Ozzie reflects on recent passings
Guillen discusses appreciating life in light of tragic losses
ST. PETERSBURG -- You can describe Ozzie Guillen in a number of ways, depending on if you're one of the White Sox manager's many supporters or in the group not exactly standing behind Guillen.
But one thing never said about Guillen is that he doesn't find the most enjoyment out of every day on the job as Chicago's manager. That idea was brought up by Guillen recently, after baseball dealt with the tragic deaths of Nick Adenhart, Harry Kalas and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych over the past week.
"You have to thank God every day when you wake up," Guillen said. "That's why I think people have to enjoy life the best they can every day. You never know what's going to happen.
"I try to have the best smile on my face every day and live my life the best I can. I appreciate my job and appreciate my family and friends and the people around me. You never know what's going to happen, and the older you get, the more people you see it's going to happen."
Guillen was matched by all three of the aforementioned men in his level of love and passion for what they did. Although Guillen pointed out that Fidrych's engaging on-field antics might not play as well in today's baseball culture, he said the right-hander did a lot of great things for baseball.
"He brought baseball back with the way he enjoyed his life," said Guillen of Fidrych. "I just saw him a few days ago in an interview with MLB Network. The guy brought a lot of enthusiasm. This guy can help people appreciate the game more.
"In the meanwhile, when you remember him the way you remember him, I think baseball needs more people like him -- those type of funny, loving guys with the fans and the media. A lot of people are going to remember him like he was a Cy Young winner or with 300 wins because of the way he was. Baseball needs people like him."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.