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Guillen: 'If you're going to lose, lose the right way'
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Columnist

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen flips the ball in the air as he and catcher A.J. Pierzynski wait for relief pitcher Matt Thornton from the bullpen during the seventh inning Saturday.


Associated Press

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Published: 6/6/2009 8:00 PM

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Ozzie Guillen wants the White Sox' struggling hitters to pretend they are "Mexican."

Before demanding more sensitivity training for the mercurial manager, let Ozzie explain himself:

"There's one thing about losing and one thing about how you lose," Guillen said before Saturday's 4-2 win over the Indians. "I remember (former Sox hitting coach) Walt Hriniak say one thing: 'Lose like a Mexican.'

"You know why? He loved boxing. I hope you guys (the media) don't take it the wrong way now. Because Mexican boxers, you have to kill them in the ring to beat them. That's one thing Walt Hriniak taught me, if you're going to lose, lose the right way. Battle out there."

Surprised by the White Sox' 26-29 record? I'm not. Before the season started, the Central looked like a competitive division, but clearly the weak sister in the American League, if not all of baseball.

Surprised by the Sox' frequent lack of fight on offense? I am.

As Ozzie said after the White Sox were shut out for the ninth time Friday night, you could just tell the game was over when Cleveland's Mark DeRosa hit a 3-run homer in the third inning.

The Sox' next walk-off win will be their first of the season, and the lack of fight jumps out when you consider they are the 0-26 when trailing after eight innings, 1-24 when trailing after seven and 2-24 when trailing after six.

Heading into the season, Sox general manager Kenny Williams almost guaranteed newcomers Chris Getz, Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix would join holdovers like Carlos Quentin, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko and battle from start to finish.

Williams strives to find players that are "Chicago tough," but 55 games into the season, the White Sox' offense isn't scaring anybody.

Numbers don't always tell the whole story, but they don't always lie, either. Heading into Saturday, the Sox ranked near the bottom of the AL in batting average (.251), runs scored (221), hits (451) and on-base percentage (.319).

Konerko thought the offense finally turned the corner with a 17-3 win against the Angels on May 25, which kicked off a 5-1 road trip.

But the White Sox backed themselves into another corner on this homestand - at 12 games it's the longest of the year.

They beat the last-place A's on Monday to get off to a promising start, but the Sox have since lost four of five while being shut out twice.

Maybe that's why Saturday's crowd at U.S. Cellular Field offered a fitting mock cheer in the first inning after Scott Podsednik crossed home plate on Konerko's sacrifice fly, snapping a scoreless streak of 232/3 innings.

For as bad as the offense has been, Guillen still thinks the Sox' 2009 outlook is good.

"We should be 10 games out (of first place) the way we're playing, we should," Guillen said. "We deserve that; we've earned it. But we're not. That's why I will take the positive thing out of a negative."