Guillen sounds a warning to Ramirez

Alexei Ramirez finished 0-for3 with one walk and one flawless chance in the field at shortstop during Friday’s 5-4 loss suffered by the White Sox to the Cubs. The talented infielder actually was more the topic of conversation before Friday’s game, as manager Ozzie Guillen once again talked about his displeasure with Ramirez’s occasional perceived defensive laziness.

Even with that displeasure clearly out in the open, Guillen didn’t bench Ramirez or have any sort of talk with him following Thursday’s two-error effort in the White Sox 13-inning victory over the Dodgers.

“I’ve talked to him already. I don’t think there’s a reason to do it
[now]. I should, just to get it out of my system,” Guillen said. “But I’m going to let
him go because I might say the wrong thing to him and all of a sudden
we might create a monster.

“I hope he reads the paper. My coaching staff
will take care of that and we’ll see after that. It’s not because I
hate the kid, it’s not because I’m picking on him. You all saw the way
he went about his business after he made an out. I want him to be the
best shortstop he can be.”

Guillen explained that he doesn’t expect Ramirez to win batting titles or RBI titles, so aside from making the All-Star team, the Gold Glove stands as the only individual honor he could earn.

“Well, play like a Gold Glover,” Guillen said. “When I made a statement in
January that this kid should be one of the best shortstops in the game,
one of the best shortstops for the White Sox, I meant it. I meant it
because I’ve seen it. That’s why it’s my job, Joey Cora’s job, to get
this kid in the right place for the rest of his career.”

As for the potential benching, Guillen said he gives days off to players that deserve a day off.

“And I make it clear, I never criticize my players for an error, a bad pitch, give up a home run,” Guillen said. “But when you don’t give me your best effort, that’s not going to work with me, I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you do, how much money you make or if you’re a Hall of Famer. If you don’t give me your best effort, that thing is not going to work.

“One thing about it, I don’t care if he hates me or if he loves me, but this kid has an unbelievable future. This kid can be one of the best in the game. My job is to get him there.

“How I’m going to do it, we’ll see how, but I learned that from Bobby Cox,” Guillen said. “When Bobby Cox told Andruw Jones right in his face, ‘I [benched] you because you’re better than that and you’re going to be a superstar.’ I think this kid has the same tools to be [a star]. If he doesn’t play the game right, he’s going to have a tough time playing for me.”

 

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