Ozzie Guillen’s Best White Sox Moments, and Notable Quotables

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Before we get into the best bites, greatest moments and notable quotables from Ozzie Guillen, I’ve been known to quote sappy, depressing love songs in moment like this. Guillen leaving the Sox will be different:

Said we’d be forever
Said it’d never die
How could you love me and leave me
And never say good-bye?

Chorus:
Although we’ve come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you
Come to the end of the road
Still I can’t let you go
It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you

“End of the Road” Boyz II Men

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is as love ‘em or hate ‘em as anybody in Major League Baseball. If you’re a Sox fan and/or admire people who confidently state their views in this era of overly sanitized corporatespeak dominance, you probably like him a lot.

However, if you enjoy being politically correct, think Wrigley Field is a cathedral, or happen to care for the Minnesota Twins, then maybe he’s not the guy for you.

He may be polarizing, but he’s honest with his emotions, outlook on life and with baseball. And he’s fair with his players. As a baseball fan, isn’t that what you want most? A manager who puts winning and meritocracy above all?

People call me opinionated, passionate, blunt, some would even say coarse. And this piece will be close to 1,400 words, so if that’s too long for you that’s just too fucking bad. You’ll have to deal with it. Just like my favorite persona in all of Chicago sports (or until recently in Chicago sports). Really dumb Cub fans would say to me:

“Paul, I know you love Ozzie and everything, but how can you defend his comments about Wrigley?? It’s Wrigley!”

Well it’s an old shithole stadium, not a sacred cow, you cow-shaped woman.

Or when a right-wing, Fox News employee, jingoist, secretly racist girl said to me “I know you love Ozzie, but how can you ever condone his waving the Venezuelan flag in the World Series? He made his money in America!”

Well, he just won the title so he can wave whatever flag he wants you dumb bitch.

Ozzie’s routine was a like a high-brow version of Tony Montana meets Borat meets the ID from a Psychology 101 text book. Only it’s much more calculated and refined than you would ever think. Over the years, I’ve had to let some people go (my last Brewers writer immediately comes to mind) from The Sports Bank because they didn’t adhere to my organization rule, the same one Ozzie believes in, as he said to me and the rest of the media contingent in June of 2010.

“My door is always open, just be ready for the answer. I never deny my players asking me questions, that’s my first rule. That’s an organization rule. If ever they want to ask something to Kenny (Williams, Sox GM), to the coaching staff, I always tell them, be honest- tell the truth. As long you’re honest with yourself and with your players you can live with it,” Ozzie said.

All my writers who aren’t honest with themselves and their responsibilities inside and outside TSB, they will be dismissed.

More from this interview here

ozzie guillen white sox

A reporter asked if he uses psychology in making decisions. “No, I only passed eighth grade, I don’t even know what psychology is, bro! We should. I said that three years ago- baseball doesn’t need coaches anymore, it needs doctors and psychologists to talk to the players,” Guillen responded.

Here’s a video I shot with my flipcam Mind the f-bombs. Sorry, he says the fuck in it! Fuck was right up there with HORSESHIT as his favorite words. Ozzie is one of the most written/blogged about individuals in TSB history, and as this is his farewell, we will spell out the words fuck and horseshit, without bleeps, in his honor.

GO HERE to see a couple photos of baseballs Ozzie signed for Cleveland Indians fans. It will leave you in stitches

At a recent sports blog convention I attended, I heard a couple speakers refer to Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen as “The Diego Maradona of Major League baseball.” He was also called brilliant. Perhaps he’s both; or perhaps you might find it redundant to say he’s both similar to Diego Maradona and brilliant.

On being straight-forward with his players…

“I tell the players how horseshit they are right away. I don’t tell them “oh, you’ll be alright,” I tell them be alright right now, we need you! Players play for them, and when you put it together they play for the team. I manage the team, not a baseball player. I have to be the best for the team, not for an individual player.”

More from this interview

Then there’s the time Ozzie went into detail about the ethnic double standards in MLB, go here for that

On off-season relations with the players…

“One thing I never did in my life and never will, send a Christmas card to nobody , because we work together, we’re not friends. I got a bunch of (garbled, inaudible) I throw that shit away. Why?  Because you pick your own friends. As soon as the season is over, I remember the players when I see Kenny in the winter meetings. Oh shit that guy? Yeah, Ok. That’s it. I don’t remember anyone.”

When this thing is over, good luck, live my own life, and I don’t care about anyone. They either! Do you think they go into the winter and think hey, is Ozzie going to be our manager this year?

No, they don’t give a shit about that. So do I! I’ll see you guys at spring training, good luck, and hopefully I’ll see you again.”

More from this interview

Ozzie, the 37th manager in Sox history, won the third most games in club history. He’s the only manager to ever lead the team to more than one league/division title. (That last fact is more an indictment of how sorry the franchise history truly is.)

But the thing I’ll miss the most about Ozzie….BY FAR…were the times he’d wax poetic in front of the media in the clubhouse/dugout for about 90 minutes in between his pregame press conference and the start of the game. This is how it works when covering a MLB game:

The manager addresses the media all at once 2.5 hours before game time. Then when Ozzie was done doing his thing, he’d be like” you’re good? “we’re good?” And then the fun begins.

Ozzie would just entertain us by railing against everything, being as politically incorrect as possible, speaking his mind on yet another level, that you’d never expect possible. As candid as he is in public, there’s A WHOLE NOTHER LEVEL. And it’s so funny and entertaining that it’s transcendent! These stories of what Ozzie has said to me, in front of me, are my cocktail party stories.

And that’s what I miss in not getting baseball credentials anymore. Baseball is the most boring sport to cover live, and the hardest to write about, especially if you’re not there. But I really miss the Ozzie off-the-record mode moments which were PRICELESS. MLB has a HORSESHIT POLICY on internet media relations. They’re view/relation with internet media is stuck in the 1950s. And that bothers me- but it bothers me a LOT LESS today, as the fun time with Ozzie wouldn’t be there anyway.

So I don’t really care as much.

So it’s a sad day, but let’s also remember the good times Ozzie gave us. The best soundbite in baseball history. The most entertaining personality in White Sox history. His career ends like a jazz funeral- the slow, sad music makes us sad he’s gone. But the up-tempo notes and swing remind us of how great it was to know him, and that he’s off to a better place now.

The 2012 White Sox will not be the White Sox without Ozzie Guillen.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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