Reader Q&A: Mark Gonzales' White Sox mailbag
I live in Michigan about 140 miles from Chicago. I have been a White Sox fan since 1970 and have followed the team since. What has always surprised me is the lack of respect from my point of view for Jerry Reinsdorf. He has brought more championships to your city than any other! Yes, granted six was with the Bulls but at least one World Series that I never thought I would see in my lifetime, let alone all the old time Sox fans in your city. Who the heck thought Dunn would fall on his rear as bad as he did, or Rios and Gordon Beckham have the lack of production that they had? I can remember when the Sox wanted to make Kenny Williams a third basemen! Ugh, not good. -- Dave Pontius; Kalamazoo, Mich.

Funny you mention when you remember KW was used at third base. He told a few reporters last Thursday that I covered him in high school, and I replied that I covered his last high school football game, when he was stopped short of the goal line in a playoff game but that he hit a home run out of a decent-sized park and stood briefly at home plate.

The Detroit community has a very loyal owner in Michael Illitch, who is providing Tigers fans with a pretty good (and well-paid) product, which says a lot about his commitment to the organization and fans.

As for the chairman, he's extremely loyal to his employees -- probably moreso than any owner since the O'Malley family sold the Dodgers.

Can you please find out why the uniform No. 6 has not been issued out to any player for many years. I know that Charley Lau wore that number as a coach. But this number is not retired and no one seems to know why. -- Ed W., Schaumburg

That number is unofficially retired out of respect to Lau, who passed away in 1984.

Every year is the same. The White Sox lack of commitment (or is it inability?) to draft and develop MLB-quality talent for the parent club is killing us. Does Reinsdorf want to win, or just lord over a consistently mediocre MLB franchise? I want an owner who is "in it to win it" and will invest in building and sustaining a winning franchise. Reinsdorf can't keep waving that 2005 flag forever. Williams is the perfect GM for a mediocre franchise, and Dan Evans must be wondering what he has to do to get promoted. I believe that the Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime" was written about the Chicago White Sox annual mediocrity..."Same as it ever was!" -- Scott McEwen, Glen Ellyn

Until recently, the Sox were in the bell-bottom, acid-wash jean stage while many teams paid over slot for the right players. That isn't the entire fault of the current scouting director or his predecessor. Sometimes budget need to be more elastic.

The Sox, however, went more than 15 years without drafting in the top 15, so that instant impact player didn't arrive until they had high picks, such as Gordon Beckham and Chris Sale.

If the Sox's fortunes don't turn around, may I suggest the Talking Heads' song "Burning Down the House" or "Take Me to the River."

Please tell me the Sox are going to work on getting a bunt down? We have to be the worst team in baseball for moving the runner up! Bring Nellie Fox back, or at least watch videos of Nellie and Louie! -- John, Antioch

Last year, the inability to lay down a decent bunt cost the White Sox many times. If I were the manager, I would expect EVERY player to be able to bunt when needed. I hope bunting practice is part of spring training for all players. -- Bill Buehring, Naperville

One of the more memorable spring training moments was watching Ozzie Guillen, then in his mid-40s, put on a bunting clinic by displaying impressive bat control. A clip of that would work for me.

The White Sox seem to have a handful of older players who seem to be on the downside of their career while making a ton of money. The general manager has always seemed eager to bring in old players at the expense of developing and keeping younger players -- resulting in an old boring team without much hope for improvement in the near future. Does Kenny Williams have the fortitude, courage and the ability to turn the roster around in the next few years so that the White Sox can be a winning team again sometime in the next four to five years? -- Tom, Western Springs

I think he does. I also think he's not going to give players away, which is why he gave John Danks an extension and elected to hold onto Gavin Floyd for now.

After signing Fukudome to serve as a fourth outfielder, do you think there is any possibility that they may take a look at free agent Aaron Miles? I know there are a few internal candidates for the back-up infield spot, but it doesn't seem that any of them play shortstop or third. -- Matt, Chicago

Brent Morel and Alexei Ramirez are relatively young and should play at least 140 games. Brent Lillibridge has played third in the past, and Ozzie Martinez, a shortstop-second baseman, is eager to play third if asked.

If Beckham continues to struggle through the first two months of the season, can you see Lillibridge getting a shot at second base? -- Patrick, Chicago

Yes, although Brent's all-around defense could hurt him in this case. I think Ozzie Martinez has a shot.

For the first time in probably more than a decade I'm not at all excited about the Sox's upcoming season, nor do I care that spring training is starting up soon. If possible, can you tell me why I shouldn't feel this way? -- Mike Pensinger, Oak Lawn