Ozzie 'embarrassed' after rout in Bronx
Contreras lasts just 3 1/3; White Sox are blanked on one hit
NEW YORK -- In order to relax before Saturday afternoon's contest at Yankee Stadium, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen caught a few innings of the Little League World Series on television.
Little did Guillen know that those inexperienced young players would turn in a better overall effort than his team later that day. Guillen made that point abundantly clear after suffering through a 10-0 whitewash that dropped his team to two games under .500 for the first time since June 27.
And the Little League jab was just a starting point for Guillen in regard to the White Sox (64-66), who have a 2-7 record in this stretch of 20 games to be played in 20 days and sit at 1-5 on what could become a season-altering 11-game road trip. Guillen was direct, emphatic and quite colorful in his analysis.
"I'm embarrassed, and everybody in that room should be embarrassed," Guillen said. "If they're not embarrassed, they got the wrong job, or they're stealing money from baseball. I feel like I'm stealing the money from [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf], and that's a shame.
"When you've got more errors than hits, you better look yourself in the mirror and start second-guessing yourself. But I'm second-guessing myself right now, making the wrong lineup every day. I second-guess myself bringing in the wrong guys to pitch, second-guess myself [in that] we work so hard to put this team together, all the way from Spring Training, and when I look on the field ... It gets to the point where [if] you are a veteran player -- and I have a lot of respect for them -- you appreciate what they [have done] for you in the past, but this is not Major League Baseball, sorry."
Guillen certainly did not want to take anything away from the Yankees (81-48), arguably the best team in the game. But he added with a frustrated smile that if the White Sox played a "B" game against themselves, a Spring Training contest used primarily to get players extra work, they might tie.
Saturday's setback surpassed even a week's worth of bad-looking losses, including heartbreakers coming on walk-off shots by David Ortiz on Wednesday and Robinson Cano on Friday.
Jose Contreras was selected as the White Sox best starting option, with Jake Peavy getting one more Minor League rehab start on Saturday night in Norfolk, Va., primarily because he took a line drive off his pitching elbow in Monday's scoreless outing. The White Sox also didn't want to make the sort of roster move needed to bring up Daniel Hudson or Carlos Torres from Triple-A Charlotte.
This start came five days after Contreras was dropped from the rotation after giving up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings on Monday at Fenway Park. Contreras (5-13) didn't make the most of the last-minute opportunity against his original Major League team, giving up eight runs, six of which were earned, on nine hits over 3 1/3 innings. The Yankees scored four off Contreras in the second and added four more in the fourth to knock him from the game.
Chicago committed three errors, including a play in the fourth when Contreras had Derek Jeter caught off second on a ground ball hit back to the mound by Johnny Damon, only to fire the ball to the right of second, where Jayson Nix caught it in short center field. Nix threw to third to try to nail Jeter, but the throw short-hopped Gordon Beckham for a second error. It was that sort of day.
On top of the poor pitching and fielding, the White Sox managed just one hit and two walks against the combination of Sergio Mitre (3-1) and Chad Gaudin, who finished the victory with ERAs of 5.65 and 4.90, respectively. Mitre retired the first 13 batters he faced until a Jim Thome bad-hop double to right with one out in the fifth.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski was just as forthright as his manager when breaking down the loss, but not quite as exasperated.
"What do you want me to say? We didn't play well today," Pierzynski said. "We fell behind early. We didn't mount much offense. We played some bad defense and made some bad pitches. It was a total team loss. We didn't play well.
"I see the effort. I see guys running the balls out. I see guys playing hard. I see guys trying to get better and working. You can have all the effort in the world, and sometimes it's not meant to be."
The White Sox ended Saturday five games behind the Tigers, who fell to the Rays, 3-1, and one-half game behind Minnesota, which fell to Texas, 3-0, for second place in the American League Central. But that's not nearly good enough for Guillen.
His belief is that Chicago is much better than its sub-.500 record. The White Sox need a markedly improved effort in Sunday's series finale to make Guillen's theory remotely plausible, but will settle for any sort of victory.
"My hope is getting less and less, and I think it gets to the point where it is what it is," Guillen said. "If we're going to climb to the top, maybe [we] need a cable car to get up there. But [we're] not going to walk up there. I'm not a loser or a negative guy, but I'm really realistic.
"That's [been] my problem in the past, when I'm so realistic and people get mad at me and they don't like the way I do stuff or the way I talk. Well, if you don't want me to talk that way, play better."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.