CLEVELAND – It seems that manager Ozzie Guillen can’t help but read his e-mails – good or bad.
Bad was the best way to describe the batch that started filling up his box since Saturday’s disappointing 3-2 loss and into the series finale with Cleveland.
“I read them [Sunday] morning, it was fun,” Guillen said. “Oh, it was bad, we’ve got a bad team. They’re writing e-mails to me like I’m in Venezuela and I don’t watch the game. They tell me all kinds of lineups. I make comments like, ‘I make different lineups for a reason, because the team is struggling. You try to find a way to fix it.’
“I love to take the heat, I love to take responsibility. I’d rather they blame me than blame the 25 guys. This is my job. Like I said, it’s easier to be the manager when you’re not the manager, it’s easier to be a broadcaster when you’re not a broadcaster. It’s easier to be something when you never do it.
“There’s desperate people out there. Well, I don’t think there’s more desperate people than me. The only thing I have to do is show up here with a positive attitude and let those guys know I still believe in them, I’m behind them.”
Basically, exactly what Guillen did concerning hitting coach Greg Walker on Saturday.
It was Guillen that put to rest any talk of Walker’s job security before it could start gaining momentum. And while Walker’s hope is that his name never even comes up, he did his best to try and deflect that attention on Sunday.
“As a hitting coach, you never want to be in the press,” Walker said. “You don’t ever want to be an issue. I haven’t even read it and don’t know what was said. I don’t really care. All I know is the guys are working and are healthy. At times, we’ve done some really good things. We’ve scored some runs. We just haven’t scored enough.”
Walker’s job is to try and change that. In any state of the team address that might be made through the first 13 games, the offensive woes top almost everyone’s list.
From Walker’s seat, a lack of confidence is what has been weighing on the shoulders of a handful of his hitters.
“Coming into this season, I felt like there were a lot of people who had questions in their own mind about where they were in their careers for whatever reasons, whether they were hurt last year or didn’t play,” Walker said. “Whether it be whatever, that’s not an excuse.”
Translation: It’s time for Walker to once again play team shrink.
“If you could learn how to instill confidence in baseball players, you would probably be a billionaire.” Walker added. “The biggest thing you fight as a coach is dealing with anxiety in players. It’s the battle everyone faces in this game, especially in a market like Chicago. Guys tend to put too much pressure on themselves in big situation, instead of walking up there with their chest stuck out knowing they are going to get it done. We are walking up there hoping we will get it done, and it just doesn’t cut it in this league.”