Well, it’s been a minute since I last wrote one of these things, but I’m very excited to be back in the swing of things. I have a lot of things planned for 2013, and I hope it’s going to be a good one. Actually, I’m sure it’s going to be a good one.
My family and I just got back from a weekend in Galena, Ill. I know what you’re thinking (haha). Yes, us Latinos also enjoy the snow once in a while. We had a great time relaxing and enjoying nature – there is nothing like family.
It’s been a little weird seeing Spring Training start and not being a part of it, but I’m over it for now. I’m sure my time will come again.
I’m very excited to announce that I will be joining ESPN Deportes for their coverage of the World Baseball Classic. I couldn’t be happier and I’m looking forward to the games. I love working with ESPN; they are always first class. They know me well and I’m very familiar with them, so hopefully more things will come in the future.
We are also working hard on an Ozzie Guillen Foundation event coming this spring. It will be our first real foundation event in the U.S. and I’m excited for what’s to come. I will be able to give more details soon.
Before Spring Training is over I hope to give you all my picks for the season. Fans just need to relax during this time since nothing is certain. Hope all is well with everyone and speak again soon!
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.
So, I thought it would be a cool idea to show you all where I’m living here in Jupiter during Spring Training. We got set up with an incredible house that’s just a couple of miles from the stadium. So take a look, it’s just one reason why I have been loving my time down in Florida so far!
Not a whole bunch to report from Spring Training right now. So far, so good. Every player is going to have some injuries in the spring; that’s just the way it goes. As long as our guys avoid the big ones, that’s all we can ask for.
So, from my Twitter and Facebook accounts I can see most of you heard that I got kicked out of a game the other day. To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s Spring Training, I still have to do my job. This is also time for me and the coaches to practice. The players are doing their jobs, and so should everyone else. I will say that it was a long walk, though (haha).
As for Spring Training in Florida, the travel is not as easy as it was in Arizona. Everyone is so bunched up out there it makes it very easy to get around. Other than the travel being a little tougher, I have to say that I have enjoyed Florida a lot more. Maybe it’s because of the house I’m living in now, or being able to ride my bike around or jump in the pool. I don’t know why exactly, but I really have enjoyed it down here.
I really liked seeing Anibal Sanchez back on the bump and Carlos Zambrano pitching well. Those are two big positives. I hope everyone has a good weekend, and let’s be honest: We are all just ready for Opening Day.
Also, I am going to post some pictures soon of the beautiful house I’m staying at here in Jupiter. I think it’s cool to give you guys as much insight into the things I’m doing as possible. So be on the lookout for that.
Finally, the games are underway! Back to what we know and love: the game we have a passion for. The last couple of nights we played in the brand new Marlins Park, and it is definitely the place to be! It’s very modern and on the smaller side, so I expect it to always be packed. The clubhouse is awesome and my office has a lot more space than my old one did. I’m very excited about coming to this park every day and winning some games.
As far as the team goes, the guys are healthy and excited to play. That’s all you can ask for at this time of year. Spring Training is mostly for the pitchers. It’s a time for them to get their arms ready for the season. So far, so good! April 4 can’t some soon enough! I believe once the roof is closed, the new stadium is going to get very loud. We had it closed for the games against the University of Miami and Florida International University and I just get that feeling. Speaking of those games, it was nice to see the kids from those schools play. They are two very large schools with great followings and those kids didn’t get scared of the big boys one bit. It was very fun to see.
This is the time of year where you see how your team acts and maybe even see what they can and can’t do on the field. I just hope we keep having fun out there. Even with the Showtime cameras on, it’s always fun!
How did January go by so fast? Well, February is here and I can’t believe it. And no, I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, just in case you were wondering. February is always an exciting month because baseball is finally getting started. I can’t really remember an offseason that has been as much fun as this one, not only with the moves the Marlins have made but with the moves everyone has made. There are a lot of good teams out there and teams looking to bounce back from last year. April 4 can’t come soon enough.
I will be heading down to Miami on Feb. 13 for the Marlins charity golf tournament. I know Joey Cora has been practicing a lot so I need to get out there a few days early so I don’t embarrass myself. A couple days before that, on Friday, Feb. 10, I will be doing “Lunch With a Legend” here in Chicago on ESPN 1000 with Waddle & Silvy. I love working with those guys because they know a lot about baseball and sports in general. They treat everyone with respect and I like that. I hope to see everyone out for the event.
