07/14/2003 9:49 PM ET
Mags, Everett realize ASG roles
CHICAGO -- The news of Magglio Ordonez's All-Star selection made its way to the White Sox bench during the team's second game of a day-night doubleheader with the Indians at Jacobs Field Saturday night.
Ordonez allowed himself a few moments to revel in his chance to replace Boston's Manny Ramirez, who took himself out of the game due to a groin injury. Then it was back to more disappointment for his team in a loss to Cleveland, the seventh setback in nine games against Central Division squads.
Ordonez opened the series finale Sunday against Cleveland with a three-run homer, contributing to a 7-4 White Sox victory to close out the first half. Maybe it was the surprise All-Star selection that led to Ordonez' 17th blast of 2003.
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"Maybe it was the reason," said the usually reserved Ordonez with a laugh. Ordonez is hitting .295 with 53 RBIs. "When they told me I made the All-Star team, I was a little more relaxed."
Ordonez and teammate Carl Everett are two of the lower profile All-Stars for the White Sox, sitting in the shadow of Esteban Loaiza. The White Sox right-hander not only is making his first career All-Star appearance, but he also is starting Tuesday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field.
The All-Star break couldn't have come at a better time for Everett. Even though the White Sox center fielder only gets one day off, per se, he's glad to be in the same place for more than three or four days.
Everett, hitting .270 with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs, was traded on July 1 from Texas for three minor league prospects to be named later. Two days later, he embarked on a 10-day road trip with his new team.
"It hasn't been a strange time for me but very tiring," Everett said Monday during the All-Star media session at the Westin Hotel in downtown Chicago. "I've been on an airplane for 11 days. That's the toughest part about it.
"Now, I have eight days to actually sit down. That's one of the great benefits of being the host."
This selection marks Everett's second All-Star appearance. He was also voted in as a starter while playing for Boston in 2000. Everett finished with a .300 average, 34 home runs and 108 RBIs that season.
He realizes Tuesday's game presents a different situation because he'll be used as a reserve designated hitter. He also understands that with the new format of the All-Star Game, the winning league gaining home-field advantage in the World Series, there may be very few at-bats coming his way.
"As I've said before, every player is excited about just being picked," Everett said. "But I started my last one, and that's what sticks with me the most. It's probably the same for any player, unless you win the Most Valuable Player award or the Home Run Derby.
"This year, I'm not in the Derby and being selected is significant enough for me. Some players won't get in and won't be able to show their appreciation for being picked. All they can do is verbalize it.
"I'm doing that now because I might not get to go out and play and show my appreciation," Everett added.
Ordonez makes All-Star appearance No. 4, having played in Boston in 1999, with Everett in Atlanta in 2000 and in Seattle in 2001. He has four hits in five at-bats during his All-Star career, including a home run against the Cubs' Jon Lieber in 2001.
But if Ordonez holds any secrets for All-Star success, he wasn't sharing them Monday.
"I don't know what it is," Ordonez said. "It's different when you go to one. You just focus better when you are hitting."
A section of fans down the left-field line will be focused on Ordonez, who bought close to 50 tickets for friends and family. They hope to see a MVP-performance from their late addition.
But the top priority for Ordonez and Everett is a second-half turn around for the White Sox. After reaching .500 with a three-game sweep at home of the Minnesota Twins, the White Sox closed the first half with a 3-7 road trip.
To make matters worse, those losses came against Tampa Bay, Detroit and Cleveland. Despite a seven-game deficit to make up on Kansas City, Ordonez and Everett remain positive.
They get a brief three-day respite. Then it's back to business Thursday against Detroit to start the second half.
"We have to play better than the first half, and we can't make any more mistakes," Ordonez said. "We have to play like a winning team. We can't afford to drop any more games to losing teams."
"If I didn't have positive thoughts, I don't deserve to be in uniform," Everett said. "I never dwell on the negative. As a team, we have to worry about what we need to do and nobody else's opinion. If we can win, we will win. That needs to be our second-half approach."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.