|Guillen shakes up slumping White Sox's lineup|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 05 May 2008 13:38|
Guillen batted Orlando Cabrera leadoff for the White Sox's game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. He also moved Carlos Quentin up to second and dropped Nick Swisher to sixth in the order.
On Sunday, the White Sox arranged all their bats in front of a pair of blowup dolls on a clubhouse couch in an attempt to shake the team out of its funk. It didn't work as Chicago lost its season-high fifth straight, scoring just nine runs in that span. The White Sox are batting 7-for-55 (.127) with runners in scoring position over the past eight games and an AL-worst .232 for the season.
Some Chicago fans questioned the appropriateness of having blowup dolls in the clubhouse, but Guillen had no problems with the gag.
``I'm not going to make the players apologize,'' he said. ``I don't think that was a big deal. It's our house. I don't think we did anything wrong and I don't think we did anything to make people upset. We did something to have fun and stay loose. Those dolls don't work. .... Hopefully we come up with something better. We don't need dolls, we need hits.''
Guillen believes the pressure to shake off the slump is getting to some of his hitters, causing them to swing at pitches out of the strike zone.
``They're not getting us out, we get ourselves out,'' Guillen said. ``At the beginning of the season we took a lot of pitches and got a lot of people on base. Now, I won't say we're panicking, but we're a little anxious to carry the load.
``You can't push the panic button,'' he added. ``We've just got to swing at better pitches. I think we're fine if we start swinging at strikes.''
The skid has dropped Chicago out of first place in the AL Central and, at 14-15, the White Sox are below .500 for the first time since starting the season 1-2. On Sunday, Guillen unleashed a profanity-laced tirade accusing fans of turning on the team, but said Monday he understands their concern.
``I don't blame the fans for saying, 'Here we go again,' because I'm a fan also,'' he said. ``I'm a baseball fan, I'm a Chicago White Sox fan.''
Guillen hopes moving Swisher down in the order will help him have better at-bats. Swisher is in an 8-for-55 (.145) slump and is batting .210 with three homers and eight RBIs this season.
``Hopefully Swisher will be a little more relaxed at the plate and do what he's always done,'' Guillen said.
Swisher had led off in every game but one, when Quentin took top spot, and Cabrera had been used exclusively in the second spot until now.
``That's not the lineup that's going to stay,'' Guillen said. ``I'm just trying to see something different, a little more help in the bottom of the lineup, where we're struggling the most.''
Also, third baseman Joe Crede, scheduled to bat seventh, was scratched from the lineup with a migraine and replaced by Pablo Ozuna.