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.!
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!
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!
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!