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Tag:Ozzie Guillen
Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:15 am
 

Pepper: Victorino rounds bases on foul ball



By Matt Snyder


Let's go the light-hearted route in leading off Pepper on this Tuesday morning. Phillies All-Star center fielder Shane Victorino had a moment in a rehab assignment Sunday that prompted him to say he was embarrassed. No, it wasn't an angry embarrassed caused by poor play. In fact, Victorino crushed a ball down the left-field line in his first at-bat. As he rounded first base, he heard a loud cheer from the crowd and assumed it was a home run. The umpires evidently signaled home run, but no one ever verbally told Victorino. He had his head down and was running hard, so he just keep on running, until manager Jeff Parent -- who was coaching third -- told Victorino.

“Parent stopped me at third and said, ‘It wasn’t a home run,’” Victorino said (NJ.com). “I said, ‘Well, I appreciate you letting me trot around the bases.’ No one stopped me. It was an embarrassing moment.”

Don't be so hard on yourself, Shane. Could've happened to anyone who was getting around the bases quickly.

There is a GIF of the play over at SB Nation.

CATCHING THE FEVER: As the Pirates moved into sole possession of first place Monday night, the popularity of the team has continued to rise. It's been 18 years since the Pirates have had a winning season, so the fans are taking everything in here in 2011. Merchandise sales are reportedly on a huge rise in the Pittsburgh area, with one store owner saying he had to pull some Penguins gear to make room for Pirates' merchandise. That's a great sign for a franchise that had for so long seemingly lost its fan base. (Pittsburgh Live)

MORE SUPPORT: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen isn't shy in speaking his mind, we know that. This time around, he's saying Major League Baseball should do more to support the Negro League Museum in Kansas City, which is having financial troubles. (Chicago Tribune)

ON-AIR RESIGNATION: A minor-league play-by-play announcer quit on the air. He went out in a blaze of glory, going with a near-four-minute speech on how people in the organization are treated unfairly and mentioning how he hasn't been paid in full. He had lots of good points and was quite measured and sane. Check it out over at Awful Announcing.

PARALYSIS ONLY A 'SETBACK?' Former San Jacinto pitcher Buddy Lamothe would have been drafted much higher than the 40th round, had he not suffered a swimming accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He was in Houston Monday to throw out the first pitch and called the accident "just a little setback," and said he hopes to be on the mound one day as an Astros pitcher. That would be amazing. (Ultimate Astros)

OH, TORII: Torii Hunter of the Angels occasionally throws out a tweet that is funny in a "did we really need to think about that," kinda way. On his 36th birthday, Monday, he did it again. He thanked everyone who had tweeted him birthday wishes and noted that, at the ripe old age of 36, he still doesn't need Viagra. Well, that's a relief. I'll sleep tonight. (Torii's tweet)

NEW MENTAL APPROACH: The Nationals have brought in a sports psychologist to work with some of the players, including the struggling Jayson Werth. The psychologist is one that has been previously used by the Braves -- back in the early 1990s. You might recall a lengthy streak of division title beginning around that time. Maybe this guy knows what he's going? (Big League Stew)

SAFETY FIRST: Big league ballparks are focusing more on safety after the tragic death at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington a few weeks ago. They're looking at everything from the railing to security guards to discussing with the players how to throw the ball into the crowd. This is all good, but we as fans need to keep the surroundings in mind also. The Texas thing was a freak accident where a man simply lost his balance, but I saw several people doing pretty stupid things at the Home Run Derby in Arizona just to catch a baseball. If you're stepping one leg over the rail, maybe some priorities need to be re-examined. (San Jose Mercury News)

ABOUT THAT BOOING: Remember how one of the dominant themes of the All-Star Game was how the Arizona fans were booing everyone? I certainly do. Giants closer Brian Wilson does, too, and he doesn't understand it. Wilson has basically the same point of view as I do, in that it's not anger, but it's not understanding the point of view. Why spend all that money to just be angry the entire time? (Big League Stew)

END OF AN ERA? It's possible we're seeing the last few months of Mark Buehrle's career. The veteran pitcher is only 32 and surely has several more season's worth of production in that left arm. But he has openly discussed retirement and is a free agent at the end of the season. He's also made it known there aren't many other places he'd want to play. So this could very well be it. If he's content with his earnings and career achievements, there's nothing wrong with retiring to spend time with his family. (Chicago Tribune)

BARTON AND KOUZMANOFF TOGETHER IN TRIPLE-A: Daric Barton and Kevin Kouzmanoff opened the season as the A's first and third basemen, respectively. They're still working opposite corners of the infield together, it's just in the minors. MLB.com has a lengthy update on the duo, including Barton taking full accountability for his futility at the plate and Kouzmanoff discussing how he was surprised by the demotion.

