FORT MILL -- After a relatively quiet day at the ballpark (if you don't count screaming school children screeching at every foul ball), the Knights gave fans some 9th-inning drama.
First, Josh Fields strikes out on a pitch that looked right down the middle, possibly a little low, but from my view behind home plate, appeared right down main street.
Fields, apparently not thrilled about the call - or maybe his 0-for-4 day with 2 Ks - dropped his bat right beside home plate and walked to the dugout. Nothing appeared to be said, but home plate ump David Rackley sent him to the showers anyway.
But if anyone has a right to be frustrated about the White Sox/Knights personnel struggles this spring, it's Fields. Sure, Owens lost out on his opportunity, but Fields has an All-Star caliber second half last season, only to get sent back down to Charlotte because the White Sox re-signed Joe Crede and couldn't find a suitable trade partner in spring training.
Fields hit .308 with 23 HR and 67 RBI in 2007 after Crede's season was cut short by back surgery. Those are solid numbers, but when you realize they came on 100 games and 373 at-bats, they're outstanding. Fields has to be thinking what do I have to do to get a big league gig?
Not to give Fields a pass on showing up an umpire, there's no place for this in baseball, but you can understand Fields' frustration. Currently, he has 3 HR and 6 RBI and his average dropped to .262 after today.
Two batters later, though, Brad Eldred sent Knights fans home happy, drilling one over the left field wall for a 3-1 victory. The HR was Eldred's 4th of the season and the 1B now has 20 RBI, but his average is still well below his weight (.231) and with Konerko in front of him, Eldred might need a trade to get a call any time soon.