Well, we are finally back home after what turned out to be a pretty good weekend in Cleveland. That’s the way you end a long road trip on a good note. We kinda stumbled a bit in Kansas City, but the guys responded and showed what they were made of.
We did get a little break there yesterday with the center fielder making an error, but like I have said before, I would rather be lucky than good (haha). We got a couple great outings by Edwin Jackson and Gavin Floyd, and everyone in the bullpen did a great job. When you get that kinda pitching along with some timely hitting and great defense by the old timer Omar Vizquel, it usually leads to a win. Now it’s time for a long homestand.
Not exactly sure what the numbers are, but I think we have played better on the road this year than at home. I hope that changes because this homestand is going to be a test, and we need to defend out home field. We start out the homestand with the Tigers tonight, a team we need to beat. Hope to see you guys out there.
I also want to say congrats to my man, a friend and someone I played with and against — Roberto Alomar. He was the best and smartest player I ever saw. Also, congrats to Bert Blyleven, as well. These guys both represented the game of baseball the way you should, and I’m very happy for them!
Before I answer some of your questions this week. … I know I told you in
my last post I had the opportunity to meet The Great Muhammad Ali this week
when he came to our clubhouse. I
just wanted to share a picture with you all. It was definitely a great experience
and something I won’t soon forget!
Now to your questions …
Q: I love your site and the Q&A! I am so glad you want to be
accessible to the fans. My question is: Going to U.S. Cellular is so much fun,
not only watching the Sox play, but also because they do a great job of
entertaining the fans between innings. Do you or the players in the dugout ever
watch the “Kiss Cam” or the dance contest or any of those moments on the big
screen? — Lisa (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
A: Thank you, glad you like the site. Of course I notice all that stuff, and
it is very entertaining. The only
difference between me and the fans is I can’t eat or drink during the game and
you guys can’t make moves. Besides
that, we are pretty much the same people.
Q: Ozzie, as a big fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” I would love to see
you on the show. I think you would be a hit, plus you would get to dance with a
beautiful dancer. My money would be on you, Oz! Would you ever consider
it? — Eric (Crown Point, Ind.)
A: Yes, I would, but I don’t think I can be wearing those tight outfits
they have on there. I’m a very
good dancer. I’m the John Travolta of Venezuela (haha). If I was one of the “Jersey Shore” guys
and I had their stomach, then hell yeah I would do it.
Q: Ozzie, what type of music do you like to dance to? Are you a good
dancer? — Manny (Chicago)
A: I am a good dancer, but I only like to dance with my wife
because we’re good at it. I like
Salsa and some Merengue — old-school Merengue, that is.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, love you! Who would you have liked to play with the most
when you were still playing? Who would you most like to manage past or present?
Stay in Chicago forever! — Mike (Wauconda, Ill.)
A: Thank you. The player I
always wanted to play next to was Roberto Alomar, and I did that and also got to
Q: Your reading glasses are awesome. What brand are they, and where did
you get them? — Eric (Geneva, Ill.)
A: Clic Reading Glasses. I get them online in as many colors
as I can find. Try them, for sure
they are awesome.
Q: Can you explain a little on how your relationship is with other
managers and umpires? Do you have friends before and after the games that you
can go grab dinner with when on the road? — DJ (Antioch, Ill.)
A: I have respect for all the managers. I am friendly with a couple guys like Ronnie Washington,
Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker, and Gardy (Ron Gardenhire). I get along great with so many of them, but have dinner … not
really. I have dinner with my
family or Harold Baines pretty much. As for the umpires, we are not allowed to eat with them.
Q: Have you ever argued with a player before? And how do you maintain harmony in the clubhouse? — Miguel
A: Yes, I have argued with my players before. It’s part of the game, and
I just hope they can see my point of view. Thank God my players are always professional. And harmony is
created by winning.
Q: Why No. 13? When I was in Legion ball, I was 13, too. — Brian
A: David Concepcion was my favorite player as a child.
Keep the questions coming. We are getting closer and closer to Opening
Day, and I hope you all are getting as excited as I am!
What’s up, 2011?? The holidays are over; it was a lot of fun for me with a lot of sun! I always enjoy being here in Venezuela, but now that the vacations are over, it’s time focus. Time to focus and start looking ahead to SoxFest and, of course, Spring Training. The month of January is always fun for me because we have a lot of birthdays in my family that we get to celebrate. Other than that, I have so much planned, which is great because I would always rather be out doing things than sitting at home. My guys over at Triple Crown have been working hard and, boy, do we have some awesome things planned for this year! I’m sure some of you guys have noticed I am pretty hyper, but I enjoy seeing all the fans and look forward to being in Chicago very soon. Baseball-wise, I can’t wait for this season to start because a lot of changes have been made and a lot of teams are going to make it exciting.
Here are a couple of pics from my time in Venezuela:
On that note, I was SHOCKED that my boy Robbie Alomar is a Hall of Famer (hahaha). In my opinion, he was the best player in my era. This guy could beat you in every way possible and was probably the smartest player ever to wear a uniform around me. Congrats to him and his family. And then there’s Bert Blyleven. … It’s about time!!! Mr. Curveball was a great pitcher and one of the best guys on and off the field. I love him because he has so much fun being around the game. Congrats to him and his family, too!
On to more of your questions:
Q: What are some of your favorite memories of Old Comiskey Park?
A: My favorite memories of Old Comiskey would have to be my first game, of course, and the last couple of days of that park. Those are the memories that stick out to me as being special. Playing on the same field as Luke Appling, Chico Carrasquel, Luis Apparicio and Nellie Fox, for me, was a thrill. That field had the BEST plying surface in the game. Thanks, “Sodfather,” Mr. Roger Bossard, for making me a lot of money (haha).
Q: How do you like sharing a Spring Training facility with the Dodgers?
A: To me, it was a great experience and still is to be with such a great organization. I’m looking forward to seeing and competing against Donny (Don Mattingly), one of my favorite players coming up. And, of course, now I get to see my boy Uribiiiiiittttoooo (Juan Uribe) all spring long.
Q: Do you feel any more pressure going into this year to win than previous years?
A: I never feel any pressure. I approach the game the same way whether we are in first or last place. I know what my coaching staff and I can do, so I trust them. Thanks to the front office for putting a good ballclub on the field once again. Pressure is when you have seven kids and only make $2 a day like a lot of people do around the world. That’s real pressure.
Q: Now that the holidays are over, what will you do to keep yourself busy from now until Spring Training?
A: I will play some golf in Miami and of course get on my boat. I will go to SoxFest like I do every year since it started. I have never missed a single one. Maybe another record; who else can say that?? … Maybe Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Ed Farmer (hahaha).
I would ask all of you to stay tuned because now on, in every blog I will include something about me that you don’t know. Also, make sure you pay attention to me on Facebook and Twitter because I will be having some contest to give away some free stuff coming up soon. So be on the lookout for that!
‘Til next time … and remember, if you want your dreams to come true, just wake up!!!
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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 …