Results tagged ‘ Jermaine Dye ’
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.
There was no official announcement made by President Barack Obama. There was no breaking news cut-in among whatever shows fill the airwaves on Tuesday night–most likely Keeping Up with the Kardashians on the E Network.
But the world of Social Media changed forever through a simple Twitter, whether you knew it or not. Ozzie Guillen, the always-entertaining and always-colorful White Sox manager, now has his own account: @ozzieguillen.
In the short time that account has been up and running, Guillen already has 3,229 followers and is following nobody. That line pretty much sums up the unique presence known as the leader of the White Sox.
On Monday, we were standing around the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, taking a break from interviews, when Guillen came in and held an impromptu political roundtable as he was stretching on the floor near the door. I’m not sure what the exact topic was. There were a few of them mixed in there.
I happened to look around the clubhouse, though, as Guillen was passionately mixing his political beliefs with a little bit of profane humor (sidenote: Guillen would give James Carville a solid run in the arena of national and world politics. He’s that knowledgeable) and saw a few non-roster pitchers watching Guillen in action. They had broad smiles on their faces, infinitely entertained, but also had a slight look of ‘Does this happen all Spring Training?” The answer is, yes, it does.
Later, Guillen was talking to Andruw Jones while sitting at his locker, when he spied Juan Pierre getting dressed about six or seven lockers away. Guillen asked if Pierre had been hitting at all during the offseason, to which Pierre responded “No.”
“Good,” Guillen said. “After what I watched today, it would have been a waste of your time.”
Pierre is a Guillen veteran from their days in Florida. He quickly shot back to a laughing Guillen how he saw Guillen’s response coming and that’s why he answered like he did. Yes, this could be a fun clubhouse.
You can read about what happens at @scottmerkin, on this blog, dubbed Being Ozzie Guillen, at whitesox.com and now, @ozzieguillen. His first day of tweets talked about being bored after three days of Spring Training, the bad round of golf he played Tuesday and why Jermaine Dye still doesn’t have a job. Why doesn’t a talented player and a great clubhouse influence such as Dye have a job, by the way?
To sum up Guillen’s Twitter addition, I defer to a tweet from Anthony Castrovince, my friend and colleague covering the Indians.
“At long last, @OzzieGuillen is on Twitter. I’m pretty sure that’s why this thing was invented.”
Jim Thome wants to play baseball
Aside from all the other intangible factors, this point has clearly been made by the veteran designated hitter both this past weekend to MLB.com at the Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria and Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Thome and his wife, Andrea, were joined by Paul and Jennifer Konerko and Gordon Beckham on the South Side of Chicago for the Grand Slam Party, benefitting Illinois foster families and celebrating the ‘Bring Me Home’ campaign in partnership with Children’s Home + Aid.
Thome followed up his expressed desire to suit up for season No. 20 with an equally strong desire to avoid talking about contract particulars.
“I would rather not get into all that stuff,” Thome said. “I just want to play baseball.”
This question deflected by Thome centered on whether years or money would make a difference in his ultimate 2010 destination. But finding the right fit stands as the most important factor for the prolific slugger.
Once again, Thome mentioned how there was talk between his camp and a few teams. As for a return to the White Sox, Thome said with a smile that he hadn’t closed down this option from his side.
“My door is open,” Thome said. “All you have to do is call me.
“From my end, everyone knows I love Chicago. It’s a great city, and the organization has treated me great for the last four years. It has been a pleasure to play here and be part of it for the last four years.
“So, we’ll see what happens,” Thome said. “In baseball, you learn how business moves are made and decisions are made. You respect those decisions and move on.”
Other interesting fits in the American League Central for Thome would be Kansas City, who could use a veteran bat at DH, or Minnesota, where a great deal of mutual respect exists, but a full-time DH spot is not open. Konerko, the White Sox captain and a good friend of Thome, said he’s campaigned for Thome to return and won’t really deal with the departure of Thome or Jermaine Dye until he arrives at Spring Training and they aren’t there.
Here’s an idea: What if the White Sox announce a Thome one-year deal Friday as the players are introduced for SoxFest? It’s unlikely to happen, but how’s that for drama?
For those who missed WWE’s Monday Night Raw broadcast or weren’t there live at the AllState Arena, you missed a truly classic A.J. Pierzynski moment.
Pierzynski was sitting in the front row with teammates Jermaine Dye, Gordon Beckham and Chris Getz, when some segment began called ‘The Price is Raw’ hosted by the legendary Bob Barker. Wrestlers IRS and Santino Morrello already had been called down, as was some attractive looking blonde-haired woman named Jillian, who I’m guessing was associated with the WWE.
