Don't even try to censor Ozzie Guillen

Leave a comment

Baseball is investigating some comments made by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen over the weekend.

On Sunday, Guillen was upset after watching three of his players get hit by pitches in a victory over the Cleveland Indians. Guillen acknowledged that he believed the plunkings were accidental, but nonetheless spouted off after the game, saying this:

“I have Konerko bruised all over the place,” he said. “Around the league, be careful because we’re going to hit people. I don’t care if I get suspended because I need to protect my players.”

It was a warning. If you hit my players on purpose, I’ll hit yours. Simple as that. So what is there to investigate exactly?

This isn’t the airport, where mentioning about how you got “bombed” the night before can get you tossed from the premises.

No, this is baseball, where Leo Durocher once said he wanted some “scratching, diving, hungry ballplayers who come to kill you,” and didn’t have to worry about being locked up for recruiting murderers.

Guillen, not surprisingly, isn’t about to back down.

“I can say whatever I want to say – as long as I’m not saying it about them,” the outspoken manager said. “I know the integrity of this game better than anybody. I’m very professional. But meanwhile, enough was enough.

While the idea of Guillen espousing his own professionalism might send Chicago media members into uncontrolled bouts of giggling, his basic argument is sound. You can’t punish someone for something that hasn’t happened.

Guillen is as entertaining as most major league managers are dry. They spout clichés, while he takes the pulpit and acts as if he’s running a longshoremen’s meeting. He says what he thinks, often in colorful language. And sometimes, he says too much. Big deal.

So don’t try to censor Ozzie Guillen. It’s not going to work anyway.

******

If you Twitter, and aren’t afraid of the occasional brushback pitch, you can follow me at @bharks.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

Al Bello/Getty Images
1 Comment

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.