I finally made it to my first Bulls game of the year last week. It’s always great to see my old buddy, the guy who got me my first car in Chicago back in 1985, Steve Shanwald. I think it was a Toyota Supra (haha). The Bulls played a great game and Derrick Rose was awesome! I did see that they lost to the Heat, even though it was a great game. It would be very nice if the Bulls and the Heat face off in the Eastern Conference Finals so I can catch some games in Miami.
Back to baseball. Like I always say, every team looks good in January and everyone is optimistic and excited about their team’s chances. Usually this time of year everyone is saying the right things, but you have to go out and play the games. Everyone loves each other in February, but the key is to love each other in September. If you can do that then you are in business. Trust me, I know first hand.
I’m back! Yes, it’s good to be back in Chicago. I love my house here in the Bucktown area, and even though it’s cold, at least it isn’t as cold as it was a week ago, from what I have heard. I will be hanging around Chicago for a couple more weeks before I head down to Florida for Spring Training. Tonight I am going to head over to the United Center for the Bulls game, my first one of the year. I think they play the Bucks, who just beat Miami, so it should be a good game. On Saturday I might head over to the UFC event. I have never been to one of those so it might be a cool experience.
Now, on to some baseball stuff. Wow! Congratulations to Prince Fielder and his family. He deserves it and the Tigers definitely got better. I know Miguel Cabrera is happy. It seems like all the big-name hitters are going to the American League, thank God (haha)!
I have some things planned here in Chicago before I head out that I’m sure you are going to be interested in. We literally just set this up a few minutes before I wrote this, but on Feb. 10 I will be on ESPN 1000 “Lunch with a Legend” on the “Waddle & Silvy Show.” I’m very excited about it and it will be a good way to say goodbye to Chicago before the season starts. Hope to see as many of you out for the event as possible.
I think I am leaving town right after Valentine’s Day and I’m pumped up about it. I never thought I would say this, but I’m looking forward to seeing Joey Cora again, a lot (haha). That means only one thing: baseball is here!
Happy New Year to everyone! Hope everyone was safe and hope you all make the best out of this year. Health and prosperity to all! I’m thinking most of you had a good time celebrating the New Year by dancing and going crazy. I know we did.
Spring Training is getting closer, and the Fish have been making some noise. We traded for Big Z (Carlos Zambrano) and I could not be happier. I think Carlos deserves a fresh start with a new team and I think in the long run both teams are going to benefit from this trade. I have faith in Carlos and I respect him as a person. He starts with a clean slate for me. Plus, I doubt I will get in his face anyways … the guys is HUGE (haha). I heard we also re-signed Greg Dobbs, who I hear is a great guy to have coming off the bench. Let’s hope we are all set, and get ready to have some fun.
I have been watching a lot of NBA and Bulls games down here in Venezuela. The Bulls are looking good so far. That combined with the start of the NFL Playoffs makes it an exciting time to be a sports fan. I am also watching my Tiburones team compete here in Venezuela in the round robin. I hope they go all the way and the kids get their chance to keep playing.
I will be back in Chicago later this month for my birthday and you can probably find me at the United Center either watching the Blackhawks or Bulls. Yes, I like watching hockey, but only live, since on the couch I can’t keep track of the puck. I heard it’s been getting colder in Chicago, but I like it. Hopefully I get to see some snow.
On another note, my family and I lost a member of our family a couple of days ago, and it hurts us deeply. Just remember: If you love someone, make sure you tell them every day. May he rest in peace.
Make 2012 count! I can’t remember the last time I was this pumped up for a season. It should be great!
Happy New Year from the Guillen family.
Wow, are the Holidays crazy! The Panama trip was insane, what a special place. I think just about all of you heard that the Winter Meetings went pretty well for the Fish. I’m very happy the Marlins showed the world just how serious they are about winning.
I hope the city of Miami will react nicely to the new Miami Marlins. Of course, one way to take care of that is to win consistently. Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle will be great additions to our team. Apart from being great baseball players, they are extremely good people and very fun to be around. They also have a lot of stones, so it will be a lot of fun to see.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for Spring Training to start. Usually I do it to get away from my wife for a little while, but man, this is going to be completely different. It’s very special. It’s going to be fun, and as I have been saying, everyone on the team just needs to have some fun and win games. That’s what it’s all about.
Today is a big day for Team Pepsi in Caracas, Venezuela. We are having our annual home run derby with the Venezuelan stars. Andruw Jones is also coming in to town because that’s what friends do, they help each other out! Last year it rained, so this year it had better not. I’m hoping and praying for a good day.
I will keep you guys posted with pictures of the event later this week. Very excited to see D-Rose (Derrick Rose) play on Christmas 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.