White Sox

Welcome to Ozzie, Miami

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Welcome to Ozzie, Miami

Over the course of his eight years with the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen said plenty of cringe-worthy things. Most (but not all) of the time, we could collectively roll our eyes and chalk it up to Ozzie being Ozzie.

His comments about Fidel Castro might have been brushed off in Chicago. In fact, it already happened, and it didn't make waves here. That's Ozzie. He has strong opinions, and he's not shy about voicing them. And he doesn't choose his words carefully.

But his latest round of comments about his admiration for Castro are a completely different animal. He not only offended a large part of the fanbase Miami is trying to win over, he alienated them.

Guillen seemed sincere in his apology, but that he's made these comments about Castro before makes his contriteness seemed canned, forced by a team that's in desperate need of a PR save. This may not have been one of Guillen's trademark off-the-cuff riffs that he may or may not mean. This smells of something Guillen has believed for years.

Cry freedom of speech all you want. Guillen had every right to say what he said, but the Marlins had every right to punish Guillen. He damaged their brand. For a team that's aggressively trying to gain a foothold in the Miami market, these comments were a significant blow.

Guillen was one of the central parts of those marketing efforts. Like it or not, he's one of the faces of the Marlins. And one of the faces of the team has given the organization a black eye not even a week into the regular season.

Maybe Guillen's apology will be accepted -- although the early returns aren't good. Maybe winning will cure everything. Or maybe this will all blow over in a few weeks.

Or maybe it won't. If the Marlins don't win, it'll only give Guillen's opposition more ammo, not that they exactly need any right now. But keeping a manager who not only said he supports Fidel Castro but also led the Marlins to a fourth-place finish? Not even a sharp new park will keep fans coming out for that.

Guillen said those comments were the biggest mistake of his life. He just might be right about that.

White Sox Talk Podcast: The Jose Abreu appreciation podcast

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: The Jose Abreu appreciation podcast

José Abreu is having a special kind of season, and it's rubbing off on the White Sox young core of hitters.

Chuck Garfien and Chris Kamka break it all down from Detroit.

They talk about Abreu's work ethic and where it comes from (2:10), if his words from late August helped lead to this hot September for Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez (8:15), Abreu's quest to be the first White Sox player to ever lead the majors in RBIs (12:30), Anderson's push for the AL batting title (15:30), is anyone hotter at the plate right now than Moncada? (18:20), Jimenez taking his game to a whole other level (22:00), and why we can't stop talking about the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, the worst MLB team in history (22:30).

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

White Sox Talk Podcast

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Rick Renteria voices frustration with Reynaldo Lopez during start in Detroit

Rick Renteria voices frustration with Reynaldo Lopez during start in Detroit

Reynaldo Lopez’s outing Sunday in Detroit didn’t get off to a good start and his performance led to a couple lengthy lectures from his manager.

After giving up a two-run home run in the first inning, Lopez allowed a leadoff single to Dawel Lugo in the second. White Sox manager Rick Renteria paid Lopez an early mound visit.

This wasn’t pitching coach Don Cooper going to the mound to talk to Lopez about mechanics or strategy on the next batter. Renteria walked up, looked Lopez straight in the eye and talked at him for 15 seconds without Lopez getting in a word. At one point in the interaction, Renteria appears to say "It's time to wake up."

MLB.com’s Scott Merkin asked Renteria about the mound visit after the game. If it wasn’t clearly apparent by watching the interaction, Renteria wasn’t pleased with Lopez.


Lopez threw over to first a couple times before getting behind 2-0 to the next batter, Grayson Greiner. Greiner grounded into a double play, but former White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham homered off Lopez right after that.

Lopez gave up another run in the third and Renteria again felt the need to lecture Lopez. This time it took place in the dugout.

With Lopez sitting in the dugout, a somewhat animated Renteria pointed to the 25-year-old’s chest multiple times. Lopez simply took it in and nodded. Watch this interaction and the mound visit in the video above.

Lopez came out for the fourth inning and gave up his fifth run. He was pulled before the start of the fifth. He gave up five runs on nine hits (three home runs) in four innings in a 6-3 White Sox loss.

Lopez has a 5.57 ERA on the season, which is a big drop off from his promising 3.91 ERA in 2018. Lopez was far from a finished product last year, but showed the potential to be a long-term piece in the White Sox rotation. Now? Not so much.

If Renteria’s words about making sure Lopez “was aware that he was actually pitching today” weren’t stern enough, he continued with a more general comment about the future of the White Sox.


If that wasn’t specifically directed to Lopez, it certainly applies to him. Lucas Giolito has established himself as a lock for the 2020 rotation. Dylan Cease will be given a chance to continue to improve. Michael Kopech is coming back from injury. The White Sox likely add a starting arm either via trade or free agency this offseason.

Lopez may not be a part of the future rotation and time to show he deserves a spot is running out.

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