"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: Bobby Jenks

Thank Heaven for Little Guillens

Thank the Baseball Gods for the Guillen family; in a cold quiet winter they bring us sparks and adventure. Yesterday White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney absolutely lit into former White Sox and current Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks on Twitter. Highlights are many, but include:

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 …

…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…

…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 wit

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

Uh, yikes. The comments from Jenks that brought this on were obnoxious, but fairly tame in comparison. He told reporters that he wanted “to play for a manager who trusts his relievers, regardless of what’s going on,” and said “Why would I come back to that negativity? I’m looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.” He also felt that the White Sox didn’t handle their decision not to re-sign him particularly well, which is debatable, but a common enough sentiment when teams and players part ways.

Jim Margalus of South Side Sox writes,

I wouldn’t be surprised if most, if not all, of what Oney Guillen tweeted about Jenks was true. There were a couple of weird tongue-holding episodes at the end of the season; Jenks creating an uneasy scene by spitting on the clubhouse floor, Kenny Williams saying “there are certain things I’m not going to talk about right now.” To this point, Williams has resisted kicking Jenks out the door, but Oney seems to have filled in at least some of the blanks. None of it was necessary.

OK, nothing Guillen’s middle son does is necessary when it comes to White Sox Business, but this was bringing a grenade to a pillow fight. Jenks only criticized Ozzie the Manager, and that brings only Bobby the Pitcher into play. There’s lots of room for insult there. His attitude, his inconsistent performance, which may have been attributable to his inconsistent conditioning … pick one and hammer away if you please. That’s an eye for an eye, and all in a day’s work for these highly compensated professionals.

That would accomplish far more than taking private information and making it public.

This isn’t the first time Jenks’ personal issues went public; in Jerry Crasnick’s “License to Deal: A Season on the Run With a Maverick Baseball Agent”, Crasnick and Jenks’ former representative Matt Sosnick describe the pitcher as “an agent’s nightmare – the type of player who constantly tests management’s patience and rarely takes responsibility for his actions,” whose “drinking and capacity for self-destruction… soiled just about everything he touched,” a “reclamation project” who “couldn’t be reclaimed.” Ouch again.

I’m sure the Red Sox knew what they were getting into and if Jenks pitches well, as he has in the past, no one on the team or in the stands will care much about the guy’s flaws, whatever they might be. If he doesn’t, though, Boston is not a place where it takes very long for things to get ugly.

Anyway, Oney Guillen’s rant was clearly unprofessional and inappropriate, but in these days of corporate-speak, careful PR men, and dull canned quotes, I’ve gotta say I’m glad somebody is still able to go off the reservation like that.

Photo via Chicago Now

Stuck In The Middle With You

Middle relief: not always pretty...

Middle relievers are nobody’s top priority, nor should they be. As we know all too well, their performances tend to vary wildly from year to year, and even when they’re consistently good they’re still less valuable than your average starter or corner outfielder. And yet, given their rather middling importance, they create an outsize amount of fan stress, disgust, and general tsuris. Every year there is at least one, and often several, relievers who the fans pile on, bemoan, and endlessly joke about and rag on — every team needs a scapegoat for the vagaries of middle relief. The Yankees appear to be turning to this unglamorous segment of team-building right about now, so let’s see who some of the candidates are for either our pleasant surprise or our ire.

The Yankees are apparently nearing a deal with ex-Mets workhorse Pedro Feliciano, known to Amazins fans as Perpetual Pedro. I’ve watched Feliciano pitch in many dozens of games over the years (particularly recently, as he led the NL in appearances two of the last three seasons) and think of him as, more than anything, solid. He has his streaks, both good and bad, and he’s not ever going to inspire a 2007-era Joba sort of frenzy. But he goes out there as often as you could possibly want, and he’s usually good enough to get the job done, no muss no fuss. Jerry Manuel kept trying to use him against good right-handed batters, and that was a mistake; but against lefties, he’s as good as you could ask.

Bobby Jenks has been mentioned for the Yankees and a number of other teams – but word is he’s asking for “closer money,” and therefore may not be a fit for the Yanks. To which I say, too bad – not so much because of any talent he might have but because he is, if I might go ahead and judge this book by its cover, likely to be quite entertaining. The Yankees’ no-facial-hair policy would be a blessing to Jenks and all those who care about him, but personally I would lose out on a good deal of laughter at the expense of ol’ Vagina Chin here.

UPDATE: Never mind, as Buster Olney reports the Red Sox have signed Jenks. Oh, this should be fun…

Kerry Wood looks to be returning to the mothership, as he and the Cubs seem to be close to a deal. The Yankees may miss him (or perhaps not – again, see above re: the year-to-year variability of relievers), but frankly the Wood story was already a pretty excellent one last year, and this could make it an even more compelling narrative. I hope he gets his deal, I hope he does well, I hope both he and the fans get some closure on What Might Have Been. Most of all I hope he stays healthy.

Which brings us to…

The Yankees took a low-risk flyer on Prior. There is almost no way he’ll come back, after four years of injury, to be effective — it would be virtually unprecedented.

But it’s certainly worth rooting for.

Who else you got?

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver