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WSI News - News Watch

Clayton is heading to bench

CHICAGO -- Returning to the philosophy that led to the American League Central Division title two years ago, White Sox manager Jerry Manuel announced Monday he is benching shortstop Royce Clayton and will gradually move Jose Valentin back into his former job.

Saddled with a seven-game losing streak and a slumping offense, Manuel decided he could live without Clayton's near-perfect defense to try and score some more runs.

"It's a difficult thing, but we're all men," Manuel said. "This is something I've been mulling over for a long time."

Clayton has only made one error but was hitting .197 entering Monday's game, an average reminiscent of last year when he was hitting .099 on May 23 but still playing good defense.

"The fact is that I'm leading the whole entire league in fielding percentage, which is my job," Clayton said. "And I've done my job. So whatever other decisions that are made are out of my (control)."

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