Whenever he was asked about Thome returning to the South Side and joining the DH-by-committee mix by fans in that Saturday session, Williams dropped the final decision on Guillen’s shoulders. Nothing new, considering he’s recently also put the decision to have the entire coaching staff back, giving Freddy Garcia a second chance last year, and going after Juan Pierre – despite one of Williams’ baseball people insisting that Pierre’s game didn’t translate to the American League – on Guillen, as well.
… In the pass/fail world of Williams, he’s either reached the point in his career where he can comfortably delegate power or he’s putting together an exit strategy for his skipper in which his fingerprints would be almost non-existent.
January 24, 2010
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said Sunday morning that no decision has been made on whether Jim Thome will return.
… Guillen emphasized the Sox’s decision would be made with their brains, rather than their heart. General manager Ken Williams made it clear Saturday that he was leaving it to Guillen to decide whether Thome would be a good fit for the 2010 Sox team.
… Guillen, who has said he wants to decide before he leaves town, added that his flight to Miami was moved from 4 p.m. Sunday to Monday.
however, Ozzie maintains his moronic ‘I don’t want a full-time DH’ attitude:
“Whoever wants to come to the White Sox as long as I’m here is not going to be a full-time DH,” Guillen said after a brisk question-and-answer session with fans. “Nobody. I don’t care who it is.”
“Maybe what I have is not convenient for him. But I’m leaving tomorrow. I want to get that out of my mind and go to Venezuela and enjoy my life and not leave you guys hanging here. I don’t want Thome to be waiting for my decision or my phone call.”
… “As long as I’m here, and I don’t care who it is, nobody will be a full-time DH,” Guillen said. “If I want one guy out there, I want [Thome]. I already talked to [GM Kenny Williams] about that.”
… “We’ll talk to Jimmy, and if he says yes, he accepts the role, then we will make our decision,” Guillen said. “I don’t want a DH just to be a DH. I want a guy to help me in different ways, and I want to hear all the opinions to make the right decision.”
January 23, 2010
Before Sunday evening, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will tell owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Kenny Williams if designated hitter Jim Thome fits into their 2010 plans.
Williams and Guillen had a two-hour meeting on the subject on Friday, discussing the pros and cons of bringing back the heavy-hitting but slow footed Thome.
According to sources close to the situation, the only way Guillen will accept Thome’s return is as a part-time solution to the DH. In other words, Guillen would only want to use Thome 2 to 3 times a week, allowing the rest of the games to have a flexible DH for multiple uses. Thome himself will have to decide whether this will be good enough for him.
“I’m resigned to the feeling that Ozzie is sold on wanting to do it this way,” Williams did say Friday night. “Is it a little different for me not to have that left-handed power guy in the middle of the lineup? Yeah.”
“No, not really,” Guillen said, when asked if the pressure was now on him. “That’s the reason I manage the ballclub. We’ve talked about it, we’re still thinking about it, if Thome is the right fit for the ballclub or what we should do. When it’s time to make this decision … I said a couple days ago, sometimes when you think with your heart you make the wrong decision. In baseball, unfortunately, you have to think with your brains. I have to see what’s best for the ballclub. The next couple of days, I’m going to look around, and if Jim Thome fits in the ballclub then I will make the decision. It’s not any pressure at all. This is my job.”
January 22, 2010
A source close to the Jim Thome camp told the Sun-Times on Friday that the Sox are now rethinking the idea of life without the veteran slugger, despite the wishes of manager Ozzie Guillen to try the designated-hitter by committee.
“It’s 50-50 now, which couldn’t be said [Thursday],” the source said, referring to the chances of Thome re-signing. “Jim is just waiting to hear.” …
Ozzie Guillen video.
Williams told fans Saturday morning at SoxFest that he’d consider a return by Thome only if manager Ozzie Guillen was comfortable with bringing him back, but warning that Thome would have to be comfortable with a role that could result in less playing time than the full-time designated hitter role he held with the Sox for the past four years.
Out of respect to Jim Thome _ and he certainly deserves it _ manager Ozzie Guillen said he’s considering bringing the 39-year-old designated back for another season at SoxFest Saturday. Guillen heads back home to Miami tomorrow, and he said a decision will be made before he leaves.
January 21, 2010
As for Thome, Guillen said there is no bigger fan of the veteran than him, but life in the American League is changing.
“No one except his wife is a bigger fan of Jim Thome than me,” Guillen said. “I will be grateful and pleased one day to say that I had an opportunity to manage this man, but this game is changing a little bit. It’s easy for manager when you don’t have a true DH. I can move things around, give guys more playing time. That’s the way it’s going to be.
“Fans out there will be looking at this team a little different. They might be saying, ‘Hey, we’re missing something.’ I think we’re going in a different direction, but the right direction. Our team is going to create different things. That’s why things will look weird. People shouldn’t be worried about that. Thome to me is one of the best guys ever to wear the uniform, but DH is changing. Few teams will have a legit DH. Those days are going away.”
Easy for manager? No. It’s easy for the other team’s manager. 2010 is gonna suck. Save us Kenny
BTW, Ozzie will be at ‘Chicago Tribune Live‘ today at 5:30 p.m. E-mail him at CTL@comcastsportsnet.com
UPDATE: More sadness/craziness from Ozzie:
” … (Thome’s departure) gives this ballclub an opportunity to give more people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”
… “To me, it’s easier and we get more production with the team we have now that way,” Guillen said.
