Results tagged ‘ Carlos Quentin ’

Expect the unexpected from Williams

With less than 48 hours until Saturday’s 3 p.m. CT non-waiver trade deadline comes around, the White Sox are linked to approximately two-thirds of the current rumors flying around Major League Baseball.

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported Thursday how the White Sox internally believe they were out of the Adam Dunn sweepstakes. Jon Heyman of SI.com said a three-way trade scenario involving the White Sox, Nationals and D-Backs, focused on Edwin Jackson to the Nationals, Dunn to the White Sox and pitching prospects to Arizona, still was in play, and later Tweeted how the Dunn battle could come down to the White Sox and Tigers, much like the battle for Johnny Damon at the start of Spring Training.

Other players linked to White Sox interest Thursday were Colorado’s Brad Hawpe, Houston’s Lance Berkman, Toronto’s Jose Bautista and the ghost of Babe Ruth. Ok, I’m kidding on the last one.

But as of Thursday, nothing seemed imminent on the White Sox trade front. Of course, that quiet could be the calm before the storm where White Sox general manager Ken Williams is concerned. By Saturday afternoon, the posturing from other general managers on the fence concerning moving top players will end either in a deal or said player staying put.

You can count on two White Sox-related factors to play out before 3 p.m. CT rolls around on Saturday. Expect the unexpected where Williams is concerned, with the last-minute Jake Peavy deal from the 2009 non-waiver trade deadline supporting that theory, and know Williams will not make a trade just to make a trade.

At 101 games into the 2010 campaign and the White Sox sitting at 57-44, the White Sox are who they thought they would be leaving Arizona in March. It’s just a bit more dramatic road traveled because of their horrible first two months. And while they are always looking to enhance a championship product, Williams doesn’t want to do anything to disrupt his group’s 33-11 flow.

“I don’t think Kenny will make a move just to make a move,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, prior to Thursday’s 9-5 victory over Seattle, completing a four-game sweep of the Mariners. “I think he will make a move if we really desperately need it.

“When you make a move, you’ve got to try to say who are the people who we’re going to bring in, who we’re going to lose, what’s our future, what’s our present. There are so many things involved, and I bet you he is doing all those things. Believe me, it’s not fun to be in the front office in this part of the year, always. If you’re a seller or you’re a buyer, you’re going to be involved with every conversation about it.”

It has been widely assumed how the White Sox are going after a left-handed run producer or a starting pitcher. But here’s three caveats to that particular idea: the White Sox could be looking to add a starting pitcher and a hitter, the targeted hitter doesn’t necessarily have to be left-handed and they ideally would make any move without giving up top pitching prospect Daniel Hudson.

With Minor League catcher Wilson Ramos going from Minnesota to the Nationals in exchange for reliever Matt Capps on Thursday night, the Twins improved their bullpen but still are a bit short in their rotation. The acquisition of Ramos also takes away White Sox Minor League catcher Tyler Flowers as a potential trade chip in a deal for Dunn.

Berkman looks to be on the block with the Astros acquiring Major League-ready first baseman Brett Wallace from the Blue Jays in an off-shoot of the Roy Oswalt deal. The 34-year-old switch-hitter could fit the designated hitter/first base description on the South Side and would be owed just $5.4 million for the remainder of this year, with a $2 million buyout for next year. Berkman does have a full no-trade right of refusal.

During Thursday night’s victory, the White Sox knocked out four home runs and 13 hits in the four-run decision. Granted, it was done against the hapless Mariners, but there could be a solid argument made to not messing with success or at least tabling any moves until August.

Guillen is one who didn’t see a move coming before Saturday, after not talking with Williams for the past two days, while the GM was involved in meetings. But much like the design of the Peavy and Rios deals from 2009, don’t count out Williams until the last moment on Saturday–especially if the team gets markedly better through the move.

“If Carlos (Quentin) swings the bat the way he did a couple weeks ago, we’re set,” Guillen said. “Everybody has to pull it together. We have to go and continue to do what we’re doing and see what happens. I don’t have any gut feeling. I just go by ears and day-by-day.”

