Haugh @ CT:
Oney, Ozzie’s 24-year-old son, put his famous father in another awkward spot Wednesday when he aired details via Twitter of Bobby Jenks’ personal problems shared in the sanctity of the clubhouse.
References to Jenks’ drinking issues, his marriage, an altercation with a clubhouse attendant and an emotional breakdown in Guillen’s office did little but raise doubts about just how private any future interaction with the Sox manager will stay.
“It is an issue I trust Ozzie to manage as there are obvious peripheral issues that are in direct conflict to what we believe and could directly compromise the integrity of clubhouse privacy, privacy that is vital to a team’s unity and success,” general manager Ken Williams told the Tribune in an e-mail.
What could go wrong? Ozzie has been handling Oney less than masterfully… Remember the Guillen-Ordonez fight? Could we have more fireworks?
UPDATE: JJ has a good post about it.
UPDATE #2: Kenny also addressed Bobby’s remarks:
“Not only do I disagree with Bobby’s assessments, I condemn them for being non-factual and the reckless spirit they represent,” Williams said. “The White Sox organization appreciates Bobby’s efforts while he was here, and we wish him well. But if he pauses to reflect on the many hours of conversation and examples of support we have shown over the years, it is my hope he realizes he owes Ozzie Guillen an apology.”
Merkin @ CWS:
“I’ll always respect [Guillen] as a person and give him credit that’s due,” Jenks said. “But I want to play for a manager who trusts his relievers, regardless of what’s going on.
“With the way Ozzie was talking this winter and the way he treated me, I don’t want to fight with the guy. How many times did he question my ability, and then saying how he would love to have me back, but I would have to come to Spring Training and fight for the closer’s role like anyone else?
“Why would I come back to that negativity?” Jenks said. “I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”
According to Jenks, the White Sox offered two years at $10 million after the Winter Meetings and the team then asked for an answer on the morning before the initial agreement was reached with Crain. The White Sox source said the organization spoke with Jenks’ agent before Crain was signed, but no offer was made. It simply was a conversation about expectations.
Other teams besides Boston had interest. Jenks listed those opportunities from closing for Tampa Bay to starting — yes, starting — for the Texas Rangers. Jenks was a starter for five Minor League seasons with the Angels before being converted to the bullpen when joining the White Sox.
UPDATE: Seems Oney Guilen, Ozzie Guillen’s son, didn’t like Jenks’ comments.
Baseball Numbers @ Diamond Futures:
1) Chris Sale, LHP (2010 Performance Scores– Dominance 80; Control 60; HRrate 29; Stamina 27)
We believed Chris Sale was the best college arm available in the 2010 draft. His 2010 College Performance score trailed only Texas A&M’s Barrett Loux. So we were as shocked as the White Sox likely were when he was still available at #13. The Sox fast-tracked Sale to the Big Leagues in a relief role, and he only continued to make favorable impressions once arriving—ending the season as the team’s best option at closer. Coming out of the bullpen allowed Sale to consistently throw his fastball in the mid-90s—a few ticks higher than he had worked as a starter. The relief work also allowed him to focus on his slider—the pitch that offered greatest concerns coming into the draft. What the bullpen did not allow him to do was showcase his plus-plus change—the pitch that is the main reason why we believe that he is ideally suited for a starting role.
At a slight 6’6”, we believe Sale could ‘beef-up’ and work in the mid-90s as a front of the rotation starter with a solid three-pitch repertoire. Unfortunately, word out of Chicago is that Sale is likely to once again find himself in the bullpen in 2011. This isn’t a two-pitch Neftali Feliz, that we advocated a bullpen role for. Therein lies the paradox with the White Sox decision to make a run at the Central division in 2011—as it likely means that Sale is the de facto closer vs. working on being a difference maker at the top of the rotation. Still just 21yo, the White Sox are unlikely to harm his development in any significant way, but this is a special arm that should be developed as such.
Hit the link for the other 11 reports.
Conan O’Brien sings Run, Rudolph, Run (song-only):
Merry Christmas to all!
More ‘Run, Rudolph, Run’ covers inside (more…)
Merkin @ CWS:
… Strong support from his family helped Phegley deal with the setback. He also learned more about how the game is run after being forced to the sideline, where he watched intently and studied the decisions made by his managers and coaches.
Most of Phegley’s treatment took place at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, and Phegley gave huge credit to the White Sox organization for its ongoing support. As an up-and-coming White Sox prospect, Phegley was scheduled to take part in the Arizona Fall League so that he might pick up missed at-bats, but instead of trying to get the ITP under control while also playing baseball, Phegley went home to focus on getting well.