… ”Fans, they’re not going to be happy about something,” Guillen said. “Or a question mark as to why we don’t have a big left-handed hitter. We did for a couple years. The ballclub we had in the past didn’t create that many runs.
“We’re going to play different. We’re not going to wait for guys who can hit 30 home runs. I hope not. I hope they don’t come to the mentality that we need pop.” …
“But [the DH by committee] gives this ballclub an opportunity to give people more at-bats and to be flexible in different ways.”We are not a home-run team anymore.”
… “We have that big left-handed bat for a couple of years, and I think the ballclub we have in the past is a club that can’t create runs,” Guillen said. “We still have guys who can hit 30 home runs, but I don’t want them to come with the mentality that we need power.
“Sometime we will be down by one run in the ninth inning and wish we had [Frank] Thomas or Thome, but this is a different type of game. We have the ballclub to play baseball, make the catch and make the plays. We change everything around.
“It’s not to say we will win. But we are going in the right direction. I think this team is almost set.”
January 15, 2010
Scott Merkin answers:
There’s some sort of chance, even if it’s small, especially with the strong bond between the prodigious slugger and the White Sox. The South Siders also could benefit from a big left-handed bat in the middle of the order.
As mentioned above, though, Guillen seems set on using the rotating DH for now. And it’s Guillen who runs the team on a day-to-day basis, so there’s no reason to force anyone who isn’t part of his present plan. Thome still has some good years ahead of him, and whatever team eventually adds Thome will get 25-to-30 home run potential, great on-base potential and a tremendous clubhouse presence.
Merkin also predicts the Opening Day lineup and batting order:
Let’s go with the Opening Day lineup since it’s hard to predict who will be around in May with general manager Ken Williams at the helm, let alone at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Cleveland stands as the White Sox opponent, meaning right-handers Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona or Justin Masterson will get the start.
So, it would be Juan Pierre in left field, Alex Rios in center field and Quentin in right field. The infield, from third to first, would be Mark Teahen, Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Konerko, and I’m guessing the left-handed-hitting Kotsay at DH. Mark Buehrle and A.J. Pierzynski will make up the battery. As for a batting order, let’s try Pierre, Rios, Quentin, Konerko, Teahen, Beckham, Pierzynski, Ramirez and Kotsay. Of course, write that lineup in pencil for now.
BTW, Matt Thornton will be answering next week’s mailbag so submit your questions for next week’s mailbag at the form in the middle of the page.
UPDATE: More Thome from Merkin’s ‘Sox continue support of Thome charity’ article:
A strong possibility presently exists that Jim Thome has taken his last swings as part of the White Sox organization.
That possible departure for the popular and prolific designated hitter doesn’t mean a permanent separation will take place between Thome and the South Side of Chicago. In fact, the White Sox once again will serve as presenting sponsors for Saturday’s Joyce Thome Benefit for Children’s Hospital of Illinois in the Peoria Civic Center Ballroom. …
December 15, 2009
Ozzie likes the team as it is now and doesn’t want a full-time DH:
“Ozzie and I have been speaking on that, and we spoke on it again [Tuesday],” Williams said of the DH spot. “Right now, what he would like to do is sit where we are right now because he likes flexibility with the DH position, whether it be a guy getting a break or keeping your bench players fresh. Guys like [Andruw] Jones, [Mark] Kotsay, [Omar] Vizquel, getting [Paul] Konerko off of his feet and getting into the DH spot … he likes the flexibility that comes with it.
“I’ve given him some names – this is a very critical last thing on our list. I certainly don’t want to do anything from my seat that conflicts with what my manager wants, so regardless if I think there may be a need for a bigger left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, he’s the one in there and I fully support how he and his coaching staff see the situation fitting. That’s something we’ll continue to think about.”
Yeah, like June or July, come trade deadline time.
… “I don’t want people in Chicago now to say, we need a power-hitter,” Guillen said. “The last four years they have been on Kenny and myself, ‘we’re too slow.’ We’re excited with what we have. We have a more athletic ballclub and can do a lot of things. Kenny has done a miracle, I don’t know how he did it. It’s going to be fun. You’re going to see a different ballclub. And I was looking for a challenge, looking for the challenge to see how good I can be, moving the pieces the way I like to move them.”
Mercy! Save us Big Jim!
December 6, 2009
Ozzie on Andruw:
“That first talk I had with Andruw, before we signed him, he said he wanted to play every day,” Guillen said. “I said, ‘Well, you want to play every day? Make sure you come up to Spring Training and (take charge).’ We are not going to give you that job, we not. You come here and show you can play, and I’ll be more than happy to put him out there. It’s going to be a nice competition.”
and on the DH and leadoff batter:
“Everyone is going to play,” Guillen said. “Right now, we don’t have a true DH, so I have a chance to move people. I can put (Omar) Vizquel at DH and as leadoff hitter if we don’t have one. There’s (Mark) Kotsay, (Paul) Konerko, Andruw, Vizquel, even (Mark) Teahen. “You have that spot open. We can do a lot of things with it, and that makes life a lot easier.”
November 24, 2009
Meanwhile Guillen isn’t overly concerned about the final chapters of the construction of the Sox’s roster.
He wants a cast of rotating designated hitters, which would rule out a return by Jim Thome.
As for the leadoff spot, Guillen said: “The good ones are already signed, the good ones are going to cost a lot of money. It’s not an easy thing to (get).”