Monday, September 27, 2010
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Respect for Ozzie Guillen is dropping at a LeBron James-like rate. As the self-sabotaging, me-first media campaign continues to roll off the tongue of the Sox manager, he is day-by-day doing more damage to his image in his home city than he realizes.
If he leaves the Sox next month in whatever form, I certainly wouldn't put it past him to get a half-hour show on ESPN in which he announces in which city he will manage next year. (Except instead of Jim Gray as the host, Ozzie will hand pick Mark Kotsay to be in the room when he announces he is "taking his talents to South Beach.")
A possible excerpt:
Kotsay: So what's new? What's been going on with you this summer?He's still at Ditka status in this city, and will probably remain there until someone else actually discovers a way to win a World Series in Chicago, regardless of whether this is his last season here or not. But his inability to shut his mouth is causing fan support to slip, and in his dispute(s) with Sox brass, he's losing in the court of public opinion.
Ozzie: I been very busy with tweeting, finding a job for my son Oney, protesting draft position for my son Ozney and getting into shouting matches with Kenny, but I'm proudest of getting you 300 at bats this year, Mark.
The Ozzie-to-the-Cubs thing isn't worth wasting space on. It is entirely a media creation, being used by reporters for headlines (controversy sells, never mind if its accurate or not) and being used by Ozzie for some kind of leverage. There is just no chance that would ever happen, and Tom Ricketts and the Cubs wouldn't want him anyway-he's not suddenly going to leap over Joe Girardi, Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade to the top of their list.
But at this point it does seem like Ozzie, knowing he can't quit and leave guaranteed money on the table, is doing everything in his power to be fired. Now, if he really wants to be fired, he should take a page out of George Costanza's book: slip Jerry Reinsdorf a mickey, sleep with the cleaning lady, or, the best idea, drag the 2005 Commissioner's trophy around the Cell's parking lot while shouting through a loudspeaker how the organization's accomplishments are meaningless.
Otherwise, Jerry and Kenny aren't so naive as to actually fire the guy, knowing they would still have to pay him for 2011 if they did. If Ozzie really wants out, he's going to have to quit. Otherwise somebody better get in his ear and tell him to shut up, and he can laugh it all off in Glendale next February.
Lastly, major props to Jim at Sox Machine, who did a little searching and uncovered a quote from 2007 that serves as the perfect Sarah Palin-esque "gotcha moment" regarding Ozzie's whining.
When asked June 23, 2007 about a new contract that season, here was Ozzie's response:
Bold emphasis was Jim's. Quite a chance in philosophy in three years, eh? For the record, it is unknown whether Ozzie can see Sun Life Stadium from his back yard.
"I’m not going to ask for it, I’m never going to ask. If someone is interested to do it, I’m more than willing to do it, more than happy to talk about it, but I never will say, ‘Hey, you know what? What’s my position here? What are we going to do?’ I’m not that type of person. [...]“If Jerry thinks I can do this for a long time, and I don’t mean right now, but if Jerry has confidence in me and Kenny has confidence in me, we don’t need to show people by all of a sudden giving me a contract.”
Weekly Two-Wildcard playoff proposal update: On Friday Bud Selig said "it's time to revisit" the issue of a playoff format change, and the Tribune's Phil Rogers was the latest to chime in on the benefits of adding the second Wildcard in Sunday's paper.
Though generally bullish on the idea, Rogers questioned one issue:
"It would be horribly unfair to a strong wild-card team like this year's American League East runner-up, but would it generate enough excitement to justify it?"(I say yes.)
"Should a team as good as the Yankees and Rays face the prospect of being eliminated in a one-game playoff? Probably not."The fact is, those are second-place teams he is talking about. They had their chance to win their division, and failed. So yes, I think it is perfectly fair that they are subject to the randomness and uncertainty of the Wildcard.
It puts even more of a priority on winning your division, while taking away the security of the Wildcard, which I think is great.
It's out there, this idea. Hopefully it keeps getting bigger and bigger.
And finally today, I give you the penultimate 2010 episode of Oral Sox, in which Adam and Jeff reach out to Larry from South Side Sox, JJ from White Sox Examiner, and yours truly--"a bunch of pasty white guys who are better at baseball than Mark Teahen", as JJ puts it--(like the "JJ Putz" pun there?), for a season-in-review discussion.
Pants were optional. Listen at your own risk.