Tag:Ozzie Guillen
Posted on: August 30, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Guillen won't manage ChiSox without extension

GuillenBy Evan Brunell

Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that manager Ozzie Guillen and White Sox GM Kenny Williams' relationship is "beyond repair."

Guillen had some strong statements, saying that while the decision lies with both owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Williams as to whether Guillen manages in 2012, he is the face of the franchise and can leave Chicago "with my head up" because "I'm the one with the balls around here."

Guillen has kept on motoring with comments that continue to dig him a deeper and deeper hole, telling Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com that "I don't think I'll be back here for one-year contract, and not know about the next year."

Guillen is under contract for the 2012 season after the team picked up his option in the offseason, as a way of silencing the discussion around the fued that has lasted for a couple years, but Guillen is now stoking the fire once more. Except here, Guillen is going about it all wrong, first by saying he's the face of the franchise, second by saying he's the only one with any gumption in town, and now by saying he will not manage without a contract extension.

Guillen may hold himself in high esteem, but he signed the contract that afforded Chicago a 2012 option, which is now guaranteed. Guillen is obligated to manage the team if Chicago asks him to. The fact that he believes he can walk away and not honor his contract if he doesn't get an extension is patently ridiculous. Even Guillen has to know how favorably Jim Riggleman walking away in Washington was received by those in the game. (Read: not well at all.)

It's likely that Guillen knows this, and he's only posturing to either get the extension or be fired, perhaps to take over the Marlins. (If he thinks it's tough working for Williams under Reinsdorf, wait until he sees what Jeffrey Loria has in store for him.) But that doesn't excuse his words. It's a tired threat by now, one people have made before. Guillen rants are always fun, but this particular storyline is getting old. Fortunately, it looks as if the situation will be resolved one way or another this winter.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:35 pm
 

White Sox drama continues

Ozzie GuillenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Ozzie Guillen sure sounds like someone who wouldn't be surprised to be wearing a different uniform next season.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times cites a "major-league source" that the relationship between Guillen and general manager Kenny Williams is "beyond repair."

Just as damning seems to be Guillen's comments to Cowley. Not that Guillen is a stranger to strong statements, but these seem to have an edge.

From the article:

• "Like I keep saying, whatever they do, that's up to them. I have a contract, so my hands are tied. I want to stay here, but only if they want to keep me here. This is a business, so if they want to talk to other teams or talk to others about managing… I know it's not what I want."

• "To be honest, it's pretty good money for him to just let me go. If they don't think I'm doing my job and all this [stuff], they thing Ozzie [messed] this up, fine, let them think that."

• "Let's get this straight: I'm the face of the franchise. People can say what they want. There's a lot of blame going around out there, but I blame myself because I guess I'm the one with the balls around here. It's not because I'm cocky or an arrogant guy, but I can leave Chicago with my head up. That's what's important to me.

"Jerry [Reinsdorf] is the one that has to decide on if [Kenny and I] can make it work. We're doing it, getting by. We're not best friends, but we make do. We're professional. We do what's best for the ball club. Our job is more important than our friendship."

The entire column is worth reading. Cowley comes to the conclusion that one or both Guillen and Williams will be gone after the season, which may not be a stretch. 

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 7:05 pm
 

Guillen says Zambrano 'embarrassed' by actions

Ozzie GuillenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Last season after Carlos Zambrano got into a fight with teammate Derrek Lee, he went to dinner that night with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

Friday, Zambrano sent Guillen texts after his latest outburst. However, Guillen said he didn't feel like dealing with anyone else's problems after the White Sox's 5-1 loss to the Royals, but his wife Ibis did replay.

Guillen, who has defended Zambrano in the past, had quite a bit to say about Zambrano, whom he calls a friend.

"Very bad and very sad situation," Guillen told reporters, including Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald.

Guillen also said he knew Zambrano was "embarrassed" by his actions.

"But it gets to the point, enough is enough," Guillen said. "What can he say? Hopefully today he feels a little bit better. He should feel embarrassed, should regret what he said or what he did. I don't think he said anything bad. There's a lot of people thinking [about] what he said. I did a lot. You know how many times I want to quit? I can't because I love this game. So does he."

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Dunn's dismal summer could earn a break

By Matt Snyder

No baseball fan needs to be told how bad Adam Dunn has been this season for the White Sox. It's been one of the most disappointing individual baseball seasons in memory. His .164/.294/.302 line is almost sickening it's so bad. Fans and media who used to spew venom in his direction have gotten to the point of feeling sorry for him. Dunn's already received a two-game break in playing time to clear his head, but he's going to get another one. And it sounds like it will be longer.

