Wow, we won a series at home! Feels very, very good before a day off. I get to enjoy a nice relaxing day today; having a BBQ tonight before we get ready for those Indians tomorrow. They have been playing some great ball, so we need to be ready.
Everybody knows that Kansas City plays us so tough, so to beat them and to swing the bats the way we did was awesome. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how much Bruce Chen dominates us. But that’s just baseball. The one thing I always look forward to is when we play our division. We have a bunch of games left in the division, and that’s probably a good thing. We take care of our own business, we should be there at the end.
If a couple of guys keep helping us out like they have, our offense can be very dangerous. Great job this weekend by Brent Lillibridge playing first base and swinging the bat like a big man (haha). Don’t let that kid fool you, he is a very strong man. But most importantly, his defense has helped us out a ton all year long.
On another note, I would really like to see The Cell sold out for the Indians series. These games are huge, and we need all the support we can get. We are right in the middle of the race, so we need everyone to come out and yell. I know we get their best with Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson (but not in that order). If we want to win this division, we are going to have to beat the best. There is no other way to do it. And even though we have some tough pitchers coming our way, as long as none of them are named Chen, I will take my chances.
And lastly, a little surprise — I think I will be doing some Q&A on Twitter tonight. So bring you’re “A” game!
Well, we are finally back home after what turned out to be a pretty good weekend in Cleveland. That’s the way you end a long road trip on a good note. We kinda stumbled a bit in Kansas City, but the guys responded and showed what they were made of.
We did get a little break there yesterday with the center fielder making an error, but like I have said before, I would rather be lucky than good (haha). We got a couple great outings by Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd, and everyone in the bullpen did a great job. When you get that kinda pitching along with some timely hitting and great defense by the old timer Omar Vizquel, it usually leads to a win. Now it’s time for a long homestand.
Not exactly sure what the numbers are, but I think we have played better on the road this year than at home. I hope that changes because this homestand is going to be a test, and we need to defend out home field. We start out the homestand with the Tigers tonight, a team we need to beat. Hope to see you guys out there.
I also want to say congrats to my man, a friend and someone I played with and against — Roberto Alomar. He was the best and smartest player I ever saw. Also, congrats to Bert Blyleven, as well. These guys both represented the game of baseball the way you should, and I’m very happy for them!
I think it’s safe to say it’s easier to answer your questions than write a blog on this day off in Cleveland. It’s definitely not the best day off, but I looked at some of your questions and thought now was a good time to answer:
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I am a lifelong Sox fan living in Minnesota and am desperate for a Sox series win against the Twins. Anyway, was just wondering if there’s any topic you won’t talk about in public. Is anything off limits to Ozzie Guillen? — Brandon H. (St. Paul, Minn.)
A: Well, I would also like to beat the Twins, but they have just had our number, I guess. Weird things happen in baseball; sometimes it’s just the way it goes. No topic is off limits but my personal life — meaning my wife and my kids are what’s sacred to me.
Q: My friend O.G. — congrats on the website. Great way to keep in touch with the people who follow you. Keep doing what you’re doing. — Carlos C. (Caracas, Venezuela)
A: Thanks a bunch. The idea behind the website was to stay in touch with the fans and anyone who wants to reach me.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, any suggestions on some places to take her after the game for a few drinks besides the Bacardi Bar? — Eric C. (Joliet, Ill.)
A: Well, Chicago is Chicago, but I would take her down to Buffalo Wings & Rings on 34th and Halsted. My close friends and kids have been going there and I stopped by a couple of times; good place with some very good food. You will be hearing more about this place soon, trust me.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark to visit when your team is on the road? — Russelle D. (Fremont, Calif.)
A: Well, my favorite place to visit is Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. I managed my first game ever there and it has gotten a lot nicer since then. Only problem is they seem to play well against us, and I’m not a fan of extra innings …
Q: Mr. Guillen, what is it like to wake up every morning being so awesome? — Jeff P (Rockton, Ill.)
A: Hahaha. Well I’m glad you think so. Every morning I wake up and my wife sees me, I hope she thinks the same thing you do. I’m just happy to be blessed and healthy; everything else happens for a reason.
Q: Ozzie, I would like to know — what is your view on Interleague Play? It seems like a lot of people in baseball have a dislike for Interleague. I personally believe it’s fun. I mean, when else will we see Philles vs. Red Sox, or White Sox vs Cubs? — Seong O. (Las Vegas)
A: I don’t mind it, to be honest with you, because it brings people to the stadiums and sells tickets. If it sells tickets, then it makes sense to everyone. But I do think the DH should maybe alternate every year in Interleague Play.