To be honest, I haven’t watched RAW in a while so I’m not familiar with all of the athletes. Someday, I’ll have to blog about my brief career as a wrestling play-by-play man, for a MUCH smaller wrestling organization, but that’s another tale for another time.
Barker needed another contestant to complete contestants’ row and who was called down but Pierzynski. The White Sox catcher and former wrestler/manager, and I think champion of some sort in TNA, the rival pro wrestling organization, completely sold the bit, reacting as if he just won the World Series yet again when his name was called and he got to meet Barker. Pierzynski even was wearing a Price is Right style name tag with A.J. on it.
Unfortunately, Pierzynski’s bid of $1,000 was not the winner but stood as good television nonetheless. Here’s an early prediction: Whenever Pierzynski decides to retire as a Major League Baseball catcher, he will be a star if he decides to go into the wrestling business. He could be the next Bobby Heenan as a manager or Jerry Lawler as an announcer.
Not sure if he wants the bumps and bruises as a wrestler, after enduing the bumps and bruises as a catcher.
I’ll take full responsibility for Gavin Floyd losing his perfect game during Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Red Sox. Or at least that’s what I was comically informed by my friend Jennifer on my Facebook page, after I apparently Tweeted too many times about Floyd’s consecutive batters retired.
There probably was a way I could have worked around saying perfect game, such as Floyd has retired 12 in a row or 18 in a row or no Boston baserunners have reached base, but I’m going to side with Mark Buehrle in this matter and state that I don’t buy into the perfect game/no-hitter superstition. If a pitcher is going to throw one, he’s going to throw one regardless of what I write.
I wasn’t even here for Buehrle’s perfect game, but I talked about it with a bunch of friends as it was happening and he still finished it off. Now, I certainly respect the people who follow the no-hitter superstitions. I myself have plenty of my own, in life, in general.
Rarely, if ever, will I do anything important when the clock reads 13 minutes in the time. And when I’m singing along with a song in the car, which is not exactly easy on anybody’s eardrums, I won’t sing the words death or die. It makes for interesting lyrical changes in a song such as American Pie.
So, who am I to criticize superstitious behavior? If I must be the fall guy for Nick Green’s hit after Floyd retired 17 straight, then so be it.
–As usual, Paul Konerko seems to have the proper perspective in regard to whether the White Sox have enough time to catch Detroit. They need to make up 6 ½ games over the final 25, with six games in their final nine coming against the Tigers.
“I think there is,” Konerko said. “I mean, it’s not going to be easy and like I said, we might need some help at some point because with those six head-to-head games with Detroit, you can’t expect to be five or six back and you have to sweep them.
“They’re a good team, so you need to kind of knock that down. But I think the best thing you can do is not think about the grand scheme of the whole season. Just think about each day and each inning and try to play as hard as we can and win that day.
“If we start creeping up on them, that would be great,” Konerko said. “But we’ve put ourselves in a hole and Detroit is a good team. It’s going to be tough, but we’ve got to keep working. We signed up for 162 here so we have to play hard every game and if it doesn’t work out, then we go home. But we have to play hard every day.”
–Jermaine Dye told me after Saturday’s game that he was ready to play on Saturday. So, the right fielder and his temporarily balky back will return to the lineup on Sunday.
–Here’s an interesting tidbit. Gordon Beckham is dining with a famous Chicago baseball legend on Saturday night. Who is it? The name will be revealed on Sunday.
–Same prediction as last year. The rejuvenated University of Michigan football team will top Notre Dame next Saturday in Ann Arbor. If the Wolverines win, I make a $200 contribution to White Sox Charities. If they lose, then the contribution is $100. White Sox Charities should benefit from Michigan’s excellence.
With a 94 mph, four-seam fastball delivered outside the strike zone to Josh Reddick to open the seventh inning during Friday’s 12-2 victory over Boston at U.S. Cellular Field, Daniel Hudson officially began work for his fifth team this season.
“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” Hudson said. “It’s kind of crazy, but I’m pretty happy.”
Hudson, 22, made his Major League debut for the White Sox by hurling two scoreless innings. The right-hander hit one batter, didn’t allow a hit and struck out Brian Anderson looking.
Before the big-league promotion, Hudson had pitched for Class A Kannapolis (1-2, 1.23 ERA), Class A Winston-Salem (4-3, 3.40), Double-A Birmingham (7-0, 1.60) and Triple-A Charlotte (2-0, 3.00). He posted a 14-5 mark with a 2.32 ERA over 26 combined starts.
Arriving with the White Sox for the fifth-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft stands as the ultimate accomplishment.
“It’s pretty crazy going out there for the first time,” Hudson said. “You have an adrenaline rush and you try to keep that in the back of your head and go out and throw strikes, especially being up so big.”
