Tag: Bobby Jenks

Chicago White Sox: Selecting the All-Decade Team 2002-2012

It’s the offseason, a month away from spring training.  Like many of you, I’m a bored Sox fan.  In my previous articles, I have come off as extremely pessimistic.  It’s a curse, what can I say.  

It’s a new year and a chance for me to change it up.  Let’s focus on the good. Introducing your Chicago White Sox all-decade team..

For those of you who wanted to recall the illustrious careers of Dan Wright, Billy Koch and Rob Mackowiak, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Maybe if I get enough positive feedback on this piece, I’ll come up with the franchise’s worst players of the decade next week. Enjoy. 

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Boston Red Sox on Fire, but Can They Get Even Better?

The Boston Red Sox pounded the Chicago Cubs into submission, 15-5, yesterday to win their seventh straight ball game. The Sox have now won 10 of 12, 13 of 18 and 22 of their last 32. They have the best record in baseball since April 16 and, more importantly, they sit just a half game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.

How did this happen?

It was just two weeks ago that Red Sox Nation was ready to call it a year and go back to rooting for the Celtics and Bruins in the playoffs. But much has happened in those two short weeks, including Rajon Rondo almost single-handedly beating the Miami Heat with one arm (try getting your kids to believe that one in about 20 years).

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have come together as a team and started playing like the club that everyone and their uncle picked to win the World Series.

The good news? They’re going to get even better.


Carl Crawford

Much of the blame for Boston’s poor start was placed squarely on the shoulders of the $142 million man, otherwise known as Carl Crawford. In reality, at least half the lineup was struggling. The Red Sox hit just .243 as a team in April and Crawford finished the brutal month hitting .155.

Since then, however, the star outfielder has really turned it on. He opened May with an 11-game hitting streak and has his batting average up to .212. He’s hitting .294 so far in May and has a couple of nice game-winning hits on his resume.

He’s still stuck in the eight spot in the lineup and will remain there until further notice, but this is still a perennial All-Star who’s only now beginning to play like one.

Crawford’s worst season in his 10-year major league career was in 2008, when he missed over 50 games and finished with a .273/.319/.400 line. He’s currently at .212/.247/.282. Crawford averages 13 home runs and 53 steals over 162 games. Right now he has one and six, respectively. Clearly there’s room for improvement.

It’s only a matter of time before Crawford unleashes a string of multi-hit games and gives the Red Sox offense yet another weapon.


John Lackey/Daisuke Matsuzaka

The Red Sox felt pretty confident with what they were going to get out of the top of their rotation, and the trio of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz has certainly delivered so far this season. But the same can’t be said for the back end of the rotation.

Matsuzaka somehow rolled off two consecutive scoreless starts in mid-April, but the rest of the season has been a disaster. He hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in five of his eight starts and has almost as many walks (23) as strikeouts (26). He’s been so bad that the Red Sox couldn’t wait to get him off the field, putting him on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow. He’s not expected back until July, if ever.

Remarkably, Lackey has been even worse. The big righty has a 8.01 ERA and is getting smacked around like he’s playing T-ball. In 39.1 innings he’s surrendered 53 hits and 18 walks. In other words, an opposing batter has a better chance of reaching base than he does recording an out. Lackey’s crap fest earned him a spot on the disabled list alongside Matsuzaka, with what the Red Sox call a sprained right elbow.

It’s almost inconceivable that the two of them can continue to pitch this poorly, but even if they spend the rest of the season sitting on the bench (a trade is impossible at this point) the Red Sox can still take solace in that they have other options.

There’s the ageless Tim Wakefield, who’s already made two serviceable starts this season. There’s Alfredo Aceves, the former Yankee with starting experience. There’s lefties Rich Hill and Felix Doubront, just waiting for their shot to get back on the mound. There’s even the recently signed Kevin Millwood!

If the Yankees can make it through the first quarter of the season with Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon in their rotation, then odds are the Red Sox can find a competent pitcher somewhere. 



The Bobby Jenks signing has been a disaster. The supposed seventh inning guy has a 9.35 ERA in 11 games and is currently on the DL with a strained right biceps. Dan Wheeler has been even worse with a 11.32 ERA in 11 games, thanks in large part to the four home runs he’s given up (tied for fourth on the team, including starters). Denys Reyes didn’t even make it through a week with the big club, earning his release after just 1.2 awful innings.

But there is hope on the horizon.

The bullpen has been anchored by Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and newcomer Matt Albers, but they’ve gotten positive contributions out of other pitchers. Scott Atchison is back after a strong year in 2010 and he pitched three scoreless innings last night against the Cubs. Ditto for lefty Rich Hill, who has yet to give up a run in 4.2 innings.

