Well, things have not gone according to plan for me. I’m still in Venezuela and all I want to do is go back to Chicago and hang out at the house. I want to see some snow and put on a big jacket and some gloves, because I like that stuff. Before I can go back, though, I need to stop in Miami and finalize the deals on the houses I’m going to live in, one in Jupiter and one in Miami. It’s a little hard when I go house shopping because I like a very specific style of house. I want it to look very modern and away from the traffic, and in Miami that can be hard because traffic can be very bad. I think we have narrowed it down and are going to find what we are looking for.
After we are able to get all of that stuff done, it’s finally back to Chicago. I’m tired of watching the Bulls on TV, so you had better believe I will be at the United Center. They are doing an awesome job even without Derrick Rose, so that’s great. I can’t wait to see a game.
I saw that the Rangers signed that Yu Darvish guy. Good for them. For all of the money they spent on him, I hope he does well for them. Going to back to back World Series is not an easy thing to do. Who knows? Maybe they can make it three in a row. I also heard that Orlando Cabrera is going to retire. I had him with the White Sox (we made the playoffs that year), but also when I was with the Expos. He is simply a winner and always has been. He can be a little different, but he can play. He had a great career.
Well, I hope you guys stay warm in Chicago and for all my people in Miami, keep rooting for the Heat (they will get better) and hopefully the Fish as well. Congrats to all the guys that avoided arbitration; well done, and best of luck to the guys that are challenging.
My birthday is also very soon, but no gray hairs for me yet! January is a very busy month for my family, but no SoxFest this year (haha), so it will be nice to just hang out around the house and relax.
What a World Series. Wow! Looking back, I just can’t believe all the crazy things that happened during that Series. It was definitely fun to watch and fun to be there in that environment with ESPN. I can’t say enough how awesome everyone was there and I look forward to working with them again in the future. Well I guess it’s not up to me (haha), but I would definitely like to do it again.
Congrats to Tony LaRussa and the Cardinals. It’s not about who is the best team, it’s about who gets hot at the right time, and the Cardinals proved that. On the other side of it, I was very proud of Ron Washington and the whole Texas Rangers team for battling through everything and almost being on top.
After the Series I went to New York to watch my good friend Ruben Blades perform along with 8 Y Mas. What an amazing concert, but even more amazing was the snow! It was not very fun, but I can tell you the drinks made it a lot more interesting (haha).
Right now, I’m back in Venezuela doing some things for my foundation, the Ozzie Guillen Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to helping kids dealing with cancer and their families. This is without a doubt the best part about being a “celebrity.” Just the fact that we can help to give back and make such a huge impact on people’s lives means more to me than anything else. I’m also here to support my buddy Carlos Zambrano and his Home Run Derby that is going to take place in Puerto Cabello, close to the beach. We are also filming a Pepsi commercial down here with Carlos and Bobby Abreu. Here are some pictures:
After all of these activities we are headed back to Miami for the unveiling of the new Miami Marlins logo. To be honest with you, I haven’t seen the logo yet but I am very excited. I have heard a lot about some leaks and I don’t know what is true and what is not. I have heard some good and some bad things, but I can’t wait to see what they have done with it … let’s hope for the best!
I’m baaaaackkkkk!!! Don’t think just because I have been out of the country I haven’t been following some baseball. I know what’s been going on in the playoffs and all over the place.
On that note, ESPN has asked me to help them out during their World Series coverage, and I gladly accepted. I’m honored and excited to work as an analyst this year along side my man John Kruk and Barry Larkin. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I guarantee lots of laughing. Make sure you tune in; you just never know what’s going to happen. I will also be on SportsCenter a couple of times, so the whole thing should be a blast. Being around baseball is what I love and it’s what I always want to be doing. This is the second best way to be around the World Series; I’m just glad they picked me and wanted me to come on board.
Congrats to all the teams that made it. The Tigers — with all their injuries — put up an amazing fight. They deserve a lot of credit with all they had to put up with. I’m not surprised about Texas because they are a very good team. I’m happy for Wash (Ron Washington) and Michael Young since he has been their leader for so long. I’m a big fan of his.
