There has always been some chippy nonsense between White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and GM Kenny Williams. They have fought openly. Ozzie’s kids have gotten in on the act. But for as ugly as it has gotten at times, there has always been something approaching a cease fire. A time when one or both of them say “look, we’re strong willed guys and we just want to win so this happens.”
Don’t look for that to happen again, at least if what Joe Cowley is reporting in the Sun-Times today is true:
And as September draws near, there’s growing suspicion the curtain is about to close on either manager Ozzie Guillen or general manager Ken Williams — or maybe both. A major-league source told the Sun-Times that the fragile relationship between Guillen and Williams is now beyond repair.
Adding to that, Cowley reports, is that the Sox have lost money this year. It’s all fun and games until cash becomes a problem, and it may very well be that Jerry Reinsdorf has decided that the side show is way less bearable now that the situation has grown worse.
Does Kenny go? Ozzie? Both? Cowley hears rumblings that Ozzie may be the first to go, with the Sox “feeling out” managerial candidates and thinking about renewing talks with the Marlins about letting Guillen go there — where he wants to be and where they love him — in exchange for compensation.
Whatever happens, change seems to be a-comin’ to the south side.
The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.
After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.
But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.
- They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
- They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
- They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
- They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.
The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.
Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.