Quote of the Day: 'Everything in my office is going on eBay'

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Ozzie Guillen, on his blunt managerial style:

When you’re honest, everything’s out there. That’s the way it is. That’s the way baseball should be. That’s why a lot of managers get fired. Because they worry about what to say, what to do, who to please.



Getting fired? That’s the last thing I worry about. Believe me, because that day will come. Sooner or later, that day will come. Because I’m not going to retire. They will have to fire me. I will find the way to get fired because I want to go home. I’m not going to resign.



But that’s what every guy does. Name me one guy. Bobby Cox, he might drop dead on the field and not have the chance to get fired. But everybody in this game, sooner or later they’re gone. That’s part of the game. If I’m going to fired, everything in my office, everything, is going on eBay, and I’m going to give that money to somebody else. I don’t want to see that stuff anymore.

Guillen is one of my favorite managers, which is really saying something because I’m a lifelong Twins fan. When the White Sox struggle–like they are right now, in third place and below .500–Guillen makes for an exceptionally easy target. He’s loud, outspoken, and sometimes just flat-out goofy, and says something just about every day that either comes across as amusing or annoying depending on how the team is doing.
However, at the end of the day he’s 502-448 (.528) since taking over as manager in 2004, has a chance to finish above .500 for the fifth time in six seasons, and is just four years removed from leading the White Sox to their first World Series title since 1917. The day he gets fired (or “drops dead on the field”) is the day the White Sox probably become less successful and definitely become less interesting.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