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Rehabbing Peavy says Ozzie has control

Rehabbing Peavy says Ozzie has control

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Rehabbing Peavy says Ozzie has control
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jake Peavy wanted to make one point perfectly clear on Monday night before the White Sox contest with the Padres.

Yes, the intense competitor that is Peavy wants to take the ball every five days, and of course, he wants to do anything possible to help the White Sox win the American League Central and move a few postseason steps beyond. Peavy also wanted to stay on schedule to break camp as the team's fifth starter, completing his remarkable comeback from experimental surgery on July 14 to reattach the tendon that anchors the latissimus dorsi muscle to the rear of Peavy's shoulder

But while Peavy realizes the final call involves his input, it ultimately comes from White Sox general manager Ken Williams, manager Ozzie Guillen, pitching coach Don Cooper, head athletic trainer Herm Schneider and the team's medical staff. So reports of Peavy convincing Guillen or even begging the manager to let him pitch through shoulder discomfort on Saturday against the A's, after Peavy had been crushed all week by the flu and missed work between starts, were a bit overblown, in the hurler's opinion.

"Ozzie and the staff have had complete control from the start," Peavy said. "I didn't beg, I didn't ask. I let those guys make the decision -- Coop, Herm and Ozzie.

"They obviously know I wanted to pitch and stay on schedule. They've known that from Day 1. I certainly didn't, as it was portrayed in certain situations, try to beg to get out there. I told them I'd do whatever they wanted me to do as a staff and I pitched."

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News of this Peavy shoulder discomfort, labeled as rotator cuff tendinitis, took Guillen a bit by surprise when he read Monday how the pain started with Peavy's first Cactus League start against the Angels on March 4 and built up from there. Yet, Guillen didn't show any anger toward Peavy concerning his push to stay on track for the regular season.

Guillen's Sunday quote about Peavy pitching again when he tells him he'll pitch might have sounded like a bit of displeasure toward the rehabbing hurler. But with a smile, Guillen pointed out how it's easy to tell when he's angry because he curses.

There were no R-rated words used by Guillen when talking about Peavy Sunday or Monday. It was just a protective instinct shown by a manager toward a player coming back from major surgery.

"If I was mad at Peavy, I will call him," Guillen said. "I did it before. Not to him but to a lot of players. I was very excited because he pitched for us. He had work to do.

"I was not demanding that while he was on the mound, I'm the boss. I don't treat any of the players, anybody, like I'm the boss. I just say it's my job to make the decision when somebody is out there. If I have some problem with anyone, I will tell him to his face. But I don't have a problem with anybody.

"It's just protecting [White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's] money, Kenny's move and my integrity in the game," Guillen said. "And protecting him. That's the most important thing. I'm protecting him more than anybody in baseball. It's all about him, it's not about us."

One piece of good news presented Monday by Peavy centered on that nasty week-long flu bug seemingly running its course. An update concerning Peavy's right shoulder held a bit more uncertainty.

Peavy's plan for Monday was to get a couple hours of solid treatment on the expected blip plaguing his comeback. He already has started on a course of anti-inflammatory medication, and was examined Sunday by White Sox team doctor Charles Bush-Joseph.

Dr. Anthony A. Romeo, who performed the July surgery on Peavy, will check out the hurler in Arizona on Wednesday, with Peavy interested to get Romeo's take since the doctor knows his shoulder "inside and out."

Basically, Peavy will be out of action for 48 hours and will be replaced by Philip Humber for Thursday afternoon's start against the Cubs at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Ariz. There's no timetable for Peavy's return, although Guillen guessed Peavy would miss three or four regular-season starts and return some time in the second half of April.

In talking about his strong desire to take the mound and work through what he believed were manageable problems, Peavy admitted a certain level of smartness is needed to know when to pull back. He took some heat in 2010 when pitching through shoulder inflammation and throwing a shutout against the Nationals on June 19, after skipping a start against the Pirates on that same Interleague road trip, and then suffering the lat injury 2 1/2 weeks later.

"As a competitor, you want to play, you want to pitch. At the same time, you got to be smart and mindful and make good decisions," Peavy said. "I'm certainly going to try to do a better job than I did last year.

"When I do go out and pitch and get on a Major League field, I'm going to be healthy and not go out anymore like I have for the past two years and piece it together and get through. It's not fair to myself or the team, certainly not the guy the White Sox thought they were trading for.

"So I want to get healthy and do my thing, but I'm going to be smart. But I've been honest with you guys and those guys ever since I walked into camp, and they got complete control of the situation from Ozzie to Herm to Coop, and those guys make the decision that every process and step I've taken. I've put my input in, and that's that."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen and follow him on twitter at @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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