December 2011

Time to start the real vacation

What’s up everyone? Hope you all are having good holidays and you got all your Christmas shopping done. I know I had to buy a lot of stuff, but I love my family and I know they will enjoy it all. Not only my immediate family, but I’m also close to my wife’s family as well, and they spend the holidays with us down here.

It’s the beach time for us now, time to get away and start the real vacation. Hopefully I get a little tan and it will be a good time; I love being around the water. When it comes to the ocean, I’m a very big fan of getting on the boat and fishing and drinking (haha). This is vacation after all!  I will take the water and a boat any day.  I’m not big on mountains or snow; in fact, I have never been skiing in my life. Have you ever heard of a Latino or Mexican skiing?? I know I haven’t (haha).

I have been watching some preseason basketball — thank God it’s back! I also saw the Bears game on Sunday and, man, was that hard to watch. All you can do is keep playing and hope for the best. I try to keep up with what’s been going on in baseball but I’m not always on the computer, so I rely on Venezuelan newspapers. I end up getting all the news, but most of the time it’s a day or two late.

Sometimes I get bored and I read the questions and comments you guys have sent in. I know I haven’t done it in a while but I think it’s about time to answer some more of the questions. I will get working on that.

I am also trying to get some things up to give away some free stuff (not sure what yet) to some of my followers and fans of my blog and Facebook/Twitter. Hopefully we get those details done soon and I can share them. Make sure you look out for that!

I will leave you with a pic of me and the guys, enjoying our time to say the least.

Playing Santa in Caracas

What a crazy couple of days, but we are finally here in Caracas.  First, Team Pepsi and Polar did an amazing job for the Home Run Derby event here last weekend. It turned out great!  We had a bunch of local stars come out for the event, and even one international star, none other than Andruw JonesOmar Vizquel and Andres Galarraga were some of the many stars on hand to support the cause.  We were able to raise a bunch of money for charity and it really couldn’t have turned out any better.  My wife Ibis, Dimitry and the whole staff deserve a lot of credit .  We took a ton of pictures and I will be posting them soon.

The winner of the derby ended up being a guy named Luis Jimenez, a big lefty that hit three balls out of the stadium.  It was impressive.  My favorite, though, had to be Big Z (Carlos Zambrano). He hit two balls out right-handed, and boy does he have some pop.

OK, now onto the important stuff.  On Wednesday, we went over to the hospital and donated toys to all the cancer patients and their families for Christmas.  The Ozzie Guillen Foundation has helped do this since 1998 and we will not stop.  I will continue this tradition for as long as I can and help out as much as possible because it’s truly a joy to see how much these families appreciate what we do.  It’s almost like they think I’m their Santa Claus!  The smile on these kids’ faces is special and so is being able to watch them grow up and survive.

During this time of year, I check out what’s going on in Major League Baseball once in a while, but not that often really.  I see that the Bears lost last week, let’s hope they can get back on track!

I will be back in Chicago before I know it to check out some Bulls games.  I know they just added Richard Hamilton, or as I know him, the guy that wears the mask.  I think he should make them better, what do you guys think?  I also saw the NBA Commissioner blocking trades, WOW, that is some serious stuff!  I hope it all works out in the end.

A very busy time

Wow, are the Holidays crazy! The Panama trip was insane, what a special place. I think just about all of you heard that the Winter Meetings went pretty well for the Fish. I’m very happy the Marlins showed the world just how serious they are about winning.

I hope the city of Miami will react nicely to the new Miami Marlins. Of course, one way to take care of that is to win consistently. Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle will be great additions to our team. Apart from being great baseball players, they are extremely good people and very fun to be around. They also have a lot of stones, so it will be a lot of fun to see.

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for Spring Training to start. Usually I do it to get away from my wife for a little while, but man, this is going to be completely different. It’s very special. It’s going to be fun, and as I have been saying, everyone on the team just needs to have some fun and win games. That’s what it’s all about.

Today is a big day for Team Pepsi in Caracas, Venezuela. We are having our annual home run derby with the Venezuelan stars. Andruw Jones is also coming in to town because that’s what friends do, they help each other out! Last year it rained, so this year it had better not. I’m hoping and praying for a good day.

I will keep you guys posted with pictures of the event later this week. Very excited to see D-Rose (Derrick Rose) play on Christmas Day!

Winter Meetings begin

So, I was in Chicago for a few hours and man, does it get dark there really quickly! I don’t know, maybe it was because the Bears lost a tough game. Hopefully they can bounce back.

I flew out to Dallas this morning for the Winter Meetings. This is always an exciting time if you are baseball fan and if you work in the sport. It gives us a great chance to see what exactly everyone else is doing. Every team always has needs, and this is the place where teams come to get better and fill those needs.

The charity event in Panama was awesome. Congrats to Andruw Jones on the event, as well as the Noriega brothers and Carlos Lee. They all did an amazing job. To be able to get the caliber of baseball players down there that they did was truly remarkable. Baseball is coming back to Panama and it’s very exciting. We played a celebrity softball game down there. I had Andruw, CC Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson (or as I like to call him “UIC”), so we had a pretty good group. I got a couple of hits and almost pulled every muscle in my body. It was great that all of those guys took the time out of their offseason to go help out and it certainly paid off.

I also got a chance to watch Miguel Cotto pick up the win on Saturday night. There were a lot of satisfied people around since Cotto won, I can tell you that.

Now, it’s time for a few days here in Dallas. It’s going to be a fun time and already looks like some good news for Marlins fans! I will keep you posted.

Check out the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine!

How is everyone doing today? I’m still spending a few more days down here in Panama, but now we have moved to Panama City. We are at a place called the Manrey Hotel and it is amazing. I have to say, I’m actually in awe of Panama and how advanced this place it. Very impressive. I haven’t had a bad meal since we landed in this country. The food and the people are great.

Some of the Yankees guys should be getting into town either today or tomorrow to get ready for Andruw Jones’s event.  From everything I have heard, this event should be pretty awesome, and I will be sure to put up some pictures when I can. Today I may even get a chance to meet Roberto Duran. My kids and I love boxing, so that would be a real thrill!

Got some good news the other day while I was down here: The people over at ESPN The Magazine informed me through my guys at Triple Crown Productions that we got the cover of the magazine’s December issue. That’s pretty awesome news! And the fact that my lazy-ass dog, DH, made the cover, too, is even better. It looks like he got a taste of my whole mouth on the shot, too. I can’t say enough about the ESPN crew. They showed up and did their job. They were telling me that usually during shoots people can be pretty quiet. Well, as you could imagine, not me and my family (haha). I think we ended up talking more than we got photographed. You can check out some behind-the-scenes pics I posted last week from the shoot on the website. It’s an honor to be on the cover, and I couldn’t be happier that I got it. And for your sake just be happy ESPN didn’t pick me to be on the cover of their “Body Issue”. That would have been bad for everyone (haha).

So, here is the final product; the cover (with DH, of course) that hits newsstands tomorrow. Be sure to go pick up a copy and read the interview I did with Tim Kirkjian. He did a great job with the questions and I answered as best as I could.

Chris McPherson/ESPN The Magazine

Happy December everyone, and hopefully we will see you guys this weekend in Chicago or at the Winter Meetings next week. This is always an exciting time for baseball and I can’t wait to see what happens.

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