December 2010

Christmas — the Ozzie Guillen way

Merry Christmas, everybody! Hope you all had a great weekend. My time down here in Venezuela with my family has been great. Always fun to spend time relaxing and having fun with family. I also got some great news regarding some things I am planning for 2011. Hopefully I can share this exciting stuff with you guys soon. 

Thank you all for reading my blog and submitting your questions. Got some good ones this week … 

Q: At times, you have been criticized for not directing your pitchers to throw at batters in retaliation for them throwing at White Sox hitters. Your thoughts on this. 

A: First of all, I am not a headhunter. When I was playing, I used to tell pitchers what to do and who to hit because I was in the lineup and pitchers could hit me. As a manager, I don’t like telling pitchers who to hit because I’m not in the lineup, and I don’t want any of my players to get hurt because of me. The players should police themselves and take care of that like they used to. Players always took care of that stuff. They shouldn’t need anyone telling them what to do. 

Q: Ozzie, what did you get your wife for Christmas? 

A: I got her a purse because I know how much women love purses. To me, presents don’t really matter. And to my family, it’s more about all of us being together. That just doesn’t apply to Christmas, either. That’s what we enjoy every day. I want my family to be tight, so our main joy comes from seeing the kids together on Christmas. 

Q: What is the typical Christmas like in the Guillen house? 

A: We have dinner and a nice get-together. We hang out, drink and dance. We don’t get to the whole presents thing until way later. To us, it’s a bigger deal on New Years because we have a lot more traditions that we do then. Christmas is more a time to relax and party. 

Q: What is the best Christmas gift someone has ever given you? 

A: To me, the best Christmas gift I can ever get is that all my kids are with my wife and I. We are still together, and that’s all I can ask for. Every material gift has a different meaning, and they are all special. But I do enjoy scarves for the cold Chicago winters. 

Q: What do you eat for Christmas dinner? 

A: Hallacas, pork, turkey, “pan de jamon” — which is bread with ham and some special stuffing — and chicken salad with carrots and potatoes. Oh yeah, and lots of Polar beer. 

Once again, I want to say best wishes to all you guys, from my family to yours. I can’t wait for 2011 because 2010 was very frustrating to me. I even got some grey hair over it, and I can’t have that! (haha) I’m not Richard Gere! And just remember, if you want your dreams to come true, you have to wake up and go get them! 

Happy New Year! 

— Ozzie

Helping those in need is very important to me

Happy Holidays to all my fans! 
I am enjoying my time down here in Venezuela and hope you all are having a good time, as well. I know a lot of you wonder what I do in the offseason and how I spend my time. Well, every offseason, I enjoy coming back to my home country for a few months to spend time with my entire family during the Holidays. I absolutely love my country, and even though we’re going through a tough time right now, I will always love my home country. I keep very busy down here working with my foundation, The Ozzie Guillen Foundation. I have had the honor of having this foundation for 15 years now, and I will never stop. I deliver on my word and enjoy giving back to the communities that I have been a part of. Soon, we will be needing some help in order to buy some equipment for the kids as far as crutches, wheelchairs and other things they need. But we will get to that in time, and I’d like to thank everyone who has already asked how they can help. 
I know a lot of you have been asking for my reaction to the White Sox signing Jesse Crain. … I think the addition was amazing, and it goes to show you once again how hard the front-office people are working. I hope the fans are happy and very excited. Now it’s my job to make it all work! (haha)
I hope you guys are enjoying the blog and the interaction I am having with you. That’s why I wanted to do this in the first place. 
On to your questions … 
 Q: Ozzie, what types of things do you do as a manager to help Latino players who are new to the U.S.? 
A: I talk to them and make sure they know the rules and laws and that they obey them. I also want them to know the opportunity that’s in front of them so they don’t miss out. I ask them to please represent their country as best as they can, and if they do, everything will be easier. 
Q: My older brother was dropped on his head and is a Cubs fan. What should I get him for Christmas? 
A: I say let him be a Cubs fan; don’t make him a traitor. Get him Cubs tickets. Good ones; don’t be cheap! 
Q: If you could know the date of your death, would you want to know? 
A: I’m living my death right now. (haha) Because no one has told me what death is or what happens, as far as I know this could be death. No one has ever told me what it feels like after life or what exactly happens, so I don’t know. I’ll find out one day. 
Please, everyone, be safe and enjoy the Holidays. I know I have already — I think I have gained 10 pounds! 
— Ozzie 

My thoughts on Dunn, Konerko, ‘Ozzie Ball’ & more

Hey, everyone! Sorry for not posting in a little bit, but I have been all over the place. But now it’s time to talk to you guys and let you know what I have been up to. Last week, I was at the Winter Meetings for a day. I am glad we made the moves that we made, even though I was probably just as surprised as you guys when I heard them. People in Chicago should feel very proud and lucky they have an owner like Jerry Reinsdorf, and also proud of the people in the front office for making such aggressive moves. I’m very happy we have my captain, PK (Paul Konerko), back, and I’m happy he will hopefully finish his career with the White Sox. As far as Adam Dunn goes — wow … he’s a big boy and seems like a very fun guy who stays loose and ready to play. I like that.  

