Wed May 26 04:57pm EDT
For most managers, seven innings and almost two hours would be more than enough time to cool down from an ejection and then be relatively diplomatic about the whole episode in front of the media.
And yet I get the feeling Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would have had the same profane reaction had we given him a month before asking him about his explosive run-in with umpire Joe West during a 5-4 victory over Cleveland on Wednesday.
Guillen better have brought his checkbook on this road trip, because there's zero chance he doesn't get fined after issuing the, um, "most pointed criticism" of an umpire or referee I can remember hearing.
Here are some choice excerpts from Guillen's rant — read the whole thing here — after he was ejected by West for arguing the first of two balks called against Mark Buehrle(notes) (who was ejected an inning later):
• "He's a ------- -------, that's what he is"
• "I'm not going out to argue about the balk because the rule, but I went out to ask him why he's embarrassing Buehrle and he give me one of this [dismissing him with his hands]. When you're a professional and you have to respect the managers, the way we're supposed to respect the umpires, they are supposed to respect back. Obviously they have more power than we have and we have to wear it every time that happens."
• "I deserve respect and the players here deserve respect here, too. When you tell the manager to get the ---- off the field, I don't think that's a good way to handle situations. No matter what you say, what you do, how long you talk here, Major League Baseball doesn't do ---- for anything. I'll be waiting for my fine, get 'em the next day.''
• "He thinks he's the ---- in the field. People pay to watch ----ing players play, not to see umpires and managers. I don't see any people say, 'I'm going to see Ozzie Guillen manage or Joe West ----ing umpire.'''
Yup, pretty much an all-time performance from the Oz and one that contained a lot more colorful language than announcer Hawk Harrelson's rant that followed West getting ejection happy. He's definitely going to get fined and maybe even suspended for a game or two.
And as entertaining as his tirade was and as frustrating as his season has been, Guillen is in the wrong here. Yes, West's balk calls on Buehrle may have been questionable — it's been 18 years since a White Sox pitcher was called for two balks in one game — but launching into West like his name was Jay Marriotti isn't going to help him or his team down the road.
Not with the umpires. Nor with the league.
Then again, maybe Guillen's rampage was a calculated move, the clubhouse-currency type designed to light a fire under a listless team that's staring at a summer of irrelevancy.
I kind of doubt that's the case, but the fun thing about Guillen is that you're never sure where his motives lie. Vindictive ------- ------- or mad genius? We really can't tell.
But, hey, the thing we like about Guillen is that it's always quite possible that he's both.