Saturday in Kansas City
If the question of White Sox needs to improve the 2009 version’s playoff chances would have been posed to Ozzie Guillen a few weeks ago, when the team was struggling to reach .500, then the direct White Sox manager joked how he might have wanted a whole new ballclub on the South Side of Chicago.
When that question was brought up to Guillen on Saturday, though, he took a wait-and-see personnel approach, based on Carlos Quentin’s injury rehab beginning Saturday night with Triple-A Charlotte.
“Right now, with Carlos coming back, we’ll see how Carlos is going to be,” Guillen said. “It’s like we make another trade. Right now, I think we’re playing the way we planned to be playing. We’re playing the way we had this team playing in Spring Training.
“Pitching, play better defense – our offense, a lot of people worried about the offense, but right now we’re fine. I still have to wait and see what happens in these particular days.”
Guillen brought up how wholesale changes won’t be needed. Last year, the White Sox added Ken Griffey, Jr. to the mix at the non-waiver trade deadline, and he became a huge addition when Quentin went down with the right wrist injury and missed the season’s final month. In 2005, the White Sox added utility man Geoff Blum, and all he did was hit the game-winning home run in Game 3 of the World Series against Houston.
Youngsters such as Gordon Beckham and Chris Getz have contributed mightily from the bottom of the order, as they continue to develop. But where these sorts of late-July moves are concerned, Guillen deferred to his general manager.
“That’s Kenny’s stuff. I haven’t even talked to Kenny about the ballclub in the last week and a half,” Guillen said. “It’s easy to be a GM when you’re winning. But we have to be patient.
“Last year when we were in a pennant race, we only brought one guy, and it was Junior. The year we won, we only brought one guy and it surprised a lot of people because it was what we needed. When you’re in a pennant race you don’t need to bring names, and spend money with superstars.
“You have to bring the guy that can fit with the ballclub and is the one you really, really need, and right now we have to wait to get to that point to see what the situation is going to be and see what we need at that particular time,” Guillen said. “Then that’s Kenny’s job. I never demand any players from Kenny. We talk a lot and he knows my feelings.”
–Interesting postgame comments from Gavin Floyd Saturday on the reasoning behind his loss to the Royals, during which he threw only 54 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
“I guess my focus wasn’t exactly there completely,” Floyd said. “I just tried to keep battling and putting up zeros. I got behind a lot of hitters, the fifth and sixth inning. I wasn’t as aggressive as I usually am.”
Floyd’s effort on Saturday ended a stretch of eight consecutive quality starts from the right-hander.
–Scott Podsednik continues to point to his offseason training as one of the major reasons for his 2009 success
“I still feel great,” Podsednik said. “I keep saying this. My offseason conditioning and because of the conditioning that AT (White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas) and I go through on a weekly basis, it has been helping me out on the baseball field, without a doubt.”
–Kudos to White Sox assistant director of media relations Pat O’Connell for the truly clever lines of Saturday in the White Sox daily game notes. One header read ‘Saturday in the Park,’ focusing on the White Sox 10-3 record on Saturday’s this season, and that was followed by a note with the header, ‘You’d think it was the Fourth of July.’ You can guess the subject in this instance.
You’ll probably appreciate this combination more if you are a fan of the musical group Chicago.
–Hope everyone is enjoying their respective Fourth of July celebrations. Happy holidays!