Results tagged ‘ Derrek Lee ’
When fans rise in unison and a murmur starts in the stands during the Crosstown Classic at either Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field, usually it means a fight has broken out between passionate Cubs and White Sox supporters.
There clearly was something different going on after the first inning of Friday’s 6-0 victory for the White Sox.
Fans seated near the White Sox dugout and near the Cubs dugout watched Carlos Zambrano let loose on anyone who would listen as he stomped around his teammates, screaming about his team’s performance during a four-run first inning for the South Siders. Of course, nobody on his team hung a 0-2 changeup to Carlos Quentin, resulting in a three-run home run.
Zambrano’s crazy tirade resulted in the right-hander being pulled from the game after one inning, a suspension issued by the Cubs and an embarrassment for an organization already suffering through a miserable 2010 campaign. It was the topic of conversation for much of Ozzie Guillen’s postgame press conference, primarily because of Guillen’s close relationship with Zambrano, Derrek Lee, who had to be kept apart from Zambrano and Cubs manager Lou Piniella.
Zambrano and the Guillen family also had dinner after Friday’s contest.
“He got a lot of time to make the reservation,” said Guillen of Zambrano, drawing a big laugh from the assembled media.
Guillen defended Zambrano after the incident, stating how Carlos is a great guy. It’s a sentiment echoed by many who know the hurler around the city of Chicago, but that off-field persona might not be able to save his on-field temper in this situation.
“A lot of people don’t know Carlos,” Guillen said. “When he puts his uniform on he like to compete, likes to do well. Off the field, he’s a different cat.
“That’s part of the game. That’s the way he is. If I see him, that’s the way he is and you’re not going to change that. Now he has to come back to the team and talk to his teammates I guess. It’s not an easy situation, but he will be alright.”
One of the questions asked of Guillen was whether he could manage someone like Zambrano. He quickly responded, ‘Yes,’ adding how he could manage anyone.
In a credit to White Sox general manager Ken Williams, Guillen hasn’t been saddled with any players causing situations such as Friday’s during his seven-year reign. He has made some disciplinary moves but never had to handle such a disrespectful maneuver toward teammates.
Yet, in theory, Guillen thought he could handle Zambrano.
“I can manage anybody. I can,” Guillen said. “Why not? You go about your stuff, you believe in yourself, you believe in respect. I’m not afraid [to manage] any player in baseball because I’m going to give them all the respect I can to perform for me.
“You can call me lucky because sometimes guys overreact out there. You tell them right away, ‘Cut it down.’ With that situation, I don’t know how I would react because that hasn’t happened to us yet. If that happened to us, that’s different and you would have to see how I would respond. That hasn’t happened yet.
“I’m the one that’s crazy in the clubhouse,” a smiling Guillen said. “I’m not saying I’m a dictator, but I don’t believe in guys going out there and fighting each other.
“Sometimes that’s good for the team. Sometimes they need that, you never know. When that happens, it wakes a lot of people up and they play better. But I don’t think it puts the Cubs in a different situation. They’re going to go out there and try and win the game tomorrow.”
Jake Peavy earned the win on Friday with seven scoreless innings, and the laid-back, good-natured right-hander is a demonstrative force in his own right on the field. Peavy spoke of composure being so important to success, especially in a high-energy, high-profile series like the Cubs-White Sox, after the intense competitor’s victory.
“Composure is everything in this game,” Peavy said. “It’s easy with the adrenaline and atmosphere you have in this series. There’s no doubt about it, when you take the field, when you come to the ballpark, when you wake up, you know it’s a little bit different day than your normal start day.
“That’s fun. That’s what you live for as a player. I can tell you I had a little more nerves going into this game than I did five days ago going when we played in Washington. That’s just the bottom line.
“In a game like this, it’s very easy if things don’t go well on the field or off the field, you can let your emotions get the best of you,” Peavy said. “The biggest thing is channeling your emotions the right way. I certainly haven’t done it all the time but today I was able to do it for the most part. Obviously, I know Carlos had a rough day and had some stuff happen. They’ll get that resolved as a team.”
Here are a few additional tidbits from the Cubs 5-4 victory over the White Sox on Friday, a competitive and entertaining affair, which sadly is sure to be overshadowed by the dugout outburst from one Cubs outfielder.
–Paul Konerko had his 118-game errorless streak come to an end in the seventh inning, when he bobbled Mike Fontenot’s chopper as Konerko was moving toward second and then couldn’t get the ball to Jose Contreras covering at first base. Geovany Soto followed with a three-run blast to left-center that proved to be the game-winner.
Konerko is an extremely underrated defensive player at first base, and was given the out by one reporter on the miscue coming off of a bad hop. Instead, Konerko explained the thought process on the play.
“That play, it’s one where, as a first baseman, you’ve got kind of a choice when that ball is hit,” Konerko said. “If you just pull up, you can go back to the bag and just get an easy out at first, and then you have a guy at second.
