I know the issue is all about profanity and the word fag to describe Sun Times writer Jay Mariotti. Don’t get me wrong, Ozzie Guillen should have chosen better words to describe Mariotti. I do understand however what ticked Ozzie off. Jay has jumped on Ozzie Guillen from the word go. Recently Mariotti was all over Guillen because Ozzie had relief pitcher Sean Tracey farmed out for refusing to follow orders and hit Hank Blalock. Guillen was trying to protect his hitters, his job is to win ballgames, and in this game Texas pitcher Vicente Padilla hit A.J. Pierzynski twice with pitches. Padilla does have a propensity for hitting batters, but still has only hit 59 batters among the over 3,600 batters he has faced.

Lately sports guys on TV, radio, and in the newspaper have taken to controversy. It shouldn’t surprise these guys when their subjects explode. Makes for good copy and sells papers, I guess. Writing in the last issue of the National Jay Mariotti is the same guy who wrote off the Bulls after they lost their first game to the Lakers in the 1991 NBA Playoffs, the Bulls rebounded to win the next four straight, and six championships in the next eight years. More recently Jay was counting down to when the Bulls would lose their 73rd game after they opened the season 0-9, they came back to make the playoffs that year. And just the other day Mariotti said Miami was too old and overmatched for the Dallas Mavericks, but that was when Dallas was up 2-0. His latest victim is Mark Cuban, saying Cuban’s big mouth has run its course. At the risk of offending weasels, Jay is one!

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  1. Guys,

    From Jeff , Sports journalist at

    Interesting perspective. Enjoy the column,


    Guillen doesn’t get it

    By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports
    June 22, 2006

    CHICAGO – It’s a little past 7 p.m., about time for the first pitch between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, and the crowd at Crew, a gay sports bar, barely notices.

    As Mark Buehrle pumps in a strike, patrons chat about their day’s work and bartenders pour beer and waiters pluck empty pitchers from tables and smoke lazes toward the ceiling. Aside from a few unique decorations – the disco ball that dangles from the ceiling and the trophy case with a T-shirt that reads “I ? TIGHT ENDS” – Crew looks like your average sports bar: An overwhelming amount of men for each woman, more than a dozen televisions, a Golden Tee machine adjacent to a pool table and plenty of hometown mementos.

    Like the flag on the back wall. It’s big and black and silver, and it displays the logo of the Chicago White Sox, World Series champions. Or, perhaps more accurately these days, the Chicago White Sox, managed by Ozzie Guillen, who Tuesday called Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti a “(expletive) fag.”

    At Crew, they try to laugh it off. They want to see Guillen as nothing more than a small-minded hypocrite. Here he is, calling Mariotti the ultimate slur of homophobes, and spitting out an explanation that in his native Venezuela, it means a spineless man, one who, in Mariotti’s case, does not face Guillen after ripping him in print. Turns out that Guillen is the one without courage, initially not apologizing for what he said – the true odious act – but for whom he might have hurt, like he actually cared.

    What Guillen does not understand, and what’s difficult for so many to grasp, is that intent never assuages the power of words. They are like fired bullets, capable of severe damage and incapable of being taken back, weapons of the reckless.

    “If I’m leaving this bar at 12:30 a.m. and walking home, and I hear someone yell the word ‘fag,’ you’d better believe that would put the fear of God into me,” says Drew Ferguson, 32, dragging on a Camel Light and drinking a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. “Ultimately, I don’t care about the word fag. What I do care about is that the man doesn’t have sense enough not to say it.”

    “And that’s where the anger in the gay community rises,” says Erick Gerrard, 59, one of Ferguson’s drinking buddies. “We’re all supposed to turn a blind eye in the era of shock culture, with ‘South Park’ and everything else that tries to make the word commonplace, and he can get away with saying fag despite how it may resonate.”

    Did it ever resonate Wednesday. The Sun-Times columnist who wrote about the incident, Greg Couch, called for Guillen’s suspension. Mariotti claimed he’d been threatened several times in the White Sox clubhouse, alleviating his responsibility to take the reciprocal tongue-lashings columnists generally do. Guillen spewed more bile at Mariotti, forgoing the term fag for a few other George Carlin-approved words. The morality plays kicked into overdrive.

    Me? I just want to know what gay men think of the word fag.

    Because I don’t know, and I don’t think the majority of the public knows, either. To truly know what a word means is to have experienced it. It means to have felt the intensity of hate and the chill of fear that accompanies every vile epithet. It means someone saying the word fag with a purpose, and make no mistake, however benign Guillen’s was, there was a purpose.

    “In a situation like that, where you’re a public figure, you’re allowing what you say to be interpreted so many ways,” says Billie Spicher, the manager at Crew. “Everybody’s got a different opinion or view. One person might think he was bashing gays, and the next person might not think anything of it, and the next person might think in between.

    “Your perspective could be a lot different than mine. If we sat down and watched him say it, we’d see it two different ways.”

    I saw it as an embarrassment to baseball as much as Guillen. Clubhouses nurture a culture that subverts gays. No baseball player has admitted he was gay while active. The fear of being outed kept Glenn Burke and Billy Bean closeted until after they retired. Machismo is currency, and the boys-being-boys excuse fosters homophobia.

