Doggone angry GM

Chicago White SoxAaron SeleCarlos LeeJose ValentinPaul KonerkoU.S. Cellular FieldOzzie Guillen

And now what?

Or rather, who?

One thing is certain: It won't be Jon Rauch, who not only threw his first pitches of the season for the White Sox but also his last pitches for the White Sox.

He earned more than a ticket back to Triple-A Charlotte. He's also getting a one-way trip out of the organization.

Not only did Rauch fail to stick around the clubhouse long enough to meet the media, he also stiffed general manager Ken Williams.

"He severely hampered his chances of ever pitching for the White Sox again," Williams said through a team spokesman. "If any team has any interest in Jon Rauch, they should contact me.

"[Leaving the clubhouse early] is not something we condone."

Rauch lasted only 3 2/3 innings in a 5-1 loss to Anaheim. If anyone 6 feet 11 inches needs to find a place to hide, it's him.

Perhaps appropriately, Saturday was "Dog Day" at U.S. Cellular Field.

Rauch's unraveling gave the Sox's fifth starters—sit down for this—an 0-7 record with a 9.72 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .378.

And to think Rauch's numbers could have been much worse if the Angels hadn't run themselves out of the first three innings. In those first three innings, Rauch yielded four hits and a walk but was bailed out when three Angels were thrown out on the bases.

As it was, Rauch permitted 11 runners, 10 on hits, and recorded 11 outs.

He was booed from the mound by 25,050 fans, and probably their 500 dogs as well, during a five-run fourth inning, when even his two outs accounted for runs.

The next time anyone heard from Rauch, he was en route to his home in Louisville. Apparently, he cared enough about what people thought to be listening to the WMVP-AM 1000 postgame show. So when he heard what Williams had said, he called the station and said the "whole thing was a huge miscommunication."

Rauch claimed he "just wanted to get out of there and be with my family." Now he'll apparently have plenty of time for that.

Not that Sox fans will care, because Rauch was bad from the first inning on.

"The first three innings, I felt he did pretty good," fill-in manager Harold Baines said.

Between Rauch's performance and an inept offense that struck out nine times—four by Jose Valentin—real manager Ozzie Guillen might ask for a raise when he returns Sunday from attending his son's high school graduation in Florida.

Even Guillen's bubbly enthusiasm couldn't have permeated the steam coming out of the clubhouse when Williams left Saturday. He was so peeved that he sent Rauch to the minors without replacing him on the roster. Even the other players noticed.

"I felt sure he might have been optioned, but he should [have stuck] around, for a lot of reasons," first baseman Paul Konerko said. "One, because we might have tied the game. But there's a bunch of reasons."

During his brief long-distance radio chat, Rauch apologized to his teammates and said he would try to reach Williams.

"I'm not like that," Rauch said. "I don't want to bad-mouth the team or make it look bad by any means."

Actually, his teammates looked bad by themselves. Except for Carlos Lee extending his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games, Konerko was the only bright spot for the Sox. But even his season's 10th homer in the seventh inning couldn't generate enough punch against Aaron Sele and two relievers to save Rauch.

"Hopefully, if it stays like it is, we can kind of ham-and-egg it a little bit better and not have a day like this," Konerko said. "We're not matching it up well. Our fifth spot hasn't thrown well this year, but it seems like our offense is terrible on that day too.

"We need to pick it up on those days. We're not going to look for people we don't have."

The Sox won't be looking for a fifth starter again until at least June 12. And maybe the results for whoever the "who" is will not be the same by then.

"I hope not," Baines said. "We've got a long year to go."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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