Q: When you are mad at an umpire, do you ever swear at him in Spanish? If so, what is the usual reaction? — Danielle G. (Sycamore, Ill.)
A: Haha. Maybe I do sometimes. In the heat of the moment, you say crazy stuff. And believe me, I run out of bad words in English very fast, so I usually say the same ones over and over.
Q: What do you think about Jim Riggleman resigning in the middle of the season AND over his contract? Thanks, Ozzie! — Jeffrey H. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
A: Well, I believe he had his own personal reasons for doing what he did. But as I have said before, those 25 guys and the coaching staff would be hard for me to walk away from. So to each his own, but I don’t see myself being able to do that.
Thanks for all your questions. My day off in Cleveland just got a little better. Come tomorrow, I hope we are ready to kick some butt and come back home on a winning note!
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, this week has been a long week. We had a long losing streak that finally ended in Tampa on Thursday, and then last night we had to face one of the nastiest pitchers in the league in Justin Verlander. We have run into some very good pitching in the last week, and sometimes that’s the way it goes. Plus, the defense we saw in Tampa was very, very good. It seems like they constantly were taking away base hits from us. But our guys continued to battle and gave us a chance to win.
I have always said it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish. We beat Tampa earlier in the season three out of four in Chicago, and they came back and did the same thing to us. That’s baseball … it’s going to happen. I believe in our guys; most of them have been through this before. They just need to keep grinding and good things will happen.
What people are starting to see is that in the American League there are no easy games. Just look at what Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland are doing. Those teams have surprised just about everyone and have fought to win every game. It’s still early in the season, but wow, in the AL you really can’t afford to take a night off.
As for us, we will continue to battle here in Detroit this weekend and then in New York. I want to thank Omar Vizquel because it seems like every time I put him in the lineup, he makes me look like a genius. … I have no idea how he does it, but he’s still got it somehow!
Going back home to Chicago … YESSS! Wanted to get my thoughts out before we got on the plane to head home. Wow, what a crazy couple of games here in Kansas City. Every time we come here it feels like nothing is easy. The Royals make you have to battle for everything, and I’m glad my guys answered the bell. So far, you can see these guys are all grinders and they won’t go without a fight. I love having that feeling about my team.
I love the way the team is running the bases very hard and aggressive. Sure, we made a couple of mistakes, but they were aggressive mistakes, and if we are going to make mistakes, those are the ones I want to see. We do have to catch the ball a little better and throw some more strikes, but we won the game. We won the series in Cleveland and now split here in K.C. I will take that on the road. I told you guys in my last blog that K.C. was going to be very tough this year, and they proved that already.
Now we are heading back to Chicago and I hope The Cell is crazy tomorrow! Tampa has been struggling a little bit, but they are still a very good team that is going to throw 4 very good pitchers at us. Edwin Jackson will be ready to go for us, I can promise you that.
Tomorrow is going to be my 21st Opening Day with the Sox. Yes, there have been that many! When the game starts, it’s nothing but fun, but I love the National Anthem because it gets so loud and I will just be taking it all in trying to enjoy it.
Hope you are all ready, Chicago, because here we come!!
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What’s up, everyone? Just getting an off day here in
Kansas City, and it’s freezing cold and windy! So guess what I decided to
do … ? That’s right, I went golfing, and let’s just say that was a very,
very, very bad idea. Not planning on doing too much today, other than
warming up and will probably try to get some rest before going out to dinner
with my wife.
Cleveland was actually a lot of fun this weekend and it’s
usually not (haha). I’m just kidding — sort of — I like Jacobs Field (or
whatever they are calling it these days) a lot. I look forward to making
better memories there from now on, because I have some bad ones from when
Omar Vizquel‘s team used to kick our butts in the ’90s. I’m glad we went
in there and swung the bats well and for the most part pitched well.
Speaking of Omar, are you kidding me?! He doesn’t play at all the
first 2 games and then goes in there against the Justin Masterson kid, who was nasty,
and gets 2 hits in his first 2 at-bats. Not sure exactly how he does it,
but wow, very impressive.
I hope we can continue to play well and keep having fun
because when we hit the ball like that, I look like a genius (haha). It
probably won’t be as easy here in Kansas City; this team is going to play some
very good baseball and probably do better than what most people are expecting. Look what they did to the Angels this past weekend. We have to be ready
to play. A lot of people ask me about which stadiums I like, and this one
here in Kansas City is my favorite; just a great stadium.
OK, that’s all for today. Wish us luck, and I better see you
all at The Cell on Thursday!
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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 …