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.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.