Everything is wonderful in White Sox land now that they’re the hottest team in baseball and leading the AL Central, but just in case things get ugly again general manager Ken Williams is pretty confident he could beat up manager Ozzie Guillen.
Appearing as a guest on “Pardon the Interruption” yesterday, Williams was asked about the reported shouting match he had with Guillen back in June and responded:
It was really blown out of proportion. Come on, we are about to come to blows? That’s not realistic. Ozzie would never fight with me. He knows better than that.
At which point all the Chicago reporters sprinted to the White Sox’s clubhouse to get Guillen’s reaction to the “he knows better than that” part. As usual, his response was amusing:
I don’t see it as bad. I don’t know if Kenny knows me for that long. He said 30 years? He knows me longer than my wife knows me. I think it was good. The one thing about it, I never deny I’m going to fight with him. I never fight with anyone because I don’t know how to fight. I’m not a fighter.
Did something happen? Of course it happened. Everyone knows. But in the meanwhile, we separate those things from one time to another. I separate my problems on the field and off the field. It’s the only way this thing is going to work–if we pull from the same end of the rope, and we do. Even if we don’t agree with each other, at the end of the day, we do pull from the same rope.
Asked what owner Jerry Reinsdorf thinks of the tension between manager and general manager, Guillen said:
Jerry is a businessman. He don’t give a s— if me and Kenny get along. If this team wins the World Series and we end up in jail because we are killing each other, Jerry would go for that. As long as they win, that’s Jerry’s business.
So, to recap: Williams thinks he could take Guillen, but we’ll probably never know because Guillen isn’t a fighter. But if something did happen, Reinsdorf would be fine with it as long as the White Sox kept winning. Also, rope pulling. Oh, and Guillen managed the hell out of last night’s game against the Twins, going 4-for-4 calling hit-and-runs in an 8-7 victory.
Every year the playoff schedule is announced, every year people complain. And it’s understandable why they do. After six months of games starting at around 7pm — bam! — the playoffs come and you’re either staying up late or tuning in early to watch your local nine.
Of course, the reason for this is that Major League Baseball has two fundamental problems to deal with when the playoffs come around (a) the country is big; and (b) baseball is local and two-thirds and more of the fans don’t have a local team to root for in the playoffs. As such, baseball has to make a schedule that somehow deals with teams — like the Mets and Dodgers — who have big time differences between their home fan bases while trying to rope in as many national viewers as possible.
This means compromises and weirdness like, say, the first couple of Mets-Dodgers games starting after 9pm Eastern time on Friday and Saturday. Or the Texas Rangers starting a game at what, back home in Texas, will be 11:45AM. Which, admittedly, aren’t great start times, but do we expect Dodgers fans in L.A. to fight Friday rush hour traffic and be home in time to watch a game featuring the local team any earlier than 6pm? Seems like a tall order.
Anyway, the early round schedule was just released and you can see it below. If you are so inclined you can find all manner of inconveniences here. Sure, if you don’t have a job — or if being online and watching baseball all day is your job — Friday’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back playoff games are pretty sweet. But otherwise, just plan accordingly and do the best you can.
And remember: no one gives a rip about these schedule issues about ten minutes after the games start:
Major League Baseball just released the umpire assignments for the Wild Card Game and the Division Series. As always, the basis for these assignments is a proprietary, scientific calculation undertaken by Major League Baseball, mixing in (a) skill; (b) seniority; and (c) trolling of baseball bloggers who, unlike 99% of the rest of the world actually know the names and track records of various umpires and who are easily riled.
Which is to say that, while we have no Joe West in the early playoff rounds this year — too obvious, perhaps? — we do get an Angel Hernandez.
Here are the assignments. The asterisks represent the crew chief of each unit. Guys with little up arrows next to their names are regular season crew chiefs in their own right. Print this out and keep it near your television so you know who to yell about before the broadcasters tell you who to yell at: