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Adam Dunn and Alex Rios: The Future of the ChiSox Sluggers

Monday October 10, 2011

Peter Stein (Fantasy Baseball Analyst – MLB reports):  There were perhaps no two bigger fantasy busts than Alexis Rios and Adam Dunn during the 2011 season. Although nobody was “screwed over” more than White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, many fantasy owners surely had a hard time overcoming the incompetency of these two players.

Although Dunn’s performance was unexpected by many, we have seen this from Alex Rios before.  Rios reemerged on the scene in 2010 as one of the rare five category players: .284 avg, 21 HR, 89 RBI, and 34 SB. However, Rios really tailed off at the end of his 2010 season and looked a lot more like the player that the Toronto Blue Jays flat-out released a year prior.  His 2011 numbers look eerie similar to 2009:

2009: .247, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 24 SB

2011: .227, 13 HR, 64 RBI, 11 SB

Oddly, 2008 and 2010 were different stories for Rios, as he amassed a total of 9.3 WAR in those two seasons. There is no doubt that Rios suffered from bad luck in 2011. He .237 BAPIP is 70 points below his career average. However, the fact remains that Rios is now on the wrong side of thirty. It is doubtful any team would make the same mistake Williams already has and taken on his salary, so chances are Rios will still be in Chicago. With his large contract and a new manager in town, I think it is safe to assume it will be his position to lose in 2012.

Rios’ inconsistencies throughout his career make him a difficult player to evaluate, but you have to think he will bounce back and be a good buy-low candidate. Whatever you do just do not overpay. His peripheral numbers indicate that his power is still there and that his batting average should improve perhaps to his career .270 range. We also cannot ignore his strong finish, batting .307, 5 HR and 12 RBI in his last 75 at-bats. It has been said that he “over thinks” and struggles with the mental side of the game, but his physical skills are undeniable. 

The signs indicate that Rios will bounce back in 2012 for a rebuilding White Sox team. Therefore, target him as a backup or final outfield option for a cheap price. Pay for the player he was in 2011 and hope to get the 2008/2010 Rios in return. With his track record it is simply not safe to pay for him as a .280/20 HR/80 RBI/20 SB guy that he could very well be.

I think you have to take the same approach with the other White Sox enigma, Adam Dunn. Dunn was the model of consistent for the last 10 years, and he appeared to be in a great position to succeed in Chicago in 2011. However, his strikeout rate increased to a stagger 35.7 percent, and when he did manage to put the ball in play, his .240 BABIP left him with a .159 season average. Historically bad.

Dunn is also aging and was noticeably out of shape last year. Watching him play every day, he simply seemed over matched and had trouble recovering form an early season appendectomy. Dunn has to realize what is at stake here (his career) and hopefully he picked up something from Paul Konerko’s professionalism and approach to the game.

The fact remains that with his contract, Dunn will get the chance to turn things around in 2012. If he has a repeat performance, then the White Sox might be forced to just cut ties and move on. Therefore, 2012 is truly do-or-die for Mr. Dunn. Thus, I expect him to put in the time in the off-season and bounce back next year. It is not to say that Dunn will put up the same numbers as he has in the past, but the home run total could still exceed thirty. U.S. Cellular Field is a notorious hitters park, and Dunn still has the ability to take advantage of its favorable dimensions.

The good news, fantasy owners and White Sox fans, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn cannot be any worse in 2012! The fact is they will both be giving an opportunity to bounce back in 2012 and try to prove the worth of their 14 million dollar per year contracts. Although, they will never come close to doing this, they can provide value for you next year. These are the types of guys that I love to target for cheap on my fantasy teams. Rios has bounced back before, and although his inconsistencies are mind bogglingly frustrating; it is not crazy to expect him to do so again. Bad luck, reflected by BAPIP, played a factor for both of these players. And with Dunn, if he does put in the offseason commitment, his track record is too long and strong to ignore. Therefore, expect both guys to bounce back.  Just don’t put your self in the position where you are counting on it.

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Fantasy Baseball Analyst, Peter Stein.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Peter on Twitter (@peterWstein).***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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McKeon, Valentine and Guillen: The Loria Marlins Manager Roller Coaster

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MLB reports:   In the world of Jeffrey Loria, nothing is ever boring.  Loria, who orchestrated an Expos to Marlins trade-in back in 2002, already owns two World Series rings.  The first championship ring was courtesy of manager Jack McKeon, who came on board to manage the Marlins in 2003 and won it all in his initial Florida campaign.  McKeon was successful in turning around a Marlins team that started off slowly and picked up steam after his selection.  The Marlins currently sit after today’s game with a 33-41 record.  They are in last place in the NL East, 12.5 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies.  Losers of 11 out of their last 12 games, the Marlins have a 16-23 record at home and 17-18 record on the road.  Something had to give and manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned abruptly yesterday.  Indicating that change was in the best interest of the team, Rodriguez was out and the Marlins quickly replaced him with former manager Jack McKeon.  Out with the “old” and in with the “new”.

