I want to see The Cell packed this week
Wow, we won a series at home! Feels very, very good before a day off. I get to enjoy a nice relaxing day today; having a BBQ tonight before we get ready for those Indians tomorrow. They have been playing some great ball, so we need to be ready.
Everybody knows that Kansas City plays us so tough, so to beat them and to swing the bats the way we did was awesome. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how much Bruce Chen dominates us. But that’s just baseball. The one thing I always look forward to is when we play our division. We have a bunch of games left in the division, and that’s probably a good thing. We take care of our own business, we should be there at the end.
If a couple of guys keep helping us out like they have, our offense can be very dangerous. Great job this weekend by Brent Lillibridge playing first base and swinging the bat like a big man (haha). Don’t let that kid fool you, he is a very strong man. But most importantly, his defense has helped us out a ton all year long.
On another note, I would really like to see The Cell sold out for the Indians series. These games are huge, and we need all the support we can get. We are right in the middle of the race, so we need everyone to come out and yell. I know we get their best with Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson (but not in that order). If we want to win this division, we are going to have to beat the best. There is no other way to do it. And even though we have some tough pitchers coming our way, as long as none of them are named Chen, I will take my chances.
And lastly, a little surprise — I think I will be doing some Q&A on Twitter tonight. So bring you’re “A” game!
Feeling good right now; let’s keep it going
What’s up, everyone? If you can’t tell, I have been pretty happy this last road trip. This actually might be one of the easier blogs I have written. Everything is easier when you are winning. We are back in Chicago and, man, do I love this city, especially when the weather is as nice as it is today.
Great job by the guys in Baltimore against a team that can hit. What I liked so much about this series is even in the games where we gave up the lead, the team kept pushing and coming back. That’s a great sign. It really shows how our guys aren’t going to give up or give in. There are so many games left to go, and it’s so important that we don’t give in at all. Even the game on Wednesday that we lost in extra innings, we came back and put up a good fight. I guess as a manager that’s all I can ask for.
When you win games, it seems like everyone has been playing great. At this point in the season, you can really throw the stats out the window and focus on winning games; that’s all that matters. Our focus is on winning the division. I don’t care if we don’t get to .500. If we win the division, I will be happy.
We have Kansas City coming into town starting today, and they are a pain in our butts. They always play us well and they can swing the bat, too. It has come to my attention that we play better baseball on the road and have a tendency to play better against teams over .50o. … I don’t have an answer to this, but I hope the trend stops right now. We have to have a good weekend here at home because we get Cleveland next week before the American League Champs come to town. So sit back, relax and strap it down (hahaha). Yes, I know all the things Hawk says, but this weekend we are right in the hunt and first place is up for the taking. I hope to see The Cell packed and loud for this homestand.
See you all there!
Big series starts tonight — we’re ready!
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!
Happy for my boy Carlos Quentin
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!
Rough week, but I still believe in my guys
Well, this week has been a long week. We had a long losing streak that finally ended in Tampa on Thursday, and then last night we had to face one of the nastiest pitchers in the league in Justin Verlander. We have run into some very good pitching in the last week, and sometimes that’s the way it goes. Plus, the defense we saw in Tampa was very, very good. It seems like they constantly were taking away base hits from us. But our guys continued to battle and gave us a chance to win.
I have always said it’s not how you start, but rather how you finish. We beat Tampa earlier in the season three out of four in Chicago, and they came back and did the same thing to us. That’s baseball … it’s going to happen. I believe in our guys; most of them have been through this before. They just need to keep grinding and good things will happen.
What people are starting to see is that in the American League there are no easy games. Just look at what Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland are doing. Those teams have surprised just about everyone and have fought to win every game. It’s still early in the season, but wow, in the AL you really can’t afford to take a night off.
As for us, we will continue to battle here in Detroit this weekend and then in New York. I want to thank Omar Vizquel because it seems like every time I put him in the lineup, he makes me look like a genius. … I have no idea how he does it, but he’s still got it somehow!
My guys are fighters, and I love it!
Going back home to Chicago … YESSS! Wanted to get my thoughts out before we got on the plane to head home. Wow, what a crazy couple of games here in Kansas City. Every time we come here it feels like nothing is easy. The Royals make you have to battle for everything, and I’m glad my guys answered the bell. So far, you can see these guys are all grinders and they won’t go without a fight. I love having that feeling about my team.
I love the way the team is running the bases very hard and aggressive. Sure, we made a couple of mistakes, but they were aggressive mistakes, and if we are going to make mistakes, those are the ones I want to see. We do have to catch the ball a little better and throw some more strikes, but we won the game. We won the series in Cleveland and now split here in K.C. I will take that on the road. I told you guys in my last blog that K.C. was going to be very tough this year, and they proved that already.
Now we are heading back to Chicago and I hope The Cell is crazy tomorrow! Tampa has been struggling a little bit, but they are still a very good team that is going to throw 4 very good pitchers at us. Edwin Jackson will be ready to go for us, I can promise you that.
Tomorrow is going to be my 21st Opening Day with the Sox. Yes, there have been that many! When the game starts, it’s nothing but fun, but I love the National Anthem because it gets so loud and I will just be taking it all in trying to enjoy it.
Hope you are all ready, Chicago, because here we come!!
