July 2011

On my mind on this off day: Cut into that lead

Well, that’s the way you want to start a homestand. We need to just keep winning series.

First of all, I want to wish Mark Teahen and Edwin Jackson the best of luck. I know they will be just fine, and I appreciate what they did for me. They always respected my decisions and the coaching staff’s opinions, so I wish those guys the best of luck from here on out.

If you continue to win series, you give yourself a chance over time to keep gaining ground. We had a couple of sloppy mistakes, but as long as you find a way to win, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s only going to get tougher with Boston coming into town, and last I checked, they were a pretty good ballclub. But it’s hard not to like your team when you’ve got guys like John Danks giving the performances like he did yesterday; that guy has some stones.  Chris Sale did a great job again, and I’m glad we picked up some bullpen help to support Jesse Crain and Brian Bruney. Now we can give those guys some rest from time to time.

We get another off day today, and I’m trying to get out and play some golf, but this rain isn’t doing us any favors. My family is headed to Cirque du Soleil tonight. I have seen their show before, but I’m excited to see what new they have come up with this time. It’s easy to enjoy the days off, but I want to continue to cut into that lead as much as we can. As you know, the next week is going to be a big test for us, so I’m curious to see how we respond to the challenge. I have no doubt the park will be filled for the Red Sox and Yankees series.

Should be fun.

– Ozzie

Big series starts tonight — we’re ready!

Well, we are finally back home after what turned out to be a pretty good weekend in Cleveland. That’s the way you end a long road trip on a good note. We kinda stumbled a bit in Kansas City, but the guys responded and showed what they were made of.

We did get a little break there yesterday with the center fielder making an error, but like I have said before, I would rather be lucky than good (haha).  We got a couple great outings by Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd, and everyone in the bullpen did a great job. When you get that kinda pitching along with some timely hitting and great defense by the old timer Omar Vizquel, it usually leads to a win. Now it’s time for a long homestand.

Not exactly sure what the numbers are, but I think we have played better on the road this year than at home. I hope that changes because this homestand is going to be a test, and we need to defend out home field. We start out the homestand with the Tigers tonight, a team we need to beat. Hope to see you guys out there.

I also want to say congrats to my man, a friend and someone I played with and against — Roberto Alomar. He was the best and smartest player I ever saw.  Also, congrats to Bert Blyleven, as well. These guys both represented the game of baseball the way you should, and I’m very happy for them!

– Ozzie

Day off in Cleveland; time for a Q&A

I think it’s safe to say it’s easier to answer your questions than write a blog on this day off in Cleveland. It’s definitely not the best day off, but I looked at some of your questions and thought now was a good time to answer:

Q: Hi, Ozzie. I am a lifelong Sox fan living in Minnesota and am desperate for a Sox series win against the Twins. Anyway, was just wondering if there’s any topic you won’t talk about in public. Is anything off limits to Ozzie Guillen? – Brandon H. (St. Paul, Minn.)

A: Well, I would also like to beat the Twins, but they have just had our number, I guess. Weird things happen in baseball; sometimes it’s just the way it goes. No topic is off limits but my personal life — meaning my wife and my kids are what’s sacred to me.

Q: My friend O.G. — congrats on the website. Great way to keep in touch with the people who follow you. Keep doing what you’re doing. – Carlos C. (Caracas, Venezuela)

A: Thanks a bunch. The idea behind the website was to stay in touch with the fans and anyone who wants to reach me.

Q: Hey, Ozzie, any suggestions on some places to take her after the game for a few drinks besides the Bacardi Bar? – Eric C. (Joliet, Ill.)  

A: Well, Chicago is Chicago, but I would take her down to Buffalo Wings & Rings on 34th and Halsted. My close friends and kids have been going there and I stopped by a couple of times; good place with some very good food. You will be hearing more about this place soon, trust me.

Q: What is your favorite ballpark to visit when your team is on the road? – Russelle D. (Fremont, Calif.)

A: Well, my favorite place to visit is Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. I managed my first game ever there and it has gotten a lot nicer since then. Only problem is they seem to play well against us, and I’m not a fan of extra innings …

Q: Mr. Guillen, what is it like to wake up every morning being so awesome? — Jeff P (Rockton, Ill.)

A: Hahaha. Well I’m glad you think so. Every morning I wake up and my wife sees me, I hope she thinks the same thing you do. I’m just happy to be blessed and healthy; everything else happens for a reason.

Q: Ozzie, I would like to know — what is your view on Interleague Play? It seems like a lot of people in baseball have a dislike for Interleague. I personally believe it’s fun. I mean, when else will we see Philles vs. Red Sox, or White Sox vs Cubs? –  Seong O. (Las Vegas)

A: I don’t mind it, to be honest with you, because it brings people to the stadiums and sells tickets. If it sells tickets, then it makes sense to everyone. But I do think the DH should maybe alternate every year in Interleague Play.

Q: When you are mad at an umpire, do you ever swear at him in Spanish? If so, what is the usual reaction? – Danielle G. (Sycamore, Ill.)

