Daily Herald
Simply put, this Sox' loss was ugly
By Barry Rozner | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 7/21/2008 12:06 AM

On a Sunday when the team celebrated Harold Baines' statue and turned back the clock to jerseys from 1983, the current White Sox missed something in the translation.

"Losing Ugly'' was the slogan of the day, and this one didn't even have a good personality.

Playing one of their worst games of a season in which they've been so consistently good, there was almost nothing positive to take out of an 8-7 loss to Kansas City.

"It was an ugly-(bleep) game. We played terrible,'' said manager Ozzie Guillen. "We need to play better. You can't expect to be great every day, but Kansas City showed up and kicked our butt.

"We have to pitch better. We're not going to win anything if we pitch like this. The Harold (ceremony) was the best thing that happened all day.''

From there, it was nothing but ugly.

John Danks, who's been the best Sox starter all year, had one of his few poor outings; the bullpen gave up a late lead; Joe Crede couldn't reach the game-winning double right down the line; A.J. Pierzynski was thrown out at the plate by 20 feet with only one out as the tying run in the eighth, on an odd coaching decision; and the Sox saw their pennant hopes flash before their eyes when Jermaine Dye was drilled in the knee.

Guillen was only seeing red.

That was the worst part, that he brought in D.J. Carrasco to retaliate for a rash of Sox batters hit this weekend, but Carrasco missed Billy Butler with a low, inside pitch leading off the fifth.

"D.J. tried, but unfortunately he missed this time,'' Danks said, "But hitting someone on purpose isn't the easiest thing in the world, even if it might look like it.

"But as a starter, we're not going to let our hitters be punching bags. The (Royals) hit five guys this weekend and you have to protect your hitters and you want them to get that respect.''

When Carrasco missed, Guillen fired a water bottle at the dugout wall, and kicked a few baseballs down the tunnel.

"I don't like to see them hitting my players,'' Guillen said, claiming he was only angry that the umpire issued a warning but looking like a Mt. Guillen explosion might be in the offing.

He had removed Danks to avoid having his top starter face possible disciplinary action, but the reliever charged to do the job failed, and with both benches warned, there'd be no retaliation.

"I haven't spoken with Ozzie at all,'' Carrasco said. "It might look like I was trying to hit him, but I was just trying to pitch inside and it got away from me.''

This was a far cry from the Sean Tracey mishap of June 2006 in Texas, when, down 8 runs, Guillen brought in Tracey to nail Hank Blalock in retaliation for the Rangers hitting A.J. Pierzynski.

On that night, Guillen removed Tracey when he missed Blalock a couple times, screamed at him in the dugout on camera, and sent him back to Charlotte the next day.

Nothing that bad occurred Sunday, as X-rays on Dye were negative, he's listed as day-to-day, and he was able to join his teammates at a postgame "Picnic in the Park,'' where he signed autographs.

No, the Sox just played one wretched game and they still begin the week atop the AL Central standings.

"It was one of those days,'' Pierzynski said, "when bad things happened.''

If he had used the word "ugly,'' no one would have argued.

Best moment

Prior to his statue ceremony Sunday afternoon, Harold Baines listed one terrific player after another when talking about the teammates he had over the years on whom he could lean, and from whom he could learn.

"I was the lucky one being around guys like that,'' Baines said. "I was surrounded by players of character.''

They, of course, say that about Baines, and watching the highlights on the big board between innings, those who have forgotten were reminded of what a tremendous all-around player Baines was before knee injuries forced him to a DH role.

"He was a great, great outfielder,'' said Carlton Fisk. "Harold Baines was a great baseball player, and those of us who watched him every day know that.''

Never shy

Asked if he thought he'd ever be added to the growing list of men in bronze on the South Side, Ozzie Guillen said he also deserves a statue.

"I should get one. I hope they do it while I'm manager,'' Guillen said. "I hope they don't fire me and then give me a statue.''

Sight seen

The ubiquitous Dave Otto - and son - calling on old pal Jim Thome, who collected hit No. 2,000 on Sunday, making him one of nine players ever with 2,000 hits, 1,500 RBI and 500 homers.

Rumor of the day

SI.com reporting that the White Sox are interested in Oakland closer Huston Street.

The quote

Ozzie Guillen on wearing the 1983 jerseys: "This is the first time I've worn this uniform that I wasn't hung over.''

And finally -

White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer, on golfer Ian Poulter wearing pink pants in the final round of the British Open: "If I ever wear those to the golf course, I would hope you'd have the decency to run me over with your car before I get to the first tee.''

brozner@dailyherald.com