CHICAGO -- Ozzie Guillen did his best Tuesday to get in front of all those fingers pointing indignantly at the White Sox.
Maybe defeats like Tuesday’s 5-0 walkover by Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander were destined to happen, but there were plenty of others that got away from the White Sox and for various reasons.
“Everybody, man, everybody,” Guillen said. “If you're going to point at people, [what are the most victories] our starters have, 15? We didn't even make it to 15? Who's the most? Floyd?”
Floyd entered Tuesday’s game with 12 victories and stayed that way after giving up four runs over 5 1/3 innings.
But a lack of victories from the rotation didn’t have everything to do with how they pitched.
“How about early with the bullpen?” Guillen said. “We cannot point any fingers. Yeah, it seems like if those guys hit we'd do better. How about men on second and third base with less than two outs and we don't score? To me, I think that's more important than those four guys people want to point fingers at.”
Except those four guys were part of the issues with clutch hitting and the lack of run support for the starters. But yes, there were other issues than the obvious. Guillen didn’t even mention the problems on defense early in the year.
“I don't think we executed well when we had to,” Guillen continued. “We never had a big, big inning. We'd have bases loaded with one out and have an infield groundball and score one [run], that’s it. We don’t have those types of games like, wow.
“A lot of people talk about we pitched well. Yeah, we pitched good. Because our offense was so bad out pitching looked very good. It's difficult to point fingers here. I want people to point them at me.”
Is that just bravado manager speak, or is that sincere?
“I will criticize my players if they don't work hard; I will say, 'That's his fault. They did this, they did that.’” Guillen said. “The reason I blame myself is because I'm not going to let anybody else do it. I've never been afraid to blame myself because I'm the one who puts those guys out there, even when people were looking for my head, to kill me, because I was continuing to play those guys.”
As the man in charge, Guillen has always said that it is his fault when things go bad and it’s all about the players when things go right.
“We've got a good ballclub,” Guillen said. “Did we play good? No. it's as simple as that. Since spring training we haven't played good and that's the reason we are where we are. A few players played good enough and had very consistent years.
“If they're going to pick an A+ something, maybe two people, in the bullpen maybe [Chris] Sale and [Sergio] Santos and then Paul Konerko. Everybody else, I don’t think they did their jobs, counting myself.”