How’s everyone liking the new Web site?? So, I went on and started to check all the questions you have been asking on the “Ask Ozzie!” portion of the site, and I couldn’t believe it… there were hundreds of questions already! Thank you all for your interest in the website and sending in your questions. I will try to read them all and will respond to as many as I can.
Here is my first shot…
Q: Hello, Ozzie. I was just wondering… how is Paul Konerko signing a new contract with the team a big plus for the upcoming year? I used to live in Chicago but moved to Texas, and I still am a BIIIIG FAN! Paulie is my fave. — Matthew M.
A: I think P.K. wanted to come back to Chicago, and obviously the front office wanted him back. They worked hard and made it happen, and I am very happy they did. It would have been very hard to replace someone like P.K.
Q: I remember being a kid and watching baseball when you were playing, and it didn’t seem as if there were as many power pitchers as there is now. What do you think the difference is? — Thomas A.
A: I think part of it is that players work harder these days, but maybe the bigger difference is nowadays scouts look for more power arms.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I admire your enthusiasm for the game. You are good for baseball. I’m a life-long Twins fan. Would you say you and Gardy [Ron Gardenhire] are friends, or just mutual combatants with mutual respect? Let’s have another great 2011 season! — Rich S.
A: I’m not friends with Gardy because we don’t hang out outside of the field, but I have a ton of respect for him as a manager and competitor. Not many people gave him the credit he deserves; he is one of the best in the game.
Q: First off, I want to thank you for being a breath of fresh air in the city of Chicago. My question is do you think Mark Buehrle is headed for Cooperstown? And is this team gearing up to be better than the 2005 White Sox? Thanks. — Scott B.
A: Thank you. I don’t know what type of ballclub we are going to have, all I know is we have talent. But comparing any team to the ’05 team is unfair because that team won the whole thing. As for Mark, he has easily been one of my favorite players I have ever managed, but I don’t think he has a chance at Cooperstown. I wish he could get in, but right now, I doubt it.
Q: Formula One has their first Venezuelan driver this year, Pastor Rafael Maldonado. Do you follow this at all? Will you follow him? Thanks, Ozzie. — Larry C.
A: No, I don’t follow Formula One, but I am proud of him like all Venezuelans should be. I do follow Venezuelan golfer Jhonattan Vegas, though, because I do love gold and I’m very proud of him as well.
Q: Why don’t you follow ANYBODY in your Twitter account? — Carlos S.
A: You know I’m not very good with computers, and I’m always getting new phones. I use Twitter to talk to fans, not follow people.
Q: What part of Spring Training do you most look forward to? — Michael E.
A: First of all, I think Spring Training is too long. I always look forward to the games starting and seeing the new and old players get after it.
Q: What do you think was the biggest reason the pitching staff got off to such a poor start last season, and how do you avoid that again this season? — Bob K.
A: I wish I had the answer to that one, but I really don’t. Most important thing to do is stay healthy and, unfortunately, I have no control over that. I pitch them and hope they stay healthy. It’s not about how you start, either; it’s about how you finish.
Q: Hey, if the American League vanished and you could take over as manager of any National League team in 2011, which team would you pick and why? — Matthew K.
A: Hahaha… Wow. You’re trying to get me in trouble, huh? You know I can’t answer a question like that. I’m the manager of the Chicago White Sox and very proud to be.
Q: What is your one memory that stands out above everything in your managerial career? — Benjamin S.
A: Wow, that’s a hard question. (haha) Winning the ring, of course — that’s what this game is all about!