A Day In The Life

Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 5:04 pm

Random Sights and Sounds Before a Sox Game

There is nothing in the world like sitting in Ozzie Guillen’s office about five hours before a baseball game.

Ozzie sits behind his little glass desk in his long underwear (when he installed the desk two years ago, he took some good-natured ragging about his South Beach desk).  Pictures of his wife, family and friends surround him on the walls.  The United States and Venezuelan flags share a single flagpole.  Awards and trophies are arrayed around the room, along with a great many books, all in Spanish.  A refrigerator sits in the corner, just below a television that is constantly turned on — alternating among Spanish-language TV, ESPN and local news.

Two couches in Ozzie’s office are filled with people, often me, Kenny Williams, Joey Cora, one of Ozzie’s sons, visitors from Venezuela (some who can speak English, others who cannot … it appears).  Players wander in and out.  Coaches wander in and out.  Others poke their heads into his office to say hOzzie_8ello or ask a quick question.  Sometimes Ozzie hops up and walks outside into the clubhouse to talk to someone or ask a question.  The phone rings.  Music plays.  We could be at the
corner market in Caracas, hanging out on Ozzie’s porch in Miami or in the ballpark in Chicago.

And it is constant Ozzie.  Ozzie on the team.  Ozzie on what he did last night.  Ozzie on his kids — and his kids give it back to Ozzie — but with respect.  Ozzie on the game that night.  Ozzie on a story from 1984, 1994 or 2004 … sometimes all at once (today his stream-of-consciousness covered Robert Valido, Juan Agosto, Julio Cruz, Tony La Russa, Kenny Williams … ).  Ozzie doing impersonations, Ozzie doing imitations (many of AJ), Ozzie making pointed comments, and somewhere in there Ozzie offering a very lucid commentary on his 2006 White Sox.

I wish I could bring a camera into his space and let you see Ozzie in casual action among his friends and teammates.

Then, he often goes outside and repeats the performance for the media.

It really is amazing to see and most days, we leave the room laughing … which I think I read somewhere is the way you should always leave a room.

Barbs

Yesterday, as he bantered with the media, Ozzie inadvertantly (or intentionally) paid us the greatest compliment.

"The marketing and PR departments around here," he said with a twinkle in his eye and his head tilted slightly.  "All they care about are the fans.  They don’t care about the manager.  Fans come first.  The manager is last."

Well, he’s certainly not last.  But he’s right that we do try and place the fans first.  I think he knows that is the right order — despite what he might say.

Contreras

Continues to feel better and will undergo an epidural tomorrow.  The only epidural I experienced (well, watched), came past midnight under quite a bit of duress (at least for my wife, less so for me), but the effects and relief were amazing.  Here’s to hoping that Jose feels the same way tomorrow afternoon.

Gamer

White Sox scouting analyst Mike Gellinger (who also throws BP and works on the field during practice) took a richocet line drive off the wall of the batting cage and went down today.  After receiving treatment for the cut and bruise, Mike headed back out to batting practice on the field.

The ricochets in our cages are infamous.

Media

Always a fun topic for all …

Last night, a member of the media I hadn’t seen for awhile asked me how the blog was going.

"Everywhere I go, people are talking about it," he offered, with a mix of smart aleck, mild threat, veiled animosity, deep baloney. 

I relayed the comment to a friend later.

"Well, at least you know they are reading," he said with a laugh.

530

With Jim Thome home run blasts reaching amazing distances into the right field stands even in the cool April and May weather, talk has turned to how far balls might fly when the weather turns warm.

We had a team of students from IIT (next door) survey the ballpark prior to the 2003 All-Star Game so that we would know distances to the newly renovated ballpark was accurate.

As part of the study, the team surveyed all the way up the back walls of the ballpark.

"Just in case," they told me then. 

"Yeah, right," I replied.

Well, thankfully, we now know that a home run off the top of the LaSalle Bank sign in right field would have travelled 530 feet had it not hit the sign.  That might be good to know come June-July-August.

Here is an AP shot from before Game 1 of the last World Series that shows roughly what that poke would look like to a batter:

Lasalle

Here’s to …

May Charlie’s knuckleball dance tonight …

18 Comments

May Charlie’s knuckler dance all over tonight?
Heck, yeah!

But let’s ALSO hope that:

a) he can get it over the plate for Strikes, and;

b) AJ can keep up with its dancing!

Go go White Sox,

Ed.

Scott,
A well written and interesting “Day in the Life,” indicative of why people read this blog.

Scott, we know that you put in a ton of hours, and we are thankful for all that you do. But, I have to say, your job get’s cooler every time you share it with us. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in the “inner sanctum”. Your blog is a wealth of information and insight. Again, THANK YOU! and GO SOX!!!

Scott, what a great description of Ozzie’s office. Keep up the good work and thanks for your dedication!

ok, guys, my question is that if McCarthy couldn’t start because he needed to stretch out his arm in order to go more than 2-3 innings, why is it that he went 4 strong frames and we still used up our pen? would’nt it have been better to have used Brandon as far as he could go and then have a chance for a win? i know hindsight is 20-20, but maybe he will be ready for Contreras’ next start if he is still on the DL. i would hate to see a redux of 2004 when none of our 5th starters contributed: we know that Brandon CAN contribute. not trying to second guess, just some food for thought…. otherwise, all is well here in tucson. it still isn’t hot yet, i’ll let you know when.
go Sox, let’s get the series win!! j.k.