John Aloysius (Jack) McKeon will be 81 in November of this year.  A veteran manager for sixteen seasons, McKeon managed five teams in his manager league career.  His record in the dugout speaks for itself, as we take a look at the numbers:

Year

Tm

Lg

G

W

L

W-L%

1973 Kansas City Royals AL

162

88

74

.543

1974 Kansas City Royals AL

162

77

85

.475

1975 Kansas City Royals AL

96

50

46

.521

1977 Oakland Athletics AL

53

26

27

.491

1978 Oakland Athletics AL

123

45

78

.366

1988 San Diego Padres NL

115

67

48

.583

1989 San Diego Padres NL

162

89

73

.549

1990 San Diego Padres NL

80

37

43

.463

1997 Cincinnati Reds NL

63

33

30

.524

1998 Cincinnati Reds NL

162

77

85

.475

1999 Cincinnati Reds NL

163

96

67

.589

2000 Cincinnati Reds NL

163

85

77

.525

2003 Florida Marlins NL

124

75

49

.605

2004 Florida Marlins NL

162

83

79

.512

2005 Florida Marlins NL

162

83

79

.512

  Kansas City Royals  

420

215

205

.512

  Oakland Athletics  

176

71

105

.403

  San Diego Padres  

357

193

164

.541

  Cincinnati Reds  

551

291

259

.529

  Florida Marlins  

448

241

207

.538

     

1952

1011

940

.518

McKeon comes with some terrific credentials.  He is a two-time National League Manager of the Year, winning the award in 1999 originally with the Reds and again with the Marlins in his championship 2003 season.  McKeon has done it all and seen it all.  But the question on everyone’s mind is whether he will have a strong impact on the Marlins and turn around their season.  From there, the Marlins will need to choose their long-term manager for the 2012 season.  There is much discussion and debate surrounding the Marlins, as they complete the 2011 season and move next year to their new stadium and become the “Miami Marlins.”

As much as the Marlins seemed to take a step forward this season as an organization, they are apparently still stuck at square one in some ways.  Take their managerial candidates.  Back in their last offseason, the Marlins were looking at Bobby Valentine and Ozzie Guillen to become their next manager.  Valentine, an analyst with ESPN, could not come to terms with the team and as a result was not hired.  The team inquired as well on the availability of Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a former coach with McKeon’s 2003 championship team.  When the White Sox required a return of either super prospects Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton, the Marlins said thanks, but no thanks.  Edwin Rodriguez ended up receiving the post and did not last even half a season in Florida.  With the team in disarray and a fresh voice needed, the Marlins turned to their past in naming Jack McKeon their interim manager for the remainder of the season.

The cigar chomping McKeon, one of the most old-school baseball men you will ever meet, is seen as having a no-nonsense type of approach to the game.  As his first move as manager, McKeon benched franchise superstar Hanley Ramirez yesterday.  Reports indicate that tardiness was the cause, while others have viewed the move as a wake-up call for the team.  Either way, McKeon has clearly shown that he is in charge and is not prepared to accept the Marlins losing ways.  Unfortunately, as the years have progressed, baseball has become more and more of a “young man’s game.”  Todays young players, part of the me-first generation, don’t often take kindly to veteran coaches that are seen as being out of touch with today’s times.  This was evident before in Florida, where McKeon originally lasted only three seasons.  McKeon was seen as a very stern and tough manager and had lost much of the attention of the clubhouse by the end of his tenure.  Now the Marlins have gone back to the barrel to see if McKeon has one more strong season of managing in him.

In accepting the Marlins’ position, McKeon has become the second oldest manager in baseball history, just behind Connie Mack.  While a great feat for McKeon, it will remain to be seen the impact that he will have on the Marlins 2011 fortunes.  My gut is that the Marlins will be lucky to get much more out of the team, even with McKeon in charge.  The team is dangerously close to knocking themselves out of contention by the All-Star break and anything short of a miracle at this point will change that.  With most MLB teams hiring young, dynamic managers to lead the way, its surprising in some ways that Loria has gone backwards in his approach.  But given Loria’s track record, he rarely does anything by the book.

After Jack McKeon completes his second tenure in Florida, the decision will still remain as to whether Bobby Valentine or Ozzie Guillen will be at the helm come 2012.  Both are still in contention for the job according to reports, but neither appears in my estimation to be a great fit.  Valentine and Guillen are both fiery individuals with strong wills and personalities.  After watching the Joe Girardi fiasco in his battles with owner Loria, many managerial candidates have since been scared off from taking the manager’s job with the Marlins.  Valentine and Guillen would both have difficult times being placed in a puppet type role as a manager and for that reason, I cannot see a either working out long-term in Florida.  Loria would be well served selecting a strong baseball man for the job, but one that has extreme patience and ability to take the directions that would come from the top of the pyramid.  Loria has shown in the past to be a man of little patience and self-control when it comes to the personnel of his ball club.  If Bobby V or Ozzie do eventually take the job, watch out for the fireworks that will likely come in Miami.  While Ozzie is signed for the 2012 season, insiders have indicated that the White Sox may grant permission for the Marlins to speak to him, if the ballclub does not return to contention by season’s end.  My bet is that Ozzie will be headed one day to Miami to rejoin the Marlins as their manager.  Until then, Jack McKeon will be captain of the Marlins ship.

I guess its true what they say.  Everything old really is new again.  The magic was there in 2003.  Let’s see if the Marlins and McKeon can rekindle some of their spark eight years later.

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MLB 2011 DL: Injury Updates

 

MLB reports:  To answer many of our readers inquiries, here is an update on some of the casualties and wounded in the world of baseball and when each player is expected to return from the disabled list:

Phil Hughes:  Yankees

Hughes went on the 15 day disabled list in mid-April with a “dead arm” and has not returned since.  On April 28th Hughes received a cortisone shot and reports have indicated that his shoulder has responded well.  The timetable for Hughes to return to the mound is 6-8 weeks, which would put him sometime into July.  Hughes has not started throwing yet but has visited specialists who have ruled out surgery at this point.  With a dead arm type injury, it is not always easy to predict where the future lies.  Justin Verlander went through such an episode in his career and has come back stronger than ever.  The fear though is that the velocity will not return and surgery could be lurking in the background.  Until Hughes begins throwing and regains his velocity, Yankees fans will continue to huddle in prayer and hope for Hughes to come back and reclaim his 2010 form this year.