"I’m going to talk to him today or maybe tomorrow about giving him a mental break," Guillen said Sunday (Chicago Tribune). "It’s the second one because I already gave him one. He swung the bat a little better in Chicago, but last couple days he lost it.”

Guillen also seemed to blame Dunn's lack of preparation in the offseason for his poor play this season.

“I think you learn with a cost," Guillen said (Chicago Tribune). "You learn what happens. Before, when you have a good career, you do one thing – nothing. And you come out and resolve your problem, fine. But I think he should learn his lesson. He has to stay in shape now. He’s not 22 years old anymore.

"The league and people get you," Guillen continued (Chicago Tribune). "He has to put himself in shape and come to spring training in shape and stay there. If you don't come to spring training in shape, you get hurt."

There's no telling if it will make a big difference, but it's probably pretty safe to say Dunn's going to work hard in before the start of 2012.

UPDATE: Well, apparently Guillen changed his mind -- which isn't altogether shocking -- because Dunn is starting at first base Monday night (MLB.com via Twitter).

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:15 pm
 

Sale to stay in bullpen, Humber spot in jeopardy?

White Sox

By Evan Brunell

Any hope for Chris Sale fans that he might collect a few starts before the end of the season has now completely vanished, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

‘‘I think [general manager] Kenny [Williams] wants him to be a starter next year, but I don’t think we should [start him this year],’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said of Sale, who was drafted in 2010 and made the majors the same year as a reliever. ‘‘I want to win a couple more games. I don’t care if I’m in last place or not, I’m going to play every day to win. I might see one guy here or there, but my job is to win games."

The White Sox have lost seven of their last 10 and has slipped to 6 1/2 games out of first place. Still not insurmountable, especially if the club catches fire in a weak division, but the days are growing shorter. Still, Guillen isn't prepared to give up chasing the postseason, and Sale, at least for 2011, is best utilized in relief. He's gone thre innings a few times, so his endurance hasn't waned. In 51 innings, he's struck out 53 and walked 19, registering a 2.82 ERA and three saves. Yet, Guillen didn't completely discount starting Sale, even if he opened up the discussion by discounting it.

‘‘Obviously, if we get to that position [where we’re out of it], I’ll give the kids a chance. In the meanwhile, I’m not going to go out there and throw everything away. I don’t know what exactly they have planned next year for this kid. I think we should prepare him in spring training and the offseason.’’

Sale is expected to be a member of a rotation in 2012 that could have as many as three new members. One member whose spot could be in danger is Phil Humber, the unheralded minor-league free agent signing and former trade chip in the Johan Santana deal. Humber broke through this season for pitching coach Don Cooper and the ChiSox after flailing in Minnesota and Kansas City. In a new AL Central town, Humber forced his way into the rotation as a permanent member by posting a 2.69 ERA over 103 2/3 innings. He made the White Sox arrange their rotation into six members once Jake Peavy was healthy, then greased the skids for an Edwin Jackson trade. Yet, over his last four starts, he has a 7.97 ERA. Is it ineffectiveness or hitting a wall, with a major-league high 124 innings? He has reached139 innings as a minor-league high and at least 118 a season down on the farm over the last four years, so one might think he should have more endurance than this.

‘‘Minor-league innings, that is [crap],’’ Guillen said. ‘‘That is nothing. Minor-league innings compared to here [in the big leagues], I think it’s double because you have to grind it out every pitch. In the minor leagues, you get away with two, three, four guys in the lineup, and you mess around. In the big leagues, every pitch, you got to be on it.

‘‘But he threw the ball good [Thursday], especially the way those guys were hitting. The last time [against the Boston Red Sox], he hit the wall [after holding the Sox to one hit through four innings]. [Thursday], he threw the ball pretty good.’’

The White Sox will give Humber every chance to snap out of his slump to see if he can be a legitimate option for next season, but if the White Sox fall out of the race and Humber continues to skid, Sale may yet make it into the rotation.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Guillen's son goes after Valentine

By C. Trent Rosecrans 

You ever wonder if Ozzie Guillen hopes his son would just shut up? Of course, shutting up is hardly a trait ingrained in the Guillen genes.

Since Kenny Williams has started ignoring Oney Guillen, Ozzie's son has a new nemesis, ESPN commentator Bobby Valentine. Why?

