By Joe Christensen
You’ve gotta love Ozzie Guillen. I’ve had the opportunity to listen in on his pregame and postgame press conferences the past two days, and it’s non-stop amusement. Asked tonight about the Twins comeback — down 6-0 and still bringing the tying run to the plate — Guillen complimented their resilience.
“There’s another reason,” he added with a wry smile. “In the ninth inning, the flags are always blowing. Check it out tomorrow. All of a sudden, it gets cold in here. C’mon Gardy. Gardy should know about this. I’ve got respect for Gardy.”
Guillen was referring to that infamous air conditioner again. He meant it in fun, we think. Honestly, as a writer, it’s hard keeping up with him. Before the game, he was asked about A.J. Pierzynski’s durability, despite being a big catcher, at 6-foot-3. Guillen went on a rant about A.J.’s personality. An excerpt:
“I feel proud of that kid every day because he shows up to win. Is he a good guy? No. But I love him. He knows I love him. I’ve got a hate-love for him. He respects me, he respects my ballclub, he gives us a headache everyday. A good one though. Because he wants to do good. He wants the ballclub to do good.”
Then this: “A.J. gets under little kid’s skin. Everybody. Even a Father’s Day or Mother’s Day barbeque, the mother says, ‘Don’t show up, please.’ You know what I mean? ‘Stay home.’ “
For what it’s worth, A.J. had nice things to say about Minnesota fans today. Asked about the booing, he said, “I understand. I don’t think they’re upset at me. I think it’s more the fact I play for the White Sox now, and I think what happened is a lot of people think that I left on my own. Like I left for money or whatever. I was traded, and I have no hard feelings. I still have a lot of good friends here, in the front office and on this team, the coaching staff over here.
“They ask me that same question in Anaheim, why do they boo me there? It’s good. The fans care, they know what’s going on, they’re into the games. I have no problem with fans booing or whatever. There’s still some fans cheering. There’s still some that say, ‘We miss you and wish you were still here.’ At the same time, they have Joe [Mauer], and they’re happy with what he’s done, and they should be. He’s a great player.”