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HawkDJ
03-08-2002, 06:58 AM
Eye of storm nothing new for Clayton
By Scot Gregor Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted on March 08, 2002


Associated Press Photo

TEMPE, Ariz. - Royce Clayton just wants a fair shake this season.

Last year, the White Sox' slick-fielding shortstop felt blindsided by the media and by fans at Comiskey Park.

"I don't think I was portrayed in a very favorable light,'' Clayton said. "So be it. I know my family loves me, and I know I play this game for one reason: to win a championship. Then I go home.''

Over the course of his 10-year career in the major leagues, Clayton has made a home with the Giants, Cardinals, Rangers and Sox.

His character has been tested at other stops besides Chicago. In 1996, after he was traded from San Francisco to St. Louis, Clayton arrived at Busch Stadium and he found himself in the unenviable position of having to replace Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

"That was one of the toughest things I've ever had to go through,'' Clayton said. "We won the division that year and I had a pretty good year. But after Ozzie announced his retirement, the fans seemed to take it out on me. It was pretty bad, but it's given me a lot of character. Going through all that, last year didn't seem so bad.''

After leaving the Rangers in a trade for young starting pitcher Aaron Myette on Dec. 14, 2000, Clayton was immediately inserted as the White Sox' starting shortstop. That meant the popular Jose Valentin was forced to shuffle between third base and center field.

"As long as I'm in the lineup, it really doesn't matter,'' Valentin said. "But when you have to come to the ballpark every day and check to see where you're going to be playing, that can make it tough.''

While Valentin struggled to find a comfort zone early last season, Clayton simply struggled. He was batting .099 on May 23, the same date the Sox' record stood at 14-29.

Guess who took the brunt of the blame?

"Everybody wants to make a big deal about those first two months,'' Clayton said before Thursday's Cactus League game against the Angels. "I heard about it in the media, and I heard about it from the fans.

"Whatever. The fans pay their money and they can do whatever they want to do. I stand behind that. They can say whatever they want to say. But I don't play this game like it's a popularity contest. I play to win.''

It might have been a case of too little, too late, but Clayton caught fire in the second half and helped the White Sox finish with a respectable 83-79 record.

After batting .198 before the all-star break, the 32-year-old infielder hit .323 the rest of the way.

"Look at the big picture,'' Clayton said. "I wound up with a decent (overall) average (.263), I drove in 60 runs, and I played the best defense of my career. I think I showed I can do a lot of things to help win ballgames.

"If I'm going to take the blame for what happened early in the season, I'll take the credit for what happened in the last half of the season. I think that's only fair.''

When he was struggling over the first two months last year, manager Jerry Manuel frequently held Clayton out of the lineup. If history repeats itself this season, Manuel expects to take a different approach.

"When he's struggling, we as a staff have a better feel for how to get him out of it,'' Manuel said. "I don't think he'll have to think, 'Do I have to get a hit to play?' He'll have a lot more freedom from me and a lot less stress. I expect him to play great defense like he did last year, and he can be an offensive player at this level.''

Can Clayton mesh in the White Sox' clubhouse? That's a question he was happy to answer.

"The players in here know what I'm all about,'' Clayton said. "We're the people that go to war together every day, and I've had their support since I've been here. And they know they have my support. As long as we play together as one, that's all I care about.''

Pete Ward
03-08-2002, 07:00 AM
Sorry, I just dont like this guy. :angry:

RedPinStripes
03-08-2002, 07:58 AM
"Whatever. The fans pay their money and they can do whatever they want to do. I stand behind that. They can say whatever they want to say. But I don't play this game like it's a popularity contest. I play to win.''

You're still a dick!

idseer
03-08-2002, 08:22 AM
when it comes to royce clayton .... you guys have no tolerance, no understanding, no sense of fairness, no heart.

the problem isn't with royce .... it's with you!

OfficerKarkovice
03-08-2002, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by idseer
when it comes to royce clayton .... you guys have no tolerance, no understanding, no sense of fairness, no heart.

the problem isn't with royce .... it's with you!

yeah yeah we determined that already...next topic...

