Ozzie Guillen has thoughts about having his number retired

If it's going to happen, he wants it to be soon

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Retire Ozzie’s number soon or not at all

Should Ozzie Guillen have his number retired by the White Sox?

It’s a topic I dove into last week while examining which digits should be the next to fly for each Chicago sports franchise.

And it was a topic the man himself addressed on the most recent episode of “Being Guillen,” the LaVida Baseball podcast the former Sox manager does with his sons.

Spurred by that issue of Midway Minute — look ma, I’m a newsmaker! —both Ozney and Ozzie Jr. asked their dad if having No. 13 retired at Sox Park was something he’d thought about.

The discussion starts just before the 16-minute mark:

“I’d like to be alive,” Ozzie Sr. said.  “I’d like other people to be alive and be there too.”

The other people being owner Jerry Reinsdorf, broadcaster Hawk Harrelson and trainer Herm Schneider.

“If it happens, I wish just (those guys) be alive because they’ve seen my career a lot,” Guillen said. “I’d like to have Hawk introduce me.”

While Guillen didn’t outwardly stump for his cause, the message was clear.

If the White Sox are going to do this, it better be soon.

Reinsdorf, after all, is 84. Harrelson is 78. Schneider is 68.

Hell, Guillen himself isn’t getting any younger.

If the year 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Ozzie Jr. said he’s felt a bit more urgency to get things done after seeing the effects of coronavirus coupled with this year’s deaths of Kobe Bryant and Ed Farmer.

Ozney, meanwhile, said he saw the turnout for the premiere of Harrelson’s documentary and wished the same for his dad.

“I really hope that everybody’s that here could be alive for my Dad,” Ozney said he remembers thinking at the time.

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Both sons laid out what seems like a pretty slam dunk case for their dad:

  • He had a standout career with the franchise that left him near the top of several team leaderboards.
  • Three of his contemporaries (Fisk, Baines and Big Hurt) already have their numbers retired as do two of the players he managed (Konerko and Buehrle). He’d also be a bookend to another great Venezuelan shortstop (Luis Aparicio) who has his number retired.
  • He’s the only White Sox manager to win a World Series in the last 103 years.

Ozzie Jr. and Ozney also pointed out that Guillen is the only White Sox manager to ever lead the club to two different postseasons.

“Well I hope they remember that,” Ozzie said. “Not the fans, the right people.”

I’d never heard Being Guillen before, but I enjoyed it. It debuted in December and all the Guillen men have strong opinions. While there’s a lot of talking over each other, you get the feeling you’re looking in on a family meeting. (Oney also contributes, he joined later in the pod.)

All three felt strongly that the Cubs should retire Sosa’s number.

“Sammy Sosa put the Cubs back on the map. Period,” Ozzie Sr. said.

Ozzie Sr. also told some good stories about Sosa, including the year that Sparky Anderson intentionally walked Guillen twice to get to a 21-year-old Sosa.

I looked it up on Play-Index and it indeed happened to different results. Sparky got away with it on July 2, 1990, getting an inning-ending flyout from Sammy.

But he tried it again just over two weeks later and Sosa responded with a two-run double in the the top of the ninth for the game-winning hit.

“I told him it’s not because you were bad,” Ozzie Sr. said. “It’s because I was that good.”

Share this with someone who likes Ozzie and the White Sox

A Javy Baez extension probably hasn’t been at the top of your mind the past two months. Same goes for both Baez and the Cubs. The shortstop told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that negotiations have been paused during the pandemic.

Arturas Karnisovas confirmed the JJ Polk and Pat Connelly hirings with a press release on Wednesday. Connelly will implement the structure and processes of the revamped scouting department while Polk will head up salary cap management and player personnel matters.

Reminder! The Bears schedule will be unveiled tonight at 7 pm on NFL Network (though we’re sure to hear some leaks during the day). The team announced that single-game tickets will go on sale shortly thereafter at 8 pm.

BUY:The new Kerry Wood 2OK shirt from Breaking T

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10 great stories about Landon “Sonny” Cox. (Tribune)

Craig Hodges is not happy with MJ. (CBS Sports)

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• You’ve read Astroball, watched Moneyball … now meet Illiniball.

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Ricky O’Donnell’s Western Illinois quest got the treatment in the McDonough County Voice. (McDCV)

Ted Ginn says “I can still run,” Kevin Fishbain says that’s all the Bears need him to do. (The Athletic)

Luis Medina also had a good deep dive on the Ginn signing. (Bleacher Nation Bears)

• I’ve never needed to get a tweet matted and framed more.

Have a great Thursday all! As always, thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.

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