By now you're aware that Ozzie Guillen has a Twitter account that he launched as pitchers and catchers reported about a month ago. Around the same time he also launched a Facebook fan page. At the time, I was both excited by the opportunity to get snippets of Guillen truly unfiltered and confused as to why a guy who seems to be technologically aloof had any interest in social networking all of a sudden. I wrote it off as him getting advice from a more technically inclined and trusted adviser, most likely one of his sons (who I initially thought was ghost-writing his posts) or worse, a "social media expert." It turns out it was a bit of both.
Last Thursday (I'm having trouble finding that link) Joe Cowley reported that Guillen had plans on launching a personal website, which was squashed by the front office (presumably Kenny Williams, but possibly also Jerry Reinsdorf) Though the intentions behind the unlaunched website are unclear, it would appear as if Ozzie was trying to build himself a brand, which, you know, doesn't seem like such a bad thing. The Sox allowed Guillen to tweet and Facebook, so the nixing of the website seemed like kind of an arbitrary line in the sand.
I didn't care, because, hey, I still get to read Ozzie going off on Sean Penn occasionally.
It doesn't appear like the arbitrary line in the sand went over as well with Guillen's son's, however, specifically Oney, who works for the Sox in some scouting capacity. Quick Guillen children primer: Ozzie Jr, oldest, local media member/newcomer; Oney, middle son, used to work for Sox; Ozney, youngest son, playing baseball in FLA somewhere. We know Ozzie hadn't seen Ozney in month thanks to recent tweets, but got to see him this week. Anyway, Oney took to his own twitter account -- his second twitter account, BTW, as his first was apparently shuttered thanks to pressure from within the Sox organization -- to vent his frustration with the squashing of the plans to launch the Ozzie branded website with the not-so-cryptic tweet, "
Cowley's all over this, updating his story as I'm putting together this post.
This morning Oney was called into a meeting with Williams and told to at least lighten up on the tweeting. And instead of lightening up, he resigned in protest. This all would have no business appearing on this site at all were he not Ozzie Guillen's son. It shouldn't affect the Sox play on the field, but it will clearly affect Ozzie, which could lead to a host of problems including spilling over into the play on the field.
Ozzie tweeted support for his son immediately following the HR derby with the Cubs, "Hey kid we are behind you. No matter what" and walked right past media without so much as a word. He would later apologize to the media via twitter, and close with a Spanish-language tweet (translated), "I hit where it hurts more and I have to be ready to what comes as always and made."
I can understand the Sox reluctance to let Guillen (and sons) run wild on the internet. Every year at this time somebody is putting together a Managers on the Hot Seat article, trying to guess who will be the managers who get the axe in the upcoming season. And every year Guillen comes in near the top. And every year they're wrong.
But who can blame them? Nobody in baseball can match the verbal diarrhea of Ozzie Guillen, and every year he's going to have to apologize to the PC police for something. So eventually he has to pull a Jimmy the Greek, right? And Twitter and Facebook, with their immediacy and lack of filters, would only seem to give him a better opportunity.
Anyway, the only reason this is here on SouthSideSox is because it marks a growing rift between Guillen an Williams. The two clashed over roster construction, though Guillen seemed to get his way with both the addition of Juan Pierre and the lack of a true DH in the name of roster flexibility. They then battled over Guillen's entrance into the Twittersphere, though again Williams seemed to relent to Guillen, allowing him to tweet within reason. Then Williams finally started to put his foot down (and possibly picking the wrong battle) with Guillen's website plans.
I still don't think Guillen is going anywhere anytime soon, but we'll definitely be keeping score in the growing Guillen vs. Williams quarrel.
[Update by The Cheat, 03/20/10 1:11 PM CDT]: Ozzie speaks with media today, takes Kenny's side, deflects idea of rift brewing between he and Williams