Results tagged ‘ Kansas City ’
Ozzie Guillen spoke with great passion on Friday night that he wasn’t worried about losing his job as White Sox manager, despite his team underachieving in the first half of the 2011 season and the White Sox having picked up his contractual option for the 2012 season. As he said on the day he was hired, and has said many, many times after that important day in White Sox lore, managers basically are hired to be fired.
Saturday’s pregame meeting with the media brought more heartfelt discourse from the White Sox manager, only this topic had more of a baseball-wide theme. Guillen would like to see more support for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, both monetary and in-person.
“Major League Baseball or the American League should make guys go see the Negro League Museum in Kansas City,” Guillen said. “They should make them go there and find out the real history of the game and the great thing about baseball.
“I don’t know why they’re not doing it. The Players Association should make it happen. First of all, help them with the museum and we can see what those guys went through to make us make a lot of money. Every time I go there I take my family there. Every year I stop by and have lunch out there. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
In 2006, general manager Ken Williams and Guillen took the entire team to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum during the defending World Series champion’s first visit to Kansas City. Guillen hopes to make the trip during his team’s series this week, but will get there once before the end of the season with one more weekend series coming in Kansas City in September.
This topic came about Saturday with the Tigers wearing the jerseys of the Detroit Stars and the White Sox wearing the jerseys of the Chicago American Giants in the Tigers’ 17th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game.
“Little by little, you see the real roots and how much fun it was,” Guillen said. “I say that in 2006. I think MLB should have the rule that we have to stop by.
“Everybody that goes by Kansas City has to have a bus before you go to the ballpark and stop by about an hour, two hours. You will learn a lot and appreciate what you do right now.”
Here’s a perfect example as to why Mark Buehrle is so good for baseball.
Well here’s a second example, because his victory in 2 hours, 25 minutes on Thursday in Kansas City speaks for itself.
Simply put, Buehrle enjoys the game.
For starters, I asked him after the 4-1 win if this was a perfect sort of game for the southpaw–low pitch count, making the Royals put the ball in play and only one strikeout with no walks. Buehrle smiled and quickly disagreed in self-deprecating fashion
“That’s kind of embarrassing, one strikeout,” said Buehrle, who just as quickly added that making the opposition hit the ball early in the count is the perfect way to last deep into games.
But here’s an even funnier moment.
In the eighth inning, after Mark Teahen grounded out to second for the first out, Buehrle rolled the ball toward the Royals’ dugout. I’ve seen him do this before with Jacque Jones, who got a hit off of Buehrle in Minnesota after he was about 1-for-1,000 previously, and Buehrle comically offered him the keepsake. In this instance, though, it was Buehrle who had retired one of his arch-nemeses.
With two hits earlier in the game, Teahen entered this at-bat with 22 hits in 49 at-bats against Buehrle.
“I asked him if he would sign it,” said Buehrle as to why he rolled the ball toward the Royals dugout. “I have it right there in my locker. I finally got him out. Last time here, I had (Willie) Bloomquist sign a bat for me because I finally got him out. I have a little collection of guys that own me.”
Bloomquist, who finished 1-for-3 against Buehrle Thursday, is 12-for-25 lifetime when facing the White Sox ace. Buehrle wondered aloud how one-time Royals outfielder Brandon Berger hadn’t caught on with another team just to face him, with four home runs and seven hits in 21 career at-bats against the southpaw.
Buehrle certainly doesn’t have the superstar attitude of a pitcher with a 130-89 career record. I know Zack Greinke has been lights-out this year and pitches for neighboring Kansas City, but it would seem appropriate for Buehrle to start the Midsummer Classic for the American League in front of the home faithful.
Dewayne Wise will begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Monday in Columbus, as the center fielder continues to recover from a separated right shoulder suffered while making a spectacular diving catch in a victory over Detroit on April 13. Wise does not expect to play on Monday and said that he will serve as designated hitter before getting into an outfield role by Wednesday.
Wise expects to be gone from the White Sox during their weeklong road trip to Anaheim and Kansas City. The Knights also visit Toledo at the end of this upcoming week.
Alexei Ramirez entered Saturday night’s game at Tropicana Field hitting .143, without a home run and with just three RBIs. This start with the bat is much like Ramirez’s rough opening during his rookie campaign of 2008, when he hit .138 in April but finished with a .290 average, 21 home runs and 77 RBIs.
The White Sox believe Ramirez will quickly bounce back, and it’s not so much about the weather getting warmer as it is about the shortstop losing that anxiousness that comes along with high expectations and low results.
“Early in the year, in that first series against Kansas City, they pitched him really tough and he got a little anxious,” said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker of Ramirez. “I think it kind of affected him mentally.
“He tried to do things different on his own. They are corrected, but mentally, he has to get to the ball.”
Walker addressed the notion that the American League is pitching Ramirez different and has adjusted to him after last year’s great success. But Walker pointed out how those pitchers already had made adjustments at the end of the 2008 campaign, and Ramirez was still hitting the baseball consistently.
Basically, Ramirez needs to swing at strikes or pitches close to the zone.
“He’s a decent bad-ball hitter,” said Walker of Ramirez. “Nobody is a good terrible ball pitcher, and he’s swinging at some terrible pitches right now. He has to make adjustments and get the ball in the strike zone or at least close.”
“This is the big leagues. This isn’t Equador or Costa Rica you’re facing,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Right now, he’s trying to do too much. He’s trying to get out of his slump with one at-bat. You got to take one at-bat at a time. Take your best at-bat and give yourself a chance.”