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Mark Gonzales Interview

Mark Gonzales is the Chicago White Sox beat writer for the Chicago Tribune.  This week Mark was kind enough to do an interview for RotoAuthority.com.  Check out Mark's well-informed, sometimes surprising answers below. 

RotoAuthority:  Should the White Sox use Brandon McCarthy as a starter or a reliever for the playoffs?

Mark Gonzales:  I believe McCarthy should have been on the roster. Simply, he deserved to be on the roster. If the Sox plan to add him to the ALCS roster should they make it that far, he will have no game action for at least nine days and probably two weeks.

RA: Does Carl Everett deserve his reputation as one of baseball's biggest jerks?

MG:  Speaking for myself, Carl Everett has treated me very well. He's good with his teammates. Sure, he has strong opinions on certain topics. But he knows how to play the game. He slides hard and clean into second base to break up double plays. He once pointed out to us early in April that Tadahito Iguchi would have to learn quickly that base runners aren't as gentlemanly as those in Japan and would have to adjust accordingly. All I can tell you is that Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News liked covering Carl, and Shea Hillenbrand appreciated learning from Carl during his days in Boston.

RA: Anything interesting about Ozzie that the general public might not know?

MG: He's very committed to his charity work, yet he doesn't let the whole world know about his efforts.

RA: Can the White Sox lineup score enough runs to succeed in the playoffs? Why do you think the team doesn't recognize the importance of OBP?

MG: Even after a 14-run performance in Game 1, the jury is still out on the offense. But they seem more relaxed and confident now that Scott Podsednik is getting on base more often. The White Sox are what I call a tools organization. They'll take their chances with Juan Uribe, A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Crede because the upside is so great.

RA: Your 2005 White Sox MVP and why?

MG: Paul Konerko is the granite of this team. His defense has gotten better, but his bat is the biggest plus.

RA: Will Ozzie really retire if the Sox win the World Series?

MG: I don't think so. Ozzie is too young to step away from this (as well as three more years guaranteed).

RA: What is the chance of Frank Thomas returning for 2006 at a reduced rate?

MG: It all depends on Frank's ankle. If it heals by spring training, I think you'll see him back. But keep in mind that the Sox have to find a spot for Brian Anderson somewhere in the lineup. He's done enough at Triple-A Charlotte, and Carl Everett also is an option (perhaps at a reduced rate).

RA: Has Bobby Jenks shown enough to be anointed the full-time closer in 2006? Or do you think Ozzie will just play the match-ups and the hot hand when choosing late-inning relievers?

MG: A lot depends on Bobby's ability to put some tail in his fastball and Hermanson's health. Ozzie hasn't been afraid to use the hot hand, so this could be a work in progress again.

RA: Let's say you replace Kenny Williams. What size and length contract would you offer Paul Konerko this winter, if any?

MG: Four years, $44 million. The man deserves it, based on his production and durability.

RA: What free agents do you expect the Sox to pursue this offseason? Will A.J. Burnett or Nomar Garciaparra be in the mix?

MG: Ken Williams realizes the free agent market is thin. It might be best to re-sign Konerko and add a "swing" pitcher who can start and relieve.

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