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News » Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-08-30

Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-08-30

Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-08-30
The one thing both Ken Williams and Ozzie Guillen hope that White Sox fans have learned this year was not to doubt them.

There have been at least four Sox players that have been booed and felt the wrath of the hometown fans at times this year, as heads were being called for because of slow starts or poor attitudes. The Sox have done their best to stress patience and the payoff has been large with Orlando Cabrera, Jim Thome, Nick Swisher and Paul Konerko.

Cabrera faced the most heat because it wasn't only the fans who showed their displeasure. He got ripped by the Sun-Times, then by manager Ozzie Guillen for twice calling the press box to complain about scoring changes.

"He's a grown man, he's a big-time player," Guillen said in May. "I don't have to say anything to him. But he better be careful about what his teammates are going to think."

Cabrera was feeling heat in the clubhouse. It didn't help that he was coming off an April in which he hit .216. The potential free-agent shortstop the Sox wanted to tie up with a long-term contract was clearly on the outs.

But to his credit, Cabrera eventually shrugged off all of the criticism. He became more of a team player, hooking up with Nick Swisher for some wild dugout celebrations. And he has been more steady in the leadoff spot, hitting .293 in August -- his best month with the Sox outside of a .336 run in June.

"I'm a different type of guy," said Cabrera, who has had a taste of playoff races with the Red Sox in 2004 and the Angels in 2005 and 2007. "When I'm in a situation like this, I just want to win every single game. Of course, you won't win every game, but if you go with that attitude every single day, at the end of the day, you always have the series to win."

Of the four, however, the fact remains that Cabrera is the least likely to return. He is a free agent, and the emergence of rookie Alexei Ramirez, a true shortstop, will make him expendable.

RED SOX 8, WHITE SOX 0: The White Sox were thinking they may have caught a break when it was announced that Josh Beckett was scratched from his scheduled Friday start and placed on the 15-day disabled list, but then Daisuke Matsuzaka still made life miserable on the South Siders in the first game of a weekend series.

Matsuzaka, who improved to 16-2, threw eight shutout innings, allowing just two singles. Only Jermaine Dye and Alexei Ramirez were able to reach base courtesy of a hit, while Sox starter Javier Vazquez allowed five runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: August 30, 2008

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