Finally! The Marlins have come back to Miami! Just like The Rock says (haha). It has been busy, busy, busy — so I haven’t been able to blog as much as I like, but we are ready to get this party started. The stadium looks nicer and nicer every time we get in there because they are still adding the finishing touches. It seems as though it’s going to be a loud place to play, and that’s awesome. Hopefully it provides a home field advantage for us.
We played the Yankees yesterday and again today. All I have to say is: Wow, we scored two runs off of Mariano Rivera, and that never happens. Hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come. Some of our key guys got hits like Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison (LoMo). If those guys stay healthy like we need them to, we should be alright.
The champion St. Louis Cardinals come into town on Wednesday for the opener, and then we hit the road right away for Cincinnati and Philadelphia. It would be nice if we are able to set the tone early. I love the energy from our guys so far. Maybe the energy comes from us being a young team, but they have been fun to watch so far.
We are so close to what we have all been working towards: OPENING DAY! No other sport does Opening Day like baseball does, and it shows. It’s always a special day for me; I’m very happy that this is going to be my 27th Opening Day. I consider myself very blessed to have been around for that long and to be given this opportunity with the Marlins. Now let’s kick some ass!
What a World Series. Wow! Looking back, I just can’t believe all the crazy things that happened during that Series. It was definitely fun to watch and fun to be there in that environment with ESPN. I can’t say enough how awesome everyone was there and I look forward to working with them again in the future. Well I guess it’s not up to me (haha), but I would definitely like to do it again.
Congrats to Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals. It’s not about who is the best team, it’s about who gets hot at the right time, and the Cardinals proved that. On the other side of it, I was very proud of Ron Washington and the whole Texas Rangers team for battling through everything and almost being on top.
After the Series I went to New York to watch my good friend Ruben Blades perform along with 8 Y Mas. What an amazing concert, but even more amazing was the snow! It was not very fun, but I can tell you the drinks made it a lot more interesting (haha).
Right now, I’m back in Venezuela doing some things for my foundation, the Ozzie Guillen Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to helping kids dealing with cancer and their families. This is without a doubt the best part about being a “celebrity.” Just the fact that we can help to give back and make such a huge impact on people’s lives means more to me than anything else. I’m also here to support my buddy Carlos Zambrano and his Home Run Derby that is going to take place in Puerto Cabello, close to the beach. We are also filming a Pepsi commercial down here with Carlos and Bobby Abreu. Here are some pictures:
After all of these activities we are headed back to Miami for the unveiling of the new Miami Marlins logo. To be honest with you, I haven’t seen the logo yet but I am very excited. I have heard a lot about some leaks and I don’t know what is true and what is not. I have heard some good and some bad things, but I can’t wait to see what they have done with it … let’s hope for the best!
I’m baaaaackkkkk!!! Don’t think just because I have been out of the country I haven’t been following some baseball. I know what’s been going on in the playoffs and all over the place.
On that note, ESPN has asked me to help them out during their World Series coverage, and I gladly accepted. I’m honored and excited to work as an analyst this year along side my man John Kruk and Barry Larkin. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I guarantee lots of laughing. Make sure you tune in; you just never know what’s going to happen. I will also be on SportsCenter a couple of times, so the whole thing should be a blast. Being around baseball is what I love and it’s what I always want to be doing. This is the second best way to be around the World Series; I’m just glad they picked me and wanted me to come on board.
Congrats to all the teams that made it. The Tigers — with all their injuries — put up an amazing fight. They deserve a lot of credit with all they had to put up with. I’m not surprised about Texas because they are a very good team. I’m happy for Wash (Ron Washington) and Michael Young since he has been their leader for so long. I’m a big fan of his.
I am a little surprised at how good the Cardinals’ bullpen has been. Wow. Tony LaRussa and his staff have done a great job working those guys in. As for the Phillies, I thought they would have moved past St. Louis with their pitching, but it wasn’t meant to be.
New teams and new cities getting excited about their teams is a good thing for baseball. If the Cubs pull off that deal for Theo Epstein, it would be awesome for them. The city of Chicago would definitely appreciate it, and he has a great history of winning, as we all know.
Also, I want to say great job by A.J. Pierzynski and Tito (Terry Francona) on FOX. They are doing a great job working with a great staff. Don’t think I forgot about Spain either. What an amazing time, but you guys have probably heard enough about that! See you at the World Series. I’ll be the guy in the nice suit (haha). Let’s hope it goes seven games. Why not? I’m torn because I was an American League guy, but now for less than a month I am a National League guy.
Who do you think will win? That’s why they play the games. Feels good to be back in the U.S.!
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.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
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 …