Well, we are here at the halfway point and obviously not where we want to be. We have suffered through some tough losses in the first half. Any time a team loses in the ninth with a chance to win, it’s very hard to watch and can be a huge hit to a team. It’s something we have dealt with this year and something we have continued to bounce back from.
On the bright side, we have a lot of games left in the division. It starts with four games against the Nationals starting Friday, and it’s important we come out with a sense of urgency. We have enough to be a playoff team, and we need a good start to the second half.
I’m spending my break in Chicago. I still love this town and my house here, but Miami is home until October – hopefully late October. I saw Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby, so congrats to him. I thought those royal blue jerseys were pretty awesome. I didn’t watch the game, but my kids kept me posted as to what was going on. Of course I’m glad the NL won.
I was there in 2006 managing when we won it in Pittsburgh. It’s not an easy thing. You have to win the game, make sure nobody gets hurt and try to play everyone at the same time — a lot of things going on in a manager’s mind.
I want to congratulate all the first time All-Stars on an experience I’m sure they won’t forget. As for us, I just hope we come out of the gates clicking and make a run at this thing.
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!
After enjoying a nice day off in Chicago before heading to Denver last night, I am rested and ready to go against the Rockies. Denver is a very nice city, I must say, even though we don’t get a chance to be here very often. I’m looking forward to a good series and an opportunity to see a good, young Venezuelan player in Carlos Gonzalez — who can be extremely dangerous — and one of my favorite players in Troy Tulowitzki.
We know we need to start swinging the bats better. In the American League, if you can’t swing the bats, you have no chance. I was happy with the way we played the game this weekend, and I’m glad we had that 6-man rotation. We can now fill-in John Danks’ spot, and I was very proud of Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy, who were all available to pitch this weekend out of the bullpen. I have a lot of respect for all those guys. I also have to mention how happy I am for Davey Johnson and hope he does some good things with the Nationals. They have some good, young talent over there.
So, I had a little more time and the questions keep coming into my website, so here are a couple more answers …
Q: Ozzie, you are my favorite person to follow on Twitter. Many of your tweets are pretty funny. Why did you decide to start an account, and why do you like to use Twitter? — Mike C. (Waukegan, Ill.)
A: I thought it was a fun way to connect with my family, friends, and fans. Glad you enjoy it.
Q: Why don’t managers let pitchers throw 300 innings in a year anymore? Roy Halladay could easily hit that mark if he was left in games a little longer. And why is that magic 100-pitch count held in such high regard? If a guy feels good, shouldn’t you let him keep throwing? — Wyatt F. (Owensboro, Ken.)
A: Because they play 162 games now. These players make a lot more money, and it’s a big risk if they get hurt. Also, pitchers are developed differently these days.
Q: Who is the best two-strike hitter in baseball? — Kevin M. (Atlanta)
A: The best I ever saw was Wade Boggs. Right now, it’s hard for me to say because I don’t see enough of everyone, but A.J. Pierzynski isn’t bad.
Q: What is the worst thing you did to get thrown out of a game? — Brian M. (New York)
A: I can say some pretty bad words to the umpire, I guess. Nothing sticks out.
Q: Dear Ozzie, just wanted to say great tweet to Sean Pean about Venezuela! You clearly have first-hand knowledge, and he is clearly not well-informed. Keep up the great work! — Helen G. (Glendora, Calif.)
A: Thank you very much for the support!
Q: Ozzie, are you going to manage the Venezuela team in 2013? Also, what do you think of the expansion of the tournament to 28 teams? Thanks! — Mark H. (Chicago)
A: I don’t think I’m allowed to manage the 2013 team because I am a current MLB manager. If they expand, it would be very cool, but that also means a lot more games, so there is a downside, as well. If it makes money, it makes sense (haha).
Thank you, everyone, for reading this blog and your support. Until next time …
What’s going on, everyone? Hope everyone enjoyed that series win versus the Cubs. It was a great series, like they always seem to be, and despite their record, I still feel like they have a very good ballclub over there. It’s good for us to win series; we need to continue to do that and get back to .500, then we can worry about other things. Even though we are playing on opposite sides of town, it was good for me to see Carlos Zambrano pitch well. No matter what, you always want your friends to do well in this game. As for us, our bullpen was outstanding once again, and we got just enough hitting to take the series. I enjoyed my day off yesterday morning with a little golf with my kids, and I’m looking forward to the Nationals coming to town. They are hot right now, so it should be a good series.
Before I answer some questions like I promised to do in my last post, I want to remind everyone that space is running out for my kids summer baseball camp taking place during the All-Star Break. You can sign up now at any of the four Chicagoland locations, and I can promise that all the kids will have a great time. You can sign up here, too.
Now, on to your questions …
Q: Do you still think the Twins will be a contender in the AL Central this season? — Mike K. (Waseca, Minn.)
A: Yes, I do. Those guys know how to play baseball, so no matter how many games they are behind us, they are just as dangerous as anybody else. And as you can tell by the way they are playing, they are going to be right there at the end of it.
Q Ozzie, who was better at the hot corner — Joe Crede or Robin Ventura? — Brandon B. (Chicago)
A: I say Robin because he won many more Gold Gloves and lasted longer than Joe did. But don’t get me wrong, when Joe was healthy, he was very good over there.
Q: How important is it that your players do something to give back to the community? — Pat C. (Naperville, Ill.)
A: I think that’s the main goal other than winning games. That’s what the Chicago White Sox and Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf are all about. They put an emphasis on helping the community, and they do a great job of it.
Q: If the world were ending tomorrow, what would you do tonight? — Tyler G. (Greenville, N.C.)
A: I would have dinner with my kids and spend the night with my wife. A few drinks might be involved somewhere in there. (hehe)
Q: Do you ever worry about losing your job? — Matt B. (Oak Lawn, Ill.)
A: Never, because I have no control over that. I have been on the hot seat since 2004.
You keep sending the questions, and I will keep answering them!!!