A fight to the end
Well what can you really say? Getting swept always stinks and it stinks even more when you’re in September fighting for a division. This is baseball; those losses hurt but there is always another game to be played. No matter what happens you have to go back out there the next day and perform.
As you can see with our team this year, every game you play during the season is important, whether it’s April or September. If you don’t believe that, then look at how many games we gave away in April and tell me those don’t count now. We wish we could have some of those games back, but we can’t. Every game matters.
It was nice to see us bounce back against the Twins after what happened in Detroit. The guys are still fighting and playing hard. We are going to fight to the end of this thing. Wins are wins and they all count so we will try to win every game here down the stretch.
That Twins sweep put me in a better mood
Hey, everyone, are you starting to feel like it’s easier for me to write these blogs and talk to you guys when we win games? Well, it definitely is. I’m in a great mood this morning in Baltimore and decided to write one of these up. Actually, my room here is right over Candem Yards. I can actually see the field right now.
Anyways, it was a great sweep of the Twins this weekend because, as you all know, they are always a huge pain for us. Those guys always play so well against us; we finally got them. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty good feeling. I just hope this starts a trend of us playing better and more consistently, and this series against the Orioles would be a good way to continue it.
Jake Peavy did a great job yesterday and got some help from Brent Lillibridge, and the defense definitely threw some leather around this weekend. The new kid with all the hair, Zach Stewart, did an awesome job as well this weekend. I hope he continues to throw the ball like that. Anytime you sweep a team, especially on the road, it seems like everyone needs to contribute, and we got that. Alex Rios was crushing he ball, and of course, “Q” (Carlos Quentin) continues to swing a hot bat.
I will have time to write you guys after this series with Baltimore and hopefully answer some more of your questions. I had a great time this past Saturday at the TriStar National Memorabilia Convention thanks to Bobby and all the guys that worked there; it was a lot of fun. I will have pictures up for you guys here soon on the website. My son and I had a great time, and I hope to be back doing that every year.
Thank you all for the support and talk to you guys soon!
Day off in Cleveland; time for a Q&A
I think it’s safe to say it’s easier to answer your questions than write a blog on this day off in Cleveland. It’s definitely not the best day off, but I looked at some of your questions and thought now was a good time to answer:
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I am a lifelong Sox fan living in Minnesota and am desperate for a Sox series win against the Twins. Anyway, was just wondering if there’s any topic you won’t talk about in public. Is anything off limits to Ozzie Guillen? — Brandon H. (St. Paul, Minn.)
A: Well, I would also like to beat the Twins, but they have just had our number, I guess. Weird things happen in baseball; sometimes it’s just the way it goes. No topic is off limits but my personal life — meaning my wife and my kids are what’s sacred to me.
Q: My friend O.G. — congrats on the website. Great way to keep in touch with the people who follow you. Keep doing what you’re doing. — Carlos C. (Caracas, Venezuela)
A: Thanks a bunch. The idea behind the website was to stay in touch with the fans and anyone who wants to reach me.
Q: Hey, Ozzie, any suggestions on some places to take her after the game for a few drinks besides the Bacardi Bar? — Eric C. (Joliet, Ill.)
A: Well, Chicago is Chicago, but I would take her down to Buffalo Wings & Rings on 34th and Halsted. My close friends and kids have been going there and I stopped by a couple of times; good place with some very good food. You will be hearing more about this place soon, trust me.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark to visit when your team is on the road? — Russelle D. (Fremont, Calif.)
A: Well, my favorite place to visit is Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. I managed my first game ever there and it has gotten a lot nicer since then. Only problem is they seem to play well against us, and I’m not a fan of extra innings …
Q: Mr. Guillen, what is it like to wake up every morning being so awesome? — Jeff P (Rockton, Ill.)
A: Hahaha. Well I’m glad you think so. Every morning I wake up and my wife sees me, I hope she thinks the same thing you do. I’m just happy to be blessed and healthy; everything else happens for a reason.
