Well, real Spring Training has started and the
games are underway finally! Took some
more time to look over all the questions you have been submitting and picked
some out to answer. Make sure you check
out the album I posted on my site from the first week of camp.
On to your questions …
Q: I loved the picture in the (Chicago) Sun-Times the other week of you as “The OzFather.” What do you think of that
nickname? Also, what is your favorite mafia movie? Go Sox! — Chris M. (Villa
think that is a great nickname and I love that movie (“The Godfather”). But “Casino” is by far my favorite movie
because of Sharon Stone. Wow!
Q: How would you compare yourself (when you were
playing baseball) with Pete Rose as a ballplayer? — Barb R. (Goodyear, Ariz.)
were both hard-nosed players, and we played the game with a lot of heart and
balls. His hustle paid off a little more
than mine did, though.
Q: I’m excited about this upcoming year for a
lot of reasons, but I think I’m most excited about seeing John Danks take the next
step and become this team’s ace. What do you see as his ceiling? Cy Young one
day, Top 10 AL pitcher? I would be interested in knowing. Thanks, Ozzie, and
good luck this year. It’s been too long since 2005. — Eddie M. (Chicago)
don’t think Danks is in the Top 10 yet, but he has the potential to win the Cy
Young one day. He has the stuff and the
drive to make it.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, I hear a lot of people in the
organization say that Frank Thomas is the greatest hitter in White Sox history. I would argue. I would say “Shoeless” Joe Jackson without a doubt. What is your
take? — Keith W. (Bradenton, Fla.)
never saw “Shoeless” Joe play. Did you? Frank is the best hitter I have ever seen, with all due respect to Tony
Gwynn and Wade Boggs.
Q: I’m a big Carlton Fisk fan. How would he be
as a pitching coach or manager? (Not for the White Sox, of course, since they are
set at these positions for the next 20 years — haha) — Will O. (Saunemin, Ill.)
Never. Pudge doesn’t have the patience or the passion to deal with
baseball now. He is a great man and a
great baseball man, but I don’t see him as a coach.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. Lucky you, having a English
bulldog — they are great dogs! I have had two and they are exceptional. One day
I’ll have another. What is your dog’s name and how old? You should post a
picture of it on your site. Have a good Spring Training. — Steve L. (Downers
A: My English Bulldog’s name is “DH.” He is 7
years old and named after Harold Baines.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, do you follow soccer? And if so,
who is your favorite team? — Jared D. (Austin, Texas)
A: Yes, Real Madrid. I don’t like Barcelona because Gerard Pique
is with Shakira (haha).
Q: What’s up, Ozzie? I was just wondering, who
is the best prankster on the team? Who is the easiest person to prank? Thanks! I love the White Sox! — Danielle G. (Sycamore, Ill.)
Danielle. Ramon Castro is the best prankster on the team, and easiest to prank
is by far third-base coach Jeff Cox. Poor guy!
Q: Hi, Ozzie — the pride of Venezuela and the Tiburones. … Ozzie, is there a place to eat Venezuelan food in Chicago? Have you seen Greivis Vasquez play, and do you know him personally? Greetings from Guatemala. — Maxwell R. (Caracas, Venezuela)
A: I know there’s an Aripo’s, which is supposedly good. Regarding Greivis, I do know him and he’s a super nice guy. I’m very proud of him.
Thank you for all the support you have shown for the website. I hope everyone continues to enjoy!
What’s up, people?! I wanted to write a quick blog to let everyone know how it’s going down
here in Arizona. Now that all the
guys are here, it’s been really awesome. I love my job! From what I
have seen it really looks like everyone is here ready to work. It’s been awesome just seeing the
positive attitudes everyone has come to camp with.
I have a lot of ideas going through my head and have been
playing around with so many lineups for months now. In reality, I hope I can just stick to one because that means
everyone is healthy and it makes my job a lot easier. Same thing goes for the bullpen and the starting staff. I
really enjoy watching things come together. It has been very good to see Jake Peavy progress forward; I hope
he can get healthy and really help us out this year.
As for what else I have been doing? If you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a great time watching the NBA All-Star Game festivities Saturday night. I love my man Charles
Barkley … always entertaining!
Make sure you keep your questions coming in the “Ask Ozzie!”
part of my website. I love reading
them, and I know a lot of people have been asking about the lineup. This is what spring is for. We will
sort everything out and put the best lineup on the field.