PITCHERS IN THE BOX: Here's an interesting stat. Seeing pitchers get a base hit occurs almost as frequently as position players triple. (WSJ.com blog)

STILL IN LIMBO: Brewers All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun is not going on the disabled list for the time being, at least that's the plan, despite Braun having missed 10 of the Brewers' last 13 games. He did pinch hit Sunday, so the Brewers are definitely taking a risk that a possible DL stint would go deeper into the season. (Journal-Sentinel)

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:59 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 12:59 pm
 

Pepper: Baseball's color issue



By Matt Snyder


There's a lengthy article in the Star-Telegram about the extremely low number of African-American players in baseball, and how it trickles down to fans. Curtis Granderson points out that he can rarely count 10 in the crowd, excluding stadium personnel. Is this a problem? Upon first glance, my thoughts were no. It's not an issue of racism, because it's pretty clear major-league teams will sign anyone that can help them win. My gut feeling is that more young African-American kids are drawn to basketball and football. Just look at the demographics and diversity in those leagues. As long as there's no discrimination, why does it matter what color the players and fans are?

But Corey Patterson of the Blue Jays makes a salient point (Star-Telegram).
"I really do like all of my teammates and I'm friends with them," Patterson said. "But it does bother me. It does. I'm not saying the whole stadium needs to be brown or black, it's not that. I could talk about this until I'm blue in the face, and you might sympathize, but it doesn't affect you, so you don't think about it too long.

"My mental processes might be different because of the environment I'm in.

"It's hard for me to explain. Someone might say it's fine and we're all cool, but it's easier said if you're the majority."
And he's right. Since I'm white, I don't know what the Pattersons and Grandersons of the MLB are going through. I always thought that just being accepting and supportive of everyone -- regardless of color -- was enough, but maybe the MLB does need to spend more money on campaigns to get all children in the country excited about baseball. After all, studies have shown most baseball fans are adults, while kids are more drawn to basketball, football and soccer. This could become less an issue of diversity down the road and more an issue of losing fans ... of all colors.

Getting defensive: The Rays are hanging around in the race this season despite having a less-than-exciting offense and having lost a lights-out back-end of the bullpen duo. They are, as usual, doing it with stellar defense. Steve Slowinski on TampaBay.com opines that this could be the best defensive team the Rays have had in the past decade. That's saying something, because they've been among the best defensive teams in baseball for the past four to five years.

Historic futility: The Mariners are on pace in July to have the fourth-lowest runs scored in a month -- in which the team plays at least 20 games -- in the history of baseball. No wonder they fell completely out of the race in a matter of two weeks. (The Seattle Times)

Runaway groom bride: A man wearing a wedding dress ran onto the playing surface during play at Turner Field Saturday night. The idiot was promptly tackled by security and arrested, but hey, I'm sure it was definitely worth it. (Big League Stew)

Pujols 'taunts' fans: After Albert Pujols' big three-run homer Saturday night in Cincinnati, Pujols told the Reds fans to quiet down, via body language (check out the screen-grab by clicking here). I can see some being up in arms about this -- because, let's face it, there is always at least one person who gets mad about anything these days -- but I have no issue. I actually kind of like it. Then again, I did grow up a Pacers fan and saw this from Reggie Miller on a regular basis. (via Hardball Talk)

Caught napping, literally: Saturday in Wrigley Field, the TV cameras caught Marlins relief pitcher Edward Mujica sleeping in the bullpen. Cubs broadcaster and former All-Star catcher Bob Brenly was aghast, calling it "embarrassing," though Mujica said it was less than five minutes that he had his eyes closed. Check out the video on MLB.com.

