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The White Sox did it again. Ozzie’s lineup left runner after runner after runner in scoring position. I would normally just consider it bad luck or just a part of the game, but it has now gone well past coincidence. The same replay happens over and over and over. The problem is the three lumberers coming up at the wrong time every time. Due to their track record, some last year and a lot this year the trio of Dye, Konerko and Thome just aren’t getting the job done. They need to be benched, traded or be put at the bottom of the lineup or at least be separated from each other. I am tired of seeing their strkeouts, double plays, or worse, going station to station with the crucial run in the game. They cannot score from second on any hit. Konerko, as good a fielder as he has been over the years, is now getting cramps in the field as well. He allowed Jose Contreras to make a fool of himself and the team yesterday by not taking charge and fielding the grounder that turned the game into a rout when we still had the lead. Jermaine Dye is starting to make crucial mistakes in the field as well. Any way, they don’t belong in the key parts of our lineup and should now be platoon players, as we have competent backups.
The pitching, though, is Ozzie’s real Achilles heal. All last year and now all this year, time after time after time, every time Ozzie makes a pitching move, something always seems to go wrong. He and the press are great at blaming then relievers in question at the time, but nobody seems to say anythng about Ozzie’s bad timing over and over again. He does this repeatedly, always with bad results. The starter pitch count nears 100 and out comes the reliever who has trouble controlling the game. Last night Freddie Garcia retired nine batters in a row and was breezing along, when he gives up a double.
Out springs Ozzie to put in a replacement, and oops, there goes the game. Please Ozzie, it happens too often. It is now a trend. When you get that urge to take out a pitcher, take a deep breath, go get some sunflower seeds and let the game take its course. It may turn out wrong, but what you are doing is costing games too many times. If it is obvious, like in the third inning Monday, please take out the pitcher to save him and the team from the embarrassment Jose Contreras turned that fiasco into. Stop managing two or three games ahead. Your bullpen does not need babying, If they continually fail, find some minor league hotshot to pitch those middle innings. Whatever, please manage a team that needs help by using the hot player and stop thinking so much. Let the game play out.
I am a very frustrated White Sox fan that lives and dies with the Sox and want to see some professionalism. I am not seeing it right now. A part of managing any organization is getting the best out of those under you and taking responsibility for recurring failures. It is time to step up Ozzie. Either change, or be relieved.
Even Ozzie recognizes the problems, going by his quotes after Tuesday’s Game:
”That killed us,” Guillen said. ”If you watched us all year long, we’re really bad with men on third base and less than two outs, maybe the worst team in baseball right now. If someone is worse than us, that’s a record. That continues to bite us. Good teams score the guy from third base, and we’re not doing that right now. We haven’t done that all year long, period.”
What happened next? The obvious. Fresh off getting out of a bases-loaded jam to end the seventh, Scott Linebrink served up a one-out home run to Jason Bay that gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. By the time the eighth was over, it was 6-3.
”I just told [Ramon] Castro, ‘When I call someone from the bullpen, make sure you leave the pitcher there and you come out — our backup catcher,”’ Guillen said. ”I called [Octavio] Dotel [on Monday], and he got his ass kicked. I called Linebrink, he got his ass kicked. No matter what I do, I call the wrong guy. I guess it’s my fault for calling the wrong guy.”