Week in Quotes

At the end of each week during Spring Training and hopefully beyond, I’ll try to give you a little flavor from the past seven days of White Sox action with some of the more telling or even humorous quotes. Here’s a look from the first week of action in Arizona, in no particular order.

1. “People talk about trade deadlines and offseasons and timing on things. We are always looking to take that next step to get us that much better. That goes for today and the trading deadline season. All that means is other clubs are more apt to want to do things and if something arises where we have a need, regardless of where that need is, we are going to try to fill it.”
–White Sox general manager Ken Williams on the team’s aggressive philosophy in pursuit of top talent.

2. “We do things right, then we are out of here quick. If we play around and we do the wrong thing, throw to the wrong bases, and don’t take ground balls seriously or run the bases seriously, we are going to be out there for a long time. The best we work, we out of here.

“I’m not going to babysit them. It’s not an instructional league. You are in the big leagues for a reason. I’m not supposed to teach you here. We are supposed to remind you about what goes on with baseball.”
–Manager Ozzie Guillen, explaining White Sox players will dictate how long they are on the field for practice each day.

3. “Make sure you take that young guy under your wing and show him the ropes.”
–Guillen to Freddy Garcia, whose Spring Training locker is situated next to 22-year-veteran Omar Vizquel.

4. “This is a different type of team. We are not the slugging White Sox that hit 250 home runs and go base to base. But that’s a good thing.”
–White Sox veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski on the change in philosophy on offense for 2010.

5. “I’m always asked that question and I just want to get as many at-bats as I can get. That’s what I’m looking for. Ozzie is the king of making that lineup and wherever he puts me, I’ll be happy.”
–Carlos Quentin on the ideal spot for him to hit in the lineup.

6. “It’s extremely strange. I talked to both a good bit this winter. They are dear friends for life, and I have a great deal of respect for them and their fabulous careers. But more than that, I have a lot of respect for them as people. I know the fans appreciate all they did for us. It was an honor to coach them, and when I retire and look back, those two are right up at the top of my list to be around.”
–Hitting coach Greg Walker on not having Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye in camp.

7. “I don’t want to bring up names, but you take Jermaine. I remember Jermaine telling me at the end of the year, ‘If I don’t like what I see during the offseason or I don’t get what I want, and that doesn’t mean money, it means just the situation and everything I want, I have no problem, I’m happy to not go play. I’ll maybe go during the season if someone asks me, but I’m content with that.’ I would say that would probably be my mindset, where I’m not going to force something if it’s not there because I have other things, I have a perspective of what’s important and what isn’t.”
–Team captain Paul Konerko, on possibly not playing after his contract runs out following this season if he doesn’t find the right fit.

8. “The bottom line is when you get [weather] like this, you have to be like the Marines – adapt and overcome.”
–Pitching coach Don Cooper, on making workout adjustments during a rare Arizona rainy period.

9. “Getting [drunk] every night. Let’s put it plain and simple. When I took a long, hard look at myself and saw where I was headed, at that point, I was headed in the wrong direction.”
–Closer Bobby Jenks, who came into camp in phenomenal condition, on why he stopped drinking during the offseason.

10. “Joey and everyone were praising him and saying how great he looks. He said, ‘I’m on a mission. I’m the best center fielder you have here.’ And Joey said, ‘Well, you should be there are only pitchers and catchers in camp.’ Line of the day.”
–Williams, at the start of camp, recounting a conversation between Andruw Jones and bench coach Joey Cora.

11. “If that thing offends anyone, beat it because I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this ballclub. I don’t need Twitter to let people know what I feel about this organization or Major League Baseball, period.”
–Guillen on the one-day Twitter-gate, after the entertaining manager started his own account, which is now up to 29,203 followers in less than one week.

12. “I’m really not a Facebook or Twitter guy. I’m a prime rib and baked potato guy. I hate to say that but it’s true. Maybe somebody should teach me.”
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella, when asked about the Guillen Twitter controversy.

