April 2011

Not the start we wanted, but plenty of games left

Wow, I might have a couple grey hairs growing already (haha). Listen, I think it’s important to say that everyone goes through slumps. I’m not saying I’m entirely happy with our performance on the last road trip. All I will say is that I hope we snap out of it. And I hope we snap out of it in time to do something! I also am noticing that some other teams that were predicted to do well are struggling, too. It goes to show you that baseball is probably the hardest sport to predict who is going to win. It’s not like other sports where you get a couple good players and your team is great. In our sport, you need to compete every day for a chance to win. That’s why I love this game so much. You need to grind.

As I said, the road trip wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. But I do like New York a lot. I have a ton of friends there, and the weather we got was awesome. I had a chance to have dinner with my very good friends, Ruben Blades and Bobby Allende. The dinner was great because not once did anyone bring up baseball. This game is such a marathon, it’s good to get out for a night and forget about it. As I am sure you have all heard by now, I did get kicked out of one of those games in the first inning, and I’ll be watching the next few games from home. Lesson learned, and I’ll be rooting for my guys like everyone else. CC Sabathia was very tough on us last night, and we were out of it very fast. First two games of the series were very nice, and Brent Lillibridge made these two great catches to win us a game. We had some timely hitting and good pitching, and it wasn’t all great, but we were able to get the wins.

Now the Orioles come into town, and they are no longer surprising anyone. Everyone knows they have good players. My hope is that our fans stick behind us, even though we know we aren’t playing as well as we want to. There are still a lot of games left, and hopefully this weekend we start the homestand in the right direction. Or else … more grey hairs.

– Ozzie 

Check out some pics from our home opener

Wow, it’s been an interesting first few weeks of the season so far. I finally got around to putting up some pics from our home opener on the South Side. Here is a pic of me and the new mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, before the home opener … 
Ozzie and Eddie.jpg
You can find the whole gallery up on the site now. 
Since the season has been in full swing, I haven’t had a chance to answer many of the questions you have sent in through the site. That will change. Expect me to answer some questions next week and keep checking back! 
– Ozzie 

Rough week, but I still believe in my guys

Well, this week has been a long week. We had a long losing streak that finally ended in Tampa on Thursday, and then last night we had to face one of the nastiest pitchers in the league in Justin Verlander. We have run into some very good pitching in the last week, and sometimes that’s the way it goes. Plus, the defense we saw in Tampa was very, very good. It seems like they constantly were taking away base hits from us. But our guys continued to battle and gave us a chance to win.

I have always said it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish. We beat Tampa earlier in the season three out of four in Chicago, and they came back and did the same thing to us. That’s baseball … it’s going to happen. I believe in our guys; most of them have been through this before. They just need to keep grinding and good things will happen.

What people are starting to see is that in the American League there are no easy games. Just look at what Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland are doing. Those teams have surprised just about everyone and have fought to win every game. It’s still early in the season, but wow, in the AL you really can’t afford to take a night off.

As for us, we will continue to battle here in Detroit this weekend and then in New York. I want to thank Omar Vizquel because it seems like every time I put him in the lineup, he makes me look like a genius. … I have no idea how he does it, but he’s still got it somehow!

– Ozzie 

Taking some time to clear my mind here in Miami

Well … what can you say? We are playing good baseball so far, but it can definitely get better. Unfortunately, we had a couple of rough games here on the homestand that we were unable to close out. I know we are capable and have the guys who can get the job done; now we just need to do it. Meanwhile, with that being said, I still have the confidence in our guys down in the bullpen to finish the games off. They have done it before, and for whatever reason, have just had some difficulties the past two weeks. So we will see what happens from now on …

But lets not forget we are 7-5, and a lot of good things came out of this last series and the homestand so far. I told you Oakland had a very good pitching staff and they showed us that.   But our offense still got some runs and produced enough to win games and that’s very exciting. Our starting pitching has been good; we had a couple of guys (Mark Buehrle and John Danks) that gave us eight great innings a piece and did a great job. With that in mind, I also have to protect my guys; that’s my job. We are very early in the season and there is no reason to risk anyone this early. We are going to need everyone healthy to reach out potential.

After our off-day today, the Angels come to town. We always have to be on our toes because when Mike Scioscia brings his team in, they always like to put guys in motion and use a lot of hit-and-runs. I see that we get Jered Weaver on Friday and Dan Haren at the end, so we have our work cut out for us. But I will stick with my guys through thick and thin. We are a team. We win as a team and lose as a team.

I am going to enjoy my day off here in Miami. I’m down here visiting my son, Ozney, who I haven’t had a chance to see in forever because he is in the middle of his baseball season and I miss him. It gives me an opportunity to kind of take my mind off of things and tomorrow we will be ready to get after the Angels. I know my guys will be ready to play, and I hope you guys are ready to cheer!

– Ozzie

I posted a new video, guys; check it out!

I sat down in my office last week and talked about what it felt like for this year to be my 21st Opening Day in Chicago. Wow … 21 already. Hopefully there are some more in the future!

Ozzie .jpg

– Ozzie 

Happy with how we’re playing, sad to see Manny go

For some reason, I am a very happy guy right now. … Do you know why?? (hahaha)

Wow, I’m very pleased with the way we have been going about our business. In baseball, sometimes you win games and sometimes you lose games, but right now we are pitching better and swinging the bats very well.Brent Morel and Mark Teahen have been awesome. I love the way those two guys are hitting the ball the other way; when you hit the ball the other way you have success in this game.And it’s not just those two guys, we have a bunch of guys getting the job done at the plate. We put Brent in the other day, and he was ready to go and played a great game.It’s always great to see the younger guys have some early success.