    “When you call someone a fag, it emasculates and belittles,” Ferguson says. “It doesn’t matter how he meant it. It’s connotation versus denotation. And you ought to have sense enough to realize you have a fan base that’s all-inclusive.”

    It stretches to Crew, located in Chicago’s Uptown district, about 10 miles north of U.S. Cellular Field. A few patrons watch the big-screen TV on the right end of the bar as the White Sox pound out 13 runs against St. Louis. When the camera flashes to Guillen in the dugout, they don’t boo. When a commercial with Guillen peddling the Chevy Equinox pops up, they don’t yell at the screen.

    What’s the point? Guillen escaped the day without rebuke from White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Major League Baseball, even after his papier-mâché defense – Guillen had seen Madonna in concert and goes to a gay hairdresser, as if those were to exempt him from criticism. Either he knows where some bodies are buried or Guillen’s outsized persona has grown so large he’s beyond sanction.

    In the last 48 hours, Guillen has said: “I represent the organization.” Though the comment came during his discussion of his ejection after a plunking Tuesday, it applies to every aspect of Guillen’s life, from his on-field actions to his off-the-cuff remarks.

    Ozzie Guillen is the face of the White Sox. And he’s not a fag. Just a coward.

    Jeff Passan is Yahoo! Sports’ national baseball writer.

  2. We all learned to write in kindergarten, most of us progressed beyond that. The media seems to love egging guys on till they explode, when they do they seem to say, “what happened to him?” Mariotti has always been a piece of work. Ozzie Guillen’s job is not to kiss his butt.

  3. That’s a Bobby Knight Quote, right? The one about kindergarten.

    Bringing in Bobby Knight to defend, are we?

    Question: Is Ozzie the “female Marge Schott?” Will he come to the same end? And at what point does Ozzie become Al Campanis or Jimmy the Greek?

  4. Teddy, it isn’t about the profanity-everybody’s heard Ozzie’s interviews: they’re a bleep-fest.

    Do I know Ozzie? No. But do I think he would just walk up to the gay bar and start calling people fags? No. Personally I think the “sensitivity training” is going overboard. I think I could have lived with the apology.

    I think the media has both made this story and also prolonged it. Yesterday, one of Jay’s TV-mates said “Ozzie should be more sensitive, he had to overcome discrimination to become the first Hispanic manager to win the World Series”. And while I don’t know every winning manager, I tend to attribute Al Lopez’ loss in the ’59 Series to Dodger pitching rather than discrimination. And Felipe Alou has been the victim of lousy teams more than discrimination.

    Question for both of you: If Phil Garner, Tony LaRussa or Bobby Cox had said that blacks were better for working in the heat, can you imagine the reaction? Probably more than what has happened here. But the media giggled at Dusty. :-(((

  5. Jeff Passan wrote:

    Crowd barely notices? Doesn’t sound much like a sports bar to me.

    DonS wrote:

    Will you say the same thing about Mike Scioscia next time he uses the word “Cock-sucker?”

  6. When has Scioscia done this? I don’t remember it, and GOOGLE isn’t turning up anything. Please advise, with a link, if possible.

    I know that Frank Robinson called Mike that name. GOOGLE found that. Perhaps that’s what you are remembering.

    I also see a difference between the word Ozzie used, and the word you used. I’ll bet you see a difference, too.

    Either way, I don’t see what Mike Scioscia has to do with Ozzie. But, in answer, if Mike Scioscia calls (or has called) a writer a “faggot,” I will jump on him.

  7. This is my favorite quote (seriously) by Ozzie (emphasis mine):

    “I will apologize to people I offended because I should have used another word,” Guillen said before Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. “I SHOULD HAVE CALLED HIM SOMETHING DIFFERENT”

    For all the stupid things Ozzie has done and said, he isn’t going to whitewash this or spin this. No “I misspoke” or “I was taken out of context” or worse, “Jay and I have straightened things out”.

    I’ll give him that.

  8. In the context of how Ozzie used “fag”, I believe he easily could have substituted “cock-sucker”.

    Don, I thought I remembered a profanity laced tirade in the dugout or after the game from Mr. Scioscia – perhaps it was Piniella though.

    But in mentioning Scioscia, my point (to you) was that lots of the criticism of Ozzie comes from those who dislike the White Sox and/or Guillen. Those that give him a free pass are from those who love the White Sox and/or Guillen.

    People are very hesitant to criticize those they like and they often see their actions in a different light (sometimes opposite) than people of the opposite views. Case in point, Sammy corking the bat.

    Another example, Dusty saying “You don’t find too many brothers in New Hampshire and Maine and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. … We were brought over here for the heat, right? Isn’t that history? Weren’t we brought over because we could take the heat?”

    I believe that you and Mariotti lumping Ozzie’s using the word “fag” in the context of calling someone a name in a fit of rage into the same catagory as “paragraphs” of “deep thought” that got Campanas, Schott and Jimmy the Greek in trouble is simply unfair. But that’s my view. If I hated the White Sox, I would be more negative on Ozzie.

    As you know, I am not the biggest Ozzie Guillen fan. Those who think he walks on water and is the reason the Sox won the World Series last year – I think the people are delusional. The White Sox won the World Series last year because our starting pitching was outstanding, no one was injured, our closer didn’t choak and we got runs at the right times. The fact that FMM (funny man manager) did some crazy things (mostly for attention to himself, I believe) that happened to work didn’t hurt either.

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