Results tagged ‘ Venezuela ’

Time for a fresh start in 2013!

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.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a little while since I have written, but I have been just relaxing a little bit trying to stay out of the limelight. I spent a lot of time back in Chicago where I will be living for the most part. Yes, it’s freezing, but I had plenty to do to keep me occupied. I have been going to bunch of basketball games, mostly DePaul University. There is something about watching the young kids play that is fun for me.

While doing all of that, I did have the TV on in the background, so I have seen some of the big moves that were made. I talked to a couple of the guys, like Mark Buehrle, and wished them the best of luck. We had a lot to talk about.

For now, I’m back in Venezuela for Christmas and New Year’s. Most of all I’m here because no matter what happens to me, the Ozzie Guillen Foundation always has a lot of work to do. We have done a couple of great events, and there never seems like there is enough time to help out the children that are less fortunate. That’s what we do. We also had our annual Team Pepsi Home Run Derby and as always it was a huge success. Every year stars from the Winter Ball teams and Major League Baseball participate, and it keeps getting better and better.

I will be back in the states in January, but don’t worry, I have a feeling you might be seeing me on TV somewhere in the future. This season will mark the first time since 1982 that I haven’t been associated with a team. It’s going to be a little weird, but everything happens for a reason and I’m ready to tackle the next challenge.

My New Year’s resolution is to lose 15 pounds and I have already started. Better to start early than to start late. Anybody else have a good one for 2013?

It’s time to move on and see what’s next

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.

Wrapping up the offseason

I had a great time on Monday night attending my first college basketball game and seeing DePaul play for the first time. I have to say, it was probably the most non-work related fun I have had this offseason. Wow. The people at DePaul and the fans at the game were awesome; it was such a good time. Even though Marquette had a lot of fans there, it was a close game to the end. I’m glad I had the chance to go and I will definitely be back. Who knows? I might even try to get some season tickets for next year, it was that much fun.

How many of you caught me on “Baseball Tonight” on Tuesday? It’s always a good time to catch up with Karl Ravech and the boys. Believe me; what those guys do is not easy. I have been there before and props to everyone that works in TV … that is hard work!

Here I am doing "Baseball Tonight" again! (Triple Crown Productions, Inc.)

Right now, I’m just getting ready to head down to Miami on Feb. 12 for the Marlins Golf Tournament, which should be a very good time. I saw the new stadium digitally on the new “MLB The Show” game for PlayStation 3 (my kids love that game) and wow, does the stadium look amazing on there. The stadium was sold out in the game, so let’s hope that happens a lot this year and the next couple of years. I will also be shooting a Pepsi commercial for Venezuela with Carlos Zambrano and Bobby Abreu. I will be seeing Carlos a lot this season, and I’m looking forward to it.

To be completely honest with you, I just want all this stuff to be over and to get this thing going. There’s nothing better than spring baseball. Oh yeah, and I hope to see a lot of you out tomorrow at Morton’s Steakhouse in Chicago to see me with ESPN 1000 at noon. Can’t wait!

Heading to Chicago soon for a visit

Well, things have not gone according to plan for me. I’m still in Venezuela and all I want to do is go back to Chicago and hang out at the house. I want to see some snow and put on a big jacket and some gloves, because I like that stuff. Before I can go back, though, I need to stop in Miami and finalize the deals on the houses I’m going to live in, one in Jupiter and one in Miami. It’s a little hard when I go house shopping because I like a very specific style of house. I want it to look very modern and away from the traffic, and in Miami that can be hard because traffic can be very bad. I think we have narrowed it down and are going to find what we are looking for.

After we are able to get all of that stuff done, it’s finally back to Chicago. I’m tired of watching the Bulls on TV, so you had better believe I will be at the United Center. They are doing an awesome job even without Derrick Rose, so that’s great. I can’t wait to see a game.

I saw that the Rangers signed that Yu Darvish guy. Good for them. For all of the money they spent on him, I hope he does well for them. Going to back to back World Series is not an easy thing to do. Who knows? Maybe they can make it three in a row. I also heard that Orlando Cabrera is going to retire. I had him with the White Sox (we made the playoffs that year), but also when I was with the Expos. He is simply a winner and always has been. He can be a little different, but he can play. He had a great career.

