Open secret hits the public

Bill's Rant

August 05, 2008|By BILL ORDINE

Not to be overlooked in the excitement of Sunday's brawl between the White Sox and the Royals over a Chicago pitcher hitting Kansas City's Miguel Olivo and subsequent ejections that included excitable White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was Guillen's tacit admission that he orders his pitchers to throw at batters.

As others have already noted, it's hardly a secret that major league managers order retaliation, but leave it to Guillen to admit it.

He was trying to make the point that he did not order pitcher D.J. Carrasco to hit Olivo by pointing out it was the wrong time (bases were loaded) and the wrong pitcher. Carrasco was tossed for hitting Olivo; Olivo was tossed for charging the mound and eventually slugging catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and Guillen was tossed for arguing about Carrasco getting tossed. Kansas City won the game, 14-3.

"You think I'm going to bring in somebody to hit somebody with an 82 mile-an-hour fastball?" Guillen said of his own pitcher, Carrasco, who is more a sinkerball guy than a heat guy. "I'm going to bring in my best guy and make sure we get it done. That's the baseball I grew up with, not the [stuff] we play with right now."

The weird thing about it is that as a defense for Sunday's specific incident, his point is well taken. But in the larger picture, saying that there's a right way and a wrong way to intentionally hit a batter is probably a wee bit impolitic.

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