Well, that was a long vacation in Spain. What a great trip I had over there; I got to spend some time with some of my now my ex-players. It was great to spend such a great time with some great people. I had the opportunity to go to a Real Madrid game and see some bullfights, a lot of bullfights actually. Unfortunately, when I got back, I was the one that got the horns.
I received that phone call that nobody wants to get. It was short and to the point. I went to Miami to win and to be there awhile. That was the plan, but they chose to go in another direction. Money is great, but that’s not what it’s all about. Regardless of what I may say, anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a competitor, I’m a winner, and I want to win more than anything. I like to keep my word, so I like to go out there and compete. That’s why I love this game so much.
I don’t think I have ever missed a season or not been affiliated with a team since I started playing baseball. Even in 1992, I was part of a team. So, once February rolls around, I’m sure this is going to be a very new feeling for me. With great friends and family I’ll get through this and be better for it.
I want to thank everyone again for all of their support. Even the people who were happy that things ended up this way, thank you as well. My love and respect to you. Thanks to all those who have called me to show their support, even people from my former teams like the Braves and the White Sox. I really appreciate it.
Congrats to the San Francisco Giants and Bruce Bochy; what an amazing job you all did. Congrats to all the Venezuelan players who represented Venezuela in the World Series and made us proud.
Now it’s time to move on and see what’s next for me in my life. Always move forward and never look back.
I will continue to say it all season: winning cures all. But seriously, with all of these walk-offs we have been having, I just hope I don’t have a heart attack. Our pitching continues to be awesome in a division in which every team has great pitching. We still haven’t even faced the Braves yet, but that will happen tomorrow.
If you want to win a division, it is crucial to play well against the other teams in it. We had a good weekend series against the Mets when we took two out of three. There were lots of ups and downs, but we got the “W” and that’s all that matters. We finish up our series with the Pirates today and then we hit the road. I always thought two-game series were weird and never really understood them, but we need to take care of business regardless.
Helloooo, Texas. I love the Las Colinas Hotel that we stay at when we are down here; it has a great spa and nice golf course. That’s the good part. On the other side, we have a tough road trip ahead of us with Texas, Toronto and Boston, but it’s the American League and it’s always tough. I think we have won something like 4 straight series and it feels good when the team is playing better. There is a lot less panic when the you are winning. So we are here in Texas looking to start this trip off right and hoping to play well against them. On another note, we need to stick with the Bulls. I am with them all the way. The Heat are a tough team because all those stars decided to get together, but hey, believe in yourself and bring it back to Chicago. We are all with you guys!
I answered more of your questions …
Q: Ozzie, I’ve been a White Sox fan for a very long time. I admire that your team participates in a lot of charitable events. I was wondering, how do you pick the charities you support? — Debra D. (Aurora, Ill.)
A: I personally like dealing with kids because they usually are innocent, but my wife and I just like helping anyone in need who appreciates it.
Q: Ozzie, you rock! Out of curiosity, what was your overall feeling of feedback (positive or negative) from current or former players throughout the league after you made the statement asking that the “steroid list” be released for the sake of baseball? — Marc V. (Fort Collins, Col.)
A: I’m a big believer that feedback is always good either way. It can’t hurt.
Q: So, since we all know your English isn’t the best (haha), do you write your own blogs or does someone write ’em up for you? Go Sox!! –Brittany S. (Streamwood, Ill.)
A: Brittany, I write my own blogs, but before they go up on the website, let’s just say people correct my English a bit. But this is all me!
Q: Ozzie, no question here, just wanted to say that I think baseball (and the world, quite frankly) needs more people like you — open, honest, passionate and real; no BS. I follow you on Twitter and always look forward to what you have to say. Keep on being you! Yankee fans love Ozzie Guillen … FACT! — David S. (Bronx, N.Y.)
A: Thank you, David, and I love New York, too.
Q: Ozzie, what is your best baseball moment as a player and manager? — Matt Z. (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.)
