What’s going on, everyone?? I hope you all are enjoying this crazy weather here in Chicago. This is the first time I have been in Chicago for this long. Usually I leave and run away to Miami, but not this year! My family and I decided it would be best to stay here and enjoy all the snow, but I know you don’t feel too bad for me — I will be in Arizona in a couple of weeks.
I am definitely ready for Spring Training to start so I can see my boys again and catch up with my staff. I already have my house picked out down there. We needed something big enough to fit all the guests I have coming down. If you didn’t know, Joey Cora has been my roommate for almost six years now down in Arizona. It’s pretty interesting, to say the least, and I am sure I will fill you guys in on what I mean once we get down there.
The best part of the beginning of the spring is the energy and excitement everyone comes in with. Also, because we get out so early before the games start, I get to work on my golf game almost every day. So many great courses out there make it a lot of fun. The beginning of Spring Training also has its bad moments, like every single day when I have to talk to the media about the same things. Most of the time, I can’t wait till the games start and we can see what everyone is about.
Before I forget, I want to congratulate the Bears on having a great season, and Lovie Smith for doing a great job. In my opinion, this guy needs to be given more credit; nobody expected them to do anything this year, and look what he got out of his players. On the same note, I have watched a ton of basketball this year and the Bulls look amazing. This kid Derrick Rose is awesome; so explosive. I’m glad Chicago has its next superstar. And I can’t forget about my boy Joakim Noah. I will be watching and rooting the rest of the way.
I have also been watching some golf getting ready for Arizona. I really hope Tiger Woods can get his game back. It is also great to see Jhonattan Vegas playing so well. He is from Venezuela, and I am very proud of him and hope all of Venezuela is as well for competing with the best. Maybe one day he can teach me some things — learning how to slice would be great. (haha)
I also got a chance to watch the Facebook movie, “The Social Network,” the other day. It was very hard for me to understand what they were saying some of the time, but after getting some of it explained to me all I can is… that kid is a genius! Good for him!
Alright, guys, I will be answering some more of your questions later this week. Keep checking the website out for more updates and stay tuned, because Arizona is almost here and I’m ready for this thing to start!!
As always, wake up and go get those dreams and make them reality!
How’s everyone liking the new Web site?? So, I went on and started to check all the questions you have been asking on the “Ask Ozzie!” portion of the site, and I couldn’t believe it… there were hundreds of questions already! Thank you all for your interest in the website and sending in your questions. I will try to read them all and will respond to as many as I can.
Here is my first shot…
Q: Hello, Ozzie. I was just wondering… how is Paul Konerko signing a new contract with the team a big plus for the upcoming year? I used to live in Chicago but moved to Texas, and I still am a BIIIIG FAN! Paulie is my fave. — Matthew M.
A: I think P.K. wanted to come back to Chicago, and obviously the front office wanted him back. They worked hard and made it happen, and I am very happy they did. It would have been very hard to replace someone like P.K.
Q: I remember being a kid and watching baseball when you were playing, and it didn’t seem as if there were as many power pitchers as there is now. What do you think the difference is? — Thomas A.
A: I think part of it is that players work harder these days, but maybe the bigger difference is nowadays scouts look for more power arms.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I admire your enthusiasm for the game. You are good for baseball. I’m a life-long Twins fan. Would you say you and Gardy [Ron Gardenhire] are friends, or just mutual combatants with mutual respect? Let’s have another great 2011 season! — Rich S.
A: I’m not friends with Gardy because we don’t hang out outside of the field, but I have a ton of respect for him as a manager and competitor. Not many people gave him the credit he deserves; he is one of the best in the game.
Q: First off, I want to thank you for being a breath of fresh air in the city of Chicago. My question is do you think Mark Buehrle is headed for Cooperstown? And is this team gearing up to be better than the 2005 White Sox? Thanks. — Scott B.
A: Thank you. I don’t know what type of ballclub we are going to have, all I know is we have talent. But comparing any team to the ’05 team is unfair because that team won the whole thing. As for Mark, he has easily been one of my favorite players I have ever managed, but I don’t think he has a chance at Cooperstown. I wish he could get in, but right now, I doubt it.
Q: Formula One has their first Venezuelan driver this year, Pastor Rafael Maldonado. Do you follow this at all? Will you follow him? Thanks, Ozzie. — Larry C.
A: No, I don’t follow Formula One, but I am proud of him like all Venezuelans should be. I do follow Venezuelan golfer Jhonattan Vegas, though, because I do love gold and I’m very proud of him as well.
Q: Why don’t you follow ANYBODY in your Twitter account? — Carlos S.
A: You know I’m not very good with computers, and I’m always getting new phones. I use Twitter to talk to fans, not follow people.
Q: What part of Spring Training do you most look forward to? — Michael E.
A: First of all, I think Spring Training is too long. I always look forward to the games starting and seeing the new and old players get after it.
Q: What do you think was the biggest reason the pitching staff got off to such a poor start last season, and how do you avoid that again this season? — Bob K.
A: I wish I had the answer to that one, but I really don’t. Most important thing to do is stay healthy and, unfortunately, I have no control over that. I pitch them and hope they stay healthy. It’s not about how you start, either; it’s about how you finish.
Q: Hey, if the American League vanished and you could take over as manager of any National League team in 2011, which team would you pick and why? — Matthew K.
A: Hahaha… Wow. You’re trying to get me in trouble, huh? You know I can’t answer a question like that. I’m the manager of the Chicago White Sox and very proud to be.
Q: What is your one memory that stands out above everything in your managerial career? — Benjamin S.
A: Wow, that’s a hard question. (haha) Winning the ring, of course — that’s what this game is all about!