The Chicago White Sox are barely managing to hang on to their one-game lead over the Minnesota Twins thanks to a recent rash of injuries, but as is often the case with the White Sox, all anybody wants to do is talk about their manager. That's why The Sporting News recently sat down to do an interview with Ozzie Guillen, and as you'd expect, Ozzie spoke his mind.
Ozzie's answered questions on Lou Piniella, the Chicago Cubs, his team, and just about anything he was asked. He also made sure to fill the pages with plenty of expletives as he is wont to do, and here are some of the highlights courtesy of the Daily Herald.
- Ozzie on the best manager in Chicago: "Me. Because our division is hard. Maybe all the people in the National League will be all mad, but I will trade (for a) National League Central (schedule) in a heartbeat. I will take that with my eyes closed."
- On media treatment toward the Cubs: "If (Carlos) Quentin was playing for the Cubs, he'd already be MVP. If (Alexei) Ramirez was with the Cubs, he would be National League Rookie of the Year. They talk about (Cubs rookie Kosuke) Fukudome more than they talk about Ramirez."
- On the top three players in Chicago: "Derrek Lee is the most complete player Chicago has. He's the best player in Chicago. The most under-the-radar player Chicago has is (Jermaine) Dye. Dye has been the best outfielder for the last five years, won the MVP in the World Series, had more consistent years than anybody in the league-and nobody give this kid any attention? That's the second-best player in Chicago. And Carlos Quentin (is third)."
- On White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf: "You say something negative about Jerry Reinsdorf around me, be ready to fight. Aw, yeah, be ready to fistfight because I will kick your (expletive) (expletive) if you talk about that man when you don't know him."
- On sensitivity training: "When (Major League Baseball) sent me to the crazy guy-what is that? (Sensitivity training, as ordered by MLB following the incident with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti.) This guy told me I was crazy, I need anger management. Shut the (expletive) up. You don't know, you don't know my life. You went to (expletive) Harvard, and you're gonna spend time talking to Ozzie Guillen, who got eighth grade? You should feel embarrassed. You know what? How many employees you got in your office? Let's trade (expletive) jobs for a week to see who handle it better. Just because I called one guy that?"
- On A.J. Pierzynski: "You play against A.J., you hate him. You play with A.J., you hate him a little less."
Of course, the quote that will probably garner more attention than any of the others was this one on the Chicago Cubs.
"I got Cubs fans who are friends. I say (expletive) you. The Cubs fans, they're cocky. They've been (expletive) for a lot of years, but they're cocky. They let you know they're No. 1 in town. But I got a lot of friends with the Cubs. Lou Piniella, I love that man. That's my goal-manage that many years. The best thing that happened to (expletive) Chicago is Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen in the same (expletive) town. (Expletive) the boring-(expletive) guys every day. Some people have to be politically correct, some people have to be (expletive) up. That's Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen."
I'm sure Cubs fans will take exception to that one, and probably Ozzie's opinion that Derrek Lee is the most complete player in Chicago. Sure, maybe if baseball players were only allowed to hit singles and ground into double plays he would be, but that's just not the case.
I don't think it's a coincidence that this interview comes out as the White Sox are in the midst of a division race, as those who've paid attention in the past have noticed that Ozzie tends to say these things when he wants to deflect attention away from his players.