Carlos Guillen:  Tigers

Guillen has been bothered by a sore left knee and out of action since mid-March and going on the 15 day DL.  Reports have indicated that Guillen is taking ground balls, but no other baseball activities at this point.  The original prognosis of mid-May does not appear likely, with an end of the month or early June return a possibility.  With his wonky surgically repaired knee, Guillen will likely be a DH at best if and when he returns to the Tigers lineup.  There is a possibility of a relapse here, so the Tigers are progressing forward without Guillen and any contributions this year will be considered a bonus.

Joe Mauer:  Twins

The $184 million dollar man is off to a dreadful start in 2011, the first season of his monster contract.  After having surgery on his knee in the off-season, Mauer has been bothered by leg weakness all season.  Mauer has started hitting and throwing, but his return is up in the air.  Once considered to be the greatest catcher in baseball, talk has already started about a position change in his future.  After moving prospect Wilson Ramos, the Twins cannot be happy about the state of Mauer’s health.  Like the other members of this list thus far, Mauer’s return date is unknown at this point.  With the Twins off to a terrible start this season, there is much pressure to get Mauer into the lineup to get the team going.  But considering the investment in the catcher, the team will likely be cautious and continue to bring him along slowly in the fear that further damage could result in rushing him.  Expect Mauer back sometime in June likely, but his catching days appear to coming to an end in the near future unfortunately.

Josh Hamilton:  Rangers

After breaking a bone in his right arm from a home plate collision early in the season, Hamilton is nearing his return to the Rangers lineup.  Hamilton is taking swings and should hopefully ready soon for a couple of minor league rehab appearances.  I would expect Hamilton back in the Rangers lineup in the next two weeks if all goes well.  The brittle Hamilton continues to endure bad luck in the health department, with the Rangers sorely needing a healthy Hamilton in order to contend in the AL West.

Chien-Ming Wang:  Nationals

After 2 missed seasons, Wang continues to try to come back from a torn shoulder capsule and pitch once again in the majors.  After breaking his right foot in 2008, Wang ended up injuring his shoulder and has not returned to pitch in a professional game since.  Still rehabbing in the Nationals system, it appears unlikely that we will see Wang pitch again.  Fans still hope that the former back-to-back 19 game winner can find health and pitch again, but after a prolonged absence, the window of opportunity continues to close further every week/month that goes by.

Johan Santana:  Mets

Another torn shoulder capsule survivor, Santana underwent his surgery last September.  Reports have indicated a possible July return for Santana, which appear to be optimistic at best.  With a similar injury to Wang, there is no guarantees of when Santana and what condition he will be in.  Good news in that Santana is throwing off a mound and flat ground and reported no setbacks to date.  But with these types of injuries, relapses are always a possibility.  If the Mets flounder this year as expected, the smart advice is to rest Santana and bring him along slowly, with a 2012 return being the better bet.  Only time will tell if Santana will return and reclaim his spot as one of the top starting pitchers in baseball.  At this point, I would not be counting on it.

Chase Utley:  Phillies

With injuries all around in baseball, few have been more anxious than thedisappearance of Chase Utley.  With the Phillies offense built around Utley and Howard, a long-term absence by the second baseman was seen as damaging by the Phillies faithful.  Talk at the start of the season was a possible September return by Utley, based on the knee injury.  Philadelphia got a great shot in the arm when Utley’s rehab progressed so well to the point that he is already DHing this week in minor league rehab games, with a possible return by the end of the month.  Far ahead of schedule, the hope is that Utley is fully recovered and will be strong for the remainder of the season.  Utley’s story is one of the few bright spots in our long list of injuries in this report.

Scott Rolen:  Reds

Placed on the DL at the end of April with a strained shoulder, Rolen is no stranger to baseball injuries.  But being the professional he is, Rolen also works very hard and keeps himself in strong game shape to attempt to avoid long-term absences.  Rolen has been taking batting practice this week and has also been running the bases and participating in fielding drills.  No timetable on his return at this point, but based on his advanced baseball activity, I would expect a return by the end of this month.

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E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday April 20th

Thank you for reading the E-mailbag.  Please send all your questions to mlbreports@gmail.com and please include your first name and City/Country.

We will be compiling a list of your questions from our e-mailbag and posting the responses on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Q:  Here’s my plan:  Ozzie Guillen as General Manager, Paul Konerko as Manager and A.J. Pierzynski as a coach.  What do you think?  Sounds awesome to me 🙂  From Tina, Chicago.

MLB reports:  A great plan in principle, but I do not see it happening.  Firstly, I agree that Kenny Williams is on borrowed time.  After winning the 2005 World Series, the White Sox have not even had a sniff at another title.  After the Jake Peavy fiasco, I think management will eventually put Kenny’s head on the chopping block as the reason behind the White Sox recent failures.  Williams has a way of trading young talent and taking on big contracts which I think will end up being his downfall.  From there, the new general manager will likely want to bring in his own manager and will need his stamp on the team in order to gain respectability.  Also remember that the Marlins did not hire a big name head coach after the Valentine talks broke down.  Further, the Marlins had inquired as to the availability of Ozzie from the Sox in the off-season and were told it would cost them Mike Stanton in return.  If Ozzie plays out his deal with the Sox, as a coach with the 2003 World Series champions Marlins, I could see him taking over the as the manager as they open their new ballpark in Miami.  Ozzie has a great deal of experience as a manager but not as a general manager and at this stage of his career, I see Ozzie remaining in the dugout. 

