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.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.