Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Difference Between Class And Crass

I am still a huge Mark Buehrle fan. Despite his move to South Beach over another round on the South Side, I will support Buehrle and cheer him on. I will still collect his cards in a Marlins uniform. The only time I will ever root against Mark Buehrle will be when he faces the Chicago White Sox. Why? He has been a favorite of mine for many years and he is a class act all the way. His exit from Chicago was low key and heartfelt. We understood why he had to leave, but we wanted him to stay anyway. Buehrle will always get my respect. On the way out of town, he expressed his desire to come back to the White Sox someday. This is a man who was clearly torn and made a tough decision that was right for him and his family. These are the reasons why I will collect his Miami Marlins cards.
I appreciate everything that Ozzie Guillen brought to the White Sox, both as a player and as a manager. As a player, he helped bring the AL West crown to Chicago in 1993 and he was the voice of reason and experience on the field. He solidified the infield and managed to be a menace on the basepaths despite his low batting average. As a manager, he brought the first World Series title to Chicago in eighty-eight years. He squeezed an AL Central title out of the 2008 team.

Guillen was a flash fire. He burned brightly at first, but his flame died quickly. We knew his eccentricities and made exceptions for them. Then, along with his mouth, everything went south. The first crack in the armor was making Sean Tracey cry and making him lose enough confidence to never sniff the majors again. Ozzie tasted another man's tears and it seemed to suit him. During the last few years, it appeared that Ozzie was more interested in screwing with a player's frame of mind than winning ballgames. Questionable feuds popped up with everyone from umpires, players and reporters. I could even stomach the unnecessary Twitter wars, but the grand finale would be my last straw.

I don't mind that Ozzie went to Miami. No long term manager stays in the same place forever. Even Bobby Cox went to Toronto to manage for four years. After checking out somewhere in the middle of the season, Guillen couldn't be bothered to finish out the last two games of the season, thus exposing us all to the Don Cooper managerial experience.

While Reinsdorf may have reluctantly signed off on Ozzie's wish to leave his responsibility two days early, in the eyes of the fans, Guillen just abandoned his team that he had already given up on months before. The Tasmanian Devil act had finally rolled over on the most important piece of the Chicago White Sox; the fan. A whirlwind Miami appearance, and much later a half-hearted love letter to Chicago, and it was all over. If it wasn't for these last acts of desperation and greed by Ozzie Guillen, I probably would have held on to a few Miami Marlins cards of him. Sometimes it's not what you do, but how you exit that leaves the greatest impression on fans. After many great things, including a World Championship, Sox fans will remember Ozzie for his cowardice and selfishness. It shouldn't be like that. I wished it wouldn't have ended like that, but those actions are out of my control. It is what it is and that was a slap in the face to all the people who supported him, even when it seemed like the whole world was against Ozzie Guillen. I will not be actively pursuing any Miami Marlins cards of Ozzie Guillen.

The free agent poaching bonanza claimed some great names and some great talent, but only one player has both, plus the cool, laid back confidence that made him the steal of the offseason; Mark Buehrle.

10 comments:

Jeff Wilk said...

I could not have said it better myself. I love Buehrle and always will. Consistency every 4 days, a fighter on the mound and a stand up team mate. Off the diamond he was always kind and proud to be a White Sox. It sucks to see him out of the south side pinstripes (well, the black alts since he seemed to have those on whenever he pitched).

Ozzie - thanks for 2005. Thanks for the start when you stood up for you club, but no thanks for the way your tenure here ended. And the sour note ruins a lot of what you did.

Spiff said...

It's always amazed me at how poorly people leave. In any profession at any level the last impression is often the strongest and is often the most botched.

topher (Crackin Wax/Varsity Trading Cards) said...

Man, I'm gonna miss those classic Ozzie vs. Gardy non-confrontations.

Anonymous said...

Tracey made it back two more times that season, and has been hurt ever since.

White Sox Cards said...

Yes, Anonymous. That is technically true. I was alluding to the fact that he never made it back past that particular season, which I should have made a bit clearer. The times that he was back up after the crying incident, he never showed the flashes of potential that he exhibited before Guillen "threw him under the bus", as many people like to say. Injuries have a lot to do with that too, but I would argue that a loss of confidence played a major role in not being brought up by other clubs.

Great comments everyone! :-)

Anonymous said...

Its hard for a player to be called to the majors when they are injured. Tracey went on the D.L. early in 2007, right when he was one of the top relievers in AAA Norfolk (which Baltimore was excited about) and hasn't been healthy since. The "crying" incident was blown up, he simply had his head down, most likely disgusted at the helplessness situation of being a rookie with no rights, for the unwritten rules did not call for retaliation in that moment. A.J. dove into a change up in his second at bat, and then it wasn't until two innings later Tracey was called in. During the at bat against Hank Blalock, Tracey executed a high and tight FB that brushed Blalocks front shoulder back, however he was standing in the back corner of the batters box (Uncharacteristic of his usual stance) most likely because they knew something was coming. A.J. put fastball away for the second pitch, which is another mishap in the unwritten rules. There is a reason why that game film is nowhere to be found on the 'net. Don't believe everything that is published, often times articles are jaded and juiced for the sake of sales:)

White Sox Cards said...

I did watch the game when it was originally broadcast and those are all true statements you make. I agree the media blew the incident out of proportion. I was upset when Baltimore picked up Tracey on waivers because I saw a lot of great potential in him. I hadn't realized that Sean was that badly injured, but taking a closer look at his minor league stats after 2006, that would make perfect sense. I suppose it's a matter of opinion as to whether Tracey just had his head down or he cried, but it's a non issue at this point. It was a non issue for me when it happened. I'm still a big Sean Tracey fan and will be for the foreseeable future. Thanks for the further updates! :-)

Anonymous said...

Apparently Tracey is still working on getting back...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZS-DBkzyksc&feature=youtu.be

Jeff Laws said...

I agree on all points. I loved Buehrle when he was here and I will continue to love him elsewhere till he comes back home.

I loved Ozzie for awhile, even longer than some. But last year he stuck it to us Sox fans and his teammates and I have lost all respect for him.

The only bad part about Buehrle going to Miami is I felt like Ozzie stole him from us. I don't really think that was the case, but that's what it felt like.

White Sox Cards said...

Anonymous: Great! I hope he makes it back! :-)

Jeff: I know what you mean. It certainly felt like that for a short time.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...