To rebuild the team and start fresh, I can’t see the Sox going to an existing member of the team to take over the general manager role.  With Kenny and Ozzie likely gone, it will be up to Konerko and Pierzynski as to whether they continue on in the game in any capacity after they retire.  I have not heard great things about Pierzynski the player in terms of attitude, thus coaching to me does not appear to be a reality.  Konerko however, I can see taking such a role on as he is an extremely hard worker and well-respected in baseball circles.  But given the difficulties Sandberg had to get a major league managing job and the time Don Mattingly had to put in before landing the Dodgers gig, I can’t see Konerko getting a managing role without a great deal of coaching experience beforehand.

Q:  I’m still pulling for Jonathan Broxton.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  Who else do the Dodgers have to go to?  Kuo on DL and Jansen isn’t ready.  From Matthew, Los Angeles.

MLB reports:  Broxton is 5 for 5 in save opportunities, but that 6.14 ERA is not pretty.  Looking at the numbers, the only person with a shot is Mike MacDougal as the veteran has a very solid start to the campaign with the Dodgers.  If Broxton continues to give up runs like they are going out of style, MacDougal will get a shot.  I seriously hope for your sake and Dodgers fans everywhere, Broxton can get it together.  I don’t see many options on the horizon, you know your Dodgers pitching well.

Q:  How do you think the Jays will do against the Yankees this week?  From MLB reports Agent, Toronto.

MLB reports:  For those that are not aware, my niece was kind enough to intern on MLB reports to keep up the tweeting reports while I was away on my honeymoon in February.  Now joining us on Twitter, our agent in the field will mostly be looking after postings, articles and photographs  on our Facebook page and helping with the occasional tweets.  Great first question Ms. Agent.  The Jays had a hard-fought win last night with Travis Snider hitting the game winner in the bottom of the 10th to take the first game of the series.  Game 2 goes today and has Bartolo Colon for the Yankees and Brett Cecil for the Jays.  Should be a high-scoring game as I do not expect either starter to be very effective.  After a hard loss I expect the Yankees to come out firing early and take the 2nd game.  A 1-1 split would still be considered solid work for the Jays and much to build on going into the weekend series with the Rays.  That matchup will really show what the Jays are made of as the Rays are a tough inter-division squad with very solid pitching.

Q:  I read on the site this week about some pitchers who had been injured.  I felt that there should have been one more.  What’s the status on Jake Peavy?  It’s just a thought.  I just wanted to know how he was doing.  From Richard, Roanoke.

MLB reports:  Peavy was supposed to return on April 29th but he has been postponed due to arm discomfort.   The official word is that Peavy has soreness of the lat muscle that was reattached during his July 2010 surgery.  Peavy will be taking anti-inflammatory medicine for a week and if all goes well, could be going back to a rehab assignment by the end of the month.  Given that Peavy is getting on in years and had radical experimental surgery, I cannot understand the Sox insistence to rush him.  Looking at what happened to Ben Sheets and Brandon Webb, there is nothing to gain by rushing Peavy and everything to lose.  I can see Peavy back in uniform if all goes well sometime in May, but a relapse is very probable, if not certain.  My prediction is that Peavy will either have another surgery and/or be shut down again at some point this season.  He does not seem to be fully healed and apparently can re-injure himself at a moment’s notice.  I am a big Peavy supporter and would love to see him out on the field battling for the Sox, but sometimes the body just has a way of saying no.   Time will tell.  To see my previous updates on Webb, Sheets, Morrow and Francisco that was posted this week on the website,  please click here

Q:  What is the chance of Jhoulys Chacin on the Rockies winning the Cy Young this year? From Joe, Atlanta.

MLB reports:  At 6’3″ and at the age of 23, Chacin has not even entered his prime yet.  You are looking at his 3-0 record, 1.64 ERA and 1.091 WHIP and getting excited.  I can’t say I blame you as Chacin had a solid 2010 campaign as well with a 3.28 ERA and 1.274 WHIP.  The potential is clearly there and given what Jimenez did in 2010 (19 wins, 2.88 ERA), anything is possible.  I give his chance at winning the Cy Young this year at about 2%.  Why so low you ask?  Mostly the competition: from Halladay, to Lee, Oswalt, Lincecum, Gallardo, Greinke, Lincecum…the list goes on and on.  Chacin still plays in a difficult pitcher’s park and likely will be 2nd on his own team behind Ubaldo as the top pitcher.  Chacin still has 2-3 years to grow into ace-status and while he has a good chance at 15 wins, I think that a Cy Young is still years away.  Pitchers of Chacin’s age still tend to go through ups and downs during their growing pains.  Don’t discount the experience factor in overall Cy Young voting and final statistics.  Experience often carries the day.

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Part III – My Name is Oney: Making My Name in the Guillen World

(Welcome to part III of a III part profile and interview series with Oney Guillen)

In part III of my interview series with Oney Guillen, I explore the future of Oney.  From his current career plans, to future opportunities, to even the possibility of rejoining the White Sox organization, Oney shared many insights to his fascinating life.  I also learned about Oney’s brothers, Ozzie Jr. and Ozney and discussed their careers as well.  Without further adieu, I present to you the final section, Part III, as I give you:  Oney Guillen.

