clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Oney Guillen's Tweeting Could Lead To Ozzie's Undoing

Ozzie Guillen's son Oney is tweeting again. Will this lead to dad's downfall?

Getty Images

Cut it out, Oney.

The middle son of Ozzie Guillen has enjoyed a privileged, comfortable life thanks to millions in earnings from his dad's 15-year run as a big-league shortstop and status as Chicago baseball's most colorful manager since Leo Durocher. Yet he's in danger of messing it all up by tweeting criticism of Kenny Williams, including crossing the line into talking about Williams' personal life, all in the guise of the First Amendment that Ozzie Guillen says Oney is entitled to practice.

Like texting, Twitter is a wonderful technological advancement with tremendous drawbacks. Just as texting actually is slower than talking on the phone while not providing the give-and-take of a conversation, Twitter permits capsule opinions almost in hit-and-run fashion without context and perspective. And just like Facebook, Twitter lays bare a lot of stuff that is best left private and not for worldwide public consumption.

If Oney Guillen is peeved Williams did not bring in a fresh pitcher or two during a Kansas City series he claimed the GM cost the Sox, then he should vent to his father or use his access to confront Williams one on one. Although the younger Guillen was forced to give up his job in the Sox video department in the spring after other negative tweets, he is still a member of a very public family whose livelihood depends on the Sox. Oney is an adult and can speak his mind, but where was his political savvy?

I've long believed Ozzie Guillen will depart the Sox one day not due to failings on the field, but his flapping jaws crossing the line. Little did Guillen figure that more demerits in Jerry Reinsdorf's mind would add up due to the loose fingers of his opinionated son.

Outwardly, Ozzie Guillen and Williams showed no ill effects Wednesday from the latest tweets, with the manager joking with his boss by the dugout during batting practice. Oney Guillen ripped Williams for attending a Schaumburg comedy club with a "female friend" late Saturday instead of hunkering down by his TV to watch the second game of the Sox-KC doubleheader, necessitated by a Friday rainout. And he blantantly accused the GM of costing the Sox the KC series by not bringing up another pitcher with the strain on the rest of the staff due to the rainout and bullpen problems.

Here's the perspective Oney Guillen could not post with Twitter's limitations on length: GM's are allowed some time off during the season. Cubs GM Jim Hendry had a scheduled off day on June 26, the day after Carlos Zambrano's dugout tirade at The Cell. Rather than come in to handle the mess, Hendry stayed away and allowed assistant GM Randy Bush to deal with the fallout, including talking to the media.  In the KC series situation, Williams scheduled the comedy-club visit after the originally scheduled Sox 6 p.m. game. He did not need to watch the nitecap, and employed the same advanced technology to stay in touch with Ozzie Guillen and pitching coach Don Cooper that Oney Guillen uses for editorializing.

Oney Guillen is an adult and an "American citizen," in the words of Ozzie Guillen. But the latter never stops being a father. At some point, he has to insist his son will kill the family's golden goose. The other day, Ozzie Guillen said he didn't care about a statue one day at The Cell. He wants the money instead.

How will he earn that money if he's the ex-Sox manager? Jerry Reinsdorf's tolerance has always been near its limits with the elder Guillen. Wouldn't it be sad if a son who had no brakes on his opinions, just like Dad, pushed the chairman past those limits and helped grease the skids for the end of the tight-knit Guillen family's livelihood?