Jake Peavy is ready to move forward...oh wait, first, just this one thing!

Jake Peavy is ready to move forward...oh wait, first, just this one thing!
Peavy, demonstrating effort through really gross perspiration // Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune

At the end of the film Heat, Robert Deniro's murderous bank robber character passes up on a clean getaway in order to kill an old friend named Waingro in a heavily-guarded hotel room.  It leads to his demise, but it's an understandable risk.  Waingro betrayed people and got several friends killed.

Smack in the middle of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Johnny Depp's already pretty inexplicable CIA agent character shoots the cook at the restaurant he's at, "because the food's too good"; and his preposterous decision doesn't become any more explicable when he's done with his goofy philosophical justification.

Somewhere in between those two acts of vengeance on the scale of justifiable escalations of conflict, is Jake Peavy deciding to provide further explanation of how poorly things went with him and Ozzie Guillen at the end of his 2011 campaign.

When Peavy was shut down in mid-September--with the Sox out of the race and The Jakemeister backfiring and sputtering through starts--it seemed like the sort of competent and rational decision that should never ever spark a controversy.  In fact, Peavy himself was the only one who was feared to have a problem with a decision centered around preserving his own health.

So when Peavy brought forth the account that Guillen reacted brusquely to him being shut down, it didn't reflect particularly well on The Oz.  Brow-beating pitchers into ignoring injuries just isn't romanticized like it used to be in baseball, especially one with Peavy's recent struggles with a shoulder that resembled a champagne flute.

From a distance, it seemed that Jake got to air his grievances, and did so without even sparking some war of the words with the Guillen family (not especially fun).

But since there are no clean getaways, Peavy not only brought the issue back to the forefront again in an interview with Chris Rongey, but upped the pointedness to his critiques.

"Ozzie hard a hard time, wanting to say I was quitting on him, which couldn't be farther from the truth.  If I wanted to quit on him, I could have when I felt the first little bit of pain."

Sure enough, when Peavy is detailing the disconcerting process of what he had to do to manage his pain and stay in the rotation, it becomes understandable how he might get irritated with the accusation that he was taking the easy way out.

However, when discussing the decision process for shutting him down for the season, Peavy notes:

"Ozzie wasn't in on that meeting, for whatever reason"

Which is a subtle enough dig at Ozzie seeming to have his new job in Miami set up well ahead of time.  Well, subtle until it's paired with this.

"Ozzie didn't finish the season with us the last (two) games. So I don't know who quit on who."

As someone who looked at Guillen's rigidity toward a failing lineup as evidence of him being checked out, this would seem to offer further evidence.  So I suppose I can revel in lurid confirmation of a sad truth.

But since this was an event that's already been picked over quite a bit, questions have rightly centered on what Peavy's motivation must be to offer further testimony against the Guillen administration .  Especially since it came without much prompting from Rongey, during an interview largely designed as an advertisement for 2012 White Sox tickets  (Me & Coop are great!  Robin Ventura is a leader!  Alex Rios said "hi" to me in an elevator!, etc), and from a person who presumably is devoid of a desire to burn bridges with his old skipper.

Somewhere between Peavy's 7th or 8th of around a dozen refutations that he "quit", Jake's motivations became a little bit easier to hone in on.  Guillen's reaction at the time conveyed doubt of Peavy's effort level, and Jake would totally be willing to run into highly-secured hotel tower, or burst into the back room of a restaurant and attack a cook, just to prove that he's a grinder.

If doggedly trying to burn away questions about his effort level is going to be Peavy's destiny, at least it looks like he won't get hurt this time.


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  • Apparently, revenge is a dish best served on sports talk radio.

    One of the great revenge scenes is Tom Reagan's cold blooded murder of Bernie Bernbaum at the end of Miller's Crossing ("What heart?" . . . BLAM!), one of the best, and often overlooked, mob films of all time. Based loosely on a great Dashiell Hammett novel called The Glass Key. I highly recommend either to help get one through the doldrums of the offseason.

  • In reply to Ham N Egger:

    "Sister, when I've raised hell, you'll know it."

    One of my personal favorites. Between a plotline about Irish gangsters, having Albert Finney and John Turturro, and being a Coen Brothers flick, it crosses over a lot of my wheelhouses.

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