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  • Ozzie Apologizes for Comments

    Guillen apologetic for A-Rod comments
    Manager regrets tone of remarks toward third baseman
    By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
    http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASA...=.jsp&c_id=cws

    TUCSON -- The first order of business for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen on Friday had nothing to do with his club's World Series championship and everything to do with a personal relationship.

    Guillen called his first press conference of Spring Training to clarify his thoughts and express his regret about recent comments regarding Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

    "I'm going to have to apologize to Alex Rodriguez, his family, his fans, the New York Yankees organization and the White Sox organization because it's the first time I feel like I have done something wrong," Guillen said. "I've been in a lot of controversial things before. I started this one and I'm going to finish it."

    "Last night, I had a tough night," he continued. "It's the first time I was ever embarrassed by myself."

    In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Guillen said Rodriguez never intended on playing for the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic and shared his thoughts on Rodriguez's indecision on whether to play for the Dominican or United States. Rodriguez has dual citizenship and was eligible to play for both countries.

    In the interview, Guillen said he felt A-Rod was being a hypocrite and that the Dominican team didn't need him on the roster.

    "It's the same with [Nomar] Garciaparra playing for Mexico," Guillen said. "Garciaparra only knows Cancun because he went to visit."

    Guillen said his comments about Garciaparra were meant to be funny and he stands by them. However, Guillen believes his comments about Rodriguez are not a laughing matter and his message could have been misunderstood. He said his intentions were to protect Rodriguez, not hurt him.

    "I don't call him a hypocrite that way. Alex Rodriguez is not a hypocrite," Guillen said. "I was just trying to say he does not have to please people or make people from the United States or from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela happy. When you do that, you sound like you are a hypocrite. If you say, 'Hey, I want to play for the United States, that's the team [to which] I belong' and I move on. That's it. That's what I tried to say."

    The manager reiterated his belief that Rodriguez was trying to be too kind about his participation in the WBC and said the infielder is a "big, big, big target, because if Alex doesn't go to that thing, it's going to be a problem because he's the best player we have, period."

    "I think I answered the wrong way or people maybe misunderstand the wrong way," Guillen said. "I regret it, yes. I regret it because I put one of the best players right now in that situation. He is going to show up to Spring Training and deal with this."

    Guillen stopped short of saying the Yankees third baseman made the right decision by agreeing to play for the United States, but added, "He grew up here, he played baseball here, he went to school here, he was born here. I think he was trying to be nice to people and people tried to defend him for no reason. That's why I said he doesn't owe anything to anybody. I just said it the wrong way."

    "I think what I did to Alex, it was wrong," he added. "Alex can do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to play for Japan, fine. I was the wrong guy to say the wrong thing."

    White Sox general manager Kenny Williams addressed the topic with Guillen on Thursday night. One of Williams' biggest concerns is avoiding a discussion about players from other teams in such a manner.

    "Just because we've come off a world championship, we have work to do as a team and as an organization, and as individuals," Williams said. "Ozzie is still growing into the position and the responsibility of the position as well as I am. We'll just continue to try to evolve in a way that is a first-class and respectable way. We not only want to try to win, we want to try to win in a first-class manner and be known as a first-class organization. Clearly, we have a little bit of work to do, but we will keep at it."

    Williams added the chat included a discussion on practicing "no comment" by Guillen in the future. It's a practice Guillen is against.

    "Kenny got the wrong guy. You know why? Because if I say "no comment" I feel guilty about something or I am trying something I have to cover," Guillen said. "I learned a lot from taking the first shot from somebody and I learned a big lesson from this."

    A representative for Rodriguez said the All-Star did not have a comment. Rodriguez's agent Scott Boras told the New York Daily News that he was unaware of any bad blood between Rodriguez and Guillen before the comments, adding, "This doesn't sound like the Ozzie I know."

    "The thing I'd say about that is that if Alex is a hypocrite, then everyone who is American and has parents of different heritage and wants to be respectful of that is a hypocrite, too," Boras told the newspaper. "If that's being a hypocrite, then I'd want to be one. Alex was thoughtfully considering a difficult decision and was trying to make the right decision for him and his family."

    Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter did not want to comment specifically on Guillen's comments before Rodriguez had a chance to address the topic, but acknowledged "shots" at Rodriguez during the past two offseasons. Last winter, Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon said Rodriguez was not the "Yankee type."

    "Let them keep taking shots. He had a pretty good year last year," Jeter said. "He makes the most money. A lot of people are probably jealous of him. But I don't know. I haven't really thought about it and we don't really concern ourselves with it."

    As for Guillen, he hopes the situation is resolved and does not become a distraction for his club or for Rodriguez and his club. The manager acknowledged any response from Rodriguez would be justified.

    "I didn't try to take a shot at Alex. I swear to God I didn't," he said. "I just tried to make a point. You read the article and you can go either way. You can think I hate Alex or I tried to protect him."

    Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

  • #2
    I just think those comments are stupid and kinda racist

    Comment


    • #3
      How are they racist? Ozzie's the same race as A-rod and Nomar. Explain.

      Comment


      • #4
        They might be ethnic remarks as all those guys are Caucasion. In either event I didn't see it that way at all. They were very personal criticism that most anyone would be offended by.

        Guillen would have been better off just riding out the storm. Calling a guy a hypocrite is not the worst thing that you can call someone.
        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

        Comment


        • #5
          ozzie

          Originally posted by whosyourpapi
          I just think those comments are stupid and kinda racist
          Woah, is a red sox fan sticking up for the yankees?

          Comment


          • #6
            ozzie shouldnt have to apoligize for that, its preety much true and he said it as a joke, people have to take it as the way ozzie is
            I collect TTM and IP. autogrpahs, right now i have about 125,

            Ive been a sox fan my whole life, always have been, always will be.

            www.soxpride.com ( a fun site to talk to other sox fans)

            Comment


            • #7
              Pay-Rod gets little Seattle love

              Originally posted by Good Men wear Black and White
              ozzie shouldnt have to apoligize for that, its preety much true and he said it as a joke, people have to take it as the way ozzie is
              Pay-Rod a hypocrite? Hard to believe out here on the Puget Sound.
              I still recall Pay-Rod saying to the M's that if we had a contender he would re-sign with us.
              But, when $250 million talks...the mere $150 million Seattle offer walked
              Of course, after sucking up all the oxygen ($$$) Pay-Rod then looks around and gets upset that the Rangers couldn't get enough good players to win. h Crap, didn't see that one coming!
              Johnny
              Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

              Comment


              • #8
                right

                Originally posted by Good Men wear Black and White
                ozzie shouldnt have to apoligize for that, its preety much true and he said it as a joke, people have to take it as the way ozzie is
                I thought it was pretty funny and true too. But ozzie was right to apoligize, because for the first time, he took the first shot. And asked if he'd apoligize to Nomar, he said, "No that was funny and true." Anyways, people should be talking about the actual article in Si. It was a very good one, and it really tells you about the kind of person ozzie is, not the one we think he is. That comment about payrod was about a sentence long of a 6 page article. The only reason everyone's making a big deal about this is because there's nothing else to talk about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A-Rod Accepts Ozzie's Apology

                  A-Rod accepts Guillen's apology
                  Yankees superstar excited to play for Team USA at WBC
                  By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
                  http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/NASA...=.jsp&c_id=mlb

                  TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez has heard all he needs to hear from Ozzie Guillen.

                  The White Sox manager, who ripped A-Rod last week for wavering between playing for the United States and the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, apologized to Rodriguez in a statement on Friday. In Rodriguez's eyes, the issue is now closed.

                  "Ozzie and I have always been friendly, which is why it was a bit surprising," Rodriguez said. "It's really not that big of a deal. ... I haven't spoken to Ozzie. I already heard what he had to say; he apologized and we've moved on. The apology is already accepted."

                  Guillen reiterated his apology on Monday, thanking A-Rod for handling the situation as he did.

                  "It was a tough situation for me and my family and my friends and the White Sox organization overall," Guillen said. "I think it's nice of him. He didn't have to accept it the way he did. He could have come back and say stuff about me or whatever he wanted to.

                  "He's a class act, man, and brings a lot to this game, both on and off the field," Guillen added. "I really appreciate the way he handled it. I hope this ends the whole thing."

