Ozzie Guillen disappointed by son Ozney being picked in 22nd round

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Yesterday the White Sox chose Ozzie Guillen’s son, 18-year-old Ozney Guillen, in the 22nd round of the draft and the manager isn’t happy about the high school outfielder dropping that far:

Obviously, it’s a disappointment. Twenty-second round? Anybody can go 22nd round. There are a few players out there that weren’t [high] picks and made it to the big leagues, but I think the 22nd round in high school doesn’t mean anything. I respect the scouts’ opinion with all my heart. I hope the 20 guys they pick before him help us or help the White Sox, but I’m a baseball man.

I saw him play, and I saw him compete against a lot of people out there. It surprised me that he [fell] that far before getting picked. I know baseball a little bit. This kid has a good future as long as he doesn’t get hurt. You can say, “The hell with this thing” and do something else, or get better and prepare yourself for what is coming. Knowing my kid, he will prepare himself better and show people they were wrong or right. That’s all you can do.

In the meanwhile, it’s kind of hard. His expectations, not mine, his expectations were a little higher. He thought he was a little better player than what other people think. The hardest thing for us is to talk to him about it. He feels embarrassed, he feels like he let himself down. He thinks he’s better than a few players picked by teams before him. But I said, “Listen, that’s part of life. You learn from that, you get yourself stronger mentally and you prove people wrong. That’s all you can do.”

Of course, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com “Guillen admitted that he did not talk to scouts or anyone involved with the draft to see where their projections had Ozney slotted.” I spoke to one of the guys from Baseball America, who said Ozney is “not really” a legitimate prospect, but likely would have been drafted at some point if the White Sox didn’t take him in the 22nd round.
Whatever the case, Ozney Guillen presumably won’t sign with the White Sox and will instead play college ball at South Florida, where he’ll try to take his dad’s advice to heart and show everyone they were wrong. Oh, and if you’re curious: Ozzie Guillen wasn’t drafted (or eligible to be drafted). He signed with the Padres as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela and was traded to the White Sox a few years later.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.