Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has been known to go on an occasional rant. Some people feel his attitude is what led a group of good players, but not considerably better than their competition, to a World Series Championship in 2005, sweeping the Houston Astros in four games (which, by the way, brought to an end an 88-year drought for the Pale Hose organization). Others feel his bluntness is admirable but shouldn’t be done through the media, while still others wonder how anyone playing for him could respect someone who goes off so often.
That last type of individual is definitely not someone who ought to consider becoming a member of the White Sox. People who can put aside the anger - and all the bleeps, should you be listening on television or radio - and listen to Guillen’s content are privy to leadership wisdom as good as you could get from a combination of John Maxwell, Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey and Jack Welch. A sample of Ozzie’s latest pet peeve: “I don’t mind losing games; that’s part of the business. But when you’re losing games and you don’t care, then we got problems.”
What set the Sox’s skipper off was seeing his guys, prior to a major league game that was to take place later that day, watching college football as a means of “preparing” themselves to give their best effort and win a baseball game (what they’re paid to do). Left unsaid, but what one can easily read between the lines (or hear between the vulgarities), is these professional baseball players, making monopoly type salaries, watching the gridiron games like an average fan would, i.e. whoopin’ and hollerin’ when their favorite team makes big plays or yelling at the men in striped shirts when a call goes against their “favorite” team. My guess is Ozzie feels as though the White Sox ought to be their favorite team - especially on game day!
Guillen also made mention of watching college football players who “don’t (care) about you,” a less than thinly veiled attempt at telling his guys that you ought to be the guys you care about. The way I interpretted his lecture is that, even though it was the end of the baseball season, with eight games to go, that since the ballplayers expected to get paid - and quite handsomely at that - he expected them to put forth the effort, i.e. act like the professionals they’re supposed to be.
He spoke of having pride in what you do and the approach a player should take toward his trade. The passion bursts through when Ozzie Guillen speaks and if the players would take their jobs as seriously as he does his, there would be no need to wait another 88 years before a banner flew high on the north side of Chicago. Ozzie’s true feelings may parallel those of Benjamin Zucker, who said:
“To hear, you have to listen. To listen, you have to respect. To respect, you have to care.”