I haven't heard much about Dustin Hermanson. Is he done for the year or worse his career? --Vince Ackerman, Elk Grove, Ill.

Dustin is giving his comeback another shot at Triple-A Charlotte. We should know more about his future at the end of the month, as he is trying to avoid career-threatening surgery on his lower back. I'm told he looked good in his first appearance last week, moving without any discomfort and throwing about 89 mph, which is good for his first outing. But he will need to stay pain-free and effective to have any chance of rejoining the Sox.

Hi Mark, I just finished reading the latest ask the writer. Can you tell me why every reader is moaning and groaning about one or many of the players on this team? Lets trade Pods, demote Anderson, get rid of Garland, and on and on. Where is the loyalty? Have they seen the standings? These guys are winning and that's all that matters. If these "fans" want to complain about something then go be a Cubs fan. Thans. I just had to get that off my chest. I feel better now! --Paul Shields, San Jose, Calif.

Paul, please tell me you didn't attend Leland High School. I break out in hives when I recall all the complaints from parents and readers from that high school when I worked in San Jose.

You make some great points, but I think some people feel the talent is there for a repeat. It's tough to knock a team that won 57 games in the first half. The Tigers have raised the bar in this division, and I think Sox fans are used to being on top after last year's wire-to-wire first place finish.

I hope you feel better. I look forward to our trip to California in mid-September.

Hey Mark, I'm a 16-year-old life-long White Sox fan. I think your work is great, but I think many fans need to sit back and relax. It seems since we have gotten our first taste of victory in 88 years, we are over anxious and eager to jump the gun to point fingers for petty mistakes that in other years would be completely overlooked, such as Jon Garland's inconsistent pitching. Do people not realize he was always just a 12-game winner and asking for much more from him would be over zealous? I understand that five 12 game winners would not make a stellar starting rotation, but a 12 game winner as a fifth starter is not too bad. I wish people would just relax, sit back and let the team play rather than demanding for more talent which could possibly be detrimental to the team chemistry. --Eric, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Eric, you write and sound much more mature than 16-years-old. Thanks for the kind words and insight.

Why don't the Sox start Pablo Ozuna in center field instead of Brian Anderson? --Brandon

Brandon, I thought Ozuna would get some spot duty there while Anderson was serving his suspension. He played a few games in center for Colorado and held his own. He's a decent athlete and plays very fearless.

Why is it when there is a bench clearing brawl after a batter gets hit, no one goes after the manager? Is the some unwritten rule that a jerk like Ozzie can't get his butt kicked? --Bob Tietz, Tempe, Ariz.

I've seen Derrek Lee and Joe Carter call out Tony La Russa after getting hit, so Ozzie isn't the first manager in this position.

Scott Posednik drives me nuts with his inconsistent play, taking third strikes, not drag bunting, bunt pop-ups to second, bad angles in the outfield, seemingly lackadaisical effort at balls along the left-field line, banging into center and shortstop and then he walks or leads off with a nice hit steals second and scores. Man, I love him! --James Poulsen, Viera, Fla.

You summed up his performance very well!

Just to answer one of your questions, the D-Rays want two top-of-the-line pitchers/pitching prospects for Carl Crawford. So I don't foresee Kenny doing anything of that nature. I don't know about you. --Pat Woyna, Oak Forest, Ill.

Pat, you jumped to conclusions when I mentioned that Kansas City acquired Joey Gathright for a thrifty price (left-hander J.P. Howell) and that the Sox should at least find out what Tampa Bay is asking. Podsednik is arbitration eligible next winter and could be in line for a decent raise from his $1.95 million salary, so it doesn't hurt to explore other options.

I know Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, and you're no Joe Maddon.

Mark, I love your column. Thanks very much. What is your opinion of Ross Gload? Did he ever have power potential, for like 10-15 homers a year? If so, where has it gone? Or has he just not gotten enough playing time? --Jim S., Fort Wayne, Ind.

I think Ross can hit 15 homers if he plays every day. We know that's not going to happen here. I am surprised that Ross hasn't attracted interest from other teams because of his ability to play first base, the outfield and hit left-handed.