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Spring Training begins

Wow! Where do I even begin? When I left Chicago snow was falling and yes, I love that! Before I left, though, I sat down with the guys from ESPN 1000 at Morton’s Steakhouse for “Lunch with a Legend,” and what a turnout. It was a great feeling seeing so many people there and I want to thank everyone that came out! Waddle & Carmen could be the best in Chicago; it was a very classy event and they ask the tough questions. There is a right way to do things and then there is a way to do things while being a jerk and sarcastic. That’s why I want to thank everyone from ESPN 1000 for always being so classy and doing things the right way.

Triple Crown Productions, Inc.

Right now I am in Miami (just got to Jupiter) and I couldn’t be happier because all of the guys are fun and loose, they just want to go out and have some fun. Or maybe it’s just because I was around Jose Reyes. Being around that guy’s energy is just contagious. During the Marlins Caravan last week we went to hospitals, schools, senior citizen centers and then had a blast golfing with the Miccosukee Tribe. Those guys can play some golf!

Triple Crown Productions, Inc.

It’s always great seeing my guys Carlos (Zambrano) and Mark B. (Buerhle). Carlos got slimmer and Mark was being his usual self. Mike Stanton is a house and Logan Morrison is … LoMo. He’s just a fun guy to be around. Hanley (Ramirez) seems ready to go, and looks like he has been working very hard this offseason. Now it’s finally time to go out there, have some fun and play ball. To be completely honest I am really looking forward to this year. I hate saying this, but that stadium is just unbelievable, there are no words to describe it! I was there with Jose the other day for a photo shoot and the guys had me rollin’ the whole time. He is just funky and I love it.

Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante are great together. It’s always good to see everyone hang out and get along. Looks like big boy Josh (Johnson) is ready to go as well. I just can’t wait to get out there and smell the pine tar and hear the bat hitting the ball. It sounds stupid, but that’s why we all love this game.

I want to say good luck to everyone in baseball before we get started.  I hope this is a great year and everyone stays healthy.

Also, keep an eye out for an album that I will post tomorrow of the “Lunch with a Legend” event and the Marlins golf outing!

Wrapping up the offseason

I had a great time on Monday night attending my first college basketball game and seeing DePaul play for the first time. I have to say, it was probably the most non-work related fun I have had this offseason. Wow. The people at DePaul and the fans at the game were awesome; it was such a good time. Even though Marquette had a lot of fans there, it was a close game to the end. I’m glad I had the chance to go and I will definitely be back. Who knows? I might even try to get some season tickets for next year, it was that much fun.

How many of you caught me on “Baseball Tonight” on Tuesday? It’s always a good time to catch up with Karl Ravech and the boys. Believe me; what those guys do is not easy. I have been there before and props to everyone that works in TV … that is hard work!

Here I am doing "Baseball Tonight" again! (Triple Crown Productions, Inc.)

Right now, I’m just getting ready to head down to Miami on Feb. 12 for the Marlins Golf Tournament, which should be a very good time. I saw the new stadium digitally on the new “MLB The Show” game for PlayStation 3 (my kids love that game) and wow, does the stadium look amazing on there. The stadium was sold out in the game, so let’s hope that happens a lot this year and the next couple of years. I will also be shooting a Pepsi commercial for Venezuela with Carlos Zambrano and Bobby Abreu. I will be seeing Carlos a lot this season, and I’m looking forward to it.

To be completely honest with you, I just want all this stuff to be over and to get this thing going. There’s nothing better than spring baseball. Oh yeah, and I hope to see a lot of you out tomorrow at Morton’s Steakhouse in Chicago to see me with ESPN 1000 at noon. Can’t wait!

Spring is just around the corner

How did January go by so fast? Well, February is here and I can’t believe it. And no, I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, just in case you were wondering. February is always an exciting month because baseball is finally getting started. I can’t really remember an offseason that has been as much fun as this one, not only with the moves the Marlins have made but with the moves everyone has made. There are a lot of good teams out there and teams looking to bounce back from last year. April 4 can’t come soon enough.

I will be heading down to Miami on Feb. 13 for the Marlins charity golf tournament. I know Joey Cora has been practicing a lot so I need to get out there a few days early so I don’t embarrass myself. A couple days before that, on Friday, Feb. 10, I will be doing “Lunch With a Legend” here in Chicago on ESPN 1000 with Waddle & Silvy. I love working with those guys because they know a lot about baseball and sports in general. They treat everyone with respect and I like that. I hope to see everyone out for the event.

I finally made it to my first Bulls game of the year last week. It’s always great to see my old buddy, the guy who got me my first car in Chicago back in 1985, Steve Shanwald. I think it was a Toyota Supra (haha). The Bulls played a great game and Derrick Rose was awesome! I did see that they lost to the Heat, even though it was a great game. It would be very nice if the Bulls and the Heat face off in the Eastern Conference Finals so I can catch some games in Miami.

Back to baseball. Like I always say, every team looks good in January and everyone is optimistic and excited about their team’s chances. Usually this time of year everyone is saying the right things, but you have to go out and play the games. Everyone loves each other in February, but the key is to love each other in September. If you can do that then you are in business. Trust me, I know first hand.

