Ken Williams is pretty sure he could beat up Ozzie Guillen

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Everything is wonderful in White Sox land now that they’re the hottest team in baseball and leading the AL Central, but just in case things get ugly again general manager Ken Williams is pretty confident he could beat up manager Ozzie Guillen.

Appearing as a guest on “Pardon the Interruption” yesterday, Williams was asked about the reported shouting match he had with Guillen back in June and responded:

It was really blown out of proportion. Come on, we are about to come to blows? That’s not realistic. Ozzie would never fight with me. He knows better than that.

At which point all the Chicago reporters sprinted to the White Sox’s clubhouse to get Guillen’s reaction to the “he knows better than that” part. As usual, his response was amusing:

I don’t see it as bad. I don’t know if Kenny knows me for that long. He said 30 years? He knows me longer than my wife knows me. I think it was good. The one thing about it, I never deny I’m going to fight with him. I never fight with anyone because I don’t know how to fight. I’m not a fighter.

Did something happen? Of course it happened. Everyone knows. But in the meanwhile, we separate those things from one time to another. I separate my problems on the field and off the field. It’s the only way this thing is going to work–if we pull from the same end of the rope, and we do. Even if we don’t agree with each other, at the end of the day, we do pull from the same rope.

Asked what owner Jerry Reinsdorf thinks of the tension between manager and general manager, Guillen said:

Jerry is a businessman. He don’t give a s— if me and Kenny get along. If this team wins the World Series and we end up in jail because we are killing each other, Jerry would go for that. As long as they win, that’s Jerry’s business.

So, to recap: Williams thinks he could take Guillen, but we’ll probably never know because Guillen isn’t a fighter. But if something did happen, Reinsdorf would be fine with it as long as the White Sox kept winning. Also, rope pulling. Oh, and Guillen managed the hell out of last night’s game against the Twins, going 4-for-4 calling hit-and-runs in an 8-7 victory.

Reds sign Ryan Raburn to minor league deal

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 10:  Ryan Raburn #6 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases on his solo home run off of James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres to take a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning on April 10, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Padres 6-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Veteran infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn has a minor league contract with the Reds, the club announced on Sunday. The deal was reported last week, but had been pending a physical. It includes an invitation to spring training, where Raburn is expected to compete against Desmond Jennings for a major league utility role. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, there’s a $900,000 base salary waiting for him if he makes the big league roster by Opening Day.

Raburn, 35, is coming off of a down year with the Rockies in 2016. He slashed .220/.309/.404 for the team last season, clubbing nine home runs as he struggled to stay above the Mendoza line. Raburn was stationed in left field for much of the season, but also saw some time at DH, first base and right field toward the end of the year. Assuming he can turn out a production rate that skews closer to the .301 average and .936 OPS he put up with the Indians in 2015, however, the Reds should have little trouble finding a place for him off the bench or as a platoon option with Scott Schebler in right field.

Dexter Fowler unhappy with President Trump’s attempts to institute a travel ban

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs looks on during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Mark Saxon reports that new Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler isn’t a fan of President Trump’s ongoing effort to institute a travel ban. Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on January 27, 2017, which limited incoming travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. However, a temporary restraining order was placed by Judge James L. Robart following Washington v. Trump.

Fowler’s wife was born in Iran. Fowler said that her sister delayed her return from a business trip to Qatar to avoid potentially being detained. Fowler and his wife have also delayed traveling to visit her relatives in Iran.

Fowler said, “It’s huge. Especially any time you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”

The response by Cardinals fans was predictably terrible. Via the BestFansStLouis Twitter account:

One of the commenters wrote, “He signed a contract with the Cardinals so that makes him property of stl cardinals and mlb so he needs to keep his mouth shut. His personal opinions, problems, beliefs and political views should be kept to himself as long as he’s under a mlb contract…” He continued, “It’s not our fault he married someone from another country.”

Fowler caught wind of this and other responses to his statement, so he tweeted:

Fowler, of course, is one thousand percent correct.

These same “stick to sports,” “keep your politics out of my sports” people either said nothing or cheered when athletes and coaches espoused political views from the other side of the spectrum. Like when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hung a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. Or when reliever Jonathan Papelbon played a pro-Trump song in the clubhouse. Or when former NFL head coach and ESPN commentator Mike Ditka said last year, “Obama’s the worst president we’ve ever had.”

Even Saxon and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have received myriad “stick to sports” comments simply for acknowledging that Fowler made a comment on the matter.

As we’ve pointed out here countless times, it is impossible to separate sports from politics. It is irresponsible to pretend like it’s even possible. Sports and politics intersect in so many ways, including race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class. This particular situation with Trump’s executive order impacts baseball quite a bit as Fowler’s individual situation shows. He’s certainly not the only player to have a loved one who came from one of the seven aforementioned countries. Non-white players are also much more likely to have a bad experience at the airport — consider how often players are at the airport during the season — and their family and friends may be subject to one of the many ugly ICE raids that have taken place over the last three weeks.

Kudos to Fowler for speaking up and kudos for Saxon and others for reporting on it. This is certainly not a time during which we should pretend we can keep sports and politics separate.