Who Saw That Coming?

Well I guess pretty much everyone did.

ozzie-guillen-story-reutersI woke up this morning to an email on my phone saying that the White Sox had released manager Ozzie Guillen from his contract, at his request. While I’m not too surprised that it happened, I was surprised that it happened with only 2 games to go before the end of the season. Guillen has had talks with owner Jerry Reinsdorf over the last few days, and obviously the outcome was that he no longer wanted to stay with the team.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, there have been numerous rumours about us trading Ozzie to the Marlins, and Ozzie himself all but shouted it from the rooftops when he inadvertently published a post on his website saying how glad he was to be joining the Marlins. If it’s true, the official announcement for the Marlins will likely come on Wednesday after the season has ended, with rumours that we will be getting infielder Osvaldo Martinez and AA reliever Jahn Marinez.

ozzie-guillen-chokeThe comments pages on the White Sox website are full of people saying good riddance to Guillen, but I for one am sorry to see him go. He’s been a fantastic (if outspoken) manager, and had a 678-617 record with the White Sox. He’s also the only manager in White Sox history to lead the team to more than one division/league title. I agree that this year has been shocking, but you can’t attribute all the blame for that to the Manager. I agree that he makes the decisions on who to play and who to bench, but you can’t hold him responsible for factors like Adam Dunn’s massive contract and the fact that he has been atrocious most of the year.

I look forward to seeing who is named as the new manager; I’m hoping it will come internally from someone who knows a lot about the team. I also wouldn’t mind someone like Sandy Alomar Jr, as he seems like a decent guy with a very solid baseball background.

For the remaining two games, Don Cooper is the interim manager, replacing Joey Cora who was apparently told by text that he was no longer needed (and is likely heading to Florida with Guillen anyway).

On a semi-related note, this is apparently the new logo for the Marlins. What do you all think? Personally, I really don’t like any aspect of it, the design is a big change from the current logo, and don’t even get me started on the colours!

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3 Strikes, They’re out?

After a rather busy, but very enjoyable weekend, I sat down to catch up on baseball for the first time since Friday night. The White Sox are now on a 7 game losing streak, putting us 14.5 games out of first place, and 5 games under .500. Since my last post about the Sox, we’ve been officially eliminated from postseason contention, and it seems like right now, the team has lost any kind of ‘oomph’.

standings

I would have thought they would be playing for pride by now, especially some of the team that have not been contributing as much this year (Dunn, Rios, I’m talking to you…), but the last few games have made it look like they are just looking forward to going home for the winter. The rookies that have come up from Charlotte have been doing very well since the September call-ups, but I think Ozzie is still playing the veterans too much, maybe out of respect, maybe out of loyalty, who knows?!

I’ve read a lot of rumours that Ozzie will be moving to the Marlins when they move stadiums and become the Miami Marlins next year. I’m unsure what I think about this right now. The most recent rumours are that we were looking to trade him for players like Logan Morrison. If this was true, I think I’d be more okay with it. I love Ozzie, and most of the time I like his management style, but I find the constant disagreements and rumours of infighting with Ken Williams quite distracting.

start_the_trade_talk_ozzie_guillen_for_logan_morrison

I know something needs to happen before the start of next season, but how drastic it will be, we’ll just have to wait and see! I just hope that my favourite players (Paulie, Beckham, AJ, Buehrle, Humber) are still with us next season, so I can see them on my trip to Chicago, although I’ll be writing more about that soon when I’ve got dates sorted out!

USA to UK…via Iceland?

My new shirts from the MLB Shop finally arrived yesterday morning. I’d had to contact MLB about where they had gone, as it had been 6 weeks, and according to the tracking page they had left the USA 6 times. I found out that the reason it took so long was that it had been sent to Reykjavik, Iceland by mistake – not sure how that could have happened!

On a side note, the customer service from MLB was excellent, every email was responded to really quickly, and every response was exceptionally polite. Much better than the shipping company, who didn’t even bother to respond to my email.

I ordered 5 new shirts, including two of the Nike ‘Hair-itage’ shirts – Ozzie Guillen and Brian Wilson. My favourite one is the Brian Wilson one – fear the beard! I decided the black shirt with the orange beard was a little less in your face than the bright orange shirt with the big black beard. I also bought 3 Texas Rangers shirts (including a Josh Hamilton one – my favourite Ranger).

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Okay, now you have finished singing Christmas songs in your head (!), I don’t mean Christmas, I mean Opening Day, and how brilliant was it?!

I have to admit I was pretty nervous about whether there would even be baseball at Progressive Field, with all the snow in Cleveland. There was still 8-10 inches of snow on the field the day before ,but the grounds crew did a wonderful job of getting it cleared and ready for the game.

The game time temperature was a chilly 6 degrees, which can’t have been much fun, especially for Mark Buehrle trying to keep his arm warm while the team were bashing out runs left, right and centre!

The first half of the game was great for the White Sox, runs after runs. I was pleased that Adam Dunn did well, including a two run homer. There have been a lot of people saying that it was a mistake to trade for him, but I think he is going to prove his worth. He hasn’t historically had a good record against Fausto, but then again, he hasn’t been in the American League before either.

I was a bit disappointed with out bullpen though. We went from 14-0 to 15-10 in the last four innings. I was most disappointed with Will Ohman, he just looked like he was struggling. Jesse Crain gave up a run, but he looked like he had the passion last night, which is just what we needed to close out a great opening day.

I did like that Ozzie switched out a few position players half way through the game too. It was nice for the guys to get a taste of the opening day excitement. I hope it doesn’t happen all the time though, because I like having Gordon at second and Carlos in right.

I think my greatest investment this year will be the MLB.tv that I bought for myself for Christmas. I’ve always only been able to watch a few White Sox games a year, but now I can watch every single one! If I miss a game, I can even watch it the next day, which has never been possible on my iPhone or iPad before. The only thing that annoyed me last night was that my dad was watching the Indians feed at the other side of the room, and his was about 4 pitches ahead of mine, so I could see his reactions before anything happened. If that carries on throughout the season, I may have to stop watching in the living room!