MLB reports:  After having worked in the White Sox front office previously, would you take a job with a major league team if the opportunity presented itself?

Oney:  Absolutely I would definitely join another major league team.

MLB reports:  Could you envision yourself working for an organization other than the White Sox?

Oney:  I could only see myself working for another team.

MLB reports:  Why not the White Sox?

Oney:  After everything that has happened between myself and the Sox and considering the hard feeling, I definitely don’t think that the Sox and I will ever be the same.  It saddens me because my father is the manager of the team and I still cheer for the team.  But this is how things have worked out and that is ok.

MLB reports:  What role(s) could you see yourself taking on for a major league team?

Oney:  I know that I would be a great coach or manager one day.  Perhaps I could take a job in scouting, even scouting oversees.  I would also consider just being in the front office, which in the right situation would be great because I would actually have a say in the operations of the team.  There are so many things that you can do in baseball which makes the game so great.

MLB reports:  Describe briefly your relationship with your other brothers, Ozzie Jr. and Ozney.  Do you spend much time with each of them?

Oney:  Well, my dad told us that we should always be best friends.  My dad also made sure that his boys were very close and always took care of one another.  All my brothers were very close growing up and still remain close today.  I actually live with Ozzie Jr., so we see each other and spend time together all the time. 

MLB reports:  What do the Guillen boys do for fun?

Oney:  We like to go out and just do normal guys things.  We play video games, sports…you name it.  All three of us have a great dynamic together.  For example, we can get into heated arguments but it doesn’t reach a level where we insult one another personally.  As our father taught us, we hold each other accountable for our actions.

MLB reports:  Do you spend more time with one particular brother?

Oney:  I spend more time with Ozzie Jr. because we live together and Ozney is in Miami.  I have a great relationship with Ozney though and talk to him on the phone all the time and see him as often as I can.  I have always talked to Ozney like he was a man, even when he was little…maybe that’s why I felt like he was already man a couple of years ago.  Plus Ozney is as tall as sh*t… he is huge!

MLB reports:  Getting to another subject, you have become well known for your voice on the internet, including Twitter.  After your Bobby Jenks tweets in December, did you feel that you needed to change your approach or what you could say on Twitter?

Oney:  As far as I know, the reason for Twitter is for people to be able to give their opinions.  If the truth be known, I would have never said anything on Twitter if Jenks had not spoken out about the White Sox organization or my father.  But Jenks did speak out and I felt the need to respond, to defend both my dad and the Sox.

MLB reports:  Any regrets?

Oney:  I was heated when I wrote those tweets and maybe shouldn’t have said a couple of the things I said, sure.  But I can’t take them back now.  I don’t live in the past; I learn from my experiences and just look to the future.

MLB reports:  Have you spoken with Jenks since the tweets?

Oney:  We have spoken and everything is ok.  Let’s just say that everyone has moved on.

MLB reports:  Were you approached by anyone, including the White Sox organization or your dad with regards to your tweets, including limiting or changing them?

Oney:  No.  I was not approached by anyone.

MLB reports:  Following your career in baseball, you have taken on several new roles, from Triple Crown Productions to hosting/producing on 670 The Score.  Please describe for our readers what is Triple Crown Productions and please provide background on your current projects.

Oney:  Well, Triple Crown Productions is a marketing and branding company that my brother Ozzie Jr., friend Eddie and I started about a year ago.  We started it because we know so many people in the game and we really wanted to maximize our skills the most productive way.  So far, I can report that things have been really great with our company.

MLB reports:  What are some current projects of Triple Crown?  What is http://www.ozzieguillen.com?

Oney:  We handle all of the marketing for Ozzie Guillen and look after all his activities off the field, as well as for Joey Cora and a couple of other players so far.  We put together recently the “Ozzie Roast” which was a very successful event and other projects as well, including the official website for Ozzie Guillen, which we work with Major League Baseball on.  The site is great and we will continue to grow it.  We truly feel that http://www.ozzieguillen.com will be the best athlete website ever when it is completed. 

MLB reports:  Why the delays on the website?

Oney:  We have been working on the website for over two years because the process was delayed in approvals from MLB.  I am just glad that it is finally up and running.  As far I see it, better to be late than never.

MLB reports:  I understand that Ozzie Jr. is currently broadcasting White Sox games on the radio and Oney is playing baseball for the University of South Florida.  Any updates on your brothers and how they are doing?

Oney:  Oz Jr. is broadcasting both Bulls game and Sox games and he absolutely loves it.  Oz Jr. and I have a radio show on the Score 670 that broadcasts once per week.  It’s always fun when you get to talk about sports for a couple of hours every week.  We are in the process of getting another radio show with another company as well…stay tuned…

MLB reports:  What about Ozney?  How is your little brother doing?

Oney:  Ozney is currently studying and playing baseball at Miami Dade College.  He loves living on his own in Miami and absolutely loves living life.  If Ozney stays healthy, he should do just fine on the ball field.  If you want to know the truth, I have seen many players get a chance at playing in the minors and they were horrible.  With his ability, I don’t see why Ozney with his talent should struggle.  My brother will be alright.

MLB reports:  Where do you see Oney Guillen being in five years from now?  What do you see yourself doing and how will you be connected to baseball?

Oney:  In five years, I expect Triple Crown Productions to already be established and respected in the marketing and branding arenas.  Our client list is definitely growing.  I would love to still be doing radio and stay connected to the game of baseball in that way.  But really, no one knows what the future will hold.  All I know is that I want to be healthy.  As long as that happens, I’m going to be just fine.  For my family to be healthy and happy as well…all the chips will fall where they have to.