Lisa
03-08-2002, 09:13 AM
Here's the thing - every person on the team last year took responsibility for their crash and burn in April and May - except for Clayton. All he did was bitch he wasn't treated fairly. Any other player would have said, "You know, the fans are right, I haven't been playing well, and I know they're frustrated, but I'm working hard and hopefully can help the team in some way soon." Not Clayton. <whine> "It's not a popularity contest!" I think he has some leftover high school issues.

idseer
03-08-2002, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by Lisa
Here's the thing - every person on the team last year took responsibility for their crash and burn in April and May - except for Clayton. All he did was bitch he wasn't treated fairly. Any other player would have said, "You know, the fans are right, I haven't been playing well, and I know they're frustrated, but I'm working hard and hopefully can help the team in some way soon." Not Clayton. <whine> "It's not a popularity contest!" I think he has some leftover high school issues.

the problem as i see it is ... this just ain't the facts!
first of all you have to get used to the idea that clayton isn't an outgoing sort who easily gets along with other teammates or media. you point out that some players acknowledged they weren't playing well. so what? did all of them do this? i doubt it. but who do you pick on? royce .. every time!
and your ....<whine> "it's not a popularity contest" comment was totally out of context. but here's something to chew on ... it's NOT a popularity contest!
damn, you can put <whine> in front of anything anyone ever says and try to make them look bad.
i just wonder what your agenda for all this is anyway.

i see a guy who is trying to get along, working as hard as anyone else, and being crapped on by those who should be rooting for him.

czalgosz
03-08-2002, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by idseer


the problem as i see it is ... this just ain't the facts!
first of all you have to get used to the idea that clayton isn't an outgoing sort who easily gets along with other teammates or media. you point out that some players acknowledged they weren't playing well. so what? did all of them do this? i doubt it. but who do you pick on? royce .. every time!
and your ....<whine> "it's not a popularity contest" comment was totally out of context. but here's something to chew on ... it's NOT a popularity contest!
damn, you can put <whine> in front of anything anyone ever says and try to make them look bad.
i just wonder what your agenda for all this is anyway.

i see a guy who is trying to get along, working as hard as anyone else, and being crapped on by those who should be rooting for him.

Just drop it, idseer... I don't disagree with you, but noone is going to change anyone's mind on this issue.

Paulwny
03-08-2002, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Just drop it, idseer... I don't disagree with you, but noone is going to change anyone's mind on this issue.


CZ, I was waiting for your post so I could reply, I agree.

idseer
03-08-2002, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


Just drop it, idseer... I don't disagree with you, but noone is going to change anyone's mind on this issue.

true enough! it's just that someone finally posts a pretty fair look at royce and true to form, the haters come out of the woodwork. i know it's a deadhorse. i'll try to ignore.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-08-2002, 12:36 PM
Originally posted by idseer
true enough! it's just that someone finally posts a pretty fair look at royce and true to form, the haters come out of the woodwork. i know it's a deadhorse. i'll try to ignore.

Please note, this is my first comment in this thread. Royce Clayton is our everyday shortstop. I don't hate him or anyone else on the White Sox.

If Royce ****s up this season, my anger will be directed at the party who is truly responsible. It will confirm what I've been suspicious about since October, 2000 when Josh Paul was placed on the playoff roster and Mark Johnson was left off.

:jerry
"That would be me."

MisterB
03-08-2002, 12:54 PM
:KW
"Hey! I thought I was the truly responsible party!"

Paulwny
03-08-2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
:KW
"Hey! I thought I was the truly responsible party!"

Because of the Johson/Paul switch in the play-offs I often wonder who's running the team.
It's hard to imagine a manager dropping a player who was with the team all year.

PaleHoseGeorge
03-08-2002, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny
Because of the Johnson/Paul switch in the play-offs I often wonder who's running the team.
It's hard to imagine a manager dropping a player who was with the team all year.

Good point. The great thing about being a Sox Fan is the nearly limitless set of worthy villians to blame.

:)

Lisa
03-08-2002, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by idseer
i just wonder what your agenda for all this is anyway.

Damn, I have an agenda now.

It's not an agenda, it's an opinion. You have yours, I have mine. I have no issue with discussing opinions. I also harbor no illusions of changing your mind. But if you post an article on Clayton and then get pissed because I don't agree, then you probably shouldn't post it in the first place. This is a message board - a place to discuss. I'm more than willing to discuss with anyone, even people who don't agree with me, and I don't ever have hard feelings about it unless it gets personal. Hence, I have no problem with discussing with you or your opinion. Hey, I still say give Josh Paul another year to develop before we give him the heave-ho, but I'm betting almost no one will agree with me. But if I choose to post it (which I guess I just did), I'm certainly not going to be mad about the responses I get telling me Josh is dead in the water. I was just hoping to have a Sox-related, controversial but interesting conversation.