Well, I hope you guys stay warm in Chicago and for all my people in Miami, keep rooting for the Heat (they will get better) and hopefully the Fish as well. Congrats to all the guys that avoided arbitration; well done, and best of luck to the guys that are challenging.

My birthday is also very soon, but no gray hairs for me yet! January is a very busy month for my family, but no SoxFest this year (haha), so it will be nice to just hang out around the house and relax.

Happy New Year!

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.

A very busy time

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!

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!

Q&A: On Twitter, pitchers & 2-strike hitters

After enjoying a nice day off in Chicago before heading to Denver last night, I am rested and ready to go against the Rockies. Denver is a very nice city, I must say, even though we don’t get a chance to be here very often. I’m looking forward to a good series and an opportunity to see a good, young Venezuelan player in Carlos Gonzalez – who can be extremely dangerous — and one of my favorite players in Troy Tulowitzki.

We know we need to start swinging the bats better. In the American League, if you can’t swing the bats, you have no chance. I was happy with the way we played the game this weekend, and I’m glad we had that 6-man rotation. We can now fill-in John Danks’ spot, and I was very proud of Gavin Floyd, Mark Buehrle and Jake Peavy, who were all available to pitch this weekend out of the bullpen. I have a lot of respect for all those guys. I also have to mention how happy I am for Davey Johnson and hope he does some good things with the Nationals. They have some good, young talent over there.

So, I had a little more time and the questions keep coming into my website, so here are a couple more answers …

Q: Ozzie, you are my favorite person to follow on Twitter. Many of your tweets are pretty funny. Why did you decide to start an account, and why do you like to use Twitter? — Mike C. (Waukegan, Ill.)

A: I thought it was a fun way to connect with my family, friends, and fans. Glad you enjoy it.

Q: Why don’t managers let pitchers throw 300 innings in a year anymore? Roy Halladay could easily hit that mark if he was left in games a little longer. And why is that magic 100-pitch count held in such high regard? If a guy feels good, shouldn’t you let him keep throwing? – Wyatt F. (Owensboro, Ken.)

A: Because they play 162 games now. These players make a lot more money, and it’s a big risk if they get hurt. Also, pitchers are developed differently these days.

Q: Who is the best two-strike hitter in baseball? – Kevin M. (Atlanta)

A: The best I ever saw was Wade Boggs. Right now, it’s hard for me to say because I don’t see enough of everyone, but A.J. Pierzynski isn’t bad.

Q: What is the worst thing you did to get thrown out of a game? — Brian M. (New York)

A: I can say some pretty bad words to the umpire, I guess. Nothing sticks out.

Q: Dear Ozzie, just wanted to say great tweet to Sean Pean about Venezuela! You clearly have first-hand knowledge, and he is clearly not well-informed. Keep up the great work! – Helen G. (Glendora, Calif.)

A: Thank you very much for the support!

Q: Ozzie, are you going to manage the Venezuela team in 2013? Also, what do you think of the expansion of the tournament to 28 teams? Thanks! — Mark H. (Chicago)

A: I don’t think I’m allowed to manage the 2013 team because I am a current MLB manager. If they expand, it would be very cool, but that also means a lot more games, so there is a downside, as well. If it makes money, it makes sense (haha).