Already in trouble? As I noted in 3 Up, 3 Down Saturday night, Barry Zito had three really good starts before Saturday's debacle, but that seems to have been all he needed to shake the confidence of management. The possibility of skipping Zito's next turn is being discussed. Now, obviously it wouldn't be punishment of any sort, it's just that Zito is the No. 5 starter and the logistics of the schedule work out that a turn can be skipped. But had he thrown another gem Saturday, I doubt this would be a thought. (SFGate.com)

Let 'er rip, big fella: Adam Dunn has a pretty good shot at breaking the record for strikeouts in a season, and his manager isn't going to stand in the way. Ozzie Guillen told reporters that he'll bench Dunn if he's not helping the ballclub, but he won't specifically bench him to avoid the strikeout mark. (Chicago Tribune)

Cursed left hand: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie was reportedly close to a promotion to the bigs before he was hit in the hand with a pitch May 31. The broken hand shelved him for weeks and he's now on rehab assignment. Saturday night, he was hit with a pitch on the same hand again -- only this time he walked away uninjured, due to a protective batting glove. At least he found out it works. (National Post)

Here today, gone tomorrow: Padres catcher Luis Martinez made his major-league debut Friday night and was then sent back to the minors less than 24 hours later. He still said it was a "dream come true" and is hoping to make it back. (MLB.com)

Happy Anniversary: Sunday marked exactly 70 years since Joe DiMaggio's famed 56-game hitting streak ended. Will anyone ever reach that mark again? I seriously doubt it. (Big League Stew)

80-dollar dog: Yes, there's a hot dog for sale with the hefty price tag of $80 -- the Broxton Rox, of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball. Here's the description of the monstrosity: "The foot-long wiener will get the royal treatment. After deep frying, it will be rolled in truffle oil, then coated in porcini dust. The dog is to be topped with white truffle shavings and crème fraiche. If that doesn't gild the lily enough, the frank will be finished with caviar and fresh roe." (ThePostGame.com)

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 8:27 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 8:31 pm
 

Guillen: 'I should be fired'

Ozzie GuillenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

It's been a good month since we've had a good ol' Ozzie Guillen rant. So thanks to the Detroit reporter who asked Guillen if he was feeling pressure because of the White Sox's disappointing first half.

From the Chicago Tribune:

"Pressure about what, getting fired?" Guillen said. "I don't give a [bleep] if I get fired. I'm the only manager in baseball who [bleeping] don't care about getting fired. I don't at all. If I get fired, it's [because] I don't do the job, I don't know where or why or what I do, but no. I should get fired. Look at the team they give me, and we not playing well. I will take that. I think people think I no do a good job with this ballclub, I don't mind.

"You know what? Every time I go home I feel satisfied with what I supposed to do. I think I put the energy, passion, love for this ballclub. Hopefully this ballclub gets better to make me look better. If the ballclub play good, I'm a great manager. No?"

Guillen is signed through 2012, so he can't feel too much pressure, because he'll still get paid. And as soon as he is out of Chicago, we know Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will have no qualms about firing whoever is managing his team whenever Guillen becomes available.

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Posted on: July 2, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: July 3, 2011 11:08 am
 

Guillen's Pierre-colored glasses harming team

Pierre

By Evan Brunell


Dayan Viciedo is creaming the ball in Triple-A, but is blocked from a promotion because he has nowhere to play.

It's not Adam Dunn, Carlos Quentin or even Alex Rios that's blocking Viciedo, all of which would make sense. Nope, it's Juan Pierre.

"I wish I had 25 Juan Pierres, with all due respect to [Paul] Konerko, [Alex] Rios, [Adam] Dunn," skipper Ozzie Guillen said, displaying his irrationality for all to see. "If you ever manage Juan Pierre, you appreciate the way this kid goes about his business."

That's all well and good, but however well Pierre prepares for the game and reminds Guillen so much of himself (which is really what's going on here), he's still hitting .262/.321/.312 in 363 plate appearances. Yeah, yeah, he's stolen 11 bases. He's also been caught 10 times, pushing his career caught-stealing to 183, which leads all active teams. Pierre has led baseball or the NL seven times, including this season.

