So, the Chicago White Sox have been handing out a good old-fashioned butt-whuppin’ to the St. Louis Cardinals in inter-league play. They won the first game of the series by two touchdowns with a final score of 20-6. They won last night 13-5. With that second win, and a Detroit loss, they pulled to within 1 game of first place. In the city of Chicago, you would think that this is what everyone would be talking about. No. Instead we are talking about White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and his incessantly flapping mouth and his inability to understand that in English there are certain words that get you into trouble.
Ozzie is a notorious big-mouth. He routinely swears. He swears so much that his quotes on television are often one very long bleep and his quotes in the newspaper often containing a lot of brackets. Well, the controversy started when there was an incident when a White Sox player got plunked by a pitch. Ozzie is from that old-school thinking that when one of your guys gets hit you gotta get one of their guys. I am suddenly hearing the Sean Connery lines from “The Untouchables.”
What happened was that he put in a relief pitcher, a rookie with the last name Tracey with the instructions to hit the guy. Tracey pitched inside, but did not hit the batter. Guillen stomped out to the mound and began screaming at the kid and pulled him out of the game. Guillen then tromped back to the dugout where he continued to scream at the kid to the point where it was reported this young rookie was in tears. He was them immediately sent back down to the minors.
For those of you who do not know, a baseball is a very small, very hard, very dangerous object that is routinely thrown over ninety miles an hour. If you see the footage form a couple of seasons ago with steroid pumped Sammy Sosa getting beaned in the head you can see the power of these pitches. He was wearing a helmet and the pitch hit his helmet. The helmet exploded into pieces and Sammy crumpled to the ground. Ever see the footage of the unfortunate dove that got in the way of the Randy Johnson fastball? He vaporized the thing. So, the whole retaliation thing is not really something I agree with. However, I do not play on the team and have never really played the organized sport.
There is a columnist here in Chicago named Jay Mariotti. He pops up on ESPN from time to time so you may have seen him. He is a shrimpy guy with one of the most annoying smirks and short curly hair. His column is usually the first page of the sports section in the Chicago Sun-Times. No one in sports in this town can every do anything right as far as Mariotti is concerned. He’s a galactic-level jerk. He rode the Sox mercilessly at the end of the last season when the stumbled and struggled through the last couple of weeks and their huge lead shrank. He was screaming about a “choke-job.” He hates the management of the Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, the Blackhawks and probably every little-league team in town.
Well, Mariotti called Ozzie on the carpet about the throwing at the batter thing. He said it was dangerous. He talked about the batters in the history of baseball who died form being hit by pitches. He showed the picture of a young man in the 50s or 60s who got hit in the head by a pitch and his career ended because he could never see straight again. He said Ozzie had gone too far and was out of control.
Now this week comes along. Someone asks Ozzie about Mariotti’s comments. Ozzie says, “He’s a piece of [bleep]. He’s a fag.” Cue to the outrage from gay rights groups please.
Ozzie attempted an apology yesterday. He fell back on his usual statement just like last year when he was caught yelling at someone “Hey, look at this guy, he’s a homosexual! He’s a child-molester” as if being gay and a child-molester were one and the same. He said that in his native country (Venezuela) it had a different meaning. He says in Venezuela “fag” means saying someone is not a man or calling into question his manliness and toughness and not necessarily that he is homosexual. Right. Sure.
He also went on to say that he was sorry if he did offend people in the gay community but that Mariotti was not a man because he does not come down to the clubhouse and face him personally. He called Mariotti other words and names with “garbage” being the nicest among them. I agree that Mariotti is garbage.
The funny thing is that I know and have known quite a few people who were and are gay. Most of them are so laid back about the names and things that they would probably laugh of such a statement. However, there are always the militants who have to extend the obligatory objections whenever anyone says anything. I think political correctness has gone too far these days. On the other hand, I think Ozzie needs to be more aware of this situation so that he doesn’t cause these stupid controversies when everyone should be focusing on his team. Jay Mariotti is just a jerk and he gets paid handsomely to be a jerk, so what can you do. This isn’t Venezuela, Ozzie, you can’t do this kind of thing here and that’s just a fact of life.
Mariotti wrote a column and gave some weasely excuse for not going to the Sox clubhouse and talking to someone man-to-man. I understand Mariotti is quite the shrimp. I doubt he has ever played organized sports. He is a bit like a Simon Cowell. I bet there is a sports columnist in your town who acts the same way and makes his money by doing nothing but attacking every sports figure and team in town. Mariotti is also calling for a two-week suspension of Ozzie Guillen. Of course he is, he’s a wuss.
I am for the idea of Ozzie being fined. I understand that. Look, baseball’s image is horribly tarnished right now because of the steroid problem. Having a crazy manager insulting every minority and segment of the population cannot be any help in improving that image. Using the fact that you are not from this country is not a good excuse.
So, fine him. If you must suspend him then do it. Ozzie is even the manager of the American League All-Star team! Just get it done and get it over with. We have the rest of the season to go through.
The Sox have a pennant to defend.