By Dan Bernstein–
Immature attention-whore Oney Guillen envisions himself as a heroic guardian of the family name. The 24-year-old adolescent fires venomous Twitter salvos while idling on a Venezuelan beach, then puts down his daiquiri long enough to dial up WSCR to dig even deeper into his self-made hole of stupid.
His entire justification for airing clubhouse information long considered privileged was that Bobby Jenks impugned his father on the way out of town when he insulted Ozzie’s handling of the Sox bullpen – an affront so egregious, apparently, that it merited a swift, illiterate broadcast of Jenks’ drinking, marital problems, and tearful meetings in the manager’s office.
The silliest part of this silly, tired story is Oney’s anachronistic, over-romanticized belief that a major-league manager needs this kind of protection from the harmless sour grapes of a jilted relief pitcher.
“Hello. My name is Oney Guillen. You insulted my father. Prepare to die!”
This isn’t a movie, kid. You’re not in the revenge business. And any family that needs your style of help must not be very strong in the first place.
It’s true that Ozzie himself has always been paradoxical, in that he’s comfortable living outside himself, expressing unfiltered thoughts about everything he does, while simultaneously being terribly sensitive. It’s a combination of traits that makes for complicated professional and personal life, and endless reality-show drama in a big media market.
But Ozzie has to be man enough to handle this. The rest of his players and his bosses need confirmation that he is not tacitly endorsing Oney’s unfortunate campaign, and he needs to say expressly that he is not. And soon.
Then he needs to give Oney the kind of straightening out that seems long overdue.
Something like this: “Son, I appreciate that you think you’re trying to help me. I know that it hurts you to hear me insulted in public. But that’s part of my job, and I can take care of it. I will respond if I feel the need, and whether or not to do so is my call, and mine alone. You aren’t helping me – you’re hurting me. In fact, you could get me fired, and any other team that may want to hire me will want to know how and why this happened in Chicago. This stops now.”
Ken Williams is in a powerful position at the moment, as his relationship with Ozzie & Sons has found a point of forced, tenuous détente. Williams is swaggering after the acquisitions of Adam Dunn and Jesse Crain, and the retention of Paul Konerko. His standing with Jerry Reinsdorf is as solid as ever, and their tolerance of the Guillen circus has been remarkable.
There are limits to such things, though.
The only reason Oney Guillen is able to wreak ignorant havoc from the comfort of South American sands is that his father is the manager of the Chicago White Sox.
I don’t know if he understands that.