I am a little surprised at how good the Cardinals’ bullpen has been. Wow. Tony LaRussa and his staff have done a great job working those guys in. As for the Phillies, I thought they would have moved past St. Louis with their pitching, but it wasn’t meant to be.
New teams and new cities getting excited about their teams is a good thing for baseball. If the Cubs pull off that deal for Theo Epstein, it would be awesome for them. The city of Chicago would definitely appreciate it, and he has a great history of winning, as we all know.
Also, I want to say great job by A.J. Pierzynski and Tito (Terry Francona) on FOX. They are doing a great job working with a great staff. Don’t think I forgot about Spain either. What an amazing time, but you guys have probably heard enough about that! See you at the World Series. I’ll be the guy in the nice suit (haha). Let’s hope it goes seven games. Why not? I’m torn because I was an American League guy, but now for less than a month I am a National League guy.
Who do you think will win? That’s why they play the games. Feels good to be back in the U.S.!
Let me start by saying that beating the American League-champion Texas Rangers 2 out of 3 like we did this weekend is not an easy thing to do. That team can hit; I mean wow do they have a potent lineup.
Yesterday was a good day off because we finally won a homestand. It’s always good to get a day off at home as well, or at least most of the day before we flew out here to LA. Now we gotta hope that we continue to play the way we have on the road. We get Ervin Santana and then Jered Weaver tomorrow, so it’s not going to be easy. The Angels are always a tough team to play, and you expect it to be even tougher when they are in the division race like they are now.
After these quick 2 games, we get another day off in Seattle before we get to see that good Mariners pitching. Luckily for us, I think we miss King Felix. As for our guys, I’m very happy with the way Tyler Flowers has stepped up. Alex Rios has also been playing better as of late, and that’s a very good thing to see. Alejandro de Aza and Brent Lillibridge continue to play awesome baseball and bring great energy to the ballpark every day. It’s time for us to make up some ground before we see Detroit again; all we can do is hope for the best.
Yesterday I was watching “Intentional Talk” on the MLB Network and it’s a very cool show. First time I have ever seen it, and I was very impressed , so if you get a chance check out Kevin Millar and Chris Rose. They do a great job with the show.
I will write again in a couple days, hopefully after we take this two-game set. Also, it’s about time for me to answer some more of your questions. Make sure you submit them through the website, and I will get to as many as I can.
I hope everyone had a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend. Happy birthday to the U.S.A., and thank you very much to all the people who serve this country!
Our weekend wasn’t too bad. We took two out of three from the Cubs and won another series. Last night, we won on a balk against the Royals — a “balk-off.” Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and right now, I’ll take them anyway we can get them.
The series vs. the Cubs ended on a bad note because we couldn’t score any runs off of Rodrigo Lopez — a guy I felt like we should handle — but this is baseball and sometimes crazy things happen. The All-Star teams were announced over the weekend, and I’m very happy for Carlos Quentin — he deserves it. I also think Paul Konerko was very deserving because he has been amazing for us the entire season. I know what it’s like to try and pick reserves for the All-Star team and know what Ron Washington is going through. That is not an easy job.
We get the Royals and Twins this week, I think, and yesterday started a stretch of 19 straight games against our division. The Royals always seem to play us very well, and it’s time for us to start swinging the bats a little better to close the gap before the break. The next 3 weeks are either going to have us out of it or right in the thick of things for the home stretch. Hopefully we can make the right adjustments and continue to win ballgames.
See you guys at The Cell!
What’s up, guys?? Yes, it was a crazy couple of days in Texas and Toronto, but we left Boston on a very high note. Any time you are able to go into Fenway Park and sweep a team as good as the Red Sox it’s pretty awesome. I’m sure all the guys are feeling pretty good. We went 5-5 on another long road trip and, of course, we would have liked to have been better, but all things considered we will take it. We finished by playing what is probably our best series of the season. The pitching was good and the hitting backed them up. Right now, it just feels good to be back in Chicago enjoying a much-needed day off.
