Ozzie being Ozzie? Everything's the same, too

If Ozzie Guillen called me and said he was going to talk to the press about the plight of the Latino ballplayer, comparing their arduous path to the more organized arrangements for Asian ballplayers, I probably could’ve told you how it played out.
Stage 1: Guillen sounds off to the press and criticizes Major League Baseball using very direct language and the occasional expletive.
Stage 2: The media picks up on it, and because Guillen mentions race (even though it had far more to do with institutions), America struggles through a brief roundtable shortage as everybody is called to weigh in on the topic.
Stage 3: The White Sox, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, who is Bud Selig’s very close friend and trusted associate, issues a statement defending the actions of the league and commissioner.
The White Sox statement did come off as somewhat condescending; Guillen could have responded, “Obviously, the White Sox organization would know plenty about successfully and respectfully cultivating talent from Latin America, so I stand corrected.”  Joe Cowley’s trying to make something of it, but Reinsdorf is as loyal to Selig as he is to Guillen. That’s nothing new.
What’s unfortunate is that because Guillen compared the Latino experience to those of Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese players, it overshadowed his second — and perhaps more salient — point about PED usage. Comparing races compels a lot of people to overreact, so maybe he’d be better off talking about the influence of steroids on the Latin American programs in a separate address.
MLB hasn’t decided whether or not it will punish Guillen, but I hope it doesn’t. There have been a lot of great discussions coming out of this, and baseball needs to have them.
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Toni Ginnetti lays out the uneven schedule ahead in August, starting with a doubleheader against Detroit today.
*The Sox haven’t seen Cleveland’s Carlos Santana yet, and might not for a while if the leg injury he suffered is as bad as it looked. The standout rookie catcher had his leg turned the other way while blocking the plate, and Robin Ventura’s ankle comes to mind.
*Guillen says this year’s bullpen is deeper than his 2005 relief corps. Sergio Santos says he’s feeling the effects of an unprecedented workload, but his colleagues are helping him through it.
*One benefit of the Sox not adding a hitter: Carl’s latest cartoon is still appropriate.
Minor league roundup:

  • Charlotte 2, Rochester 1
    • Mark Teahen, still DHing, went 1-for-3 with a walk.
    • Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks (two K’s) were 0-for-3; Alejandro De Aza was 0-for-4.
    • Brent Morel was only hitless in two at-bats, laying down a sac bunt.
    • Brandon Hynick allowed a run (solo homer) on five hits and a walk over six innings, striking out three.
    • Clevelan Santeliz struck out two of the three he faced in a perfect ninth.
  • Jacksonville 5, Birmingham 4
    • Eduardo Escobar was 1-for-5; Christian Marrero 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
    • Justin Greene wore the collar, and was caught stealing.
    • Kyle Bellamy continues to struggle, allowing two runs on a hit and a two walks over two-thirds of an inning, boosting his ERA to 12.27.
  • Winston-Salem 8, Wilmington 3
    • Brandon Short doubled and walked twice, scoring three runs. He also stole his fifth base.
    • Jon Gilmore went 2-for-4 with two RBI; Josh Phegley 1-for-4 with an RBI.
    • Jose Martinez’s hitless night extends his slump to 2-for-24.
    • Nathan Jones allwoed three runs on nine hits over six innings; three strikeouts, no walks.
  • Kannapolis 7, Greensboro 4
    • Tyler Saladino (double, walk), Kyle Colligan (walk), Nick Ciolli (homer, four RBI) and Brady Shoemaker (double) all went 2-for-3.
    • On the other hand, Miguel Gonzalez and Juan Silverio each went 0-for-4.
    • Cameron Bayne struck out seven over seven innings, allowing two runs on just four hits and two walks.
  • Burlington 1, Bristol 0
    • Jordan Keegan had both of Bristol’s hits, a single and a double.
    • Everybody else was hitless and walkless, save J.D. Ashbrook.
  • Missoula 7, Great Falls 6
    • Andy Wilkins went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and walk.
    • Ross Wilson walked once and struck out twice over four trips to the plate.
    • Addison Reed struck out four over two perfect innings.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Ozzie is the master of deflecting attention off his team and onto him when things are going bad with a comment or two similiar to the ones he just made. My question is, with the team going good why did he come out and say these things? I understand the strategy when they are going bad but when things are rolling what was the need for this semi-distraction.


maybe distract the bad week they just had in terms of deadline dealing? guess that’s my guess. many people say the Sox were the biggest losers of all last weekend.


I’d like to see Kotsay DFA’d as much as anyone, but I don’t think it would be a bad thing if Viciedo was sent down instead. He’s .273/.273/.394 against righties and has drawn zero walks on the season. This is a guy who needs some more development, and playing everyday at AAA would help him in the future.


Need to find a role for Kotsay …. need to find a role for Kotsay…. I got it! Let’s have Kotsay coach first base!
Then he can still talk to every player that gets a hit or walk, keeping the precious team chemistry in tact. It’s extra incentive for Sox batters to do well at the plate. The glue that holds the team together.
(When Harold Baines is ready to take the field again Ozzie will have a problem on his hands.)