Just taking the day off after a fun trip to Cleveland
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What’s up, everyone? Just getting an off day here in
Kansas City, and it’s freezing cold and windy! So guess what I decided to
do … ? That’s right, I went golfing, and let’s just say that was a very,
very, very bad idea. Not planning on doing too much today, other than
warming up and will probably try to get some rest before going out to dinner
with my wife.
Cleveland was actually a lot of fun this weekend and it’s
usually not (haha). I’m just kidding — sort of — I like Jacobs Field (or
whatever they are calling it these days) a lot. I look forward to making
better memories there from now on, because I have some bad ones from when
Omar Vizquel‘s team used to kick our butts in the ’90s. I’m glad we went
in there and swung the bats well and for the most part pitched well.
Speaking of Omar, are you kidding me?! He doesn’t play at all the
first 2 games and then goes in there against the Justin Masterson kid, who was nasty,
and gets 2 hits in his first 2 at-bats. Not sure exactly how he does it,
but wow, very impressive.
I hope we can continue to play well and keep having fun
because when we hit the ball like that, I look like a genius (haha). It
probably won’t be as easy here in Kansas City; this team is going to play some
very good baseball and probably do better than what most people are expecting. Look what they did to the Angels this past weekend. We have to be ready
to play. A lot of people ask me about which stadiums I like, and this one
here in Kansas City is my favorite; just a great stadium.
OK, that’s all for today. Wish us luck, and I better see you
all at The Cell on Thursday!
My last Q&A before Opening Day!
Well, it’s almost over! I’m all packed as we finish up Spring Training here today and head to
Winston-Salem to face one of our Minor League teams tomorrow. Then it’s on to Cleveland for Opening
Day on Friday.
Here are the last
set of your questions before the 2011 season starts …
Q: Hey, Ozzie, greetings from Maracaibo. I’d like to see you in the playoffs again. I’m a big fan of you how manage, even though the last few years you’ve lost some games. Is your game a Caribbean style? — Eneil G. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
A: I can only work with what I’ve got. Sometimes, the pieces they give me don’t fit the Caribbean style. But this year, I feel we have more better speed and there are going to be a lot of runners on base.
Q: I’m really interested in why Adam Dunn is batting third. I would think that with his high strikeout record and low batting average, that Paul Konerko would be better in that slot. Just interested to hear why you think differently. — Brian M. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
A: I think Dunn is around a .370 on-base percentage. But it was never
a choice for me between Dunn or P.K., it was a choice between Dunn and Alex Rios. I
felt more comfortable with the guys the way we have them. But anything can
change, although I hope I don’t change the lineup too much.
Q: Hey, Ozzie. I see the White Sox have one roster spot left open. Have you thought about giving that to Domingo Ayala? I hear he’s got unbelievable God-given talents. — Dale H. (Rockford, Ill.)
A: I would pay to have Domingo on my team, just so I
could see him dress up and make everyone laugh (haha).
Q: Who’s a better person — Luis Aparicio or Dave Concepcion? — Greg M. (Managua, Nicaragua)
A: They’re both good people. They treat me very well, and they’re both stars and I respect them a lot.
Q: Ozzie, I’m a Venezuelan lawyer with experience in sports and I’m doing my Master’s in Chicago! I want to work with the White Sox. Can you help me? — Pablo G. (La Guaira, Venezuela)
A: Well, I’d like to help you but that’s not my area of expertise. Send your info to the White Sox offices and see what they say. Good luck.
Q: What do you think of Lastings Milledge? I know he was a Cubs killer in Pittsburgh. I think he is a great defensive replacement in later innings. — Robert W. (Darien, Ill.)
A: I think if Lastings stays within himself and doesn’t try and do too much, he can help us — not only in late innings, but starting as well.
Q: What changes in the division’s balance of power demand your greatest attention? Will Jake Peavy make it OK uninjured? How are Dunn and Gordon Beckham adjusting? — Jeffery M. (Chicago)
A: I think every
year the AL central gets better. Yes, even the Twins and Royals got better. But
that makes it more fun competing against them. I hope Peavy makes it ok–we
need him. I think Dunn will be fine and Gordo should be ok, these guys just
want season to start already.
Q: Can Lastings Milledge be an everyday player for you guys? How did it go with Manny Ramirez last year? Take care. — Guillermo R.
A: I don’t think Lastings is going to be a regular because we already have three very good outfielders. Manny and I were fine. Really, he never gave me any problems, and I have a lot of respect for him.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, will your English Bulldog be at “Dog Day.” And does he bark at you in Spanish or English? (HA!) Have a great season. — Dave G. (Glenview, Ill.)
A: DH won’t be “Dog Day” because he usually humps everything he sees (hahaha). He speaks both
English and Spanish.
Q: Ozzie, who will be the next three Venezuelans in the Hall of Fame if everything stays on course? Do you hear Gaita? — Jose R. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
A: Omar Vizquel, Miguel Cabrera, and after that I don’t know who has a real chance. I hear Gaita in December. But only in December (haha).
Thank you for all your questions since the website launch. They have been fun to read and
hopefully we can continue to do this once the season starts. Thank you to all the fans that came out
to Spring Training this year. We really appreciate your support.
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: Jeter’s Gold Glove & whether I’m truly ‘crazy’
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.