Who is coming to see us in Spring Training this year??
a good time to answer some more of your questions …
is not practical. Outs are outs, and if you rely on a “closer” to get
outs when you need them to win the game, why not use them in a crucial
situation earlier? Would you/have you consider(ed) using a “closer”
early in the game? Why not send out the best guy for the job irrelevant of
their relief-pitcher label? — Matt M. (Plainfield, Ill.)
A: You know, I have never felt comfortable doing that before because I
have never done it. I feel like
everyone has a role on the team and I trust the guys in front of the closer to
get the job done.
Q: Ozzie, I grew up watching you play with “La Guerilla” of the
Tiburones de La Guaira … but I was a Leones fan. Great rivalry in those
days. The question: Who is, in
your opinion, the next Venezuelan Hall of Famer? (I say Vizquel.) — Ricardo S. (Ann
A: Omar Vizquel; I agree
Q: Why has the Caribbean Series gone down as far as competition? Why do you think that is? — Jose S. (Guarenas, Venezuela)
A: The Caribbean Series has gone down in terms of competition level because there are a lot of players that they don’t let play. Also, before they would pay players to go to the Caribbean Series, but now everybody has money. (hahaha)
Q: Whats up, Ozzie! Lets take the division and make some noise in the
playoff this year, papa! Baseball is a long season, sort of like going all 12
rounds in boxing. Who are some of your favorite boxers? — Octavio G. (Southside
A: Thank you, we will
try. Julio Ceasar Chavez, Roberto
Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. I also like Angel Zanoa, who as a 13-year-old kid beat the crap out of me; I will never forget it! (hahaha)
Q: Hey, Oz, great job with getting the site up. Do you think (Paul Konerko) has a legit chance at the HOF? Why or why not? — Mike C. (Schaumburg, Ill.)
A: I think he has a shot
because you will not see any players anymore with 600 home runs getting in. You will see players who did it clean
getting in with less home runs, so I definitely think he has a chance.
Q: How do you feel about the pitch counts? Players like (Nolan) Ryan or (Steve) Carlton, etc., never worried about pitch counts and completed games and did
well. Do you think that maybe pitchers now don’t get the arm strength because
they are not allowed to pitch past a certain count? — Paul D. (Washington, Kan.)
A: I do believe in pitch
counts because of the endurance of the pitcher. Back in the day, I don’t know what those guys were made of (Iron and steel, maybe? I don’t know.) but it was very impressive.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, I’m really looking forward to this season. I know it’s
going to be great. My question is: What do you do after you get ejected from a
game? — Andrew H. (McHenry, Ill.)
A: I go take a nap or
watch some Spanish soap operas. I
don’t watch the games — maybe once in a while when I hear the fans screen to see
what is going on. And, of course, I
do all of this while eating some popcorn.
Q: Hey, Ozzie. … What is your greatest memory while playing Winter League ball with the Tiburones de La Guaira? Who was your best friend inside the team? Tons of luck in the upcoming season! Regards. — Carlos T. (Valencia, Venezuela)
A: Thank you! My best memory was playing for “La
Guerilla” in the 80’s, and my best friend was Gus Polidor. May he rest in peace.
Q: What’s up, Ozzie! Have you kept in contact with our World Series MVP, Jermaine Dye? He was a heck of a ballplayer for the White Sox. Was there ever a
thought of bringing him back as part of the coaching staff? — Octavio G.
A: Yes, man, JD is my boy; I love him and his family. To be a
coach, you need to have desire and passion for coaching, and I’m not sure JD has
that. You also need to be very
vocal, and I’m not sure JD wants to coach yet.
Q: Who was your favorite speaker at your Roast? — Bob C.
A: My favorite speaker at the Roast was my son, Ozzie Jr., and Peggy Kusinski was also very good. But the best all around was probably the host, Chris Rongey.
Q: Miss Spring Training in Sarasota at all? Speaking for many Sox fans here, we miss you guys! Once enjoyed having a cold one with Ron Schueler after a round of golf and saw him call the dugout during a game to talk to Terry Bevington about you playing right field. Remember that game? — Scott H.
A: No, I don’t remember that game, but I do miss Sarasota; had some great times and memories there! I have to say, though, that I love where the Sox are right now in Arizona.
Q: You seem to like looking into the crowd during games, so what is the craziest thing you have seen in the crowd? — Anthony D.
A: Once back in the ’80’s, when I was playing at Old Comiskey Park, I saw a couple being … let’s say “intimate.” (hahaha)
Q: Which Venezuelan will be part of your team this year? Who is the White Sox’s No. 1 Venezuelan prospect? — Hector F.
A: I am very proud of once again having Omar Vizquel on my team this year. I can’t answer who the best prospect is because the Minor League system is very large and my focus is on the big team.
