Happy new year to everyone! I hope you all were safe and enjoyed time around the people you love the most. 2013 is a chance for everyone to start fresh and think about what happened in 2012. I know I have.
I got to spend the holidays here in Venezuela and go over the options I have on what to do during the baseball season off the field. Not sure what the future holds; I might decide to work, but right now traveling sounds pretty exciting. It’s something I have never gotten a chance to do in the summertime. I have a couple of trips planned already: I’m going to head down to Colombia to watch some bullfighting and then on to Panama to catch up with my good friend Ruben Blades.
So far, the best news I have received this year is that my good friend Ugueth Urbina was released from prison after eight long, hard years. I believe he has served his debt to society and is ready to move on with his life. He came by the house the other day and it was like he had never left. It was great to see him. We have so many great baseball memories together, and he believes we both will come back to the game we love. We will see.
As the season gets closer, I will give you guys my predictions for this year. It’s almost like I’ll be playing fantasy baseball for the first time (haha). I will be looking in from the outside, so it should be fun. Stay tuned.
I swear every time I’m in the city of Chicago I never want to leave, but its time to head for some warmer weather again! I’m going to Panama on Wednesday to relax and spend some time with my family. It’s going to be an amazing trip. I’m also there to help out — as I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts — my good friend Andruw Jones and his charity. I expect us to be visiting some schools and hospitals while I am there. Whatever they ask me to do I will be excited to do it. I will also get to see my good buddy Ruben Blades, hopefully. These people have done so much to help out the Ozzie Guillen Foundation in Venezuela, so it’s the least I can do. My foundation helps kids and their families dealing with cancer and other problems. It’s important we recognize how much these families often struggle for the simplest of things, so giving back in any way is good.
We will also be able to fit in some down time as well. This is a vacation, after all! I’m sure we will hit the beach a bunch and get a chance to check out some of the golf courses and try out my new clubs from Tour Edge. This will be my first trip to Panama, so we will get some sightseeing in as well. Anybody been there before and have something good for us to do?
I watched the Bears game yesterday. Congrats to them on the win and staying hot. It is too bad to hear about the injury to Jay Cutler and his thumb, as he was playing really well. Hopefully they can continue to play well and make the playoffs; it won’t be easy, but I think they can do it.
A couple more things before I forget: The website is going to be getting a new look here soon, so I hope you all enjoy what we have come up with. Stay tuned!
I want to say thank you to the people at ESPN The Magazine who were at my house last Friday for a photo shoot. I will post some pics from the shoot tomorrow and keep you updated on when they will run.
I hope you all are having a great Thanksgiving this week. Always be grateful for what you have and work hard for what you want. Make sure you give thanks for your health, as it should always be at the top of your wish list. As always, God Bless!
Well, I’m back in Chicago, and oh boy, it is freezing! But seriously, I think it’s awesome (at least for now).
Miami was amazing. We got to see Pitbull, who put on a great show for all the Marlins fans. Wait until you all see the new uniforms in person before you judge them; if we start winning games everyone is going to love them even more! Being in Miami and seeing the new stadium, the culture and the energy that is already there and then seeing what the Marlins are trying to bring to South Florida shows you how serious they are. The front office, Mr. Jeffrey Loria and everyone else involved want to build a consistent winner down there. They are going to try and make the team better each and every year and that’s exactly what they are looking to do this year. As a fan, I think that’s all you can ask for.
I will be here in Chicago until next week before heading down to Panama for Thanksgiving. We are going down to Panama to help out some people down there and be a part of Andruw Jones and Orlando Cepeda’s charity event. Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada will be down there, too, so it should be a great time. It’s always good to help out and lend a hand when you can. I hope I get to see my buddy Ruben Blades down there. I have never been to Panama, but I have heard great things so I’m excited to get down there.
Please be sure to send along your questions through my site because I’m sure you want to know some of the things that have been going on, and I have plenty of time these days (haha). I swear I’m not going outside in this weather unless there is a Bulls game, and we know that’s not going to happen.
My question for you is: What do you think about the Marlins’ new logo and uniforms? I think they look awesome!
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!
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!
Wow, I might have a couple grey hairs growing already (haha). Listen, I think it’s important to say that everyone goes through slumps. I’m not saying I’m entirely happy with our performance on the last road trip. All I will say is that I hope we snap out of it. And I hope we snap out of it in time to do something! I also am noticing that some other teams that were predicted to do well are struggling, too. It goes to show you that baseball is probably the hardest sport to predict who is going to win. It’s not like other sports where you get a couple good players and your team is great. In our sport, you need to compete every day for a chance to win. That’s why I love this game so much. You need to grind.
As I said, the road trip wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. But I do like New York a lot. I have a ton of friends there, and the weather we got was awesome. I had a chance to have dinner with my very good friends, Ruben Blades and Bobby Allende. The dinner was great because not once did anyone bring up baseball. This game is such a marathon, it’s good to get out for a night and forget about it. As I am sure you have all heard by now, I did get kicked out of one of those games in the first inning, and I’ll be watching the next few games from home. Lesson learned, and I’ll be rooting for my guys like everyone else. CC Sabathia was very tough on us last night, and we were out of it very fast. First two games of the series were very nice, and Brent Lillibridge made these two great catches to win us a game. We had some timely hitting and good pitching, and it wasn’t all great, but we were able to get the wins.
Now the Orioles come into town, and they are no longer surprising anyone. Everyone knows they have good players. My hope is that our fans stick behind us, even though we know we aren’t playing as well as we want to. There are still a lot of games left, and hopefully this weekend we start the homestand in the right direction. Or else … more grey hairs.