The White Sox have retired just five runners trying to steal a base this season, and they basically walked into one of those Friday, when Oakland’s Coco Crisp was nabbed trying to swipe home.
Nobody in the American League has retired fewer base stealers, but manager Ozzie Guillen wasn’t about to hang A.J. Pierzynski out to dry because of the issue.
“We have to get better. How? Well I always say, when you have a guy behind the plate who can throw, it helps,” Guillen said. “But I think everything comes with the pitchers. The pitcher holds the guy, quick steps, takes care of the guy at first base it gives the catcher a better chance. It’s no doubt we have to get better because the first month and a half of the season we’re not doing a good job.”
The 35 steals against the White Sox is the second highest total in the AL to the Red Sox, who have had their own issues catching base stealers.
So what is the White Sox’s biggest issue when it comes to slowing down the opposition?
“Just name it, everything,” Guillen said. “Sometimes [Alexei Ramirez] catches the ball in front [of the bag], good jumps, bad throws, don’t pay attention to the runners. There are a lot of things that go with that piece and we have to get better.”
Note: Quotes supplied by the White Sox media relations staff from Oakland.