Day off in Cleveland; time for a Q&A
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!
Q&A: On Twitter, pitchers & 2-strike hitters
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 …
My thoughts on Dunn, Konerko, ‘Ozzie Ball’ & more
Hey, everyone! Sorry for not posting in a little bit, but I have been all over the place. But now it’s time to talk to you guys and let you know what I have been up to. Last week, I was at the Winter Meetings for a day. I am glad we made the moves that we made, even though I was probably just as surprised as you guys when I heard them. People in Chicago should feel very proud and lucky they have an owner like Jerry Reinsdorf, and also proud of the people in the front office for making such aggressive moves. I’m very happy we have my captain, PK (Paul Konerko), back, and I’m happy he will hopefully finish his career with the White Sox. As far as Adam Dunn goes — wow … he’s a big boy and seems like a very fun guy who stays loose and ready to play. I like that.
Right now, I am in Venezuela and will be here for a few weeks. Other than doing some relaxing, I am doing some work through the Ozzie Guillen Foundation, helping out kids with cancer and other problems they face here in my home country. I will post some pictures soon on here as well as on my Facebook page so you guys can get a feel for what exactly we are doing.
I was reading through some of your questions and one came up about “Ozzie Ball” and what it is exactly. I think most times, people don’t know what it means, so let me explain: “Ozzie Ball” means playing the game the right way; it has nothing to do with bunting, stealing bases or the lack of home runs. It’s about playing hard-nosed baseball the way I liked to play it, or better yet the way Paul Molitor, Lenny Dykstra, Rickey Henderson and George Brett played the game. I want 25 guys playing the game that way every single day.
Now, on to more of your questions:
Q: Are you currently in your dream job?
A: Yes, I am in my dream job. I have been with the White Sox for 22 years of my life, and I have lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else in my life. Chicago is my home. With that said, my home is where my family and I are at that current time, and right now, that’s Chicago. I hope it stays that way, but it’s out of my control.
Q: Do you have a favorite place in Chicago to get a hot dog?
A: I don’t really eat a lot of hot dogs, but when I do I like Maxwell Street by UIC. They have a lot of good food, especially the pork chops.
Q: Ozzie, I’ve always wondered, what’s it like to make your money playing baseball?
A: I was always blessed to stay healthy for a long time like I did to play the game that I love. It truly was a blessing. I hope everyone loves their job as much as I do, because when you do you really give it your best. Many of us who had the privilege to play baseball for a living recognize how blessed we are. That’s why I try to do as much for the community as I can. I want everyone to be as healthy and blessed as we have been.
Q: Since the Dodgers have Juan Uribe and he played for the White Sox, what can you tell us about him?
A: Uribe is awesome. He may look like a little Buddha, but he is an amazing baseball player. I think he is so good because he is not afraid of the moment. He really is fearless, maybe because he has no idea how big the moments actually are! (haha) I only kid with him because that’s my boy, and he will be great for the Dodgers.
As I always say, keep the questions coming!
Until next time …
Q&A: My favorite comedians and the ‘All-Ozzie’ team
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
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 …