The Tribune's White Sox beat writer answers reader questions each week throughout the season. This week, Brian Anderson and Josh Fields' future with the club and what the clubhouse is like after a loss.
What do you think Brian Anderson's future is with the White Sox ? I know he blew his shot in '06 but, I think he could handle the job now. -- Jack Taylor, Plymouth, Ind.
Hey Mark, I am wondering why Brian Anderson hasn't been playing much. I thought for sure he would start one of the games of the double header with Toronto but Ken Griffey Jr. started both games. Going into last night's game (where he ended up driving in the winning run) he was batting .230 in 161 at bats. Has he fallen out of favor in the clubhouse again? --Terry, Chicago
No, I like the way Brian has handled his role this season and he deserves to play full-time very soon. He's really helped this team down the stretch. I think it's wise not to trade him. His teammates like him, and his double at Yankee Stadium shows he still has a solid upside.
After a bullpen meltdown, what is the mood like post-game? Is Ozzie Guillen throwing stuff, are position players peeved, does anyone stand up and try to rally the troops or chew out the culprits? I know in a family it could lead to a brouhaha. Always wondered Thanks. --Mike Rogan, Ashland, Ore.
The only thing I've noticed lately is that the television or music has been turned off after tough losses. But these guys seem to rebound well. The tossing of the spread or chewing out of the troops can be overrated at times. I do wonder if these guys are too loose, but they've made it this far.
Why didn't the White Sox place Carlos Quentin on the DL when he got hurt? Fortunately, I have a rather large lead in my fantasy league so his spot didn't hurt my team stats too bad. --Bill G., Metairie, La.
If Carlos would have healed quickly, he would have lost some days on the DL.
When will the White Sox get rid of Octavio Dotel? He sucks big time. He has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory way too many times. Can Ozzie Guillen cut him now? --Ric, McHenry
I don't think the Sox are willing to eat the $6 million Dotel will make next year.
Not any more. Paul is going to play regularly as long as he's hitting, with Nick playing first in the late innings. At this point, you have to go with the hot bat.
Mark this has been a crazy season and your column is one of the sane things to hold onto. With the bullpen so shaky recently, how do you think that the Sox can get maximum performance when they need to be used for 2-3 innings each night? --H. Balikov, Moorestown, N.J.
As long as Thornton and Jenks are fresh, I think the Sox can get to the finish line.
First game of the Yankees series, first batter, Orlando Cabrera doubles. Dewayne Wise is not given the bunt sign (!?!) and he lines out to first. Next, during Jermaine Dye's at bat, Cabrera is outby a milemaking a lame attempt to steal third. Mark, who is making these boneheaded decisions? I love Ozzie Guillen, but we can't afford to give away runs like this. I'd shudder to see on paper the number of White Sox runners who've been stranded after reaching second base with no outs. Very demoralizing. --David, Fairfax, Calif.
I think Cabrera was running on his own but was nailed easily by Chad Moeller, one of the good guys in the game who often rides the subway to and from Yankee Stadium.
Is the Great Mystery of the Disappearing Josh Fields going to result in him being left off of the postseason roster? With Joe Crede and Chris Getz out, it seems like it's down to Bourgeois or Fields. Surely Josh hasn't fallen that far, has he? --Andrew, St. Louis
Yes, I think Fields is not on the post-season roster if the White Sox make the playoffs. I don't think Josh is out of the plans on a long-range basis. You can change the playoff roster from series to series. But if the Sox are in an ALDS with the off-day between games 1 and 2, you may see them opt for one fewer pitcher. But Ozzie's tendency has been to carry an extra pitcher.
Gary Sheffield will soon become the 25th player in the history of professional baseball to have 500 career home runs. That will bring the total up to 11 players that have belted number 500 (Bonds, Griffey, Frank Thomas, Thome, Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Eddie Murray, and Sheffield) since 1996. Of those 11, five players, including Sheffield himself, have been implicated in a scandal involving performance enhancing drugs at some point. Even with that said, that still leaves us 6 legit guys. So we have 14 people join the 500 homer club in the first 100 years of baseball, followed by 11 in the last 12 years. It would seem that the impossible isn't so difficult anymore. Is 500 the new 400? --Tyson Shroyer, Peoria
Ozzie certainly agrees with you on this. I hesitate to penalize anyone for hitting at least 500 homers during this era. Guys like Frank Thomas and Jim Thome have remained productive through all the accelerated testing. In case anyone is skeptical, selected White Sox players were tested before Tuesday night's game at New York.
I've been hearing and reading about many rumors that could be fact or fiction as we head into the off-season. I was wondering what is the possibility the White Sox move Alexei Ramirez over to shortstop next year and sign a free agent such as Orlando Hudson for second base? I know Kenny Williams is a big fan of Hudson. Also would the Sox consider trading Jermaine Dye since his value is high this offseason to the Phillies for a player like Shane Victorino who could play center field and lead off for us, solving our lack of speed problem? Then the Sox could play Nick Swisher in left field and move Carlos Quentin to right field, a position he was familiar with in Arizona. Thank you for your time and I always enjoy reading your weekly mailbag. --Matthew Takach, St. Charles
Matthew, I can see Ramirez moving to shortstop. But what about Chone Figgins at second and batting leadoff? I don't see Dye being moved, as he is still productive and has stayed healthy.