Sox Drawer: In Jenks you trust?

169136.jpg

Sox Drawer: In Jenks you trust?

Friday, July 23, 2010
4:25 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

You swim in confidence, you drown in negativity.

Those were the deep thoughts coming from Don Cooper back on June 2 as he strolled through the White Sox dugout amid a torrential downpour of criticism that had the Sox sinking in the AL Central standings.

Lifeboats were standing by, not to mention a casket, a coroner, and the cast from the TV show Six Feet Under.

Ive seen it so many times. Confidence is the ingredient, Cooper said. Everyone has tough times. Tough moments.

And while the White Sox have magically changed the trajectory of their season since those dark, spring days, the team's pitching coach doesnt have to look far down his roster of arms to see a pitcher currently submerged in that same negativity, flooded by criticism that he can no longer be trusted to do his job.

Bobby Jenks.

In the hypersensitive world of modern day sports, one bad game is considered terrible, a second is downright appalling, while a third equates to the death of the players first born.

Maybe thats an overstatement, but often the reality is that when youre a struggling athlete not meeting a citys expectations, the heat you feel isnt the sun on your face, but a burning fireball of disgust and distrust by a countless stream of fans who have invested their hearts and souls into the uniform youre wearing, and if you continue to let them down, those same fans will no longer see flesh inside that uniform, but a skeleton.

Youre officially dead to them.

Thats sports. And right now there are many of you holding onto your shovels, ready to bury Bobby.

My advice would be to chill out! But I know better.

Its easy to roast your closer after he gives up four runs in the 9th inning in a heartbreaking loss to the Twins, especially when he follows it up by losing another game three days later with two runs in the 11th against the Mariners.

Its easy to condemn him because his name is not Mariano Rivera, and hell occasionally blow a save or two in a week, bringing your world to a crashing halt. Its painful. I know. Imagine having to talk about it live on television moments after it happens without using a single word of profanity.

Been there.

Its tougher to recall and appreciate what your closer did before the mess, converting 15 straight saves during the Sox torrid hot streak. Remember how downright filthy Bobby was for those few weeks?

Okay, maybe you dont.

Look, Im no dummy. Neither is Ozzie Guillen. Jenks is struggling.

Something has to be done right now, which is why the Sox will turn to Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, or even Sergio Santos in closing situations in the near future.

But what happens if or when one of those saviors takes the mound and blows a save or two. Then what? Bring back Shingo Takatsu?

I agree with Ozzie that the Sox are a better team with Jenks as their closer, and with the set-up guys lined up in front of him. But right now, they cant go there. The boat has a hole in it.

Speaking by phone on Friday before the White Sox took on the As in Oakland, Cooper did not dance around Jenks problems. He went right at it, with a fastball down the middle.

The bottom line is this, Bobby has struggled his last two outings, Cooper said. The nature of being a closer is youre on the line, and when you dont save the game, youre kind of the goat. What were going to do is simply keep our options open with the other guys that are throwing the ball well. Wed be nuts not to keep our options open. In the meantime, well try to get Bobby throwing like he did during that streak again, and I think its going to happen.

After Wednesdays extra-inning loss in Seattle, Guillen expressed concern over Jenks fading velocity. But as the pitching coach, Cooper has a much different take.

I dont look at (velocity) to tell you the truth. When Im watching the game, I dont look up at the board and say, Oh, thats 93 (miles per hour), thats 97. I just look at, Does he have enough out there in his hand that day? You take the ball 70 times during a season, there are going to be times when you have your A stuff. There are going to be times when youll have your B stuff. You might even have your C stuff. You still got enough to get it done. The bottom line is, (Jenks) hasnt gotten it done. But theres enough coming out of his hand to get major league hitters out.

So for the moment, Cooper continues to swim in confidence, while watching Jenks as he dog paddles in negativity. The water in Lake Michigan can be murky. The same with our local media.

When you fail, unfortunately the best story in Chicago is not a guy whos soaring, its what kind of crash hes going to make when things are not going well.

