Just when you thought Ozzie Guillen couldn’t sink any lower as a professional, a news report is coming out of Chicago indicating that the White Sox manager almost came to blows in a heated argument with his boss, General Manager Kenny Williams…over Ozzie’s son Oney’s draft pick position: it wasn’t high enough for Ozzie. This is the latest series of dysfunctional incidents with Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams.
In case you don’t know about baseball draft picks, most “baseball men” place the utmost importance on draft pick number because a high pick guarantees a high signing bonus and also increases the chance of making the major league team sooner than the lower picks, which translates into much more money over a career.
And, in case you don’t know the ins and outs of “baseball tradition”, most teams will draft a coach or player’s son or nephew as a favor. In fact 2010′s MLB draft may have set the record. Many times the relative is a fringe prospect, and scouts and organizations will do the player a favor (something that is never admitted) or hope that talent is genetic. In some high profile cases, the kid is super-talented and is selected in the first round. Ozzie Guillen watched his middle son Ozney get picked in the 22nd round in the draft before the White Sox selected him. Guillen then said, ”I give my kid 50 grand just to go to school [at the University of South Florida rather than sign with the Sox]. I got 50 grand in my pocket to send my kid to go to Niketown or buy something.”
Allow me to translate: Ozzie is upset Ozney wasn’t picked higher (a blow to the ego), and will send his kid off to college instead of signing with the Sox. Ozzie is acting like an obnoxious dad. To compare: Paul O’Neil’s nephew Mike O’Neil was picked by the Yankees in the 42nd round, and Paul said that his brother will probably ask Mike to take a prestigious college program offer he was given because he hurt his shoulder recently, and will hopefully get drafted higher in a few years as a college player. He said it with class. Obviously Mike O’Neil isn’t as talented at his uncle, who was selected in the 4th round in 1981 amateur draft, so there’s no reason to get insulted or “cut a promo” like in pro wrestling.
Kenny Williams confronted Guillen to his face about the statement, and then they got into a fight. Chicago owner Jerry Reinsdorf usually takes Ozzie’s side on things, and had even ordered Williams not to travel on road trips to avoid confrontations with Guillen.
Rob Neyer had previously reported on May 28 (from a nameless scout):
- “Kenny and Ozzie do not have anywhere near the relationship they once had and it appears that they only deal with each other when absolutely necessary. If the team continues to struggle throughout the rest of the season it could become a bigger problem that will have to be dealt with.”
Here is some more insight about Ozzie Guillen’s feud with Kenny Williams. Ozzie’s other son Oney was drafted by the White Sox in the 36th round in 2007 and played at Advanced Rookie Bristol in 2007 and Class A Kannapolis in 2008 before washing out as a player, and was hired by the White Sox in the scouting and video department. At the beginning of this year, Oney wanted to set up an Ozzie Guillen website and Twitter account, but Kenny Williams didn’t like the idea. Williams wanted everything to be filtered through the MLB Network, and would not support an employee doing independent projects like that, since there is a conflict of interest. This lead to a whole dramatic episode when Ozzie told his son to resign. Ozzie then lectured his son (through the MEDIA) not to give any more interviews on the matter. Ozzie then said he would kill anyone that hurt his family.
Ozzie has another son, Ozzie Guillen, Jr., who serves as the lead broadcaster on White Sox Spanish-language radio broadcasts, splitting play-by-play and color analyst duties. So the Sox seemed to be going above and beyond to employ Ozzie’s sons.
For Ozzie to complain about Oney’s MLB draft pick position is just a sign that Ozzie wants his boss fired, and I wouldn’t be surprised if owner Jerry Reinsdorf makes a change with one of them this year.
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