The following is commentary and interviews from Sunday's MLB on TBS game between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox, featuring Chip Caray, Buck Martinez, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
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Chicago White Sox (4) @ Boston Red Sox (2)
Game announcers: Chip Caray and Buck Martinez
Martinez on the Phillies trading pitcher Gavin Floyd to the White Sox before he reached his potential: “It’s hard to imagine the Phillies giving up on (pitcher) Gavin Floyd after they put so much effort and time into him. He’s a (former) number one (draft) pick, but he wasn’t allowed time to blossom. Some people pick it up at a different pace. You have to look at him and say that he is a large part of why the White Sox are in contention this year.”
Martinez on whether or not the 2008 White Sox pitching rotation is as good as their rotation in 2005 when they won the World Series: “I don’t think so because (White Sox starting pitcher) Mark Buehrle is not as sharp as he was (in 2005)."
Martinez on instant replay recently being introduced to MLB: “I think that (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig wanted to incorporate (instant replay) and I think it’s a good thing overall. It’s only going to be used for home run calls, fair or foul, over the fence or in the ballpark and for fan interference regarding a home run, so there are only a few instances where it’s going to be called upon and there needs to be clear and convincing evidence to reverse a call.”
Martinez on the different strategies to hitting against a knuckleball pitcher: “Over the years, there have been so many different theories about how you hit against a knuckleball pitcher. Some guys will take a big bat up (to the plate) and use a heavy bat trying to slow their swing down. Other guys will take the lightest bat possible (to the plate), sit back and be quick, get after it. But I don’t think there is any real formula or approach that works.”
Martinez on the style of play of the White Sox: “You have to have the ability to manufacture runs from time to time. (The White Sox have) got a little bit of speed with (Alexei) Ramirez and ( Orlando ) Cabrera, but basically they’re a station-to-station ball club, they don’t manufacture runs. (Manager) Ozzie Guillen would love to be able to do that (like) the Minnesota Twins but he doesn’t have that kind of personnel. They have to sit back and hope that someone runs into (a pitch to hit) and hope that the (starting pitchers) hold down the opponents to a point where you can take advantage of your power.”
TBS’ Chip Caray and Buck Martinez interviewed White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen during the third inning.
Guillen on being able to manage White Sox DH Jim Thome: “I feel proud to be (Jim Thome’s) manager, this guy is a pro. This kid means a lot to baseball and he’s going to be a Hall of Famer.”
Guillen on what he likes about Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia who he nicknamed “The Jockey” because of his small stature: “Oh my God, what don’t I love about (Dustin Pedroia)? This kid can do it all. He comes from riding a horse to playing baseball right away. Baseball needs more people like him. I think this kid brings a lot to the table, a lot of energy and I love it.”
TBS’ Chip Caray and Buck Martinez interviewed Red Sox manager Terry Francona during the third inning.
Francona on the Red Sox battling through the season to remain in contention: “We’ve been good about everything. Whatever happens, either you play or you don’t. We went through periods this year when we went through struggles and we didn’t pay attention to detail., but I think we’ve been a lot better.”
Martinez on how the Red Sox prepare their minor leaguers to be successful for the majors: "(Red Sox GM) Theo Epstein has done something very interesting in that he brings his (minor league) players who have not made it to the Red Sox yet into Fenway Park in the off-season. He introduces them to the ballpark, they get to see ( Boston ) a little bit, meet (manager) Terry Francona and talk about the atmosphere what it means to play in this ballpark. Then they tell their (minor league) developmental people that, ‘We don’t want you to develop major leaguers, we want you to work on major leaguers who can play at Fenway Park . Make them oblivious to any kind of pressure, give them every kind of test you can and make sure they are ready to play here when we need them.’ And that’s proven to be very effective.”
Martinez on what the Red Sox need down the stretch: “The Red Sox need their guys to get healthy. Mike Lowell, Sean Casey, Josh Beckett and J.D. Drew (have been injured). If they get those guys back they’ve got enough weapons to play with anybody.”