Pierre has been so bad, he has a negative WAR on the season. That's right, Pierre has been worth one win less than a replacement player; any average Joe currently plying their trade in Triple-A. And yet, Guillen insists on playing Pierre as much as possible because he has a fantastic work ethic and is the only person in baseball (according to Guillen) to work on his leadoffs from bases regularly, also practicing bunts and extra fly balls in the outfield. That hasn't stopped Pierre from getting caught 48 percent of the time on the bases or being brutal defensively, but hey, work ethic!

(To give Pierre some credit, over his last five games he is 10-for-23 with three extra-base hits, driving in six runs on a .435/.462/.609 line. But: six games.)

Using Baseball Musings' lineup tool, we see that nine Juan Pierres in a lineup would give the team 3.487 runs a game. Compare that to the usual lineup sent out by the White Sox with an average of 4.352. That lineup has six players with slugging percentages under .400 -- Pierre (.312), Dunn (.312), Rios (.325), A.J. Pierzynski (.395), Gordon Beckham (.357) and Brent Morel (.306) and still outproduces all nine Pierres by a full run.

Put simply, Guillen's Pierre-colored glasses are harming the team dramatically, and there doesn't seem to be any way for GM Kenny Williams to excise Pierre from the lineup. Commanding Guillen to bench Pierre won't work given the two's frosty history. If Pierre is on the team, Guillen will play him.

‘‘I might lose some respect from the players,’’ Guillen said on benching Pierre. ‘‘People believe in Juan; they know he’s our leader. I’m not afraid to bench a guy that’s not producing, as long as I have something else better or equal. But I think he plays the game right. He works. A lot of people look up to him. Our players love him.

‘‘I always say it’s about winning; I don’t care about feelings. But you have to be careful. You have to be careful how you treat your players, how your players are going to respond. If I do that to Juan, well, I never did it to anybody else. A lot of people have struggled, and I say, ‘I’m not going to bench you.’  ’’

That same frosty history between Williams and Guillen also has to be affecting the chance of a Pierre release, as Williams has continually said he doesn't want to step on Guillen's toes. This is a passive power struggle, as the Sun-Times reports. Instead of one or both sides trying to seize power, both are trying to stay out of it.

At this point, the only way Pierre will stop playing for the White Sox is for Kenny Williams to show him the door after the season, as Pierre is an impending free agent.

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 11:34 am
 

Pepper: No rule change needed at 1B

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: There may not be a more interesting division in baseball than the American League Central. While the surprising Indians lead the Tigers by a game, the White Sox and Twins linger. Can the Twins, now just 6 1/2 games out, continue to get themselves in contention? Will Jake Peavy be able to stay in the White Sox's rotation? NESN.com's Tony Lee joins our own Lauren Shehadi to discuss.

RULE CHANGE NEEDED?: And just yesterday, I was going to make a sarcastic joke that I was surprised I hadn't heard Giants fans complain about safety at first base after the Albert Pujols injury.

For weeks after Buster Posey's injury we heard long discussions about changing the rules for plays at the plate and how the catcher had to be protected. Scott Cousins was vilified and scapegoated. Well, Wilson Betemit was taken off the hook when Cardinals manager Tony La Russa put all the blame on the shoulders of rookie Pete Kozma, even though in both cases the injured player deserves much of the blame for being in a  poor position (and I'm not saying either deserved to be hurt, just that they put themselves in a bad spot and got hurt -- it happens).

Anyway, the New York Times is the first (and only that I've seen) to start up the change-the-rules-at-first-base bandwagon. My response? In a word: no.

LUDWICK ON THE MOVE?: Ryan Ludwick was moved last July from one contender to another -- from St. Louis to San Diego (in a three-team trade that brought Jake Westbrook to St. Louis); he could be on the move again.

The Phillies, Marlins and Reds have all reportedly asked about Ludwick's availability. Ludwick is hitting .255/.322/.393 with a team-high nine home runs this season, but is hitting .279/.324/.419 away from Petco Park.