The Red Sox also recently acquired Franklin Morales, a lefty reliever who has a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings pitched for the Colorado Rockies. And don’t forget former prospect Michael Bowden, who was lights out in AAA Pawtucket and is now just waiting to get his name called.

It’s going to take some time, but the Red Sox have the resources to build a great bullpen.

This may sound like a collection of if’s, but every team in baseball has question marks. The biggest question for the Red Sox early in the season was could they get out of their slump? The answer, of course, was yes.

Now the question turns to guys like Carl Crawford, John Lackey and Bobby Jenks. History suggests that all of these guys will turn it around, but even if they don’t the Red Sox have Plan B already in place.

It’s going to be a fun season.  

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Boston Red Sox 2011 Newcomers: Welcome To Beantown, Boys

This past calendar year has been nothing but heartbreak after heartbreak for New England sports fans.

(All 29 other sports regions/cities roll their eyes collectively).

We’re no Seattle or Cleveland, but these have been somewhat trying times for fans that have high standards for success.

A quick recap: The Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs due to freak injuries to their two best players; the Bruins blew a three game lead in the Eastern Conference semi-finals to a Philadelphia Flyers team made up of unwashed heathens; the Super Bowl favorite Patriots tanked in their first playoff game against the Jets; and the Celtics lose the NBA Finals game seven against the Lakers. Rough stuff.

Also, that NBA deadline deal which took Kendrick Perkins out of green was another unexpected occurrence that was unsettling, to say the least.  

And through all that, I’ve remained positive. Why, you ask?

Did you see who the Red Sox signed this offseason?

Honestly, I don’t think Boston was all that bad last season. Eric Patterson and Daniel Nava started more games than anyone should ever ask of them; John Lackey ate a whole lot of nachos; and Adrian Beltre really liked kicking people in the chest super hard.

Despite all that, they almost won 90 games last season. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz proved to be a fearsome one-two punch to build a rotation around; Jed Lowrie showed some real glimmers of being a versatile major league baseball player; and that Daniel Bard guy threw the ball wicked hahd, dude guy.

Now, everyone is healthy, and there are some fresh faces that make this team the clear favorite in the American League.  

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MLB Free Agency: 15 Players Teams Will Regret Not Re-Signing

Being a baseball general manager is a thankless job. Every move that you make is second-guessed, critiqued and analyzed to death before a new player even steps out onto the field. Then there’s the separate issue of what to do with your hometown players, some of whom have evolved into local legends or fan favorites.

Every player has to become a free agent eventually, but the gut-wrenching question facing every general manager is when is the right time to let those players go? In the case of these 15 players, their GM’s let them go too soon.

For the sake of this list we’ll eliminate players who had no chance of resigning with their former teams (Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford) and players that teams made an effort to sign but were outbid (Cliff Lee).

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Closing Time: Continuity in the Bullpen Is Vital To Sox Success in ’11

With the new addition of former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks and a great 2010 from Daniel Bard, there has been a lot of speculation as to what will happen with Jonathan Papelbon.  There has been much talk of a trade, as Paps will likely test the market and walk after the season.  While these three arms could each close for the Sox in ’11 and see tremendous results, the team is best served with Papelbon remaining on the roster closing games. 

Bobby Jenks didn’t have the most encouraging final season in Chicago.  Fellow White Sox relievers Matt Thornton and Chris Sale both saw time at closer after Jenks had been relieved of that duty multiple times.  This resulted in heated confrontations between Jenks and manager Ozzie Guillen.  However, Jenks removal from the closer position may have been well deserved for the way Jenks was pitching at the time.  He saw the highest ERA of his career at 4.44 and the second highest WHIP at 1.367.  His 1-3 record was also the worst of his career, although closers aren’t necessarily judged off of stellar records.  While Jenks should be motivated coming into a new team and to prove the White Sox wrong, he may also question his ability to close games based on how he was jerked back in forth in Chicago.  Jenks serves the Sox best as a set up man in 2011.

In his first full season in a Red Sox uniform in 2010, Bard put up glistening numbers.  His 1.93 ERA in 74.2 innings was among the lowest on the team and he struck out 76 batters while recording a 1.004 WHIP.  These numbers had many fans feeling that if Bard was to close in 2011, the Sox wouldn’t lose anything if Papelbon was to be moved.  While Bard’s off speed pitches developed tremendously last season, one more year as a prime set up man would do Bard a lot of good.  Bard’s breaking pitches are still a work in progress.  Although his slider and curve were rather devastating in 2010, flying in at 83 MPH after a 99 MPH heater, these pitches will need to be perfected if he is to continue his current dominance as the team’s closer.    

