Crosstown Showdown: Round 1

It’s sometimes easy to forget the managerial acumen possessed by Ozzie Guillen.

That aspect of the overall person that is Guillen often gets lost when he’s telling humorous stories about buying T-shirts that make fun of him on the streets near Wrigley Field, not to mention the other comical yarns he spins on a daily basis. But anyone who watched the White Sox in action during Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs understands his sharp and aggressive managerial mindset and how the White Sox take their cue from their leader.

I’m not saying Guillen outmanaged Lou Piniella. In all honesty, I’m not sure if Houdini could have produced a win for the Cubs on Wednesday with as listless as that lineup looks. But the non station-to-station game played by the Whtie Sox is the sort of game Guillen would prefer to see from his team every day.

–I’m just throwing this out there and I want to see how many, if any, of you agree.

If a vote was taken today, would Scott Podsednik be the White Sox Most Valuable Player? That’s where I would throw my support, although a case could be made for everyone from Paul Konerko to Jermaine Dye to A.J. Pierzynski to Mark Buehrle. But Podsednik has changed the dynamic of this lineup.

He reached base three more times on Wednesday, having now reached base in 32 of his last 34 games, and Podsednik is hitting .315.

– Slowly but surely, the White Sox have put together what looks to be a solid bottom part of the batting order. That group includes Chris Getz, Brian Anderson and Gordon Beckham. On Wednesday, the trio reached base six combined times.

“I think we are playing well,” Beckham said. “We’ve all done something in the last couple of games. It helps that our older guys don’t always have to do it. They don’t always have to have the big hits.”

All three have helped out defensively, with Anderson still standing as one of the best with the glove in the American League at his position.

– Here’s Podsednik’s take on the importance of doing the little things in victory.

“That’s what we haven’t been doing in series before this one,” Podsednik said. “That’s what we needed to clean up a little bit: The way we handled the bats, getting guys over, getting guys in with less than two outs. So, the team that takes the field and is able to do those things consistently is going to be able to win games.”

–Guillen had these words of encouragement for Cubs fans after another tough home loss.

“They’ve got a good ballclub,” Guillen said. “If I had to bet, with all respect to St. Louis, Milwaukee and all those teams, the Cubs are going to be in the pennant race.

“Just people in Chicago relax. Quit panicking. Worry about something else. Worry about your family, the kids going back to school and having good grades. Don’t worry about the Cubs, they’ll be fine.”

On Tuesday night, Guillen predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central by 10 games.

2 Comments

I certainly think that that argument for Podsednik could be made, because I think that his coming back to the team and taking that lead-off spot in the lineup really brought us back to life. Before that, we were doing pretty bad, but then it was like something changed almost overnight and the Sox started doing WAY better than we had been.

I agree about the bottom third of the order being solid. I noticed good things happening earlier in the season when the batting sequence of Anderson followed by Getz followed by Fields started producing. At that time they were in positions 9, 1 and 2. Hadn’t quite jelled before BA went down with the injury, but the potential was there.

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