13. “I’m ticked. We need to get the word out.”
–A smiling Mark Teahen on Guillen’s total of followers on Twitter surpassing the total for the followers of his popular dog, ESPY Teahen.

14. “I stopped pitching freshman year in high school. I closed then and used to throw hard.”
–Sergio Santos, who is making the successful switch from infielder to reliever with a fastball in the range of 98 mph.

15. “You mean Babe? Yeah. He’s a natural. Freaks like that just don’t happen. Don’t go looking for another Buehrle.”
–Scott Linebrink, when asked if Mark Buehrle, who hit his first career home run last year, would be the best candidate to follow Santos and go from pitcher to position player.

16. “I was happy to see him smiling and at peace with his decision and his family was around. I thought it was great. It was a great turn out from the Chicago media and it played well when it went out that night.”
–Williams on Frank Thomas’ retirement ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field.

17. “It was big for us. There were a lot of losing years. I got a chance to go to it, since it was in Miami, and I live there. They are still partying back there. That’s why it snowed in Louisiana.”
–Juan Pierre, on his beloved New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl.

18. “Good for the city? Try the whole state. It’s been a big party down there since it happened.”
–White Sox 2009 first-round pick Jared Mitchell, who played baseball and football at LSU, talking about the effect of the Saints’ Super Bowl win on New Orleans.

19. “They gave me an opportunity, and I didn’t put up numbers. So, this is where I find myself.”
–Cole Armstrong, once the White Sox catcher of the future, with a refreshing look at now being in camp as a non-roster invite.

20. “I still feel like I’m a productive player and feel like I can contribute, but teams want me as a backup player, and that’s something I’m not ready to do. I feel undervalued, basically. I don’t think I have to go out there and prove anything to anyone. My numbers the last five or six years show I can help someone.”
–Dye, speaking to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, concerning his shock to still be without a Major League job.

(Personal Bonus): “No, Merkin. I’m the animal whisperer and got that animal to lie down in front of me.”
–Pierzynski, showing off of a special calendar featuring the big game hunted on an African safari he took with Aaron Rowand and their wives. The response was to my question as to whether the mammoth animal in front of him really was dead.

Teahen, White Sox agree to three-year deal

The White Sox third baseman of the present also became their third baseman of the immediate future when Mark Teahen and the team agreed to a three-year, $14-million contract on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration.

Teahen, 28, who was acquired by the White Sox from Kansas City on Nov. 6 in exchange for Chris Getz and Josh Fields, will earn $3.75 million in 2010, $4.75 million in 2011 and $5.5 million in 2012. Teahen was eligible to become a free agent following the 2011 season.

During the 2009 season for the Royals, Teahen hit .271 with a career-high 34 doubles, adding in 12 home runs and 50 RBIs in 144 games. He started 99 games at third base, 31 in right field and three at second, but at this point, looks to be anchored at third for the White Sox.

Tuesday’s announcement leaves the White Sox with five arbitration eligible players in Bobby Jenks, D.J. Carrasco, Carlos Quentin, John Danks and Tony Pena.

The life of a third base coach

Jeff Cox understands that second-guessing comes with the territory as the White Sox third base coach.

“It’s the hot seat, but we are all human,” said Cox, sitting in the White Sox dugout, prior to Wednesday’s series finale with the Royals.

Cox became the temporary center of attention following Kansas City’s 5-4 victory on Tuesday night, primarily because of one specific instance coming in the fifth inning.

Kansas City had grabbed a one-run lead in the top of the fifth, but the White Sox had runners on first and third with nobody out courtesy of a Carlos Quentin walk and Alex Rios’ hit-and run single to right. Alexei Ramirez followed with a fly ball to Willie Bloomquist in medium deep right field, and Cox decided to send Quentin home in an attempt to score the tying run.

Bloomquist’s throw was a little up the third-base line but still right on target for catcher John Buck to put the tag on Quentin and end the rally. The White Sox had exactly two baserunners over the remainder of the game.

