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Terrerobytes: White Sox’ ill-fated bunt binge overshadowed

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Plus: LaTroy Hawkins does not like Tommy Kahnle, Nate Jones is nearing a comeback, and more

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
This bunt was OK. The others? Not so much.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Because of everything that happened after the ninth inning, none of the stories have Rick Renteria’s explanation for having three consecutive batters square around to bunt with diminishing returns. Tim Anderson bunted the go-ahead run to third with nobody out, Omar Narvaez showed bunt multiple times, but never found a pitch to offer at and drew a walk. Then Tyler Saladino tried a safety squeeze himself, but bunted to a drawn-in infield resulting in an easy flip to home for the fielder’s choice.

When Narvaez went down the third base line to confer with Nick Capra, I agreed with Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone, thinking it was gamesmanship. After all, in that same 2014 game we discussed on Tuesday — the one where Robin Ventura tried to get eight innings out of John Danks against the Angels — Ventura made up for it by making Mike Scioscia overreact to a pinch-hitting Leury Garcia.

With runners on the corners and one out, Ventura swapped Moises Sierra for Leury Garcia. It was a lateral move at best when it came to contact, but the enhanced speed element compelled Scioscia to deploy a five-man infield and play them in. Garcia thwarted it by shooting a grounder through the left side for a walk-off victory.

That’s what I thought Renteria was going for when Narvaez waved his bat in front of Yusmeiro Petit. Then Saladino bunted to a drawn-in infield and Willy Garcia was cut down at the plate, and the parallels ended there.

Hopefully the beat writers can follow up with Renteria today the way they did about his bullpen management.

"I should have done it differently," Renteria said Tuesday. "You're not always going to make the right decision at certain times. I have to be very comfortable with the decision I make and have conviction in it, and I'll continue to manage that way. If I make a mistake, I make a mistake."

Renteria often stresses to his players the importance of team victories over individual stats, and he said his players have "bought in from the beginning of spring training," even when it means pulling starters earlier than they might like.

It’s been a rough series for the first-year White Sox manager. Maybe it’s just what the Angels do to them.

Terrerobytes

That’s LaTroy Hawkins going off on Tommy Kahnle during the Rockies-Twins matchup on Tuesday night. Hawkins pitched in 1,042 games over 21 seasons, so when he calls somebody “one of the worst teammates I’ve ever had in my life,” that probably means something -- not just because he had a lot of teammates like he said, but also because he kept finding employment.

That said, it’d be George Lucas-grade dialogue if you read it from a transcript, because Hawkins really went out of his way to dump that out there. Maybe he’s right, and the world needs to know. Maybe Hawkins and Kahnle had some kind of intense but isolated beef, and Hawkins needs to get over it. Maybe Kahnle didn’t handle himself well as a rookie, but he’s cool now. The Giants didn’t like Conor Gillaspie at first, and now look at them.

James Fegan notes that Jose Quintana’s fastball-first runs into issues when he’s in fastball counts. He’s relying on it more than ever when behind, and he doesn’t have the command to make hitters lock up right now.

Omar Narvaez and Kevan Smith have a combined 66 games of big-league experience, but they’re unquestionably the most qualified with Geovany Soto on the shelf. Dan Hayes wrote a good story about the task ahead, especially when it comes to the information end, getting input from both Miguel Gonzalez and Don Cooper.

Beneath the regular update regarding Robertson’s mindset, Nate Jones’ elbow is holding up to throwing.

It’s too soon to know whether Jones will need a minor-league rehab assignment or whether a simulated game or two will suffice before he’s activated.

The good news is that the elbow feels good.

‘‘I didn’t like how it felt when it was at its worst,’’ Jones said. ‘‘But it feels awesome right now, thankfully.’’