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Mariotti: Look at me! (aka Ozzie Sucks, Part the XIV)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Ellis Redding, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. Ozzie's offensive, hypocritical act getting old

    BY JAY MARIOTTI
    Sun-Times Columnist


    Let me guess what might happen here. I'm going to criticize Ozzie Guillen as a serial defamer, a reckless hypocrite who unfairly questions the late-night habits of departed Brandon McCarthy only months after Guillen ripped the Oakland Athletics for -- gotcha, Oz -- not providing beer in the visitors' clubhouse. The man will fire back at me, maybe with a repulsive slur, and his 70-something owner will pile on by calling me ''a piece of garbage'' or something dimwitted like that.

    Television networks will interview me. Butt-kissing media will defend Guillen. And the White Sox once again will collapse under the weight of their perpetual distraction of a manager and miss the playoffs, whereupon Jerry Reinsdorf will turn against Ozzie and make him the scapegoat just as the Sox have launched campaigns against others whose departures were controversial.

    It's March 4. And already, I'm tired of the Blizzard of Oz. You too?

    End of the Ozzie Era?

    I'm also beginning to think this might be Guillen's final season on the job. Unless a dual-lock zipper is located for his lips, he's doomed to get himself fired with another year of non-stop verbal diarrhea. Spring training barely could start before the Blizzard inevitably flipped his lid, this time portraying McCarthy as a Chicago pub crawler and suggesting the pitcher's erratic second-half performances involved too many last calls and not enough called third strikes. Truth is, the Sox are embarrassed after declaring McCarthy as their next great pitcher, refusing to relinquish him in midseason trade talks for difference-maker Alfonso Soriano, then watching him struggle in an awkward relief role when he originally impressed them as a starter.

    But from Reinsdorf to Ken Williams to Guillen, the Sox always have had an easier time pointing fingers at others than at themselves. Of late, Williams has complained about local media jabs over the trades of McCarthy and 17-game winner Freddy Garcia, deals that make little sense when you consider the unproven talent acquired. The general manager has spread cryptic hints about McCarthy, saying the public doesn't ''have the information that I have.'' Turns out the dreaded info is that McCarthy liked to have a post-game beer or two, which makes him no different than most players and managers in the major leagues, including Guillen. That didn't stop the Blizzard from dropping the gloves on WSCR-AM (670).

    ''People forgot that Brandon McCarthy got caught a couple of times out at night,'' Guillen said. ''I called him into my office and said, 'You been hanging around the city a lot, huh?' I said, 'I don't have a spy on you, but I know a lot of people in the bars in Chicago. I've been here for 20 years, and they will tell me everything.'''

    How does Guillen know a lot of bar people in town? Oh, maybe because he has frequented his share of bars, too. Ozzie can have a beer and Brandon can't? Seems pretty warped, like many things he says. Who could forget his obscenity-filled rant last September after A's GM Billy Beane, reacting to the drunk-driving arrest of A's pitcher Esteban Loaiza, banned alcohol in both clubhouses at McAfee Coliseum? ''He doesn't run my club. I run my club,'' shouted Guillen, who informed an attendant that he would pay for the brewskis.

    Juxtaposed against The Blizzard, the mild-mannered McCarthy was predictably calm in stating he has no alcohol issues. Now with the Texas Rangers, he told the Dallas Morning News: ''All I can say is that I'm 23. I'm single. And I'm in a big city like Chicago. I don't believe going out after a game ever affected my performance. I was very responsible about it. I wasn't out partying. I was out just trying to be young and meet people. Ozzie and I had a meeting about it, and that was that.''

    Until, that is, management needed to find someone to blame for its own second-half failings.
     
  2. McCarthy speaks, Ozzie overreacts

    This is an annoying rite of every Sox spring, a full-frontal assault on someone who has left the team. Two springs ago, Guillen called Magglio Ordonez a ''Venezuelan [expletive],'' among other things. Last year, Williams lashed into Frank Thomas, warning him to ''stay out of White Sox business'' and branding him ''an idiot.'' Now the target is McCarthy, who is guilty only of speaking his mind.
    McCarthy says the Sox environment was more negative than what he's experiencing in Texas. That's a fair point in that it echoes what many players say after leaving the Sox. ''I was constantly hearing, 'This is what we don't like. This is what we think you are doing wrong. This is what's bad, this is bad,''' he said. ''It always seemed to be focused on this negative. Here, it's, 'Here is your spot, and we expect you to do well and we think the world of you.'''

    He also thinks the Texas clubhouse is more comfortable because it's filled with younger, single players. Nothing wrong with that thought, either, especially when he mentioned twice that he loved his ex-teammates. So why did Guillen twist things? ''When you make comments like that, talk about your teammates like that, about chemistry in the clubhouse -- whoa,'' Ozzie said. ''You have to be careful what you say about your teammates. The comments were out of hand.'' To McCarthy's credit, he phoned Guillen later Friday in an attempt to mend fences. Amazing how the 23-year-old is the one with maturity and class.

    You can call Guillen a comedian, as Reinsdorf does, except nothing is funny about how he might have damaged a young man's reputation. He's still the luckiest man on earth to have used homophobic terms in successive seasons, only to escape with no real punishment while ridiculing commissioner Bud Selig's order to attend sensitivity training. Look at others who have fired anti-gay slurs. Actor Isaiah Washington, who used Guillen's naughty word against a castmate on ''Grey's Anatomy,'' went to therapy and has been shunned in Hollywood. Tim Hardaway said he hates gays and became a social pariah. Joey Porter used Guillen's word and is now a former Pittsburgh Steeler.

    Ozzie rambles on, oblivious to his sins. ''I'm the devil,'' he said, ''talking a lot of crap.''

    But for how much longer?
     
  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Someone's act is getting old, that's for sure.
     
  4. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Active Member

    That's just sad. Move on.
     
  5. Overrated

    Overrated Guest

    I hate Mariotti as much as the next guy, but that was a pretty interesting read, IMO.
     
  6. pallister

    pallister Guest

    If Mariotti keeps this up, he'll have Cubs fans rooting for Ozzie and the Sox. :D
     
  7. I'd much rather root for the South Side Suckbags than Chicago's resident douchenozzle.
     
  8. pallister

    pallister Guest

    You mean the 2005 World Champion Suckbags. :)
     
  9. I guess. :-\
     
  10. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    I thought that was a pretty good column, and I'm usually not a fan of Mariotti's.

    The problem here is 1) that he hates Guillen so much, 2) and so many people can't stand him, that it's difficult to cast an objective eye at what he writes about the White Sox' manager.
     
  11. The meat of the column is fine, but the lede eliminates any shred of objectivity -- not that Jay ever had any.
     
  12. markvid

    markvid Guest

    That would be a great column if it weren't for the 1st 2 paragraphs of "Ooooooh, I'm gonna get picked on for this!"
    Yeah, and?
     
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