“Then, if there’s a broken-bat hit, you feel sick.You aggressively go after it, and you know it’s kind of a do or die, and I died there. But it’s aggressive. You’re going to make errors. I’d rather make them hard and aggressive like that than laying back. No worries there.
“I wish I would have made it,” Konerko said. “I feel bad when I make an error like that behind Jose because he was pitching so well. I thought he was having a really good day. He threw the ball really well today and battled. You’re sick in that respect, but you’re going to make errors. If I can make them all like that, I’ll be happy.”
Meanwhile, the White Sox might have put a bigger scare into Kevin Gregg in the ninth if not for a great play by Derrek Lee. Pinch-hitter Dewayne Wise hit a shot to Lee, who made a diving stop and flipped to Gregg covering first base, with Gregg beating Wise by half a step for the inning’s second out.
– Ozzie Guillen pinch-hit Josh Fields for Gordon Beckham with two outs in the ninth inning because he wanted to go for the tie with the White Sox trailing by one and down to their last bullet.
“Besides that, the on-base percentage is a lot different,” Guillen said. “Fields had a good at-bat and gave us a chance to get somebody on base, and Beckham has struggled lately.”
Fields drew a walk, after being down in the count at 1-2, before Scott Podsednik took a called third strike that appeared to be a bit outside on a 2-2 pitch for the game’s final out.
– Nobody on the Cubs asked me, but here’s a lineup idea presented by my brother, Jeff, once Aramis Ramirez returns. Move Alfonso Soriano to second base and put Jake Fox in left field. It’s hard to imagine Fox’s big bat going to the Minors or the bench.
And remember, he’s another proud producer from the University of Michigan pipeline.
–Jose Contreras has allowed eight home runs in his last three starts against the Cubs. He also suffered from back spasms during Friday’s game but stayed in the game after the discomfort dissipated.
“I felt a little pinch,” said Contreras through interpreter and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez. “I had to lower myself a little bit to throw the forkball, but luckily it was nothing. It was just a little pinch at that moment.”
–Sight not seen by the masses: As Guillen was exiting his postgame press conference in the U.S. Cellular Field Conference and Learning Center, he paused briefly to exchange hugs and a few words with Lou Piniella outside the Cubs clubhouse, before Piniella went into his meeting with the media.
–And finally, one comment from Konerko on getting a look at any of Milton Bradley’s dugout outburst.
“Not at all. Well, I shouldn’t say not at all,” Konerko said. “I saw some guys move down in the tunnel. I didn’t know why. I didn’t even know who it had to do with. And that was it. And then you kind of caught wind of it later in the game.
“That’s all I know. You tell me. I’m sure I’ll find out. I’m sure some one will let us know. But yeah, it’s not our business.”
–Actually, one final note. Remember, the White Sox lost the first game of the series in Milwaukee and Cincinnati and at home against the Dodgers, but they came back to win all three series. They are 9-7 overall in Interleague Play.
As Wayne Messmer belted out the National Anthem prior to the start of Thursday’s battle between the Cubs and White Sox, a few rows of seats were noticeably empty behind the White Sox dugout at Wrigley Field. Those areas pretty much filled in by the time the White Sox were done hitting in the top of the first, but this particular scenario represents just one small reason from the first two days of this series to give pause for thought as to whether the all-Chicago competition is as electric as it once was.
“Yeah. I thought it was down a little bit,” said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, when asked after Wednesday’s victory whether the capacity crowd seemed a bit more subdued. “I think maybe the fact that we play them six times a year, once here and one there, and we played them like 10 times in Spring Training this year.
“It’s still fun to come here and still a great atmosphere, still fun games to be in. It just seemed like there wasn’t as much energy as there has been in the past for this series.”
The White Sox and Cubs actually played five times during Spring Training, including a two-game excursion to Cashman Field in Las Vegas. Other ideas presented by White Sox players for the series being toned down ranged from Tuesday’s rainout offering a bit of a buzz-kill to these games serving as just the second mid-week series in the 13-year history of the competition.
“D (Derrek) Lee and and I were talking at first, and we were saying how once you’ve been in it for a few years, it’s not downplayed but a little more mellow because you’ve already been through it,” White Sox center fielder Brian Anderson said of the rivalry. “I’m sure if you ask Gordon (Beckham), especially getting like eight ground balls in a row yesterday, he’s probably all into it.”
Regardless of a possible slight drop in the fever pitch, the White Sox players agree it’s still the best show in town and potentially the best rivalry in Interleague Play.
“There’s a better atmosphere here then any regular mid-week game, for sure,” White Sox pitcher John Danks said.
“Only a few people in this town root for both teams,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “If you’re a Cub fan, you’re a Cub fan. That’s the way it is. Like I say, a few people do that, they don’t care and root for both teams. But as long as we’re given an opportunity to play this game, it’s going to be a rivalry.”