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Ozzie Guillen: If Anyone Deserves to Be Fired, It’s Me

There are plenty of people throughout baseball who dislike Ozzie Guillen.  Considering he may be the most outspoken manager in the history of the game, that is understandable.  For Ozzie’s thoughts on affirmative action, click here.  For his take on smoking weed, click here.  If you would like to hear him dime out Fox, click here.  For Guillen’s thoughts on his 2011 bullpen, check this out.  As you can see, the guy is willing to share his opinion on everything and anything.

While he may never hesitate to criticize others, you cannot say Guillen is afraid to hold himself accountable.  The Chicago White Sox have gotten off to an extremely disappointing start this season.  After stacking their lineup by adding slugger Adam Dunn and retaining both Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago is toting a 9-14 record as April approaches its end.  Naturally, critics and fans turn to the coaching staff for not being able to produce with the $125 million payroll the White Sox have assembled.  Ozzie turns to himself.

“If somebody has to get fired here, it has to be Ozzie Guillen,’’ Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday. ‘‘It doesn’t have to be Greg Walker. It doesn’t have to be [pitching coach] Don Cooper. It has to be Ozzie Guillen because I’m the one who makes the lineups, I’m the one who tries to get the best from my players and I don’t know how to do that right now.’’

It’s tough to not respect a guy who is willing to literally place himself on the hot seat.  Chicago loves Ozzie and he’s a players’ manager, so I doubt he is going anywhere anytime soon.  I’m sure he knows that, but a coach who is willing to stick his nose out for his staff and shoulder the blame during a rough stretch is OK in my book.

Ozzie Guillen Rants About White Sox Bullpen, Summons Bobby Thigpen

The Chicago White Sox blew a 4-1 lead in the 9th inning of Wednesday’s game with the A’s, and they gave up three more the next inning to lose the game. Collectively, the Sox have a 6.14 ERA as a bullpen, with closers Matt Thornton and Chris Sale combining to post a 7.50 ERA. Though Chicago is still 7-5 thanks to their prolific offense, manager Ozzie Guillen is struggling to find a closer for his team which has led to our first official Ozzie moment of the season. Frustrated with the line of questioning from the media after the game, Ozzie let loose.

The Chicago Tribune also provided the transcription, “I see the same (stuff) you guys see. Exactly same (stuff),” Ozzie said. Then he got nostalgic about his closer solution, saying “I might call Bobby Thigpen to help us. You know why? When we play good, they send those guys to this damn table and (you) talk to them like heroes. When we (mess) it up, I’m the one who has to … sit here and talk to you guys.”

The Trib has a video that shows Ozzie much more supportive of his pen compared to this truncated clip. Ozzie was probably upset about being asked why he put Chris Sale in a day after he threw over 30 pitches. But it’s not like Matt Thorton did any better when he came in afterwards, so Ozzie was pretty much screwed either way. There’s only one person liking things in Chicago right now, and it’s Bobby Jenks. OK I lied, we at LBS love it too. Just like when Ozzie said this, this, and this. Dude is an LBS Hall of Famer for life.

Ozzie Guillen Says FOX Told Him to Drop an F-Bomb to Boost Ratings

Ozzie Guillen is an LBS Hall of Famer for his legendary contributions to the site. To get caught up if you don’t know what we mean, go here, here, here, and here and you’ll be laughing non-stop. Anyway, there was great news announced a few days ago that Ozzie would be joining the FOX pregame and post-game crew to help provide analysis. The natural reaction was jeers suggesting FOX better watch itself because Guillen might let loose with one of his legendary profanity-laced rants.

Well guess what? Apparently that’s exactly what they want him for!

Call it the Charles Barkley phenomenon, Ozzie explained in an interview with FOX Chicago News that the FOX CEO told him to drop one because they would get a lot of ratings. Ozzie says he won’t do it because he does not want to get fired:

All I know is F-Bomb or not, I’ll be watching. Anywhere you put Ozzie you get my eyeballs.