Strong cases could be presented for both sending Quentin or holding him. Quentin has battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot and a sore right knee throughout the season, plus the White Sox had Kansas City starter Gil Meche on the ropes all game. But then again, Bloomquist is far from a prototypical right fielder.

“In that situation right there, Bloomquist is an infielder playing the outfield,” said Cox, explaining his decision. “Most of the time in that instance, you error on the side of assertiveness. It turns out he made a perfect throw and I thought it was deep enough that Carlos could score on the play and he threw him out.

“This is not a foolproof position. If the throw is offline, he’s safe.”

Ozzie Guillen certainly understands Cox’s plight as a third-base coach, having previously held that position for the Expos and Marlins. Guillen knows that the only time a third-base coach draws any attention is when something goes wrong.

“It’s easier to manage than it is to coach,” Guillen said. “The only thing is, I have to make the decisions as a manger, I have to take the blame and I have to take the glory.

“When you coach third base, sometimes you’re going to make plays people disagree with or people will be happy with him. You will be second guessed a lot, but in the meanwhile, I want him to be consistent.

“He’s there for a reason,” Guillen said. “I think he’s doing a good job. Some people don’t like what they see. Yesterday, Bloomquist was playing the outfield. I’m going to take that chance. He’s not an outfielder. In the meanwhile, I let everybody do their job.”

Guillen added that the blame should fall on him if people are unhappy with Cox because he hired Cox. Meanwhile, Cox comes infinitely prepared to this job and has done far more good than harm to the team since he’s been here.

The criticism comes with the job. But so should a little perspective from the people who don’t have Cox’s responsibilities.

“It’s the nature of the position and I love the position. I’m very good,” Cox said. “There is a lot more to coaching third base then just sending runners and things of that nature. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Ozzie can relate and (White Sox bench coach) Joey (Cora) can relate.”

“In this game, he’s had more success than failure,” said Guillen of Cox. “As long as he doesn’t panic and stay the same way, I’m behind him. When he panics, then we have a problem. I’m behind him 100 percent and hopefully, those people out there that are disappointed about it, it’s not an easy job.”

Crosstown Showdown: Round 2

The White Sox lineup should be extremely small-ball focused in Friday night’s series opener against the Reds.

Jim Thome once again will be out of action, as the White Sox move on to their third and final three-game Interleague set without a designated hitter at a National League ballpark. This run will end up covering just eight games, due to Tuesday’s postponement.

Carlos Quentin continues to be sidelined during his recovery from plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and now it looks as if Jermaine Dye will rest on Friday as he battles through an ongoing left calf strain.

“I might not play him tomorrow, give him some rest [for his left calf], see how that feels,” said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Dye. “Hopefully, with a day off he’ll feel better, but we’re going by ear. We gave him back-to-back days off and that didn’t help him. I have to be careful with him. If Dye goes down, Quentin is already down, it will be tough on us.”

–Without productiviy from Gavin Floyd and Alexei Ramirez that somewhat resembles last year’s breakout performances, the White Sox probably won’t be playoff contenders. So, despite Thursday’s tough loss, the team has to be encouraged with the signs of resurgence from both.

Ramirez homered for the second straight game and had two hits, after going 4-for-25 in his last six games.

“We’re looking for that,” said Guillen of Ramirez’s effort. “He’s had a tough year this year, a really tough year. Hopefully little by little, he’s getting some big hits for us.”

Floyd lost his chance for a second straight victory due to a rare late-inning bullpen malfunction, as Curtis Granderson’s two-run, ninth-inning home run off of Bobby Jenks cost Floyd last Thursday. Floyd has given up three runs or less in each of his last six starts, working at least seven innings in all but one.

He would trade in Thursday’s stellar mound work for a victory.

“To not win as a team, I think that’s the most disappointing thing,” Floyd said. “I want those (bullpen) guys in there every single time. It just didn’t work out for them. We’re going to bounce back.”

–With all the talk over the past week concerning the Cubs hitting woes, don’t lose sight of back-to-back great efforts from Floyd and John Danks. As has been said many times before, ultimately this team goes as far as it’s pitching and defense.

