On Wednesday afternoon, recent callup Dylan Axelrod--notable for his mediocre minor league strikeout rate, notable for being cut by the Padres, who are notable for not having talent to spare--threw six innings against one of the best offenses in the league.
He allowed Carlos Guillen to crank a HR, walked two batters, but also only allowed two runs, and struck out eight hitters.
He even struck out Wilson Betemit three times. Dylan Axelrod dominated Wilson Betemit.
Then the bullpen blew a three-run lead he staked them to...as if this was a sort of thing that happened all the time!!!
So when Joe Cowley brought forth his article that kind of confirmed Kenny Williams would be returning for 2012 amidst oceans of words bemoaning the potential loss of Ozzie Guillen--what a relief! Anything to avoid discussing that game, that horrid, horrid game. A game whose primary positive quality is that it did not matter.
Beyond self-satisfaction and a strong affinity for the Guillen family, Cowley is known for his well-placed sources, so in all likelihood his report that Kenny Williams has been informed that he'll be back at GM is sound. So much for those improbable notions of Williams stepping away from the controls and promoting his wunderkind assistant Rick Hahn to upstage him.
The rest of the piece is a continuation of a multi-year narrative Cowley has crafted about the cold war between Guilen and Williams. He's too well-connected to Guillen to think a significant rift doesn't exist, but Cowley's gift is not subtlety. If there was more meat on his rumor that Williams is looking to ditch almost all of Guillen's coaching staff at least, and Guillen too at the most, it wouldn't be buried near the end of the article.
Without anymore definitive confirmation of activity, there's at least Guillen sounding as detached and resigned from his roster as possible.
In a longer diatribe decrying a lack of fight in the players, Guillen bemoaning how crushed Dylan Axelrod will be should he care about pitcher wins, and the possible loss of bonuses for finishing in 2nd place, was this morsel:
"Whoever doesn't want to play, make sure you let me know," Guillen said. "That's easy. I don't want to waste my time playing people if they don't want to play, and keep suffering and getting older and wrinkled and white hair when somebody else doesn't care.
When Guillen first took over for Jerry Manuel in 2004, these type of public challenges seemed like they had the chance to be the norm. Now the notion of Guillen mercilessly rooting out all detached and lethargic parties seems as ill-fitting as it did next to the sleepy public image that Manuel wore in his final days.
Whether Ozzie snapping into action is an attempt to detach himself from the doomed roster Williams crafted or just him waking at the wheel with a start, it's kind of pointless at this stage. Sub-.500 years with $127 million rosters tend to get someone fired, and his die was cast with his obstinance all summer.
The fate of the White Sox isn't changing at all with any recent occurrences, we're just waiting on the announcement.