Well, it’s almost over! I’m all packed as we finish up Spring Training here today and head to
Winston-Salem to face one of our Minor League teams tomorrow. Then it’s on to Cleveland for Opening
Day on Friday.
Here are the last
set of your questions before the 2011 season starts …
Q: Hey, Ozzie, greetings from Maracaibo. I’d like to see you in the playoffs again. I’m a big fan of you how manage, even though the last few years you’ve lost some games. Is your game a Caribbean style? — Eneil G. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
A: I can only work with what I’ve got. Sometimes, the pieces they give me don’t fit the Caribbean style. But this year, I feel we have more better speed and there are going to be a lot of runners on base.
Q: I’m really interested in why Adam Dunn is batting third. I would think that with his high strikeout record and low batting average, that Paul Konerko would be better in that slot. Just interested to hear why you think differently. — Brian M. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
A: I think Dunn is around a .370 on-base percentage. But it was never
a choice for me between Dunn or P.K., it was a choice between Dunn and Alex Rios. I
felt more comfortable with the guys the way we have them. But anything can
change, although I hope I don’t change the lineup too much.
Q: Hey, Ozzie. I see the White Sox have one roster spot left open. Have you thought about giving that to Domingo Ayala? I hear he’s got unbelievable God-given talents. — Dale H. (Rockford, Ill.)
A: I would pay to have Domingo on my team, just so I
could see him dress up and make everyone laugh (haha).
Q: Who’s a better person — Luis Aparicio or Dave Concepcion? — Greg M. (Managua, Nicaragua)
A: They’re both good people. They treat me very well, and they’re both stars and I respect them a lot.
Q: Ozzie, I’m a Venezuelan lawyer with experience in sports and I’m doing my Master’s in Chicago! I want to work with the White Sox. Can you help me? — Pablo G. (La Guaira, Venezuela)
A: Well, I’d like to help you but that’s not my area of expertise. Send your info to the White Sox offices and see what they say. Good luck.
Q: What do you think of Lastings Milledge? I know he was a Cubs killer in Pittsburgh. I think he is a great defensive replacement in later innings. — Robert W. (Darien, Ill.)
A: I think if Lastings stays within himself and doesn’t try and do too much, he can help us — not only in late innings, but starting as well.
Q: What changes in the division’s balance of power demand your greatest attention? Will Jake Peavy make it OK uninjured? How are Dunn and Gordon Beckham adjusting? — Jeffery M. (Chicago)
A: I think every
year the AL central gets better. Yes, even the Twins and Royals got better. But
that makes it more fun competing against them. I hope Peavy makes it ok–we
need him. I think Dunn will be fine and Gordo should be ok, these guys just
want season to start already.
Q: Can Lastings Milledge be an everyday player for you guys? How did it go with Manny Ramirez last year? Take care. — Guillermo R.
A: I don’t think Lastings is going to be a regular because we already have three very good outfielders. Manny and I were fine. Really, he never gave me any problems, and I have a lot of respect for him.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, will your English Bulldog be at “Dog Day.” And does he bark at you in Spanish or English? (HA!) Have a great season. — Dave G. (Glenview, Ill.)
A: DH won’t be “Dog Day” because he usually humps everything he sees (hahaha). He speaks both
English and Spanish.
Q: Ozzie, who will be the next three Venezuelans in the Hall of Fame if everything stays on course? Do you hear Gaita? — Jose R. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
A: Omar Vizquel, Miguel Cabrera, and after that I don’t know who has a real chance. I hear Gaita in December. But only in December (haha).
Thank you for all your questions since the website launch. They have been fun to read and
hopefully we can continue to do this once the season starts. Thank you to all the fans that came out
to Spring Training this year. We really appreciate your support.
Well … lets just say we have been a little busy over here in
Arizona. It’s coming down to the
end of Spring Training, and we as an organization have to make decisions based
on what we believe will give us the best chance to win. I want to say congrats to B-MO (Brent
Morel) for making the team. I
think this kid will have a good career in the big leagues, and hopefully he
helps us like I think he can.
