You think when somebody's writing the history of the White Sox in 50 years, they'll write about this?
Blindsided by all the media hoopla, manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday he plans to keep his Twitter account while vowing not to talk about the White Sox.
"Let me start with this," Guillen said during his 14-minute post-practice session. "That's why the world is all screwed up. I want to say (bleep) off, but I can't. All of a sudden we're worrying about something that is personal. I wanted to do something that is fun off the field. All of a sudden, they're making a big deal of this thing."
Guillen was just warming up.
"This has nothing to do with the organization or baseball. It's my life. I don't know why people are making a big deal of it. All of a sudden it's Ozzie Guillen. I didn't know how famous I was. That's pretty interesting. I thought people hate me.
"I feel like I was doing something wrong. People are treating me like I was a murderer or something, or stealing someone's money or didn't pay my taxes. Believe me, a lot of people must like me out there. I thought it was the opposite.''
Guillen spoke Wednesday morning with general manager Ken Williams, who was upset that Guillen had an account and wanted the focus to be on baseball and not a reality television show or Twitter. Guillen said Williams was worried until Guillen explained his intentions.
"If Kenny was upset, I don't blame him," Guillen said. "He wants to know what's going on, why? I said I want to have fun like anyone else. I'm a human being.''
First thing: Who, exactly is "making a big deal of this thing"?
Are the fans upset? Highly doubtful.
The writers? Are you kidding? The writers love Twitter, especially when someone else is doing it because (trust me) when things are slow you can always mine Tweets and come up with something to write about.
Sure, the writers asked Guillen some questions about Twitter. Well, tough: that's what writers do. Everything's a big deal and especially in February when there's very, very little actual news to report.
It seems to have been a big deal for Ken Williams. But that's just about control, and the devil you know (talking) vs. the devil you don't (Twittering).
It's not like Guillen's the first. Joe Maddon's got a Twitter account. Granted, Maddon's averaging only a dozen Tweets per month, but at least he's trying and the world doesn't seem to have exploded yet.
Sure, Guillen's more likely than Maddon to get himself into trouble. But Ken Williams should know by now that he can't control Guillen, who will get himself into trouble one way or the other.
It's a losing battle, with Guillen and everyone else. Like it or not, this is the world we're in. Maybe five years from now, one thing you'll want in a managerial candidate is someone who's able to speak directly to the fans and the writers without embarrassing the organization.
As you know, many players are on Twitter and I don't know of any serious issues yet. One of my favorites is C.J. Wilson, and yesterday I saw a great example of how this can work. Bloomberg Sports' Tommy Rancel wrote a piece about Wilson getting a shot in the rotation this spring.
Well, Wilson read the article. He responded directly to the author (and also to his Twitter followers) with this: main problem w/ that article (which was great) is that it neglected to notice I was pitched hurt during 08. it's good analysis tho.
Wilson was pitching hurt in 2008. He was hurt in March but pitched anyway before shutting things down in August and eventually having surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow. No, a player shouldn't have to remind a writer about information that's publicly and readily available. But we make mistakes. It's one of the things that every professional athlete learns: He'll be misquoted, he'll not be given enough credit for playing hurt, etc. And I suspect that it's therapeutic for them to have an outlet, however humble, for their side of the story. Ball players (and managers) are human, too.