How conVEEEENient — all our talk about who would be sent down was for nothing, as they DL’d Threets with roster crunch, I mean turf toe.


Threets took one for the team. much better than getting DFA because he was out of options and couldn’t be sent down. Gives the Sox two weeks to figure the roster out for the long run.


“Hey, Threets, how’s that turf toe? Turf toe is very sneaky, sometimes you don’t even know you have it. You should probably go on the DL, get that looked at, just to be safe. Turf toe is very dangerous, you know. Let it go too long, and you just might have an accident. We’d hate for you to have to fall down a few flights of stairs, just because you didn’t get that looked at. That would be very unfortunate.”


Car crash, right? I heard about that


“How’s that toe feel? Oh, fine eh?”
“How about now?”


The comments Ozzie made about PEDS have merit, but it’s clear he never really thought through this whole Asian/Latin gripe through. I agree with Knox this is an unnecessary distraction with things going so well. But as you just said yourself Jim, The Club was wrapping and Ozzie had a platform he had to use.


I believe he did think through the whole thing, I mean he lived it. It’s just that there are differences between when he came up as a player in the 80’s and now. That TIME piece reminded me of a lot of scenes in SUGAR by the way.


Really? Ozzis lived the life of an Asian player too? Remember, he’s making a comparison. With Asian players there is usually only one Japanese or Korean on the entire team. Have you any idea what that’s like to be completely isolated? You can go to any American city and find a Latin population. For Japanese and Koreans, it’s limited mainly to LA, NYC and Chicago. Mexican food is ubiquitous. Korean food? Good luck finding it outside of the major cities. The alphabet of the Asian languages has no relationship to any of the Indo-European languages. I can make my way through broken Spanish with Latins who don’t speak any English as many words are similar and the alphabet is Romanized. I’m partially fluent in Korean and I can tell you that when you first see the Hangul (the Korean alphabet) your head swims because there is no relationship at all to English. Ozzie has no freakin’ clue about any of this. His mouth works ahead of his brain. He’s a baseball guy and unless he’s willing to do his homework, he should keep his mouth shut.


Considering Guillen had to manage a Japanese player, I will again defer to his life experiences over your armchair psychology.


I really have no idea why I bother but armchair psychology? Don’t think so. Guillen managed a single Japanese player. WOW! He must know all there is to know about the culture! Though I did see him at a sushi bar once.


I think the whole point was the conditions Latino players have faced in getting to the bigs and not the nuances of various Asian cultures, languages or customs.


It’s funny though isn’t is Jim? We have to edit what we think Ozzie meant, versus what he actually said. Not quite the ideal spokesman, is he?
My point dealt with the comparison he made of Latin to Asian players. So he managed Iguchi and Shingo. BFD. His comments tell us he never understood anything about what these guys had to deal with.
If this is a cause near and dear to Ozzie, why doesn’t he organize a speaking tour to the Domincan, etc. and talk to the young, would-be players about PEDS, etc? I’m sure he could get the league’s support on something like that. Instead, he pops off to grab attention and pretend he’s Cesar Chavez.
As far as the team’s practical concerns, I would be pissed if I were Kenny as Ozzie’s just made it very tough to attract any Asian players to the Sox in the future. And for what exactly?


IMO if you throw out his comparison to Asian players, and concentrate only on what he said with the conditions that Latino players in the past have faced and brings attention to an area of the game that hits home.
His “comparison” of Asian and Latino players was merely a was of showing the experiences of players. I don’t believe it had anything to do with race.
As a player Guillen did the same thing when he was a representative of the players union. Fact of the matter is, who else is bringing up these discussions? Latino players have very different experiences, sometimes they are darker than people realize. I have no problem with Guillen bringing up this topic, if for no other reason people in this forum are talking about it.


Not quite “insulting” but certainly there seems to be a bit of resentment in his comments. In addition, he comes off blithely ignorant of several important cultural distinctions. (Talk to a few Asians and see if I’m just talking smack.)
In brass tacks terms, if you’re an Asian player and you have a choice of which team to go to — remember, these guys are usually stars in their respective leagues BEFORE they come here — I don’t see how Ozzie’s comments help make the White Sox first choice.
I think Ozzie basically has a good heart, but there’s a side of him that’s rather untoward. Remember his homophobic screed a couple years back? Or how about throwing $50K at his mouthy, spoiled hellspawn? Add it all up and it’s pretty unseemly.
All in, I don’t see Ozzie as the guy to deliver such an important and complex message, as his half-baked comments are often polarizing. But like I said, he certainly could help organize efforts to inform and educate Latin players in the off-season. That would be tangible, pro-active and laudable.


Ozzie may be right, but perhaps not for the reason he thinks. There are a whole lot more Latins than Asians in MLB, so the Spanish-speaking rookie has teammates who can translate, or coaches, or a manager. The Asian guy needs a translator or he’s in the cold. Another issue is that the Latin guys may have fewer home country options, and may be easier to exploit as a result. I’m not excusing bad treatment, but management everywhere tries to keep costs down.