Word on the Street: Guillen squares off with Jenks

Word on the Street: Guillen squares off with Jenks

Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Jenks disappointed in departure from Sox

Bobby Jenks, the White Sox's closer the past several seasons, was non-tendered by the team this offseason and wound up signing with the Boston Red Sox. The 29-year-old veteran said he understood the business behind the call, but was still upset nonetheless.

"It was my first hope, and it hurt," Jenks said in an article on mlb.com. "During my first conversation with my wife after the season, she looked me in the eyes and said that she would go anywhere with me. I said that I wanted to go back to Chicago.

"Once they signed Adam Dunn and gave him my number, I knew it was official. With that move right there, even though they talked to me after Paul Konerko and Dunn signed, it was almost like an afterthought, I felt. They never made it seem like they wanted to bring me back."(MLB.com)

Guillen's son fires back at Jenks

Oney Guillen, the son of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, took some shots right back at departed pitcher Bobby Jenks, who was unhappy with the way the White Sox handled his situation in the offseason.

The younger Guillen had several tweets ripping Jenks after the former hefty closer said he "was looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen."

One such Tweet: "and you say the manager didnt trust u? he kept putting ur fat there and u kept blowing it, he never took u away from that role unreal" (Yahoo Sports)

Is Jay Cutler the best Bears QB ever?

Maybe, according to Daily Chicago Sports Tab blog, even considering Cutler still has one game left to play in just his second season with the team. As it stands right now, he already ranks eighth in team history in passing yards (with 6,772) and is tied for sixth with 50 touchdown passes. Cutlers QB rating of 82.5 is better than any other quarterback in the franchise's top ten yards in passing while his completion percentage of 60.8 is best among those ten passers.

On this current trend, Cutler could be the Bears best statistical quarterback sometime in the 2012-13 season, overtaking Sid Luckman. (Daily Chicago Sports Tab)

Cubs going after Fausto Carmona?

Reports have come out from ESPN's Bruce Levine that the Cubs may be interested in Cleveland Indians starter Fausto Carmona. But, Al Yellon of the blog Bleed Cubbie Blue doesn't think that will be such a good idea, as the asking price from Cleveland is likely too much.

To get Carmona, a former 19-game winner, it would likely cost the Cubs Brett Jackson and Chris Archer, two of the top prospects in the organization. But, to get Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays, it may only take minor league catcher Robinson Chirinos and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee. (Bleed Cubbie Blue)

Former Bear takes a shot at team

Brandon Lloyd, a former Chicago Bears receiver, was named to the AFC Pro Bowl Tuesday and in a conference call with the press, was asked if he had anything to say to his former teams (San Francisco, Washington and Chicago). He responded with "Yeah, there is something I'd like to say to them: Bleep you. I mean that in the most professional way." (Denver Post)

Joe Blanton an option for Cubs?

If the Cubs don't trade for Carmona or Garza, they could go after Joe Blanton of the Philadelphia Phillies, according to BleacherReport.com. Blanton could be a perfect Plan B after he was deemed expendable when the Phillies shocked the world by signing Cliff Lee in the offseason. (BleacherReport.com)
Bulls targeting a shooting guard

There has been a lot of talk lately regarding the Bulls and trading for a shooting guard, which is their main area of need. One such name being brought up in the discussion is J.R. Smith of the Denver Nuggets, but he likely wouldn't be dealt until Denver determines where superstar Carmelo Anthony is going. However, another name has been thrown into the mix as Courtney Lee of the Houston Rockets could be a good fit. (Yahoo Sports)
Bears-Jets game sets ratings record

The Bears' tilt against the New York Jets Sunday ranked as the highest preliminary television rating for the single-game window in the 13 seasons of the current AFC package on CBS. The package of all NFL games on CBS earned a 15.4 overnight rating and 30 share, the best ever. (Wall Street Journal)Palmeiro to miss out on Hall of Fame?

Rafael Palmeiro, a member of the 500 home-run club who spent his career with the Cubs, Rangers and Orioles, is likely not to be voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame after testing positive for steroids in his career. Palmeiro is one of four players in MLB history to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but his positive steroid test is a big blemish on his otherwise Hall of Fame career. (USA Today)

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He maybe doesn't receive the same hype as some of his peers, but the White Sox think Reynaldo Lopez deserves plenty of attention.

A highly-touted prospect for two seasons now, Lopez took a big leap forward in a 2016 season that resulted in two promotions, including a trip to the big leagues.

While Michael Kopech and Lucas Giolito have garnered much of the attention, Lopez, who was acquired with Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade, is right on their heels if not equal. Lopez -- who produced a 3.21 ERA in 19 minor-league starts last season and struck out 42 batters in 44 innings in the majors -- is rated the No. 31 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 38th by MLB.com.

"He's looked good from the get-go," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "The bottom line is we like all three of them. I didn't hear a lot (about him). When people are asking me questions it's usually about Giolito and Kopech. I'm not sure why because he's a gifted kid. He's got some stuff."