Today I’m actually filming the TV show “Iconoclast” with Ruben Blades, who if you don’t know, is a legend. I can’t wait to see my good buddy and get this thing going; it should be a lot of fun!
It’s back to work tomorrow with Detroit rolling into town. It’s a big series, we know, and we will be ready to play. We know we are in a position right now where we can’t afford to give many games up. Now’s the time to try and build on some momentum. Hope to see many of you out at the ballpark during this nice homestand.
On a sadder note, I hope the Bulls are proud of what they accomplished this year and are not ashamed at all. It was awesome what they did because at the beginning of the year nobody expected them to go this far. The Heat were just a little bit better, but I know the Bulls will be back next year ready to go. Congrats to D-Rose, Joakim Noah and coach Tom Thibodeau on a great season. I’m hoping the Sox and Cubs can make the summer even more interesting for the fans!
Ok, now it’s time to enjoy the day off. Talk to you soon!
Helloooo, Texas. I love the Las Colinas Hotel that we stay at when we are down here; it has a great spa and nice golf course. That’s the good part. On the other side, we have a tough road trip ahead of us with Texas, Toronto and Boston, but it’s the American League and it’s always tough. I think we have won something like 4 straight series and it feels good when the team is playing better. There is a lot less panic when the you are winning. So we are here in Texas looking to start this trip off right and hoping to play well against them. On another note, we need to stick with the Bulls. I am with them all the way. The Heat are a tough team because all those stars decided to get together, but hey, believe in yourself and bring it back to Chicago. We are all with you guys!
I answered more of your questions …
Q: Ozzie, I’ve been a White Sox fan for a very long time. I admire that your team participates in a lot of charitable events. I was wondering, how do you pick the charities you support? — Debra D. (Aurora, Ill.)
A: I personally like dealing with kids because they usually are innocent, but my wife and I just like helping anyone in need who appreciates it.
Q: Ozzie, you rock! Out of curiosity, what was your overall feeling of feedback (positive or negative) from current or former players throughout the league after you made the statement asking that the “steroid list” be released for the sake of baseball? — Marc V. (Fort Collins, Col.)
A: I’m a big believer that feedback is always good either way. It can’t hurt.
Q: So, since we all know your English isn’t the best (haha), do you write your own blogs or does someone write ’em up for you? Go Sox!! –Brittany S. (Streamwood, Ill.)
A: Brittany, I write my own blogs, but before they go up on the website, let’s just say people correct my English a bit. But this is all me!
Q: Ozzie, no question here, just wanted to say that I think baseball (and the world, quite frankly) needs more people like you — open, honest, passionate and real; no BS. I follow you on Twitter and always look forward to what you have to say. Keep on being you! Yankee fans love Ozzie Guillen … FACT! — David S. (Bronx, N.Y.)
A: Thank you, David, and I love New York, too.
Q: Ozzie, what is your best baseball moment as a player and manager? — Matt Z. (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.)
A: As a player, it would have to be Game 6 when I was playing for the Atlanta Braves in the 1999 NLCS. I tied the game against Armanda Benitez and we won in extra innings. As a manager, it’s gotta be getting that ring in ’05, although I was just as proud of the ’08 team because they battled so hard.
Q: What is your favorite “Macho Man” memory? — Jason S. (St. Paul Park, Minn.)
A: Anytime he came out with Miss Elizabeth (haha); just kidding. I remember when I took my kids to see Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man at the Rosemont Horizon way back, and they put on a great show and my kids loved it.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, why don’t you trade John Danks for a good starter? — Angel V. (Bell, Ill.)
A: Well, Danks is a good starter, for one, and I am the manager, not the general manager.
Q: How about starting Brent Lillibridge as leadoff man and playing outfield? He always gives his all. — Angel R. (Chicago)
A: Hope you have been watching, Angel; Brent has been in there.