Guillen’s Dinner Date With Zambrano Could be Good for the Cubs

On Friday, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox met for round two of the Crosstown Classic. The big story wasn’t the White Sox extending their win streak to 10 games — it was Carlos Zambrano’s meltdown in the dugout after giving up four runs in the first inning. The incident landed Zambrano an indefinite suspension from the Cubs.

After the game, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen met with Big Z for dinner. Now this may seem odd in most situations, but Guillen and Zambrano are known to be good friends because they both hail from Venezuela. Sox GM Kenny Williams said that the Cubs could look at the meeting as a positive thing:

“I view that [dinner], and I’m sure Jim does as well — if he doesn’t, someone needs to let me know and I will speak on the situation — but I view that as nothing but a positive. … Ozzie probably had some things that I’m sure the Cubs and Lou and Jim would have liked to have said to Carlos, that he was able to say in a much different way and probably get through to him.”

I couldn’t agree more. This hasn’t been the best year for Zambrano who was demoted to the bullpen when Ted Lilly was activated from the disabled list. Zambrano was once thought of as the Cubs’ ace and though he never really said he was mad about the move, I think Friday may have been a release of that anger and frustration.

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Umpire Joe West Getting Old and Cranky

When the Red Sox and Yankees squared off to open the 2010 MLB season, they seemed to really aggravate 32-year veteran umpire Joe West.  West, who was the chief of the crew that worked the series, had the following to say about the Sox and Yankees rate of play when they face each other:

They’re the two clubs that don’t try to pick up the pace. They’re two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest? It’s pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play.”

His point is taken, but it’s a bit of an overreaction.  The two teams do take forever when they play each other, but anyone who watches the games knows they aren’t doing it on purpose and then laughing about it afterword.  Red Sox and Yankees hitters are extremely disciplined at the plate.  Combine that with the fact that Francona and Girardi are always making pitching changes to assure the right arms are facing the right bats, and you’ve got yourself a long baseball game.  They do it because the games just mean more, regardless of what the players might say.

It would seem West isn’t only taking out his frustrations on the Red Sox and Yankees this season.  On Tuesday afternoon, he ejected Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing a balk call against Mark Buehrle in the second inning and tossed Buehrle himself in the third just for getting upset after being called for a second balk.  Check out the video of Joe West ejecting Mark Buehrle just for dropping his glove in frustration, courtesy of The Sporting Blog and TwitVid user chrislittmann:

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Ozzie Guillen Is a Funny Dude

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is easily one of my favorite personalities in Major League Baseball. The guy will crack jokes at other player’s expenses, and he gets off legendary rants when he’s frustrated. The best part about Ozzie is that he just tells things like it is. Take for example the following message he wrote on a baseball he gave to a friend in Cleveland Tuesday night. Check out these pictures of the Ozzie Guillen autographed ball via Deadspin and the Dan LeBatard Show:

Classic Ozzie. That dude is hilarious.

Sources:
Ozzie Guillen Has No Sympathy For Clevelanders [Deadspin]
Dan LeBatard Show on Twitter

Ozzie Guillen Has Never Smoked Weed

The same weekend Lou Piniella admitted he toked the devil’s lettuce but didn’t enjoy it, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had to respond to the same question. Ozzie’s answer probably was surprising to most:

“A lot of people think I’m in the [stuff],” Guillen said. “I’m not. I never did in my life. Thank God.”

Guillen said he has been surrounded by too many important people whose lives were influenced by drugs and alcohol.

“I have my brother, who has some problems, and I don’t want to go through those problems,” he said. “Because I have a few friends and a few members of my family with drug problems, I don’t want to go through that.”

Even with that being the case, it’s hard to imagine anyone, especially a pro ballplayer, never having tried it. I guess Ozzie’s craziness is all natural, which is nice to know. The guy’s a natural born nutcase. In case you’re wondering about the line of questioning, it all arose when Cubs catcher Geovany Soto was busted by a WBC drug test and said he would never do it again. Maybe MLB should make an exception for Milton Bradley — that guy sure could use a chill pill blunt or two.