Results tagged ‘ Bobby Abreu ’

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!

Seattle was good to us; now, to L.A.

Feels good to win a series, doesn’t it? It’s always a good feeling to go out and play your game and win. Overall, I think we started to play a little better baseball over the weekend in Seattle. We started to swing the bats a little bit, and that is great to see.

I think Seattle is just an awesome city. I’m a big fan of the stadium, and I absolutely love the seafood that city has. On the field, we got King Felix for a couple of runs on Friday, which was exciting, even though it wasn’t enough to get the win. What I like most about the way we have been playing is the pitching. It has been very good, and combine that with timely hitting, and you are going to win some games. Timely hitting is the key. It’s something we haven’t done a whole lot of lately, but the guys never gave up, and it was nice to win a close game yesterday for a change.

Now it’s on to Anaheim. Am I dreaming, or do we miss both Dan Haren and Jered Weaver? I’m not completely sure that’s the case, but either way, we have to continue to battle and play well. The Angels are always prepared, and those little guys they have, like Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis, always kill the White Sox, so we need to control those guys.

Last time we saw Bobby Abreu, my wife cooked for him, and then they came out and kicked our butts. I promise you my wife won’t be cooking anything for him this time around. So, no meals for Abreu, but hopefully we can go out there in awesome Southern California and try to win this series!

– Ozzie 

Another Q&A before I leave to Spring Training

Your questions keep coming in, and I’m doing my best to get to as many as I can! Spring Training is getting closer and closer. My bags are all packed and my golf clubs are already waiting for me. Some fun stuff is going to be happening on my website very soon, so make sure you keep checking back. 
Q: Glad to see you are here for at least one more year. How does going into a season without a solid contract for next year affect you and the players? Keep up the great work! – Dennis B. 
A: Thank you. I think there is more responsibility because it shows me that the front office has a lot of faith in me to run this ballclub. My expectations are high, so let’s hope for the best.
Q: Hey, Ozzie. So glad I could get a hold of you this way. I would love to see Bobby Abreu on your team. What are your thoughts on him? – Rodolfo T. 
A: Bobby has always been one of my favorite players. On top of us having a friendship, to me he’s one of the best natural hitters in baseball. To me it’d be a great honor to be his manager. 
Q: Hey, Ozzie, what’s up? I’m just wondering, what are your thoughts on managing the winter-ball team in Venezuela? – Jesus R. 
A: Of course, but just because I’d like it, not because it’ll happen. Because if it did happen, it would mean I’m not managing in the United States. 
Q: Hey, Oz, what’s up? How do you see the team this year, and who do you think is the key to the team? – Randy E. 
A: I think if the team stays healthy, we have a good chance to win. 
Q: Ozzie: First off, this is about as excited as I’ve been about a Sox team in a long time! Questions is, I really like what I saw out of Dayan Viciedo toward the end of last year, but don’t really see where he fits on this team (especially with Brent Morel the likely candidate at third base heading into 2011). What does Viciedo need to do to find his way into our lineup … soon? – Adam T. 
A: It’s hard for me to say right now because Dayan has moved around a lot. We all know he is one day going to hit in the big leagues, but right now that is a question for other people to answer. 
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I went to the Ozzie Guillen Roast and had the good fortune of taking a picture with you. The suit you had was very sharp. My question is, where do you shop for your clothes? What brand is your favorite? – Manuel T. 
A: Thank you for coming to the Roast. First of all, I am like a girl when it comes to clothes; I love it. The suit I was wearing at the Roast came from my good friend Joe Maya from Joe Maya Clothing in Miami — 777 N.W. 72nd Ave. Go check them out, they are awesome! My favorite brand for jeans is True Religion, and I like Michael Kors shirts of any kind a lot, as well. 
Q: Joey Cora is one of, if not the, best bench coaches in the Majors. Yet he keeps getting passed up for manager positions. Do you think he’s being given a fair shot? – Luke R. 
A: I know Joey is a great baseball man. I have learned a lot from him. I’m very surprised as to why he is not managing because I feel he is ready and has been ready for the job for many years now. 
Q: Ozzie, who was your idol both as a player and as a coach? Who did you look to for tips in both categories? Go White Sox! – Kevin W. 
A: David Concepcion was my idol as a player. As a coach or manager, I would have to say John Vukovich, the longtime third-base coach with the Phillies and Cubs. As a skipper, I have always said I looked up to Jeff Torborg, Bobby Cox and Jack McKeon
Q: Hi, Ozzie. … Thank you for being Venezuelan. … I am proud of you like all Venezuelans should be. Can you tell me what is the level of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in comparison with other American leagues? USA, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic … why have the Venezuelan baseball teams failed in the World Baseball Classic? — Kervis P. 
A: I think the Venezuelan league has more support from the fans than any other league. Every stadium is packed. I believe the Venezuelan and Dominican leagues are the most competitive. The reason why the Asian teams win the WBC is because they are more prepared and have been playing together much longer. 
Q: Ozzie, I have been a fan since the mid-’80s. How do you think this year’s lineup would match up to the Sox of the mid-’90s, especially the year of the lockout (’94-’95)? – Adam L. 
A: The ’94 team was a great team, but it’s hard to say how good we would have been because we never finished that season. And this year’s team, I don’t know how good we will be because we haven’t started. (haha)
Q: I’m heading down to Spring Training in the beginning of March. I was wondering, what is your favorite place to have a nice dinner while you’re down there? – Thomas W. 
A: Well, Mastro’s is very good. And I’m a steak guy, so I also like Fleming’s. If you like sushi, you should try out Blue Fish. 
Q: What city you travel to during the season has the best food besides Chicago? – Shawn C. 
A: Hands down, the best food is in Seattle and San Francisco. Boston is also up there.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, do you know what Luis Salazar is doing now? Thanks. – Joe S. 
A: I think Luis is working in the Minor Leagues for someone, but I’m not sure who. 
Q: Ozzie, why don’t you run for mayor in the city of Chicago now that your friend Richard Daley is leaving office? – Aaron G. 
A: Hahahaha, because I’m not that good. I feel like Mayor Daley did a great job, and whoever is the next mayor has a tough job ahead of them.
Q: Is there anywhere online that I could purchase Ozzie Guillen Foundation apparel (hats, T-shirts)? – Ryan V. 
A: This summer, you can get all the Foundation gear and a lot more. I have some surprises for you guys this summer. 
Q: Congrats on the Web page, Ozzie. I’m a huge fan. What do you think about Carlos Subero’s departure from the team? I feel like the team took off cold and he was wrongly accussed. Thoughts? – Luis G. 
A: Personally, I think that once again, when players play bad, they let go of the manager. That’s why it’s very hard to manage in Venezuela. But I think he did a good job with the team. That’s my opinion. 
Q: Mr. Guillen, with Spring Training right around the corner, I wanted to ask — how much more difficult is it to assess players in Arizona (with the thin air) as opposed to Florida? – David B. 
A: It’s a little different, especially for pitchers because you don’t sweat as much and your breaking balls don’t break as much. 
– Ozzie 