Well, Valentine tweeted something many of us have thought at some point this year:

 

Oney Guillen took offense, responding with this:

 
For the record, in the United States, Valentine has won 1,117 games and a National League pennant -- that's 1,117 more games and one more pennant than Oney Guillen.

The other interesting part of this potential feud is both Valentine and Ozzie Guillen will be popular names in the search for the Marlins' next manager.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:20 am
 

Pepper: Thome's silver hammer

Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans

I know this may seem like a dead horse, but I'm still dismayed at the relative silence around Jim Thome's impending 600th home run. He hit homer No. 598 last night and it seems like it was greeted by crickets. My colleague Matt Snyder wrote about this a couple of weeks ago after I touched on it, so it may seem redundant, but is it any more redundant that the constant (and deserved) fawning over Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit?

I've said all this before, but it just feels like it needs repeating -- Thome will soon become just the eighth player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs. So why is it being overlooked?

Is it because the steroid era has devalued home run totals?

Is it because the next guys on the list are Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez? And the guy atop the list is Barry Bonds?

Is it because Thome isn't a Yankee?

Is it because after 12 years in Cleveland, he's moved around, playing for the Phillies, White Sox, Dodgers and Twins?

Is it because the bulk of his productive years were in Cleveland?

Is it because he's no longer an everyday player?

Is it because there were two weeks between homer No. 595 and 596 and then another two weeks until No. 597? 

Is it because Thome has done it relatively quietly, not drawing a lot of attention to himself, therefore not receiving a lot of attention?

Or am I totally off base and blowing this out of proportion?

It could be any one of those reasons or a good combination of all of them. It just seems to me, it's something that could and should be celebrated not just in Minnesota, but all over baseball. Thome now has 598 home runs and will soon have 600 -- I'm not saying they need to dig out the dirt from the batter's box after his 600th and sell the dirt in keychains (like they did for Jeter), but it should be something we watch, anticipate and celebrate.

The long and winding road: If you don't read every word that comes out of Chris Jones' computer, you're missing out. Canada's finest's most recent piece is on the strange journey of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. I can't recommend it enough. [Grantland]

Here today: Most are assuming that Jose Reyes will re-sign with the Mets this offseason, but not so fast say Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino says the Mets are unlikely to give him the "Carl Crawford money" he is assumed to desire (and should be able to command). Apparently it's not just the money that the Mets are worried about, but also the number of years. The Mets aren't excited about giving the injury-prone Reyes seven years.

Get back: Ryan Zimmerman is back to his old form, even though he's been back on the field for nearly two months. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes that it took a while to break up the scar tissue that resulted from his abdominal tear and is no longer experiencing the soreness that had him skipping his post game workouts. 

Let 'em in: Ozzie Guillen's time in Chicago just seems to be at a natural end -- the team has underperformed and everyone seems to be tired of the marriage. Guillen sounds like he's over managing the White Sox in this interview with MLB.com's Scott Merkin, while he tells Yahoo! (via the Miami Herald) that he'd go to the Marlins "with a lot of class," and that it'd be "an honor to manage the Marlins." With Florida moving into a new park next year, it seems like the natural fit -- and he could manage there until Jeffrey Loria loses his patience at the All-Star break next year.

Here today: Red Sox minor leaguer Brandon Jacobs has no regrets about his choice to bypass a football scholarship at Auburn to sign with the Red Sox. Jacobs was a prized running back at Parkview High School in suburban Atlanta, but was drafted by MLB -- and a $750,000 signing bonus later, he found himself on the diamond instead of the gridiron. The 20-year-old has 14 homers and 26 stolen bases at Class A Greenville (S.C.). Even though Auburn won the national championship last season, Jacobs said he watched the game and didn't feel a twinge of regret. An interesting note, Parkview is the alma mater of another prominent football player who skipped a scholarship to play baseball, the Royals' Jeff Francoeur. [Boston Globe]

It was 10 years ago tonight: The Hardball Times looks back at the Indians' rally from an 11-run deficit to beat the Marienrs on Aug. 5, 2001. One thing to keep in mind about that, the Mariners won 116 games -- if they hold a lead, it's 117, a record number of wins. The 1906 Cubs also won 116 (in 10 fewer games).

I've just seen a face: Can't get enough of of Kenta Imamura, the Ichiro impersonator? Well, you're in luck. Apparently Imamurua is a professional Ichiro impersonator and is nicknamed "Nicchiro" -- "ni" is Japanese for two. [Super Ichiro Crazy]

Maybe I'm amazed: A baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio and kissed by Marilyn Monroe sold for $59,750 on Thursday. The bidding started at $17,000 and quickly escalated. [New York Daily News]

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 9:18 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 9:33 am
 

Pepper: Matsui hits No. 500

Hideki Matsui

By C. Trent Rosecrans


You may have missed it last night, but Hideki Matsui hit his 168th home run of his Major League Baseball career. Why's that meaningful? Well, in addition to his 332 homers for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, he has 500 in his professional career.

