Well, 3 out of 4 against the A’s this weekend wasn’t too bad. I’m very happy with the job we did against both Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez — those guys are tough! Overall, it was a pretty positive homestand. It was good to be back in Chicago for a while and very good to see Adam Dunn start to swing the bat. Also, Alex Rios has started to look better taking the ball up the middle, so hopefully this will be the start of something good for those guys. I really can’t say enough about the starting pitching and Brent Lillibridge. Wow, this kid has been a ball of energy, and I’m very happy for him because he works so hard. I told the guys winning is the best medicine for anything, and it feels good that we are winning right now.
Now we head out to what might be the nicest ballpark in the American League — Target Field. It’s a tough place to play, and the Twins are playing very good right now. I hope we are ready to go and can cool them off against my boy Carl Pavano and start the road trip off right. I’m enjoying the day off here in Minnesota after staying in Chicago last night. Did a little BBQing and watched the NBA Finals. Congrats to Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban. They did it right, with hard work and class. It goes to show you that winning a championship in any sport isn’t as easy as it looks.
Well, we all know how that West Coast trip went. It’s kind of weird because, as you guys know, we usually really have a tough time out there. We will take three series wins on a road trip anytime. I had the great experience of spending our off-day last week in Napa Valley at the Kunde Family Estate with my wife. We had a very awesome time with some great wine and met some great people.
The good feelings continued during the weekend in Oakland. Gavin Floyd did not have his best stuff a couple of days ago, but we won the series and that’s what matters the most. Again, Omar Vizquel continues to do it for us. I’m not sure how he does it, but oh my … God has been great to him and I’m happy for him. We also got some very good pitching from Phil Humber and Mark Buehrle, and our bullpen was very good the entire trip; Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos have all been awesome for really the entire month of May so far.
I’m really looking forward to being back home in Chicago and playing against a good man in Ron Washington and the American League-champion Texas Rangers. This series won’t be easy, but hopefully we will continue to compete and play like we have on the road. I remember seeing the Rangers in the World Series last year when I helped FOX on the broadcasts, and that team has a lot of personality. I really like the characters that they have on that team, and it’s probably a lot of the reason they were so good.
So I hope to see you out at the park this week and let’s hope this weather keeps getting better and better. Oh yeah, and of course … Go Bulls!! I’m watching very closely!
I have always said it’s better to be lucky than good (hahaha). Wow, that game Wednesday night in Anahiem was a lot of fun, and those are the types of games you need to win to pick up some momentum. It was the perfect game to win before enjoying an off-day in San Francisco! For those of you who may not have stayed up in Chicago to watch the whole game, we did leave a bunch of runners on base early, but we kept plugging away. Alex Rios has been red-hot as of late and “Q” (Carlos Quentin) has been swinging the bat great. And, man, it seems like I talk about this guy in every blog I write, but Omar Vizquel did a hell of a job for us again.
Now, we also swung the bats real well the first game in Anaheim, especially the guys at the bottom of the order. I really think baseball is more of a mental game than it is a physical one because confidence can be a scary thing in this game. Actually, not having confidence might actually be even scarier. I mean, look at the Cleveland Indians right now. They think they can beat anyone right now, and believe me that’s a very good feeling to have.
And, finally, Jake Peavy made his return to the mound. He looked better than I expected him to look, and as long as he doesn’t feel any discomfort, I think he will be just fine. We can only hope.