Looking to improve at home

One of our worries at the start of the season was to improve our road record, because at home, with the support of our fans, we generally have a winning record. But this season has been a strange one for all of us. In our last 12 games at U.S. Cellular Field, we have a record of 4-8, while in our last nine road games we have seven wins and only two losses, including two wins this weekend against the leaders of the NL Central, the Milwaukee Brewers.

One of the strengths of this team, despite the ups and downs that have characterized us during the season, has been that it never gives up. No matter what, my players go out and battle every day. It’s true we haven’t had the consistency that we would like, and that even I have been confused by some of what I have seen, but overall we have won and lost as a team, as a group.

It’s important to highlight the performance of Jose Contreras, who started the season with a 0-5 record and who offered to go down to the minor leagues to get better prepared to return to the team in better shape. At that time when we were discussing the minor leagues, Jose told Kenny Williams and me that he needed to pitch in order to come back and help the team win. Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. Jose has two starts of 8 innings or more, giving up just three hits, and one against the Central Division-leading Detroit Tigers and two against the Brewers. It is very difficult to have the same level of consistency in every outing, but if he keeps it up, he will surely be one of the key pieces to winning the division title.

But, now, we need to improve our record at home. And I will repeat what I have said many times: we have the talent to win, but we have to be more consistent. We have to do the small things that are required to win, get the big hits, make the routine outs, and get the pressure outs. We have the players here who can do that and other that are learning to do that quickly. If we can stay healthy, free from injuries, and we play the baseball we know how to play, we will be battling until the very end. I still very much like the team that I have.

