Ozzie-Kenny: A new bromance blooms

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Ozzie-Kenny: A new bromance blooms

Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
3:41 PM

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- For fans of the modern-era Chicago White Sox, run by bold and brash general manager Ken Williams and piloted by feisty, eighth-year manager Ozzie Guillen, Monday's Winter Meetings news couldn't be better.

Just a few weeks after declaring he was 'confused' by reports that the White Sox were in discussions -- to what degree is still disputed -- to trade him to the Florida Marlins, the skipper made a quick dine-and-dash visit to the Winter Meetings and reported that all is well between him and Williams.

Their longtime friendship -- Guillen tearfully broke the news to Williams that he had been traded by the White Sox when the two were teammates during spring training of 1989 -- was build on the mutual respect the two shared. Guillen famously had been hired at the 11th hour by Williams, in spite of spending a substantial portion of his interview arguing with Williams.

The foundation of their friendship was shaken last year, when Guillen's middle son, Oney (then a White Sox employee), criticized the team via Twitter, digging in even deeper after he was fired for his outbursts. The relationship unraveled from there, poisoning the season for Guillen.

"This summer, I told my wife I couldn't wait until 2010 was over; 2010 was a very, very, very, very bad year for me, personally. Last year, we were 25-5 in one stretch and I didn't enjoy one game because of the problem we had off the field. It's not fun to come to work for anybody that way."

The two team leaders spoke at the end of the season and both declared the friendship to be patched up -- by October, Guillen was openly campaigning for a vote of confidence as manager -- but the mentor later revised his thoughts, speculating the he felt the relationship was much better, but would never be the same.

"I'm not saying the relationship wasn't working, but to make it the way it was, that's what I was looking for," Guillen said. "The problems were not on the field, they were personal."

Last week, in advance of Chicago's inking of slugger Adam Dunn, Guillen asked Williams out to dinner and the two spent upwards of four hours talking out their problems. To Guillen, that alone was a massive sign of respect he was showing his boss.

"When I have dinner with someone, that means something: It means I respect you and want to hear what you are going to say," Guillen said. "I want you to hear me and what I'm going to say ... and the conversation was great."

Recounting the discussion, its results brought a palpable look of relief to Guillen's face as he spoke to team beat writers.

"Everything is moving forward. We talked about the team and what we want to do," Guillen said. "But personally, we talked like grown-up people. The relationship we had in the past, the way we talked and communicated, it had to come back. We have to grow up and move on, make sure all the hatchets are buried and we don't burn bridges. It's not healthy. It's not good for the ballclub. It's not good for anyone.

"I promise Jerry Reinsdorf and Williams, I will do my part and do the best I can to make this work ... it will work out. It can't be the same situation. No way -- no way it will be the same."

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu hopes to be ready for White Sox next game after leaving with injury

Jose Abreu said he hopes to be ready to go when the White Sox start their series against the Detroit Tigers on Friday.

The White Sox first baseman took an awkward-looking fall on the infield grass while trying to field a grounder in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s win over the visiting Kansas City Royals, leaving the game with what the team announced as a mild right hip flexor strain. Abreu was labeled as day-to-day.

Manager Rick Renteria didn’t have any sort of update after the game — though he said he didn't think it was serious — but in his comments to reporters, Abreu said he felt fine after receiving treatment and will be ready to go for Friday’s series opener in Detroit.

“I feel good right now,” Abreu said. “I got treatment and I feel good. The day off tomorrow is going to help and I hope to be ready for the first game in Detroit.”

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Both Renteria and Abreu said the first baseman had no desire to exit Wednesday’s game but that Renteria was being appropriately cautious.

“He did not want to come out,” Renteria said. “He was pretty adamant but I think all of us, you don't take any chances. I think it was just the right thing to do at that time.”

“When you are on the field, you didn’t want to leave the field. It doesn’t matter what’s the reason or what’s happening,” Abreu said. “But he’s the boss and he made that decision and you have to accept it.”

Abreu went 2-for-2 with a two-out RBI double in the first inning Wednesday before he left. He has had two hits in each of his last four games and is 8-for-15 during the White Sox current four-game winning streak.

The White Sox are off Thursday. The team said Abreu will be reevaluated then after arriving in Detroit.

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

With White Sox hitters' support, Jose Quintana picks up first win of 2017

Four runs isn’t exactly an eye-popping total. But for Jose Quintana and his luck, it can seem like a gigantic number.

The White Sox starting pitcher is famously left wanting for run support nearly every time he takes the mound. So after the visiting Kansas City Royals erased a two-run White Sox advantage by the middle of the sixth inning Wednesday, it looked like Quintana might be heading for another bad-luck no decision — or worse.

But Avisail Garcia, he of the resurgent 2017 campaign, came to Quintana’s aid, belting a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning to put the White Sox back in front. It put Quintana in position for his first win of the season, which he officially earned when things went final a few innings later.

“He hit the ball at the right time. It was a good time,” Quintana said after the 5-2 victory on the South Side. “He told me, ‘That’s for you.’”

Quintana’s own 2017 season hasn’t gotten off to the kind of start you’d expect from the 2016 All Star. He took a loss in each of his first four outings and didn’t pitch like his normal self, entering Wednesday’s game with a 6.17 ERA.

But Wednesday saw Quintana return to form. He struck out 10 batters, a season high and the eighth such effort he’s had in his career. He surrendered just a pair of runs, only one of which was earned.

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Third baseman Todd Frazier said he saw something a little different in Quintana on Wednesday.

“I saw it in his face. He had some look about him,” Frazier said. “It was weird. He was getting mad at me because I didn’t get the ball back to him in time. I love that stuff. I’ll definitely make sure I get it to him quicker. He had a mentality about him, you know, put fear in some hitters eyes.”

Quintana, who kept saying that he “needed” this kind of performance in this game, confirmed it was an accurate assessment.

“Yeah, it was a mission,” Quintana said. “Everybody was doing their job. I needed this outing, so I felt really good on the mound. It was extra motivation to win my first one.

“I needed that outing, I needed that win. I never started like that (with four losses), so I’m really proud of the first win for me. The first of many, so I can’t wait to keep doing my job.”

While the pitcher was different this time around, so too was his offense. The White Sox are locked in some kind of offensive surge right now, combining for 33 runs during a four-game winning streak.

In Quintana’s first four starts, the team mustered just four total runs, shut out in two of those games. While certainly everyone would like the offensive production to continue, it was performances like Wednesday’s that remind you that even when the team isn’t scoring for him — and that’s been often — he still has All-Star stuff.

“As a teammate, you always enjoy when one of your pitchers is having that kind of performance that Quintana had today,” Leury Garcia said. “You’re always trying to help him, you’re always trying to do your best to help your teammates to win games. And for us, the defense was good just to stay there and watch him do his stuff. That was good.”