Results tagged ‘ Tigers ’

It’s almost time for baseball!

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!

The last road trip of the season

Well, that was another tough series. Got to give a lot of credit to the Tigers; they have beaten up on just about everyone the past month and are playing great baseball. It’s time for us to head out on the last road trip of the season. At least we get to head to Kansas City and visit my favorite road stadium. I probably will get a couple of rounds of golf in, as we usually do there. They have some very nice courses. My job as a manager is to finish the season; I love this game way too much to not push through. Our players need to do the same. I have never and will never lose the fight I have for this game. Once Sept. 29 comes, then I will take a break.

Much thanks to everyone who continues to support us.  Here are a couple more questions you guys sent in:

Q: If you could have one active player to build a team around, who would it be? – Checkers L. (Warrensburg, MO)

A: Well, that’s a tough question to answer because I don’t see a lot of everyone besides my guys.  What I can tell you is that I think pitching wins games, so start with that and you got a good chance.

Q: Thank you for your visit today at Binny’s in Bolingbrook!  It was really very special for me :) ILY!  – Elizabeth G. (Mayacay, VE)

A: I loved visiting Bolingbrook and it was really a wonderful experience.

Q: Congratulations on giving Venezuela a good name while you have managed the Chicago White Sox and for also managing the next Venezuelan Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel. – Franklin M. (Punto Fijo Edo, VE)

A: Well, my goal has always been giving Venezuela a good name, and Omar should definitely go into the Hall of Fame.

Q: Hi Ozzie, a non-baseball question, but a Chicago question. Did you ever have a chance to meet Coach Ray Meyer before he passed away? He was a good friend of mine and a wonderful person, and I know he was also a White Sox fan. Just wondering. Take care and best of luck to you! – Daniel T. (LA)

A: No, I never got a chance to meet him but now I wish I would have.

Thanks for all your questions all season long. Definitely keeps me entertained!

“Never say never.”

Well you never know, or “never say never,” like that Bieber kid says (haha).  Sweeping a team on the road is always nice, and it’s even nicer when you actually pick up a game. I can’t believe the Tigers actually lost; they have been playing so well. It looks like we finally caught a break.

The pitching for us has been great. Unfortunately, we ran into a very hot team in Anaheim to start this trip and it left me not feeling like writing any blogs.  Thank God it was only a two-game series and we were able to get out of there. I’m hoping this series in Seattle puts us in the right state of mind for the upcoming week. We exploded with some runs yesterday, and it’s great to see the guys swinging the bats. I don’t think Dayan Viciedo is going to hit a home run every game, but it was nice to see him and Tyler Flowers show some power.

I’m really hoping we can see The Cell packed this week; there is just a little over a month left, and we need all the support we can get. Time to go out there and see what we’re made of. … Oh yeah, and never say never (haha).

– Ozzie

Good series win against a very good team

Let me start by saying that beating the American League-champion Texas Rangers 2 out of 3 like we did this weekend is not an easy thing to do.  That team can hit; I mean wow do they have a potent lineup.

Yesterday was a good day off because we finally won a homestand. It’s always good to get a day off at home as well, or at least most of the day before we flew out here to LA. Now we gotta hope that we continue to play the way we have on the road. We get Ervin Santana and then Jered Weaver tomorrow, so it’s not going to be easy. The Angels are always a tough team to play, and you expect it to be even tougher when they are in the division race like they are now.

After these quick 2 games, we get another day off in Seattle before we get to see that good Mariners pitching.  Luckily for us, I think we miss King Felix.  As for our guys, I’m very happy with the way Tyler Flowers has stepped up.  Alex Rios has also been playing better as of late, and that’s a very good thing to see. Alejandro de Aza and Brent Lillibridge continue to play awesome baseball and bring great energy to the ballpark every day. It’s time for us to make up some ground before we see Detroit again; all we can do is hope for the best.

Yesterday I was watching “Intentional Talk” on the MLB Network and it’s a very cool show. First time I have ever seen it, and I was very impressed , so if you get a chance check out Kevin Millar and Chris Rose. They do a great job with the show.

I will write again in a couple days, hopefully after we take this two-game set.  Also, it’s about time for me to answer some more of your questions.  Make sure you submit them through the website, and I will get to as many as I can.

– Ozzie

On my mind on this off day: Cut into that lead

Well, that’s the way you want to start a homestand. We need to just keep winning series.

First of all, I want to wish Mark Teahen and Edwin Jackson the best of luck. I know they will be just fine, and I appreciate what they did for me. They always respected my decisions and the coaching staff’s opinions, so I wish those guys the best of luck from here on out.

