Q&A before heading to Detroit

I always have time to answer your questions. Trying to enjoy this off day before we head on over to Detroit. I want to thank everyone for their respect and support. I hope you enjoy asking the questions as much as I do answering them. Here you go:

Q: Ozzie if you really see this, Hi from Maggie :) – Maggie P. (Chicago)

A: Hi Maggie, thanks for checking out my site.

Q: A warm greeting Ozzie from Guyana, as a Latin player what was the toughest part of playing in the United States? – Siul P. (Puerto Ordaz, VE)

A: The hardest part for me was learning English and getting accustomed to the culture in the United States.

Q: Hey Ozzie! Not a question, just wanted to say I saw your interview with your comments about Sean Penn and your other thoughts and I wanted to tell you that YOU are a real American and I appreciate your viewpoint! Keep it up, Bro! – Chris S. (Murrieta, CA)

A: Well thank you for calling me a real American. I appreciate that and I spend more time here than I do back home.

Q: Hi Ozzie. I wrote you a couple of weeks ago asking for a series win against the Twins and on cue you provided the sweep! Anyway, when you played what was your most memorable season? – Brandon H. (St. Paul, MN)

A: Thank you. When I played I think that going to a World Series was always a goal and dream of mine. But I had a lot of memorable seasons.

Q: Will you be managing the Sox in 2012? – Terry F. (Chicago)

A: I hope so.

Q: Ozzie: First off, thank you for continuing to be the Chicago White Sox manager. My first question: What can be done to change our won loss record being worse at home? I feel this is the make or brake part of making the playoffs. Second: Do you think some players were pushing themselves to hard to improve in their hitting? I am just surprised at all the inconsistency this year by the team. Good Luck with the rest of the season! – Larry W. (Wheeling, IL)

A: Well I hope we continue to play better at home but I’m not sure exactly why it has gone the way it has. We did just win two of three from the Twins and that’s kind of rare so we will see what happens. Guys work hard everyday to get better and so do the coaches, no one is ever satisfied.

Q: Hi Ozzie. Because of you, my wife LOVES the Sox. We recently bought one of your game worn and signed jerseys from the Sox.  You’re the best. Thanks for everything and being you. Jennifer and Matt S. – Matt S. (Chicago)

A: Thanks man I hope she liked the jersey!

Q: Hello Ozzie. My question is: We usually have the best seat in the house when we question balls and strikes on TV. How is your view from the dugout (can you tell if it’s a good pitch?)? Also, can you watch replays and see if umps are squeezing our pitchers? – David B. (Bridgeport)

A: Usually my angle is not the best but I have been in the game so long that I know if it’s a good pitch or close to a strike. No I don’t check the monitors but usually I send someone to check and see how close it was.

Q: Ozzie – with the Cubs general manager position open, there has been some talk (largely ESPN, the Chicago Tribune, and the Sun-Times) suggesting the possibility the Sox could promote Hahn to GM in order to prevent losing him. How do you think Rick Hahn would perform as a GM? – Eric B. (Moweaque, IL)

A: I think Rick Hahn is a great baseball man. Very smart and well respected. I think he will do a great job wherever he decides to go, he does a great job for the Sox.

“Never say never.”

Well you never know, or “never say never,” like that Bieber kid says (haha).  Sweeping a team on the road is always nice, and it’s even nicer when you actually pick up a game. I can’t believe the Tigers actually lost; they have been playing so well. It looks like we finally caught a break.

The pitching for us has been great. Unfortunately, we ran into a very hot team in Anaheim to start this trip and it left me not feeling like writing any blogs.  Thank God it was only a two-game series and we were able to get out of there. I’m hoping this series in Seattle puts us in the right state of mind for the upcoming week. We exploded with some runs yesterday, and it’s great to see the guys swinging the bats. I don’t think Dayan Viciedo is going to hit a home run every game, but it was nice to see him and Tyler Flowers show some power.

