WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Still down in Florida where it’s not as warm as it is in New York but with one air conditioning unit on the fritz half the house feels like the 168th street subway station in mid-August. With the right amount of alcohol this place could turn into Thunderdome at any moment. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime. this Sunday’s paper ran three recent Ozzie Guillen quotes and they got me to thinking that his considerable talents are being wasted in Miami. He’d be on the back or front of New York tabs constantly. It reminded me of another great Florida based quip-meister, John McKay, who used to coach those horrendous early Tampa Bay Buccaneers teams. Here’s a look at some of their work. Keep in mind that the first three for Ozzie were said recently and maybe even in the same interview. The guy’s a genius.
Ozzie. “If my players think they were going to get traded they should look themselves in the mirror…. Who wanted you?” (On players who thought they might get traded by the deadline.)
McKay. “I’m all for it.” (When asked what he thought about his team’s execution.)
Ozzie. “I’ll call the commissioner (and tell him) ‘The Marlins should play a doubleheader every day for the rest of the season.’ We’ll get that sh!t done in one month.” (When asked about the remainder of the season.)
McKay. “Kickers are like horse manure. They’re all over the place.”
Ozzie. “I’ve been second-guessed since the day I was born. My mom looked at me and said, ‘I don’t believe this is mine.'” (On being second-guessed as a manager.)
McKay. “We didn’t tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.”
Ozzie. “What’s his name? Michaelangelo?” (Trying to remember Giancarlo Stanton’s name.)
McKay. “Emotion is highly overrated in football. My wife Corky is emotional as hell but can’t play football worth a damn.”
Ozzie. “What attracted me to my wife is she’s hot. She’s also nice, she’s a great mom – but that comes after she’s hot.”
McKay. “Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.” (On the Bucs ending their 26-game losing streak.)
Ozzie. “In the eighties and nineties people made a lot of money and built houses. The first thing they put in their houses was a gym. In my house, the first thing I built was a bar. The second thing I built was another bar.”
McKay. “Capece is kaput.” (After kicker Bill Capece missed a field goal and extra point.)
Ozzie. “We had this media guy, Padilla. He was eating a cheeseburger during the game. I saw him while I was managing. I grabbed the phone, called the PR department, and said, “Doug, you’re gonna choke on that f**king cheeseburger.” Then I hung up. People wonder, How the f**k did you see him? But I see everything.”
McKay. “It’s shattering when a player loses interest in camp. When you lose your desire to stand around and eat steaks, you lose everything.”
I could go on all day quoting these two guys. For now, let’s just call it a draw. I’ll be back next week with the conclusion of the Florida trilogy. Stay tuned for Lori Levine tomorrow.