Well, we all know how that West Coast trip went. It’s kind of weird because, as you guys know, we usually really have a tough time out there. We will take three series wins on a road trip anytime. I had the great experience of spending our off-day last week in Napa Valley at the Kunde Family Estate with my wife. We had a very awesome time with some great wine and met some great people.
The good feelings continued during the weekend in Oakland. Gavin Floyd did not have his best stuff a couple of days ago, but we won the series and that’s what matters the most. Again, Omar Vizquel continues to do it for us. I’m not sure how he does it, but oh my … God has been great to him and I’m happy for him. We also got some very good pitching from Phil Humber and Mark Buehrle, and our bullpen was very good the entire trip; Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos have all been awesome for really the entire month of May so far.
I’m really looking forward to being back home in Chicago and playing against a good man in Ron Washington and the American League-champion Texas Rangers. This series won’t be easy, but hopefully we will continue to compete and play like we have on the road. I remember seeing the Rangers in the World Series last year when I helped FOX on the broadcasts, and that team has a lot of personality. I really like the characters that they have on that team, and it’s probably a lot of the reason they were so good.
So I hope to see you out at the park this week and let’s hope this weather keeps getting better and better. Oh yeah, and of course … Go Bulls!! I’m watching very closely!
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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 …
This week, I had the great opportunity to go with Frank Thomas and Paul Molitor to Woodside Ranch, a new sports complex they’re building in Mauston, Wis. This place is gonna be mind-blowing and great for the kids up there. I only wish I had something like that when I was a kid!!! I want to give a special thanks to Damon Zuwalt and Orlando Cepeda Jr. I had a great time up there doing this, and it was good spending time with you guys. What can I really say about Frank Thomas and Paul Molitor, besides the fact they’re Hall of Famers and they played the game right. They were what I felt were two of the best right-handed hitters I ever saw.
This week, I’m going to Miami to see my son, Ozney, even though he clearly is doing fine without his parents. I hope to catch a couple of his games, but the game that is really going to be fun is the Bears-Dolphins game — and, yes, I will be tailgating. It will be fun to be in South Florida and around my old stadium (when I was there, they called it Pro Player; but who knows what they call it now). I will be sure to try and post some pictures.
OK, now on to the questions.
Q: Do you think Derek Jeter deserved a Gold Glove this year?
A: I’m not really in a position to judge whether or not he deserved it, but in my opinion, there were a few guys better than him defensively at shortstop. Some who come to mind are Alexei Ramirez, Elvis Andrus and Yuniesky Betancourt. And not because they are all Latinos, they were just better at playing shortstop this year.
Q: Does it bother you that sometimes your “crazy” antics get in the way of how people perceive you as a manager?
A: First of all, I’m not crazy, because crazy people, the way I see it, are in hospitals and mental facilities. I’m not going to any of those places any time soon, unless you ask my wife and she might agree with you guys. I am honest; there is a big difference. I say what I believe to be the truth. It doesn’t bother me that people see me that way because I know what I’m doing on and off the field, and especially with my relationship with my players. Don’t forget that I have been in this country since I was 16 and have learned many valuable lessons throughout that time.
Q: Do you get much of a chance to sign autographs for fans during Spring Training?
A: Yes, I get a chance to sign autographs before and after games. During practice a lot of times when fans are waiting around, I usually stop by and sign more than a couple at a time. I never say “no” to an autograph unless I’m busy, because if I have time I usually say “yes.”
Q: As a player, what were the best and worst playing surfaces you ever played on?
A: The best playing surface, by far — and this is no lie, you can ask anybody in the game, and they usually give the same answer: Comiskey Park (or U.S. Cellular Field), to me, is the best and always will be. Thank you to “The Sod Father,” Roger Bossard, and his grounds crew — those guys are amazing and make me a lot of money (hahaha). The worst had to be old Anaheim Stadium and Tropicana Field because it played so fast. But, remember, I haven’t played since 2000, so I’m sure they have changed.
OK, that’s all for now. Remember to keep the questions coming! Talk to you guys soon.