Jeff Manto: Sox’ dependence on home runs is ‘just who we are’
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 15, 2012 8:56PM
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:49AM
MINNEAPOLIS — There’s no getting around the fact that 45 percent of the White Sox’ runs have come via the home run.
“That’s just who we are,’’ hitting coach Jeff Manto said Saturday.
Paul Konerko’s two-run homer in Saturday’s 5-3 win against the Minnesota Twins was the Sox’ 190th, second-most in the majors and on pace for 214, which would be the seventh-highest in team history.
Manto said it’s not in the 2012 Sox’ DNA to manufacture runs.
“This team is not designed to manufacture,’’ Manto said. “The middle of the lineup and even
[No. 2 hitter Kevin] Youkilis, these guys sit on 20-25 home runs a year. So to ask them to start punching balls all over the field and take them out of their comfort zone might work in the opposite direction.
“That’s just who we are. We don’t need to manufacture. We need to win. Whatever it takes that day.’’
On Saturday, it took Konerko’s homer, his RBI ground out, Gordon Beckham’s two-out RBI single and Alexei Ramirez’s RBI single after Orlando Hudson stole second base in the ninth inning.
“We do get the homer [from Konerko],’’ Ventura said. “I’m also pleased with scratching across a couple runs, even late. That’s how you continue winning games.
“You can’t win consistently [on the home run]. Our bad stretches have come when we haven’t been able to generate runs other than the home run. That’s when we struggle.’’
Manto doesn’t disagree. But don’t ask him to knock knocking the ball out of the park.
“The hardest thing to do is hit a home run — everything has to be perfect,’’ Manto said. “I see the home run as a byproduct of how hard these guys are working and a good approach.
“To get a run by something other than a home run, it’s nice. But it takes too long.’’
Manto did laugh at that last sentence. But you get his point. And it’s just not the Sox.