A: Haha. Maybe I do sometimes. In the heat of the moment, you say crazy stuff. And believe me, I run out of bad words in English very fast, so I usually say the same ones over and over.

Q: What do you think about Jim Riggleman resigning in the middle of the season AND over his contract? Thanks, Ozzie! – Jeffrey H. (Minneapolis, Minn.)

A: Well, I believe he had his own personal reasons for doing what he did. But as I have said before, those 25 guys and the coaching staff would be hard for me to walk away from. So to each his own, but I don’t see myself being able to do that.

Thanks for all your questions. My day off in Cleveland just got a little better. Come tomorrow, I hope we are ready to kick some butt and come back home on a winning note!

– Ozzie 

Kids skills camps a great success

As most of you know, last week during the All-Star break I held my first-ever kids skills camps. The experience was incredible, and if the kids had half as much fun as I did, I know they had a great time, too. I owe a special thanks to the Bulls/Sox Academy for their help in putting this together as well as to all of the parents who brought their kids out. I will, without a doubt, be doing this again, but for now you can check out the pictures I have posted and see what the camps were all about!

– Ozzie

Staying positive after the first half

I have to admit this is not the most fun blog I have ever had to write, but I’m still trying to stay positive. I think it’s safe to say this wasn’t the way we wanted to close out the first half, but life goes on and so will this season. The good news is we are still in contention and we hold our fate in our own hands. There are several teams around baseball that can’t say that right now.

We have an opportunity to play our division many times coming up early in the second half and it’s up to us to take it to these teams when it starts back up. On that note, kids always have a way to put you in a better mood because they are so innocent and just want to have fun. That’s why I am so excited my kids baseball camps started today. (For more info you can check out BullsSoxAcademy.com). I’m really looking forward to these camps and working with the Bulls/Sox Academy and I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.  Hopefully this is the beginning of many more camps in the future!

Other than the camps, I will spend most of the break relaxing and will definitely hit the golf course a couple of times. The most important thing for us is that our guys clear their heads and come back fresh. I will try and do the same.  I know PK (Paul Konerko) and Carlos Quentin will represent the White Sox very well in the All-Star Game.  And, of course, hopefully they will help the American League win because you never know, maybe it will help us down the road.

I will keep you guys updated on the camps this week on my Facebook and Twitter!

Ozzie

Happy for my boy Carlos Quentin

I hope everyone had a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend. Happy birthday to the U.S.A., and thank you very much to all the people who serve this country!

Our weekend wasn’t too bad. We took two out of three from the Cubs and won another series. Last night, we won on a balk against the Royals — a “balk-off.” Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and right now, I’ll take them anyway we can get them.

The series vs. the Cubs ended on a bad note because we couldn’t score any runs off of Rodrigo Lopez — a guy I felt like we should handle — but this is baseball and sometimes crazy things happen. The All-Star teams were announced over the weekend, and I’m very happy for Carlos Quentin — he deserves it.  I also think Paul Konerko was very deserving because he has been amazing for us the entire season. I know what it’s like to try and pick reserves for the All-Star team and know what Ron Washington is going through. That is not an easy job.

We get the Royals and Twins this week, I think, and yesterday started a stretch of 19 straight games against our division. The Royals always seem to play us very well, and it’s time for us to start swinging the bats a little better to close the gap before the break. The next 3 weeks are either going to have us out of it or right in the thick of things for the home stretch. Hopefully we can make the right adjustments and continue to win ballgames.

See you guys at The Cell!

– Ozzie

It’s so much easier to blog when we win

Well, I’m definitely a big fan of the city of Denver. Very nice city, and you can walk to the park and back to the hotel after the game; it’s so close. I also want to say Happy 27th Birthday to my oldest son, Ozzie Jr.  We got to celebrate a little late last night when I got back into town. By far my favorite job in the world is being a dad to my three sons.

Why does it seem so much easier to write one of these blogs after we win a series? Or in this case, after we just won back-to-back games? I’m very impressed with yesterday’s games — the fact that we kept battling, and when it looked like we were done late, we kept pushing and got the job done. Loved it that Gordon Beckham laid down that bunt that gave us a better chance to score those runs, and Juan Pierre was clutch the entire series. When you work as hard as JP does, only good things will come from it.

Jake Peavy was very solid even after the first-inning home run to Troy Tulowitzki, and I will say it again about the bullpen — WOW. Seems like I say it in every blog, but those guys continue to give everything they have for this team, and it’s been impressive.

Now we move into the North side of town. Kind of cool because now I live closer to Wrigley Field than The Cell (haha), so I won’t be getting lost anymore (I hope). Wrigley on a weekend is always exciting and maybe even a little more so now that both teams have won back-to-back games. Should be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m sure fans will be into it, and I can’t wait to get 4th of July weekend started the right way.

I enjoyed catching up with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio this morning.  Those guys are the best in the mornings!  See you guys at Wrigley this weekend!

Hey, Chicago, what do you say …

– Ozzie

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