Guillen defends decision to build team for wrong league

Ozzie's expletive-laden argument for declining Jim Thome's services includes interleague success and, for some reason, Jermaine Dye


That’s Ozzie Guillen, sounding off against people like me who still can’t fathom why Jim Thome is a Twin.
There’s a lot of bluster and expletives and there’s a Jermaine Dye strawman in there somewhere, but this is the key excerpt for me:

“How many games did we win against the National League [in interleague play], 15?” Guillen said. “Every time we had Jim Thome here, we couldn’t play him against the National League. Why won’t anybody give me credit for that one? We won 15 games. And Jimbo had one, two at-bats every time we played those guys. And we made this run because we played good against the National League. We got hot then.”

This is a perfectly cromulent point. In fact, let me check how many more National League teams the Sox have left on the schedule. Excuse me for one moment.



Well, this is weird. Maybe I’m reading the schedule wrong, but it appears that there are ZERO games against NL teams on the schedule.
In a bizarre turn, the White Sox have 42 games remaining, and every one of them is against an American League team. This is certainly alarming, because the Sox are a below-.500 team against the AL (50-52).
If only they had designed their roster for the league to which they belong … but who could have foreseen these complications?
(Oh, and there’s also the matter that the White Sox didn’t play Thome in any of the nine games in NL parks this year, and seemed to do OK. So… yeah.)

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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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onlysoxfaninboston

jim,
final score should be switched in the SoS page.
ozzie is a stubborn idiot, so this rant doesn’t offer a whole lot more from what i already know. however, i would love a mic in front of kenny, because really how can he defend himself? i thought the initial joke after the thome non-decision was that kenny was giving ozzie enough rope to hang himself letting him assemble this shitty offense. well, it turned out that the pitching carried us close to contention only to have the shitty offense put the sox back in their place. it seems that there is enough rope for kenny too, he should have known better to let ozzie make final roster decisions.

alwayssox

Except that the hitting has been good lately. I think they lead the league (or pretty close) in runs scored in Aug and they are better than average in the AL in runs/game over the entire season.

expatnyc

He needs to go.

lorenzobandini

No way. They should give him a lifetime contract. He is just about the only thing entertaining about this team.
Of course…. what would Thome’s stats look like if (a) he played every day (which would have been the expectation if he stayed here) and (b) if he didn’t have the Sox to play against?

blah

Good thing there was that spot for Jayson Nix. Lord knows he NEEDED playing time.

lorenzobandini

“Mandrew”, as you call him is another story all together.
Why do we have him and JD is sitting at home? Kenny deserves more crap for that move than for Thome, if you ask me.
Heck…. I think I would rather have JD in right than the Stanford head-case.

knoxfire30

Im about as big an ozzie supporter as their is out there, but this has to be in his top 3 dumbest things ever said category and its probably the only 1 of the 3 baseball related. This is classic compounding a mistake. All Ozzie had to do is say at the start of the year we thought it beneficial to keep guys like Quentin and Konerko healthy utilizing them in a revolving DH platoon that incorporated Jones and Kotsay. WHile we did get the benefit of helathy productive seasons so far from PK and CQ, we have been a bat short especially from the left side. THAT WOULD HAVE ENDED ALL THIS DAMN TALK EVERY DAY
Its also time to sound off on the damn scouting, because our advanced scouts watching the teams in our division should be fucking fired for the hoseshit job they are doing, pitch selection and hitter preparation for our guys have been AWFUL. You cant have any shot at a division title when the teams in your division consistently kick the crap out of you.

danks50

I’m somewhat torn on Ozzie Guillen because although I love to brutal honesty that’s really never found with the coaching staff up in Halas Hall I don’t get outright insulting your fans.
That being said I still don’t get why Ozzie gets 99% of the heat for the Thome debacle. Last time I checked Kenny is our GM and its his job not Ozzie’s to build our team. I don’t think anyone in the right mind thinks Ozzie Guillen would be an architect in building a successful team as no baseball guy in their right mind should buy into the guys deadball grindy low obp/speed top of the order, DH bench rotation garbage.