Q: Ozzie, I would like to know — what is your view on Interleague Play? It seems like a lot of people in baseball have a dislike for Interleague. I personally believe it’s fun. I mean, when else will we see Philles vs. Red Sox, or White Sox vs Cubs? — Seong O. (Las Vegas)
A: I don’t mind it, to be honest with you, because it brings people to the stadiums and sells tickets. If it sells tickets, then it makes sense to everyone. But I do think the DH should maybe alternate every year in Interleague Play.
Q: When you are mad at an umpire, do you ever swear at him in Spanish? If so, what is the usual reaction? — Danielle G. (Sycamore, Ill.)
A: Haha. Maybe I do sometimes. In the heat of the moment, you say crazy stuff. And believe me, I run out of bad words in English very fast, so I usually say the same ones over and over.
Q: What do you think about Jim Riggleman resigning in the middle of the season AND over his contract? Thanks, Ozzie! — Jeffrey H. (Minneapolis, Minn.)
A: Well, I believe he had his own personal reasons for doing what he did. But as I have said before, those 25 guys and the coaching staff would be hard for me to walk away from. So to each his own, but I don’t see myself being able to do that.
Thanks for all your questions. My day off in Cleveland just got a little better. Come tomorrow, I hope we are ready to kick some butt and come back home on a winning note!
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!
Great series win versus the Cubs
What’s going on, everyone? Hope everyone enjoyed that series win versus the Cubs. It was a great series, like they always seem to be, and despite their record, I still feel like they have a very good ballclub over there. It’s good for us to win series; we need to continue to do that and get back to .500, then we can worry about other things. Even though we are playing on opposite sides of town, it was good for me to see Carlos Zambrano pitch well. No matter what, you always want your friends to do well in this game. As for us, our bullpen was outstanding once again, and we got just enough hitting to take the series. I enjoyed my day off yesterday morning with a little golf with my kids, and I’m looking forward to the Nationals coming to town. They are hot right now, so it should be a good series.
Before I answer some questions like I promised to do in my last post, I want to remind everyone that space is running out for my kids summer baseball camp taking place during the All-Star Break. You can sign up now at any of the four Chicagoland locations, and I can promise that all the kids will have a great time. You can sign up here, too.
Now, on to your questions …
Q: Do you still think the Twins will be a contender in the AL Central this season? — Mike K. (Waseca, Minn.)
A: Yes, I do. Those guys know how to play baseball, so no matter how many games they are behind us, they are just as dangerous as anybody else. And as you can tell by the way they are playing, they are going to be right there at the end of it.
Q Ozzie, who was better at the hot corner — Joe Crede or Robin Ventura? — Brandon B. (Chicago)
A: I say Robin because he won many more Gold Gloves and lasted longer than Joe did. But don’t get me wrong, when Joe was healthy, he was very good over there.
Q: How important is it that your players do something to give back to the community? — Pat C. (Naperville, Ill.)
A: I think that’s the main goal other than winning games. That’s what the Chicago White Sox and Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf are all about. They put an emphasis on helping the community, and they do a great job of it.
Q: If the world were ending tomorrow, what would you do tonight? — Tyler G. (Greenville, N.C.)
A: I would have dinner with my kids and spend the night with my wife. A few drinks might be involved somewhere in there. (hehe)
Q: Do you ever worry about losing your job? — Matt B. (Oak Lawn, Ill.)
A: Never, because I have no control over that. I have been on the hot seat since 2004.
You keep sending the questions, and I will keep answering them!!!
Things are starting to look a little better
Well, 3 out of 4 against the A’s this weekend wasn’t too bad. I’m very happy with the job we did against both Trevor Cahill and Gio Gonzalez — those guys are tough! Overall, it was a pretty positive homestand. It was good to be back in Chicago for a while and very good to see Adam Dunn start to swing the bat. Also, Alex Rios has started to look better taking the ball up the middle, so hopefully this will be the start of something good for those guys. I really can’t say enough about the starting pitching and Brent Lillibridge. Wow, this kid has been a ball of energy, and I’m very happy for him because he works so hard. I told the guys winning is the best medicine for anything, and it feels good that we are winning right now.