Right now, I am in Venezuela and will be here for a few weeks. Other than doing some relaxing, I am doing some work through the Ozzie Guillen Foundation, helping out kids with cancer and other problems they face here in my home country. I will post some pictures soon on here as well as on my Facebook page so you guys can get a feel for what exactly we are doing. 

I was reading through some of your questions and one came up about “Ozzie Ball” and what it is exactly. I think most times, people don’t know what it means, so let me explain: “Ozzie Ball” means playing the game the right way; it has nothing to do with bunting, stealing bases or the lack of home runs. It’s about playing hard-nosed baseball the way I liked to play it, or better yet the way Paul Molitor, Lenny Dykstra, Rickey Henderson and George Brett played the game. I want 25 guys playing the game that way every single day.

Now, on to more of your questions:

Q: Are you currently in your dream job?

A: Yes, I am in my dream job. I have been with the White Sox for 22 years of my life, and I have lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else in my life. Chicago is my home. With that said, my home is where my family and I are at that current time, and right now, that’s Chicago. I hope it stays that way, but it’s out of my control.

Q: Do you have a favorite place in Chicago to get a hot dog?

A: I don’t really eat a lot of hot dogs, but when I do I like Maxwell Street by UIC. They have a lot of good food, especially the pork chops.

Q: Ozzie, I’ve always wondered, what’s it like to make your money playing baseball?

A: I was always blessed to stay healthy for a long time like I did to play the game that I love. It truly was a blessing. I hope everyone loves their job as much as I do, because when you do you really give it your best. Many of us who had the privilege to play baseball for a living recognize how blessed we are. That’s why I try to do as much for the community as I can. I want everyone to be as healthy and blessed as we have been.   

Q: Since the Dodgers have Juan Uribe and he played for the White Sox, what can you tell us about him?

A: Uribe is awesome. He may look like a little Buddha, but he is an amazing baseball player. I think he is so good because he is not afraid of the moment. He really is fearless, maybe because he has no idea how big the moments actually are! (haha) I only kid with him because that’s my boy, and he will be great for the Dodgers. 

As I always say, keep the questions coming!

Until next time …

— Ozzie

Q&A: My favorite comedians and the ‘All-Ozzie’ team

What’s up, everyone! I’m back in Chicago and, wow, it’s cold here. This weekend, I am in town for the Easter Seals Holiday Gala. If you don’t know too much about Easter Seals, please look them up. They are a great organization, and I love working with them. The things they do for kids with disabilities are truly great.

I have seen some great questions coming in over the past week on here, Facebook and Twitter, and I’m trying to get around to answering as many as I can. One specific question that did catch my eye — someone wanted to know if I could pick all players, what my “All-Ozzie” team would be. Here you go …

* Ivan Rodriguez, C

* Rafael Palmeiro, 1B

* Roberto Alomar, 2B

* Mike Schmidt, 3B

* Ozzie Smith, SS

* Barry Bonds, LF

* Ken Griffey Jr., CF

* Roberto Clemente, RF

* Edgar Martinez, DH

* John Smoltz, SP

* Scott Radinsky, LHR

* Dennis Eckersley, RHR

* Mariano Rivera, CL

On to the questions …

Q: What is the hardest thing to adjust to as a Latin player coming to play affiliated baseball in the States?

A: The language is the hardest thing to adjust to, no question. It’s also very hard to adjust to the life and culture here in America. Also, the rules can be difficult because some things that are legal in other countries aren’t legal here.

Q: Who provides the best pre- and post-game food outside of Chicago?

A: Hands down, the best food is when we’re at Yankee Stadium. I also like Tampa and Cleveland, too. 

Q: Do you see MLB expanding to Mexico or Puerto Rico in the next 5-10 years?

A: I don’t see that happening. There are too many things to worry about — security, travel, fan support. I mean, I hope it happens, but too many things would need to go right for that to be possible.

Q: Who is the funniest player you have ever coached or met?

A: The funniest players, for me, were Jose Contreras, Kevin Millar and Robin Ventura. Those guys are funny without a doubt.

Q: What’s your favorite hobby outside of baseball? Do you play a musical instrument?

A: Outside of baseball, I like golf, boating and bullfighting. I wish I could play percussions for Latin Music!

Please keep all the great questions coming. I enjoy reading and responding to them!

Until next time …

— Ozzie