It's pretty amazing how important bullpens have become in baseball today. In a way, the bullpen could be the most important part of a team these days. With starting pitchers having shorter and shorter outings, if you don't have a strong bullpen, you don't have a chance to make the playoffs.
For instance, the White Sox had a chance to jump right back into first place on Friday night, but after Ozzie Guillen had to remove a struggling John Danks, his bullpen only compounded matters. In two and two-thirds innings, four White Sox relievers (they don't deserve to be named) combined to walk five guys, hit two others, throw a wild pitch, balk, and give up a grand slam to Ryan Garko. Needless to say, Ozzie wasn't very pleased with the effort.
''I don't think it was a baseball game -- it was a pitching parade,'' said Guillen, who used five relievers before the night ended. ''I think those guys should be a little embarrassed, because I was. I didn't want the fans to see me go out there any more. I begged [Octavio] Dotel [the last reliever] to please get it done.
''I already got mad, breaking things in the dugout. It got to the point I started laughing. I didn't have any other choice. You can't try to play [as badly] as we did. I apologize to the fans who saw me. I think that's the worst first five innings I remember in a long time. We have 40,000 [36,494] looking at stupid baseball. We fought back, yes, but it's getting old.
''We have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, 'How good are we?' -- including myself because every time I go to the bullpen, I make the wrong decision.''
In fact, the only way Ozzie going to the bullpen would be the correct decision is if he walked over there from the dugout and started chucking grenades into it.
It's this bullpen that has caused me to go completely numb when it comes to the White Sox. Do I want them to win the division and make the playoffs? Of course I do, but at the same time, I know it doesn't matter. With the bullpen they have, they won't be going anywhere.