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Ozzie’s Big Mouth

June 9, 2010

In my post yesterday regarding players drafted in this year’s MLB Draft who have some bloodline connection to a former or current player, manager, or front office executive (which, by the way, MLB.com has an extensive list up with all of the connections taken in this year’s draft and it’s a much more extensive list than the post I came up with yesterday) I very briefly mentioned the fact that Ozzie Guillen, the current manager of the Chicago White Sox, was unhappy with team officials about the position in which his son, Ozney, was drafted. After sleeping on the matter I’ve had some time to consider the situation a little further and something about it just doesn’t sit right.

Now over the years we have all become quite accustom to Ozzie’s boisterous, talkative, loud, sometimes obnoxious personality. The man likes to talk. And he likes to hear himself talk. It often seems as though he speaks without thinking first about what he wants to say, let alone how he wants to say it. So him making an outlandish comment really should come as no surprise.

Ozney is a left-handed hitting outfielder out of Monsignor Pace High School in Florida. He was drafted by in the 22nd round, pick #668 overall. It seems as though the Guillen family believe that he should have gone within the top 10 rounds. The fact that he fell seems to have rubbed Ozzie the wrong way.

“I saw him play, and it surprised that he fell that far before getting picked. I know baseball a little bit. This kid has a good future as long as he doesn’t get hurt.”

Well, Ozzie, of course you think highly of your son’s abilities as a baseball player. What parent wouldn’t? But just because you believe he is a star-in-the-making it doesn’t make it true. Just because Ozney thinks he should have been selected higher doesn’t mean that he should have been selected higher. Where he was drafted was due to where the scouts – individuals whose careers are based entirely on their ability to evaluate players – felt he should be drafted. Just because he fell to the 22nd round doesn’t mean that the White Sox scouts didn’t do their jobs. It just means that they didn’t feel that Ozney was worth taking any earlier. Oh by the way, it also means that 29 other teams didn’t feel he was worth taking any earlier. No team would have skipped him over had they wanted to draft him just so that the White Sox would get their chance.

“Twenty-second round? Anybody can go 22nd round.”

Anyone can be drafted in the 22nd round, huh Ozzie? So based on that comment, being selected that late (or even later) means you’re a nobody, is that it? Being selected that late in the draft means that you have zero chance at amounting to anything? it means that you have no chance at having a career, let alone a successful one?

Well, Mr. Guillen, I’ve got some news for you. Some of baseball’s best have been drafted in the 22nd round or later, including your own players.

Mark Buerhle was drafted in the 38th round of the 1998 Draft. Last time I checked, he is still the ace of Guillen’s pitching staff (despite his recent performance).

Mike Piazza, one of the greatest hitting catchers of all time, was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. Is he “anybody” Ozzie?

Now I’m not one to typically sit and rip into a manger for comments that he made unless the situation truly warrants it. But, in this instance, Ozzie was just flat out wrong. He’s a frustrated father, most people can understand that. But being the manager of the team, he needs to learn his place and learn when to bite his tongue. If you’re frustrated about where the organization selected your son, sit down with GM Kenny Williams and talk it over. Don’t go trashing the organization to any media outlet that’ll listen. Remember Ozzie, your job isn’t exactly the safest right now. You wouldn’t want to give your bosses an additional excuse to push your loud mouth out the door.

* Note: This article has been simul-posted at my personal blog, Backyard Baseball, and at Seamheads.com.

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