MisterB
03-08-2002, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge


Good point. The great thing about being a Sox Fan is the nearly limitless set of worthy villians to blame.

:)

I like it! The WSI Rogue's Gallery...

:tool :reinsy :KW :jerry :nardi

...and that's just the beginning! :D:

czalgosz
03-08-2002, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Lisa
I was just hoping to have a Sox-related, controversial but interesting conversation.

That's not possible with this particular topic anymore.

But I do agree with you, George. I support the Choice, but there's about zero margin for error in my support. If he plays crappy in April and May and Joe Crede is still at Charlotte, I will be calling for KW's head.

baggio202
03-08-2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Pete Ward
Sorry, I just dont like this guy. :angry:

thats how i feel...i dont wish any ill will towards him...i just dont like him...

bc2k
03-08-2002, 03:37 PM
I wonder what the public perception of Clayton would be had he put up his second half numbers in the first half and vice-versa. First impressions have a lot of influence and maybe he would have gotten a little more respect from us fans. Although had Clayton had his second half stats in the first half, we would have won more games since we would have had only 2 automatic outs.

Like I said a month ago, if Clayton could play second base, I would take him over Durham. They hit the same last year and Clayton was definately a more sound defensive player. Plus Royce's biggest weakness - lack of range and weak arm, would not be as apparant at 2b.

Royce at second with Jose back at SS, would allow Crede to play everyday at third. I'm sure it would be easier to trade Durham than Royce and we wind up keeping the better player in Royce anyway. Since Royce and Durham are both gone at the end of this year anyway, I think it makes perfect sense. What do you guys think?

Daver
03-08-2002, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
I wonder what the public perception of Clayton would be had he put up his second half numbers in the first half and vice-versa. First impressions have a lot of influence and maybe he would have gotten a little more respect from us fans. Although had Clayton had his second half stats in the first half, we would have won more games since we would have had only 2 automatic outs.

Like I said a month ago, if Clayton could play second base, I would take him over Durham. They hit the same last year and Clayton was definately a more sound defensive player. Plus Royce's biggest weakness - lack of range and weak arm, would not be as apparant at 2b.

Royce at second with Jose back at SS, would allow Crede to play everyday at third. I'm sure it would be easier to trade Durham than Royce and we wind up keeping the better player in Royce anyway. Since Royce and Durham are both gone at the end of this year anyway, I think it makes perfect sense. What do you guys think?


Clayton has limited range,putting him on the same side of the infeild as Konerko might cause some problems.

Chisox353014
03-08-2002, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
I wonder what the public perception of Clayton would be had he put up his second half numbers in the first half and vice-versa. First impressions have a lot of influence and maybe he would have gotten a little more respect from us fans. Although had Clayton had his second half stats in the first half, we would have won more games since we would have had only 2 automatic outs.

Like I said a month ago, if Clayton could play second base, I would take him over Durham. They hit the same last year and Clayton was definately a more sound defensive player. Plus Royce's biggest weakness - lack of range and weak arm, would not be as apparant at 2b.

Royce at second with Jose back at SS, would allow Crede to play everyday at third. I'm sure it would be easier to trade Durham than Royce and we wind up keeping the better player in Royce anyway. Since Royce and Durham are both gone at the end of this year anyway, I think it makes perfect sense. What do you guys think?

I think you make a good point. Royce is on very thin ice this year as far as getting off to a good start goes, and some fans will always blame him alone for the stumble at the start of last year. Even if he does play well this year, a lot of people don't trust him and will be wondering if he's going to fail again. It doesn't help his case any that Valentin is probably the most well-liked player on the team either.

I think Ray is poised to have a big year at the plate. Not leading off means he'll have less to think about. And that can only be a good thing.

Jerry_Manuel
03-08-2002, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
If he plays crappy in April and May and Joe Crede is still at Charlotte, I will be calling for KW's head.

Where's Clayton going? Last season there were times when Manuel put Jose back at SS and Herbert at 3rd. If Royce is brutal, you'll see Jose at SS and Liefer at 3rd for awhile. Then Royce plays again in attempt to break out of his slump.

4.5 million, deal with it.

RedPinStripes
03-08-2002, 05:10 PM
Man..........

