The Marlins' position players are fed up by their ballpark's dimensions, and Ozzie Guillen is fed up with them. Who's making the most sense
After my last Bill Veeck blowout, I planned to leave my copy of Veeckas in Wreck alone for a while, but current events keep making me pull it back off the shelf. This time, the impetus was Ozzie Guillen's recent complaints about his players' complaints about the dimensions of Marlins Park.
It's hard to draw conclusions about manager abilities, but Ben looks at how each of five managers hired before the season have performed this year.
Every year, the new edition of the Baseball Prospectus annual contains a comment about every major-league manager. These comments typically run 200-250 words, which means that each one makes up a very small part of a chapter that runs close to 10,000. But the manager comments might be the part of the book most dreaded by BP authors, so much so that some authors have been known to turn in their chapters without a manager comment and disavow all knowledge that manager comments exist or that they were supposed to do one.
There’s a pretty simple reason why manager comments inspire such fear: it’s very difficult to say anything conclusive about people in baseball who don’t play in games. When we write comments, we like to sound smart, or failing that, at least snarky. It’s very difficult to sound either smart or snarky when we say “We don’t know.” If we said “we don’t know” as often in the rest of the book as we do in the manager comments, you might not buy it. We do track some manager statistics, but they’re less helpful than the ones we have about players. They tell us what happened, but not necessarily whether what happened was good, or even how much of it was attributable to the manager as opposed to the team. And they don’t help us at all with what happens off the field, which might be more important anyway.
Wherever he goes, Ozzie Guillen attempts to be the center of attention. And we give him exactly what he wants.
Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe On the green bank, to look into the cleer Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. As I bent down to look, just opposite, A Shape within the watry gleam appeard Bending to look on me, I started back, It started back, but pleas'd I soon returnd, Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks Of sympathie and love; there I had fixt Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire. - Milton, "Paradise Lost"
No one knew it at the time, but the feeling had been circulating among us for weeks: The Ozzie Show was drawing to a close, and this September night, an innocuous Monday pregame before a meaningless late-season clash between the White Sox and Blue Jays, was to be the final performance.
Have you ever wondered what Ozzie Guillen's favorite bad words are?
Word has come down that Ozzie Guillen engaged in a "profanity-laced tirade" because his pitchers did not pitch well. Newspapers are squeamish about this sort of thing, so I worked the phones tirelessly tonight to find out exactly which profanities our dear Ozzie laced his speech with. A list:
White Sox unveil their new manager for his first home opener, Jim Leyland isn't saying much but Kenny Williams is, and something is askew around home plate.
CHICAGO -- Friday marked Robin Ventura's first home game in uniform as a member of the White Sox since Sept. 20, 1998. He was asked if he remembered his last game at then-Comiskey Park. He didn't. But of course, we can look it up. He went 1 for 3 with a walk against the Red Sox, batting behind Frank Thomas and Albert Belle.
Adam Dunn's 2011 season was painful to follow first hand, but there are a few reasons for hope.
"He spent hours fretting whether to ask for help or wait it out. Some day the slump was bound to go, but when? Not that he was ashamed to ask for help but once you had come this far you felt you had learned the game and could afford to give out with the advice instead of being forced to ask for it. He was, as they say, established and it was like breaking up the establishment to go around panhandling an earful. Like making a new beginning and he was sick up to here of new beginnings. But as he continued to whiff he felt a little panicky. In the end he sought out Red Blow, drew him out to center field and asked in an embarrassed voice, 'Red, what is the matter with me that I am not hitting them?'"
Ben Molina heads to Toronto, but not without some drama first. Plus, Ozzie Guillen's in the news once more, and there's a Rickey Henderson sighting in New York.
"Nobody's a good manager. Nobody. With all due respect, people forgot Joe Torre, he was a losing manager all his life until he got to New York. What's he got? Great players. Phil Jackson, it's a funny thing, we go, 'He's great.' You got Michael Jordan and you got Scottie Pippen … You're not good. You got good players." --White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on an HBO appearance on "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" (Chicago Tribune)