The Padres could also move some of their relievers, with the Phillies and Cardinals having already checked in on the availability of Chad Qualls and Heath Bell.[FoxSports.com]

SHIPPING HANLEY?: Are the Marlins better off without Hanley Ramirez? Ramirez is in the third year of a six-year, $70 million contract that pays him $46.5 million over the next three years and does not include a no-trade clause. [Palm Beach Post]

MADDON APOLOGIZES: Joe Maddon didn't intentionally pull the wool over the eyes of umpires Monday by not having Sam Fuld face a batter after warming up in the eighth inning, it's just that Bob Davidson was behind the plate, and he didn't know the rule any better than Maddon did. Maddon apologized to the umpires and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. [Tampa Tribune]

FAUSTO FLOUNDERING: One Ohio team has already demoted its opening-day starter to the minors, and the other team may soon be sending its opening-day starter to the bullpen if he doesn't get it together. Cleveland's Fausto Carmona is 4-9 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 starts this season and is 1-6 with a 9.73 ERA over his last seven starts. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

ESCOBAR IMPROVING: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has seen his batting average rise nearly 50 points in the last two weeks, and his glove was already playing at a high level. Is the one big-league player the Royals got from the Zack Greinke trade beginning to show why the Royals thought he could be part of their next wave of talent? [Kansas City Star]

HEADED HOME?: The Hanshin Tigers are scouting Hideki Matsui and Kosuke Fukudome if either Japanese player decides to return to Japan after the season. Fukudome would be a better fit for the Tigers, who play in Japan's Central League. Like in MLB, NPB has one league with the DH (the Pacific League) and one without (the Central League). [YakyuBaka.com]

GREEN LIGHT: The Rangers' Craig Gentry is pretty fast. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

RESPECT: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sometimes goes out of his way to tweak the Cubs and Cubs fans, but not when he's talking about the other Chicago team's shortstop, Starlin Castro. Guillen calls Castro "amazing." Guillen gave some encouraging words to Castro after Monday's game, and that meant a lot to the young Cub. [Chicago Sun-Times]

TURNING 20: Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez celebrated the 20th anniversary of his big-league debut Monday. The 39-year-old Rodriguez has 13 Gold Gloves and an MVP since he came up as a 19-year-old with the Rangers. [MLB.com]

NICE PICK: With the Yankees in town, the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with former Reds first-round pick Chad Mottola, who was taken with the pick before the Yankees took Derek Jeter. Mo Egger of ESPN 1530 in Cincinnati breaks down why Mottola wouldn't have played for the Reds even if they picked him. Hint, his name is Barry Larkin.

ARMS SALE: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times looks at what the Mariners could get for Jason Vargas or Doug Fister, two guys who are having pretty decent years.

COMPELLING CAMPANA: A great story in The Tennessean about Cubs outfielder Tony Campana. As a kid in Franklin, Tenn., Campana battled Hodgkin's disease and couldn't play baseball, but was still in the dugout with his teammates, cheering them on. His coaches at the time didn't think he'd survive, much less be in the big leagues.

WORTHY CAUSE: There's a petition online to have Vin Scully call one more World Series. Scully hasn't called a World Series on TV since 1988 and is still one of the best. [Yahoo!'s Big League Stew]

CUTTER CUT: The Jays have told recently demoted Kyle Drabek to shelve his cutter for now. The team wanted him concentrating more on his fastball, but he kept going back to the cutter more than the team liked. The Jays hope he gains confidence in his fastball and lessens his reliance on the cutter. [National Post]

NO CHANGE IN POSTING: The posting system for Japanese players coming to the United States won't change, NPB Tracker passes along (since I can't read the original Sanspo report).

GOLDEN GROOMING: You may have missed the Golden Groomer Award, a monthly award given to the baseball player with the best facial hair. The last winner was Reds minor league catcher Corky Miller. [OMGReds.com]

LOGO FUN: Check out this really cool graphic of all the team's cap insignias since 1950 (including batting practice). Hat tip to the fine folks at the UniWatchBlog, which had a cool thing worth reading about spotting baseball fields from the sky.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:59 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:37 am
 

Ozzie Guillen ejected, kicks facemask away

By Evan Brunell

GuillenOzzie Guillen was up to his old antics on Monday, being tossed in the sixth inning when he argued that Alexei Ramirez fouled off a ball instead of grounding out. Ramirez beat a ball into the ground but the umpire's view was obscured by catcher Geovany Soto, who pounced on the ball and tagged Ramirez out, although it appeared Soto picked up the ball in foul territory, which would have allowed Ramirez to continue batting.

