By Jim Caple
Page 2

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen usually is entertainingly frank, but he got himself in trouble this week when he called Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti a "----ing fag." Ozzie defended his comment by saying that he has nothing against gays -- he said he goes to WNBA games -- and that the term doesn't mean the same thing in his native country as it does in the United States. Wednesday night, he apologized for using the word "fag" but didn't back off Mariotti, calling him a "piece of ----."

Does that sound good to you? Don't buy that explanation? Either way, Off Base reveals what Ozzie Guillen really meant to say …

"I don't know what everyone is so up in arms about. I mean, back where I don't come from in England, 'fag' is just a slang term for cigarette. That's all I was calling him. A 'fag'. A cigarette. A nasty, malodorous, cancerous, unfiltered, arsenic-loaded, emphysema-causing coffin nail with no redeeming social virtues who damages the long-term health of even those who simply come in second-hand contact with his pollutant filth. And he should be demonized in our schools, kept out of the reaches of children under the age of 17, heavily taxed and outlawed in all public places (as well as our clubhouse, where he never comes anyway). And the media corporation that employs him should be held liable for billions of dollars for the lives he's destroyed and the families he's damaged.

"That's all I really meant to say, except I also think the entire staff of the Sun-Times are a bundle of sticks."

Either that or …

Ozzie Guillen
Adrian Wyld/AP Photo
You've got to wonder what else Ozzie's kicking around in that brain of his.

"You guys are trying to make me look bad just because I speak with a thick accent. I didn't say 'He's a ----ing fag.' I said 'He's a ----ing Zag.' And by that I meant he's a vastly overrated mid-major who plays a weak schedule, is soft in the middle and always chokes in the clutch whenever he has to go face-to-face against a tough opponent (like me) when everything is on the line. And then, when there still are a couple seconds remaining until deadline and his colleagues are counting on him the most, he breaks down and cries like a little girl on national TV, embarrassing himself and his teammates."

Either that or …

"Back in my country, '----ing' doesn't mean the same thing as it does here. It's like 'Aloha' in Hawaii. It can mean many things depending on the context. '----ing' can be used either as a verb or as an adjective in Venezuela. However, when it is used as an adjective, it shows immense respect and modifies the succeeding noun to mean its exact opposite. So in this case, I was praising Jay for his outstanding display of heterosexuality."

Either that or …
"Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Either that or …

"When I said that I can't be prejudiced against gays since I go to WNBA games, I did not for a single second mean to imply that the league is over-represented by lesbians or that its fan base is largely composed of lesbians. What I should have said is that I also like going to LPGA tournaments."

Either that or …

"I demoted Sean Tracey because he was so pusillanimous when I told him to retaliate by hitting Mariotti with a pitch."

Or hell, maybe this is what Ozzie really meant to say about Mariotti:

"I wish I could quit him."

San Francisco's Matt Cain took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and Mets shortstop Jose Reyes hit for the first cycle of the season. But this week's award-winner comes courtesy of reader J. Peterson, who noticed these interesting lines in the Rangers' box score last Friday night:

COREY: 0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

FELDMAN: 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Unless Eric Anthony comes out of retirement and Cleveland trades Jason Michaels to Milwaukee and they both play alongside infielder Bill Hall, that will have to serve as baseball's finest tribute to teen actors of the 1980s.

The government is threatening "Game of Shadows" authors Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams with more time in jail than any of the BALCO defendants received unless the reporters reveal the sources of the leaked grand jury testimony. Yet another example of our tax dollars at work.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for You can reach Jim at Sound off to Page 2 here.