When I got this assignment to talk about Ozzie Guillen's top quotes, I had a smile across my face the size of the space between Michael Strahan's front teeth. As a Twins fan, I love it when they play the White Sox and get to listen to Ozzie's press conference after the game (he's the only other manager Fox Sports North does this for). Why is that? Well, for starters, you never know what's going to come out of his mouth. There usually isn't a lot of gray area with regards to where Ozzie stands on certain issues which is good and bad. The following are what I think are his best, and cleanest, quotes regarding his team, baseball and life in general.
"Get another manager, I can't. I want to look old. The last time I shaved my goatee off, people thought it was my fault we played bad."
In a simple spring training question and answer period a few years back, a reporter asked Ozzie what he thought would happen if owner Jerry Reinsdorf asked him to shave his goatee. The answer was classic Ozzie. It reminds me of the kid in college who has to grow facial hair just to show he isn't a high school kid anymore.
The scene was an interleague game on May 20, 2006. Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was taken out by White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski. A bench-clearing brawl ensued and several players were ejected. The following was asked to Ozzie after the game:
Reporter: Ozzie, were your kids involved in the brawl?
Ozzie: "If my kids were on the field, [they were] going to get [their rear end] kicked," Guillen said. "What's Ozzie [Jr.] going to do? Eat somebody. My other one is 20 pounds and the other one is only 14.
"One is a baby, one is too little, another one, the only thing he can do is eat somebody or drink somebody."
"Guys can go out there butt naked. They don’t have to wear a uniform. And if they win a game for me, I’m happy for ‘em." - Ozzie Guillen on Manny Ramirez, via Anthony Castrovince
This may be a little overboard, but considering the subject (Manny Ramirez) and the quote "winning" associated with the above photograph, I think Ozzie may be on to something. This just goes to show it doesn't matter how the win comes and as long as they keep coming.
“I've got two people here that drive me crazy. They are all over me, and I'm like 'Shut up, you drunk.' It's easy to make moves when you're drunk.”
Obviously, Ozzie isn't a fan of people who consume too many adult beverages and sit behind the dugout, or make call-ins after the ballgame to express "what they would have done in that situation." This quote should be memorized by every fan before they walk into a sporting event.
"When are they going to give our players the credit to be where we are right now?” [White Sox manager Ozzie] Guillen asked. “When we beat the National League, we were a horse(bleep) team. When we beat Anaheim, they were going down. Now, Baltimore beat the (bleep) out of us, and nobody says anything."
Guillen sarcastically waved his hands over a headline hyping the arrival of the Twins. “Who gives a (bleep) who’s in town?” Guillen said. “How about, ‘the White Sox are back in Chicago after a long trip.’
“Even my wife told me Minnesota is coming to town,” Guillen said. “I said, ‘Good, you dating somebody from there?' Who cares.” - August 10, 2010 Chicago Tribune.
Ozzie has such a way with words. It's fair to say that Ozzie probably slept on the couch that night. He does have a point though regarding the media. If you are a bad team, there is always an excuse or an explanation as to why the game was won. Nobody can take the game at face value: you are either better or worse than the other team that night or series.
"You're not even a pimple on your daddy's #$^."- Ozzie to MLB umpire Harry Wendelstedt
Apparently, Carlos Lee was called out trying to steal second base (which in itself should have upset Ozzie) by Wendelstedt. Ozzie, not liking the call, got into it with Wendelstedt dropped this nugget on him. Wendelstedt claims Ozzie spit tobacco juice on him, but Ozzie says it never happened.
"He's a garbage. He's always been a garbage. And he will die a garbage."- Ozzie on former Chicago Sun Times writer Jay Mariotti June 21, 2006 (http://www.rivalfish.com/rivalroom/2007/07/top-10-ozzie-quotes.html).
Now, there's more to the quote than is printed here, but you get the drift of where Ozzie was going with regards to Mr. Mariotti. After doing some research, I don't think Ozzie's the only one who's felt this way about said columnist.
"Sparky Anderson intentionally walked me twice in my career to pitch to Sammy Sosa. Yes, the same Sammy Sosa who hit over 600 home runs — although back then he still had his Jheri curl and was a little darker (hahaha)."- ozzieguillen.com
This quote was given the day the great Sparky Anderson passed away. It always seems that baseball players, both former and present, can laugh and kid with each other in a respectful and sincere way. Maybe that's something the rest of society could learn from.
This goes to show how caring and sympathetic Ozzie is to his players and how much up-to-date he is/was on popular culture:
"I worry about Colon because Colon was a big-time Michael Jackson fan. He might [watch] the TV and cry all day long. Maybe he's in L.A. at his funeral, because I can't find him. When he gets to Charlotte, Oney (Guillen's son) will call me and say he's there. Nobody knows how big of a Jackson fan Colon was. I'm serious. He might be depressed a little bit."- Chris De Luca Chicago Sun Times (July 9, 2009).
"I'm the Charlie Sheen of baseball minus the drugs and the prostitutes." - Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports
There really isn't a whole of lot of explaining that needs to be done with this one. The only thing that comes to mind is another quote by Ozzie in which he described himself as "the John Travolta of Venezuela."