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Sports Radio, Ozzie, McCarthy manufacture controversy

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About a week and a half ago as pitchers and catchers reported spring training, the Sun-Times' Chris De Luca sat down for a brief chat with White Sox-turned-Ranger Brandon McCarthy for what seemed to be your standard pre-season catching up with departed teammates piece. In the interview, McCarthy made a couple of comments that I didn't really think too much about when I read them over my morning McGriddle.

That changed when I turned on the radio later in the day to hear ESPN 1000's Mac, Jurko, & Harry ripping into McCarthy and Boone Logan, who had been quoted just the day before about his "mental breakdown" last season, for their inability to fit into a clubhouse full of genuinely good guys (AJ excluded) and to deal with the transition to the big league level. I could tell that afternoon that I'd eventually be writing this piece. I'm just surprised it took this long.

Like I said, McCarthy's comments didn't seem too bad, though they did give some additional insight into the circumstances surrounding his departure.

"I love the guys in Chicago, but it was a somewhat older clubhouse. Most of the guys there are married and they have kids and it's tough for guys like [Brian] Anderson and me to relate. We didn't get to hang out with them as much. As much as I like those guys in Chicago, this is much more my age, my speed."

[...]

"[With the Sox] I was constantly hearing, 'This is what we don't like. This is what we think you are doing wrong. This is what's bad, this is bad.' It always seemed to be focused on the negative. Here, it's just, 'Here is your spot, and we expect you to do well and we think the world of you. Let's see you go do it.'

"And that has made it a lot more comfortable. To finally have that support, instead of wondering, 'What's going to happen next?' in terms of something negative."

For his part, De Luca wrote a very fine piece, including a quote from Kenny Williams essentially refusing to expound on his reasons for the moves he made this off-season. But he missed the quotes from Ozzie. And if you don't let Ozzie get his two cents in, you're going to about $1.50 before everything quiets back down.

Ozzie talks McCarthy @ 12:15 mark.
So today when Ozzie appeared on the Mike North radio show, it came as no surprise that he felt the need to respond to McCarthy. (audio available on the right)

After Guillen fired back at McCarthy, including saying he was hanging out with the wrong friend in the clubhouse (Anderson) and that he probably lost the White Sox about 5 games last season, both Kenny Williams and McCarthy were very diplomatic in their retorts, trying to avoid any further controversy.

I think we've seen this thing run it's course, but I wouldn't be doing my job here -- and I know I haven't been doing it very well lately. For that, I apologize -- if I didn't make at least a passing mention of the exchange. It's better than thinking about the fact that our starting pitching has yet to record a strikeout while getting lit up in 4 games in Tuscon.

Merkin & Gonzales have quotes from a number of related parties.