We are here in San Francisco enjoying our last off-day in like three weeks or something like that. Well, some of the guys were in San Fran. I spent the off-day up in Napa Valley with my wife enjoying wine country (haha). The West coast trip has been a positive one so far, but we have to close it out. I know the A’s are a good team and their pitching staff is tough, but we will see what happens; this is baseball. We can’t change anything; we need to stay positive and continue to play hard! — Ozzie
Well … what can you say? We are playing good baseball so far, but it can definitely get better. Unfortunately, we had a couple of rough games here on the homestand that we were unable to close out. I know we are capable and have the guys who can get the job done; now we just need to do it. Meanwhile, with that being said, I still have the confidence in our guys down in the bullpen to finish the games off. They have done it before, and for whatever reason, have just had some difficulties the past two weeks. So we will see what happens from now on …
But lets not forget we are 7-5, and a lot of good things came out of this last series and the homestand so far. I told you Oakland had a very good pitching staff and they showed us that. But our offense still got some runs and produced enough to win games and that’s very exciting. Our starting pitching has been good; we had a couple of guys (Mark Buehrle and John Danks) that gave us eight great innings a piece and did a great job. With that in mind, I also have to protect my guys; that’s my job. We are very early in the season and there is no reason to risk anyone this early. We are going to need everyone healthy to reach out potential.
After our off-day today, the Angels come to town. We always have to be on our toes because when Mike Scioscia brings his team in, they always like to put guys in motion and use a lot of hit-and-runs. I see that we get Jered Weaver on Friday and Dan Haren at the end, so we have our work cut out for us. But I will stick with my guys through thick and thin. We are a team. We win as a team and lose as a team.
I am going to enjoy my day off here in Miami. I’m down here visiting my son, Ozney, who I haven’t had a chance to see in forever because he is in the middle of his baseball season and I miss him. It gives me an opportunity to kind of take my mind off of things and tomorrow we will be ready to get after the Angels. I know my guys will be ready to play, and I hope you guys are ready to cheer!
For some reason, I am a very happy guy right now. … Do you know why?? (hahaha)
Wow, I’m very pleased with the way we have been going about our business. In baseball, sometimes you win games and sometimes you lose games, but right now we are pitching better and swinging the bats very well.Brent Morel and Mark Teahen have been awesome. I love the way those two guys are hitting the ball the other way; when you hit the ball the other way you have success in this game.And it’s not just those two guys, we have a bunch of guys getting the job done at the plate. We put Brent in the other day, and he was ready to go and played a great game.It’s always great to see the younger guys have some early success.
One of the things that I have seen early on in this season is that we are giving ourselves a chance to win every day. If we continue to do that, we are going to be just fine.What can you say about Phil Humber? Wow, he was just outstanding giving us six solid innings; good for him and us. I was very excited to see him step up and give us a great outing.We did just take three of four from Tampa this weekend, but I think they will end up playing better. Their pitching is just too good for them to lose a lot of games, and once Evan Longoria gets back, that lineup changes quite a bit. Maybe it’s good for us that we see them again in April and then can be done with that team for the season.
On a different subject, I was very sad to see what happened to Manny Ramirez, but you can’t find me saying anything bad about him. He was a class act when he was with us last year, and I wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward.
Oakland is in town starting today, and this isn’t the Oakland of two years ago — these guys can play. They have a good ballclub with some very good pitching, so they are not the underdogs anymore. I expect this series to be a dogfight with them because they have slowly gotten better each year, and just like a long time ago when they had The Big Three, they can pitch with anyone. I expect our guys to be up to the challenge.
The energy in The Cell has been great, so keep coming out and supporting the guys. Get a ticket and come on out and, we will see you at the park.
Hey, everyone! Sorry for not posting in a little bit, but I have been all over the place. But now it’s time to talk to you guys and let you know what I have been up to. Last week, I was at the Winter Meetings for a day. I am glad we made the moves that we made, even though I was probably just as surprised as you guys when I heard them. People in Chicago should feel very proud and lucky they have an owner like Jerry Reinsdorf, and also proud of the people in the front office for making such aggressive moves. I’m very happy we have my captain, PK (Paul Konerko), back, and I’m happy he will hopefully finish his career with the White Sox. As far as Adam Dunn goes — wow … he’s a big boy and seems like a very fun guy who stays loose and ready to play. I like that.
Right now, I am in Venezuela and will be here for a few weeks. Other than doing some relaxing, I am doing some work through the Ozzie Guillen Foundation, helping out kids with cancer and other problems they face here in my home country. I will post some pictures soon on here as well as on my Facebook page so you guys can get a feel for what exactly we are doing.
