Unfazed Sox press on without Ozzie Guillen
By Toni Ginnetti firstname.lastname@example.org April 29, 2011 10:10PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Manager Ozzie Guillen’s two-game suspension Friday was more expected than surprising in the White Sox clubhouse.
‘‘I guess the league doesn’t like that stuff,’’ Paul Konerko said. ‘‘Ozzie’s going to do what he thinks he should. No one’s going to stop Ozzie from being Ozzie, so pay the fine and do the time.’’
It was a sequence of pitches to Konerko in the first inning Wednesday that led to Guillen’s argument with umpire Tim Tichenor, his ejection and subsequent rant on Twitter. Konerko said having a manager stick up for players is a good thing.
‘‘If the situation comes up again, he’ll do the same thing — maybe not Twitter, but it’s not going to stop him from what he does,’’ Konerko said.
‘‘I’m not surprised because that stuff will happen and Ozzie knows it might happen,’’ Gordon Beckham said of the punishment. ‘‘Hopefully we’ll win a few games for him before he comes back.’’
Fans in the stands are a plus for players, but the Sox say getting on track is more important for now.
‘‘We want fans in the stands, of course, but we can’t worry about if they’re going to come out,’’ Beckham said. ‘‘We have to worry about how we’re going to get out of this [slump]. Once we do, people will want to come out and watch.’’
General manager Ken Williams admitted attendance is a concern because of what it might mean to the team’s financial maneuverability.
‘‘I expressed that [concern] to Jerry [Reinsdorf] last night,’’ Williams said. ‘‘He’s trying to lift my spirits a little bit, telling me, ‘Listen, we have a good team.’ I said, yeah, we have a good team. The problem is if we don’t show Chicago White Sox fans that we’re a team that has earned their patronage, they’re not going to show up. That puts us in the situation where, are we going to be able to add if we need something? Might we have to subtract if a losing streak continues on?
‘‘I don’t know the answers, but I do know that for us, it matters.’’
Alex Rios had Friday off, but his chronically sore left toe was less the reason than a 2-for-14 stretch in New York. ‘‘He told me he has to learn to live with it,’’ Guillen said.
Reliever Tony Pena, who left the game Thursday against the Yankees with elbow soreness after facing five batters, had an MRI exam Friday that showed no damage. He will take medication and should be available to pitch in two days, Guillen said.
Jake Peavy threw 52/3 innings Friday for Class AAA Charlotte, giving up three runs and seven hits, including one home run. He walked none and struck out eight, and 62 of his 85 pitches were strikes.
He will pitch again Wednesday for Class AA Birmingham because Charlotte is off that day.
The plaque bearing his likeness brought an emotional moment for broadcaster Ken Harrelson as the team dedicated its broadcast area to their longtime voice. But Reinsdorf drew laughter when he rubbed his finger along the nose, the trait that bought the nickname ‘‘Hawk.’’
‘‘Unfortunately, it looks just like me,’’ Harrelson said with a smile, calling the honor ‘‘overwhelming.’’