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen liked what he saw from Hudson, to the point that Hudson might be used again in relief or as a spot-starter if the White Sox fall a greater distance out of contention. Hudson remains ready for any role, although the bullpen does take a bit of an adjustment.
“I’ve never relieved before but I think I can do it pretty well,” Hudson said. “You just have to make sure you are loose before you go in the game.
–For those who still care, general manager Ken Williams does not get regular updates on Bartolo Colon and doesn’t really know his exact whereabouts. It’s not exactly a thrilling situation for Williams.
“Does it bother me? A little bit. A little bit,” said Williams in sardonic tones, indicating it bothers him more than just a little.
Colon also took off on the Red Sox in 2008 when he was moved to the bullpen, but Williams seemed surprised by his 2009 disappearing act after getting put on the disabled list on July 25 with right elbow inflammation.
“Yes, I’m surprised by it,” Williams said. “But what are you going to do?”
–Guillen credited everyone from his family to his coaches to his players to his bosses after picking up career win No. 500. Then, he made this bold statement.
“Hopefully, I sit one day here and talk about my 2,000th,” Guillen said.
He then paused and broke into laughter.
“I ain’t gonna manage that long,” said a smiling Guillen. “I don’t know about 600.”
–Jermaine Dye has missed the last two days with a sore back. Mark Kotsay filled in nicely with three hits, three RBIs and an outfield assist.
–Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson, the entertaining White Sox television play-by-play voice, turned 68 on Friday, getting a birthday visit from White Sox mascot Southpaw during the game. Guillen jokingly guessed 96 as Hawk’s age, before wishing him a heartfelt happy birthday.
According to an ESPN.com report, citing Major League sources, the White Sox are most likely the team that will be awarded the waiver claim on Toronto outfielder Alex Rios.
Teams cannot comment on waiver claims, but the outfielder is a player who has been on the White Sox radar previously. The Blue Jays could work out a trade with the team that reportedly claimed Rios, they could pull him back from waivers and thus keep him for the rest of the season or they could let the team who put in the claim take him. According to the report, Toronto has until Tuesday to make the decision.
Hypothetically adding Rios would also mean the addition of another larger contractual obligation to go with recently acquired hurler Jake Peavy, although the White Sox could be having the contracts of Octavio Dotel, Jose Contreras, Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome coming off of the books for 2010. Remember, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said he had to be talked into making that Peavy move by general manager Ken Williams and assistant general manager Rick Hahn. Then again, Reinsdorf said part of his hesitation was committing $52 million guaranteed from 2010-12 to a pitcher.
Over the past three years, Rios, 28, has never hit below .291 in a full season. He has plenty of speed and a strong outfield arm, along with more than a little bit of pop in his bat. His statistics have tailed off a bit this season, hitting .261 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIS.
Rios has roughly $2 million left owed to him this year and is guaranteed $59.7 million from 2010 to 2014. Rios would make sense in Williams’ plan to go a bit younger in the present, while also staying highly competitive and aligning the White Sox to stay strong in the future.
The questions that arise from even this possibility are numerous: What would become of Dye, a popular figure among management and within the clubhouse, not to mention a highly productive offensive force? Where does Rios fit this year? And if a trade was discussed, would the White Sox have anything that interests the Blue Jays. They never really seemed to be in play in the pursuit of Roy Halladay, but then again Halladay figures to require a different return than Rios.
And of course, all of this movement, if the White Sox are indeed the team awarded the claim, could be to block the Tigers from going after Rios or to set up possible future trade discussions.
Stop me if you’ve heard this tale before.
Bartolo Colon is out of action, on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow, this time. And Ozzie Guillen is not really sure where the burly right-hander currently is rehabbing.
“No, he’s not here,” said Guillen with a laugh. “That’s hard to find out. That’s the hardest question you ask me, where is Colon?”
Guillen doesn’t see Colon pitching for the White Sox “in the next 20 days” because he has to go on rehab assignments again. Don’t look for Colon to work for the White Sox again this year, unless Jose Contreras continues to struggle, not with Jake Peavy and Freddy Garcia coming back from injuries, and Minor Leaguer Carlos Torres probably providing the same level of efficiency as the veteran.
–Shortstop Alexei Ramirez will return to the lineup on Friday against Cleveland and southpaw starter Jeremy Sowers. Ramirez conceivably could end up hitting ninth against right-handed pitchers, with Guillen not wanting to put the left-handed hitting Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik back-to-back in the lineup.
Gordon Beckham stays in the second spot until further notice.
“Every time we change the lineup, I try to get the guy hot,” Guillen said. “The day I did it with Ramirez was just because he was swinging the bat better, and plus batting second he’s going to see better pitches. That’s why I did it there. Right now, I’m going to give the most at bats to my best hitter.”
