Mike Piazza is one of many stars that won’t be at the All-Star Game.
Leave it to White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen and his talented foot-in-the-mouth trick to take some of the fun out of the All-Star selection announcements.
Six of Guillen’s Chisox are headed to Pittsburgh for the July 11 game, but there’s no Barry Bonds, no Curt Schilling, no Roger Clemens, no Mike Piazza, no Randy Johnson and no Ken Griffey, Jr.
That’s a lot of star power missing, and with the exception of Schilling, none of those players deserve to be there, but is Guillen in the least bit apologetic that he played a role in leaving some of those future Hall of Famers out of the party?
“Whoever doesn’t like it, play better next year and pick another manager,” he said.
Nice. Way to go, Ozzie. You’re all class.
As far as defending the selection of six of his own, well, it’s true that almost every manager in the same position does so. But do they all deserve to go to the game in this case?
Closer Bobby Jenks is a good choice, but Jose Contreras’ ERA is 3.54 — not even in the league’s Top 10. Sure, he’s 8-0, but with enough run support, you or I might also be 8-0. Mark Buehrle is also racking up the wins, but the rest of his numbers are hardly awe inspiring. Saturday, for instance, he was completely bitch-slapped by the Cubbies. Not a pretty sight.
In terms of positional players, Jim Thome may not have an actual spot on the diamond, but there’s no overlooking the fact he’s been the league’s most dangerous slugger this season. Paul Konerko just keeps getting better and better and Jermaine Dye is enjoying a career year and is also a strong selection.
You could easily make an argument that Tad Iguchi should be there and that Joe Crede wouldn’t be out of place either.
As for A.J. Pierzynski, who has a chance to be added by fan Internet balloting, that’s just silly. Pierzynski is having a solid year (although his 2005 power spike seems to have waned), but there are too many other deserving AL catchers. Besides, what brainiac decided that a guy like Pierznyski — one of the most reviled players in the game — stands a chance in a fan balloting procedure? That’s like asking a 10-year-old boy to choose between a Twinkie, a Mars bar, an ice cream cone and some alfalfa spouts. Guess which snack is going to be shunned?
So all in all, it’s hard to take major issue with Ozzie’s selections. But that didn’t stop him from going on the offensive anyway. Given his recent penchant for saying inappropriate things, we at RotoRob thought it would be a good public service to provide an Ozzie translation guide to let you know what he really means to say. Consider this the babel fish of baseball talk.
What Ozzie says: “Whoever doesn’t like it, play better next year and pick another manager.”
What Ozzie means to say: “It was an agonizing decision to leave superstars like those off this team. I just wish I had five or six more spots so I could honour all the deserving players.”
What Ozzie says: “He was horrible. If I were him, I’d probably just jump in front of the subway on the way home. Pathetic.”
What Ozzie means to say: “He’s been carrying our club all season long; today was an opportunity for someone else to step up.”
What Ozzie says: “That columnist wouldn’t know his ass from a whole in the ground. Does he have incriminating photos of the publisher or something? How does he keep his job?”
What Ozzie means to say: “Whether I always agree with him or not, I respect that columnist’s opinions and the moral responsibility of the press to report what is accurate and fair.”
What Ozzie says: “Tell that beef jerky-eating redneck manager that the next time one of his pitchers throws at one of my guys, I’m going to personally kick his ass, spit my chaw all over him and shank him in the shower after the game. And then I’m going to shoot his dog.”
What Ozzie means to say: “While I’m confident that their pitcher wasn’t intentionally throwing at our player, it is an emotional game, so I can completely understand how that type of thing happens from time to time. Either way, we concern ourselves more with the result of the actual game than any issues of gamesmanship such as that.”