Your questions, answered from Spring Training!
a good time to answer some more of your questions …
is not practical. Outs are outs, and if you rely on a “closer” to get
outs when you need them to win the game, why not use them in a crucial
situation earlier? Would you/have you consider(ed) using a “closer”
early in the game? Why not send out the best guy for the job irrelevant of
their relief-pitcher label? — Matt M. (Plainfield, Ill.)
A: You know, I have never felt comfortable doing that before because I
have never done it. I feel like
everyone has a role on the team and I trust the guys in front of the closer to
get the job done.
Q: Ozzie, I grew up watching you play with “La Guerilla” of the
Tiburones de La Guaira … but I was a Leones fan. Great rivalry in those
days. The question: Who is, in
your opinion, the next Venezuelan Hall of Famer? (I say Vizquel.) — Ricardo S. (Ann
A: Omar Vizquel; I agree
Q: Why has the Caribbean Series gone down as far as competition? Why do you think that is? — Jose S. (Guarenas, Venezuela)
A: The Caribbean Series has gone down in terms of competition level because there are a lot of players that they don’t let play. Also, before they would pay players to go to the Caribbean Series, but now everybody has money. (hahaha)
Q: Whats up, Ozzie! Lets take the division and make some noise in the
playoff this year, papa! Baseball is a long season, sort of like going all 12
rounds in boxing. Who are some of your favorite boxers? — Octavio G. (Southside
A: Thank you, we will
try. Julio Ceasar Chavez, Roberto
Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. I also like Angel Zanoa, who as a 13-year-old kid beat the crap out of me; I will never forget it! (hahaha)
Q: Hey, Oz, great job with getting the site up. Do you think (Paul Konerko) has a legit chance at the HOF? Why or why not? — Mike C. (Schaumburg, Ill.)
A: I think he has a shot
because you will not see any players anymore with 600 home runs getting in. You will see players who did it clean
getting in with less home runs, so I definitely think he has a chance.
Q: How do you feel about the pitch counts? Players like (Nolan) Ryan or (Steve) Carlton, etc., never worried about pitch counts and completed games and did
well. Do you think that maybe pitchers now don’t get the arm strength because
they are not allowed to pitch past a certain count? — Paul D. (Washington, Kan.)
A: I do believe in pitch
counts because of the endurance of the pitcher. Back in the day, I don’t know what those guys were made of (Iron and steel, maybe? I don’t know.) but it was very impressive.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, I’m really looking forward to this season. I know it’s
going to be great. My question is: What do you do after you get ejected from a
game? — Andrew H. (McHenry, Ill.)
A: I go take a nap or
watch some Spanish soap operas. I
don’t watch the games — maybe once in a while when I hear the fans screen to see
what is going on. And, of course, I
do all of this while eating some popcorn.
Q: Hey, Ozzie. … What is your greatest memory while playing Winter League ball with the Tiburones de La Guaira? Who was your best friend inside the team? Tons of luck in the upcoming season! Regards. — Carlos T. (Valencia, Venezuela)
A: Thank you! My best memory was playing for “La
Guerilla” in the 80’s, and my best friend was Gus Polidor. May he rest in peace.
Q: What’s up, Ozzie! Have you kept in contact with our World Series MVP, Jermaine Dye? He was a heck of a ballplayer for the White Sox. Was there ever a
thought of bringing him back as part of the coaching staff? — Octavio G.
A: Yes, man, JD is my boy; I love him and his family. To be a
coach, you need to have desire and passion for coaching, and I’m not sure JD has
that. You also need to be very
vocal, and I’m not sure JD wants to coach yet.