MLB reports:  Oney, thank you again for joining MLB reports.  It has been a pleasure speaking with you and learning about you.  Thank you for giving us the inside scoop and on behalf of baseball fans everywhere, we wish you well on your future endeavors.  Please keep us up to-date so that we can give your fans the Oney reports.

Oney:  Absolutely.  Thank you as well.  It was great meeting you and thank you for sharing my story.  We will definitely keep in touch.  Thank you as well to all my fans and supporters of the Chicago White Sox and Ozzie Guillen.  To the greatest baseball fans, I say:  Go Sox!

***A special thank you to Oney Guillen for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this interview series.  Oney agreed to share private photos from his family album as part of this series.  A thank you as well to Peter Stein, my editor in helping to prepare this piece.***

Please click here to read Part II of Oney Guillen. 

Please click here to read Part I of Oney Guillen.

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

Part II – Interview with Oney Guillen: Making My Mark in the Guillen World

(Welcome to part II of a III part profile and interview series with Oney Guillen)

MLB reports:  In part II of my interview series with Oney Guillen, I jump right into my conversation with Oney.  I tried to cover a broad spectrum of Oney’s life and career, but it was up to Oney, as the interviewee to provide the amount of detail he wanted for each of the selected topics.  My goal at the end of the series was to give the baseball world an insight as to who Oney Guillen is and more background about him as a player, son, businessman and person.  Without further adieu, I give you:  Oney Guillen.

MLB reports:  Hello Oney.  Thank you for joining me and agreeing to this interview series.

Oney:  My pleasure.  Thank you for having me.

MLB reports:  Let’s jump right into it Oney.  You were born in Venezuela and moved to Chicago in 2004.  You were a 36th round pick of the White Sox in 2007.  What were your first reactions when you found out that the White Sox drafted you?

Oney:  Well…it was an honor and very cool to be drafted.  I felt like I had worked very hard to get to that point and deserved to be drafted by a major league team.  Being drafted by the White Sox was a bonus.  I very much wanted to get my career started and play minor league baseball.  I felt that I earned it and was ready to play in the minor leagues.  I remember being curious as to what would happen to me after being drafted.  For the most part, I was just happy and grateful for the opportunity.

MLB reports:  Did your thoughts on being drafted change over time? How did you find the minor league experience?

Oney:  When I joined Bristol right after being drafted, I fit right in with my new teammates.  When I met the guys right away we got along great and it was a very interesting journey for all of us.  The truth is that playing in the minors is not as glamorous as some people think it would be.

MLB reports:  Oh No?  What was the minor league experience like for you?

Oney:  I always said that I grew up backwards as I went from being in a big league clubhouse every day as a youngster to riding the bus in the minors for many hours.  The minor league experience was able to show me the amount of baseball knowledge that I had and I often compared myself to the coaches that I met in the minors.  I realized in the minors that I had a special gift when it came to the game within the game.

MLB reports:  That’s great Oney.  It sounds like playing in the minors gave you a good idea of where your baseball future was headed.

Oney:  I knew that I had the knowledge and the ability to succeed in the game.  My challenge was to find my role in the game.

MLB reports:  How would you describe Oney Guillen the baseball player?  What do you consider your greatest baseball skills to have been?

Oney:  I was a very good defensive player and that was always my favorite part of the game.  For me it was making the great catches and making all the defensive plays, including turning two.   As a second baseman, with Venezuelan heritage, defense was always preached to me to be the key part of the game.   But aside from my defense on the field, as a player I relied heavily on my mind.  My years of experience in major league clubhouses and all the knowledge passed to me by my family and father not only helped me on the field, but it was wisdom that I was able to pass along to some of my teammates.

MLB reports:  Do you miss playing baseball?

Oney:  What I miss the most is being around the guys on the team.  I made so many friends in my minor league career and I miss being around them in the clubhouse and going to war with those guys.  I enjoyed teaching guys my age and even older players that baseball is a thinking game as much as it is physical.  It is the mental side of baseball that is usually neglected and can destroy many players’ careers.  I really enjoyed teaching my teammates how to be mentally tough and to train their brain as well as their bodies.  I miss being on the road with my teammates…many stories come to mind…

MLB reports:  Really?  Do tell.

Oney:  Let’s just say it was a really neat experience.  My playing career was definitely the highlight of my baseball career thus far.

MLB reports:  Reflecting on your playing career, what were your proudest accomplishments on the baseball field?

Oney:  Well, truth be known, my career wasn’t that long (grin).  I played for four teams over two seasons, for fifty-two total games in my career.  My favorite memory as a professional that I am most proud of is playing exhibition games in Mexico with my father Ozzie as my manager.  That was pretty cool.  My last game also happened to be in AAA with many of the White Sox stars, which was a perfect ending to my playing career. 

MLB reports:  Who was your favorite player growing up, that you most idolized and patterned your game after?

Oney:   I definitely admired the way my dad played the game.  He was hardnosed and played the game the right way.  But I most idolized Roberto Alomar growing up.  Robbie was my all-time favorite.  I admired him so much that I even tried to wear my uniform like him. 

MLB reports:  I guess it was no coincidence that you played second base.

Oney:  Correct.  Alomar definitely influenced my position choice.

MLB reports:  Did you ever get to meet Roberto and if so, what was that like?

