The event I'll remember Bobby Jenks for came during the 2005 World Series. Ozzie Guillen came out to the mound and made the motion for his closer. Ozzie didn't just tap his right arm, he used both of his arms to signal that he wanted the "big guy". The bullpen door opened and the young, rotund fireballer came sprinting towards the US Cellular field pitcher's mound.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Now here we are, December 2010, and Ozzie Guillen might be using a much different and far less family appropriate sign to call Bobby Jenks.
After signing a two-year $12 million dollar deal with the Red Sox, Jenks had some comments about his former club.
"It was my first hope, and it hurt," Jenks said of his Sox negotiations. "I felt I was a significant part of this organization and this team...I'm mad, but I'm not mad. I thought with the way I was part of the city and not just part of the team, they would make more of an effort to get me back. I wanted to be part of the White Sox a lot longer."
Jenks went on to say "I'm looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen."
OK, where to start?
First off, Bobby Jenks has every right to be upset that the Sox had no intention of bringing him back. Why are so many White Sox fans offended by Jenks' reaction?
Was Bobby Jenks out of line with his comments?
Don't we as fans want players to want to play for our team?
The White Sox gave Jenks a chance when seemingly no one else would. In return he performed very well overall and wanted to continue to be with the team and city he cared about. When that team/city spurned him he got upset. What's wrong with that? Not a darn thing.
Now for Jenks' second point about playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen, I'm not sure Bobby is accurately remembering last season.
Time and time again Ozzie trotted the "Large One" out there despite his struggles. When Jenks went down as well as Thornton, Ozzie made due with the bullpen equivalent of a t-shirt from the Dollar Store. Sure it's technically a t-shirt but it's lousy.
This isn't to say that Ozzie is a perfect manager of his bullpen. More often than not I've been critical of how Ozzie handles his pitchers. But it seems odd for one of the guys that Ozzie showed the most faith in to now be critical of him as he heads out the door. Put another way, it would be like the Karate Kid telling Mi Miyagi "You never believed in me! I've proved you wrong!"
So while the big fella is out of line with the comments about Ozzie it seems to me he's just lashing out at an easy target in the organization.
I hope White Sox fans can understand Jenks' frustration and not hold it against him when he returns to the South Side in a Red Sox uniform. The hard throwing right hander was an integral part of a White Sox World Series championship and only wanted to be part of another one.
What more can we as fans ask for out of a player?