ricksch

A sad day in Soxville, punctuated by few more f– yous to the fans from our manager. It was fun while it lasted — well, sort of.
Mistakes get made in any human endeavor. A leader admits those mistakes and moves on. Ozzie says he “takes the blame” because he read somewhere that’s what he’s supposed to say. But then he immediately deflects all the blame onto everyone else!!?? Is he a psychopath or an idiot? Either way, I sure as hell wouldn’t want him running my team.
I don’t see how Ozzie would attract other players to come to Chicago. He must be at least part of the reason why so many turn down trades to the Sox and even the guys we manage to get like Peavy have to be sold on the deal two or three times.
Sox need to eat the last year of of Guillen’s contract and hire a manager who at least knows what league he’s playing in.
As for Williams, he failed to do his job in the off-season, then tried to patch over his mistake with a bad trade that will hurt the team for years to come. I’ve been told it’s premature to annoint Hudson, but all he had to do was settle into the five spot next year to become a major plus for the team going forward. We had faith in last-leg Freddy to fill that roll, but not Hudson despite his quick rise through the Minors and several clear indications that he’s not another Carlos Torres.
Kenny’s made a few good deals over the years but the bad ones seem to be coming more often. Would like to see him gone too, though Guillen’s dismissal seems to hold more urgency.

knoxfire30

Uh thats the third absolute head scratcher play alexei has had in the last 2 weeks now, what the heck is that guy thinking sometimes. Not an exaggeration that was the worst decesion on a fielders choice I have ever seen.

soxfan1

Ozzie’s reputation has scared off more than a few players. Critizing a future hall of famer has to be one of his dumbest outbursts. I like Ozzie as a field manager but beyond that he is full of himself.

soxicano

Jim Thome not being the ChiSox DH anymore has little to nothing to do with why the Sox have lost against Twins this season. The Sox offense has especially showed up to hit against the Twins in Target Field. The pitching on the other hand, both starting and bullpen, have pitched with fear and the Twins have gotten in their heads. But remember, this is the same Twins that let the Sox climb back from 8 or 9 games back to take first place. We see the Twins vulnerabilities in their starting rotation and closer. So as much as I would like to close the chapter of this season on the Sox, I can’t. The Twins are not that good. Really they are not.

As Cirensica

I have seen this movie before. When a player is not kept, then why we didn’t keep him, and bla bla bla…On the other hand, when a player is kept, then is why we didn’t get rid of him…and bla bla I have seen this so many times in boards like this. I really don’t think Thome has been a major factor why the WhiteSox are where they are in the standings. As a matter of fact, I believe this team is playing better than prior year team (AND WE HAD THOME). I believe this whole issue is a scapegoat to “explain” WhiteSox debacle. I am gonna explain WhiteSox debacle in two phases: Beginning of the season, great pitching, poor hitting….end of the season: great hitting, poor pitching….and in between a good mixture of both….forget Thome. This team is slightly better without Thome. In 2009, we were 62 and 59, right now we are 65 and 55.

As Cirensica

That is a valid point…particularly when the Twins lost Morneau for the time being. If we had kept Thome, the Twins would have had to figure out a replacement for Morneau which is definitely hard to do, and they will not [probably] be enjoying the position they have now. I do envy them for having Mauer….what a fantastic player! A true hitter. We haven’t had one since Frank Thomas days.

bigfun

“I have seen this movie before. When a player is not kept, then why we didn’t keep him, and bla bla bla…On the other hand, when a player is kept, then is why we didn’t get rid of him…and bla bla I have seen this so many times in boards like this.”
Just for the record, Jim and the majority of the commentators here (almost everyone except Soxicano, I guess) were completely against the Thome decision and the DHydra from day one, so this isn’t Monday morning GMing.
And “this team is slightly better without Thome” is ignoring a lot of variables that actually make the difference. The 2010 Sox plus Thome would probably be tied with the Twins, or within a game either way.

As Cirensica

I am aware that Jim’s position since the beginnings of the season. He has some valid points, but I think the whole thing is hard to quantify in terms of success and failure. The thing I see against this whole point is that many people are giving the Thome situation as the reason why the Sox failed…..maybe you and Jim are not, but some others are…

bigfun

Fair enough. Although,
“the whole thing is hard to quantify in terms of success and failure”
I don’t mean to suggest WAR or any other stat is a be-all end-all, but I don’t it’s too hard to at least roughly quantify.
Jim Thome 2.2 WAR (257 PA)
Andruw Jones 1.0 WAR (275 PA)
Mark Kotsay -.6 WAR (300 PA)
This Pale Hose Pariah post lays it out pretty well: http://palehosepariah.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/graph-designated-to-not-hit/

blah

IMO it has more to do with Mark Kotsay and Andruw Jones getting the lions share of the DH PA’s than Thome himself. Thome’s production shows the hubris of the Sox front office in their assumption that marginal players now could somehow tap the fountain of youth. If the Sox had signed someone like Damon (albeit only 1.8 WAR) I don’t think there would be as much outrage from the peanut gallery. As Chisoxt says below, if the Sox had replaced Thome with someone there probably wouldn’t be such an issue.