Lopez, 23, already has pitched in 11 regular season games (six starts) and made a playoff appearance. He earned those outings by excelling in a season that began at Double-A Harrisburg. Two seasons after he put up outstanding numbers at Single-A, Lopez dominated the Eastern League with 100 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings and 3.18 ERA. He attributes his success to calming himself down in game situations.

"I just kept my focus in the game," Lopez said through an interpreter. "Before, I thought a lot about things and I couldn't think. And then I realized to keep my focus on the game. Sometimes if someone hit me or something, my mind got stuck in that moment. But then I understood you have to have a short memory and just let the things that are happening (be) in the past and focus on what's happening."

Lopez, 23, said he has taken the same approach to handling his trade to the White Sox. The right-hander admits he was shocked at first when he heard he was traded by the Washington Nationals, who signed him for $17,000 in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic.

But the more he thought about it, Lopez realized how good of an opportunity he has in front of him with the rebuilding White Sox. The club intends to try Lopez out as a starter --- there's debate among scouting analysts whether he's meant for the bullpen or rotation --- at Triple-A Charlotte this season. Asked what he prefers, Lopez said he's a starter.

And rather than try to impress the club by overthrowing a fastball that MLB.com graded 70 on the 20-80 scale, Lopez has worked on location early in camp. Those efforts haven't gone unnoticed by Cooper and manager Rick Renteria.

"Lopez is a guy who maybe goes under the radar a little bit, but when you see his bullpen work, he's pretty clean, pretty efficient," Renteria said. "He hits his spots."

Through four throwing sessions, Cooper said he likes how Lopez has located his fastball and curveball. Cooper thinks the changeup, which is the lowest graded of his three pitches (45 out of 80), is where the most work is needed. But Cooper is pleased with how Lopez has worked in the bullpen and batting practice and looks forward to seeing how it carries over once the exhibition season begins.

Lopez likes how he has fit in with the White Sox through the first week and a half. An aggressive pitcher by nature --- "I like to get ahead in the count," he said --- Lopez has tried to work down in the zone in the early part of camp. He said that was one of his main takeaways from pitching in the majors.

"I learned a lot from that experience," Lopez said. "I learned how to pitch. It's not just throw hard. You have to locate your pitches and be smart. I think that was the most important thing for me, from that experience."

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

GLENDALE, ARIZ -- Ken Williams acknowledges that this is the first time as an executive that he's ever been a part of a rebuild.  After realizing their go-for-it attitude for more than a decade had run out of steam, the White Sox front office decided it needed to look in the mirror, take a step back, and start anew. It began this offseason with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and will continue into this season and likely next season.

No longer involved in the day-to-day running of the White Sox, Williams believes he has found the right balance as the team's executive and vice president, utilizing his strengths in scouting and player development while overseeing things as Hahn reshapes the organization from top to bottom.

How does this dynamic work between Williams and Hahn? Williams goes in-depth on this subject and many others in our White Sox Talk Podcast conversation.

Among the highlights:

Working relationship with Rick Hahn: "The relationship has been the same and consistent since the very beginning.  We're constantly talking.  I'm not going to BS you and say that we don't have these conversations. I just think that a certain point in time, you just have to say here is your responsibility and mine is over here. I have to respect the fact that this is what you want to do. I'm only going to express my interest to a point so that you can come to your own decision without my influence and then we're getting to brass tax.  Most times than not, he'll express, 'Hey, I need to know what you think. But until that time you've got to give people the space to do a job as they see fit, and to plot a course as they see fit."

Trading Chris Sale: "Contrary to popular belief, we have enjoyed a great relationship over the years. There was obviously a little blip in that part of it and I've always understood him because I was a little bit like that when I was younger too.  It was very often a couple days later we'd visit and laugh about a couple things but also in a serious manner.  he's one of the best in the game.  How do you trade one of the best pitchers in the game and not feel some remorse about it?  On the other end of the spectrum we got what we think are special pieces that will be with us for quite a while assuming good health. And you can envision them being part of a championship team.  We got to the point where we couldn't envision that particular group that we had be a part of a championship team and that's what it's about."

Possibly trading Jose Quintana: "I have not been presented with anything that has been recommended by Rick that he wants to do. So in terms of closeness, we've bantered some things around, but Jose Quintana is a very, very special pitcher. I'm sure if something comes up where it's consistent with what we've done thus far then I'm sure Rick will put it in front of both Jerry and I.  But until that time, I can't say that anything has been close or relatively close."

His hopes for the White Sox: "My only goal at this point in my career is to help bring another championship to Chicago and to Chicago fans, watch Rick Hahn walk across the stage to receive an Executive of the Year award and watch Rick Renteria accept the Manager of the Year Award.  Then I will consider this a job well done. If any of those things don't happen, then it won't be.  I sincerely feel that in my heart."