It's best never to hope for anything related to Jake Peavy. He's capable of the excellent, but history always says that he'll overdo it, and his progress will come crashing down.
That said, I'm trying to resist being mildly encouraged by his response to Mark Gonzales in the wake of Joe Cowley's attempt to sway the discourse against Don Cooper.
"Ozzie didn't care for me at the end because I was shut down," Peavy said. "It didn't end on good terms. The one thing about it, Coop and I have an open relationship. There was one time where I disagreed about something he said about me being on and off after coming back from the surgery, and I told him about it."
First, the White Sox let Mark Buehrle leave with dignity (their own, I mean). Now, Peavy resists the bait. I'm not ready to christen it The Era of Professional Feelings yet, but it's a nice start for what most needs to happen under Robin Ventura's watch. It could turn out that Ventura is a natural manager, but his reputation as a strong adult presence was the reason Kenny Williams came calling.
While allowing for the possibility that Peavy could be talking out of both sides of his mouth, he's still more credible than Cowley's Anonymous Q. Pitcher, who said Peavy thought Cooper threw him under the bus multiple times.
Even better, he fills in another missing piece of Cowley's column. When Peavy felt fatigued after his first September start and thought cutting his season short would be the best option, Guillen responded:
"Right now, I don’t think I’m going to throw in the towel. If they want to throw in the towel that’s their problem. I think he will prepare himself for his next start. I don’t think there should be any problem with that. I expect him to go out there for his next start.’’
Peavy's 2011 season both began and ended with his manager publicly criticizing his self-assessment abilities. And sure, they're ripe for criticism, but it's amusing that Guillen couldn't find a way to say "no" to Peavy until Peavy wanted to miss starts. Then he disagreed with him.
Fittingly enough, even his last decision on Peavy didn't stick. Peavy said he would consult with Cooper and doctors, and sure enough, he was done for the season. Really -- this sequence of events was reported in Cowley's own paper and everything.
Guillen, at least to this point, isn't holding a grudge.
Then again, if I were Guillen and I didn't have to manage Peavy anymore, I might be all smiles, too.
Peavy one-ups Guillen on the well-wishing: