Guillen Returns To Chicago And Isn't Happy, Youk Rides Back Triumphantly To Beantown
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 16, 2012 5:45PM
The White Sox are in Boston tonight for a series against their crimson-stockinged counterparts while Wrigley Field will host the Miami Marlins. Each series has a subplot so rich Grantland Rice himself couldn't have scripted it better.
The sideshow that is Ozzie Guillen returns to Chicago tonight and he's already red-assed at a Chicago media he said turned on him, and expressed his displeasure to—who else?—Sun-Times Guillen Family correspondent Joe Cowley.
‘‘I was in Chicago last week for the All-Star break, and I heard the [bleep] that people are talking,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘I hear the backstabbing comments. I said when I took the job with Miami that if [the Sox] played like they were capable of, Robin will be manager of the year. They didn’t play well for me, and I take that blame.
‘‘But the media is all of a sudden angry with me? I answered every question I was ever asked. They don’t have the balls to say [bleep] when I was there. Tell the people in Chicago to look up and see who I blamed when we lost. I’m not a chicken [bleep], like the media there.’’
Cowley correctly noted that Guillen's fingerprints are on this first-place Sox ballclub: it was Guillen who insisted Alexei Ramirez play shortstop; Dayan Viciedo play outfield; and Gordon Beckham take his lumps in the majors instead of get kicked back down to the minors. Current White Sox manager Robin Ventura also looks like a genius because of the bounceback years of Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and a career year from AJ Pierzynski. But the vulgarity, the unsolicited opinions of his sons, and a willingness to talk to any microphone withing reach that endeared Guillen to Chicago media early in his managerial career eventually became a distraction, so it's no guarantee Guillen would even be in first place with this Sox team if everything fell in place as it did for Ventura and he and GM Kenny Williams were able to get along. A first place White Sox team plus Ozzie being Ozzie may not have resulted in better attendance, either.
But he's helming a 40-46 Marlins club while Ventura and company heads into Fenway Park, marking Kevin Youkilis' first return to Boston since the pale hose traded for him last month. ONe of the storylines sure to be ripped from the bone by Boston's sports media will be the relationship between Youkilis and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine questioned Youk's commitment in the days leading up to the trade. Youkilis has responded by averaging an RBI a game for Chicago since the trade. Yeah, Valentine's attempt at sports psychology is paying dividends... for the wrong team.
As if Youkilis needed any more motivation, Valentine told media over the weekend that it seemed as though his former third baseman never got over the questions of commitment. Youkilis also refuted Valentine's assertion that he was riding the hot hand when he was offering more playing time to rookie Will Middlebrooks.