StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-115152215511150.jpg’, ”, ‘Ozzie Guillen’);
What in the world was White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen thinking last week when he went off on Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti? Its plain and simple, Guillen wasnt thinking. Its a classic example of putting ones mouth in gear while the brain is still in park. Guillen has been guilty of doing this several times in the past. The difference this time is things went too far.
In one of his columns, Mariotti questioned Guillens judgment about an incident in which he ordered White Sox pitcher Sean Tracey to throw at opposing batter Hank Blalock. Guillen obviously took exception to Mariottis remarks. He responded with a personal attack on the writer. He came out firing with one of his trademark slews of profanities, and then topped that off with an offensive homophobic slur.
The rant caught the attention of the national media and baseballs front office. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig fined Guillen an undisclosed amount and ordered him to attend sensitivity training.
Youve got to be kidding me. Sending Guillen to sensitivity training is equivalent to sending your gold fish to piano lessons. Its not going to work. How long into the first session before Guillen rips into the Dr. Phil wannabe? Sox fans all over Chicago will be able to hear it when he lets loose, YOU DONT KNOW NOTHIN ABOUT BAAZBOL! YOURE A @##*#^&** SHRINK! Etc., etc.
If Selig really wanted to get Guillens attention, he should have handed down a multi-game suspension. And, instead of the undisclosed amount, he should have made it a huge figure that everyone would know about ($500,000 or more). I think this would have a more positive impact than a trip to the counselors office.
Some sports pundits were even suggesting Guillen be fired because of his comments. I disagree. I have a problem with someone losing his or her managerial job because of something not directly related to the wins and losses part of running the team. No doubt, his words and actions should not be a part of baseball. I dont think he should lose his job over it, though. That is why I think a significant hit to the pocketbook would carry the most weight.
Heres hoping Guillen and everyone else involved in this incident can move on. Although Id have to say, Dont hold your breath.
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the June 28-July 4, 2006, issue