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Bobby Jenks thinks he was disrespected by the White Sox

Dec 28, 2010, 5:23 PM EST

Bobby Jenks

MLB.com’s Scott Merkin caught up with Bobby Jenks, and it seems that the White Sox’ former closer isn’t entirely pleased with his departure from the Windy City:

Confusion began after free-agent slugger Adam Dunn and the White Sox agreed upon a four-year, $56 million deal. Dunn had worn jersey No. 44 in the past, but that number belongs to starting pitcher Jake Peavy. According to Jenks, the White Sox informed his group how Dunn instead would be wearing No. 45 — Jenks’ number. That decision, Jenks claims, pretty much spoke volumes about the White Sox desire to keep him.

“Once they signed Adam Dunn and gave him my number, I knew it was official,” Jenks said. “With that move right there, even though they talked to me after [Paul] Konerko and Dunn signed, it was almost like an afterthought, I felt. They never made it seem like they wanted to bring me back.”

On one level I sympathize — telling someone you gave away their number isn’t the best form on the planet — but really, Jenks didn’t expect to come back, did he? The White Sox had been fairly hostile to him as far as these things go for over a year. They got on him about his weight. They jerked him in and out of the closer’s role.  He was making $7.5 million and would have commanded a raise if he came back, so the writing was on the wall, was it not? Manners still matter, of course, but it’s not like Jenks had a reasonable expectation of wearing 45 in Chicago next year. And as it happened, Dunn chose a different number anyway.  For their part, the White Sox say Jenks misunderstood the whole matter.

More interesting than the number flap, though, was that one team was interested in Jenks as a starter:

Other teams besides Boston had interest. Jenks listed those opportunities from closing for Tampa Bay to starting — yes, starting — for the Texas Rangers. Jenks was a starter for five Minor League seasons with the Angels before being converted to the bullpen when joining the White Sox.

“Starting has always been in the back of my mind,” said Jenks, who added how he tossed around the idea with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper during his final month of 2010 inactivity due to ulnar neuritis.

Can’t say I could see that happening. Maybe Texas, a year after their success with the C.J. Wilson experiment, thinks they can turn anyone into a starter?  If so, prove it:  Kyle Farnsworth is available.

  1. fquaye149 - Dec 28, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    I’m all for going to bat for the players when dealing with management, but it’s hard to see Jenks’s outrage. The White Sox picked him off the scrap heap when absolutely no one wanted him, let him close MLB games in his first year and paid him millions and millions of dollars to be the man for them. What are they supposed to do to “respect” him? Keep him on for 8+mm after a more or less disastrous season with one of the best relief pitchers in baseball throwing for peanuts? Cry me a river, Jenks, with all due respect.

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