Thank you, everyone, for reading this blog and your support. Until next time …

– Ozzie

Q&A: On The Hall, winning ST games & my team

What’s up, everybody?  It’s
Monday, and we are getting closer and closer to Opening Day!  For everyone that is going to be in
Chicago for Opening Day, please keep your schedule open, as there is going to be
a way for you to come out and enjoy the game with White Sox fans and support The Ozzie Foundation. More details
are coming this week, and I will be sure to post them! 
You guys are always on top of your game when asking me questions; some
more good ones this week. … Enjoy.
Q: Hi, Ozzie, how are you? My question is, are you happy with the rotation you have, and how is Paul Konerko? Take care. – Rolando R. (Santa Barbara, Venezuela)
A: Yes, I am very happy with the rotation because if all our pitchers stay healthy, we have a chance to win a lot of games. Konerko, I imagine, is fine (hahaha). I never worry about him. 
Q: Hey, brother, greetings from Venezuela and lots of well wishes to you and your family. We’d love to have a Venezuelan manager in the Hall of Fame. What do you need to accomplish professionally in the future to be considered eligible? – Angel P. (Bocono, Venezuela)
A: Well, thanks for the well wishes. Look, to enter the Hall of Fame, you have to manage for many years and win as a manager. But at this moment, I don’t worry about that. I’d like to win more championships — that’s the only thing that matters in baseball. 
Q: You played and coached a few Hall of Famers. … What did they do different to
make themselves great?
— Mickey S. (Trabuco Canyon, Cal.)

A: (hahaha) Well, obviously, they had a lot of talent, so that
helped! They also worked very
hard, but the one thing I will tell you about all the great players is they
study the game within the game. They don’t just go out there and play.

Q: Hey, Ozzie, I love your website and the initiative to create it so that we are more in touch with you. How difficult is it for you to build your roster when you have so much talent in Spring Training, and do you have to send some of it to the Minors? – Teodoro M. (Caracas, Venezuela)

A: Thanks; the idea behind the website was to be more connected to the fans. Building the roster isn’t that difficult because the majority of the time, the ballplayers are in or out based on their play. For me, the thing I like least about my job is sending down players to the Minors because I at one point was one of those, and as an older player, too (haha). 

Q: A pleasure, Mr. Guillen. I’d like your opinion with regards to the next manager of Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Who’s capable in our country to be in charge of that? – Marcos (Barquisimeto, Venezuela)

A: Good question, and I wish I had the answers. I don’t think that the reason Venezuela has lost in the last two WBC’s is Luis Sojo‘s fault. The reason has to be that the teams from Asia have a lot of time together and they’ve already been playing the entire year, while the other teams can’t play up to their full potential. I really think there could be a lot of managers who can keep order and that the players would want to play for. 

Q: Hey, Ozzie, cheers from Maracaibo. Let me tell you that I manage the White Sox more than you. Of course, I do it while playing on the Wii. I admire you. Best of luck this season. Are we going to be champions again? (hahahaha) – Alberto B. (Maracaibo, Venezuela)

A: (hahahaha) I’m sure you do a better job than me. Hopefully we’re champions — you on Wii and me in real life. 

Q: Oswaldo, you have been very successful being how you are. I’m surprised you say you’re going to change because if you do, you’ll lose your identity. Will you really change? – Hector M. (El Tocuyo, Venezuela)

A: Well, I’m 47 years old. I don’t think I’m going to change now at this age. I say it in the sense of trying to be more calm because every time they throw me out of a game it costs me money (haha). Lots of money, and my family can benefit from that.

Q: So many kids are playing ball for teams that practice year-round
these days. Is that a good thing, or do you think they need time away so their
bodies can rest and mature without straining the arm all year?
-- Bob C.
(Chicago)

A: Well, I think it’s a good thing and a bad thing. You don’t want your arm to get too
tired, so I agree with that. I also
believe that kids that play year-round have an advantage over kids who don’t, because the only way you get better is by practice. But you never want to blow a kid’s arm out, so there is
probably a balance.

Q: Ozzie, how important is it to win Spring Training games? Do you
focus more on how the pitchers are doing rather than the wins?
– DJ (Antioch,
Ill.)

A: Not important. I focus
on health and how certain players respond in game situations, like a hit and run
for example. That’s pretty much
what I look for.

Q: Best of luck this season, Oswaldo! Tiburones and White Sox forever! My question is: Where do you rank yourself among the best Venezuelan shortstops? With Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepcion, Omar Vizquel, where are you? – Sergio C. (Philadelphia)

A: Well, those players are and were the best, as well as role models to kids, and now I have the honor of serving as manager to one of them. To me, Omar is the one who dominated the position. David was my idol and the prettiest (haha). Luis is the only Hall of Famer and the one with the most girlfriends (hahaha). And me, I’m the one that has the most money (haha) — just joking. I’m honored to say that with all of them I’ve had relationships and friendships that I’ll never forget. 

– Ozzie 

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