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White Sox losing Crede, not all hope
Third baseman Joe Crede's season is essentially over because the back surgery he had Tuesday will sideline him for a minimum of three months.
That made the challenge for manager Ozzie Guillen and the White Sox even greater after a 7-3 setback against the Phillies, their 14th loss in 17 games.
"You have to get up and erase everything," Guillen said after Jose Contreras lasted only 3 1/3 innings because of the lack of velocity on his fastball, an error and a passed ball that set up four runs, and an offense that had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position. "You can't do anything about it. This is an everyday game and hopefully we do better."
Crede, who hit 30 home runs and had 94 RBIs last season in addition to playing Gold Glove-caliber defense, underwent a microdiscectomy to remove herniated disc particles that were putting pressure on a sciatic nerve. Crede was nagged by two herniated discs last year but elected to bypass off-season surgery in favor of a program designed to strengthen his lower back.
Robert Watkins performed the surgery in Southern California. Crede will be relegated to walking only for three to four weeks. He will not be allowed to rehabilitate during that time.
Crede batted .216 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 47 games. He is the fourth Sox position player currently on the disabled list and the most valuable because of his power and defense.
"It has been one of those years," catcher Toby Hall said. "One guy goes down at a time. It has been unfortunate."
Crede's injury paves the way for Josh Fields to display his talents for probably the rest of the season. Fields his hitting .130 in 23 at-bats.
"Right now he's going to play third the most, but not as an everyday third baseman," Guillen said. " I want to see how he swings the bat. It's up to him how many at-bats he's going to get. He has the opportunity now to do something."
But Guillen reiterated after the game he doesn't want the Sox (27-34) to feel sorry for themselves and vows not to let them accept losing.
"They have to take charge and play better," Guillen said. "If they accept losing every day, then they're playing with the wrong organization and wrong general manager. I don't think Kenny [Williams] is going to sit and watch us play the way we're playing and cross our fingers and pray. Kenny is a very aggressive guy and he will do something if we continue to play like that."
With the exception of a Baltimore scout in attendance, there were no indications a trade might be imminent.
"It's what we said the other day," said Hall, referring to Saturday's players-only meeting. "We have to go out and battle and do the best we can every day and grind and keep staying hungry. You never know what is going to happen.
"I was in L.A. last year [with the Dodgers]. We lost [eight] in a row and made the playoffs."
Hall stressed that the meeting reinforced the players' faith.
"Everyone let it out in the air, and nobody is feeling sorry for themselves," Hall said. "Everyone is giving their best. It's not clicking right now."
Contreras was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on consecutive homers by Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye. Dye's homer snapped a 63 at-bat homerless streak.
But Contreras' control problems resulted in three Philadelphia runs in the first, and Tadahito Iguchi's two-out error led to Chase Utley's two-run homer in the second—snapping Contreras' streak of 218 batters faced without giving up a homer.
The Sox have committed 12 errors behind Contreras, who has been victimized by 11 unearned runs.