A: As a player, it would have to be Game 6 when I was playing for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 NLCS. I tied the game against Armanda Benitez and we won in extra innings. As a manager, it’s gotta be getting that ring in ’05, although I was just as proud of the ’08 team because they battled so hard.
Q: What is your favorite “Macho Man” memory? — Jason S. (St. Paul Park, Minn.)
A: Anytime he came out with Miss Elizabeth (haha); just kidding. I remember when I took my kids to see Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man at the Rosemont Horizon way back, and they put on a great show and my kids loved it.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, why don’t you trade John Danks for a good starter? — Angel V. (Bell, Ill.)
A: Well, Danks is a good starter, for one, and I am the manager, not the general manager.
Q: How about starting Brent Lillibridge as leadoff man and playing outfield? He always gives his all. — Angel R. (Chicago)
A: Hope you have been watching, Angel; Brent has been in there.
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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 …
CHICAGO — What’s up, everyone?I finally made my way back to Chicago and
thought I’d share some things with you all. Man do I love this city,
even though I’m freezing my butt off!
Unfortunately, yesterday the baseball community lost a true legend. Sparky Anderson
was a great man and will truly be missed. I was lucky enough to watch
Sparky manage my favorite teams and player of all-time. Growing up in
Venezuela, the only games I was able to watch were those of the
Cincinnati Reds teams of the ’70s (especially the ’75 and ’76 teams) and
my favorite player, Dave Concepcion. I was also fortunate enough
to play against him when he was in Detroit and would be blessed one day
to have as many rings as he does. A lot of people have been asking me
if I have any Sparky stories, so here’s something I remember — even
though it might be hard for some of you to believe it. Sparky Anderson
intentionally walked me twice in my career to pitch to Sammy Sosa.
Yes, the same Sammy Sosa who hit over 600 home runs — although back
then he still had his Jheri curl and was a little darker (hahaha). Sparky was a great baseball man and will be missed.
I want to congratulate the San Francisco Giants, especially Aaron Rowand, Juan Uribe and Bruce Bochy.
My experience at FOX was awesome, and I can’t thank everyone enough.
But seeing those guys celebrate is what makes me excited to come to
work. I hope I can do it again some time soon. I love this game so much,
I want to be around it whenever I can. Both the front offices of the
Giants and Rangers need to be applauded. I got to the World Series in
’99 with the Braves and know what it feels like to lose. It takes a lot
to get there, and those guys should be proud. I watched a little of the
parade in San Francisco and it was great. those guys won because they’re
carefree spirits. They play the baseball I like to play.
Now that I’m back in Chicago, I plan on seeing a couple of Bulls games like I did last night. (Thanks to all the fans who came up and said hi.) I live close to the United Center and enjoy supporting the young kids they have, like Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. Plus, I have always been a fan of basketball.
also want to go see a Bears game, but I’m not sure it will be here in
Chicago. Us Latinos will freeze out there in this weather. I am planning
on heading down to Miami to see them play the Dolphins. It will be a
lot warmer, but don’t worry, I will be rooting for the Bears. When I’m
in Miami, I enjoy golfing a lot and watching my youngest son, Ozney,
play at his Junior College. I think I’m going to crash at his place and
make him cook for me or something (hahaha). I have a lot of good friends who live in Miami in the offseason. I play golf with Joey Cora a lot and get to see Freddy Garcia
and his kids, who are a part of my family. Even though we try to relax,
we always end up talking about baseball. we Guillens live baseball
24/7, and I even named my dog “DH” after my good friend Harold Baines.
I hope you all got a chance to check out the Jimmy Kimmel
joke about me. If not, you can look at my previous post. It’s very funny
stuff. I read all your questions and comments, and I love it, so please
ask me anything. Don’t be scared (haha). Maybe you guys can
teach me something. It never hurts to listen to advice. Now it’s time to
go relax this offseason with a little music, the beach, and of course
baseball because the chaos never stops!
Talk to you guys soon, very soon.