His spleen was removed during surgery on Nov. 5, a process that caused Phegley’s platelet count to automatically spike. If post-surgery blood work had revealed that his platelet count had plummeted again, that would indicate that there still was a problem. But his platelet count not only didn’t drop, it elevated further, as evidenced by tests taken in early December, which leads an ecstatic and encouraged Phegley to believe “all is well.”
“At the beginning, it was so surreal that it didn’t hit me that it was that big of a deal. You have this life-threatening illness, but you feel 100 percent normal,” said Phegley, who has been working out for the past month and only has to guard against certain bacterial infections that could do damage without the counteracting antibodies produced by his spleen. “It happens to thousands of people per year. It’s like a genetic thing.
“Some people I talk to, they get strep throat, and their system will do this. You can get a common cold, and it happens.” …
That’s absolutely fantastic!
Introduction. THT’s Forecasted Final 2011 Standings:
|American League Central
A computer projection that’s not upbeat about the White Sox. Nothing new here!
From Merkin’s mailbag:
Q: In 2010, Chris Sale‘s contribution to the White Sox was indisputably huge. I was wondering what capacity you see Sale in for the White Sox in 2011: starter or bullpen? I remember Williams saying that the White Sox were looking for him to join the rotation, but finding solid bullpen help is so difficult.
A: Right now, I would say Sale is the White Sox closer, even if he prepares as a starter during Spring Training.
That guess is not meant as any slight to Matt Thornton, who certainly can handle this job and probably would become one of the American League’s elite closers. He has the makeup and, of course, the pure talent.
Thornton ultimately might become a victim of his own All-Star success. The Sox rely on Thornton to shut down hitters in the seventh or the eighth or possibly both innings and might feel more comfortable with the rookie Sale solely working the ninth.
Sale could end up as a starter. But pitching coach Don Cooper has stressed to me during two offseason conversations how he doesn’t think it’s good for Sale’s development to use him as a starter in place of Jake Peavy for four or five weeks and then put him back into the bullpen. Remember, just because Sale closes or relieves this season doesn’t mean he can’t be a top-flight starter in the future. Check out Texas and its potential plans for Neftali Feliz as an example.
Merkin also speaks positively about Tyler Flowers’ defense.
[Jesse] Crain on Sox: “I’m really excited and getting better. I’m learning to throw a split finger and working with Coop will make me better.”
Crain on his White Sox role: “I am going to be the right-handed pitcher between [Chris] Sale and [Matt] Thornton at the end of the game.”
Seems Sale will not be the closer.
UPDATE: Merkin @ CWS:
The 2011 closer’s job seems to belong to either Matt Thornton or rookie Chris Sale, but with both of them throwing from the left side, Crain stands just a tick ahead of Sergio Santos as the team’s right-handed closing option.”That was part of what attracted me, as well,” said Crain, who fits the mold of what J.J. Putz did for the White Sox in 2010 — being able to work anywhere from the sixth through the ninth. “I’ll definitely have opportunities to finish games.”
With Crain’s addition, the White Sox have five solid arms in their bullpen, and they could go with a couple of youngsters to fill out the seven-man bullpen. Crain was part of that all-in, 2011 mentality for the White Sox, with general manager Ken Williams telling MLB.com this past Saturday how there was more money to work with in free agency after he originally stated the team was tapped out following Konerko’s return.
[Andre] Rienzo flashes pretty decent stuff, featuring a mid 90s fastball and developing offspeed stuff. Along with this, Rienzo has displayed pretty decent control. …
The offspeed stuff development is very exciting.
Wittenmyer @ CST:
In a move that surprised even the Cubs, former staff ace and closer Kerry Wood agreed to return to his baseball roots and sign with his original team for one year, $1.5 million, according to a source.
… As recently as last week, team officials expected Wood to take a more lucrative, multi-year offer from either the New York Yankees, where he finished last season, or the Boston Red Sox.
Wood also considered a one-year, $3.5 million offer from the White Sox before following his heart back to the North Side, where he maintains strong relationships with Cubs‚ front office personnel, as well as several former teammates still with the club.
Damn, Kenny will push the 2011 payroll to $130 million!
Gammons @ MLB tweets:
First mentioned in a tweet by Cowley:
Market on Q is not to KW’s liking …. but what’s that I smell in the kitchen? Smells like Crain cooking.
Crain is a Type-B free agent. He was offered arbitration.
UPDATE: A mini scouting report from Brett Ballantini:
Crain fits well in a Chicago bullpen filled with power arms, and features a wicked slider that has made a fool of many a White Sox hitter in the past. However, Crain has a tendency to give up flyballs, which could have a much more dangerous effect in homer-happy U.S. Cellular Field than at the Metrodome or Target Field in Minnesota.
UPDATE #2: Levine @ ESPN:
The deal is expected to be worth $13 million over three years, another major league source said.