Sox Drawer: Ozzie believes Konerko will be back

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Sox Drawer: Ozzie believes Konerko will be back

Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
2:58 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- Day One of the MLB winter meetings is playing out like a primetime TV show for the White Sox, a team surrounded by mystery and suspense.

The sub-plot: Will they re-sign Paul Konerko?

At the moment, no one knows for sure. But Ozzie Guillen thinks he knows the answer. Well, at least his gut thinks so.

Is Paulie coming back?

I say yes, Guillen said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. Thats my gut feeling, but my gut has been pretty wrong a lot. I say yes because thats the guy we want the most. But like Kenny Williams said a couple days ago, he better hurry because if you dont make a decision, were going to lose the guys behind him.

Team Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was scheduled to meet with Craig Landis, Konerkos agent, Monday morning at 11 a.m. eastern time. Kenny Williams arrived later, talking contract parameters with Landis, a meeting that lasted around 45 minutes. However, no offer was made.

Before they signed Adam Dunn last week, the Sox' biggest priority appears to have been the pursuit of one Adrian Gonzalez.

The Padres eventually traded the All-Star first baseman to the Red Sox, but behind-the-scenes, the White Sox were reportedly trying to pry him loose.

Williams wouldnt comment on the topic, but Guillen did slightly, giving us a glimpse into some of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

There were rumors out there that the White Sox were after Gonzalez. It was something that Kenny kind of told me after, Guillen said.

Gonzalez? Dunn? Konerko? Williams wasnt kidding when he said last week that the White Sox are going all in this season. And that even surprised Guillen.

Did he think the Sox would be this aggressive this off-season?

No, I was wrong. I told my family that we have to be ready because were going to be managing kids. When I saw the (Dunn) move, I was shocked. I texted Joey Cora after we signed him. The whole coaching staff was shocked. Thats a great thing. A lot of teams wanted him and we got him. Kenny and Jerry showed the fans that we want a winning team. I hope the fans support them too, because thats a big part, to put people in the stands, and I hope they do that.

Guillen is already thinking about his lineup for next season, one with Dunn hitting 3rd.

I want to give Dunn the most at-bats. I want him hitting in the first inning, Guillen said.

If Konerko re-signs, hed bat 4th. Alex Rios 5th.

Guillen sees Matt Thornton and Chris Sale competing for the closer role, unless Sale starts the season in the rotation.

Is Guillen preparing for Bobby Jenks not coming back to the South Side?

I have to," the Sox skipper said. "I have no other choice. I read in the paper the other day that we didnt get along. That guy is wrong, because the guy I talk about the most is Bobby Jenks. Hes still out there. I dont know whats going on. I think the Chicago White Sox will miss him.

Besides the Konerko story, the big buzz here at the meetings was about the 7-year, 126 million contract the Nationals gave to Jayson Werth, who gets all that money despite playing in only one All-Star Game (as a fill-in reserve in 2009).

Said one MLB executive, We dont have that many superstars, but were paying players like it.

Guillen put it another way.

I wish I was his agent. Or his wife.

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

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

When a role player finally gets an opportunity in Rick Renteria's rotation, it's usually for two or three games. The idea is to give said player an opportunity to find a rhythm before they might head back to the bench for a few days.

So far this season, Leury Garcia has found this method favorable.

The centerfielder/utility man posted his second consecutive three-hit night game and drove in two runs on Tuesday night as the White Sox pounded the Kansas City Royals 10-5 in front of 14,591 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Garcia said he appreciates knowing he's likely to appear in two straight games if he's penciled in for a first. Todd Frazier also drove in three runs for the White Sox, who scored double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time since May 26-27, 2012 to improve to 10-9.

"That's something that makes you get into rhythm," Garcia said. "It's not the same when you get to play just once a week or twice a week. When you're playing every day you have your routine and your swing and your approach."

Though a familiar face, Garcia — who was acquired in the Aug. 9, 2013 deal that sent Alex Rios and $1 million to the Texas Rangers — is on pace to play more this April than he ever has before. With three more plate appearances on Tuesday, Garcia has 45 this month, just five shy of the 50 he accrued last September. September 2013 when he netted 45 trips to the plate is the only other time in Garcia's career where he's received at least 40 plate appearances in a month.

But Garcia has found ample time this month with Peter Bourjos traded, Charlie Tilson injured and Jacob May struggling. Much like Matt Davidson, Garcia has capitalized on his chances.

On Tuesday his two-out RBI single in the second inning off Danny Duffy tied the score at 1. Three innings later, Garcia's two-out RBI double put the White Sox ahead for good. He also added an infield single in the sixth inning for good measure and finished 3-for-4.

A career .462 OPS hitter before this season, Garcia is slashing .318/.348/.500 in 46 plate appearances this season. 

"He was playing one day and then playing after five days (before)," teammate Avisail Garcia said. "Now he's playing every day and he's doing good. He's a good player and he can hit the ball and play good defense.

"It's huge (to play consecutively)."

A big factor for Leury Garcia's early success is his reduced strikeout rate. He's at 8.7 percent this season (four in 46 tries), down from 30.8 percent for his career. 

"He's just starting to manage his swing," manager Rick Renteria said. "He's learning how to approach at-bats, he's not just flailing at balls, I think it's a little bit more in control. He's still an aggressive swinger but I think he's trying to manage making contact. 

"He's capable of doing quite a few things and it's just coming together."

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Leury Garcia's second straight great game helped the White Sox break out against a lifeless Kansas City club. Tim Anderson followed Leury Garcia's double in the fourth with an RBI single off Duffy to make it 4-2.  

Frazier, who had two doubles and three RBIs, doubled in a run in the fifth and Yolmer Sanchez tripled him in. 

Duffy allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez, who had two hits and a walk, singled in a pair off reliever Chris Young in the seventh as the White Sox pulled away. Frazier and Avisail Garcia, who finished 3-for-5, doubled in runs with two outs in the eighth. 

But afterward Leury Garcia received praise from every corner of the clubhouse. Renteria and Frazier singled out his performance and Sanchez sat in on his postgame media session. 

"I've been taking advantage of that rotation because you as a player, you want to play," Garcia said. "But at the same time you have to realize there's another 24 teammates that also deserve to play to. You have to be prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. 

"For me I've been great because I've been able to perform and I feel good."

White Sox Talk Podcast: How soon could White Sox promote Yoan Moncada

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: How soon could White Sox promote Yoan Moncada

On the latest edition of the White Sox Talk podcast, Ryan McGuffey and Rob Wiatrowski are joined by CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes to discuss his recent weekend visiting all four White Sox minor league affiliates. 

The panel discusses the players that jumped out to Hayes and when may be the earliest Yoan Moncada gets the call to the Big Leagues. 

Later, Matt Davidson's story makes quite the read and why the Orioles giving up on Miguel Gonzalez has benefitted the Sox. 

Listen to the White Sox Talk Podcast below.