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 Jones. Omar 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I had a great time down in Panama and actually had a chance to do something that I had only done once before — I renewed my vows. After 28 years of being married, I decided it was time. I did it all on my own; my wife had no clue. See, I guess I can be romantic (haha). I guess since we didn’t get divorced after 72 days the first time around (72 days seems kinda fast) I think we will make it this time too. I just want to say thank you to my wife, Ibis, and my family for sticking with me, even though some of them have no choice (haha). No, but seriously that’s my real team no matter what!
We had some turkey on Thanksgiving Day down here in Panama. We actually are not staying in Panama City; we are at the Royalton Panama Beach Resort in Playa Blanca. I have one word to describe this place: Wow!
I have been able to keep up with some news from back in the states. The NBA is back, and I can’t wait to watch a couple games before I head down to Venezuela.
I will be keeping in touch with everyone. Hopefully, we have some good news coming with the Marlins and we pick up a few guys. I will talk to you guys before the weekend and Andruw Jones’ charity event. Panama has really been awesome to us!
Here’s hoping I last another 28 years … I know I will do my best!
I swear every time I’m in the city of Chicago I never want to leave, but its time to head for some warmer weather again! I’m going to Panama on Wednesday to relax and spend some time with my family. It’s going to be an amazing trip. I’m also there to help out — as I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts — my good friend Andruw Jones and his charity. I expect us to be visiting some schools and hospitals while I am there. Whatever they ask me to do I will be excited to do it. I will also get to see my good buddy Ruben Blades, hopefully. These people have done so much to help out the Ozzie Guillen Foundation in Venezuela, so it’s the least I can do. My foundation helps kids and their families dealing with cancer and other problems. It’s important we recognize how much these families often struggle for the simplest of things, so giving back in any way is good.
We will also be able to fit in some down time as well. This is a vacation, after all! I’m sure we will hit the beach a bunch and get a chance to check out some of the golf courses and try out my new clubs from Tour Edge. This will be my first trip to Panama, so we will get some sightseeing in as well. Anybody been there before and have something good for us to do?
I watched the Bears game yesterday. Congrats to them on the win and staying hot. It is too bad to hear about the injury to Jay Cutler and his thumb, as he was playing really well. Hopefully they can continue to play well and make the playoffs; it won’t be easy, but I think they can do it.
A couple more things before I forget: The website is going to be getting a new look here soon, so I hope you all enjoy what we have come up with. Stay tuned!
I want to say thank you to the people at ESPN The Magazine who were at my house last Friday for a photo shoot. I will post some pics from the shoot tomorrow and keep you updated on when they will run.
I hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving this week. Always be grateful for what you have and work hard for what you want. Make sure you give thanks for your health, as it should always be at the top of your wish list. As always, God Bless!
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.