You knew Ozzie would do it:
“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.” … 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 ,” so Vizquel was kicking the tires on Aparicio’s No. 11 or Carrasquel’s No. 17.
Now if the playing time is taken from “3B regular” Mark Teahen, it doesn’t sound so bad.
Omar Vizquel press conference (2:35), and
Omar Vizquel defensive reel (0:58)
UPDATE: Reifert has more on his Twitter feed:
InsideTheSox: The tradition that Ven shortstops have with the Sox and his relationship with Ozzie made him lean to the White Sox, Omar Vizquel said.
InsideTheSox: “Every great SS from Ven passed thru Chi,” Vizquel said. “Chico, Luis and Ozzie. I look fwd to experiencing the uniform and a great city.”
InsideTheSox: “He’s a guy who knows how to play the game,” Ozzie Guillen said of Vizquel. “He’s going to be a Hall of Famer.”
InsideTheSox: “Omar Vizquel does not have enough money to buy my number,” Guillen joked when asked if he’d give up his #13 for the new acquisition.
InsideTheSox: “Omar Vizquel does not have enough money to buy my number,” Guillen joked when asked if he’d give up his #13 for the new acquisition.InsideTheSox: “I think he should wear #23 because that’s what he wears in Venezuela with Caracas,” Guillen said. “And you know what #23 means in Chicago!
… says Phil Rogers in his where-do-free-agents-end-up column too:
Hideki Matsui, White Sox: The World Series MVP will get a two-year deal somewhere to DH. The Yankees are keeping that role open as a once- or twice-a-week slot for Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Damon.
Why “again”? Here.
The White Sox signed veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel to a one-year, $1.375 million deal on Monday, according to a source close to the situation. Vizquel, who turns 43 in April, will be a backup middle infielder. …
With Vizquel on board, the youthful utility tandem of Jayson Nix and Brent Lillibridge has been put on further notice. Guillen spoke at the end of the 2008 campaign as to how Nix needed to make better contact and Lillibridge needed to take greater advantage of his speed to secure their respective roster spots. There figures to be one spot left between the two of them, although even before Vizquel and the White Sox agreed to terms, Nix understood the task facing him.
“My focus is on making the adjustments I need to make and to come in being the most complete player I can be,” Nix said. “From there, whatever happens, happens. “If I’m on my game and doing what I’m capable of doing, opportunities will come. I’m just focused on doing what I need to do to help the team more.”
Stats: B-R, FG.
Here’s the press release.
UPDATE: Vizquel says he won’t have a problem accepting his backup role.
Jordan Danks finished in the top five in hits, walks and OBP and led the league in runs scored (31). Danks plays good center field and the scouts agreed in various reports out of Arizona. He had a great walk rate (20 in 99 AB) and hit .343, but the concern has been contact rate and he did nothing to change that. He struck out in almost 22% of his plate appearances in Arizona, staying in line with his 2009 numbers in Winston-Salem and Birmingham. He doesn’t project to hit for big power so he will need to improve that to be a successful hitter in the Majors. At the same time, a good defensive center fielder that can get on-base will always have a job. …
BTW, the Tribune has some numbers here.