Claiming that “every time the Blizzard of Oz speaks publicly, global camaraderie is capable of taking two steps backward,”, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti (above) resumes his repartee with sparing partner Ozzie Guillen.
”They’re mad. They can’t admit that a Latino kicked their ass,” Guillen said over the weekend of those who have accused the Sox of sign-stealing. ”That’s why I don’t get along with too many managers. Because they hate my [expletive] ass, because I don’t kiss their ass and I didn’t kiss anyone’s ass to get this job. Then they have a Mexican win the World Series in two years. And they’re saying he doesn’t have experience, he never managed in baseball. Well, too [expletive] bad.”
Never mind that he is Venezuelan and not Mexican. What Guillen is doing — again — is causing trouble when there shouldn’t be any and crossing the professional line of verbal retaliation. The Sox don’t need this stuff now, not as they fall 61/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers after a 7-1 shutdown Monday evening at the hands of Justin Verlander, who no longer tips his pitches as previously charged. Starting pitching continues to be a crapshoot, with one-time ace Jose Contreras looking like a man with a dead arm after another silly-putty outing. The Sox have issues, including a sluggish offense, and now more than ever, the situation requires level-headed leadership.
The manager needs to stand up to others with one part fire, one part professional dignity. Yes, Ozzie had every right to rip back at the three men who have wondered to varying degrees this season about the Sox and sign-stealing: Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan and Tigers manager Jim Leyland. But Guillen had no right to play the race card and should be reprimanded by Selig and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who, I remind you again, is co-chairman of Major League Baseball’s Equal Opportunity Committee and cannot keep ignoring the insensitive ramblings of his prominent franchise face.
If you missed it, Ozzie’s remarks from last Saturday included the following gems :
Guillen said Cardinals left-hander Mark Mulder “wouldn’t even make our team. He couldn’t start for us, and he’s not better than [Neal] Cotts or [Matt] Thornton in our bullpen.
“If we’re cheating, how come we don’t help Brian Anderson or [Juan] Uribe? If we’re going to cheat, we’re not just going to cheat for a few guys. We’re cheating on the mound? Our pitching staff gets beat up once in a while.”
As for Henry, who wondered in the Boston Globe whether the Sox were stealing signs in a game against the Yankees, “he doesn’t even know what a field looks like,” Guillen said.
That’s really a low blow, and one I sincerely hope the Commissioner’s office deals with severely. John Henry most certainly does know what a field looks like, O.G.
He can’t remember what a left-handed reliever looks like, however, but neither can anyone else in his organization.