Guillen rushed out of the dugout, showing umpire James Hoye exactly where the ball was, but earned an ejection. Guillen angrily kicked away Soto's mask, which you can see in the video right here before continuing with his argument. There was some laughter to be had after, as Soto could not find his mask.

"The look on Soto’s face when he got his facemask kicked, that was priceless," Konerko told MLB.com, while Guillen rolled his eyes when he said the umpire was right and he was wrong, according to the Chicago Tribune. He added that he would have broken his toe 20 years ago had he kicked a catcher's mask, given that they were much heavier back then.

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The photo is a screenshot taken during the MLB video linked above, credited to MLB.


Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: June 20, 2011 4:01 pm
 

On Deck: How about a Zito-Soriano swap?


By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Is 80-year-old Jack McKeon the answer for the Marlins? MLB.com's Tom Boorstein joins Scott Braun to talk about the Fish, Albert Pujols and more. Click on the video above to hear about it all.

TRADE IDEA: There's an old saying that you don't trade players, you trade contracts. And there are hardly two contracts worse than those belonging to Giants lefty Barry Zito and Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News suggests those two swap teams -- well, because it wouldn't hurt. Barry Zito would help out the Cubs' awful pitching, while Soriano would help the Gints' offensive worries. Soriano is paid through 2014, while Zito can be bought out before that season. The Giants would end up paying $7.75 million more in the deal, but Soriano is probably that much more valuable than Zito for them, considering the team's pitching depth.

Sure, both players have full no-trade clauses, so there's that, but it could happen. Baggarly notes he's just spitballing and that he hasn't heard anything about this kind of trade -- but it makes some sense. It's not totally unheard of for the Cubs, who made the bad contract swap with the Mariners before the 2010 season sending Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva. It's an interesting thought, that's for sure.

MANAGING THROUGH PAIN: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was rushed to a Phoenix hospital Sunday morning where he passed a kidney stone before returning to Chase Field about two hours before the team's 8-2 victory over the Diamondbacks. [Chicago Tribune]

SPEEDY GONZALEZ: Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez legged out a triple Sunday for his 1,000th career hit. It was actually his third triple of the season, two more than Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. "I was telling Jacoby I have more triples than you do. What's going on?" Gonzalez told reporters after the game (via WEEI.com). "He just said, 'Hey, you're faster than me.'" And a better hitter. 

CLEAN PLAYS: Giants fans are sure to disagree, but Yankees catcher Russell Martin said the play in which Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena bowled into him on Saturday clean, and so was the hit that ended the season of Giants catcher Buster Posey. Martin said it's only a dirty play if the catcher is standing in front of the plate and the runner goes out of his way to hit him, which wasn't the case for Posey and the Marlins' Scott Cousins. [MLB.com]

WEBB STRUGGLES: Rangers right-hander Brandon Webb gave up six hits and four runs in two-thirds of an inning at Double-A Frisco on Sunday.

GOOD NEWS FOR Astros: An MRI revealed no structural damage in the elbow of right fielder Hunter Pence, who has a sprain in his left elbow. He is listed as day-to-day, but manager Brad Mills said he is "questionable" for the Astros' upcoming series against the Rangers. [Houston Chronicle]

NATS PLANS UNCHANGED: You may not have noticed the Washington Nationals are one of baseball's hottest teams, winning eight in a row before Sunday's loss and are now just 4 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Wild Card standings. That doesn't change Mike Rizzo's plans for the future. The biggest decision may be whether to deal starter Jason Marquis at the deadline. If the Nats go into another funk before the end of July, they'll likely deal him. [Washington Post]

GOOD IDEA: Orioles reliever Chris Jakubauskas picked up his first big league hit on Sunday and with that came his first play at the plate when third base coach John Russell waved him home on J.J. Hardy's double in the fifth inning. He was out by a mile. "My main thing was don't fall down, because when I hit third my legs got Jello-ey," Jakubauskas told MASNSports.com.

