White Sox

Poetry in Pros: Guillen sleeping like a baby

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Poetry in Pros: Guillen sleeping like a baby

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Posted: 3:16 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

Mere hours after frustratingly suggesting that he blow the ballpark up rather than send out another pitcher to blow a save, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was eager to see how his team would respond to Fridays disheartening turn of events.

Good teams turn the page, Guillen said. I want to see how they show up today. Well see how good we are, how were going to show up today and keep fighting.

Despite his tempestuous reputation, the manager normally does a good job of keeping devastating defeats in perspectivebut last nights loss stuck with him for a bit.

There arent too many games I cant sleep, Guillen said. I promised my wife, Listen, Im not going to drink too much anymore. The season just started. So I had one drink. Losses are part of the game.

Undoubtedly Guillen was happy to know that closer Matt Thornton, who has blown both of his save opportunities this season, was keeping his head up and not planning on changing anything in his approach. But it didnt keep the jefe from cracking a joke at his embattled relievers expense.

Noooooooooooooo! Guillen exclaimed when told that Thornton would keep doing what hes always done. Please dont do the same thing! Matt, Matt, are you kidding me? Dont, dont!

Guillen basked in the chuckles, then buckled down for some real talk.

When the kid Kila Ka'aihue hit the base hit to left field to tie the game vs. Thornton on Wednesday in Kansas City, thats a bad pitchwhen you pound him in all night, and all of the sudden you go away and he just puts the bat on it for a base hit, Guillen said. Last night, the only ball I remember they hit hard off Thornton was the home run. Blooper, blooper, and we should have made a couple of plays in the field. Its not like people think, Wow, look he blew the game. He pitched good enough to not lose. The most important ball went out of the ballpark but besides that, we made five outs instead of three. Thats why I say, defense is very important in baseball. Youre not winning without defense, and last night we saw that. Did he pitch bad? No. Did he pitch good enough to lose? Yes, because he had a couple bloopersbut thats part of the game.

All the more reason for strength from the man in the big chair.

If Im going to come here with my down, Look what happened last night look, Im going to suck all my team in, Guillen said. No. Instead my attitude should be Hey, are we ready to fight today? If we lose today, we have to be ready to fight tomorrow. If we lose while fighting, I can sleep with that, I can live with that.

So, how did Ozzie sleep last night?

I slept like a baby: I woke up every two hours and started crying.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease shows off big velocity in first spring training start

Dylan Cease is entering the 2020 season with plenty to prove. Considering how important he is to the future of the White Sox, it is perhaps fitting he was the first White Sox pitcher to take a mound in a spring training game.

On Saturday, Cease pitched two innings against the Cincinnati Reds as he ramps up to full strength. The most notable thing wasn’t how long he pitched or what his stat line was. It was his fastball.

Cease's fastball sat mostly at 96-98 mph and topped at 99. Cease quipped there could be a bit more in terms of his velocity.


Cease averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball in the majors in 2019. In 73 innings, he threw nine pitches that were at least 99 mph, topping out at 100.1 mph, according to Baseball Savant. He was capable of throwing that hard, but didn't do it often. For Cease to be on the higher end of his average and feature a 99 mph fastball in his first pitches of Cactus League baseball might be a sign that he could have added a touch more velocity.

It’s also just a two-inning spring training start, meaning Cease knew he could let fly a bit more in a shorter outing. Cease told reporters after his start he was focusing on his fastball command. He struck out three with no walks and three hits allowed.

In his rookie season, Cease struggled with command and consistency. He had a 5.79 ERA with 81 strikeouts and 35 walks over 14 starts.

February baseball doesn't carry any meaning, but this is a small encouraging sign for Cease.

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Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

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USA TODAY

Kenny Williams shuts down rumor connecting free agent Yasiel Puig to White Sox

You can put to bed the rumors about free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig possibly signing with the White Sox. It’s not happening.

The two sides did get together during the MLB Winter Meetings in December. Kenny Williams, Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria met with Puig for about 90 minutes to discuss the possibility of the 29-year-old joining the White Sox as their everyday right fielder.

But instead, the White Sox chose to take a different route. That same week, they acquired Nomar Mazara from the Texas Rangers for minor league outfielder Steele Walker, ending any chance of Puig coming to the South Side.

“After our meeting we came away big Yasiel Puig fans, but he wasn’t the right fit for us then and he isn’t right now,” Williams said.

With spring training games starting this weekend and the regular season a little over a month away, fellow Cuban Jose Abreu says he’s surprised the flashy 29-year-old outfielder remains a free agent.

“Yes, I am (surprised). That’s one of those things that happen that you don’t understand. A guy with his talent. He’s still so young,” Abreu said through a translator. “He doesn’t have a team yet. It’s a surprise. I’m confident he’s going to find something this year.”

Even with Puig’s talent, Abreu looks around the White Sox clubhouse and agrees with the decision by the White Sox not to sign the former All-Star who hit .267/.327/.458 with the Reds and Indians last season.

“I don’t think he would be a good fit here. Don’t get me wrong. He has a lot of talent but we’re full," Abreu said. "Our outfield is looking great with Nomar (Mazara), Eloy (Jimenez) and (Luis) Robert. There’s no reason for us to make more moves in that area of our team. He’s someone who would fit in with any major league ball club because he has the talent to help any of those teams.”

What about possibly platooning Puig with Mazara in right field? On paper, that might sound like a good plan, although Puig has traditionally hit better against righties than lefties in his career. But a larger issue could be the timeshare. The idea of Puig, nicknamed “Wild Horse,” being forced to the stable for half the season could spell problems not only for him, but the chemistry inside the clubhouse.

“It would be difficult, especially for him being an everyday player,” Abreu said about Puig being a platoon player.  “When you have to make that decision, it’s not easy.”

So, where will Puig end up?  No one knows for sure but it won’t be with the White Sox.  

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