Well, that was a long vacation in Spain. What a great trip I had over there; I got to spend some time with some of my now my ex-players. It was great to spend such a great time with some great people. I had the opportunity to go to a Real Madrid game and see some bullfights, a lot of bullfights actually. Unfortunately, when I got back, I was the one that got the horns.
I received that phone call that nobody wants to get. It was short and to the point. I went to Miami to win and to be there awhile. That was the plan, but they chose to go in another direction. Money is great, but that’s not what it’s all about. Regardless of what I may say, anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a competitor, I’m a winner, and I want to win more than anything. I like to keep my word, so I like to go out there and compete. That’s why I love this game so much.
I don’t think I have ever missed a season or not been affiliated with a team since I started playing baseball. Even in 1992, I was part of a team. So, once February rolls around, I’m sure this is going to be a very new feeling for me. With great friends and family I’ll get through this and be better for it.
I want to thank everyone again for all of their support. Even the people who were happy that things ended up this way, thank you as well. My love and respect to you. Thanks to all those who have called me to show their support, even people from my former teams like the Braves and the White Sox. I really appreciate it.
Congrats to the San Francisco Giants and Bruce Bochy; what an amazing job you all did. Congrats to all the Venezuelan players who represented Venezuela in the World Series and made us proud.
Now it’s time to move on and see what’s next for me in my life. Always move forward and never look back.
I have been missing in action for a while, but I wanted to write to everyone who has supported me throughout this whole year, as well as to those of you who haven’t supported me, but are still reading this because you just can’t get enough, or something. I’m off later today to Spain, and I am really looking forward to this vacation and getting away from everything for a little while.
No matter what I do or where I go, baseball is in me 24/7, and that’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s very disappointing to see the way we ended this season and I don’t have to remind anyone that we had much higher hopes. But, what’s in the past is in the past. No regrets. Hopefully we can have a great offseason, get back on track, and come back ready to kick some butt.
Jose Reyes stayed healthy, JJ (Josh Johnson), Mike Stanton — all of those key guys being on the field for us was great this year. I loved the fact that every single one of my players played hard every day. That’s all I can ask for. I have to thank them for that. The staff and front office — we all went through this season together. Throughout the good and the bad, we stuck together. We had some good surprises along the way with Donovan Solano and Justin Ruggiano, and I know things will get better overall sooner rather than later.
I’m not a quitter and I will never give up on my guys. Soon enough we will all be in Jupiter, Fla. for Spring Training and the optimism will be back. Good luck to all the guys in the playoffs; make sure you appreciate it because it’s one of the best feelings you will ever have.
Thank you to everyone for their continued support. Have fun and I will see you soon.
What’s up from Spain, everyone? Wow … Europe is just a completely different world. We are having so much fun. Lots of food and drink as you can imagine. I’m definitely going to have to work out some when I get back, but who am I kidding? We all know that isn’t going to happen (haha)! So far we have been to Madrid, Seville and Barcelona doing what I love best: taking in some bullfights and hanging out with the bullfighters. I actually got in front of a bull, too. It was a baby one, but still enough to get your heart beating fast. It is pretty scary and it got me in the knee with its head. My knee is a little swollen right now, but I can’t show anyone around here I got hit because it’s a little embarrassing.
Other than that I’m going to try and watch a soccer match live, either a Barcelona or a Madrid game. The stadiums are amazing here with close to 100,000 fans screaming and yelling. It is something I need to check out.
Hope you all are doing well back in the U.S. I’ll be back in Chicago soon enough and I will need to catch up on the playoffs as well as the Bears. I try to watch them as much as I can on Sundays even though I don’t know the game that well.
And that reminds me: What’s up with the NBA lockout? I want to go to some games this winter. Man, do I love basketball. Anyways, I will see you guys soon and I just wanted to check in and say what’s up and share some of my vacation with you all!
Before I answer a few more of your questions, I just want to say I read a lot of your comments here on my Blog, my Facebook page and my Twitter account, and I want to clear up some confusion we might have … I have NO say or make any decisions as to what offseason moves my team should make. Sometimes they ask for my suggestions and I give them, but for the most part, I don’t deal with that stuff. I just manage the team.
Q: Do you think Chris Sale has a chance to start in 2011?
A: I think Sale does have a good chance to start, he has done it before when he was in college. But I think he would be great out of our bullpen.
Q: Ozzie, can I borrow $10,000?
A: I would give you $10,000 if it was for a good cause.
Q: What are some good, easy Venezuelan recipes I can make?
A: Cachapas, I believe, are very Venezuelan because in all other countries they instead make pabellon and arepas. So, I believe cachapas are only in my country, and I really like them a lot. Not sure how you cook them, but it should be easy — lots of corn and cheese, and it comes out looking similar to a pancake.
Q: Where would you recommend visiting in Spain if we only had a week?
A: I was just in Spain. If you go there, you should visit Madrid because of the energy, food and great sightseeing. And if you like bullfighting, you will go to Seville like I did.
Q: Ozzie, my friend, I’d like to know if by any chance you’re helping our beloved Tiburones [de La Guaira, a Venezuelan pro baseball team] improve our performance this year. We could really use your help in these troubled times.
A: I don’t help the Tiburones. I’m their No. 1 fan, and I watch every game I can. But I don’t help. I’m good friends with President Francisco Hernandez and Vice President Antonio Herrera. I wish them the best of luck.
Q: In your opinion, who is the best player in the game, and who is the young player you think has the brightest future?
A: The best players we have in our game right now are Josh Hamilton and Robinson Cano, because they do it all. The ones I see with the brightest future are Chris Sale of the White Sox and Austin Jackson of the Tigers, because they have what it takes to triumph in the Major Leagues.
Before I go, I wanted to give a shoutout to my people in Venezuela, especially where I was born in Ocumare Del Tuy, where I played baseball growing up in Los Teques, and to those in Guarenas and Guatire, where I lived many years and where I met my wife, Ibis. And a shoutout to everyone else reading. Keep asking.
‘Til next time …