Mets HEALING: David Wright played catch and took ground balls on his knees Sunday and is expected to ride an exercise bike on Monday as he rehabs from a stress fracture in his lower back. He's expected to have more news after an evaluation later this week. Meanwhile, lefty Johan Santana is still long-tossing and hopes to return to the mound later this week. [Star-Ledger and ESPNNewYork.com]

SMOKELESS Rays: Tampa Bay will be wearing the uniform of the Tampa Smokers on July 2 for their yearly Turn Back the Clock game, but when they released the pictures of the jersey, the team isn't staying true to the team's old logo. The Rays are omitting the cigar pictured on the original jersey, which is just a shame. We all know smoking is bad for you, but if you're not going to actually want to show a cigar, you probably should honor a team called the "Smokers." [JoeRaysFan.com]

THE YANKEE STRIPPER: Need a gift idea for the Yankee fan who has everything? Well, how about a photo of a showering Joe DiMaggio?

A photo from a postage shower us up for auction at Lelands.com if you're interested in that sort of thing. [San Francisco Chronicle]

FATHERLY ADVICE: When the Blue Jays demoted Kyle Drabek to Triple-A, he made a call to his dad for some advice. That's a pretty good idea when your dad has 155 career victories and a Cy Young Award on his mantle. [The Canadian Press]

HEFTY BILL: I'm not sure how aware most casual fans are of this unwritten rule of baseball, but when a big league star has a rehab appearance at the minor-league level, the tradition is the big leaguer buys the postgame meal for the team. Zito says his four rehab starts have cost him $4,500. Somehow, I think he can afford it. [San Francisco Chronicle]

ANOTHER GOOD BAUTISTA FEATURE: Last week Jeff Passan of Yahoo! wrote a great feature looking at the backstory of Jose Bautista. This weekend the Toronto Star's Vinay Menon wrote another good look at the guy who may be baseball's best player right now.

ANOTHER FATHER'S DAY STORY: Former Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu tells the Toronto Star about his father and grandfather, who were in a Japanese-American internment camp in California during World War II.

HARPER RESTS: Bryce Harper sat out his second consecutive game on Sunday, as the Nationals determined he needed to rest more than play at this point. The Hagerstown Suns had been eliminated from winning the South Atlantic League first-half title, so they gave Harper some time off. Harper finished his first half of professional ball hitting .330/.429/.586 with 14 homers, 45 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 227 at-bats. He will certainly play at the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday and may then be promoted to high-Class A Potomac for the start of the second-half of the Carolina League season starting on Thursday. [Washington Post]

BAD TRAVEL DAY: Tacoma Rainers broadcaster Mike Curto has the details on the Triple-A team's rough travel day on Friday that saw the team get to the park at 6:45 p.m. for a game that was scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

DOES BASEBALL NEED TO BE CHANGED?: The Los Angeles Times asked various people -- including a filmmaker, an actor, an artist and a physics professor -- about how to improve the game. Some of the suggestions are benign, some ridiculous and few give easy answers. But it's an interesting read, anyway.

VENTURA PAIN-FREE: There have been few baseball injuries as grotesque as the one former White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura suffered in a spring training game against Boston in 1997, when Ventura ran slid into Red Sox catcher Bill Haselman and then Ventura held his leg up with a dangling ankle. Today, he's pain-free after an ankle transplant. [Los Angeles Times]

PINGLESS: If you watched any of the College World Series this weekend, you noticed the ping of aluminum bats has been replaced by more of a thud sound. That's because college baseball changed to bats that perform more like wood this season. The results have been dramatic. [New York Times]

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 12:58 am
 

White Sox will go back to 6-man rotation

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jake PeavyWith right-hander Jake Peavy coming off the disabled list to start on Wednesday night against the Cubs, the White Sox will revert to a six-man rotation until at least the All-Star break, Ozzie Guillen told the Chicago Tribune.

"At the start, yes," Guillen said when asked if the Sox would go with six starters. "We are going to do that because I think that's the best for the club. We talked about it yesterday and we have a couple of different scenarios. Right now, we're are going to stay with it until the All-Star break."

The White Sox will put Peavy behind Edwin Jackson in the rotation, pushing Jackson' next start to Friday because of Chicago's off day on Thursday.

Of course, that was all before Saturday's game and for a moment it appeared the White Sox could lose another pitcher after John Danks was hit in the head by a Stephen Drew liner. The ball bounced off the back of Danks' head and into the stands by third base for a ground rule double. Not only did Danks stay in the game, but he smiled and laughed afterward. You can see the play here.

With the off day on Thursday and June 27, there will be even more rest for the White Sox pitchers.

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