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Q&A With Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2009

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 06:  Pitcher Jake Peavy #44 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 6, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  The Dodgers won 4-1.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

With the fallout of Padres' right hander Jake Peavy not quite setting into Padre fans in and out of the San Diego area, I wanted to get the feelings where the White Sox were concerned.  With that being said, I went to Mark Gonzales who covers the Chicago White Sox for the Chicago Tribune for a Q&A.

Todd Kaufmann:  Take me back to just hours prior to the deadline.  Was this a last minute phone call made from Williams to Kevin Towers or was this in the works a few days prior to the deadline?

Mark Gonzales: Yes, this was a down-to-the wire deal where you hope your field goal unit gets on the field in time for the game-winner.

Funny thing was Jake saying his phone was off so he could let his kids sleep while he was trying to be contacted.

Todd Kaufmann: I know there was a lot of backlash in Chicago about Peavy not accepting the trade back in May.  A lot of people said he was "scared" to pitch in the American League.  Do you think that was a fair statement to make and how do you think he'll handle changing leagues?

Mark Gonzales: I think people became more stunned by his change of heart rather than pitching in another league.

I was one of the few people in this market who spoke immediately with [Peavy's agent]Barry Axelrod, who stressed that Jake loved Chicago but that the White Sox weren't on his original list of teams he'd consent to a trade because of his comfort zone with the NL. I covered the Giants and Diamondbacks for 12 years so I fully understand.

I don't think it was entirely fair to say he was afraid of the AL. The change of leagues, the DH and more hitter-friendly parks present more challenges, but I think he has the equipment to handle those hurdles.

Todd Kaufmann: I know there was a conversation that took place between Peavy and Scott Linebrink about coming to Chicago back in May.  Did that conversation take place again or did it take Jake long at all to make his decision?

Mark Gonzales:Linebrink wasn't involved this time but said Peavy asked "very pointed" questions in May, so he had all the answers when this dance came around again.

It didn't take long for Jake to consent to the deal.

Todd Kaufmann: I know Jake has been in Chicago only a few days, but how has he been received so far by fans as well as his new teammates?

Mark Gonzales: He's been well-received by fans, but it's all about results in this town. Several players knew him before his arrival and like him.

Todd Kaufmann: Do you know his timetable as far as his return date and are the White Sox optimistic that he'll be ready to pitch in the next month or so?

Mark Gonzales: The middle of August has been mentioned as a starting date for a rehab assignment.

Since Jake has warned that it's spring training for him, I don't see him returning to the Sox until the Minneosta series starting Aug. 31 at the earliest.

Todd Kaufmann: With Peavy's addition, do you think he automatically makes the White Sox a definite threat in the American League and can he lead them back to the World Series?

Mark Gonzales: If the Sox make the playoffs, then I'd consider them a threat to reach the Series. But it will be tough for them to reach the playoffs because their defense has been terrible and their bullpen has been spotty of late.

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