I was reading through some of your questions and one came up about “Ozzie Ball” and what it is exactly. I think most times, people don’t know what it means, so let me explain: “Ozzie Ball” means playing the game the right way; it has nothing to do with bunting, stealing bases or the lack of home runs. It’s about playing hard-nosed baseball the way I liked to play it, or better yet the way Paul Molitor, Lenny Dykstra, Rickey Henderson and George Brett played the game. I want 25 guys playing the game that way every single day.
Now, on to more of your questions:
Q: Are you currently in your dream job?
A: Yes, I am in my dream job. I have been with the White Sox for 22 years of my life, and I have lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else in my life. Chicago is my home. With that said, my home is where my family and I are at that current time, and right now, that’s Chicago. I hope it stays that way, but it’s out of my control.
Q: Do you have a favorite place in Chicago to get a hot dog?
A: I don’t really eat a lot of hot dogs, but when I do I like Maxwell Street by UIC. They have a lot of good food, especially the pork chops.
Q: Ozzie, I’ve always wondered, what’s it like to make your money playing baseball?
A: I was always blessed to stay healthy for a long time like I did to play the game that I love. It truly was a blessing. I hope everyone loves their job as much as I do, because when you do you really give it your best. Many of us who had the privilege to play baseball for a living recognize how blessed we are. That’s why I try to do as much for the community as I can. I want everyone to be as healthy and blessed as we have been.
Q: Since the Dodgers have Juan Uribe and he played for the White Sox, what can you tell us about him?
A: Uribe is awesome. He may look like a little Buddha, but he is an amazing baseball player. I think he is so good because he is not afraid of the moment. He really is fearless, maybe because he has no idea how big the moments actually are! (haha) I only kid with him because that’s my boy, and he will be great for the Dodgers.
As I always say, keep the questions coming!
Until next time …
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What’s up, everyone! I’m back in Chicago and, wow, it’s cold here. This weekend, I am in town for the Easter Seals Holiday Gala. If you don’t know too much about Easter Seals, please look them up. They are a great organization, and I love working with them. The things they do for kids with disabilities are truly great.
I have seen some great questions coming in over the past week on here, Facebook and Twitter, and I’m trying to get around to answering as many as I can. One specific question that did catch my eye — someone wanted to know if I could pick all players, what my “All-Ozzie” team would be. Here you go …
* Ivan Rodriguez, C
* Rafael Palmeiro, 1B
* Roberto Alomar, 2B
* Mike Schmidt, 3B
* Ozzie Smith, SS
* Barry Bonds, LF
* Ken Griffey Jr., CF
* Roberto Clemente, RF
* Edgar Martinez, DH
* John Smoltz, SP
* Scott Radinsky, LHR
* Dennis Eckersley, RHR
* Mariano Rivera, CL
On to the questions …
Q: What is the hardest thing to adjust to as a Latin player coming to play affiliated baseball in the States?
A: The language is the hardest thing to adjust to, no question. It’s also very hard to adjust to the life and culture here in America. Also, the rules can be difficult because some things that are legal in other countries aren’t legal here.
Q: Who provides the best pre- and post-game food outside of Chicago?
A: Hands down, the best food is when we’re at Yankee Stadium. I also like Tampa and Cleveland, too.
Q: Do you see MLB expanding to Mexico or Puerto Rico in the next 5-10 years?
A: I don’t see that happening. There are too many things to worry about — security, travel, fan support. I mean, I hope it happens, but too many things would need to go right for that to be possible.
Q: Who is the funniest player you have ever coached or met?
A: The funniest players, for me, were Jose Contreras, Kevin Millar and Robin Ventura. Those guys are funny without a doubt.
Q: What’s your favorite hobby outside of baseball? Do you play a musical instrument?
A: Outside of baseball, I like golf, boating and bullfighting. I wish I could play percussions for Latin Music!
Please keep all the great questions coming. I enjoy reading and responding to them!
Until next time …