Ozzie: In the Land of Oz

When my sister and I watched Dorothy meeting the Wizard of Oz for the first time, we were scared.  The great and powerful Oz was angry.  His face crinkled with disgust, smoke blowing from his nostrils and ears.  He was demanding, intimidating, and could not be reasoned with.

Fast forward about 55 years to another similar looking face:  our Ozzie disagreeing with a call third strike against Paulie. He let everyone know how angry and disgusted he was with the ump's call.  Next thing we saw were more tantrums from the dugout, and ultimately, being thrown out of the game. 

And like a two year old, Ozzie couldn't let it go.  He had to tweet his disgust to the social networking world, just as his son had done the year before. Like son like father. Teach your parents well.

Oh hum.  Just another day at the ball park.  And another loss.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of this act. It's becoming exclusively the Ozzie and Ozzie show, with ESPN,  XM Sports station, and national columns all too happy to pick up on such juvenile behavior. 

I understand what many sports analysts and team players report:  let Ozzie continue taking the heat for the poor performance which our White Sox have displayed of late:  at the plate, running the bases, dropping pop fly balls, and leaving more men on base than there were yellow bricks in the Land of Oz.  

And we have no further to look than in the mirror, while playing the Orioles and Buck Showalter right now.  Mired in a deep slump last year, Andy MacPhail pulled the plug on his then-manager Dave Trembley, took some time, and hired Buck to shake things up at Camden Yards. 

And shake them up he did - as if Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, had flown in on her broomstick to give the Orioles some new life, a new perspective, and a new leader - and a chance to at least compete in the AL East.  If nothing else, Buck gave the players the opportunity  to believe in themselves again.  

So what do we hear from Kenny Williams these days?  "I don't get why people want to tell all of their business and whereabouts all the time. But maybe I'm just old-fashioned." 

Well, this South Side Sports Chick is old-fashioned too, especially when it comes to my team.  I want to see leadership in a White Sox manager. I want to see Ozzie put his energy, passion and intensity into helping his players perform, contribute, and maximize their potential, as he did on our 25 - 5 run like last year.

Yeah - I want my players to believe in themselves again.  I want to see more plays as Lillibridge's in RF, replicating this "I'm All In" fever, which ultimately gets absorbed, felt, and internalized - both individually and as a team.  It's called Spirit.  

You got that Ozzie? Is your spirit stuck in your fingers, tweeting away, while your team is sleeping it off in the poppy fields, in the Land of Oz? Even the rainy weather in Chicago these days, can't awaken our team from this early season slumber.   

So Ozzie - time to get out of Oz.  Time to show that leadership again,  which once brought us a parade down State Street.  Time to click those red slippers and go tell your guys, "There's no place like Home.   There's no place like Home."    


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