Some doubt existed as to whether Peavy would make his set start on Saturday in Phoenix, as Peavy missed important work days in between due to a severe bout with the flu still clearly plaguing him. Guillen voted against Peavy staying on turn, meaning he would also stay on turn to break camp with the team and start for the White Sox on April 6 in Kansas City.
That vote was overruled, or in more accurate terms, the intense competitor that is Peavy convinced Guillen to let him face the A’s. That method of convincing also worked last year, when Peavy skipped one start in Pittsburgh and then faced the Nationals after battling shoulder inflammation.
This same convincing won’t work again, as far as Guillen is concerned. It’s not an expression of anger or disappointment aimed at Peavy, but more a protective measure for Guillen’s player and his staff.
“Jake Peavy will pitch the day I tell him to pitch. He’s not going to convince me,” Guillen said. “I don’t care, we went through it. When he tells me ‘Skip, I’m ready to pitch,’ I give him another couple of more days to recover. That’s the way we do stuff.
“When you tell your kid don’t do this and the kid is doing it, and you don’t do anything about it, you are not doing your job, and that has happened twice. My job is to protect him and the organization, to make sure when he is out there.
“I respect him because he wants to be out there. I love when players want to be on the field. That’s the best thing that can happen to any manager,” Guillen said. “He’s that type of guy who has the passion for the game. He wants to help. Sometimes when you want to help, you don’t really help.”
“I’m still thinking about when he didn’t feel that well [Saturday] and I let him pitch. I take full responsibility. He left the game fine, except for some tightness. When he comes [back], hopefully he comes [back] for good without another setback. I’d rather he be set back now than in July or August. We have to be aware of how he is all year long. [His injury is] not a common thing.
“Believe me, as long as I am the manager of this ballclub that is the last time he convinces me,” he said. “I will make the call. I will have the power to let him go out or not. I know it sounds powerful, but the last two times he didn’t convince me, he convinced everybody [else] he could go out there and perform and the next day, and we got bad news. I am the manager of the club and I was the guy who was against [Peavy pitching], but he said he was fine and ready to pitch. I have the full responsibility of my players, and at the end of the day it’s on my shoulders if people get hurt or not.
“Jake Peavy will pitch the day I tell him to pitch. He’s not going to convince me. When I get the go-ahead from our pitching coach and medical staff [he’ll pitch]—I’m not going to get the go-ahead from him. I can’t. Sorry. I can’t.
“Kenny can easily come to me and say [I knew] Peavy was sore, and I don’t have any ammunition to protect myself and my coaching staff. I always blame myself, and when he told me ‘Skip, I’m ready to pitch’ I [should have given] him another couple of days to [recover]. That’s the way we do stuff.
“It’s not anything against him, or I’m mad at him, or sad or upset. It’s just because it’s happened twice. When you tell your kid, ‘Don’t do this,’ the kid keeps doing it, and you don’t do anything about it, you are not doing your job. My job is to protect him and the organization, to make sure when he’s out there he’s good.”
“I respect him, because he wants to be out there. I love when players want to be on the field. That’s the best thing that can happen for any manager. He’s a different dog—he wants to be out there fighting. He doesn’t want anything [else]. He’s the type of guy who has the temper and passion for the game. He wants to help. Sometimes when you want to help, you[‘re not] really help[ing].
“I’m fine, we talked. Next time, he has to convince a lot of people, and I don’t think it’s going to be enough, [just] talking, to convince anyone. We want to protect him, because when we protect him, we protect ourselves. I’m going to protect myself not because of my job but because that’s the way it should be. It’s not [because of] me, but because [of] the White Sox, the team. No. 1, [we have to] protect him. That’s most important: To protect the players.
“Opening Day is too close to be [a possibility] the way he sounds, that’s another thing. The way he sounds, we shouldn’t be counting on him for Opening Day. Maybe he comes in tomorrow ready to pitch, and then it’s, ‘What’s going on here—do you want some time off?’ I know for a fact he wants to be on the team. We have to make sure when he’s on the team, he’s on the team for good.