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The Magical and Mysterious Oz
Rick Reilly
April 24, 2006
Okay, right off the bat, let me be clear: Ozzie Guillen, the manager of the Chicago White Sox, is my favorite person in baseball. He's hilarious. He's the best skipper in the game. He had only an eighth-grade education in Venezuela yet is one of the smartest men you'll ever meet. And he's done a whole lot better in Chicago than I ever would've done in Caracas. My only question is, what the hell did he just say?
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April 24, 2006

The Magical And Mysterious Oz

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Ozzie: No, no, ees naw a person! It's--Soo Chi! I love soochi food!

Me: Oh!! Sushi!!

Ozzie: Yes, yes. Soochi.

Of course, Ozzie thinks it's racist that I'm even bringing it up.

"Jew are racis son of a beech," he insists. "If I was black, could jew be sayeeng these theengs? An beside, Spaneesh ees groweeng so fas een thees country. Why no writers lur Spaneesh?"

Good point. But doesn't his warped English keep his players from understanding his instructions?

"With Ozzie there's no mistaking what he's feeling," says pitching coach Don Cooper. "You don't have to understand the words."

Third base coach Joey Cora never wants Guillen to improve. "If Ozzie knew English better, he wouldn't be Ozzie. He tells you what's in his heart, not what you want to hear. Maybe if his English were better, he wouldn't do that. Maybe he'd tiptoe around the truth more."

Besides, says Ozzie, "I don't got to understang them. They got to understang me!... And, anyway, Eenglish ees naw so cood at makeeng sense. Why jew drive een parkway and park een driveway?"

Just then, first base coach Harold Baines walks up, hand extended, smiling. "Hi. I'm Harold Baines, Ozzie's interpreter."

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