While there is no question that he is being groomed as the closer of the future, the addition of Jenks adds some security to Bard’s situation.  If he should struggle in his second full season, Bard can be pushed up a little in the bullpen and Jenks can take over as the primary setup man, taking some pressure off of Bard.  The same can be said with newly signed Dan Wheeler.  These two signings provide depth to the Sox bullpen that wasn’t present in 2010, and it should only help Daniel Bard’s development.

With such viable closing options other than Jonathan Papelbon on the roster, continuity will be the most important thing in 2011.  One of the only things that could truly derail this team is a stirrup and inconsistency in the bullpen.  Despite a plethora of injuries last season, a shaky bullpen was arguably just as important of a factor in the Sox missing out on October baseball in 2010.  That is why it is important that Jonathan Papelbon remains the closer in 2011.

Dealing Papelbon at this point likely wouldn’t bring in a fair enough return to justify dealing him.  Paps is coming up on the last year of his contract, and he will likely make upwards of $13 million in his final season.  There aren’t many teams that can afford to take a $13 million chance on a one year closer.  The teams that can already sport names such as Rivera, Rodriguez, Marmol , and Feliz in their closer slot.  Papelbon is among a group of other Sox players who will hopefully perform at their highest level as they are in contract years.  If he can revert to his 2009 form and forget about 2010, Papelbon should remain a solid closing option for the Sox in 2011.  If it he somehow is worse this season than last, the Sox have padded themselves with the security to have Bard or Jenks close and move Paps to a setup role.  But this shift should only take place if it is 100 percent necessary.  Hopefully the new, added depth won’t cause manager Terry Francona to make a quicker shift if Paps should struggle.

Papelbon needs to remain the team’s closer for the 2011 season.  Shuffling the bullpen and assigning the closer role to a pitcher in Jenks who shaky last season, or a youngster in Bard who has never closed regularly before, is something that the Sox don’t need right now.  This team has a chance to make waves and compete for a World Series in 2011, and the bullpen is an integral factor in accomplishing this goal.  The Sox have done well to rebuild the pen, and keeping Papelbon as the closer will solidify the pen as one of the best in the A.L.  

This article can also be seen on SportsHaze.com.

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Boston Red Sox: Ozzie Guillen’s Son Tweet-Attacking Jenks

BOSTON, Mass—A few days after relief pitcher Bobby Jenks finalized a two-year, $12 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, he had a few things to say about former manger, Ozzie Guillen. 

“How many times did he question my ability,” Jenks told MLB.com report Scott Merkin. Jenks went on to say, “I’m looking forward to playing for a manager [Terry Francona] who knows how to run a bullpen.”

After Jenks’ remarks towards Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, Ozzie’s son, Oney Guillen, spoke out via twitter. 

Guillen posted over 22 tweets bashing Jenks. Guillen attacked Jenks across the board discussing possible drinking problems and marriage issues. He even went on to say, “u cried in the managers office bc u have problems now u go and talk bad about the sox after they protected u for 7 years ungrateful.”

It is safe to say that you don’t want to cross the Guillens, or they’ll attack you via twitter. 


This article was first seen on Sports Haze.

Tony Santorsa is Sports Haze’s AFC East Beat Writer. You can read more sports stories at www.SportsHaze.com. You can also follow Tony via Twitter @SH_TSantorsa

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Oney Guillen: Heart In The Right Place, But Why Feud With Jenks?

I can understand where Oney Guillen is coming from.

Someone was taking shots at your dad, and you want to stick up for him.  I totally get it.

This wasn’t the way to do it.

The son of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen took it upon himself to respond to an interview departed White Sox reliever Bobby Jenks gave in which he criticized Guillen’s handling of the bullpen and his trust in Jenks.

Obviously, it would have been better if both of these former employees of the White Sox had just kept their mouths shut.  But they didn’t.  So here we are looking at another public feud.

Just remember that neither Jenks or Oney Guillen work for the White Sox.

Imagine you have an acquaintance who happens to be a relative of a local celebrity.  Someone pops off about said celebrity, you bring it up in conversation, the relative vents a while, and you move on.

In this day and age, a little venting amongst friends can circle the world pretty quickly.

Oney Guillen could have stomped around the beach for an hour or two telling his buddies what a punk he thought Jenks was, and the damage would have been minimal.  However, we live in a world where the most mundane of acts gets posted to Facebook and Twitter as if they were national news.

If Oney wanted to vent, why not call his dad?  Why not wait, oh, a half hour or so before posting?