– Josh Fields pinch-hit for Floyd in the eighth inning of Thursday’s loss and drew a walk off of Sean Marshall. Since June 9, Fields has just 11 plate appearances and once again could find himself as the odd-man out when Quentin gets healthy. Guillen addressed that issue prior to Thursday’s contest.

“I don’t think we’re going to make a move yet,” Guillen said. “We still got to wait for (Bartolo) Colon and see how he is, how he feels.

“That’s the tough move we’re going to make. Josh Fields is still with us. Unfortunately, I could not give him enough playing time. I got to wait to see if I can give Paul a rest at first base and if he can help a little bit by DHing, but I try to do the best I can to accommodate his situation, but it’s tough right now.”

When asked if Fields needed to play full-time somewhere at this stage of his career, even in the Minors, Guillen provided the following response.

“We don’t have that conversation yet,” Guillen said. “Fields never brought it up. Kenny never brought it up to me. Right now, we’re playing well. When you’re playing well, you don’t want to make any moves. You want to leave the team the way it is. Right now it’s not in our plans.”

–White Sox fans have to be smiling over the development of young players such as Chris Getz and Gordon Beckham, not to mention the next step up being taken by Brian Anderson in center. The team appears to have formed a youthful core to keep it strong in the present and for years to come.

–Check out Guillen’s take on the wholesale lineup changes Cubs manager Lou Piniella suggested were coming after Wednesday’s loss.

“”He made one, he put (Anders) Blanco in,” said Guillen with a laugh

Quentin out until All-Star break?

Nothing was made official regarding the injured White Sox left fielder, aside from the fact that Carlos Quentin was eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday but was not exactly close to returning.

Quentin has been out of action since hearing a pop in his left foot while running out a double in the first inning of a game in Anaheim on May 25. The pop signified the tendon tearing, which usually is a good sign in the healing process for plantar fasciitis. But having just started jogging again this week, Quentin isn’t expected back any time soon.

The left fielder said his goal is to be back by the All-Star break. Manager Ozzie Guillen is not counting on him until at least that point.

 “Nope. I want to be optimistic, more than anybody, but the process and the progress is going right now, you have to be honest with yourself,” Guillen said. “I got to be honest with you guys. If Carlos is back before the All-Star break, it’s a blessing. We’ll be lucky.”

General manager Ken Williams said that diagnosis from Guillen might be a bit extreme, with no timetable set for Quentin. The plan is to ease him back into action once he fights through the initial soreness.

 

Quentin leaves the game

Carlos Quentin pulled up lame while running out a double in the first inning of Monday’s contest with the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Quentin’s double to center scored a run, but as he turned the corner around first base, he began to limp and favor his left foot. When Quentin reached second base, he bent over in pain and acting manager Joey Cora and athletic trainer Herm Schneider came out to check on him. Quentin originally was helped from the field but walked to the dugout under his own power, replaced at second by Brian Anderson.

With Anderson’s entrance and Quentin’s injury, Scott Podsednik moved from center to left and Anderson took over in center. Quentin missed five games from May 16-20 with a sore left heel, diagnosed as planter fasciitis.

Quentin scratched

Carlos Quentin was scratched from Tuesday night’s lineup in Cleveland due to soreness in his left heel that has been bothering him for the past three days. Quentin was to receive a Cortisone shot, and manager Ozzie Guillen said Quentin also was not going to start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale at Progressive Field.

In other injury-related news, Brian Anderson is set to join Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday to begin his injury rehab assignment for a strained right oblique. Anderson, who said on Tuesday that he felt the best he has since the injury, could re-join the team this weekend in Toronto.

Going once, Going twice

I have an admission to make: I’m an auction addict, silent or live.

Through the course of my job, I’ve had the chance to go to some very nice charity events over the years that feature even nicer auction items. Then, once I start bidding, the competitive side of me takes over. You are just writing a number on paper as the dollars bid, or simply raising your hand, so you don’t realize they actually collect until the credit card comes out of the wallet.

