August 05, 2008
If Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's goal was to open himself up to a potential suspension and fine, he was successful. Major League Baseball media-relations manager Mike Teevan said Monday that the commissioner's office is reviewing the brawl and Guillen's postgame comments and will announce its findings Tuesday.
But if his goal was to protect a pitching staff that gave up 20 earned runs and 38 hits or an offense that struck out 16 times and left 23 runners on base during the two weekend losses, Guillen was being short-sighted. With a division title on the line, the Sox need to play with intensity and focus, and the players should have no problem motivating themselves. If they can't, something is seriously wrong.
Besides, a team with postseason aspirations should not be wasting time worrying about the Royals and their shady tactics. The Sox should be worrying about the Minnesota Twins, who claimed first place, at least temporarily, Sunday. The Sox should be worrying about the third-place Detroit Tigers, who arrive tonight for a three-game series. Most important, the Sox should be worrying about themselves. Where is their spark? Where is their sense of urgency? Why is it that Guillen appears to have more fire than most of his players?
We know Guillen is a passionate guy. But his players? As a group, they lack his combativeness. I'm not suggesting they don't care, but even the brawl failed to fire them up sufficiently to mount a comeback against the Royals. It only succeeded in firing up the Royals more.