Jenks has fallen. Hell eventually get up. The question is, do you have his back, or an arrow pointed directly at it?

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Scott Podsednik joins CSN's White Sox studio team

Scott Podsednik joins CSN's White Sox studio team

Scott Podsednik is making his return to Chicago.

The 2005 World Series hero will join CSN's TV team as an analyst alongside Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton on White Sox Pre/Postgame Live this season.

Podsednik's first broadcast will be Monday, April 3, the White Sox home opener against the Detroit Tigers. CSN coverage begins that day at 2 p.m.

"I've always loved this city so much and had some memorable years playing for the White Sox organization," Podsednik said. "I'm excited and looking forward to joining the great team at CSN Chicago." 

The 11-year MLB veteran will also be a part of the White Sox Talk podcasts throughout the season.

"Scott's impact during his time with the White Sox was immediately felt by fans throughout the city thanks to his strong work ethic and kind heart," said Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for CSN Chicago. "Scott did a terrific job in the booth for us filling in for Steve Stone during a number of games last season and it was very clear that adding him to our pre- and postgame shows with Chuck and Bill will only add to the expert coverage we deliver to our devoted White Sox fan base."

Podsednik spent parts of four seasons on the South Side, hitting .280 with 141 stolen bases in a White Sox uniform.

He was the tablesetter for that '05 championship team when he hit .290 with 59 stolen bases and 80 runs scored.

Scott Podsednik to join CSN's White Sox Pre/Postgame Live studio team

podsednik-sox-0806.png

Scott Podsednik to join CSN's White Sox Pre/Postgame Live studio team

Former White Sox standout to provide pre/postgame analysis (including the Home/Season Opener on Monday, April 3) for select games throughout the 2017 season with host Chuck Garfien and analyst Bill Melton;

Podsednik to also make regular appearances on “SportsTalk Live,” “In the Loop,” and CSNChicago.com’s “White Sox Talk” podcasts

Chicago, IL (March 30, 2017) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the 2017 Chicago White Sox, has announced former White Sox standout and 2005 World Series hero Scott Podsednik will join CSN’s White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships and Subaru White Sox Postgame Live as an additional studio analyst on a number of select games this season.  Podsednik will team up with veteran CSN White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien and analyst/White Sox legend Bill Melton throughout the 2017 MLB season.  The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Director of News & Original Content for CSN Chicago. 

Podsednik’s first CSN appearance will take place on Monday, April 3 for the White Sox HOME/SEASON OPENER against the AL Central division rival Detroit Tigers (NOTE: CSN’s Opening Day coverage begins with an expanded, remote edition of White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships LIVE from Guaranteed Rate Field beginning at 2:00 PM CT).  In addition to his White Sox studio analyst duties, Podsednik will also make select appearances on CSN’s weeknight sports discussion program, SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado, on the early edition of In the Loop presented by Comcast Business, and on CSNChicago.com’s popular “White Sox Talk” podcasts presented by Wintrust.

“I’ve always loved this city so much and had some memorable years playing for the White Sox organization,” said Podsednik.  “I’m excited and looking forward to joining the great team at CSN Chicago.”

“Scott’s impact during his time with the White Sox was immediately felt by fans throughout the city thanks to his strong work ethic and kind heart,” added Cross. “Scott did a terrific job in the booth for us filling in for Steve Stone during a number of games last season and it was very clear that adding him to our pre- and post-game shows with Chuck and Bill will only add to the expert coverage we deliver to our devoted White Sox fan base.”

Podsednik, a standout defensive outfielder and perennial base stealing threat, played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, including four years in a White Sox uniform (2005-07, 2009).  In his first season with the White Sox, Podsednik was a key factor in helping the team win its first World Series title in 88 years, thanks in part to his unforgettable 9th inning walk-off home run in Game 2, which was just his second HR all season long.  In his 11-year MLB career, which included stints with the Mariners, Brewers, White Sox, Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, and Red Sox, Podsednik compiled a .281 career batting average with 42 HR’s, 312 RBI, and 309 stolen bases.