Sparky, the World Series and the offseason

CHICAGO — What’s up, everyone?I finally made my way back to Chicago and
thought I’d share some things with you all. Man do I love this city,
even though I’m freezing my butt off!

Unfortunately, yesterday the baseball community lost a true legend. Sparky Anderson
was a great man and will truly be missed. I was lucky enough to watch
Sparky manage my favorite teams and player of all-time. Growing up in
Venezuela, the only games I was able to watch were those of the
Cincinnati Reds teams of the ’70s (especially the ’75 and ’76 teams) and
my favorite player, Dave Concepcion. I was also fortunate enough
to play against him when he was in Detroit and would be blessed one day
to have as many rings as he does. A lot of people have been asking me
if I have any Sparky stories, so here’s something I remember — even
though it might be hard for some of you to believe it. Sparky Anderson
intentionally walked me twice in my career to pitch to Sammy Sosa.
Yes, the same Sammy Sosa who hit over 600 home runs — although back
then he still had his Jheri curl and was a little darker (hahaha). Sparky was a great baseball man and will be missed.

I want to congratulate the San Francisco Giants, especially Aaron Rowand, Juan Uribe and Bruce Bochy.
My experience at FOX was awesome, and I can’t thank everyone enough.
But seeing those guys celebrate is what makes me excited to come to
work. I hope I can do it again some time soon. I love this game so much,
I want to be around it whenever I can. Both the front offices of the
Giants and Rangers need to be applauded. I got to the World Series in
’99 with the Braves and know what it feels like to lose. It takes a lot
to get there, and those guys should be proud. I watched a little of the
parade in San Francisco and it was great. those guys won because they’re
carefree spirits. They play the baseball I like to play.

Now that I’m back in Chicago, I plan on seeing a couple of Bulls games like I did last night. (Thanks to all the fans who came up and said hi.) I live close  to the United Center and enjoy supporting the young kids they have, like Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. Plus, I have always been a fan of basketball.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for IMG00340-20101104-2009.jpg

I
also want to go see a Bears game, but I’m not sure it will be here in
Chicago. Us Latinos will freeze out there in this weather. I am planning
on heading down to Miami to see them play the Dolphins. It will be a
lot warmer, but don’t worry, I will be rooting for the Bears. When I’m
in Miami, I enjoy golfing a lot and watching my youngest son, Ozney,
play at his Junior College. I think I’m going to crash at his place and
make him cook for me or something (hahaha). I have a lot of good friends who live in Miami in the offseason. I play golf with Joey Cora a lot and get to see Freddy Garcia
and his kids, who are a part of my family. Even though we try to relax,
we always end up talking about baseball. we Guillens live baseball
24/7, and I even named my dog “DH” after my good friend Harold Baines.   

I hope you all got a chance to check out the Jimmy Kimmel
joke about me. If not, you can look at my previous post. It’s very funny
stuff. I read all your questions and comments, and I love it, so please
ask me anything. Don’t be scared (haha). Maybe you guys can
teach me something. It never hurts to listen to advice. Now it’s time to
go relax this offseason with a little music, the beach, and of course
baseball because the chaos never stops!

Talk to you guys soon, very soon.

Ozzie  

3 Comments

Spring Training, Payne Park, I remember seeing you and the team . Sparky and his Tigers came to play there and I managed a simple hello and got a great photo of Sparky.
I’m a Sox fan but I live near Detroit and I saw Sparky manage many times. I loved the man and all he did for sick kids (CATCH charity) . He reminded me of old managers I read about like Leo Durocher and Casey Stengel, especially Casey.
Hey, Ozzie..did you really hate playing in Comiskey Park, 1989 and 1990…were the clubhouse and facilities really that bad, as you waited for the new stadium to open?
I enjoyed seeing you on FOX..watched every pitch as always, especially 2005.

Hola Ozzie mi nombre es Martin Medina y te conozco desde que yo era un chamo. Mi pasion por el baseball viene desde que yo era nino y una de las personas que me hizo admirar el baseball fue mi abuelo, un gran fanatico del baseball y de los tiburones. Recuerdo una vez en Valencia tu estabas en las gradas y me hizo ir hasta ti para pedirte un autografo con su tarjeta personal. Recuerdo claramente que la firmaste sin ningun problema y luego yo mismo se la di a el. La guardo en su cartera y nunca paro de mostrarla a todo el mundo. Ojala algun dia pueda tener algun autografo tuyo para poderlo conservar en memoria de mi abuelo. Ahora vivo en Minnesota, USA y lo primero que hice cuando volvi de Venezuela fue ver un juego en el nuevo parque entre los Twins y los White Sox. Hopefully I can see you again next season here in Minneapolis and finally has your signature.

Take care and keep doing a good job.

Martin Medina

I’m looking forward to the “chaos” to start up again when pitchers and catchers report. I’m sure that it wears you down when you have to continuously have conversations with Kenny about difficult personnel decisions he has to make. Golf with Joey, Freddy, etc. sounds great. I’m glad that Joey’s still with us, but sorry he lost out on the manager’s job. He deserves a shot – maybe after the next White Sox Championship?
Sparky was also great. I never had any special knowledge of him, but he struck me as one of the great old school managers who was a natural leader. Obviously, he also used his exceptional baseball instincts. He also gave a lot of credit to his players. These qualities remind me of you, Ozzie.

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