I’m really hoping we can see The Cell packed this week; there is just a little over a month left, and we need all the support we can get. Time to go out there and see what we’re made of. … Oh yeah, and never say never (haha).

– Ozzie

Good series win against a very good team

Let me start by saying that beating the American League-champion Texas Rangers 2 out of 3 like we did this weekend is not an easy thing to do.  That team can hit; I mean wow do they have a potent lineup.

Yesterday was a good day off because we finally won a homestand. It’s always good to get a day off at home as well, or at least most of the day before we flew out here to LA. Now we gotta hope that we continue to play the way we have on the road. We get Ervin Santana and then Jered Weaver tomorrow, so it’s not going to be easy. The Angels are always a tough team to play, and you expect it to be even tougher when they are in the division race like they are now.

After these quick 2 games, we get another day off in Seattle before we get to see that good Mariners pitching.  Luckily for us, I think we miss King Felix.  As for our guys, I’m very happy with the way Tyler Flowers has stepped up.  Alex Rios has also been playing better as of late, and that’s a very good thing to see. Alejandro de Aza and Brent Lillibridge continue to play awesome baseball and bring great energy to the ballpark every day. It’s time for us to make up some ground before we see Detroit again; all we can do is hope for the best.

Yesterday I was watching “Intentional Talk” on the MLB Network and it’s a very cool show. First time I have ever seen it, and I was very impressed , so if you get a chance check out Kevin Millar and Chris Rose. They do a great job with the show.

I will write again in a couple days, hopefully after we take this two-game set.  Also, it’s about time for me to answer some more of your questions.  Make sure you submit them through the website, and I will get to as many as I can.

– Ozzie

Binny’s event was awesome

Not really in the mood to write a blog today, so here are some pics I put up from my event last week at Binny’s in Bolingbrook.  Always great to see so many kids come out.

Also, sad to hear today about Jim Hendry. … He is an awesome guy. I will miss him, and so will baseball.

– Ozzie

I want to see The Cell packed this week

Wow, we won a series at home! Feels very, very good before a day off. I get to enjoy a nice relaxing day today; having a BBQ tonight before we get ready for those Indians tomorrow. They have been playing some great ball, so we need to be ready.

Everybody knows that Kansas City plays us so tough, so to beat them and to swing the bats the way we did was awesome.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention how much Bruce Chen dominates us. But that’s just baseball. The one thing I always look forward to is when we play our division. We have a bunch of games left in the division, and that’s probably a good thing. We take care of our own business, we should be there at the end.

If a couple of guys keep helping us out like they have, our offense can be very dangerous. Great job this weekend by Brent Lillibridge playing first base and swinging the bat like a big man (haha).  Don’t let that kid fool you, he is a very strong man. But most importantly, his defense has helped us out a ton all year long.

On another note, I would really like to see The Cell sold out for the Indians series. These games are huge, and we need all the support we can get. We are right in the middle of the race, so we need everyone to come out and yell. I know we get their best with Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson (but not in that order). If we want to win this division, we are going to have to beat the best. There is no other way to do it. And even though we have some tough pitchers coming our way, as long as none of them are named Chen, I will take my chances.

And lastly, a little surprise — I think I will be doing some Q&A on Twitter tonight. So bring you’re “A” game!

 – Ozzie

Feeling good right now; let’s keep it going

What’s up, everyone? If you can’t tell, I have been pretty happy this last road trip. This actually might be one of the easier blogs I have written. Everything is easier when you are winning. We are back in Chicago and, man, do I love this city, especially when the weather is as nice as it is today.

Great job by the guys in Baltimore against a team that can hit. What I liked so much about this series is even in the games where we gave up the lead, the team kept pushing and coming back. That’s a great sign. It really shows how our guys aren’t going to give up or give in. There are so many games left to go, and it’s so important that we don’t give in at all. Even the game on Wednesday that we lost in extra innings, we came back and put up a good fight. I guess as a manager that’s all I can ask for.

