Daily Herald - Suburban Chicago's source for news This copy is for personal, non-commercial use. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution you can: 1) Use the "Reprint" button found on the top and bottom of every article, 2) Visit reprints.theygsgroup.com/dailyherald.asp for samples and additional information or 3) Order a reprint of this article now.
Article posted: 9/29/2012 12:06 AM

'Will to win' keeps White Sox' Ramirez going

By Scot Gregor

Shortstop Alexei Ramirez and right fielder Alex Rios lead the White Sox in games played this season at 154.

Rios has shown no signs of slowing down, but Ramirez looked gassed while going 2-for-16 before singling in the fourth inning Friday night.

"I wouldn't say it's being tired," Ramirez said through a translator. "It's just one of those things that right now the will to win is what you are looking for. In doing so, you just hope you don't make mistakes."

Even though he has a decent batting average and 72 RBI out of the No. 8 hole, Ramirez is not happy with his offense this season.

"This is probably one of the worst years that I've had," Ramirez said. "I feel like I'm a little bit off at the plate. When the off-season comes up, all I'm going to do is work a lot harder to get back what I've had.

"Even though the numbers are similar to what they have been in the past, it's more that I know I can play better than what I have."

Ramirez did hit a clutch RBI double against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday and he came through with another run-scoring single Friday against Tampa Bay.

Quintana starts Sunday:

In his last start, a week ago against the Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Jose Quintana appeared to be completely out of gas while pitching 5 innings and allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks.

Considering he was pitching for Class A Tampa in the Yankees' system last season, it's hard to fault Quintana for getting tired down the stretch.

But the White Sox' rookie left-hander will have a full week of rest -- minus the 4 pitches he threw in relief against the Indians on Tuesday -- when he starts Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Even though he's 2-4 with a 4.80 ERA since the all-star break, it has been a solid season for Quintana (6-5, 3.60 ERA), and he is likely to be in the Sox' rotation next season and beyond.

"I'd say from spring training, yeah, he surprised me because you didn't expect him to really be in the rotation and do the things that we've asked him to do," manager Robin Ventura said.

"He's had some big spots, and I think the rainout game with Detroit (a 5-4 win Sept. 17), it's one of those where if you're coming out of spring training saying you're going to have him go for that game, you'd be surprised."

Crowd control:

The White Sox' poor attendance has been in the headlines throughout the season, and all of the empty seats at U.S. Cellular Field on the final homestand has been a big story.

Manager Robin Ventura and Sox players continue to have little to say about any attendance issue. A decent crowd of 25,264 did turn out Friday night.

"We're going to play hard no matter what," Ventura said. "Is it a better environment if it's full? Yeah, but it hasn't been.

"So it doesn't make us try harder or play worse. You probably have more of an advantage if you have a full house. It becomes a different environment."

Said third baseman Kevin Youkilis: "There's a great fan base here. Just like in many cities, there are very passionate fans that will come from Day 1 to the last game.

"There's the few in between you hope come out a little more, too. You can't ever blame the fans for not playing well."

Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.