CLEVELAND -- It will be interesting to see which waiver-wire move has a greater impact on the American League Central race down the stretch -- the White Sox claim of Manny Ramirez or the Twins' claim of left-hander Brian Fuentes from the Angels.Sox general manager Kenny Williams was asked why he passed on Fuentes as a potential bullpen boost. By virtue of their place in the standings, the White Sox would have had first crack at him, ahead of the Twins. "We still had Erick Threets [who tore his UCL on Friday], and Matt Thornton is coming back," Williams said. "So, why take on dollars for Fuentes to come in in the fifth for us? We have [Chris] Sale, who is throwing 99 mph, has a breaking ball that drops off the table and a plus change. Thornton is expected to come back [from elbow inflammation] and, to be honest, we pushed him back for precautionary measures more than anything. That's how good he is feeling." The Twins acquired Fuentes for a player to be named.
White Sox applaud addition of Manny
CLEVELAND -- Those who suggest Manny Ramirez's presence could be a distraction in the White Sox clubhouse during the September playoff push probably haven't paid much attention to the team."There are enough personalities in here that are mood-changers, day-changers, night-changers," Mark Kotsay said. "This clubhouse can't be changed." Even Kotsay, the man whose playing time will likely be most affected by Monday's news, was on board with the Ramirez waiver claim. With a four-game deficit in the American League Central standings staring them in the face, the Sox can hardly be picky about who comes in to help them. At this stage, they just seem to appreciate the help. "It's a great bat to have," Paul Konerko said before Monday's 10-6 win over the Indians. "That guy can hit. As a teammate, you just try to welcome him into the clubhouse, make him feel as welcome as you can, and hopefully he'll get a steady flow of at-bats here and he'll get comfortable. He's a great hitter, and it can only be a positive thing." Some have suggested that the "Manny being Manny" antics that have made Ramirez one of the game's most colorful characters could cause problems for the Sox. But he'll hardly be the only colorful character in a South Siders uniform. "I think I'm the bigger troublemaker," manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters. "Manny doesn't bother anybody. Manny just goes out and plays the game and tries to stay away from the cameras. I can't, because I have to talk with you guys twice a day. I have no escape." Guillen hopes Ramirez is trouble for opposing pitchers, not his teammates. And he feels Ramirez's presence alone goes a long way. "Manny can be there with a wheelchair and no bat, and the [opposing] manager will still think about how to pitch him," Guillen said. "He'll help a lot of people to get better." Omar Vizquel knows Ramirez better than anybody in the clubhouse, having played with him on two World Series teams with the Indians. He said he's looking forward to once again hearing the unique things that come out of Manny's mouth and seeing the productive things he can do with his bat. "It's always nice to have a guy who can change the outcome of the game with one swing of the bat," Vizquel said. "He's going to be helpful in the lineup, wherever we put him. His ability to hit has always been there. There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to keep everybody loose with his jokes and the way he is."
Beckham day-to-day with bruised hand
CLEVELAND -- Gordon Beckham worried he might have a broken right hand Monday night. And his worst fear was momentarily realized when somebody came out of the X-ray room and told him it was broken.Turns out, the guy was just messing with Beckham. The hand, he quickly reassured Beckham, was only bruised. Pardon Beckham if he didn't appreciate the joke. "Are you kidding me with that?" Beckham said. "That's rookie league." Losing Beckham would have been a major blow to the White Sox as they head into the home stretch of the season. But the Frank Herrmann fastball that struck him in the hand in the seventh inning of a 10-6 win over the Indians did not appear to have left a major dent. "If it hit an inch more north or south on my wrist, it probably would have broken my knuckle or my wrist," Beckham said. "So I was lucky." Manager Ozzie Guillen said Beckham could be back as soon as Wednesday and should definitely be back in time for Friday's series opener in Fenway Park against the Red Sox. After getting hit by the pitch with two on and two out, Beckham was replaced by pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge, who remained in the game at second. Lillibridge wound up making a costly error in the ninth before hitting the go-ahead homer in the 11th. Beckham was 2-for-3 in four plate appearances Monday and had been hitting .343 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in his previous 43 games coming into the night. "[The hand] does not feel good right now," Beckham said. "You figure maybe a couple days [off]? Maybe? Hopefully not even a couple but just one. But I can't even imagine gripping a bat right now."
Thornton eyes weekend return to bullpen
CLEVELAND -- The Manny Ramirez acquisition has the potential to boost the White Sox lineup, but real help is needed in the bullpen, too.The good news for the Sox is that help should soon be on the way, in the form of left-hander Matt Thornton, who appears nearly recovered from elbow inflammation. Thornton, whose 15-day disabled list placement was retroactive to Aug. 18, is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday. After throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session at Progressive Field on Monday, Thornton said he hopes to be ready to be activated in time for the weekend series in Boston. "Everything went great," Thornton said of his bullpen. "I felt good. The main thing is seeing how I feel [Tuesday]. But I'll probably throw a 50-pitch bullpen Wednesday, have Thursday off and then be ready." Thornton is 3-4 with a 2.66 ERA and five saves in 50 appearances this season.
The White Sox have not announced who will be removed from the active roster to make room for Manny Ramirez. That announcement will come Tuesday. Whomever is optioned to Triple-A Charlotte won't be eligible to join the Sox again until after the Minor League season ends Sept. 7. ... Ramirez will continue donning No. 99. That number had belonged to batting practice pitcher Kevin Hickey, who will now wear No. 77. ... The 11-day road trip the South Siders began Monday matches their longest of the season. The club had lost six of its past eight road games coming in.