thinking that after years of Kenny Williams trading away prospects with them having little success that all of a sudden some deals arent looking so great. Chris Carter and Brandon Allen are off to slow starts but Gio Gonzalez, John Ely, and Clayton Richard are having some success. Even Ryan Sweeney is off to a nice start. I think some of that will level off especially with Ely but… just a thought

hillerichnbragsby

The real deal here is that Ozzie is once again trying to deflect his managerial ineptness away by misdirecting readers to the fact that he’s a horseshit manager; has no clue on how to handle his pitching staff properly; and focuses too much media on himself instead of improving his team and their performance. Then again, Ken Williams hasn’t exactly given him much to work with – even thoug OG rubber-stamped KW’s moves. What we’re seeing is the ultimate disinetegration of what might have been a dynasty had OG & KW NOT done what they have since ’05.

striker

Freddy got his ass kicked. Ozzie’s team got their ass kicked. When you get your ass kicked you shut your f#$%@ing mouth.

cushinglee

My thoughts exactly.

canisobesus

I agree with many of the above comments, but maybe something else was at play. Farmer & DJ commented on the Marlin’s hitters looking very comfortable at bat covering the outside half of the plate. They added that in homer friendly parks like the Cell, the pitchers tend to pitch away/away/away. They agreed when the hitters are cheating on this tendency, the pitchers have to throw inside more. When you do this, it may result in hit batters. I would like to see the Sox be more agressive with the outside half of the plate and drive the ball to the opposite field.

chisoxt

Is it just me or have there been occassions in the past when out hitters have gotten drilled two or three times in a game and Ozzie does nothing about it? Exacting revenge in Sunday’s game was an easy thing to do, given that we won’t play these guys again this year and maybe not for several more years. I wonder if Ozzie would have taken the same action against an Amercian League opponent?

marshlands

It’s this type of cry-baby bullshit that made me a huge fan of Belichick. This is professional sports. Run up the score. Pad your stats. If it feels good, do it, lord knows all those dudes are getting paid high enough that both fans and the teams themselves should expect this competitiveness.
I’m really glad you brought up the Braves/Reds game, Jim, as that’s just but one example of the obvious: no game is over, ever. Until there’s 27 outs, of course.

dudeman

I agree with the Belichek comp, but while you acknowledge the human side of stats, you don’t acknowledge the human side of getting your ass whipped; that is to say, humans don’t like getting their asses whipped. What happened on the field makes sense to me: the Marlins were whipping our asses and liked it, the Sox were getting their asses whipped and didn’t like it. Duh.
What happened after the game- in the press- makes no sense. Why would anyone on the Sox, let alone the manager, want to admit to reacting like a child. I DO understand the impulse, but I think going public with your case is pointless unless you are out of the gray area, and this was definitely in the gray. This is just frustration.
They better get over it fast, though, because frustration is not a productive emotion, and if the Sox plan on handling frustration in this way, it’s time to cut Kotsay and sign Brock Lesnar as our DH, because teams will be whipping our asses quite a bit this season.

hillerichnbragsby

Jim Margalus says: May 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm1. “Most fans think their managers handle pitching staffs poorly. Ozzie’s better than most at it, even though the 2007 bullpen kinda ruined his gut instincts for unorthodox bullpen matchups.” Did you mean that OG is better at handling his pitching staff poorly – because if you did, then you and I are in complete agreement. No matter what argument can be made, when a Guillen allows his starters to give up 6, 7, 10+ runs BEFORE going to relief pitching, he’s dug a hole too deep for their inept offense to pvercome. What sense does this “strategy” make? Absolutely NONE!

hillerichnbragsby

Cleve 7 SOX 3. Starter (Peavy) stays in until he’s given up 6 Runs (again); The AL’s top Home Run Hitter isn’t played (Konerko); The only team as bad as the SOX (Cleveland) has a pretty easy time of it; and on and on, etc. The SOX are playing Horseshit Baseball because their manager is Horseshit! Go Blackhawks!

hillerichnbragsby

By the way – How can Ozzie be expected to focus on anything to do with “Respect”? He can’t keep focused on the game!