Ozzie Guillen Deathwatch
by Jim Sells

Please welcome the newest FTTW author, Jim. His column will be about baseball, interspersed with tidbits about music, especially from Jim's local (Tennessee) scene. While he debuts today, his column will be appearing on Fridays after this.

Listening to a band called Actress as I get prepared to bang away on the keyboard, They started here in Chattanooga and have gone far, so far . . .

Anyway, the baseball season's start is insane. Daisuke Matsuzaka's "gyroball" leads to ten strikeouts in his first start; Barry Bonds looking dangerous at the plate again and MOVING in the field; Bob Wickman's pursuit of Terry Forster's claim as the *ahem* biggest-boned closer in baseball history; and I have officially started the Ozzie Guillen Deathwatch for he will be gone before the season is over. All this, the Drive By Truckers' "Never Gonna Change" and a cup of java. Here we go . . .

dice-k.jpgOzzie Guillen will be gone for the exact reason listed in the DBT song: he's never gonna change. He speaks without thinking sometimes, which can be handled with good media handlers, but his main problem is that he rides his starters like rented mules and it's starting to show. Mark Buehrle's been over 200 innings for six years running with a K/9 rate starting to sink fast; Jon Garland's been over 190+ innings for five; and Jose Contrera's usage is just about the same and he's slightly older than dirt. This season (2007) is going to be Ozzie's fourth at the helm of the South Siders and he has shown no indication that he has any inkling of what new stats, or "metrics" as those fellows over at SABR (Society For American Baseball Research) like to call them, are out there showing how wrong his approach is. Ya know, names like that make me wanna form something like the Society For Omani Baseball Research and call it SOBR and have meetings in bars but I'm a natural-born smartass and I digress . . . there's a thing called Pitcher Abuse Points that was posted over at Baseball Prospectus almost ten years ago. Pitching coach Don Cooper missed that one, or is too afraid of Ozzie to even mention anything remotely similar to that. There's plenty more ideas/articles like that out there but they challenge "conventional baseball wisdom" and the mere thought of such things probably gets Ozzie ready to call someone else a fag, as Don Cooper finds somewhere else to hide or maybe a sudden "doctor's appointment". Oh well, I hope all the Pale Hose fans enjoyed 2005, 'cause it's not happening again anytime soon. Ageing stars with oversized, far too long contracts such as Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle and Jose Contreras will limit what Ken Williams will be able to do when the wheels start to come off and the Indians start to beat them like red-headed stepchildren. It will not be pretty and the faithful at Comiskey or US Cellular or YourNameHere or whatever the hell the name is this week will demand blood sacrifice and hey Ozzie, looks like you're at the head of the line, bruh.

bob%20wickman.jpgBy the way, Daisuke's throwing a screwball from what I've been able to see. It's not an unheard of pitch to throw (see Fernando Valenzuela) but no one throws it much because the strain on the arm is tremendous. However, Matsuzaka's never been an injury problem in Japan, so who knows? Maybe we're in for a treat - a fine pitcher slinging a pitch that an entire generation of baseball fans have never seen.

Kasabian's "Clubfoot" is on the headphones now and rocks hard. Listen and enjoy.

Teams that are having good starts and won't do anything: Twins, Pirates (of course), and Colorado. That's a short list but this season's truly a crapshoot and we haven't even started to play the "When the hell is Roger coming back?" game yet. And Bud Selig made 14.5 mil last year to stand around like Mr Magoo. Sweet baby Jesus . . .

That's all I got for now; I'm off to have a Vienna sausage eating contest with Bob Wickman. Y'all stay outta trouble.


Look for Jim's baseball/music column every Friday on FTTW.


Awesome. I am psyched there is a baseball column now. Off to a great start!


Great article! :-)


I don't think the problem is Guillen speaking without thinking first. He simply speaks without worrying about what anyone else will think. He speaks his mind.

Bob Knight does it...and plenty of others do.

But, when some hack with the media is the brunt of the discussion, it turns into an all-out attack on the figure.

Guillen may get run out of Chicago, but he'll get picked up somewhere else.


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