Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 7:19 pm ET
At first I thought about having my father write today’s blog entry, but I didn’t think that would go over real well (not that he is a poor writer or anything) …
Sorry to not get on-line until the top of the first inning, but pregame was busy. This is my first trip to PNC Park, which is beautiful (view of the city, river, bridges, etc), but man, the press box is very high up.
David Riske and Kenny Williams are to my left, along with Ed Cassin, our traveling secretary. We are sitting in the press box watching the game from very high up. My guess is that KW won’t last long up here, but since we have scored twice (as of now), no one’s moving.
Anyway, there were quite a few funny comments from today’s clubhouse before the game (rain cancelled BP).
Ozzie Guillen spent pregame wearing a special ball cap commemorating Roberto Clemente. The Pirates Hall of Fame right-fielder was Ozzie’s favorite player, although the two never met.
Guillen has a room at his house in Venezuela dedicated to Clemente. Among the items is a piece of the fatal plane, given to Guillen by a good friend of Clemente’s.
"I want to go see the statue of Clemente they have here outside the ballpark," Guillen said, "and someone told me they are going to honor Clemente’s legacy during this year’s All-Star Game."
As he watched the manager of Asheville lose it on television, Guillen was asked the best manager blow up he’d experienced.
"Maybe Bev (Terry Bevington) the time Ken Kaiser was calling balls before the pitcher even threw it home," Guillen said. "That one was pretty good."
Seeing Ozzie imitate Bev and Kaiser made it even better.
Odds and Ends
Ozzie on his public reception recently:
"Parents are hiding their kids behind their legs, pointing at me and whispering, ‘That’s the guy.’"
Ozzie on his socks:
Throughout his career, Guillen wore his socks high, showing his bright red knee brace from his 1992 collision with Tim Raines. His first game as manager, Opening Day of 2004, he wore them the same way. The Sox lost in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"Ever since, I wear my pants down low."
Seems to be working.
Clubhouse question of the day:
Who is bigger in Pittsburgh? Rob Mackowiak or Pat O’Connell, media relations assistant who worked for the Pirates before coming to us.
The decision was that Mackowiak is the King of Pittsburgh.
Joey Cora took some good-natured heat from several Guillens for his run-ins with umpires this winter in Venezuela.
"One time was bad," Cora admitted. "In my opinion, he was missing pitches on the outside corner. So I went out and built a mound of dirt on the outside edge of the plate so he could see it better. I was gone by the time I had the line finished."
My flight over today was filled with Sox fans. I heard the same from many media folks who traveled today. Coming to Pittsburgh midweek for a series shows terrific support. Way to go, Sox fans.
Kind of nice to get back to writing some of the old stuff again …
We are ahead 3-0 now.