What’s up from Spain, everyone? Wow … Europe is just a completely different world. We are having so much fun. Lots of food and drink as you can imagine. I’m definitely going to have to work out some when I get back, but who am I kidding? We all know that isn’t going to happen (haha)! So far we have been to Madrid, Seville and Barcelona doing what I love best: taking in some bullfights and hanging out with the bullfighters. I actually got in front of a bull, too. It was a baby one, but still enough to get your heart beating fast. It is pretty scary and it got me in the knee with its head. My knee is a little swollen right now, but I can’t show anyone around here I got hit because it’s a little embarrassing.
Other than that I’m going to try and watch a soccer match live, either a Barcelona or a Madrid game. The stadiums are amazing here with close to 100,000 fans screaming and yelling. It is something I need to check out.
Hope you all are doing well back in the U.S. I’ll be back in Chicago soon enough and I will need to catch up on the playoffs as well as the Bears. I try to watch them as much as I can on Sundays even though I don’t know the game that well.
And that reminds me: What’s up with the NBA lockout? I want to go to some games this winter. Man, do I love basketball. Anyways, I will see you guys soon and I just wanted to check in and say what’s up and share some of my vacation with you all!
Before I answer a few more of your questions, I just want to say I read a lot of your comments here on my Blog, my Facebook page and my Twitter account, and I want to clear up some confusion we might have … I have NO say or make any decisions as to what offseason moves my team should make. Sometimes they ask for my suggestions and I give them, but for the most part, I don’t deal with that stuff. I just manage the team.
Q: Do you think Chris Sale has a chance to start in 2011?
A: I think Sale does have a good chance to start, he has done it before when he was in college. But I think he would be great out of our bullpen.
Q: Ozzie, can I borrow $10,000?
A: I would give you $10,000 if it was for a good cause.
Q: What are some good, easy Venezuelan recipes I can make?
A: Cachapas, I believe, are very Venezuelan because in all other countries they instead make pabellon and arepas. So, I believe cachapas are only in my country, and I really like them a lot. Not sure how you cook them, but it should be easy — lots of corn and cheese, and it comes out looking similar to a pancake.
Q: Where would you recommend visiting in Spain if we only had a week?
A: I was just in Spain. If you go there, you should visit Madrid because of the energy, food and great sightseeing. And if you like bullfighting, you will go to Seville like I did.
Q: Ozzie, my friend, I’d like to know if by any chance you’re helping our beloved Tiburones [de La Guaira, a Venezuelan pro baseball team] improve our performance this year. We could really use your help in these troubled times.
A: I don’t help the Tiburones. I’m their No. 1 fan, and I watch every game I can. But I don’t help. I’m good friends with President Francisco Hernandez and Vice President Antonio Herrera. I wish them the best of luck.
Q: In your opinion, who is the best player in the game, and who is the young player you think has the brightest future?
A: The best players we have in our game right now are Josh Hamilton and Robinson Cano, because they do it all. The ones I see with the brightest future are Chris Sale of the White Sox and Austin Jackson of the Tigers, because they have what it takes to triumph in the Major Leagues.
Before I go, I wanted to give a shoutout to my people in Venezuela, especially where I was born in Ocumare Del Tuy, where I played baseball growing up in Los Teques, and to those in Guarenas and Guatire, where I lived many years and where I met my wife, Ibis. And a shoutout to everyone else reading. Keep asking.
‘Til next time …