It turns outdoes have power. It's just the kind that's not really beneficial to anybody. Like having particularly potent gas, nobody wins in the end.
Up until his Twitter outburst on Tuesday night, I had fully intended to defend his father's bullpen management after Scott Merkin reported Bobby Jenks' barely veiled rip job earlier in the day. I've followed Jenks' entire career closely, and most of Ozzie Guillen's, and it's my opinion that Guillen has handled Jenks with aplomb.
I wouldn't expect Jenks to like Guillen's style of management. Maybe I overuse "indignant" when referring to Jenks, but that's the perfect word. "Thick" describes his head just as well as it does his midsection, so Guillen often needed to use a whip to get his message to register. But he also defended Jenks when people like us wanted him out of the closer role. Guillen has sometimes been his only ally. It's not surprising that somebody as easily wounded as Jenks -- in more ways than one -- would only remember the bad times.
But hey, Jenks' reaction is understandable, too. Tough love rarely sits well immediately, and I've had teachers I only appreciated after the class was over. Jenks should realize that he wouldn't be nearly as wealthy without Guillen, and it's a shame if he never does.
That's all that really needed to be said about it. Oney Guillen had other ideas, and dumped some alleged skeletons out of the closet from Venezuela via Twitter.
In the process, he inadvertently made Jenks a somewhat sympathetic figure, even while spilling some potentially damaging information about him. That takes a certain kind of talent.
I wouldn't be surprised if most, if not all, of what Oney Guillen tweeted about Jenks was true. There were a couple of weird tongue-holding episodes at the end of the season; Jenks creating an uneasy scene by spitting on the clubhouse floor, Kenny Williams saying "there are certain things I'm not going to talk about right now."
To this point, Williams has resisted kicking Jenks out the door, but Oney seems to have filled in at least some of the blanks. None of it was necessary.
OK, nothing Guillen's middle son does is necessary when it comes to White Sox Business, but this was bringing a grenade to a pillow fight. Jenks only criticized Ozzie the Manager, and that brings only Bobby the Pitcher into play. There's lots of room for insult there. His attitude, his inconsistent performance, which may have been attributable to his inconsistent conditioning ... pick one and hammer away if you please. That's an eye for an eye, and all in a day's work for these highly compensated professionals.
That would accomplish far more than taking private information and making it public. In the short term, it embarrasses Jenks. Maybe. We know the bubble that surrounds him is pretty dense, and besides, he already has financial security for the next two years. This might just be a minor inconvenience at worst, for all we know. Jenks could very well have roughed up a clubbie, but Manny Ramirez pushed over a sexagenarian team assistant in Boston, and he still got paid afterward.
Otherwise, who comes out looking good? Nobody important. Williams and all involved Guillens could be on the same side in theory, but it doesn't make anybody's job easier. Jenks might be the center of this controversy, but it's no longer about only him.
Now it brings all players with dirty laundry into play. It's unlikely that Jenks is the only player with off-field issues of some degree, so are any of them safe? Maybe if they don't offend the questionable sensibilities of the manager's son, and that's just great. There's something fundamentally wrong with an organization if somebody who has no official position with the team has that much clout.
All 30 MLB clubhouses have eye-opening secrets. In 29 of them, they aren't spilled in childish and wholly unwarranted tantrums by connected-yet-irrelevant personnel, and I'd expect the rest of the league to notice.
This isn't just Oney Guillen's third prolonged ploy for attention at the expense of internal affairs -- it's also his most egregious. If the Sox shrug this one off, I wonder how serious it will have to get before it's taken seriously.