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I have to say, when I called for Ozzie Guillen to shut up so his team could play, I was betting on being the one with the controversial opinion; you know, going against the grain and stuff.

But now that the White Sox ship is quietly sinking (and fast), I have cemented my conviction that the season is all but lost. And Ozzie’s mostly to blame.

The Sox just lost their third outfielder, Darin Erstad, to an ankle injury that may put him out the rest of the season. On top of that, the team has been shrouded with controversy all thanks to the Media Circus that surrounds A.J. Pierzynski – most of which is simply made up by the MSM itself.

guillen.jpgBut now, el bocón mayor, Mr. Big Mouth himself, Guillen is pouring salt on the wound:

“I think we’ve got a great ballclub that can compete. … It’s up to them how far we can go. I think the talent is there — the people Kenny put together give us a chance to win this division, but we’re not playing up to our level.

“There’s no doubt about it, we have better talent than we’ve shown.”

Guillen spread the blame for his team’s struggles.

“It’s everybody,” he said. “It’s not fair for me to say this or that is wrong. Overall, when you’re losing, it means nothing is working.

“We haven’t put everything together yet. It’s the players, coaches, manager, everybody. We’re not doing our job. We’ve got to come here day in and day out and battle.”

And then there’s this article in USA Today.

Something bothers me when Ozzie is publicly worrying about his job. Anyone remember when he said that if the Sox won it all in ’05, he’d quit? Sure, he was bluffing, but what about now?

You’re the manager, the experienced veteran, why instill insecurity on your team by wondering whether you’ll get fired or not when the team has expressed confidence in you by stomaching your antics?

I don’t want to pin it all on the manager, though. Before the season started I felt like Kenny Williams bet too much on Scott Podsednik, and once he landed on the DL, Williams had to scramble to get Erstad. (But now, after Podsednik’s second injury and Erstad’s bum ankle, the other utility outfielder, Pablo Ozuna, busts his leg as well. All three lead-off candidates gone.)

Granted, Williams has now taken a “hands-on approach” to scouting, meaning he realizes a shake-up is due at the very core of the team. But at this point, the White Sox have to admit they’re not going anywhere (as much as I hate to agree with Jay Mariotti, he’s right).

Bullpen isn’t anywhere close to what they were supposed to be, they’re 2-4 with a whopping 8.44 ERA and 3 blown saves in the last 19 games.

The starters have done their share; but the offense has not.

The Sox have of the first 100 in this year’s draft. Buehrle contract year? Dye understands the nature of the business?

White flag…white flag…white flag…

4 Responses to “The ship has begun to sink in the South Side”

  1. The only thing better than the Red Sox being the best team in baseball is the Yankees, and especially Derek Jeter, being the biggest disapointment!

  2. Now that is a poem. Strong work buddy.

  3. Alejandro, I’ve always thought Guillen was an ass. But I read an interesting story yesterday by Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rogers, who says that the numbers show Guillen is actually a good manager.

    Rogers uses a stat called the “Impact Factor”, which “quantifies the effect of managers on their teams by comparing season records against their finish in the Pythagorean standings, devised by Bill James to assign a team an expected record based on runs allowed and runs scored.”

    Of all active managers, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre have the highest impact factor ratings, though Torre’s is way down this year. Here’s what Rogers says about Guillen:

    “Sometimes managers get more out of their teams than they should. Sometimes they get less.

    While this surely will surprise White Sox fans, Ozzie Guillen is a plus-3 this season, which means he has done a good job to hang around .500 with a team that has issues.”

    Food for thought.

  4. Alejandro Leal says:

    That’s a very good point.

    The Sox, record-wise, are starting to settle right where they’ll probably be all season long – at or around .500.

    It’s very hard to argue that Ozzie Guillen is the root of all problems when for some of us, he was the catalyst that brought the championship home in 2005.

    It may very well be the cyclical element of subtle rebuilding. Williams brought in talent by trading for Thome and Vazquez, but he lapsed in improving his bench.

    And then there’s the loyalty factor. By signing Joe Crede (who’s been bothered by a bad back), the team was forced to let hot prospect Josh Fields simmer one more year in the minors. Whether he would’ve been more valuable to the team had he been allowed to play one full season is debatable. Two words: Brian Anderson. But Fields can hit .226 in the bigs just fine.

    All things considered, the Sox are not going to win it all this season, so they ought to think about the next three to five years, and what better way than by making a few trades of the white flag type?

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