“It's Black & White.”
That's the White Sox' slogan this season, but I humbly offer a revised tag:
“It's Out Of Control.”
My goodness, we're only three games into the season and it's already looney tunes on the South Side.
You have the lewd: Link
You have the lawless: Link
And, of course, you have Ozzie.
I've heard from a number of frustrated Sox fans today and they all want to know why Ozzie decided to twice bunt No. 2 hitter Gordon Beckham Thursday night with leadoff man Juan Pierre on first base.
If you missed it, Pierre walked to open the seventh inning and Beckham sacrificed him to second. Carlos Quentin followed with a 2-run homer to put the White Sox in front of the Indians 3-2.
With the score tied at 3 in the ninth (the Sox wound up losing 5-3 in 11 innings), Pierre led off with a single vs. Rafael Perez and Beckham was again called on to bunt.
He did, and with Pierre at second base, Quentin was intentionally walked. Paul Konerko followed with a rocket liner to center that Grady Sizemore caught and Andruw Jones flied out to end the inning.
Ozzie was in a foul mood after the second straight loss to the Indians, and he was still seething at the Cell Friday afternoon when questioned about taking the bat out of Beckham's hands.
What do you think about being second guessed, Oz?
“Well, don't watch it,” he said. “That's easy, man. If you don't want to watch the way I'm managing this club, it's easy, be a Cub fan or talk about something else. I'm not going to tell people why I do stuff, what I did. They talk about taking the bat away from Beckham, that's the seventh and ninth innings and I've got my best two hitters, the only guys swinging the bat well right now, right behind him.
“All those idiots out there they think about baseball, come out here and manage. I don't have to explain to anybody why I do stuff.
“I've got this job and I'm going to run this ballclub the way I think it should be run. And I'm going to run this ballclub the way I think is best for the team. I'll bet you they don't think about striking out 12 times. They (Sox) struck out twice with men on third base, bases loaded, they don't talk about that. They talk about how I run this ballclub. Shame on them. This is my seventh year here and I'm here for a reason. I'm not here because I'm Kenny's friend or Jerry's buddy. I think I'm here because I think I know what I'm doing.”
Personally, I wouldn't have bunted Beckham in the ninth inning. Just let Pierre steal second base.
Ozzie calmed down a bit and said he tried to manufacture a run there because just about every White Sox hitter is scuffling.
“That's the reason why I bunted with Gordon because the two best hitters we have they can ... move the guy over and PK hit a line drive right at the center fielder,” Ozzie said. “If that ball's a base hit, we win. That's it, we win. Some guy said, 'Take the bat away from the kid that's going to hit 20 home runs and 40 doubles.' He will hit 40 doubles and 20 home runs even bunting the guy late in the game. The thing about it, like I said yesterday, we cannot strike out 12 times when new have a team that's not going to hit that many home runs. Our philosophy is running, putting the ball in play. Our philosophy is not working right now in two games.”
So there you have it. And here are the lineups for tonight's Sox-Twins game. (By the way, Minnesota played the Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday night and didn't get to their downtown Chicago hotel until 7 a.m. this morning).
Pierre – LF
Beckham – 2B
Quentin – RF
Konerko – 1B
Jones – DH
Rios – CF
Vizquel – 3B
Ramirez – SS
Lucy – C
Danks – LHP
Span - CF
Hudson - 2B
Hardy - SS
Morneau - 1B
Cuddyer - RF
Kubel - DH
Young - LF
Harris - 3B
Butera - C