Sox Drawer: Ozzie no bull on the 'pen

Sox Drawer: Ozzie no bull on the 'pen
April 16, 2011, 1:01 am
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Friday, April 15, 2011
Posted: 7:58 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

If Ozzie Guillen was hoping that his off day in Miami would help him recover from Thursdays latest bullpen breakdown, it didnt happen.

Just dont ask me about the bullpen, Guillen said as he opened his press conference before Fridays game against the Angels. If were going to make a soap opera out of this (bleep), let me know.

Yep, nothing like the tropical breezes of South Florida to relax the mind and ease the pain of a bullpen that has unfortunately imploded like an old Las Vegas casino in the first two weeks of the season.

The damage has been severe: six blown saves, a 6.14 ERA, and Matt Thornton has been at the center of it all, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA.

So whos the teams closer now?

You see (Mark) Buehrle in the (bullpen) in the 9th, thats our closer for the 9th, said Guillen, who is clearly not ready to trust anyone in that role at this point.

If the fans want to know, I dont know, Guillen said. If the media wants to know, I dont know. If the pitchers want to know, I dont know. Whoever is there in the 9th, is the one Ive decided I want to close it down.

The fans choice right now seems to be Sergio Santos, who came into Friday with a perfect 0.00 ERA, throwing 7 23 scoreless innings. He also didnt give up a run in spring training.

I welcome the challenge, Santos said Friday about the possibility of becoming the White Sox closer.

Santos might be the answer today, but what about the rest of the season? Thats what Guillen and the rest of the coaching staff seem to be asking themselves, as they wait, and hope, for guys like Thornton and Chris Sale to come around.

We have a great bullpen. Theyre just not doing what theyre supposed to do, Guillen said. But meanwhile, I have a lot of faith in the bullpen.

White Sox fans seem to have a different feeling. Over the last couple days, many have sounded the alarms, sensing bullpen Armageddon which could derail the whole season.

Leave it to Ozzie to represent the voice of reason.

A lot of people in Chicago are panicking. Everyone. Unbelievable how people are panicking after 12 games. Thats a joke.

Humor is what Jerry Reinsdorf chose to use in describing the bullpen situation. At an event honoring Jackie Robinson Day, the White Sox Chairman was asked Friday if he sees any other social barriers in the game right now.

We seem to have a barrier in respect to relief pitching, Reinsdorf quipped.

Is he concerned about their struggles?

Not me. When Ozzie says hes worried, then Ill get worried, he added.

So if the White Sox have a one-run lead in the 9th, which reliever will we see running out of the bullpen? Who knows. But Guillen will keep going with his gut, even if it means getting kicked there again and again.

I have to make decisions, Guillen said. Maybe theyre not the right ones, but Im not going to make it regards to what fans want, the media, Jerry, Kenny (Williams). I will make decisions about what I think is best for the ballclub. Was I wrong last week? Yes, I was very wrong. I brought the wrong one out everytime. But thats the way it is.

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