White Sox not worried about ejections
Guillen, Thome each ousted early in 2008 regular season
CHICAGO -- Monday's home opener for the White Sox brought manager Ozzie Guillen's third-inning ejection by home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi for arguing balls and strikes.
Friday's series opener against the Tigers led to a rare early exit for Jim Thome, who was tossed by home-plate umpire James Hoye for disputing a called third strike on a fifth-inning full-count offering, which appeared to be low.
This pair of direct disputes, coming during the first nine games of the season, might be somewhat entertaining for the fans, but they don't have the White Sox worried about umpires pegging them as complainers before the 2008 season really gets moving.
"We are trying to do a good job, the umpires are trying to do a good job, and sometimes that doesn't happen, so you move on," said Thome, who calmly spoke about his ejection prior to Saturday's game. "You don't hold grudges."
"When I see something wrong, I will say it right away," Guillen added. "But I'm not a guy to sit there for nine innings and keep talking about it. We aren't that type of team."
Paul Konerko spoke of how he has heard stories concerning baseball's distant past, when a player who got on the wrong side of an umpire could be worn out for a while. But with the QuesTec evaluation system in place at many ballparks, the umpires have more of a policing system for their work.
"Even if they wanted to do something, they are getting graded by their own people and have to do the job," Konerko explained. "But the umpires are all working hard, not trying to miss calls.
"Sometimes you roll with it. Some times it reaches the level where you say something. Through the course of 162 games, they don't always even out, but you go through streaks where you get every little [call], and then you go through streaks where you don't."
Thome joked on Saturday how he heard from a few of his family members who told him to "settle down." But the affable slugger didn't expect any other problems with the umpires in the immediate future.
"You never go into a game thinking, 'I'm going to get ejected or argue balls and strikes.' It just happens," Thome said. "It's part of the game, and you move on.
"It's just best not to talk about it the night you do it," added Thome with a smile.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.