Everyone seems ready to go; we just need to get everyone
healthy and stay with it all the way to Cleveland. Some final roster choices will be made soon, and I will keep
you all posted. Yesterday, we had
one of our Cubs-Sox games and I got to see my good buddy Rick Sutcliffe before
the game. Always great to see him,
but I have to be honest, whenever we play the Cubs anywhere it’s always a big
pain in the butt. People make it
such a big deal and there is always so much stuff going on!
Tomorrow I will be doing an interview with Esquire
Magazine. I’m very excited about
it. Very good magazine, and I enjoy the tough questions! Also, be on the lookout for an ESPN E:60 episode I
did down here in Arizona. I will
keep you up to date on when it airs. Should be very cool.
So that’s just a heads-up on what’s been going on down here
before we go to Cleveland, and in a way I will be with you guys in Chicago on
Opening Day, April 1. My Foundation is holding a viewing party for Opening Day at Public House
in downtown Chicago. I’m very
excited because this is the first of these kind of events we have ever
done. We will be doing a charity
raffle with a ton of great prizes, like signed baseball bats from Adam Dunn,
Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and a bunch of other great prizes. The best part is 100 percent of the raffle
donations go straight into the Chicago Community, and I am very proud of
that. So if you are looking for
something to do for Opening Day, I hope you can make it out!
Thank you all for your support. Wake up and get your dreams; anything is possible!
Monday, and we are getting closer and closer to Opening Day! For everyone that is going to be in
Chicago for Opening Day, please keep your schedule open, as there is going to be
a way for you to come out and enjoy the game with White Sox fans and support The Ozzie Foundation. More details
are coming this week, and I will be sure to post them!
more good ones this week. … Enjoy.
make themselves great? — Mickey S. (Trabuco Canyon, Cal.)
helped! They also worked very
hard, but the one thing I will tell you about all the great players is they
study the game within the game. They don’t just go out there and play.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, I love your website and the initiative to create it so that we are more in touch with you. How difficult is it for you to build your roster when you have so much talent in Spring Training, and do you have to send some of it to the Minors? — Teodoro M. (Caracas, Venezuela)
A: Thanks; the idea behind the website was to be more connected to the fans. Building the roster isn’t that difficult because the majority of the time, the ballplayers are in or out based on their play. For me, the thing I like least about my job is sending down players to the Minors because I at one point was one of those, and as an older player, too (haha).
Q: A pleasure, Mr. Guillen. I’d like your opinion with regards to the next manager of Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Who’s capable in our country to be in charge of that? — Marcos (Barquisimeto, Venezuela)
A: Good question, and I wish I had the answers. I don’t think that the reason Venezuela has lost in the last two WBC’s is Luis Sojo‘s fault. The reason has to be that the teams from Asia have a lot of time together and they’ve already been playing the entire year, while the other teams can’t play up to their full potential. I really think there could be a lot of managers who can keep order and that the players would want to play for.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, cheers from Maracaibo. Let me tell you that I manage the White Sox more than you. Of course, I do it while playing on the Wii. I admire you. Best of luck this season. Are we going to be champions again? (hahahaha) — Alberto B. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
A: (hahahaha) I’m sure you do a better job than me. Hopefully we’re champions — you on Wii and me in real life.
Q: Oswaldo, you have been very successful being how you are. I’m surprised you say you’re going to change because if you do, you’ll lose your identity. Will you really change? — Hector M. (El Tocuyo, Venezuela)
A: Well, I’m 47 years old. I don’t think I’m going to change now at this age. I say it in the sense of trying to be more calm because every time they throw me out of a game it costs me money (haha). Lots of money, and my family can benefit from that.
Q: So many kids are playing ball for teams that practice year-round
these days. Is that a good thing, or do you think they need time away so their
bodies can rest and mature without straining the arm all year? –– Bob C.