blah

For the record though, I preferred Thome to almost any option. In his time here in Chicago he was the lone bright spot on the 2007 team and one of the few guys to hit in the 2nd half of 2006. The way Ozzie implied Thome was the cause of three 3rd place finishes is unfounded and ridiculous.

dudeman

Ozzie is catching all this hell for what? As far as I can tell, it’s mainly because he can’t shut his mouth. KENNY WILLIAMS IS THE GM.
I actually think Ozzie should still get a few votes for Manager of the Year if we finish within a few games of the Twins. This roster, especially offensively, is not a roster I’d expect to be in the hunt with.
KENNY WILLIAMS IS THE GM.

chisoxt

The issue here I believe, is not letting Thome go. I did not necessarily disagree with the desecion to cut ties with him, as his strikeouts, base clogging and overall production seemed to have diminished. Ironically, with fewer at-bats, he seems to be a better hitter-go figure.
The problem, once again is not necessarily letting Thome go, but NOT REPLACING HIM WITH ANYBODY. This is similiar to the issues encountered in 2009 after we let Uribe, Cabrerra and Swisher go, all for various (sensible)reasons. No problem, but these players accounted for a significant percentage of our run production in 2008, but who were they replaced with? Lillibridge? Betemit?
The Ozzie issue with supposedly having a significant influence in the Thome decesion reminds me of the Michael Jordan era, when every offseason, MJ would have some hair-brained suggestion for a player Jerry Krause should go get. Krause would never listen to MJ, and the player MJ wanted would invariably turn out to be a disaster playing for someone else. The lesson here is that IT IS THE GENERAL MANAGER’S RESPONSIBILITY to fill out the roster. To pass off an important decesion such as this to Ozzie is pure ignorance.

soxicano

Just because the Twins can beat the ChiSox doesn’t mean they can beat out the remainder of their schedule. The Twins failed against the NL teams and that is when the Sox surged. Does that mean the Twins are worst than NL teams? of course not. The Sox are in a bad slide and the Twins are riding high. Their fortunes could reverse quickly. We have seen this happen already. Fatalism is for Cubs fans not the Soxside.

ricksch

Williams abdicated his duties on the Thome deal and the blame should land squarely on him and him alone. Instead of doing his job of assembling the team, Williams goes public with his punk-ass, buck-pass to Ozzie, to throw blame his way in case things go sour. Is that a great working dynamic or what? When the GM and the manager don’t seem to understand what their job entails, I’d say you have a problem.
But to fully understand the frustration many of us feel about the Thome deal, you have to go back to how it evolved. Spring traning was about to start and the Sox were complaining they had no more money, though a lefty bad might be nice. Turns out Thome and lots of other aging stars are still available. The market for these guys is waning, as JD will attest. Thome could be gotten very cheap and may even throw in a hometown discount. Seemingly content with a roster with at least two or three holes, the Sox “nix” Thome, even as it becomes clear the Twins will take him if they don’t.
Letting the Twins get Thome was pure folly. But the real, clear-cut, blantant insanity from my view was why they felt it would be better to have Jayson Nix on the roster??? As a back-up Vizquel made Nix’ presence redundant. No one ever changed pitchers because the Mighty Nix was coming to the plate. Thome, even though he’s off his career numbers, remains a very potent threat.
Williams’ chief concern in all of this seemed to be that he would lose Nix if he sent him down cause he was out of options. This is especially ironic as Williams DFA’d Nix a few months later.
And for the rest of the trading season, Williams can’t find a lefty bat to save his soul.

soxicano

What a beat down Sox kill Twins 11 to 0! Yes the Sox are vulnerable but so are the Twins. The bats came to play in this series and the offense was on. The bullpen has been in question since Bobby went day to day and starting rotation could have been better but big props to the offense who every night came in against Minnesota driving in runs. The hitters have gotten the Twinsdome drones out of their heads but the pitching has to conquer their fears. Losing 2 of 3 sucks and does set us back, but the Sox could have been 6 out of first place and then what we would all be saying. Hhmm.