This is a never ending subject. I can't wait till he's gone at the end of the year.

baggio202
03-08-2002, 05:16 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
Man..........

This is a never ending subject. I can't wait till he's gone at the end of the year.

AAAAAAAAA - MEN!

idseer
03-08-2002, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
Man..........

This is a never ending subject. I can't wait till he's gone at the end of the year.

wow! you're gonna be awful upset when they extend his contract after a good year this year then aren't you?
:D:

FarWestChicago
03-08-2002, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by idseer


wow! you're gonna be awful upset when they extend his contract after a good year this year then aren't you?
:D: idseer, you forgot the teal.

Paulwny
03-08-2002, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
idseer, you forgot the teal.

LOL

idseer
03-08-2002, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
idseer, you forgot the teal.

oh! .................













ummm it's not in the dictionary.

CubKilla
03-08-2002, 08:31 PM
"When he's struggling, we as a staff have a better feel for how to get him out of it,'' Manuel said. "I don't think he'll have to think, 'Do I have to get a hit to play?' He'll have a lot more freedom from me and a lot less stress. I expect him to play great defense like he did last year, and he can be an offensive player at this level.'' [/B][/QUOTE]

Does this mean that if Royce is .099 on May 23, 2002, that JM will not bench him like he did, occasionally, in 2001?

baggio202
03-08-2002, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by CubsF'nBlow
"When he's struggling, we as a staff have a better feel for how to get him out of it,'' Manuel said. "I don't think he'll have to think, 'Do I have to get a hit to play?' He'll have a lot more freedom from me and a lot less stress. I expect him to play great defense like he did last year, and he can be an offensive player at this level.''

Does this mean that if Royce is .099 on May 23, 2002, that JM will not bench him like he did, occasionally, in 2001? [/B][/QUOTE]

nice catch...ive been a big manuel supporter since he came on board...but he is really making it hard to defend him....i really think he is losing it...

Viva Magglio
03-08-2002, 10:07 PM
:hitless
If only Dan Bernstein would stop calling me a penis...

Daver
03-08-2002, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by ˇViva Mágglio!
:hitless
If only Dan Bernstein would stop calling me a penis...

Truth hurts.

Soxheads
03-08-2002, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel


Where's Clayton going? Last season there were times when Manuel put Jose back at SS and Herbert at 3rd. If Royce is brutal, you'll see Jose at SS and Liefer at 3rd for awhile. Then Royce plays again in attempt to break out of his slump.

4.5 million, deal with it.

With our luck, Manuel or KW would choose Leifer over Crede. Crede's been the third-baseman of the future since I've been in elementary school. I'd like to see him play before I graduate.

sox_fan_forever
03-08-2002, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by baggio202


thats how i feel...i dont wish any ill will towards him...i just dont like him...

My sentiments exactly...

Jerry_Manuel
03-09-2002, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Soxheads
With our luck, Manuel or KW would choose Leifer over Crede. Crede's been the third-baseman of the future since I've been in elementary school. I'd like to see him play before I graduate.

The point I was trying to make is that Clayton is going to play. Czal, was saying that if Royce is playing poorly he should be on the bench and Crede should be the starter at 3rd. If that were to happen Crede would play the rest of the year. It would be pretty dumb to call up Crede let him play for 2 weeks, then let Royce play again, so he can break out of his slump. There's no way in hell Clayton rides the bench for the whole season making 4.5 million.

czalgosz
03-09-2002, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
There's no way in hell Clayton rides the bench for the whole season making 4.5 million.


Steve Sax sat on the bench for the whole 1993 season, and he made at least 3 million, which in 1993 was a big deal. It's not out of the realm of possibility. It's not going to cost the Sox any more to bench Clayton than to play him every day.

Jerry_Manuel
03-09-2002, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
Steve Sax sat on the bench for the whole 1993 season, and he made at least 3 million, which in 1993 was a big deal. It's not out of the realm of possibility. It's not going to cost the Sox any more to bench Clayton than to play him every day.

That was a different time, especially when you include fans were coming to the park. I'm done talking about this, your not going to change your stance and I'm not going to change mine.

czalgosz
03-09-2002, 02:56 PM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel


That was a different time, especially when you include fans were coming to the park. I'm done talking about this, your not going to change your stance and I'm not going to change mine.

Well, okay, I guess we'll find out soon enough...