A: Well, I think it’s a good thing and a bad thing. You don’t want your arm to get too
tired, so I agree with that. I also
believe that kids that play year-round have an advantage over kids who don’t, because the only way you get better is by practice. But you never want to blow a kid’s arm out, so there is
probably a balance.
Q: Ozzie, how important is it to win Spring Training games? Do you
focus more on how the pitchers are doing rather than the wins? — DJ (Antioch,
A: Not important. I focus
on health and how certain players respond in game situations, like a hit and run
for example. That’s pretty much
what I look for.
Q: Best of luck this season, Oswaldo! Tiburones and White Sox forever! My question is: Where do you rank yourself among the best Venezuelan shortstops? With Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepcion, Omar Vizquel, where are you? — Sergio C. (Philadelphia)
A: Well, those players are and were the best, as well as role models to kids, and now I have the honor of serving as manager to one of them. To me, Omar is the one who dominated the position. David was my idol and the prettiest (haha). Luis is the only Hall of Famer and the one with the most girlfriends (hahaha). And me, I’m the one that has the most money (haha) — just joking. I’m honored to say that with all of them I’ve had relationships and friendships that I’ll never forget.
What’s up, everyone!? I hope you all are doing well. I got to enjoy a rare day off in Spring Training on Tuesday and went
golfing. I actually played pretty
well and shot in the 80’s.
Somebody do me a favor and warn Tiger. With a little more practice, I will
be ready to take him (haha). After
golf, we went for a little sushi dinner — man, I love sushi — then headed over to
Westgate to see the movie “Hall Pass.” I laughed so hard and only understood about 20 minutes of the movie
because they talk so fast. I would
laugh when everyone else was laughing to pretend like I knew what was going on
(hahaha). But wow, there were a
couple of scenes in there that actually did make me laugh. I love that kind of
humor. I think it’s great for that
one or two days you get off in the spring to get away and enjoy it a little, and
I definitely did that.
Now back to business. … I was very happy to see the turnout we
had versus the Giants yesterday. I
don’t know, maybe it was because the fans wanted to see Tim Lincecum, but we love
playing in front of a full house (yes, even if it is only in the spring). It’s
just more fun! I hope we get that
same kind of support at The Cell in April. Always a lot of fun for the players
to play in front of full stands.
I have seen the guys play so far this spring, and I will tell
you I’m very excited to for this ballclub. I can’t and won’t guarantee anything; all I will say is that
this team is going to be very fun to watch. Jake Peavy‘s health has been outstanding, and the starting
pitchers have been great. They are really trying to set a tone for what this
year could be. I feel like the
lineup will be ready to go when we break camp because this team is built with
guys that have been in the league for many years, except for Gordon Beckham (aka, “Bacon”) and B-MO (Brent Morel). Everyone is getting their work in. I have no complaints, and when we get
to Cleveland, we will be ready to go.
There are a couple of spots on the roster still open. The front office, coaches and myself, of course, will make those choices and we will go with what we feel we need the
most. In this business, it’s all
about winning, not people’s feelings.
Well, we only have a couple more weeks left until we get this party
started. Make sure you keep
reading this blog and checking out my website because I am working on some
exciting things, and I will hopefully get to announce soon! Thank you for all your support. And if
there is something in life you want, wake up and go get it!
Before I answer some of your questions this week. … I know I told you in
my last post I had the opportunity to meet The Great Muhammad Ali this week
when he came to our clubhouse. I
just wanted to share a picture with you all. It was definitely a great experience
and something I won’t soon forget!
Now to your questions …
Q: I love your site and the Q&A! I am so glad you want to be
accessible to the fans. My question is: Going to U.S. Cellular is so much fun,
not only watching the Sox play, but also because they do a great job of
entertaining the fans between innings. Do you or the players in the dugout ever
watch the “Kiss Cam” or the dance contest or any of those moments on the big
screen? — Lisa (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
A: Thank you, glad you like the site. Of course I notice all that stuff, and
it is very entertaining. The only
difference between me and the fans is I can’t eat or drink during the game and
you guys can’t make moves. Besides
that, we are pretty much the same people.