Q: If you could play ball with any player on today’s team, who would it be and why? — Kyle B.
A: Good question, but I would play with my whole team if I was playing. They all play hard and have fun doing it. That’s the way I played.
Q: Ozzie, would you ever wanna be the owner of the winter ball team Tiburones de La Guaira? Would you ever want to be their manager? — Juan C.
A: I have always wanted to be the owner of the winter ball team Tiburones de La Guaira. If I had the money and time to invest in the team, I would. Right now, I have to take care of my three kids — imagine me taking care of a whole team. (haha) But you never know what the future might bring!
Q: Once the Sox clinch the division in September, is there any chance that you will activate yourself for one game and come in as a defensive replacement and play alongside Vizquel? That would be great! — Jimmy Z.
A: I would never activate myself. I respect baseball, the players and the fans too much to do that.
Q: Hello, Ozzie. You had your extension picked up through 2012, but you will be managing the Sox way past that, right? Please. — Will O.
A: I hope I am managing the White Sox for the rest of my life; that’s my goal. But it’s not my choice.
How’s everyone liking the new Web site?? So, I went on and started to check all the questions you have been asking on the “Ask Ozzie!” portion of the site, and I couldn’t believe it… there were hundreds of questions already! Thank you all for your interest in the website and sending in your questions. I will try to read them all and will respond to as many as I can.
Here is my first shot…
Q: Hello, Ozzie. I was just wondering… how is Paul Konerko signing a new contract with the team a big plus for the upcoming year? I used to live in Chicago but moved to Texas, and I still am a BIIIIG FAN! Paulie is my fave. — Matthew M.
A: I think P.K. wanted to come back to Chicago, and obviously the front office wanted him back. They worked hard and made it happen, and I am very happy they did. It would have been very hard to replace someone like P.K.
Q: I remember being a kid and watching baseball when you were playing, and it didn’t seem as if there were as many power pitchers as there is now. What do you think the difference is? — Thomas A.
A: I think part of it is that players work harder these days, but maybe the bigger difference is nowadays scouts look for more power arms.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I admire your enthusiasm for the game. You are good for baseball. I’m a life-long Twins fan. Would you say you and Gardy [Ron Gardenhire] are friends, or just mutual combatants with mutual respect? Let’s have another great 2011 season! — Rich S.
A: I’m not friends with Gardy because we don’t hang out outside of the field, but I have a ton of respect for him as a manager and competitor. Not many people gave him the credit he deserves; he is one of the best in the game.
Q: First off, I want to thank you for being a breath of fresh air in the city of Chicago. My question is do you think Mark Buehrle is headed for Cooperstown? And is this team gearing up to be better than the 2005 White Sox? Thanks. — Scott B.
A: Thank you. I don’t know what type of ballclub we are going to have, all I know is we have talent. But comparing any team to the ’05 team is unfair because that team won the whole thing. As for Mark, he has easily been one of my favorite players I have ever managed, but I don’t think he has a chance at Cooperstown. I wish he could get in, but right now, I doubt it.
Q: Formula One has their first Venezuelan driver this year, Pastor Rafael Maldonado. Do you follow this at all? Will you follow him? Thanks, Ozzie. — Larry C.
A: No, I don’t follow Formula One, but I am proud of him like all Venezuelans should be. I do follow Venezuelan golfer Jhonattan Vegas, though, because I do love gold and I’m very proud of him as well.
Q: Why don’t you follow ANYBODY in your Twitter account? — Carlos S.
A: You know I’m not very good with computers, and I’m always getting new phones. I use Twitter to talk to fans, not follow people.
Q: What part of Spring Training do you most look forward to? — Michael E.
A: First of all, I think Spring Training is too long. I always look forward to the games starting and seeing the new and old players get after it.
Q: What do you think was the biggest reason the pitching staff got off to such a poor start last season, and how do you avoid that again this season? — Bob K.
A: I wish I had the answer to that one, but I really don’t. Most important thing to do is stay healthy and, unfortunately, I have no control over that. I pitch them and hope they stay healthy. It’s not about how you start, either; it’s about how you finish.
Q: Hey, if the American League vanished and you could take over as manager of any National League team in 2011, which team would you pick and why? — Matthew K.
A: Hahaha… Wow. You’re trying to get me in trouble, huh? You know I can’t answer a question like that. I’m the manager of the Chicago White Sox and very proud to be.
Q: What is your one memory that stands out above everything in your managerial career? — Benjamin S.
A: Wow, that’s a hard question. (haha) Winning the ring, of course — that’s what this game is all about!