Brian Anderson has been producing offensively for the White Sox

As it stands, the White Sox starting outfield has Nick Swisher penciled in left, Jermaine Dye in right, and rookie Jerry Owens in center field. Two of those slots are locks, while one is the variable that has given Sox management headaches the past three offseasons.

Brian Anderson (above left) used to be the next center fielder for the ChiSox, but he lost the job after a full season of offensive inconsistencies in 2006. While GM Kenny Williams tried to fill the CF void with a veteran presence last year, and after being snubbed by the free agent market this year, Owens has been the leading candidate to take the starting center field job in 2008 mainly due to his qualities as a lead-off hitter. Plus he’s put on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason, and his attitude has reassured the Sox about having him patrol center.

But a slight tweak in his groin, as well as newcomer Carlos Quentin’s persistent soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder, has given Anderson a second chance at regaining what was once his.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Anderson has been on a tear:

Not only is Anderson batting .381 in the Cactus League, he leads the Sox in home runs (3) and on-base percentage (.480), and he also has played the best defense of any outfielder.

Based solely on performance, Anderson deserves a spot on the White Sox’ 25-man roster, maybe even as a starter.

Too bad this resurgence comes two years too late. Both manager Ozzie Guillen and Williams expect Owens to be the starting Center Fielder, but Anderson is making them think real hard about their expectations.

“The first spring we gave the job to him and he didn’t take advantage of it,” Guillen said in recounting the past. “I think this year he’s making big, big strides. He’s making a lot of people open their eyes.

“That’s what we expected from him the last three years.”


“Anyone can have a good week,” said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker of Anderson. “We need someone to have a good year.

“During the past week, this is the best I’ve seen BA. But he has to maintain it. We are looking for consistency.”

UmpBump readers know that center field has been a weak spot for the Sox; more so due to the negative impact on the lineup while Williams has tried to find a suitable candidate. So it’s an intriguing dilemma that Anderson, a player highly touted for his defense, but that fell short with his bat when given the role, is making a push with his offensive numbers to get the job one more time.

It’d be interesting to see if Anderson makes the 25-man roster as a backup to Owens, or as a starter. The thing is, Owens fits with what Guillen wants to do this season and it would take more than Owens’ groin to make Ozzie change his mind about center field.

And yet, with a little less than two weeks before the regular season, it’s all in Anderson’s hands to make that happen. So far, he’s on pace to give the Sox a tough time finalizing the outfield.

5 Responses to “Brian Anderson wants the White Sox to think real hard about center field”

  1. Brian Anderson has given upper management/Ozzie a headache for 3 years? How about the headaches that Brian Anderson has given me? He runs off the field when the 2nd out is made. He’s had Scott Podsednik have to run to left-centerfield to catch the ball FOR Brian. That’s among some of the boneheaded plays he’s made when he was playing for the Sox in 2006. It was nice not seeing him in 2007. I was shocked and saddened to see Brian Anderson in the 2008 spring training games. If they want to bring him back for the sheer entertainment aspect that he brings to the table, then that’s ok with me. I have tons of Advil.

  2. Hehe Pete. Funny post. Brian Anderson is so lackadaisical that you just want to kick him HARD in the nuts. His indifference is so irritating that you just want to squeeze his head until it pops. And when he’s interviewed he shows no intensity at all. I hate that guy. He also seems to be overmatched by just about every pitcher.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]