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Greetings From Ozzie Guillen

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  • Greetings From Ozzie Guillen



    Dear White Sox Fans,

    There are only a few days left until Opening Night at U.S. Cellular Field, and everybody's excited about the start of the season. White Sox fans in Chicago are ready to go as well, right? The adrenaline is going to be pumping Sunday night for players and fans too.

    We can't wait to get back to Chicago. Players are talking about what the ballpark will be like on Sunday night, and then on Tuesday when we get our World Series rings. No one – except maybe Jerry Reinsdorf – knows what the ring looks like, so we can't wait for that. I hear Aaron Rowand, El Duque and other players who have days off are coming back for the ring presentation. That tells you how special it will be.

    This spring has been really different from others, probably because our offseason was so short, but I still feel like we accomplished our two most important goals: we got our work done to prepare for the season, and we stayed pretty healthy. I said this winter that we were only World Champions until the first day of spring training. The guys must have believed me because we have not won many games this spring! But everyone will tell you that spring training wins don't matter. I think we ended last spring going 4-10 and then turned around and went 17-7 in April. During the spring, I am more concerned with our attitude and our approach to our work and to the games, and I have been happy with that most of this spring.

    I really like our roster right now. Starting pitching is our bread and butter, and all five guys have thrown well. It is great knowing we will be able to throw Buehrle, Contreras, Garcia, Garland and Javier Vazquez out there every day. I really think Sox fans will enjoy watching Javier pitch. Our bullpen is shaping up as the guys are finding their role.

    Kenny Williams added two players during spring training -- Alex Cintron and lefty Matt Thornton. We think they will really help our club. I love the versatility of my roster. Rob Mackowiak and Alex can play multiple positions. Jim Thome has swung the bat real well in Tucson and he's a great fit for the team. Brian Anderson has been hot at the plate too, so our offense will be ready to go on Opening Night.

    It's been a lot of fun for everybody this winter to think about last year's title and talk about if we can repeat. It has been a long time since anyone in Chicago could say things like that. But just like I said to our team on the first day of camp: That was last year. It was great, but it's over. Now everybody will be gunning for us, starting with the Indians on Opening Night. We need to show up and play hard every day. If we do that, we will be in good shape in September and October.

    Someone asked me what I thought was the very best moment from 2005. My answer was there were so many - but the best had to be when we clinched the division in Detroit because I knew then, we would not be stopped. Our goal is to win another World Series title, but instead of focusing on back-to-back, we need to focus on showing up and playing hard each and every day. After that, this team knows what needs to be done and what we can win...as a team.

    See you Opening Night,
    Ozzie

    http://mlb.mlb.com/images/2006/03/04/L49CRvAy.jpg

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