CHICAGO – White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen’s actions and impulsive words cost him again.
Major League Baseball suspended Guillen for two games, which began Friday, and fined him an undisclosed amount for his actions during Wednesday’s loss to the Yankees.
Home plate umpire Todd Tichenor ejected Guillen after arguing a called third strike on Paul Konerko in the first inning. It marked the 26th ejection of his career and first this season.
After the ejection Guillen logged onto his Twitter account (@OzzieGuillen) and fired off two tweets: “This one going to cost me a lot money this is patetic [sic]” followed by “Today a tough guy show up [at] yankee stadium.”
As Guillen sat in the Sox’s dugout before Friday’s game against the Orioles, he showed his remorse for his actions. He said that while venting felt good at the time, Guillen regretted the tweets two minutes after he sent them. The suspension didn’t shock Guillen, who took it in stride after a “great” conversation with the league.
“They told me why they got to do it and they talked to me about taking responsibility,” Guillen said. “I shouldn’t be [tweeting] during the game.
“I’m with them 100 percent, not because I’m here talking to you guys,” Guillen added. “We talked about baseball, what we want for this game ... and we don’t want this game to go where it shouldn’t be.”
Guillen is the first player, coach or team to be penalized for using social media during a game. MLB rules stipulate that social media messages must stop 30 minutes before a game and being ejected from a game doesn’t change that.
Even with the repercussions, Guillen won’t stop tweeting any time soon though he plans on staying clear of baseball related topics.
Sox General Manager Ken Williams doesn’t understand the appeal of social media such as Twitter and believes there are more negatives than positives. Case in point: Guillen’s suspension, which Williams saw coming.
“He understands,” Williams said. “He’s very contrite and I think he gets it. He’s accepted all of the responsibility that has come with the action. We’re mindful of the fact we don’t have our manager and we have to be respectful of the umpires, and maybe even respectful of them to an even greater degree right now as a result of what they may be feeling at this time.”
Williams has no issue with the suspension but regrets that the incident means the Sox are without their manager. Bench coach Joey Cora will manage the team during Guillen’s two-game absence.
“I think Major League Baseball is there to be the caretakers of the game,” Williams said. “And they have to do things for the whole of the game and this kind of falls into that category where if you let this whole social media thing get out of control – none of know what the boundaries kind of are right now to all of this and how to navigate our way through it.
“If I’m sitting in Joe Torre’s chair, I’d make the same decision he just made,” Williams added. “That’s with the mindset it’s in the best interest of baseball.”
This isn’t the first time Guillen’s words have gotten him in trouble.
Guillen attended sensitivity training in 2006 using a derogatory term to describe former sports columnist Jay Mariotti. Outbursts have also been directed at Alex Rodriguez, former White Sox outfielder Magglio Ordonez and umpire Hunter Wendelstedt since he’s managed the Sox.