Oney:  Roberto Alomar was a family friend, so it was great getting to spend time with him.  I got to talk to him and hang out with him on many occasions.  I will never forget my time with Robbie as he is an incredible baseball person and I had so much that I learned from my time with him.

MLB reports:  On the flipside, which current MLB player do you most enjoy watching?

Oney:  Right now, my favorite player has to be Robinson Cano on the Yankees.  Cano makes all the plays look so smooth and effortless.  In my opinion, Cano is the best player that the Yankees have right now, which says a lot since he plays on a team with so many stars. 

MLB reports:  Getting back to your father Ozzie for a moment., how much of an influence did he have on you as a baseball player and a person?

Oney:  My father and I have a very unique and special relationship, as many fathers and sons do.  Look, I got to grow up in a house with Ozzie Guillen, so it definitely was not dull.  My dad was a great player and an even better manager- but by far, his most successful job has been his role as dad.  He was always honest with his kids and never sugarcoated anything.  He always treated me like a man and brought me up to act like one.

MLB reports:  What did you most learn from Ozzie Guillen, the father?

Oney:  My dad always gave all of children love and education.  Those were the two biggest things that he could ever give my brothers and I.  My dad always told me to stand up for what I believe in and to never be afraid of anyone.  At the end of the day, my father always insisted that I tell the truth and by telling the truth, I would never have regrets.  The discipline that my father instilled within me carried me as a baseball player and into the man that I am today.

MLB reports:  Not many people know that after your playing career, that you joined the White Sox head office in the scouting and video department.  You resigned in 2010.  Do you miss it?

Oney:  Truthfully, I do not miss working in the front office.  The part of the game that I miss somewhat is being around the game itself, on the field, in the dugout and clubhouse.  Being around the game every day on the field is like a drug, it is something that I was addicted to and could never get enough of.

MLB reports:  What did you like and not like so much about working in the White Sox front office?

Oney:  From my experience, working in a major league front office really opens your eyes, as to what is really going on and how the day-to-day operations of a team works.  It was great because I learned what it took to be a part of a front office and the experiences and lessons I learned will stay with me for a lifetime.   However, what I also saw was how little some of the people that I worked with in the Sox front office knew about baseball.  I observed people that had more of a say on the team due to the mere fact that they were older or had spent more years in the front office than me.  Just because those people were older or had more years than me, when it came down to baseball knowledge some of those guys did not know very much.  The politics of that side of the game really bothered me.

MLB reports:  Did you dislike anything else about working in the Sox front office?

Oney:  I did not miss being away from home for long stretches at a time.  I’m glad that in my current role that I can be home and continue to watch the Sox.  It used to me kill me that I did not know what was going on in the front office decision-making.  Looking back, I wish things could have been handled differently.  I wish someone had had the courage to give me feedback and openly discuss my role in the head office rather than choosing to hide and not communicate with me.  Truth be known, communication was poor on both sides I guess.

MLB reports:  Any regrets of leaving the White Sox organization?

Oney:  I do not regret anything.  I do not live in the past and I feel that my life is better now as a result of my decision to leave the Sox organization and pursue other opportunities.  What transpired between the White Sox and myself was going to happen one way or another.  While I was employed with the White Sox, I was told that my father could not have his own website and twitter account as they did not fit in the team’s policies.  After the team refused to allow me to create and operate a website for my father, I decided to resign.  The ironic part is that since I departed, the team has allowed my father to have a twitter account and website.   I operate the website with my brother through our company, Triple Crown Marketing. 

MLB reports:  Let’s touch upon Triple Crown shortly.  If you would have been allowed to create and operate a website for Ozzie, do you think you still would have been with the White Sox front office today?

Oney:  No, because what transpired was going to happen, one way or another.  I feel like I was being made into a scapegoat for some team problems and I am fine with that.  I am a man that takes accountability for his actions and knows what really happened between myself the team.  But I do not regret anything that has happened.  I truly feel that everyone involved is better off this way.

MLB reports:  ………

Thank you for reading Part II of my Oney Guillen interview.  Stay tuned for Part III, the final chapter of the interview as Oney discusses his future in baseball and working for the White Sox and any other major league team.  He also comments on twitter, his brothers, his current career and what the future holds for Oney Guillen.  All coming up next week.  Subscribe to the MLB reports by following the link at the top of our site to be notified on this article and all daily baseball posts.      

       

***A special thank you to Oney Guillen for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this interview series.  Oney agreed to share private photos from his family album as part of this series.  A thank you as well to Peter Stein, my editor in helping to prepare this piece.***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

My Name is Oney: Making My Mark in the Guillen World

(Welcome to part I of a III part profile and interview series with Oney Guillen)

MLBreports:  Here is the scenario:  Put 10 baseball fans in a room.  The degrees of knowledge and experience in the group vary.  It’s irrelevant.  State to these fans one singular word:  “Guillen”.  Ask the focus group to indicate their first reaction and response.  The Likely result, 10 out of 10 times will be “Ozzie”.  Go ahead and try it.  Use any scale of testing group that you like.  100.  1000.  It doesn’t matter.  Ozzie will win out every time.  Now imagine your name is Oney and your father is Ozzie.  You have two brothers, Ozzie Jr. and Ozney.  Your last name is Guillen.  As one of the sons to the great Ozzie Guillen, imagine trying to come out from under that shadow, especially with the two brothers trying to do the same thing as you. I would imagine this is pretty difficult, perhaps impossible.  But then again, you don’t know Oney Guillen.  Some of you might think that you do, but the truth is that “unless you walk in the shoes of a man” as the old adage goes, you will never truly know him. So, let’s take a walk in the shoes of the aforementioned Oney Guillen.  While Ozzie may have left big shoes to fill in baseball, Oney has taken the non-traditional route and chosen a completely different pair to walk his journey in the game of life.  The imprints are already there and the roads in his career remain limitless.  This is the story of Oney Guillen as he makes his mark in the Guillen world.