One of the things that I have seen early on in this season is that we are giving ourselves a chance to win every day. If we continue to do that, we are going to be just fine.What can you say about Phil Humber?  Wow, he was just outstanding giving us six solid innings; good for him and us. I was very excited to see him step up and give us a great outing.We did just take three of four from Tampa this weekend, but I think they will end up playing better. Their pitching is just too good for them to lose a lot of games, and once Evan Longoria gets back, that lineup changes quite a bit. Maybe it’s good for us that we see them again in April and then can be done with that team for the season.

On a different subject, I was very sad to see what happened to Manny Ramirez, but you can’t find me saying anything bad about him. He was a class act when he was with us last year, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward.

Oakland is in town starting today, and this isn’t the Oakland of two years ago — these guys can play. They have a good ballclub with some very good pitching, so they are not the underdogs anymore. I expect this series to be a dogfight with them because they have slowly gotten better each year, and just like a long time ago when they had The Big Three, they can pitch with anyone. I expect our guys to be up to the challenge.

The energy in The Cell has been great, so keep coming out and supporting the guys. Get a ticket and come on out and, we will see you at the park.

– Ozzie

My guys are fighters, and I love it!

Going back home to Chicago … YESSS! Wanted to get my thoughts out before we got on the plane to head home. Wow, what a crazy couple of games here in Kansas City. Every time we come here it feels like nothing is easy. The Royals make you have to battle for everything, and I’m glad my guys answered the bell. So far, you can see these guys are all grinders and they won’t go without a fight. I love having that feeling about my team.

I love the way the team is running the bases very hard and aggressive. Sure, we made a couple of mistakes, but they were aggressive mistakes, and if we are going to make mistakes, those are the ones I want to see. We do have to catch the ball a little better and throw some more strikes, but we won the game. We won the series in Cleveland and now split here in K.C. I will take that on the road. I told you guys in my last blog that K.C. was going to be very tough this year, and they proved that already.

Now we are heading back to Chicago and I hope The Cell is crazy tomorrow! Tampa has been struggling a little bit, but they are still a very good team that is going to throw 4 very good pitchers at us. Edwin Jackson will be ready to go for us, I can promise you that.

Tomorrow is going to be my 21st Opening Day with the Sox. Yes, there have been that many! When the game starts, it’s nothing but fun, but I love the National Anthem because it gets so loud and I will just be taking it all in trying to enjoy it.

Hope you are all ready, Chicago, because here we come!!

– Ozzie

New photos are up — check ‘em out!

Hey, everyone. I uploaded a new photo album to my website. Here is a pic of Big Z (Carlos Zambrano) and I with our better halves at his charity event in Arizona …

New Image.JPGYou can see all the pics up now, along with the pics of my Foundation’s charity event we held on Opening Day. I want to thank everyone who came out one last time. Since I wasn’t there, all I can go by are the pictures and what people tell me, and it sounds like it went awesome.

Thank you so much for your support, and thanks to Public House for hosting the event. We are already in the works on planning some bigger events coming up this season!

– Ozzie

Just taking the day off after a fun trip to Cleveland

What’s up, everyone? Just getting an off day here in
Kansas City, and it’s freezing cold and windy!  So guess what I decided to
do … ? That’s right, I went golfing, and let’s just say that was a very,
very, very bad idea. Not planning on doing too much today, other than
warming up and will probably try to get some rest before going out to dinner
with my wife.  

Cleveland was actually a lot of fun this weekend and it’s
usually not (haha). I’m just kidding — sort of — I like Jacobs Field (or
whatever they are calling it these days) a lot. I look forward to making
better memories there from now on, because I have some bad ones from when
Omar Vizquel‘s team used to kick our butts in the ’90s. I’m glad we went
in there and swung the bats well and for the most part pitched well.
Speaking of Omar, are you kidding me?!  He doesn’t play at all the
first 2 games and then goes in there against the Justin Masterson kid, who was nasty,
and gets 2 hits in his first 2 at-bats. Not sure exactly how he does it,
but wow, very impressive.

I hope we can continue to play well and keep having fun
because when we hit the ball like that, I look like a genius (haha). It
probably won’t be as easy here in Kansas City; this team is going to play some
very good baseball and probably do better than what most people are expecting. Look what they did to the Angels this past weekend. We have to be ready
to play. A lot of people ask me about which stadiums I like, and this one
here in Kansas City is my favorite; just a great stadium.

OK, that’s all for today. Wish us luck, and I better see you
all at The Cell on Thursday!

– Ozzie

Watch Opening Day with The Ozzie Foundation

FINALLY … the day is here. Opening Day never gets old to me. I am and we are all blessed to have this chance to put on the
uniform and go out and play. I
have been around this game for a long time and every year Opening Day has the
same excitement. The thing about
this day that is so great is the hope that every team has. Every single team thinks they a have shot
at the World Series for maybe the only day all year.

Although I’m very excited, it’s also very cold here in
Cleveland. From what I heard, it’s
a little warmer back in Chicago. I hope you all will be watching today; we need
your support. If you are looking
for somewhere to watch the game, I would love for you to join my Foundation at
Public House (400 N. State Street). It’s going to be a great atmosphere to watch the game and we will be
raffling off some great prizes during and after the game. It’s going to be free to get in, so you
can just come and hang out if you want. Some of the raffle items include autographed bats from Adam Dunn, Alex
Rios
, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez. Some of my friends from the Yankees were also nice enough to donate some
autographed memorabilia, so we will also have autographed baseballs from Andruw
Jones
, Jorge Posada, CC Sabathia and future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. 

Thanks for all your support, and I really mean that. We are
going to need your support this year. 

PLAY BALL!

– Ozzie 

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