Ozzie Guillen fires back at Bobby Jenks: “He did a lot of bad things … we lied for him, we protected him”

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After being non-tendered by the White Sox and signing with the Red Sox as a free agent Bobby Jenks commented that he’s “looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”

Ozzie Guillen remained remarkable silent after that, instead letting his son Oney Guillen rip Jenks repeatedly via Twitter, but Jenks has continued to criticize his former team and Guillen is no longer staying quiet.

Over the weekend Guillen fired back at Jenks in a huge way, airing some dirty laundry about the reliever’s time with the White Sox and threatening to make public significantly more stuff that “will be pretty ugly” unless Jenks keeps his mouth shut:

If Oney said everything he knows about Bobby Jenks, it wouldn’t be a pretty thing. I respect his wife. I respect his kids. I’m not even mad. I wish I was mad about it because I will rip his throat [out]. That’s sad because it’s coming from him. That surprises me. Everybody in this organization did a lot of great things for him. Did he pitch good for us? Yes, very, very good. But in the meanwhile, just worry about setting up some games over there. Just worry about Boston, don’t worry about the White Sox.

He did a lot of bad things last year. We lied for him, we protected him. I’m the first manager in the history of baseball to give a guy a week off to take care of his kids when his father-in-law was sick. It wasn’t even his wife, it even wasn’t a [family] member. But it was out of respect I have for his family. I sent him home because he had to babysit his kids because his father-in-law was sick. I don’t think any manager is doing that. But coming from him, I expect that.

We don’t miss him. You ask 30 guys in there. By the way, I was asking for his phone number to talk him to about it, and nobody had his phone number. None of his [former] teammates had his phone number. That you can tell what happened. … Just be careful of what you say about Oney because Oney will say stuff he’s not supposed to be saying. That’s just a warning for him just in case somebody don’t call him. Just stay away and don’t name Oney for this because it will be pretty ugly.

And as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune chronicled, there was a lot more where that came from.

Jenks’ new manager, Terry Francona, is trying to squash the feud before it escalates any further, saying “that’s over” and telling Michael Vera of the Boston Globe that he reached out to Guillen and White Sox coach Joey Cora in an effort to shut it down. That may keep things quiet for a while, but given what are obviously some pretty negative feelings from both sides and Guillen’s complete lack of an internal censor there’s absolutely no way we’ve heard the end of this stuff.

Must-Click Link: Sherri Nichols, Sabermetic Pioneer

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If you are old enough and lame enough as I am, you may have lurked around on sabermetic message boards in the 1990s. If you did, you may have heard of Sherri Nichols, who back in the day, was a significant contributor to the advancement of statistical analysis, particularly defensive analysis.

While it’s probably better that not everyone is as old and nerdy as me, the downside of it is that most people haven’t heard of Nichols and know nothing about her contributions. That changes today with Ben Lindbergh’s excellent analysis of Nichols and her work over at The Ringer, which I recommend that you all read.

The short version: Nichols is the one who planted the seed about on-base percentage being valuable in the mind of Baseball Prospectus Founder Gary Huckabay, back in the late 80s. She’s also the one most responsible for the rise of zone-based defensive metrics in the 1990s, such as Defensive Average, which she created and which served as the basis for other such metrics going forward. She also played a critical role in the development of RetroSheet, which collected almost all extant box score and play-by-play information going back to the turn of the 20th century, thereby making so much of the information available at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs possible. A key contribution there: making the information free and available to everyone, rather than closing the underlying data off as proprietary and either charging for access or keeping it in-house like some recent data collectors have chosen to do. Ahem.

A larger takeaway than all of Nichols’ contributions is just how loathe the baseball community was to listen to a woman back then. I mean, yeah, they’re still loathe to listen to women now, as indicated by the small number of women who hold jobs in baseball operations departments, but back then it was even worse, as evidenced by Lindbergh’s stories and Nichols’ anecdotes.

A great read and a great history lesson.