I initially corresponded with Oney one evening via twitter.  I replied as a follower to a comment that Oney had tweeted and he replied.  We conversed on twitter for some time on baseball.  A few minutes later Oney followed me.  Ozzie Jr. followed a couple of minutes later.  Oney and I struck up a friendship that has continued to evolve ever since.  I commented on a child in one of Oney’s pictures that I mistook as his daughter and turned out to be his niece.  She turned out to be similar in age to my own son.  We discussed our mutual love of children, life and most of all, baseball.  I was instantly drawn to Oney’s charisma and zest for life.  A regular chip off the old block I thought.  I admittedly did not know Oney well yet at this point.  But as I got to know him and later interview him for this article, I was left in awe of the man that he was and the amount of baseball life that he had already lived at such a tender, young age.  As our discussions continued and grew, so did my interest in his story.

I was exposed to Ozzie and Oney at different stages of my life.  Ozzie, in fact, I have met in person on a couple of different occasions, both as s a player in the early 1990’s with the Chicago White Sox and later as a manager with the same South Siders in 2006.  Our first encounter was at a local hotel lobby when Ozzie was a young player signing autographs.  I found him to be young, polite and friendly to the fans.  As a manager, Ozzie and I met briefly at an MLB sponsored party after the home run derby in Pittsburgh.  Ozzie was the center of attention at his table, hanging out with family and friends including Miguel Cabrera, then of the Florida Marlins.  We spoke several words that night, but, again, Ozzie was nothing but polite and courteous.  A strong character and often rough image is portrayed to MLB fans by the media when it comes to Ozzie Guillen.  But without knowing contexts and scenarios, how many of us really know Ozzie Guillen- the man behind the sound bites we hear on television and read in our local newspapers?  Having met him personally on different occasions over the years, I can firmly say that the Ozzie Guillen I have met and know is not the same one that is often characterized by baseball fans.  For those fans that think that Ozzie is a loose cannon or angry person, think again.  How do you know this person?  What basis exists for such conclusions?  These were the same questions that I wish I had originally asked myself the night of December 28th last year.

I try to always acquire as much baseball knowledge as I can and stay on top of all baseball news and facts.  If you had quizzed me several months ago, I would have told you that Ozzie Guillen has three sons.  I would have guessed that two, maybe all were drafted at some point by the Chicago White Sox.  Call it one of my crazy baseball quirks, but I love following baseball drafts and prospects and learn the stories behind the players.  How Tommy Lasorda had pulled in some favors to have the Dodgers draft Mike Piazza in the late rounds of his draft year.  Gregg Zaun’s uncle is Rick Dempsey.  Brady Anderson’s father is not Sparky.  Mariano and Ruben Rivera are cousins.  Jose Canseco has a twin brother who also played professional ball, Ozzie…who allegedly posed this past weekend as Jose in a celebrity boxing fight…well; let’s leave those details for another day.

From there the influx of next generation players is overwhelming- Patrick Leyland, Cale Iorg, Dee Gordon, Delino Deshields Jr., Nick Swisher, Shelley and Chris Duncan, just to name a few.  The list literally goes on and on.  But to name the Guillen boys, I truthfully would have said at the time Ozzie, Ozzie and Ozzie.  Much in the way of George Foreman and his 10 children, with five boys all named George.  Ozzie Jr., Oney and Ozney are not far off in essence.  Each named as a direct or indirect variation of their father’s name.  This is a great honor on one hand, but somewhat of a curse on the other.  A curse in the sense that establishing a name for themselves would be that much more difficult.  Exposure is one arena, solidification is quite another.  The aforementioned night in December last year, I like much of the baseball world, got my first exposure to Oney through twitter.  My perceptions from that day have long been altered.  By sharing my conversations with Oney in this article, I am betting your opinion will change as well.

The story behind Oney’s tweets are well chronicled and do not require elaboration at this juncture.  Needless to say, references were made by Oney with respect to ex-White Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks and the twitter world was abuzz.  I will admit on record that the tweets were my first true exposure to Oney.  But tweets on a singular evening do not define a man, a body of work in totality does.  Over the course of the weeks after my friendship was struck with Oney, I prepared notes and went through an extensive interview with him.  I have to admit, I could not put the papers down.  Reading them again and again, I was mesmerized by his story.  The tale of Oney Guillen begins as many of a baseball story does: getting drafted and playing major league ball. 

Thank you for reading Part I of my feature article on Oney Guillen.  In part II of this feature, I will present the first portion of my interview with Oney Guillen and share his thoughts, feelings and dreams in his own words.  From his experiences growing up to his start in professional baseball as a player and working in the head office of the Chicago White Sox, to an in-depth look into his relationship with his dad and brothers.  In part III you will hear from Oney as to his current roles in baseball as well as those of his brothers, and learn about his future goals and dreams.  Stay tuned, the story of Oney Guillen in baseball is one not to be missed.  

 ***A special thank you to Oney Guillen for his time and effort as part of being interviewed for this interview series.  Oney agreed to share private photos from his family album as part of this series.  A thank you as well to Peter Stein, my editor in helping to prepare this piece.***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

     

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