During Javier Vazquez’s fundraiser for Juvenille Diabetes last year, I started bidding against a couple of White Sox pitchers for a sweet Rat Pack framed piece of memorabilia. I dropped out on that item, but later bought the same piece at a downtown memorabilia store.

At Fields of Greens last year, I was the highest bid for four tickets to a Blackhawks game and a ride on the Zamboni machine. Still haven’t used that one.

But the best story is when I was about 23 or 24 and had little to no money. I took this beautiful girl I was trying to impress to a Make A Wish Foundation Fundraiser–great cause, by the way–at the old China Club in Chicago and started bidding on this trip to New York. This one older genteleman had been buying up pretty much all the silent auction items, so I figured that even if I went into four figures, he would out-bid me and I would look like a monetary player.

Well, he didn’t out-bid me on this one, and I spent $1,900 that I didn’t have on the trip to New York. That particular girl didn’t even go with me.

I share theses tales because the first round of items in the annual Chicago White Sox Charities online auctions are currently available to bid on, and will be until the auction closes on Saturday, March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CT. You can bid on items by visiting whitesox.com and clicking on the auction link on the website.

Here are the following six items available, straight from the press release:

A First Fireworks Bash:  Four premium lower box tickets, a parking pass, pre-game Patio party, scoreboard message, in-seat gift bag delivery from Southpaw and post-game fireworks viewing for the Saturday April 25 game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. ($500 minimum).

Carlos Quentin Jersey:  a Quentin game-worn, autographed 1983 replica jersey and pants. ($400 minimum);

“Pudge” and the flag: a 1983 flag flown at U.S. Cellular Field and a Carlton Fisk autographed helmet. ( $350 minimum)

A.J.: an A.J. Pierzynski game-used, autographed bat. ($300 minimum);

Jim Thome and the “Blackout”: a Jim Thome framed, autographed photo from the blackout game. ($200 minimum).

Go-Go Sox: a baseball signed by 1959 White Sox team members Billy Pierce, Jim Landis, Bob Shaw and Jim Rivera. ($150 minimum).

The White Sox raised over $45,000 for Chicago White Sox Charities through online auctions during 2008 and more than $265,000 since the start of auctions in 2003.

It’s a great cause, with great items. I might even bid on a few. Actually, I’m going there now.

News, notes and quotes

For those interested, I found Rock of Love last night. It was on 10 p.m. in Arizona. Not the finest work from Brett Michaels’ and his ladies on this particular edition of this usually hilarious show.

–Here’s a question for the White Sox fans out there: Which member of the organization has the greatest connections throughout the country: A.J. Pierzynski or Ozzie Guillen, Jr.? With all due respect to Ozzie, Jr., it’s hard to argue with Pierzynski’s body of work. You can add playing golf at Augusta National to his various Super Bowls and National Title games attended, with White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker joining him on the historic course. Pierzynski offered the chance up to golf afficionado Ed Farmer, but Farmer was unable to make the trip, according to the White Sox catcher.

–No direct update from Bartolo Colon about how he feels overall and about his return to the White Sox. Colon declined an interview request from a group of media members on Monday morning.

–Carlos Quentin continues to use a hyperbaric chamber as he takes those final steps back on the field after last September’s wrist injury. Quentin believes the chamber and the hyperbaric theories helped him recover.

–Finally, here are today’s All-Star quotes:

“Colon was like 350 pounds when he won the Cy Young (in 2005). He’s not a model. He’s not a jockey. Colon is always going to be like that, but he’s in better shape than what I thought,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on the burly addition to his starting rotation.

“Gavin Floyd, I watched him throw yesterday and he was amazing. And (John) Danks. I kind of don’t like that, when they show up the first day of Spring Training and throw 95 or 96, especially when they are throwing next to (Mark) Buehrle,” Guillen, again, of course.

“I really just enjoy hitting, in general,” Quentin, when asked if he was anxious to get back into action after last year’s rough finish.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers