Ozzie Guillen’s latest rant coming at the perfect time for White Sox

Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sits in the dugout during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on September 7, 2009. The White Sox won 5-1. UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

You know when Ozzie Guillen opens his mouth it’s going to be good. The guy is a walking quote and a magnet for controversy.

In his latest rant against society, baseball and world in general, the White Sox skipper says that Asian players are given more privileges in the United States than Latinos. He also thinks it’s unfair that Japanese players are assigned translators when they come to America, but Latinos aren’t afforded the same luxury.

“Very bad. I say, why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a Spanish one. I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we don’t?” Guillen said Sunday before Chicago played the Oakland Athletics. “Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them. We bring a Dominican kid … go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that. It’s never going to change. But that’s the way it is.”

He goes on.

“And we had 17 Latinos and you know who the interpreter was? Oney. Why is that? Because we have Latino coaches? Because here he is? Why? I don’t have the answer,” Guillen said. “We’re in the United States, we don’t have to bring any coaches that speak Spanish to help anybody. You choose to come to this country and you better speak English.

And on.

“It’s just not the White Sox, it’s baseball,” he added. “We have a pitching coach that is Latino, but the pitching coach can’t talk about hitting with a Latino guy and that’s the way it is and we have to overcome all those [obstacles]. You know why? Because we’re hungry, we grow up the right way, we come here to compete.”

And on.

“I’m the only one to teach the Latinos about not to use,” he said. “I’m the only one and Major League Baseball doesn’t [care]. All they care about — how many times I argue with the umpires, what I say to the media. But I’m the only one in baseball to come up to the Latino kids and say not to use this and I don’t get any credit for that.

There’s more, which you can read at ESPN.com, but you get the crux of his argument.

Seeing as how I’m a male Caucasian who has never played a single moment in baseball, I don’t have much input on this topic. I don’t know how fairly or unfairly Latinos are treated in baseball, nor would I know if Asians are given more privileges. (Although ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian makes a great point in that there are more players that speak Spanish in MLB than Japanese, so it would make sense for teams to have Japanese translators and not Spanish ones.)

That said, I do know that the Twins have won eight in a row and are now only a half game behind the White Sox in the AL Central. Not that he was purposely trying to rouse for his team, but Ozzie provided Sox players with the perfect distraction with his comments.

Since early June, the Sox have played just as well as any club in baseball. But they kicked off the second half by losing three of four in Minnesota and now the Twins are nipping at their heels in the division. If ever there was a time for Chicago’s players to need a distraction, it’s now. Instead of fielding questions about how the Twins are only a half game back despite Justin Morneau being out of their lineup, Sox players will no doubt be asked about the latest thing their brash manager said to the media.

Of course, one could point out that this could work against the Sox, too. They’re in the middle of a pennant race and need to be concentrating on baseball – not worrying about more comments by their loudmouth manager.

But for those that have ever played sports, sometimes the best way to relieve pressure is to think about something other than what you’re immediately involved with. For at least a couple of days, Sox players can focus on something other than the pennant race (which they’ll still have plenty of time to worry about with 50-plus games left to play).

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