PHOENIX -- Outtakes from the Wonderful World of Oz(zie Guillen) and the White Sox Camp:
-- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski breaks down four strong arms that should give opponents late-inning fits this summer:
On lefty Matt Thornton: "Easy gas. He throws the easiest 97, 98 m.p.h. there is. It's amazing how he can have that motion, and then all of a sudden 97, 98 comes out of it."
On lefty Chris Sale: "Amazing. As skinny as he is, with such a slight frame, to do what he's done in less than a year is incredible."
On righty Sergio Santos: "Great story, switching positions (from shortstop to pitcher). He's got a full year in the bigs now, and his stuff translates. It's a great story. I remember watching Sergio Santos when he was a shortstop and they had him throw in the bullpen. We all watched because we knew about his arm strength. I was like, 'I wish I had his arm. I'd be a pitcher.'"
On righty Jesse Crain: "Thank God he's not on the Twins anymore. Him and Matt Guerrier killed us. It seemed like they pitched every game against us. He's bigger than I thought. His stuff is good and he goes about his job the way you should. It's a testament to his coming up with the Twins."
On lefty Will Ohman: "I haven't seen him pitch yet this spring, but he knows what it takes and he's got a great track record against left-handers. He can throw every day. It'll be interesting to see how Coop [pitching coach Don Cooper] and Ozzie [Guillen, manager] manage the left-handers."
-- Mark Teahen, in Year Two of a three-year, $14 million deal, is having a scorching spring (10 for 26, one homer). But there appears to be no room for him the lineup: The Sox really like Brent Morel, and Guillen has informed the kid that he's won the third base job.
"If Morel is on the club, he has to play every day," Guillen told me earlier this week.
So, where does that leave Teahen? As a bat off the bench to provide depth? On the trading block? It would be a tough contract to trade.
As for Morel, the Sox's lineup is strong enough that he should be fairly well shielded. Their expectation isn't gaudy numbers. It's that he simply battles each at-bat, handles himself well and shows some progress. As long as he does that and catches balls at third base, the Sox will be happy.
Sunblock Day? Gray skies for the first time in three weeks in Arizona. Temps in the low 60s. Brrrr.
Likes: Great vibe in the White Sox clubhouse this spring. This is a team that knows it is good. Very good. ... Ozzie Guillen's coaching staff is underrated. Very high on pitching coach Don Cooper and hitting coach Greg Walker. ... The Pinenut sea bass topped with an orange sauce that was a bit sweet and a bit spicy at Rokerij in Phoenix the other night with the chile potato and the prickly pear margarita. Outstanding. ... Warren Zevon's Mr. Bad Example. ... A big good luck to the Falcons of Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central High in their state quarterfinal game against undefeated Schoolcraft High on Tuesday night in the Michigan High School Boys' Basketball Tournament. It's been an extraordinary athletic year for that fine school, and here's hoping the Falcons extend their season.
Dislikes: Twice in recent days a motorcycle rider has passed me on the freeway without wearing a helmet. I know Arizona's got other issues, but this state needs to pass a law requiring cycle riders to wear helmets. That, or the riders need to smarten up. Last thing I want to see is a wreck on the freeway where some motorcycle rider's head explodes like a pumpkin.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Now, one and one is two, two and two is four
"I'm heavy loaded baby, I'm booked, I gotta go
"Cryin' baby, honey, don't you want to go
"Back to the same old place, my sweet home Chicago"
-- Robert Johnson, Sweet Home Chicago