Now, let’s respond to some of the e-mails:

Melissa Cruz, de Yubacoa in Puerto Rico, asks about the trade that brought over catcher Ramon Castro from the Mets. It seems to me a good trade because Ramon will surely help us. With him, our starting catcher A.J. Pierzinski can get some much needed days off. It is not easy to be behind the plate every day, especially playing with the intensity that A.J does, who plays at 1000 percent every day.

Pedro Soto, of Chicago, asks “how can you ask a hitter to bunt with two strikes and one ball with no one out and a runner on first, late in a close ballgame?” I don’t know if this is a hypothetical question or if he is referring to specific play. In any case, I don’t think I would have done that, but if that did take place, I would have to look over the situation more closely to see what might have happened. I have always said the games are better analyzed the farther you are from the action. From the stands everything looks very easy and some things can look ridiculous without knowing what is going on in the dugout. And finally, don’t forget that I make mistakes just like everyone else. Jordy Perez of New York asks when is the list of 103 names going to be released. Jordy is asking about the 103 players who tested positive for using steroids during the 2003 season. Sorry Jordy, but honesty, I have no idea about that subject.

Carlos Luis Hidalgo, of Venezuela, asks if it is true what journalist Juan Vene wrote in his column about a “near brawl between the manager of the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillen and the 3B Josh Fields was broken up by the players.” That is absolutely false and Mr. Vene is clearly a liar. Fields is a very religious young man who is very well mannered, and I, even though many still don’t believe it, am too smart to get into a situation like that. Fields is upset because he has lost his starting job at third base and I have personally talked to him about the fact that his production hasn’t been what the team has expected. In terms of Vene, everyone in the journalism world knows him. He uses his column to discredit people who he doesn’t like, including using insulting nicknames for them. My friends in the media tell me he didn’t even go to the games in Yankee Stadium last year, meaning he has become one of those people that write from their house without stepping foot where the action takes place. Because of his bad attitude no Venezuelan media outlet wants him on their radio or TV stations. The Caribbean Confederation denied him a credential for the Caribbean World Series last year. Everyday more doors are closing for him. It is sad that someone with his background and long career in the business has resorted to lying.

Joel Rodriguez, of Caracas, asks why the White Sox don’t pick up Gregor Blanco from Atlanta to be our leadoff hitter. In reality Joel, I don’t have anything to do with the signing or trading of players. That is the job our GM Kenny Williams, who has a team of professionals in charge of evaluating and analyzing talent on other teams. Those are the people that really know about talent. I have no doubt that if Gregor was a player like you say that would be an “ideal leadoff hitter” then Kenny’s team is surely on top of the situation.

Duane Abreu, of Guacara en the Carabobo state of Venezuela, asks if I would like to have Bob Abreu on my roster. Any team would love to have Bob in its ranks.

Geovanis Lopez, of Havana, Cuba, and Manuel Gomez want to know why Dayan Viciedo has not been moved up to the Majors. Patience, Geovanis, patience. Dayan will be up when he is ready and when he will help us win games. In the mean time, it is better that he play every day, facing good pitching and preparing to improve every day.

Nancy Ward writes to me in English to ask some advice for her daughter and her fiancé, who are big White Sox fans. They don’t play baseball, but that they want is a “little marriage advice.” I have been married 26 years and I have to say that marriage is like baseball: there are many good days and some bad days. What is important is to love and respect your partner. The key is to not let the bad moments overshadow the thousands of happy moments you have spent together.

Ray Rojas, of Minnesota, asks why we don’t change starting pitchers in the first three innings if they are having a bad outing. I’ll repeat Ray, it’s not as easy as it seems from the outside. There are times that the bullpen is tired and we have to try to get five innings out of our starters. Each case is very different and every team manages its bullpen differently. We don’t work the same as other team because we have our own guidelines. For better or worse, in these last five year that we have worked together we have won a World Series and two division titles which could indicate that we are doing a good job. But thanks for your suggestions, and thanks to all that have taken some time to write in to wish me well during the season.

I can’t say goodbye without sending a shout out to Eduardo Flores, of Barquisimeto, and to all the members of the team “Bandidos de un Solo Brazo”, who have represented Venezuela so well in international competitions. I had the opportunity to spend some time with them in my house in Caracas and to play with them alongside of Bob Abreu, Freddy Garcia and Ugueth Urbina, and I will always remember them with great affection.

Good luck in your next tournaments.

I’ll be back in 15 days answering your questions and sharing my opinions, comments and criticisms. One more time, thanks for your participation.

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