Happy new year to everyone! I hope you all were safe and enjoyed time around the people you love the most. 2013 is a chance for everyone to start fresh and think about what happened in 2012. I know I have.
I got to spend the holidays here in Venezuela and go over the options I have on what to do during the baseball season off the field. Not sure what the future holds; I might decide to work, but right now traveling sounds pretty exciting. It’s something I have never gotten a chance to do in the summertime. I have a couple of trips planned already: I’m going to head down to Colombia to watch some bullfighting and then on to Panama to catch up with my good friend Ruben Blades.
So far, the best news I have received this year is that my good friend Ugueth Urbina was released from prison after eight long, hard years. I believe he has served his debt to society and is ready to move on with his life. He came by the house the other day and it was like he had never left. It was great to see him. We have so many great baseball memories together, and he believes we both will come back to the game we love. We will see.
As the season gets closer, I will give you guys my predictions for this year. It’s almost like I’ll be playing fantasy baseball for the first time (haha). I will be looking in from the outside, so it should be fun. Stay tuned.
So, I was in Chicago for a few hours and man, does it get dark there really quickly! I don’t know, maybe it was because the Bears lost a tough game. Hopefully they can bounce back.
I flew out to Dallas this morning for the Winter Meetings. This is always an exciting time if you are baseball fan and if you work in the sport. It gives us a great chance to see what exactly everyone else is doing. Every team always has needs, and this is the place where teams come to get better and fill those needs.
The charity event in Panama was awesome. Congrats to Andruw Jones on the event, as well as the Noriega brothers and Carlos Lee. They all did an amazing job. To be able to get the caliber of baseball players down there that they did was truly remarkable. Baseball is coming back to Panama and it’s very exciting. We played a celebrity softball game down there. I had Andruw, CC Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson (or as I like to call him “UIC”), so we had a pretty good group. I got a couple of hits and almost pulled every muscle in my body. It was great that all of those guys took the time out of their offseason to go help out and it certainly paid off.
Now, it’s time for a few days here in Dallas. It’s going to be a fun time and already looks like some good news for Marlins fans! I will keep you posted.
How is everyone doing today? I’m still spending a few more days down here in Panama, but now we have moved to Panama City. We are at a place called the Manrey Hotel and it is amazing. I have to say, I’m actually in awe of Panama and how advanced this place it. Very impressive. I haven’t had a bad meal since we landed in this country. The food and the people are great.
Some of the Yankees guys should be getting into town either today or tomorrow to get ready for Andruw Jones’s event. From everything I have heard, this event should be pretty awesome, and I will be sure to put up some pictures when I can. Today I may even get a chance to meet Roberto Duran. My kids and I love boxing, so that would be a real thrill!
Got some good news the other day while I was down here: The people over at ESPN The Magazine informed me through my guys at Triple Crown Productions that we got the cover of the magazine’s December issue. That’s pretty awesome news! And the fact that my lazy-ass dog, DH, made the cover, too, is even better. It looks like he got a taste of my whole mouth on the shot, too. I can’t say enough about the ESPN crew. They showed up and did their job. They were telling me that usually during shoots people can be pretty quiet. Well, as you could imagine, not me and my family (haha). I think we ended up talking more than we got photographed. You can check out some behind-the-scenes pics I posted last week from the shoot on the website. It’s an honor to be on the cover, and I couldn’t be happier that I got it. And for your sake just be happy ESPN didn’t pick me to be on the cover of their “Body Issue”. That would have been bad for everyone (haha).
So, here is the final product; the cover (with DH, of course) that hits newsstands tomorrow. Be sure to go pick up a copy and read the interview I did with Tim Kirkjian. He did a great job with the questions and I answered as best as I could.
Happy December everyone, and hopefully we will see you guys this weekend in Chicago or at the Winter Meetings next week. This is always an exciting time for baseball and I can’t wait to see what happens.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I had a great time down in Panama and actually had a chance to do something that I had only done once before — I renewed my vows. After 28 years of being married, I decided it was time. I did it all on my own; my wife had no clue. See, I guess I can be romantic (haha). I guess since we didn’t get divorced after 72 days the first time around (72 days seems kinda fast) I think we will make it this time too. I just want to say thank you to my wife, Ibis, and my family for sticking with me, even though some of them have no choice (haha). No, but seriously that’s my real team no matter what!
We had some turkey on Thanksgiving Day down here in Panama. We actually are not staying in Panama City; we are at the Royalton Panama Beach Resort in Playa Blanca. I have one word to describe this place: Wow!
I have been able to keep up with some news from back in the states. The NBA is back, and I can’t wait to watch a couple games before I head down to Venezuela.
I will be keeping in touch with everyone. Hopefully, we have some good news coming with the Marlins and we pick up a few guys. I will talk to you guys before the weekend and Andruw Jones’ charity event. Panama has really been awesome to us!
Here’s hoping I last another 28 years … I know I will do my best!
Well, today we head to Panama for a little time on the beach during Thanksgiving Weekend. I hope you all have a safe and amazing time no matter where you are going to be. I promised to put some pics up of my ESPN photo shoot I did last week, so here it is. I will give you a little sneak peek of the star of the show — my English bulldog, DH.
I think they ended up taking more pictures of him than they did me!
I swear every time I’m in the city of Chicago I never want to leave, but its time to head for some warmer weather again! I’m going to Panama on Wednesday to relax and spend some time with my family. It’s going to be an amazing trip. I’m also there to help out — as I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts — my good friend Andruw Jones and his charity. I expect us to be visiting some schools and hospitals while I am there. Whatever they ask me to do I will be excited to do it. I will also get to see my good buddy Ruben Blades, hopefully. These people have done so much to help out the Ozzie Guillen Foundation in Venezuela, so it’s the least I can do. My foundation helps kids and their families dealing with cancer and other problems. It’s important we recognize how much these families often struggle for the simplest of things, so giving back in any way is good.
We will also be able to fit in some down time as well. This is a vacation, after all! I’m sure we will hit the beach a bunch and get a chance to check out some of the golf courses and try out my new clubs from Tour Edge. This will be my first trip to Panama, so we will get some sightseeing in as well. Anybody been there before and have something good for us to do?
I watched the Bears game yesterday. Congrats to them on the win and staying hot. It is too bad to hear about the injury to Jay Cutler and his thumb, as he was playing really well. Hopefully they can continue to play well and make the playoffs; it won’t be easy, but I think they can do it.
A couple more things before I forget: The website is going to be getting a new look here soon, so I hope you all enjoy what we have come up with. Stay tuned!
I want to say thank you to the people at ESPN The Magazine who were at my house last Friday for a photo shoot. I will post some pics from the shoot tomorrow and keep you updated on when they will run.
I hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving this week. Always be grateful for what you have and work hard for what you want. Make sure you give thanks for your health, as it should always be at the top of your wish list. As always, God Bless!