DETROIT -- Eduardo Escobar paused for a moment during Saturday's pregame interview session to reach into his locker and get a copy of the Detroit Free Press sports section. He actually had numerous copies of a shot featuring a smiling Escobar at first after his first Major League hit in the eighth inning on Friday and an angry Justin Verlander also in frame, with Verlander believing he hit the base before Escobar.
The call went in Escobar's favor, and the nerves of his debut officially disappeared.
"I was definitely very nervous at first, because Verlander's a great pitcher," said Escobar through translator Jackson Miranda. "But I listened to what Omar [Vizquel] was telling me before the game, just to relax and concentrate and pretty much take all the noise in the stands out of my head and just concentrate on the pitch."
Escobar didn't have to wait long to be tested after entering in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement for shortstop Alexei Ramirez, as Miguel Cabrera hit a hard grounder to him that was bobbled but thrown to first in time for the out. Escobar shared the story on Saturday that Cabrera looked at him before getting in the box as if he was going to test him, and then launched the grounder.
It was Cabrera, who is from the same town of Aragua, Venezuela, as Escobar, who retrieved the first hit baseball.
"Miguel asked me if I was nervous, and I said yes," Escobar said. "Miguel said, 'Don't worry about it, it's natural.'"
And Escobar can tell his kids that career hit No. 1 knocked a potential Cy Young winner from the game.
"I have the proof that I'll send back home," Escobar said.
Walker says focus remains on the field
DETROIT -- Back on June 10 of last season, in the midst of the first Ozzie Guillen/Ken Williams controversy, White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf made the following statement to MLB.com.
"Any time a team disappoints, there are tensions," Reinsdorf said. "I think it's a perfectly normal thing."
Reinsdorf went on to mention that pitching coach Don Cooper and Williams often would argue vociferously, even in good times. So, Saturday's report in the Chicago Sun-Times that hitting coach Greg Walker and Williams exchanged heated words in the clubhouse tunnel at U.S. Cellular Field over comments made by Williams about Gordon Beckham's swing really isn't out of the ordinary.
Not when the White Sox once again are vastly underachieving. The only difference this season is that the White Sox coaching staff is facing an uncertain future, with all of them operating in the last year of their respective deals.
When questioned on Saturday, Walker declined to comment specifically on the incident.
"Basically, no comment. I learned a long time ago the rule of baseball is what goes on in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse," Walker said. "That's where I'm going to leave it.
"Our focus should be on the game. We got a big game today. I'm going to keep my focus on the game, and that's all I'm going to say about it."
Guillen said that the issue was between two grown men, and when Walker offered up details, he said that it was none of his business. This report comes days after Guillen answered questions about his contract, speaking about wanting a multiyear extension, despite the White Sox having picked up his 2012 option.
Some pundits have pegged Guillen's contract as ill-timed. Others have said it's a distraction during a potential playoff race. Guillen strongly disagreed on both fronts.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if the White Sox dysfunctional family, as Walker once called it, will stay together after the 2011 campaign.
"We'll see. Every organization has issues," Walker said. "This is a tough game. A lot of people are around each other a lot. But there are a lot of high-profile situations.
"As a hitting coach, my goal always has been not to be in the news. I didn't come here to be in the news. When I'm in the news, it's probably not a good thing, so I'll try to keep my focus on baseball and go from there."
Debut a dream fulfilled for Lindsay, his mom
DETROIT -- When White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen walked into the room where families of visiting players wait at Comerica Park late Friday night, he saw tears coming from his wife, Ibis.
Guillen knew that his wife wouldn't be that affected by Friday's disappointing 8-1 loss, so immediately thought there was a family problem. Instead, Ibis was moved to tears by the story being told by Kerry Lindsay.
The mother of White Sox reliever Shane Lindsay found out the day before about her son's first callup to the Major Leagues and immediately got on a plane for Detroit. There's nothing out of the ordinary in that situation if she was coming from Chicago, St. Louis or even Las Vegas.
But Kerry Lindsay traveled for 24 hours from Melbourne, Australia, to Detroit, spending $4,000 on a plane ticket, to watch her son make his Major League debut. Lindsay didn't disappoint, throwing a scoreless eighth inning.
Talk about your parental pride. This story so moved Guillen that he sought out White Sox beat writers before Saturday's game to recount what had transpired and how he met Kerry after the setback.
"That's the best thing that happened to the White Sox or the one that made me happier," Guillen said. "That's a great thing when your mom comes all the way to see you and you have the opportunity and have that great thing about your kids. That's one of the best things I've heard in a long time."
When Lindsay's mom arrived at the ballpark on Friday, she couldn't find the ticket left for her and the game was sold out. So, she bought a standing-room-only ticket, and when Shane was warming up before he entered the game, there was his mom waving to him in the stands behind the bullpen. Kerry Lindsay will now be with her son for the next two weeks.
"Fly all over to come see your kid get his dream come true? There is not a better feeling than that," Guillen said. "When you are a parent, that's why you raise your kids, to make sure they get their goals.
"Believe me, I don't get too sensitive about too much stuff, and that one made me forget how bad we played. Right away it made me forget. It was a great thing that happened to us, at least to me. I know a couple of players had a conversation with her. There is nothing better than when your kids have success. That's one of the biggest thrills you can have as a parent."
If standings dictate, Peavy could be shut down
DETROIT -- Jake Peavy hasn't thrown a side bullpen session in a couple of months, saving everything he can to get ready for each start just one year removed from unprecedented surgery.
Those ongoing issues for the right-hander could lead the White Sox to shut him down if they fall out of contention.
"Coming from me, when you hear a guy is tired, fatigued, well, if I know we're not going anywhere, then I will try to get him out of the rotation," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "If we're in, we need him. We need him to go out and perform."
"I'm excited to pitch. I want to continue to pitch," Peavy said. "I feel like I'm working through things. I know there has been some talk about wanting to shut me down, but at the same time, we are in the middle of a pennant race and I want to help."
Third to first
Philip Humber returned from his injury rehabilitation assignment on Saturday. Humber went on the disabled list with a facial contusion after being hit by a line drive above the right eye on Aug. 18. Humber will start Game 1 of Monday's split-doubleheader at Minnesota's Target Field. Zach Stewart will start the nightcap. Gavin Floyd has walked three batters or fewer in 54 straight starts. Back-to-back homers from Alejandro De Aza and Brent Morel in Saturday's 9-8 loss marked the second time the White Sox have gone back-to-back this season.