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08/31/07 1:12 AM ET
Guillen's tirade unable to lift White Sox
Struggling club loses to Rangers behind four-error inning
By Ken Daley / Special to MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he felt no regret for publicly berating his team's disturbing lack of passion in the wake of mounting losses. And more sloppy, uninspired play on Thursday, which enabled Texas to take a 5-1 victory and sweep the three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, suggested he shouldn't. Rookie John Danks (6-13) pitched capably in his first career start against the team that drafted him, matching his career high with eight strikeouts and allowing just two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. But thanks to a four-error third inning (one by Danks, three by third baseman Andy Gonzalez), the Rangers also had tacked on three unearned scores to seize their four-run advantage. Rangers starter Kevin Millwood (9-11) and two relievers made that lead stand up to complete their team's first three-game sweep of the Sox in Texas since Aug. 15-17, 2003. Earlier this year, Gonzalez was credited by Baseball America magazine as having the best infield arm in the White Sox organization for the second year in a row. But his three throwing errors in the third helped the Rangers score three runs on just one hit. Gonzalez fell just shy of the Major League record for errors in an inning by a third baseman. That record of four was achieved three times, most recently by San Francisco's Bob Brenly on Sept. 14, 1986. "It's part of the game, and tomorrow is another day," Gonzalez said. "I was trying to make the plays, but things happen. No excuse. I just didn't make the plays, and that was it." The only bright spot for the Sox was seeing Jim Thome hit career home run No. 495 with two out in the first inning. It provided a short-lived 1-0 lead, before the Sox wound up losing for the ninth consecutive time on the road. Overall, Chicago has dropped eight of its last nine games and 16 of the last 19. "Seeing this day in and day out and not being able to do anything about it hurts," Guillen said. But the manager wasn't concerned about any hurt feelings or resentment from within his clubhouse the day after his Wednesday night tirade. Following an 11-inning loss in the second game of the series, Guillen said his last-place team's performance was "killing" him, his family, the coaching staff and the owner as well as Sox fans, and he wondered aloud whether any of the team's players cared enough to share that agony. He also said that if the poor play was his fault, he should be fired. If not, he suggested it was time to "chop the payroll and go with Double-A kids if we have to." Harsh words, but none that he regretted after what he called his best night of sleep in weeks. "I slept real good [after Wednesday's rant]," he said. "I hadn't slept good for 10 days, not because of the ballclub, but because of the embarrassment. I said what I feel. And I think that's the way everybody who cares about the White Sox should feel. "Are we out of this thing? Yes. But we've got to win as many games as we can, because we have a schedule to play and we have pride to play [for]. I feel proud to wear a White Sox uniform, and I don't want to feel embarrassed to wear this uniform. You get to the point where it's embarrassing to the owner. It's embarrassing for [general manager Ken Williams]. It's embarrassing to me and my coaching staff. "I don't say [the players] are not embarrassed. I just don't want them to feel comfortable enough to say, 'Turn the page, we'll get it next year.' Because if we think like that, there's not going to be a next year for a lot of guys out there to come back to this club." Clubhouse reaction to Guillen's words was mixed. Jon Garland, the starting pitcher whose one-run lead was blown by the bullpen on Wednesday, said, "It's kind of hard hearing that from somebody that says they support you from start to finish, basically saying, 'Run everybody out of here.' "He played this game. He knows we understand we have a job to do. ... I personally don't think he knows what he's saying when he explodes. He may have complete frustration. ... So I think a lot of it, he probably regrets. And, in that moment in time, he probably doesn't realize what he's saying." Rookie Josh Fields said, "As far as I see, everyone is showing up and trying to work through this. I think a lot of guys care and want to get this turned around. Everyone is frustrated that we're losing, and we have to go out and make some things happen. The game results probably aren't showing it, but it's not from lack of effort, for sure." First baseman Paul Konerko said, "I think anytime there's a big, prolonged lack of execution in certain areas, or something that gets missed over and over again, that gets turned a lot of times into a [perceived] lack of desire to get it done. I just think that sometimes you don't get the job done, whether personally or as a group, and it's not always because of a lack of desire." But Guillen was unapologetic about challenging his struggling club. "I have a nice room of players," he said. "The competition is great, the respect is unbelievable. But they know I will throw them under the bus for their own good. I want them to be good. I want them to be good for them."
Ken Daley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.