Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Vizquel now an expensive babysitter

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6a00e54f7fc4c58833011279048fa628a4-450wi.jpgThe White Sox announced on Monday that they signed 42-year-old, 11-time Gold Glover Omar Vizquel to a one-year, $1.375-million contract.
So what does it mean?
Well, the Yankees can still sleep well at night.
"I don't want him to be a coach,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said of the signing. "That's the last thing I want. Omar is so professional handling something he had to do for the first time in his life. I think the job he did with the kids in Texas [last season] was outstanding.
"His presence with the team is very important. He's a guy that knows how to play the game, he's a Hall of Famer. The kids can take advantage, especially Gordon [Beckham] and [Alexei] Ramirez. We will try and find him a lot of playing time, especially early in the year because everyone knows Ramirez struggles early either because of the weather or over-training.''
Vizquel gives Guillen a defensive presence off the bench at short, third and even second base. He will play mentor for Beckham and Ramirez. And if there is an injury, he is a suitable band-aid. That's it. In other words, he's a $1.375 million babysitter.
All the talk of keeping the chain of great Venezuelan shortstops on the South Side - from Chico Carrasquel to Luis Aparicio and Guillen - is nice PR, but this is a starting pitching staff built to win this season, with a bullpen and lineup that still isn't up to code.
And now there are even more concerns.
With talks between the Sox and Scott Podsednik back on frigid, there is still a gaping hole in the leadoff spot.
"I'm not concerned about it, but I'm thinking about it,'' Guillen admitted of Podsednik. "The last few years, people think it's easy to say, 'This is my leadoff hitter.' The good ones are already signed, the good ones cost a lot of money. In the meanwhile, by April 4 or whenever the season starts, we will have one.''
Re-insert Coco Crisp rumors here.
Meanwhile, Vizquel's main concern is a jersey number to wear. Guillen told his friend that he "doesn't have enough money to get my number [13],'' so Vizquel was kicking the tires on Aparicio's No. 11 or Carrasquel's No. 17.
"This closes a great chapter in my career,'' Vizquel said. "Every great shortstop from Venezuela has passed through Chicago.
"I look at myself as a mentor. I think that will kind of be my role on this team.''

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7 Comments

Didn't you get the memo that all members from the 1997 Cleveland Indians are required to play a stint in Chicago before their pension will kick in? What's this make now... Belle, Lofton, Colon, Thome, Alomar, Alomar, Mike Jackson, Jeff Juden was given a try-out in AAA, and they even had their own Brian Anderson (a pitcher, sure. But he had a .167 average kind of like the playboy here did). Now Omar Vizquel. So what's that make 10?

Didn't you get the memo that all members from the 1997 Cleveland Indians are required to play a stint in Chicago before their pension will kick in? What's this make now... Belle, Lofton, Colon, Thome, Alomar, Alomar, Mike Jackson, Jeff Juden was given a try-out in AAA, and they even had their own Brian Anderson (a pitcher, sure. But he had a .167 average kind of like the playboy here did). Now Omar Vizquel. So what's that make 10?

(Sorry for the duplicate... the site knocked off my name and email in the first one...)

THE KNOWLEDGE HE POSSESSES IS WORTH EVERY DIME THE SOX WILL PAY HIM NEXT SEASON, RAMIREZ AND BECKHAM WILL BE BETTER IN THE LONG RUN FOR EVEN DRESSING NEXT TO THE GUY, HE IS A PROFESSIONAL, AND HE IS STILL IN GREAT SHAPE, HE IS SORT OF LIKE WHAT LINDSEY HUNTER IS FOR DERRICK ROSE ON THE BULLS, WELCOME ABOARD, GREAT SIGN BY KEN WILLIAMS, THE MIDDLE OF THE INFIELD IS SET FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS!

This is just another case of Ozzie favoring his Latin players.

Beckham is the best shortstop on the team. He should play short, not Ramirez or Omar Vizquel.

Ozzie got his Venezuelan 43 year old buddy a 1.375 mil job to do nothing.

Mary -

I know Beckham is cute and all, but he is NOT the best shortstop on the team. He doesn't have the range Alexei does, and if you read the scouting reports on him you'd see that they all agree and don't see Beckham as a great defensive shortstop. Don't let Beckham's full head of hair trick you into thinking you know more about baseball than people who are PAID to.

And please don't even try arguing that Ozzie wants Alexei to play ss because he is Latin. If that's true, maybe you only want Beckham to play ss because he is white?

The Vizquel signing is great. 1.375MM to a guy who can mentor Beckham & Alexei and play late inning defense at 2nd, short & 3rd when needed.

We can start complaining about the allocation of money on opening day. As of right now, everyone needs to relax. It's not even Decemeber yet, there are still trades & signings that can go on!

Mary, Just another case of an idiot who knows nothing wasting time and space with a racist, ridiculous post. Something tells me you're not Mary, but the same jerk that posted a similar racist comment when the news first came out. Uswe your head and stop posting, because you don't use it when you do post. Same goes for Cary. The only people who use their brains here are Phil and Chris.

Phil and Chris, do you guys think maybe Mary and Cary are flubby fannies? They sure sound like it to me.

To call Vizquel an expensive babysitter is an insult to baseball fans who can see that a superb athlete who played errorless defense at 3 infield positions for 420 innings may be useful in winning a pennant. It could also be useful to have a 43 year old athlete who plays like a 33 year old as a role model. It is easy to imagine that many on the team can learn from his pre-game preparation and post game disciplines but mainly the team will benefit from his defensive prowess. Joe Cowley`s irreverence in calling this likely future Hall of Famer a babysitter was meant to be a shot at the magnitude of this move by Kenny Williams but as a Sox fan who saw my team start last season with Betemit and Lillebridge as our reserve infielders, i see this as an inexpensive yet serious and necessary upgrade of our bench.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on November 23, 2009 5:31 PM.

Vizquel to the Sox? Ozzie has spoken to the veteran was the previous entry in this blog.

Sox sign Jones, as the offseason of 'Cocoon III' continues is the next entry in this blog.

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