Q: Ozzie, as a big fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” I would love to see
you on the show. I think you would be a hit, plus you would get to dance with a
beautiful dancer. My money would be on you, Oz! Would you ever consider
it? — Eric (Crown Point, Ind.)
A: Yes, I would, but I don’t think I can be wearing those tight outfits
they have on there. I’m a very
good dancer. I’m the John Travolta of Venezuela (haha). If I was one of the “Jersey Shore” guys
and I had their stomach, then hell yeah I would do it.
Q: Ozzie, what type of music do you like to dance to? Are you a good
dancer? — Manny (Chicago)
A: I am a good dancer, but I only like to dance with my wife
because we’re good at it. I like
Salsa and some Merengue — old-school Merengue, that is.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, love you! Who would you have liked to play with the most
when you were still playing? Who would you most like to manage past or present?
Stay in Chicago forever! — Mike (Wauconda, Ill.)
A: Thank you. The player I
always wanted to play next to was Roberto Alomar, and I did that and also got to
Q: Your reading glasses are awesome. What brand are they, and where did
you get them? — Eric (Geneva, Ill.)
A: Clic Reading Glasses. I get them online in as many colors
as I can find. Try them, for sure
they are awesome.
Q: Can you explain a little on how your relationship is with other
managers and umpires? Do you have friends before and after the games that you
can go grab dinner with when on the road? — DJ (Antioch, Ill.)
A: I have respect for all the managers. I am friendly with a couple guys like Ronnie Washington,
Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker, and Gardy (Ron Gardenhire). I get along great with so many of them, but have dinner … not
really. I have dinner with my
family or Harold Baines pretty much. As for the umpires, we are not allowed to eat with them.
Q: Have you ever argued with a player before? And how do you maintain harmony in the clubhouse? — Miguel
A: Yes, I have argued with my players before. It’s part of the game, and
I just hope they can see my point of view. Thank God my players are always professional. And harmony is
created by winning.
Q: Why No. 13? When I was in Legion ball, I was 13, too. — Brian
A: David Concepcion was my favorite player as a child.
Keep the questions coming. We are getting closer and closer to Opening
Day, and I hope you all are getting as excited as I am!
Just got back from Tucson this morning after what was an
emotional day yesterday. I was
very moved and touched by the ceremony we had down there and the game yesterday
for the Green family, to remember Christina Taylor-Green. Everyone knows how much I care about my
family, and to see this kind of tragedy happen to such good people hit me very
hard. It was great to be a part of
the game, and I am so happy I got to meet Christina’s father. To see how he is handling this is
amazing; it shows how strong him and his family are. I wish them nothing but
On a better note, I stayed two nights in Tucson with my wife
and it reminded me how much I missed it. It was great seeing people I knew from the past and, yes, I did eat at
Mariscos Chihuahua because the food is just amazing! Does anyone know if there is one around Phoenix? As for the game, it was fun to see the
turnout and all the support from the fans, but the wind was crazy! I heard it wasn’t just in Tucson, but
also in Glendale. Man, I wish I was playing, cuz maybe I would have had a
chance to go deep (haha). When
Omar Vizquel hits a ball off the wall batting left-handed, you know something
isn’t right (hahaha).
When I got back this morning to Glendale, it was great to see
“The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali, in the clubhouse. I’ve met him before — I think it was in ’96 — but whenever you
get to be around a legend like that, you just want to take it all in and not
ruin it by talking. Just being
around him is an honor. I wish I
would have met Ali back when he really was Ali. Maybe he could have given me
some pointers because we both talk A LOT (hahaha). I respect people that say what’s on their mind like I do,
even if you offend people or say something they don’t want to hear. He did that all the time, and I will
always respect that.
I’m looking forward to going to Scottsdale tomorrow to play
the Giants because Ehire Adrianza plays for them and he is on their 40-man
roster. He is like one of my kids, and I will be very happy seeing him play. His dad and I are best friends and grew up together, so I will always be
rooting for him.