                  Rodriguez's decision to play for Team USA in next month's WBC was not an easy one. After telling a New York radio station in December that he was leaning toward playing for the Dominican Republic, A-Rod did an about-face just days later, announcing that he would not participate in the event at all, as he didn't want to insult the U.S., his home country or the Dominican Republic, where his parents were born.

                  "It was tough on me," Rodriguez said. "I understand that most people will just ridicule and make fun of it, but unless you understand my background, where I come from and the passion that my family and my heritage holds, I don't expect anyone to understand that."

                  Rodriguez spoke with Commissioner Bud Selig and MLBPA COO Gene Orza for two hours on a conference call, as the two men tried to convince the reigning AL MVP to take part in the event.

                  "He's a draw, and that's what this is about," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "I can understand his reluctance to make a choice between the two teams, because he doesn't want to upset anybody."

                  On Jan. 17, A-Rod changed his mind and declared his intention to play for Team USA.

                  "Both of them shared to me the importance of my participation, what this meant to the growth of the game, not only domestically but globally," Rodriguez said. "If I didn't think this was better for the global growth of the game, I wouldn't be playing. I felt I owe this to the game; I owe everything to the game.

                  "I recognize what the game has done for me; the game of baseball has been me my whole life," he added. "It's given me everything I have. If not, I might be under a bridge somewhere. I'm very appreciative of the game."

                  Rodriguez was not appreciative, however, of the rumors that swirled about for a month regarding his decision to play in the WBC, and which country he would represent in the tournament. He blamed Major League Baseball and the Players Association for giving out the information, though he didn't point a specific finger.

                  "I don't know who was leaking or what, but ... all of the back and forth speculation was ridiculous," Rodriguez said. "That was very frustrating, because it was misleading to the people. I don't want to point to someone if they didn't do it, but the information was coming from someone. To me, it was, 'If I'm going to say something, let me say it.'"

                  Rodriguez agonized over the decision, even watching his Dominican mother and American wife debate the issue for two hours.

                  "It was pretty tough, but I'm glad I made the decision and I'm proud of it," Rodriguez said. "I'm very proud to play for the USA team. I plan to enjoy it."

                  Surprisingly, the reaction from Dominicans was not as bad as Rodriguez had anticipated.

                  "I thought I was going to get crushed; my whole life is about getting crushed," he said, referring to Guillen's comments and the bashing he took last year from Red Sox players. "That crushing is very inspiring, so I have a lot of inspiration in my life. I had a lot of support from what I understand. I don't go back there much and didn't go back at all this winter, but I thought it was pretty supportive."

                  A-Rod knows that the verbal shots he endures aren't about to go away, as he enters the second half of his 10-year, $252 million contract.

                  "Maybe when I retire or stop, but maybe on my way out, they'll kick me out the door, too," he said. "I use it as inspiration and as motivation. It is what it is. My firing back is when I'm in that box with that bat. I get to fire back and do all my talking, shut everybody up."

                  "It could make you more determined," Torre said. "There's a certain satisfaction from taking it out there as opposed to just responding to it."

                  Although several big-name stars have pulled out of the WBC, A-Rod plans to play -- and play hard.

                  "If I'm in, I'm in," he said. "Once you step between the white lines, it's very hard to say it's just an exhibition game. The bottom line is that you'll have USA across your chest, so you're going to live and die for a win."

                  Rodriguez's primary hesitation about playing in the WBC has little to do with the possibility of getting hurt, as that can happen just as easily in a Grapefruit League game. Instead, he's worried about getting his usual spring workouts in, as he prepares for his third season in pinstripes.

                  "I'm a wacko, a crazy man, when it comes to my routines," he said. "I'm a little panicky about how I'm going to get into my routine in Arizona, Anaheim and San Diego. I'm a little concerned, but I'm going to work on that."

                  Team USA's first-round games will take place in Phoenix, while second-round contests would be held in Anaheim. San Diego, of course, will host the championship game, so Rodriguez seems confident that Team USA will have great success in the inaugural event.

                  "Without a question," he said, "I'm expecting to be in San Diego."

                  Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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