Had he gone back and looked at his comments (which, unlike an interview, he easily could have done), he could have avoided a lot of scrutiny right now.

Oney appeared on several Chicago media outlets Wednesday to talk about the impact of his comments.  He stressed that he was sticking up the team and did not seem to think that his comments would damage the reputation of the organization because he wasn’t a team employee.

It seems that Oney reacted like a hot-headed fan and is now using the angle of defending the organization to defend his stance.  If you feel a certain way about the team, fine.  But don’t hide behind the team to bring up the personal issues of Jenks.

I think that we can agree that Ozzie Guillen is quite capable of speaking for himself.  He is capable of exchanging grievances with a host of former White Sox players.  He didn’t really need defending in a case of Jenks taking a departing shot. 

The past history of Jenks and the White Sox is pretty clear: the team felt that the price tag on Jenks was too much in return for what they thought they were getting, so they walked away.  Jenks commented on his sour grapes. 

If team wanted to return fire and get nasty, they could have.  They didn’t need Oney Guillen to throw gasoline on the dying embers of the situation.

Oney Guillen should have taken some of his own advice.  If he wanted to defend his dad, couldn’t he have called Jenks himself before launching personal attacks in the most public of forums?

Venting is acceptable.  Next time, do it away from your laptop.


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Fantasy Baseball Breaking Down The Bullpen: Boston Red Sox

This is the newest feature I am going to be doing as we head towards fantasy drafts.  In an effort to target which closers could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs, who to target for vulture saves, etc., we will be breaking down each team’s bullpen.  Let’s kick things off with a look at the Red Sox:


The Closer: Jonathan Papelbon

Since assuming the Red Sox closer’s role in 2006, Papelbon has been one of the elite closing options in the league, totaling 188 saves (at least 35 a season).  However, after blowing eight saves in 2010 to go along with a career worst ERA (3.90) and WHIP (1.27), his leash will be extremely short in 2011.

Over the past two years, his control has been an issue (walk rates of 3.18 and 3.76), which helps to explain his increased WHIP (from 2006-2008 he had posted WHIPs of 0.78, 0.77 and 0.95).  Last season he also suffered from a below average strand rate of 68.7 percent, which helps to explain his higher ERA.  Prior to 2010 his worst ERA was 2.34.

His strikeout rate has been consistently above 10.0 per nine innings, which does help to offset things.  He also consistently works a lot of innings (67.0 innings or more in four of the past five seasons).

There certainly are enough positives to continue ranking him among the top 10 options, but you have to do so with an asterisk.  The Red Sox are built to win now, so the first time he has an extended slump could mark the end of his run as the team’s closer.


Next in Line: Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks

Bard was electric over 74.2 innings in 2010 while posting a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP (Papelbon-esque numbers).  His K/9 was at 9.16, though with a fastball that averages close to 98 mph, seeing that number improve is extremely realistic.

His control was alright, with a walk rate of 3.62, and he certainly benefited from a .225 BABIP.  Still, with his strikeout rate, even if the latter regresses there he should be more than capable of posting a solid WHIP.

At 25 years old, he is the team’s future at the position.  The question is if the future is now.

Bobby Jenks, the former White Sox closer, could easily have something to say about that.  He was brought in to help set up for Papelbon, but with the Red Sox built to win, they could opt for his experience should Papelbon struggle.

Yes, he had a 4.44 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 2010, but he also suffered from some terrible luck (.368 BABIP, 65.4 percent strand rate).  He has a good strikeout rate (8.80 K/9 for his career) and solid control (2.90 BB/9 for his career).  There certainly is a good chance he rebounds and could post an extremely solid 2011 campaign.


The Rest: Dan Wheeler, Tim Wakefield, Michael Bowden, Scott Atchison, etc.

Given the three options at the top of the bullpen, no one here holds fantasy appeal.  Wheeler would be the sleeper, but it just seems unlikely he makes any type of major impact at the end of ballgames.


The Conclusion

While Jonathan Papelbon will open 2011 as the team’s closer, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a change made at some point.  Jenks’ experience may win out as the next in line, but Bard’s ability is too much to overlook.  Bard is the long-term solution and if Papelbon does falter, I would expect the Red Sox to go with the hot hand.  Keep that in mind, but for now Jenks would appear to be the better handcuff.

What are your thoughts of Boston’s bullpen?  Will Papelbon hold the job for the entire 2011 season?  If not, who do you see getting the first chance to replace him?


