Yesterday the White Sox’s bullpen imploded again, allowing three runs in the ninth inning and three more in the 10th frame to turn a 4-1 lead into a 7-4 loss against the A’s.
Afterward manager Ozzie Guillen was understandably upset, telling reporters “I don’t have any closer” and jokingly suggesting he “might call” 47-year-old Bobby Thigpen, who saved a then-record 57 games for the White Sox in 1990.
I see the same [expletive] you guys see. Exactly same [expletive]. When we play good, they send those guys to this damn [interview] table and talk to them like heroes. When we [expletive] it up, I’m the one who has to … sit here and talk to you guys.
In other words, he’s fed up with making excuses for relievers and taking blame for the struggles of a bullpen that has a collective 6.14 ERA. Anointed closer Matt Thornton lost his grip on the job within days, Chris Sale was terrible yesterday when asked to close out a three-run lead, and free agent pickup Jesse Crain couldn’t get the job done either.
It’s almost enough to make a man miss Bobby Jenks.
UPDATE: CSN Chicago has video of Guillen’s rant/press conference.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.