Klein711,
Your point is well taken; one might also wonder about the “reasons” for using Haeger instead, given that he was hit very hard during spring training. Supposedly his knucklebball is dancing better now that he’s exited Tuscon’s thin air? Perhaps, but that’s not a very weighty argument compared to his actual spring performance.

klein711 and kolsens,
Agree whole heartedly, there is no second guess here. It was a poor decision to bring up Charlie especially when B MAC gives us the strong innings he did. You just scratch your head. Very simply send Charlie back down and we move on to tonight’s victory!

Fantastic blog, Scott. It’s the posts like this 5/10 one that keep us coming back for more and more and more! Any way you can get Ozzie to do his AJ impersonation for a camera? I’d pay to see that.

I have to agree with Ozzie. You guys (Marketing and PR) do look out for the fans quite well. Can’t say enough how much we appreciate it.

I agree Maria, I’d pay to see Ozzie’s impersoniations of AJ! haha

Disappointed in the loss last night…kein you said it best in that hindsight is 20/20- but I wish we would’ve just used BMAC from the get go. He pitched phenominally last night. I hate losing to the Angels especially, but what can you do.

I do respect this organization; Kenny, Ozzie, etc. for the trust they have in all their players. Unfortunately Charlie just couldn’t get it going in the bigs.

From the looks of this day, who knows if there will be a game. Even if there is, high 30’s accompanied with a wind advisory and lots of rain soudns hardly pleasing to sit in.

I know its old news, but when I was at the game on Tuesday, and Vlad hit that double in the third, I have never heard a ball hit harder than that … and when it hit the left field wall (right around Appling’s face) I heard a thundering THUD! and then a couple of innnings later, I saw Crede hit one just as hard …

Scott – thanks for the description of Ozzie’s office and normal routine – sounds like a lot of fun! Was at the game – thanks to the roof overhang I stayed dry – I wish Charlie had a better outing, but what can you do….It was great to see Brian Andersen get on base a couple of times.

It seems as though the game is cancelled for tonight. The White Sox will have to wait until later in the season to get another shot at the halos. Bring on the Twinkies tomorrow!

Well, hindsight is always 20/20..at the time, Charlie seemed the way to go. Brandon pitched one heck of a game. However, as much as I’d like, you can’t win ‘em all. Rather glad we’re heading out of town..weather forecast for the next several days doesn’t look conducive to baseball, so we’ll just go beat ‘em up on the road =) GO SOX!

The poll question on the ChiSox website got me thinking. (It asks who should win a trip to the All Star game if we could only send one player..)…

And as I sat there and pondered each name and took into consideration their performance thus far, I came to this conclusion: It’s impossible to pick one player as of today, 5/11/06.

With another incredible start to the year (best in the majors!), there should be plenty of Sox representation. This year it would be a travesty if Joe Crede wasn’t playing 3rd base for the American League. But honestly as I sat at the game last night, I turned to my dad and said-our entire infield could very well be in that all star game. Tadahito and Juan have proved to be an unbelivable 1-2 punch. Really, from PK at first all the way around to AJ as catcher. Literally, they are all of that calibur this year; and our record reflects that. Not to mention the phenominal pitching staff we have. How little were we into the season when the 5 starters had already gone through the cycle of producing 5 consecutive wins?Or how about the designated hitting spot of Jim Thome? You can’t say enough about him as a player, and as a guy in the clubhouse. And now moving to that outfield! Sure a slow start plagued Pods, but look at his production now. And his defense- robbed home run anyone? JD is solid, World Series MVP- and sure defending that title. Although BA isn’t all star game material yet, he is slowly coming out of that offensive shell- and his defense has been everything we expected.

I could go on and on, but mention has to be given to the bench as well! I mean, Pablo comes in day in and day out, doing his job and literally winning games for us. Alex and Rob have been huge additions.

Although I didn’t intend for this to be a novel (which it clearly has turned into, and I apologize for it- (a big congrats if you read it all))….but I just wanted to throw my opinions out there to you all. What can I say, I love the Sox!

Soxpride, what a great post! you had me thinking it was late june and we were getting ready for the break. in reality, i voted for P.K. although i think Joe is deserving,( but with the fans voting, i still don’t think he will get in… BUT deserves to). i would have voted for Thome, but he won’t play as there is’nt a DH in cinci. i agree with you that the White Sox should be well represented this year. we will see if the rest of the baseball world is watching the same games that we see on a nightly basis. i’m missing what would have been a win tonight, so i’ll wait for that W tomorrow in twinkie-land. go Sox, j.k. in tucson.

i just read that Aaron broke his nose making a great catch i the first inning of his game today. some things never change, only now he will get the props due him.
j.k.

Soxpride…you didn’t intend for it to be novel. However, how can you not with a team like this. Each and everyone of these guys is a star in their own right. They each bring something to the table. Each an ideal puzzle piece alone, but the beauty is in the perfection of the complete finished product. I often delete half of my posts as I start to sound like a broken record. Just can’t stop when I start waxing poetic (well, not so poetic usually) of the wonder that is this team….

Klein711, Aaron smashed full speed into the metal grating and broke his nose. Hey, GO HARD OR GO HOME!! What a catch!! Joe Crede is the man on the hot corner and deserves to be there. A-Rod just had a nice 2 error game and an “0-for” last night so …. I’m sure all of America want’s him to be there. POLITICS!!!!!! You’d think after a World Series people would know about Crede but just wait til July baby.

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