**** Make sure to pre-order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here. ****


Make sure to check out our 2011 rankings:


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Chicago White Sox: Oney Guillen Responds to Bobby Jenks on Twitter

Former Chicago White Sox minor leaguer and scouting video technician Oney Guillen responded to former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks recent comments about his father, current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on, on his Twitter Tuesday.

hahah memo to bobby jenks get a clue u drink to much and u have had marital problems hugeee ones and the sox stood behind u

they did not air out ur dirty laundry, u came to srping not drinking and then u sucked and started srinking again be a man

be a man and tell the manager or the coaching staff how u feel or the organization when u were with the sox not when u leave

u cried in the managers office bc u have problems now u go and talk bad about the sox after they protected u for 7 years ungrateful

if it wasnt for u and mainly u freddy garcia would have like 17 wins and the sox would have beat the twins

and u self diagnosed urself bc u didnt want to pitch un real i hope the sox let this guiy (expletive) have it

oh and yes i remember clearly u blowing a hugee game in 09 and u laughing ur bearded ass off while everyone busting there tail

i thought u were a man not some punk who runs away and talks bull(expletive). u coward. say it to there face when u were with them

dont make me air out more then i have 2 say ur sorry dont disrespect the White sox ever

now u know what piece of (expletive) person u rooted for chicago. the ones that leave and talk bad about ur team

and u say the manager didnt trust u? he kept putting ur fat ass there and u kept blowing it, he never took u away from that role unreal

go read it its a scott merkin piece its a dandy, i hope people say what they really feel instead of me

although it wouldnt surprise me if the sox take the high road and be classy instead of destroying this yellow beard dipping idiot

and to think u were actually a cool guy and ur word meant something, to bad u dont hit in the AL so they can drill that ass

one little story remember when u couldnt handle ur drinking and u hit a poor arizona clubby in the face i do. and later u covered it with

Im sorry thats ur answer to everything. How can u disrespect ur ex team like that.

Guillen previously was in the news for his criticism of White Sox general manager Kenny Williams.  After resigning from his scouting video technician position with the White Sox in March of 2010, Guillen has still been around and inside the White Sox clubhouse.

Jenks criticized Ozzie Guillen’s treatment of him this offseason and his inability to manage a bullpen in an interview Monday. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Bobby Jenks Isn’t Completely Wrong in Criticizing The White Sox

The event I’ll remember Bobby Jenks for came during the 2005 World Series. Ozzie Guillen came out to the mound and made the motion for his closer. Ozzie didn’t just tap his right arm, he used both of his arms to signal that he wanted the “big guy”. The bullpen door opened and the young, rotund fireballer came sprinting towards the US Cellular field pitcher’s mound.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Now here we are, December 2010, and Ozzie Guillen might be using a much different and far less family appropriate sign to call Bobby Jenks.

After signing a two-year $12 million dollar deal with the Red Sox, Jenks had some comments about his former club.

“It was my first hope, and it hurt,” Jenks said of his Sox negotiations. “I felt I was a significant part of this organization and this team…I’m mad, but I’m not mad. I thought with the way I was part of the city and not just part of the team, they would make more of an effort to get me back. I wanted to be part of the White Sox a lot longer.”

Jenks went on to say “I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”

OK, where to start?

First off, Bobby Jenks has every right to be upset that the Sox had no intention of bringing him back. Why are so many White Sox fans offended by Jenks’ reaction?

Don’t we as fans want players to want to play for our team?

The White Sox gave Jenks a chance when seemingly no one else would. In return he performed very well overall and wanted to continue to be with the team and city he cared about. When that team/city spurned him he got upset. What’s wrong with that? Not a darn thing.

Now for Jenks’ second point about playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen, I’m not sure Bobby is accurately remembering last season.

Time and time again Ozzie trotted the “Large One” out there despite his struggles. When Jenks went down as well as Thornton, Ozzie made due with the bullpen equivalent of a t-shirt from the Dollar Store. Sure it’s technically a t-shirt but it’s lousy.

This isn’t to say that Ozzie is a perfect manager of his bullpen. More often than not I’ve been critical of how Ozzie handles his pitchers. But it seems odd for one of the guys that Ozzie showed the most faith in to now be critical of him as he heads out the door. Put another way, it would be like the Karate Kid telling Mi Miyagi “You never believed in me! I’ve proved you wrong!”

So while the big fella is out of line with the comments about Ozzie it seems to me he’s just lashing out at an easy target in the organization.

I hope White Sox fans can understand Jenks’ frustration and not hold it against him when he returns to the South Side in a Red Sox uniform. The hard throwing right hander was an integral part of a White Sox World Series championship and only wanted to be part of another one.

What more can we as fans ask for out of a player?

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