Red Sox

Jenks and Guillen get into heated back-and-forth

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Jenks and Guillen get into heated back-and-forth

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox and White Sox don't meet in the regular season until May 30, but that might be a series worth anticipating.

New Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks is already exchanging verbal grenades with former manager Ozzie Guillen and the war of words is apparently heating up.

Over the winter, after Jenks criticized Guillen, Ozzie's son, Oney, tweeted a number of disparaging remarks about Jenks's tenure with the White Sox and said his father had lost confidence in the closer last season.

In Friday's Chicago Tribune, Jenks told Phil Rogers that the often volatile relationship between Ozzie Guillen and general manager Kenny Williams was a "distraction,'' to the White Sox and that Oney Guillen suffered from "middle child syndrome.''

Saturday, speaking to reporters in Glendale, Arizona, Ozzie Guillen fired back and warned that Oney had more amunition about the reliever.

"If Oney said everything he knows about Bobby Jenks, it wouldn't be a pretty thing," Guillen said. "I respect his wife. I respect his kids. I'm not even mad. I wish I was mad about it because I will rip his throat out.

"That's sad because it's coming from him. That surprises me. Everybody in this organization did a lot of great things for him. Did he pitch good for us? Yes, very, very good. But in the meanwhile, just worry about setting up some games over there. Just worry about Boston, don't worry about the White Sox."

"Too bad that all the stuff we had between me and Kenny interrupted his career because he did a lot of bad things last year. We lied for him, we protected him. I'm the first manager in the history of baseball to give a guy a week off to take care of his kids when his father-in-law was sick . . . I sent him home because he had to babysit his kids because his father-in-law was sick. I don't think any manager is doing that. But coming from him, I expect that."

Guillen said the White Sox "don't miss'' Jenks and noted that none of the current White Sox players had a phone number for Jenks.

"Criticism of me, that's fine,'' said Guillen. "He wasn't talking about the ballclub, he was talking about Ozzie and Kenny Williams. I respect that. Thank God he wasn't talking about the club. If Bobby was taking about the club, I would have been everywhere on ESPN because I will rip his guts. But he was talking about me. I can take that. Just be careful of what you say about Oney because Oney will say stuff he's not supposed to be saying.

"That's just a warning for him just in case somebody don't call him. Just stay away and don't name Oney for this because it will be pretty ugly."

Guillen added that Jenks had to take some responsibility for the White Sox finishing second last year.

"I kept him as my closer when he couldn't close,'' he said. "He's got to look himself in the mirror. Too bad. I still love his kids and wife.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.