–Asked before the game, Guillen found it hard to name a season-long MVP for his team.
“Wow. They’re not playing that good. They’re not playing that bad,” Guillen said. “I think this month, Beckham. I think PK (Paul Konerko) and JD (Jermaine Dye) are playing unbelievable.
“They’re playing well. And the pitching staff, even with Mark Buehrle doing what he did, I think Matt Thornton. Matt has been our savior. There’s no doubt about it. Matt is having a tremendous year.”
–Here’s a couple quotes from Mark Buehrle, who seemingly did his one millionth post perfect game interview today on the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
On the recently concluded Mark Buehrle Appreciation Series:
“To me, it’s kinda weird because you don’t usually get appreciated until you retire,” Buehrle said. “They actually asked me to throw out the first pitch one game. I told them I’d still catch it but I don’t care to throw out a first pitch until I’m retired. It’s hectic and I’ve obviously been doing a lot of stuff. But it’s been well worth it.”
On the ramifications of the Peavy deal:
“Obviously, the (Padres) kept coming up and telling him he had to be moved,” Buehrle said. “But I think (John) Danks and Gavin (Floyd) and I have talked and if not this year then for next year we’re excited when he’s healthy and gets back having us four guys from the start of next season.
“Hopefully, he comes back healthy this year and we can get back in the playoffs and it’ll be a fun run. But we got some good things to look forward to the next couple of years.”
On how he would like his next perfect game celebrated:
“By not talking to the media,” Buehrle said. “Is that possible?”
All was not well in the White Sox dugout after a rough showing in the field during the second inning of Monday’s contest at the Metrodome.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez had to be held back by Jermaine Dye from going after A.J. Pierzynski, after Pierzynski showed his verbal displeasure for Ramirez that was caught on tape by the Minnesota broadcast of the game. Pierzynski was shown saying something to Ramirez, even as Pierzynski was walking away, before Ramirez started moving toward Pierzynski. The White Sox had committed two errors leading to two unearned runs in the bottom of the second, but neither mistake had anything to do with Pierzynski or Ramirez.
Ozzie Guillen clearly was not happy with the entire situation, also caught on camera firing a towel down to the ground before kicking a bucket of gum on to the field just outside the dugout. The White Sox came back and took the lead after the dugout disagreement, with Paul Konerko’s two-run home run off of Glen Perkins giving the visitors a one-run advantage.
Torii Hunter’s injury departure from the American League All-Star team was not followed by the addition of White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye on Friday. Before White Sox fans complain about the unfair treatment of a clearly deserving selection for the Midsummer Classic, remember that Hunter was added through the players vote so he was replaced by Nelson Cruz–the next player in the outfield player vote.
“I was disappointed, like J.D. and a lot of people in this clubhouse, but in the meanwhile you cannot blame anybody. That’s the way it is,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “If I didn’t have any experience about picking the team for the All-Star Game, then I would be saying something.
“But I know, I have that experience, and a manager can’t do much. It did surprise me. I thought J.D. has had a pretty decent year and should be there, but in the meanwhile, they picked someone else. Hopefully, J.D. continues to play the way he’s played the first half.”
The assumption working around Dye, one of the tried-and-true but unassuming clubhouse leaders for the White Sox, is he would be traded if the White Sox fell out of contention. Dye is playing in the final year of a two-year extension, with a $12 million mutual option for 2010.
With Dye seemingly getting better with age, hitting .300 with 20 home runs and 54 RBIs entering the Twins series, the question was broached to Guillen on Friday as to whether Dye could stay with the team past 2009. Dye spoke about his contract situation back in Spring Training but has declined to address the topic once the season began. Guillen took the reins at the Metrodome.
“Believe me, I want to sign J.D.,” Guillen said. “If you ask me if I want J.D. here, of course I want him. If you ask (general manager) Kenny (Williams) if you want J.D. here, he’ll say the same stuff. We’re going to see how we finish.
“That’s my opinion. I hope he signs tomorrow. I love that man. That guy has been great for me. I guess we got to wait to see how we finish the season, which way we’re going to go next year.
“Our attendance has been pretty bad because we’ve played bad the first two months of the season,” Guillen said. “They have to weigh a lot of different things. But if you ask me about it, if I have the money, you’re not going to have two J.Ds. But in the meanwhile, it’s not my department.”
Guillen pointed out how Dye has been great defensively in 2009 and is running as well as he has in the past few years. But that’s part of the overall talent package Dye brings with him.
“Whoever signs J.D., I’ll be afraid because every penny he makes, he earns it,” Guillen said. “He comes to play, and plays hurt. No doubt.”