Skip to comments.Dis and that: Fans should ease up on Oz (OZZIE GUILLEN'S WHITE HOUSE NO-SHOW)
Posted on 02/12/2006 8:11:31 AM PST by Chi-townChief
Michael Jordan did it in 1991. Some members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team threatened to do it in 1993. Bobby Jenks, Scott Podsednik, Freddy Garcia, Tadahito Iguchi and Frank Thomas will do it Monday. But the only person we're talking about is Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is hardly the first person to decline an invitation to visit the White House. But judging from the local furor, you might think otherwise. Mayor Daley, a Sox fan, seems to think Guillen has become too big for his britches. Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf would prefer that Guillen cut short his vacation in the Dominican Republic to join the festivities. Plenty of people on talk radio -- I tuned in all over the dial Friday -- think Guillen is being rude and disrespectful by declining President Bush's invitation. And me? I'm happy you asked. I'm getting a kick out of this story. It has been a while since such a big fuss was made over so little.
I could understand an outcry -- or at least a healthy debate -- if Guillen said he was staying away for political reasons. In 1993, some members of the U.S. Ryder Cup team considered turning down President Clinton's White House invitation because they didn't like his politics. Word got out, people got mad, and they reconsidered. But that's not what is happening here. Guillen told the Sun-Times' Chris De Luca that he has no political motivation for skipping the meet-and-greet. He simply needs some down time with his family. Surely, the president, who likes to position himself as Mr. Family Values, will understand. Even if our mayor doesn't.
''Very few Americans have ever been in the White House,'' Daley told reporters. ''To me, that's a privilege for anyone.''
Still waiting for the invitation
I think I understand what the mayor is trying to say. I lived in D.C. for two years and walked past the White House frequently during that time. Often, I wondered what it would be like to be invited inside. Maybe I'd be asked to stay for dinner. Alas, they never open the gates for the likes of me. But that's not going to change, whether Guillen goes or not.
Besides, Guillen has been inside the White House. He went with his former team, the Florida Marlins, after the Marlins won the 2003 World Series. Guillen has met the president. He has spoken to the president. Maybe once was enough.
I cannot understand why so many people are agitated about Guillen's decision. I don't remember people being so upset when Jordan snubbed the first President Bush by failing to accompany his teammates to the White House after the Bulls' first championship. I certainly don't remember the mayor being so upset.
Some people assume that Guillen is harboring a secret anti-Bush sentiment because Guillen is friends with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is no fan of our president. If that were the case, we could debate the subject for days. Guillen, who became a U.S. citizen just last month, dissing one president because of his friendship with another! We could argue about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. We could argue about sports and politics and whether the two subjects even belong in the same discussion. We'd have a blast batting our ideas around. But let's take Guillen at his word. He's had a hectic offseason. Spring training is imminent. He needs a holiday.
Just give peace sign a chance
Perhaps general manager Ken Williams, who said in a recent radio interview that he considered declining the White House invitation because of his opposition to the Iraq war, will present the president with a specially designed Sox jersey, one with a peace sign on the back. That would be a great photo-op, don't you think?
Am I making light of this? You bet I am. I don't see what the big deal is.
I also am wondering why Jenks, Podsednik and company aren't getting more heat for staying away. I guess their excuses are considered valid while Guillen's is not. Podsednik, for instance, is on his honeymoon. Iguchi is being honored in his native Japan on Monday. Garcia is practicing with Team Venezuela for the World Baseball (Non)Classic. Thomas is no longer with the Sox (although that hasn't stopped former players Aaron Rowand, Willie Harris, Damaso Marte or Geoff Blum from planning to attend). And Jenks has personal business, whatever that means. Seems to me a vacation with your wife and youngest son is as good an excuse as any of these.
Not that I feel an excuse is necessary for Guillen. A simple, ''I won't be attending'' would have been good enough for me.
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The WH changed the date a couple of times. Seems the WH is part of the problem.
I'd be glad to go in his place.
WHO CARES? It's his loss....GW Bush couldn't care less.
I am not defending him, and I am a heck of a long way from Chi and I really hate the white sox, but I'd just like to hear more about it.
K4 (Angels Fan) :o)
You mean like Charles Lindbergh?
There you go!!
Not much more to hear: a lot of people are pissed at the stunt he pulled with Chavez and a lot of other people don't give a sh*t.
But, thanks all the same.
BTW, Bush already knows Guillen from back in his days with the Rangers. I doubt that W is too bothered himself so I'm not going be bothered unless Guillen came out and made some political statement.
With someone that low-class, it's just as well he doesn't visit. The WH has surely had enough of that kind of low or no class people during the Clinton years.
He's low class because he doesn't want to meet the President, again, instead of being with family?
I have family and friends that I don't get to see often. Given the chance to see them or the President, the President would just have to wait.
I thought an invitation was just that -- something that the recipient had the right to turn down.
Yogi Berra used to say, "if people aren't going to come to the ball park, how are you going to stop them?"
Who pays for these silly ceremonies?
He's the manager, it's a team function, he should find a day out of his "rest" to go to represent the whole team, including players that can't make it. If a player doesn't go, that's a different story.
The White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in an interview that it's the expense of the team to fly everyone to DC and transport them to the White House.
A lot of animosity might be brought on ozzie's relatives who live in Venezuela is he shows up to the White House now. Caracus is a dangerous place, relatives of highly paid, high profile major league players have to be careful, a Detroit pitcher's mother was kidnapped last summer in Venezuela. Because ozzie already was at the White House two years ago, he has a convenient excuse not to go this time around and spare his extended family any future repercussions.
I think it's the radical MSM trying to make ozzie's decision not to attend a slight on President Bush. The airwaves and rags in Chicago are playing it as an anti-Bush memont.
Too bad, when adults act like juveniles and take away the fun of sports from the kids and everyone else who want the game to be free from MSM political propaganda.
I will never forget when Ozzie approached me in the clubhouse in 83 when he played for the AA affiliate of the Padres and asked "hey batboy, how much you geev me for thees?' He had a small mound of white powder in his locker which he moved around with a baseball card. I was in total shock and did not know what to say. One of the other teammates came over and played down the incident, insinuating it was Ozzies way of joking around. I had my doubts. But he confirmed them when he admitted using it during the playoffs. What a disappointment.
How silly. She doesn't understand why a manager not showing up is a bigger deal than a player? Gimme a break.
What this columnist should be asking herself is why Mayor Daley, a Democrat, is upset about this. It's because Daley's an old-style Democrat who still believes in respecting the office of the presidency.
I don't suppose you'd have a link supporting the libelous assertion that Guillen "confirmed [your doubts] when he admitted using it during the playoffs."
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