06.15.06

Sun-Times’ Cowley : Ozzie Had The (Red) Ass

Posted in Baseball at 11:07 am by

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley on the White Sox losing, 8-0 to Texas, and a rookie reliever’s failure to retaliate.

After watching catcher A.J. Pierzynski (above) get beaned by Rangers starter Vicente Padilla in the second and fourth innings, Tracey was brought into the game in the seventh to face Hank Blalock.

According to one Sox source, Tracey also entered the game with specific instructions.

Both benches had received warnings after the second time Pierzynski was used for target practice, and that’s why Agustin Montero already was warming up in the bullpen with Tracey on the mound.

Tracey did throw one inside pitch to Blalock, but then he simply pitched to the third baseman and got him out.

That brought Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to the mound and sent Tracey to the dugout.

The explanation offered by Guillen after the game was well thought out but also a big smokescreen. And while Guillen is never one to lie to the media, he also knows the unwritten rule of baseball that states a manager or player never can admit to throwing at an opposing player without serious repercussions from the league office.

“I felt the thing with Tracey was he’s not a mop-up man,” Guillen said. “He’s one of our prospects and shouldn’t be in the game for mop-up time. I took too long to get Montero ready to go, and that was my mistake.

“It was my fault that Montero wasn’t up quick enough. I got caught between leaving Vazquez in the game or not.”

Guillen, however, was caught on camera screaming at someone in the dugout after removing Tracey. When the camera focused on Tracey, he was visibly upset and looked almost on the brink of tears. A Sox source said after the game that Tracey was informed he was being sent back down to Class AAA Charlotte.

“Ozzie went nuts,” one source said. “He had the ass, big-time.”

Tracey was asked about the incident after the game and said: “I have no comment to you guys. No comment.”

Guillen was asked why he was so angry if it was just a simple mistake, and he kept to the script perfectly.

“He’s not a mop-up guy,” Guillen said of Tracey. “I think [he was upset] because he didn’t know what the manager was thinking.”

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