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.
This has been a tough couple of days for me and my family. Change is never easy, especially when you are leaving an organization you spent 22 years of your life with. The Chicago White Sox were the first organization to give me the opportunities to both play and manage in the big leagues. For 22 years, I tried to give them everything I had every day. In 2005, we were able to do something that hadn’t been done in 88 years — bring the World Series trophy back to the city of Chicago. Handing that trophy over to Mr. Jerry Reinsdorf is something I will never forget because I knew how important it was to him. That was a dream of both of ours, and no one will ever be able to take that away from us.
I want to thank everyone that made my years in Chicago special. First of all, I had the opportunity to manage some great players and need to thank them for coming to the park ready to play every single day. Thank you to my great coaching staff, the front office, Minor League department, security, grounds crew, everyone that works at the ballpark and everyone that worked for and played for the White Sox from 2004-11. I also can’t thank the fans enough for the love and support they showed me and my family throughout my career. I hope that support can continue in the future. Chicago will ALWAYS be my home, and my message to all the fans is simply this: I will forever love you and will never forget you.
As I’m sure most of you know, a new chapter in my life began today. It’s hard to explain how happy and excited I am to be joining the Miami Marlins organization. I’m honored that they wanted me to be a part of this new era in Marlins baseball. I want to thank Mr. Jeffrey Loria, Mr. David Samson, Mr. Larry Beinfest, Mr. Michael Hill and Jack McKeon for everything they have done for the Marlins organization and the opportunity they have given me. My goal is to make them and Marlins fans everywhere proud of their team. I can promise you that we are going to play the game the right way. I am really looking forward to the future and can’t wait to get started!!
As many of you know now, yesterday I managed my last game for the Chicago White Sox. This has been a very hard time for me and my family, but I want to thank the great fans of the city of Chicago for the support they have shown me and my family during my 22 years with the organization. As I said in my press conference, Chicago will always be my home. It’s hard to say what the future holds for my family and I, but one thing is for sure — I can’t wait to start a new chapter of my life. I also want to quickly thank my great coaching staff and players, who were always at the park working hard everyday.
While this is a sad time, I know there are better days awaiting me in the future! Thank you again for your support during my time here. I will always have love for my people in Chi-Town!
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!
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.
I always have time to answer your questions. Trying to enjoy this off day before we head on over to Detroit. I want to thank everyone for their respect and support. I hope you enjoy asking the questions as much as I do answering them. Here you go:
Q: Ozzie if you really see this, Hi from Maggie 🙂 — Maggie P. (Chicago)
A: Hi Maggie, thanks for checking out my site.
Q: A warm greeting Ozzie from Guyana, as a Latin player what was the toughest part of playing in the United States? – Siul P. (Puerto Ordaz, VE)
A: The hardest part for me was learning English and getting accustomed to the culture in the United States.
Q: Hey Ozzie! Not a question, just wanted to say I saw your interview with your comments about Sean Penn and your other thoughts and I wanted to tell you that YOU are a real American and I appreciate your viewpoint! Keep it up, Bro! — Chris S. (Murrieta, CA)
A: Well thank you for calling me a real American. I appreciate that and I spend more time here than I do back home.
Q: Hi Ozzie. I wrote you a couple of weeks ago asking for a series win against the Twins and on cue you provided the sweep! Anyway, when you played what was your most memorable season? — Brandon H. (St. Paul, MN)
A: Thank you. When I played I think that going to a World Series was always a goal and dream of mine. But I had a lot of memorable seasons.
Q: Will you be managing the Sox in 2012? — Terry F. (Chicago)
A: I hope so.
Q: Ozzie: First off, thank you for continuing to be the Chicago White Sox manager. My first question: What can be done to change our won loss record being worse at home? I feel this is the make or brake part of making the playoffs. Second: Do you think some players were pushing themselves to hard to improve in their hitting? I am just surprised at all the inconsistency this year by the team. Good Luck with the rest of the season! — Larry W. (Wheeling, IL)
A: Well I hope we continue to play better at home but I’m not sure exactly why it has gone the way it has. We did just win two of three from the Twins and that’s kind of rare so we will see what happens. Guys work hard everyday to get better and so do the coaches, no one is ever satisfied.
Q: Hi Ozzie. Because of you, my wife LOVES the Sox. We recently bought one of your game worn and signed jerseys from the Sox. You’re the best. Thanks for everything and being you. Jennifer and Matt S. — Matt S. (Chicago)
A: Thanks man I hope she liked the jersey!
Q: Hello Ozzie. My question is: We usually have the best seat in the house when we question balls and strikes on TV. How is your view from the dugout (can you tell if it’s a good pitch?)? Also, can you watch replays and see if umps are squeezing our pitchers? — David B. (Bridgeport)
A: Usually my angle is not the best but I have been in the game so long that I know if it’s a good pitch or close to a strike. No I don’t check the monitors but usually I send someone to check and see how close it was.
Q: Ozzie – with the Cubs general manager position open, there has been some talk (largely ESPN, the Chicago Tribune, and the Sun-Times) suggesting the possibility the Sox could promote Hahn to GM in order to prevent losing him. How do you think Rick Hahn would perform as a GM? — Eric B. (Moweaque, IL)
A: I think Rick Hahn is a great baseball man. Very smart and well respected. I think he will do a great job wherever he decides to go, he does a great job for the Sox.
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).
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.
Not really in the mood to write a blog today, so here are some pics I put up from my event last week at Binny’s in Bolingbrook. Always great to see so many kids come out.
Also, sad to hear today about Jim Hendry. … He is an awesome guy. I will miss him, and so will baseball.
Wow, we won a series at home! Feels very, very good before a day off. I get to enjoy a nice relaxing day today; having a BBQ tonight before we get ready for those Indians tomorrow. They have been playing some great ball, so we need to be ready.
Everybody knows that Kansas City plays us so tough, so to beat them and to swing the bats the way we did was awesome. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how much Bruce Chen dominates us. But that’s just baseball. The one thing I always look forward to is when we play our division. We have a bunch of games left in the division, and that’s probably a good thing. We take care of our own business, we should be there at the end.
If a couple of guys keep helping us out like they have, our offense can be very dangerous. Great job this weekend by Brent Lillibridge playing first base and swinging the bat like a big man (haha). Don’t let that kid fool you, he is a very strong man. But most importantly, his defense has helped us out a ton all year long.
On another note, I would really like to see The Cell sold out for the Indians series. These games are huge, and we need all the support we can get. We are right in the middle of the race, so we need everyone to come out and yell. I know we get their best with Fausto Carmona, Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson (but not in that order). If we want to win this division, we are going to have to beat the best. There is no other way to do it. And even though we have some tough pitchers coming our way, as long as none of them are named Chen, I will take my chances.
And lastly, a little surprise — I think I will be doing some Q&A on Twitter tonight. So bring you’re “A” game!