The big story on ESPN radio today is the whole Ozzie Guillen ordering a pitcher to throw at someone and that pitcher did not do it. Apparently in last night’s Chicago White Sox-Texas Rangers game, everyone’s favorite player, Chicago White Sox A. J. Pierzynski, got hit two times. White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen called in rookie pitcher Sean Tracey to hit Ranger Hank Blalock. The rook threw the ball close to Blalock twice, but never hit him. He then got Blalock to ground out.
Guillen was seen in the dugout slamming his water bottle to the ground. Guillen then yanked Tracey and then tore into him within full view of his team and the TV cameras. Tracey then pulled his jersey up over his eyes and appeared to be crying. Sean Tracey was then informed after the game that he was being sent back to the minors. Wouldn’t you hate to be this guy right now? Yikes.
There’s the situation and all morning long ESPN Radio has been talking about it. Was it right for Ozzie to ask this rookie, who only appeared in two games up until this point, to hit a batter? Was it alright for Ozzie to tear into him on the bench? Is it right for Ozzie to demote the kid? Is it alright to feel sorry for the kid?
My thoughts are that Ozzie was perfectly within his right as a manager to ask this kid to hit a batter. He was smart to pick a rookie because if Tracey got suspended, it’s not like losing your closer or another valuable middle reliever. The team would not miss Tracey for a few games if he were suspended. Ozzie also gave this rookie a prime opportunity to score some points with his teammates. This kid had a chance to show his more veteran teammates he had their back and was ready to go to war with them. How can this pitcher ever come back to the White Sox and pitch to his catcher, A. J. Pierzynski, the very man he was sent out their to hit someone for.
As for Ozzie tearing into the kid on the bench, I could go either way on that, but Ozzie Guillen is a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve and is not afraid to yell and cuss you anywhere, anytime. As the saying goes, it’s just Ozzie being Ozzie. If this were a more veteran pitcher, perhaps Ozzie would have held back, but this rookie not only embarrassed himself, but he embarrassed the whole team.
I do feel kind of bad for the kid, but he surely has been in this situation before. I can’t believe that he has played baseball most of his life and never had to plunk someone to get some teammate’s back. The kid is obviously not ready for the show yet, at least mentally, and this episode will not help. As I mentioned earlier, I do not think this kid can ever come back up with the White Sox. He has no respect from his teammates and I know A. J. Pierzynski will want nothing to do with him. He better pray for a trade to a more understanding team if he ever wants to get another shot at the bigs.