Commentary

If You're Hardcore: Understanding White Sox

Updated: April 4, 2008, 10:53 AM ET
By Will Harris | Special to ESPN.com

Managers are not much different from fantasy owners; they're just playing a more complex game for higher stakes. Like us, they know better than to make decisions based on tiny sample sizes. The fear of losing ground in the standings, however, is a powerful force, even when the season is but a few days old. The first week of baseball season is always a whirlwind of surprises, with plenty of players back and forth between the majors, minors and disabled list, along with plenty more shuffled around the lineup cards each night.

[+] EnlargeAlexei Ramirez
Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty ImagesAlexei Ramirez is getting time in center field for Chicago.

Perhaps no manager is quicker to make changes on what seems to be no more than a whim than Ozzie Guillen of the White Sox. A constant tormentor of the fantasy prognosticator, Guillen has been at it all spring, first telling us that Josh Fields is his third baseman -- only to be countermanded by general manager Ken Williams -- and then changing course on Cuban rookie Alexei Ramirez. Second baseman Juan Uribe was placed on waivers, then pulled back and declared the starter. That left Ramirez out of the mix at second, but it didn't take long for Guillen to backtrack on his commitment to Nick Swisher in center field, naming the 26-year-old Ramirez the Opening Day starter in center just two days after assuring the media that Swisher was his man. Jerry Owens' torn adductor muscle has opened outfield at-bats, but it's now clear that Ramirez, not Carlos Quentin, will be the beneficiary. Well, that's what Ozzie says. At least until further notice, right?