Ozzie Guillen predicts three White Sox to make All-Stars
By Toni ginnetti firstname.lastname@example.org July 4, 2011 10:42PM
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 04: Adam Dunn # 32 of the Chicago White Sox tips his cap after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals on July 4, 2011 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) R:\Merlin\Getty_Photos\118191442.jpg
Updated: July 5, 2011 2:08AM
The White Sox’ ‘‘Paul Star’’ campaign to elect first baseman Paul Konerko to the American League All-Star team had a successful start. At press time, Konerko led the vote to be the final player on the roster.
The Sox are using in-game promotions, social media and online efforts to boost Konerko, who is competing against the Detroit Tigers’ Victor Martinez, the Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon, the Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Ben Zobrist.
A joint effort also was started between the Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers to push fans to vote for each other’s finalist. The Dodgers are trying to elect Andre Ethier as the final National League All-Star. Voting ends at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Konerko would join Carlos Quentin in representing the team. But manager Ozzie Guillen predicted the Sox will have another representative in starter Phil Humber. Several AL pitchers won’t be available for the All-Star Game if they pitch Sunday.
‘‘Humber will be on there. You watch,’’ Guillen said.
Humber, who is 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA, is scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. That would make him available to pitch in the game next Tuesday in Phoenix.
Konerko, a four-time All-Star with the Sox, is hitting .319 with 21 home runs and 62 RBI.
‘‘I have a feeling he’ll get in, but every year at the All-Star break someone gets in and someone [deserving] is left out,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘It means you had a good first half or you’re famous or people like you.’’
‘‘Back to reality.’’
With interleague play and the crosstown rivalry put to rest, Guillen’s declaration Monday about the week ahead was to the point.
‘‘Right now, this is very important for us. We’re playing our division. When you want to win the division, you have to beat the division. We have to be prepared.’’
The Sox had played American League Central opponents only 17 times before Monday, with only a 6-11 mark in those games. But Monday started a 19-game stretch against division opponents, starting with the Royals through Wednesday and a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins, which leads into the All-Star break.
‘‘We’ve been playing a little better, so I hope we do finish strong [this week] because we have a very tough schedule ahead,’’ Guillen said.
Then and now
The Sox are 43-43, behind their pace of last season, when they were 48-38 after 86 games.