Other than that, I will keep you guys posted on what’s
happening here in a few days. And
oh yeah, I almost forgot, GO BULLS. Yes, we watch the games and Joey (Cora) is a Heat fan, so we are on him
every day. But he did not cry (hahaha). Thank God! Keep your questions coming through the website. I will post
some more answers later this week, but I like reading them all.
Talk you soon, and go get those dreams!
* Photo above: Dallas Green, brother to Christina-Taylor Green, and father John Green (right) are greeted by manager Ozzie Guillen before a Spring Training game between the White Sox and Diamondbacks at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Monday. (Getty Images)
Well, real Spring Training has started and the
games are underway finally! Took some
more time to look over all the questions you have been submitting and picked
some out to answer. Make sure you check
out the album I posted on my site from the first week of camp.
On to your questions …
Q: I loved the picture in the (Chicago) Sun-Times the other week of you as “The OzFather.” What do you think of that
nickname? Also, what is your favorite mafia movie? Go Sox! — Chris M. (Villa
think that is a great nickname and I love that movie (“The Godfather”). But “Casino” is by far my favorite movie
because of Sharon Stone. Wow!
Q: How would you compare yourself (when you were
playing baseball) with Pete Rose as a ballplayer? — Barb R. (Goodyear, Ariz.)
were both hard-nosed players, and we played the game with a lot of heart and
balls. His hustle paid off a little more
than mine did, though.
Q: I’m excited about this upcoming year for a
lot of reasons, but I think I’m most excited about seeing John Danks take the next
step and become this team’s ace. What do you see as his ceiling? Cy Young one
day, Top 10 AL pitcher? I would be interested in knowing. Thanks, Ozzie, and
good luck this year. It’s been too long since 2005. — Eddie M. (Chicago)
don’t think Danks is in the Top 10 yet, but he has the potential to win the Cy
Young one day. He has the stuff and the
drive to make it.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, I hear a lot of people in the
organization say that Frank Thomas is the greatest hitter in White Sox history. I would argue. I would say “Shoeless” Joe Jackson without a doubt. What is your
take? — Keith W. (Bradenton, Fla.)
never saw “Shoeless” Joe play. Did you? Frank is the best hitter I have ever seen, with all due respect to Tony
Gwynn and Wade Boggs.
Q: I’m a big Carlton Fisk fan. How would he be
as a pitching coach or manager? (Not for the White Sox, of course, since they are
set at these positions for the next 20 years — haha) — Will O. (Saunemin, Ill.)
Never. Pudge doesn’t have the patience or the passion to deal with
baseball now. He is a great man and a
great baseball man, but I don’t see him as a coach.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. Lucky you, having a English
bulldog — they are great dogs! I have had two and they are exceptional. One day
I’ll have another. What is your dog’s name and how old? You should post a
picture of it on your site. Have a good Spring Training. — Steve L. (Downers
A: My English Bulldog’s name is “DH.” He is 7
years old and named after Harold Baines.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, do you follow soccer? And if so,
who is your favorite team? — Jared D. (Austin, Texas)
A: Yes, Real Madrid. I don’t like Barcelona because Gerard Pique
is with Shakira (haha).
Q: What’s up, Ozzie? I was just wondering, who
is the best prankster on the team? Who is the easiest person to prank? Thanks! I love the White Sox! — Danielle G. (Sycamore, Ill.)
Danielle. Ramon Castro is the best prankster on the team, and easiest to prank
is by far third-base coach Jeff Cox. Poor guy!
Q: Hi, Ozzie — the pride of Venezuela and the Tiburones. … Ozzie, is there a place to eat Venezuelan food in Chicago? Have you seen Greivis Vasquez play, and do you know him personally? Greetings from Guatemala. — Maxwell R. (Caracas, Venezuela)
A: I know there’s an Aripo’s, which is supposedly good. Regarding Greivis, I do know him and he’s a super nice guy. I’m very proud of him.
Thank you for all the support you have shown for the website. I hope everyone continues to enjoy!