If you continue to win series, you give yourself a chance over time to keep gaining ground. We had a couple of sloppy mistakes, but as long as you find a way to win, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s only going to get tougher with Boston coming into town, and last I checked, they were a pretty good ballclub. But it’s hard not to like your team when you’ve got guys like John Danks giving the performances like he did yesterday; that guy has some stones.  Chris Sale did a great job again, and I’m glad we picked up some bullpen help to support Jesse Crain and Brian Bruney. Now we can give those guys some rest from time to time.

We get another off day today, and I’m trying to get out and play some golf, but this rain isn’t doing us any favors. My family is headed to Cirque du Soleil tonight. I have seen their show before, but I’m excited to see what new they have come up with this time. It’s easy to enjoy the days off, but I want to continue to cut into that lead as much as we can. As you know, the next week is going to be a big test for us, so I’m curious to see how we respond to the challenge. I have no doubt the park will be filled for the Red Sox and Yankees series.

Should be fun.

– Ozzie

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!

– Ozzie

Switching focus from the Tigers to Mariners

Well … the weekend series against Detroit didn’t go as well as we hoped. Detroit is a very good team, but with that being said, we just didn’t hit well enough with runners on base, especially against good pitching. We had Justin Verlander on the ropes a couple of times and just couldn’t get to him. Gotta give them a lot of credit though — they are a good team. I wanted to see how we responded after Miguel Cabrera beat us in the late innings. Tough to get down about that because he does that to everyone.

I’m very happy the guys were able to forget about the weekend and switch focus to the Mariners and get a much needed win last night. John Danks pitched a great game and finally got a win. He is too good to have the record he does, and I know he will be just fine. We get King Felix tonight, so we will see what happens. In any case, I expect our guys to keep battling because this year is far from over. We still have a large window to make some noise.

It was very unfortunate to see Jake Peavy go down again, but luckily, we have a five-man rotation now that has been set up. I fully expect some of our guys to pick up the slack, though, as we are in June now and the All-Star Break isn’t that far away. Hopefully, we can gain some more ground before the break and put ourselves in a position to compete ion the second half.

Also, I have to give it to the fans — we had a great crowd of more than 30,000 against the Tigers this weekend. That’s what I like to see!!

And for those of you that follow me on Twitter, you know I got the chance to go to the Chicago Board of Trade yesterday morning and wow, what an experience. Those traders are nuts! But the energy in that room was incredible, and I really enjoyed my time there. I’m not sure you will ever see me in a trading pit again, but at least I have the jacket for next time I’m there. What do you think, how do I look?

At the Chicago Board of Trade

Enjoying an off day after a great finish to the road trip

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!

– Ozzie

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!

– Ozzie 

Q&A: Arizona in the spring, Kenny Powers & Magglio

Hey, everyone! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and ate a lot of turkey and mashed potatoes! Here are some more of your questions answered:

Q: Ozzie, what do you think about Arizona? Do you have any favorite restaurants down there, and how do you like having Spring Training there?

A: Arizona has great weather, even though it’s kind of weird because in the morning it’s freezing and then gets very, very warm during the day. I love the amazing golf courses they have out there, even though I need to get a lot better! Our Spring Training facilities are very good and convenient for the managers and players because they are all so close. It allows us to take batting practice in Glendale and then travel to our road games and back quickly. “Mastro’s” and “Mariscos Chihuahua” are my two favorite places to eat, and I go there often. In fact, I take the Arizona grounds-crew guys out to eat every year at one of those places. I love those guys.

Q: Will you invite Kenny Powers to camp next spring?

A: I would love to have Kenny Powers in camp. I also want that YouTube kid, Keenan Cahill — the little guy with the glasses. That guy is great! 

Q: Are A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko staying?

A: When you guys ask me questions about players, you guys are asking the wrong man.

Q: As a former resident of Berwyn, Ill., do you ever get a chance to make it back? Any favorite restaurants?

A: Yes, I have some good friends in the Berwyn Police — Jimmy Sassetti is my guy! My favorite place to go eat is :Mr. Tacos,” and I remember Orlando the Barber.

Q: Is there still heat between you and Magglio Ordonez?

A: No, me and Magglio did what we had to do. We moved on and respect one another. I’m happy when he does well.

Q: What are your thoughts on global warming?

A: To be honest, I really don’t know that much about global warming. I do know that we need to try and take a little better care of our environment, no matter what you believe.

Thanks for all the questions, and remember to keep them coming! 

– Ozzie

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