When you win games, it seems like everyone has been playing great. At this point in the season, you can really throw the stats out the window and focus on winning games; that’s all that matters. Our focus is on winning the division. I don’t care if we don’t get to .500. If we win the division, I will be happy.

We have Kansas City coming into town starting today, and they are a pain in our butts. They always play us well and they can swing the bat, too. It has come to my attention that we play better baseball on the road and have a tendency to play better against teams over .50o. … I don’t have an answer to this, but I hope the trend stops right now. We have to have a good weekend here at home because we get Cleveland next week before the American League Champs come to town. So sit back, relax and strap it down (hahaha). Yes, I know all the things Hawk says, but this weekend we are right in the hunt and first place is up for the taking.  I hope to see The Cell packed and loud for this homestand.

See you all there!

– Ozzie

That TriStar event was a good time!

This past week, I had a chance to attend TriStar’s National Memorabilia Convention in Rosemont, Ill., and let me tell you, I had a lot of fun. While I was there, I ran into Mr. Luis Aparicio, a true Venezuelan legend, and got a chance to catch up. I posted all the pics in a new album up on my website now. Check it out! And hopefully we can keep this winning thing going!
– Ozzie 

That Twins sweep put me in a better mood

Hey, everyone, are you starting to feel like it’s easier for me to write these blogs and talk to you guys when we win games?  Well, it definitely is.  I’m in a great mood this morning in Baltimore and decided to write one of these up. Actually, my room here is right over Candem Yards. I can actually see the field right now.

Anyways, it was a great sweep of the Twins this weekend because, as you all know, they are always a huge pain for us. Those guys always play so well against us; we finally got them.  I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty good feeling.  I just hope this starts a trend of us playing better and more consistently, and this series against the Orioles would be a good way to continue it.

Jake Peavy did a great job yesterday and got some help from Brent Lillibridge, and the defense definitely threw some leather around this weekend.  The new kid with all the hair, Zach Stewart, did an awesome job as well this weekend. I hope he continues to throw the ball like that. Anytime you sweep a team, especially on the road, it seems like everyone needs to contribute, and we got that. Alex Rios was crushing he ball, and of course, “Q” (Carlos Quentin) continues to swing a hot bat.

I will have time to write you guys after this series with Baltimore and hopefully answer some more of your questions.  I had a great time this past Saturday at the TriStar National Memorabilia Convention thanks to Bobby and all the guys that worked there; it was a lot of fun. I will have pictures up for you guys here soon on the website.  My son and I had a great time, and I hope to be back doing that every year.

Thank you all for the support and talk to you guys soon!

– Ozzie

Next up, the Yankees visit The Cell

OK, well we didn’t end the weekend the way we wanted, but we all know the big boys from the AL East are very tough. It’s hard to beat good teams, and the last two days, we just didn’t get any timely hits like we did on Friday. To be honest with you, I don’t really care whether we win by one run or 10; right now, winning is the most important thing. I would of course rather it be less nerve-racking, but that’s why this job is so fun. The tension you feel and the emotions that come with this game make it the best in the world. But when you aren’t getting the big hit, it makes everything else so much more important. Every pitch and every decision could be the ballgame, but that’s what it means to play this game in the race for the division.

We get the Yankees in town tonight, and I think CC Sabathia is going for them, so that should be interesting. We have battled tough this year against the league’s best, and I expect tonight to be no different. These are the teams we have to be beat to be considered elite. It will be nice to congratulate Derek Jeter on his 3,000th hit in person. I have always been a fan of his. It’s also going to be nice to see Freddy Garcia. I’m glad he isn’t pitching against us with the way he has been pitching lately. I also hate facing him because he is family. Freddy is married to my wife’s niece, and it’s hard to root against family. Also, we get to see Andruw Jones, as well, which is always a good time.

This should be a great series for the fans, and I think our boys will bounce back like they have done all season long. See you guys at The Cell.

– Ozzie 

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

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