It’s almost time for baseball!

I’m back! Yes, it’s good to be back in Chicago. I love my house here in the Bucktown area, and even though it’s cold, at least it isn’t as cold as it was a week ago, from what I have heard. I will be hanging around Chicago for a couple more weeks before I head down to Florida for Spring Training. Tonight I am going to head over to the United Center for the Bulls game, my first one of the year. I think they play the Bucks, who just beat Miami, so it should be a good game. On Saturday I might head over to the UFC event. I have never been to one of those so it might be a cool experience.

Now, on to some baseball stuff. Wow! Congratulations to Prince Fielder and his family. He deserves it and the Tigers definitely got better. I know Miguel Cabrera is happy. It seems like all the big-name hitters are going to the American League, thank God (haha)!

I have some things planned here in Chicago before I head out that I’m sure you are going to be interested in. We literally just set this up a few minutes before I wrote this, but on Feb. 10 I will be on ESPN 1000 “Lunch with a Legend” on the “Waddle & Silvy Show.” I’m very excited about it and it will be a good way to say goodbye to Chicago before the season starts. Hope to see as many of you out for the event as possible.

I think I am leaving town right after Valentine’s Day and I’m pumped up about it. I never thought I would say this, but I’m looking forward to seeing Joey Cora again, a lot (haha). That means only one thing: baseball is here!

Heading to Chicago soon for a visit

Well, things have not gone according to plan for me. I’m still in Venezuela and all I want to do is go back to Chicago and hang out at the house. I want to see some snow and put on a big jacket and some gloves, because I like that stuff. Before I can go back, though, I need to stop in Miami and finalize the deals on the houses I’m going to live in, one in Jupiter and one in Miami. It’s a little hard when I go house shopping because I like a very specific style of house. I want it to look very modern and away from the traffic, and in Miami that can be hard because traffic can be very bad. I think we have narrowed it down and are going to find what we are looking for.

After we are able to get all of that stuff done, it’s finally back to Chicago. I’m tired of watching the Bulls on TV, so you had better believe I will be at the United Center. They are doing an awesome job even without Derrick Rose, so that’s great. I can’t wait to see a game.

I saw that the Rangers signed that Yu Darvish guy. Good for them. For all of the money they spent on him, I hope he does well for them. Going to back to back World Series is not an easy thing to do. Who knows? Maybe they can make it three in a row. I also heard that Orlando Cabrera is going to retire. I had him with the White Sox (we made the playoffs that year), but also when I was with the Expos. He is simply a winner and always has been. He can be a little different, but he can play. He had a great career.

Well, I hope you guys stay warm in Chicago and for all my people in Miami, keep rooting for the Heat (they will get better) and hopefully the Fish as well. Congrats to all the guys that avoided arbitration; well done, and best of luck to the guys that are challenging.

My birthday is also very soon, but no gray hairs for me yet! January is a very busy month for my family, but no SoxFest this year (haha), so it will be nice to just hang out around the house and relax.

Giving back during the holidays

Hey everyone! I promised you some pictures, so here they are. Every year, my family and I get the chance to go back to my home country of Venezuela for Christmas and New Years. While we definitely have our share of fun, this is also the time to do some of the more serious work we enjoy doing in the offseason. Every year we host the Team Pepsi Home Run Derby and the turnout this year was incredible! I can’t thank all the fans that showed up enough.

I also had the opportunity to head to a local hospital with all of my incredible volunteers from the Ozzie Guillen Foundation and distribute gifts to the kids. This is one of the most meaningful and enjoyable things I do every year, and this time was no different.

I just uploaded the pics from my whole winter getaway on my website and you can check them out now!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! Hope everyone was safe and hope you all make the best out of this year. Health and prosperity to all! I’m thinking most of you had a good time celebrating the New Year by dancing and going crazy. I know we did.

Spring Training is getting closer, and the Fish have been making some noise. We traded for Big Z (Carlos Zambrano) and I could not be happier. I think Carlos deserves a fresh start with a new team and I think in the long run both teams are going to benefit from this trade. I have faith in Carlos and I respect him as a person. He starts with a clean slate for me. Plus, I doubt I will get in his face anyways … the guys is HUGE (haha). I heard we also re-signed Greg Dobbs, who I hear is a great guy to have coming off the bench. Let’s hope we are all set, and get ready to have some fun.

I have been watching a lot of NBA and Bulls games down here in Venezuela. The Bulls are looking good so far. That combined with the start of the NFL Playoffs makes it an exciting time to be a sports fan. I am also watching my Tiburones team compete here in Venezuela in the round robin. I hope they go all the way and the kids get their chance to keep playing.

I will be back in Chicago later this month for my birthday and you can probably find me at the United Center either watching the Blackhawks or Bulls. Yes, I like watching hockey, but only live, since on the couch I can’t keep track of the puck. I heard it’s been getting colder in Chicago, but I like it. Hopefully I get to see some snow.

On another note, my family and I lost a member of our family a couple of days ago, and it hurts us deeply. Just remember: If you love someone, make sure you tell them every day. May he rest in peace.

Make 2012 count! I can’t remember the last time I was this pumped up for a season. It should be great!

Happy New Year from the Guillen family.

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!

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