While talking to reporters prior to Sunday's 13-4 loss to Toronto, Ozzie Guillen buried the lede.
He held court on a variety of topics, but what he said toward the end is what everybody's talking about.
"They'll only remember the 2005 team in 2020 when we come here in a wheelchair," Guillen said. "Oh yeah, thank you. As soon as you leave the ballpark, they don’t care about you any more. They don’t. The monuments, the statues they have for you, they (urinate) on it when they are drunk. That’s what they do. Thank you for coming for 30 minutes for all the suffering you did all your life, day in and day out."
In fact, it drew so much attention that Guillen took to Twitter to say that the accounts were "bull crap." He even goes so far as to say he has tape of the interview, but fortunately for us, so does CSNChicago.com, so we can make the call.
The key part starts around the 11:30 mark, and it doesn't seem like he was misquoted -- at least in a way that hurts Guillen:
If you follow along, it seems that Mark Gonzales and others was actually kind to Guillen. It's impossible to transcribe Guillen with 100 percent certainty, but it sounded like that blurb might have ended with, "...[bleep] 'em, idiots, every day, day in and day out."
We've all seen this play before, where he's candid as hell, and people momentarily stop talking about how poorly his team is playing to focus on how poorly Guillen is thinking. It sure would be the time for it, considering the faceplant the Sox performed at Rogers Centre after Guillen went on off them.
He tried to blast the 3-wood from behind some trees. The ball ricocheted off a trunk and hit him in the groin. Now he's going for his trouble club. It happens every year.
There's a problem with this particular instance, but I don't think it involves the part about the fans. Guillen is probably correct in saying the statue has been pissed on, which is unfortunate. He could easily explain that he didn't mean for that part to sound like a blanket statement.
While listening to Guillen's all-inclusive rant, the pity party bothered me far more. Sympathy is in short supply on the South Side -- not because the roster is making $126 million to put on sad displays, but because people have felt unusually sorry for too many of Guillen's players.
There is (or was) John Danks, who doesn't deserve to be winless on the season. There is Adam Dunn, whose fall is as agonizing as it is baffling, so much so that today, I contemplated the odds that he will retire before his contract is up. Matt Thornton couldn't find his fastball or defensive help early in the season. Now I'm starting to feel it for Omar Vizquel, who is still hunting his first World Series ring and won't find it this year.
Given all these sob stories, the last person who should ask for a break is the guy orchestrating the proceedings. Even if Guillen isn't at the root of all these problems, his job description says he's the one ultimately responsible. Bringing the fans into it is the opposite of what is asked of him, especially since the Sox have been worse at home than they are on the road so far.
I'm guessing this particular scandal will blow over, even though it's not smart. But it sets up what could be a fascinating two months if this team can't turn it around. Given that Jerry Reinsdorf has made a huge deal about attendance this season, you'd think he wouldn't want fan relations any worse than they already are.
Speaking of things better off unsaid, here's Danks on "f---ing clown" Jose Bautista:
This is pure frustration talking, too. It's easy to understand where he's coming from (Turk dropped a good link explaining why pitchers might be offended by slammed bats), but I don't know if the insults and expletives help his case. Neutral parties at Baseball Think Factory are siding mostly with Bautista, although it might be because neutral parties mostly dislike Hawk Harrelson, and the article linked there had this item:
After Bautista singled home a run in the first inning, veteran White Sox announcer Ken Harrelson suggested on-air that the home-run leader might be corking his bat.
In a seemingly unrelated event, Harrelson made a visit to the Toronto clubhouse after the game, and, wearing a big grin, headed straight to Bautista’s locker. The two chatted amiably for a few minutes. Apparently, the content of Bautista’s bat did not come up.