Q&A: On Brazilian baseball, dealing with criticism
Hey, everyone. … I had a chance to check out some of the questions you guys have submitted through the website and some of the comments you guys are making, and I can’t help but feel like some of you should be managing some kind of team or something. Some of you seem very smart and almost all of you seem to have the answer to why we aren’t playing the best baseball right now (haha). I like staying in touch with the fans; that’s why I like reading and answering your questions, writing this blog and letting everyone know what’s going on. One thing I can tell you for sure is that we don’t win or lose games because I write this blog. Every day, we go to the ballpark and battle; just right now things aren’t going our way. Nobody likes to lose — it’s not fun. But we need to stay positive and leave the past in the past and look to tomorrow.
Now, on to your questions …
Q: Ozzie, I have met you many times at the legendary Townsend in Detroit. You are absolutely one of the finest people I have met. Who influenced you to be such a great person whenever you run into idiots like me? You’re the best! Good health, my friend! — Buzz K. (Boston)
A: Well, I meet crazy fans all the time! Fans have the right to express their frustration, but I have learned how to handle it over the years. Imagine people coming to your job every day and telling you how terrible you are. It’s not always easy, but I have been in this game almost 30 years and have an idea how to tune it out.
Q: Ozzie, you are the best manager in the league. Is there any chance we would ever see you become manager of the Cubs? They desperately need a manager like you on the North Side. You are the best, and the Cubs need the best managing them. — Mark B. (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
A: At this point, I would be surprised if anyone wants me (haha) — just kidding. The Cubs already have a good manager in Mike Quade. I’m just trying to keep our guys hungry and give them some energy.
Q: I just wanted to say thanks for being such a great coach. Don’t ever change. Keep telling ’em how you feel. Go Sox. — Max V. (Aurora, Ill.)
A: That’s what I plan on doing, thank you!
Q: Why do you think more managers don’t speak their mind the way you do? Don’t you think baseball people should be more honest? — Toby L. (Burlington, Vt.)
A: I think everyone is different, and some people might be scared to lose their job; I don’t know. I say what I feel. Always have and always will.
Q: Ozzie, greetings from Brazil. Got a weird question — when will we have the first Brazilian ballplayer? Big hug. — Marco S. (Rio de Janeiro)
A: Well, yeah, I would like that, but Brazilians are busy playing football. But when the next Pele of baseball comes out of Brazil, send him to Chicago.
Q: First, I wish you all the success in the upcoming season. I’m a young coach just learning how to lead. How do you cope with all the criticism from fans and players’ egos? Fans seem to follow your every move in search of mistakes. — Carlos M. (Venezuela)
A: People — and when I say people, I mean critics and fans — are always going to second-guess what you do. The further you sit from home plate, the more you think you know about the game. Just stay focused and honest with yourself.
Q: Ozzie, if one of the players is playing while not feeling right, or playing hurt, and they don’t tell you or one of your coaches about it, how do you deal with that player withholding info that could be a detriment to themselves and the team? How do you trust what they tell you in the future? — Dawn B. (Chicago)
A: Well, that’s hard because I always tell the guys if you are hurt, you’re not helping me or the team. Don’t be a tough guy, because in the end injuries will catch up with you and hurt us even more than they would have in the first place.
Today is a travel day for us, as we head out west for a long, tough road trip. We will get to Seattle tonight and be ready to go tomorrow!