Now we head out to what might be the nicest ballpark in the American League — Target Field. It’s a tough place to play, and the Twins are playing very good right now. I hope we are ready to go and can cool them off against my boy Carl Pavano and start the road trip off right. I’m enjoying the day off here in Minnesota after staying in Chicago last night. Did a little BBQing and watched the NBA Finals. Congrats to Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban. They did it right, with hard work and class. It goes to show you that winning a championship in any sport isn’t as easy as it looks.
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.
Q&A: Talking Paulie, the 2011 season & Twitter
How’s everyone liking the new Web site?? So, I went on and started to check all the questions you have been asking on the “Ask Ozzie!” portion of the site, and I couldn’t believe it… there were hundreds of questions already! Thank you all for your interest in the website and sending in your questions. I will try to read them all and will respond to as many as I can.
Here is my first shot…
Q: Hello, Ozzie. I was just wondering… how is Paul Konerko signing a new contract with the team a big plus for the upcoming year? I used to live in Chicago but moved to Texas, and I still am a BIIIIG FAN! Paulie is my fave. — Matthew M.
A: I think P.K. wanted to come back to Chicago, and obviously the front office wanted him back. They worked hard and made it happen, and I am very happy they did. It would have been very hard to replace someone like P.K.
Q: I remember being a kid and watching baseball when you were playing, and it didn’t seem as if there were as many power pitchers as there is now. What do you think the difference is? — Thomas A.
A: I think part of it is that players work harder these days, but maybe the bigger difference is nowadays scouts look for more power arms.
Q: Hi, Ozzie. I admire your enthusiasm for the game. You are good for baseball. I’m a life-long Twins fan. Would you say you and Gardy [Ron Gardenhire] are friends, or just mutual combatants with mutual respect? Let’s have another great 2011 season! — Rich S.
A: I’m not friends with Gardy because we don’t hang out outside of the field, but I have a ton of respect for him as a manager and competitor. Not many people gave him the credit he deserves; he is one of the best in the game.
Q: First off, I want to thank you for being a breath of fresh air in the city of Chicago. My question is do you think Mark Buehrle is headed for Cooperstown? And is this team gearing up to be better than the 2005 White Sox? Thanks. — Scott B.
A: Thank you. I don’t know what type of ballclub we are going to have, all I know is we have talent. But comparing any team to the ’05 team is unfair because that team won the whole thing. As for Mark, he has easily been one of my favorite players I have ever managed, but I don’t think he has a chance at Cooperstown. I wish he could get in, but right now, I doubt it.
Q: Formula One has their first Venezuelan driver this year, Pastor Rafael Maldonado. Do you follow this at all? Will you follow him? Thanks, Ozzie. — Larry C.
A: No, I don’t follow Formula One, but I am proud of him like all Venezuelans should be. I do follow Venezuelan golfer Jhonattan Vegas, though, because I do love gold and I’m very proud of him as well.
Q: Why don’t you follow ANYBODY in your Twitter account? — Carlos S.
A: You know I’m not very good with computers, and I’m always getting new phones. I use Twitter to talk to fans, not follow people.
Q: What part of Spring Training do you most look forward to? — Michael E.
A: First of all, I think Spring Training is too long. I always look forward to the games starting and seeing the new and old players get after it.
Q: What do you think was the biggest reason the pitching staff got off to such a poor start last season, and how do you avoid that again this season? — Bob K.
A: I wish I had the answer to that one, but I really don’t. Most important thing to do is stay healthy and, unfortunately, I have no control over that. I pitch them and hope they stay healthy. It’s not about how you start, either; it’s about how you finish.
Q: Hey, if the American League vanished and you could take over as manager of any National League team in 2011, which team would you pick and why? — Matthew K.
A: Hahaha… Wow. You’re trying to get me in trouble, huh? You know I can’t answer a question like that. I’m the manager of the Chicago White Sox and very proud to be.
Q: What is your one memory that stands out above everything in your managerial career? — Benjamin S.
A: Wow, that’s a hard question. (haha) Winning the ring, of course — that’s what this game is all about!