With East Coast and national media converging on Ft. Myers, Fla., former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks had an opportunity. He could have delivered a verbal fastball right to the ribs of Oney Guillen, son of South Side manager Ozzie Guillen, who infamously ripped the 29-year-old pitcher on Twitter back in December. But Jenks, now a set-up man for the Boston Red Sox, is playing it cool and, we hope, has finally slammed shut Oneygate for good.
While Oney has gone on tweeting -- in turns ogling Kim Kardashian, commenting on NBA games and firing back at haters -- Jenks seems to have learned his lesson. After all, it was the pitcher's own public criticisms of his former manager that set the Guillen brood into attack mode. But, instead of hurling the aforementioned figurative heater, Jenks has tossed more of a curve ball, one whose break is so subtle that it's doubtful Oney will even notice it landing in the zone.
When Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston asked Jenks yesterday what he thought of Oney's online onslaught, the pitcher said:
Obviously not much, since I haven't commented, and that's where I'm going to leave it. That's it. I mean, I'm not even going to go [there].
And would Jenks join Oney, along with many other MLB players, on Twitter?
No. I don't need to get in a battle of words. He had his moment and that was it.
Ah, there it is. The curve ball. The second part of Jenks' statement likely gives him a little bit of satisfaction -- and as well it should. Because he's exactly right. Oney's actions were a selfish attention-grab that, for all of his half-hearted apologies and equivocating since, probably did more to publicize his name and Twitter account (which promotes his business, Triple Crown Productions) than anything he's done before or since.
So White Sox fans have one more reason to thank Bobby Jenks. Y'know, besides the whole "closing out the 2005 World Series" thing. He's likely brought Oneygate to a close, once and for all. Or at least until someone else says something critical of Ozzie Guillen. And we've got a month of spring training and 162 games of baseball (maybe more) for that to happen.