Ozzie defends Wise, decisions
White Sox manager responds to questions about lineup
CHICAGO -- White Sox fans were angered by Tuesday night's 5-0 loss to the A's, another setback suffered against an inexperienced pitcher, in Vin Mazzaro, whom the South Siders had faced for the first time.
That's the message Ozzie Guillen took away from the e-mails filling his inbox on Wednesday afternoon. The White Sox manager wasn't exactly thrilled with some of the comments he read, especially those critical of Dewayne Wise playing three straight games in center field, with Brian Anderson and his .269 average on the bench.
And in typical no-holds-barred Guillen fashion, he didn't keep those emotions bottled up inside.
"I'm tired, really tired, of fans and media talking about Wise anymore," Guillen said during his pregame chat with the media, building his response up to its zenith of annoyance. "He played because I wanted him to play. He played because I made the stinking lineup.
"If they don't like it, that's not my problem. There's only one guy I have to tell why I play Wise: [general manager] Kenny Williams. That's it. Every time I read it, all of the sudden they're in love with Brian Anderson."
Before Guillen tackled the whole issue concerning his relationship with Anderson, who started in center field Wednesday against Oakland southpaw Josh Outman, he explained the situation with Wise. If not for the injury to Carlos Quentin, Wise would have been down with Triple-A Charlotte for a full week on his injury rehab assignment after being out since April 13 with a separated right shoulder.
Instead, Wise returned to the White Sox after 12 at-bats over three Minor League games, and he still is getting his swing back together. Guillen made this point while also stridently answering the accusations that he holds some sort of ill will toward Anderson.
"Some people tell me I hate Brian, I've got something against Brian," Guillen said. "Please. I give [Wise] at-bats because he needs it and I want to get him in hitting shape the best I can, the quickest I can. We played [Zack] Greinke, and I think that man was in the lineup and we won.
"It's amazing how people misunderstand when they want to try to be a manager. They try to make lineups. They try to do everything. They don't know what happens behind the scenes. I played this kid because he needed some at-bats.
"Brian is playing today," Guillen said. "If Brian goes 0-for-4, please send me a text. And all you guys who ever talked about it today, why we played Brian Anderson today -- it should be Wise -- I do it for a reason. It's my problem. It's not anybody else's problem why he plays. I take full responsibility [for] playing him because I'm the one who made the lineup."
The White Sox were shut out for a Major League-high seventh time on Tuesday. The offense, which made great strides during last week's 5-1 road trip, also has been held to one run on seven occasions and two runs in five other games.
That paltry output, in Guillen's estimation, has to do with the amount of strikeouts the White Sox have as a team, with their 332 placing them seventh from the top in the American League. Guillen does not believe Wise's struggles have anything to do with the team's offensive woes, and for those critics who do, Guillen offered up an animated suggestion on Wednesday as to how they could bypass that problem.
"If they don't like it when Wise comes to hit, turn the TV off," Guillen said. "Turn the radio off or turn around and start walking towards the concession stands. They don't have to watch him hit."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.