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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, May 6th

Love It Or Hate It...Guillen’s A Bitter Billy

http://theloveofsports.com/index.php/site/comments/love_it_or_hate_it15/

By Sarah Spain
Love of Sports Correspondent

Ozzie Guillen took a page out of Lee Elia's book Sunday, feeding reporters an expletive-laden tirade before his White Sox took the field against the Blue Jays.

Ironically, Guillen's copycatting of the former Chicago Cubs manager came while complaining about the Northsiders getting too much attention in the Windy City!

In the end, Guillen's message was less about the team's current standing — second place in the AL Central — and more about their perennial standing — second place in Chicago's hearts.

Both the White Sox and the Cubs got out of the gates fast this season, rocketing to first place in their respective divisions. However, as April rounded the bases into May, the Southsiders found themselves hoping to stay above .500. By Sunday, both teams had dropped into second place, but while the city of Chicago continued to shower the Cubs with adoration, the Sox were suddenly has-beens.

Guillen had something to say about the quick turnaround: "That's what ticks me off about Chicago fans and Chicago media: They forget pretty quickly. A couple of days ago we were the [bleeping] best [stuff] in town. Now we're [bleep]."

He had a point. Sox fans who were eager to praise the team mid-April suddenly became Debbie Downers at the first bump in the road. The beginning of May is far too soon to give up on your team — unless, of course, you're a Pirates fan.

With October months away, the Sox have plenty of time to fall in and out of a slump (or several) and still make the playoffs. Of all the major sports, baseball requires the most patience — both in a single game and in a season.

"People are panicking," Guillen said. "Did we play a real bad week? Yes, we did. We stunk. But it wasn't too long ago that we were 'the biggest surprise in baseball. Wow, look at the White Sox.'"

What started out as a reasonable argument by the Sox skipper turned into a pathetic display of jealousy and bitterness.

"We won it a couple years ago, and now we're horse[bleep]," Guillen told reporters. "The Cubs haven't won in [100] years, and they're the [bleeping] best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody."

Yes, yes, [bleep] everybody. That's clearly the most logical response to a four-game losing skid.

Look, it's fairly common knowledge the White Sox are the redheaded stepchild of Chicago baseball. Guillen's statement is accurate: the Cubs will always be Chicago's team even if they go another 100 years without a ring. (Please don't let that theory be tested).

Is that frustrating for Sox fans, players and managers alike? Of course. Is there anything Guillen and Co. can do to blow the Windy City's loyalty toward the South Side? No.

As he so eloquently stated, "[The White Sox are] going to be horse[bleep] … no matter how many World Series we win."

Just like every other White Sox manager before him, Guillen knew the situation when he took the job. No one waltzes into Chicago thinking a few good seasons on the Southside will make life-long Cubs fans trade in their pinstripes for the Darkside.

In a rather poorly thought-out attack, Guillen bemoaned the Cubs' popularity by talking about them even more. Not only did he mimic Elia's curse-filled, anti-fan tirade, he acknowledged the original rant and seemed jealous of its recent media resurgence.

"How about the Cubs celebrating that Lee Elia bull[bleep]? How many times do I curse people out? I will make a lot of money with my [stuff]. I have to keep going, because in the future Ozzie will need money, and I can say, 'Here, give me money, here's the 10-year anniversary of my time I called [Jay] Mariotti stuff and the time I went on the radio and cursed out Mike North,'" Guillen said.

With his team flailing and his reputation once again at stake, the last thing I would recommend Guillen bring up is the anti-gay slur he tossed at Mariotti some years back. With his hitters slumping and his lineup under fire, the last thing Guillen should talk about is the Cubs, who, as of Sunday, had their highest run total over the first 30 games of the season in 70 years.

Over the past few days, radio hosts, sportscasters and bloggers alike have called Guillen's latest rant good business. By drawing attention to himself and his crazy antics, they say the Sox skipper is taking the pressure off his team and its owners.

In the words of Guillen, I call "bull[bleep.]"

A couple minutes of curses won't make anyone forget the White Sox woes. Heck, even LeBron James says Guillen's a crybaby for whining about the Cubs!

Guillen should concentrate less on the money he'll make from his outbursts and more on the money he'd make by leading his team into October. He'd also be wise to give up hope of the Sox being Chicago's No. 1 team, 'cause, to paraphrase a Cubs slogan: "It's Not Gonna Happen."

What say you? Is Guillen's diatribe a helpful distraction? Do you love or hate his griping about being the second team in the Second City? Does Guillen have a reason to be mad at Sox fans or do the fans have a reason to be worried?

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