Sure, 500 combined isn't the same as 500 in MLB, but it's still a cool accomplishment. Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 home runs, was impressed by the accomplishment.

"To keep hitting home runs during a tough schedule while maintaining your conditioning is not easy," Oh told the Associated Press.

Matsui was less impressed. "It isn't like I've been aiming for this, because I don't really combine numbers from Japan and here. To me, they are two separate leagues," he told the AP.

And he's right, there are differences. The ballparks in Japan are smaller, the ball is slightly different, the pitchers are different and the season is shorter. But still, 500 is a lot of home runs, even if you're in Little League. He was never quite the same feared power hitter here that he was in Japan, but he did produce for many years and has been a good big leaguer, adjusting his game to his new surroundings. 

I lived in Japan when he first came up, and the hype he received is like nothing I've seen in the United States -- I'd say it's more like if Bryce Harper were a Yankee. That's how famous he was even in high school in Japan, where the high school baseball tournament is covered like the NCAA basketball tournament here. 

The 500 mark has been achieved by 25 in MLB and eight in Japan -- and just one, Matsui, has done it combined between the two.

KOTCHMAN QUALIFIED: It's been easy to miss, but Rays first baseman Casey Kotchman is having a heck of a season. He needed four plate appearances Wednesday to qualify for the batting title. Kotchman not only got his four appearances, he picked up three hits, raising his batting average to .337, which is second in the American League to Boston's Adrian Gonzalez (.343). [Tampa Tribune]

UNHAPPY DAYS IN CHICAGO: It's been a severely disappointing season in Chicago, and both managers are none too happy with their teams. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had some choice words for his team after a loss to Bruce Chen and the Royals [Chicago Tribune]; Cubs manager Mike Quade targeted his ire on two young players, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney. [Chicago Sun-Times]. 

STRONG COFFEY: Nats reliever Todd Coffey wasn't too happy about allowing a run in Tuesday night's game and reacted by throwing a water cooler -- nearly drenching Jerry Hairston. Let that be a lesson kids, another reason to wear high socks -- your pants don't get wet if Coffey spills on you. [Washington Post]

SWEET MUSIC: The New York Times music critic writes about the beautiful sounds of a ballpark. Listen to the sweet sound of summer. Maybe they should make it a MP3 so I can listen to it when there's snow on the ground.

JETER FATIGUE: Sick of hearing about Derek Jeter? Well, there's a browser tool for that. If you're using Google's Chrome, you can download the Jeter Filter to avoid all those pesky references to the Captain. Too bad this wasn't around a week or so ago (I kid, I kid). [Big League Stew]

CHAVEZ REVINE IS SAFE: The group that owns the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles says that it is not interested in building a downtown baseball stadium, contrary to earlier reports. "It's not even an idea. It simply doesn't work," AEG president Tim Leiweke told ESPNLosAngeles.com.

CLOSER IN WAITING?: If Florida trades Leo Nunez, it's like Edward Mujica will get the nod as the team's closer. You fantasy baseball folk may want to remember that and get in on him early. [Miami Herald]

SORIANO CLOSE: Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano made his first rehab appearance Tuesday, allowing two runs on two hits in 1 1/3 innings at Class A Tampa. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn't know yet how he'd use Soriano upon his return. [New York Daily News]

DARVISH WATCH: One of the big names we'll be sick of hearing come January or so is Japanese import Yu Darvish. The Angels, Yankees and Mets were among the teams that watched his last start. [YakyuBaka.com]

NO MO NO-NO: Monday the Royals' Luis Mendoza of the Royals' Triple-A team in Omaha threw a no-hitter and the next night the Double-A squad in Northwest Arkansas threw a combined no-hitter. Well, Wednesday the Royals not only didn't have a no-hitter, but they had another taken away when the Pacific Coast League stripped Mendoza of his no-hitter, changing an error call to a hit -- again. Monday night outfielder David Lough of the Storm Chasers was charged with an error. Then just minutes after Mendoza celebrated his no-hitter, it was changed to a hit. And then an hour later, it was changed back to an error. And now Wednesday it was changed back to a hit. Mendoza threw a no-hitter for Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2009. [Kansas City Star]

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