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News » Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-07-14

Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-07-14

Chicago White Sox Inside Pitch 2008-07-14
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has too much respect for Paul Konerko to come out and issue a warning to his team captain, but Guillen said there does need to be improvement.

Guillen has been well aware of the fact that while most of his hitters have overcome their April and May slow starts, Konerko has been lumbering along, fighting injuries and searching for answers at the plate.

His hope is that coming out of the gate for the second half, Konerko starts doing some damage so the situation doesn't have to require an ultimatum.

A four-hit game on Saturday was a good start, but there has to be more consistency from the first baseman.

"Ah, mentally, yes," Guillen replied, when asked if he was concerned with Konerko. "Paulie is the type of guy who takes things too seriously, too deep in his heart and brains. But it's something you have to be aware (of)."

Before Konerko's hit parade against Texas on Saturday, he was 2-for-15 since returning from the strained oblique before this road trip and sitting at the .210 mark. Meanwhile, the club was 3-2 since his return and 13-7 when he was on the disabled list with Nick Swisher playing first, and the platoon of Dewayne Wise and Brian Anderson in center field.

The noticeable number is that the Sox were averaging 5.6 runs per game with Konerko out, and through the first four games with him back were scoring 4.5 runs per game.

So of course the obvious question to Guillen was: Would he sit Konerko and go back to the lineup he used when the captain was injured?

"It's not easy," Guillen replied. "Paulie had done a lot of good things for us. I'm not the type of manager to give up on players just like that. But in this situation, it's about winning. And right now, we're winning without him hitting. Hopefully he starts hitting, but in my position, I have to do what I have to do. I'm not going to do it right away. I got to wait because I respect my players and have confidence in them. I know they can get out of this, and I have all my confidence in Konerko."

TEXAS 12, WHITE SOX 11: LF Carlos Quentin added homer No. 22, while Jermaine Dye pulled to within one with 21, but 22 hits with 13 left on base was not exactly the winning formula the Sox needed before all the attention turns to New York and the All-Star Game.

The turning point came with the game tied at 7-7 after the top of the seventh, reliever Boone Logan gave it right back with a leadoff single to David Murphy and then an RBI double by Marlon Byrd that opened up the floodgates. Throw in a few bad errors and the Sox had an uphill climb. They pulled to within one thanks to a three-run ninth, but with two on, Paul Konerko ended the game on a called third strike.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: July 14, 2008

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